8 September 2018

The 4 R’s of Retail Marketing. The value of the distribution and the integral shopping experience


The act of purchase is a process and not an action: It begins when the consumer chooses where to meet their needs, continues at the selected point of sale and ends with the post-purchase process, where they must work on the 4 R’s of the Retail: relevance , reward, reduction of expenses and relationship with the client.

By understanding that the Distribution variable is an important factor in image formation and brand prestige, the sector began to experience changes. Since a product “does not exist” without a location available for consumption, the distribution companies play a fundamental role in owning the physical exhibition space and are renewed to achieve a “mass customization”.

The majority of buyers today can not find an offer that satisfies the integrality of their needs. They do not want to choose, they want exactly what they want, and variety is not the same as correct satisfaction of all needs.

The appropriate response would be mass customization, that is, produce based on the wishes of the buyers. This means doing what the buyers want and when they want. Therefore, companies try to allocate resources to develop products and technologies taking into account the input of customers, be more receptive to consumers and incorporate their contributions when designing commercial proposals.

Extended Purchase Process

Today the goods are commoditized. When the desire for a product is born, the act of purchase begins, because the buyer must decide if he acquires it by telephone, by Internet, in a nearby store, going to look for it at a more distant business, etc. At this moment, the important thing is to select where to buy and not what, because it “feels” that all the products sold by all the suppliers within reach are the same.

Here, the functional variables of the retail are important: geographical coverage, level of services, purchasing environment, quality and variety, and price perception. But the choice has a psychic cost; for example, the proximity is appreciated, but the level of service that another store further away would be left aside.

During the purchase at the store, the buyer will evaluate if he finds the brand he was looking for, if the price received and what is found meet his expectations. However, the act of purchase continues. After the buyer chose, it is necessary for the provider to take into account the emotional values ​​of their offer to build a long-term bond. The act of purchase continues even when the buyer leaves the store.

Every buyer needs to find in the supplier:

  • Relevance : feeling considered a fundamental element for profitability and business growth.
  • Relationships : feel that the provider wants to establish long-term relationships and get it back.
  • Reward : to be rewarded for having chosen the provider among all offers.
  • Reduction of expenses : not only the monetary, but also the investment of effort and energy “spent” in each act of purchase.

The act of purchase ends when the consumer must again choose a supplier to buy the same product / service again. If the psychic cost in that new opportunity is less than what he had to “pay” before, the “Purchase Experience” he went through was valuable.

The Purchase Experience is a careful orchestration to meet the needs of the buyer. It does not occur only at the point of sale, but occurs before and after the purchase of an offer from a certain supplier. Maximizing Total Experience creates value and generates customer preference.