Tips For Sifting Through Retailers
Given the number of choices consumers are presented with, there needs to be a system the savvy shopper can use to select the best retailer for a purchase. Each situation and every purchase is different, so a single brand might not serve each time. Here are some tips to help consumers select a retailer for a given purchase.
Purpose of the Purchase
Today’s purchase is a winter coat, one that is going to last for several seasons and not go out of style next week. The consumer is an adult, so the size is not going to change by next winter. This is a coat for active use, perhaps while skiing or snow-shoeing. Already, a shopper knows his coat will have to be of good quality if it’s going to last. Fabrics chosen must be breathable and light with lots of pockets. It can’t be a long coat which would restrict movement.
One can almost automatically rule out a low-cost retailer such as Target or Walmart. A more likely source would be Sport Chek, Patagonia, or The North Face. They sell active-wear for all seasons and they choose high-tech fabrics that breathe but are also incredibly light. Their audience is exactly right for the needs of this shopper.
Background of the Company
If one were to sift a little further to determine the ideal retailer from these three, he might look into the backgrounds of each company. A company mission to support youth sports, protect the environment, or do something else worthy will help one decide while cost is a big feature to look for too. Most large brands are associated with charitable activity, so the idea would be for the shopper to select whichever one hits home personally.
Style for a Season
All three companies carry several styles of coats for all types of customers. They sell goods for children and adults. Their range covers each season and most sports. What about the style factor?
Here is where the internet is such an important tool to shoppers, even those who will not shop online. Using e-tail catalogues, one simply uses filters to arrive at a selection of 20 coats, pairs of shoes, or bathing suits to determine who offers limited-time style, timeless fashion, varied colors, and so on.
In the case of certain goods it is especially important to stay “up-to-the-minute,” particularly where electronics are concerned. Customers want the latest advantages whether they are buying flat screen televisions or multi-purpose wrist watches.
In this case, the shopper could look through the internet page for categories pertaining to the item they want and look for breadth of selection. Does this store carry a lot of computers, including lap tops which become note pads or can be tented? Are experts on hand to help one select a suitable gaming computer?
Customers making major purchases will always back these with in depth research. When they have a grasp of their topic, these individuals can vet retailers by finding out whose customer service team is the most knowledgeable.
When comparing a Target location with a Best Buy down the street, it all depends on the department, not the store as a whole. Even if the company is not known for its expertise in an area and is better-known as a generalist, selling almost anything and everything at a low price, a great sales associate can turn the tables.
A Matter of Money
Take that winter coat again. Say it’s for an 8 year-old likely to get at least one or possibly two years out of this garment. She wears her clothes into the ground with outdoor play and it makes no sense to spend $200. Now is the time to go for a budget retailer like Target or Walmart.
Reviews from Consumers and Experts
A circle of fellow consumers gladly shares reports of their experiences with various brands. They offer warnings and recommendations. Word-of-mouth reviews are helpful, but shoppers can also branch out to read the impressions of a wide selection of shoppers and more.
Big corporations have been the subjects of reports in newspapers and financial journals. Reports of smaller ones might be in these publications as well, but one will uncover useful information and customer comments from the Better Business Bureau, TrustLink, and the BCA.