City and State
The project was aimed
at examining consumer behavior and evaluating the overall level of loyalty for
clients who shopped at the retail store. In the recent past, increased competition
from retailers and poor communication contributed to reduced customer loyalty. The
need to improve shopper retention, therefore, informed the project; a strategy
used to save the costs of attaining new ones. The survey involved carrying out
interviews through open and close-ended questionnaires. The ethical
responsibility of consumer confidentiality was
maintained as data was used solely for the goals mentioned above. Challenges
such as limited time and resources made it difficult to develop a more flexible
schedule and budget. The key findings included a need for convenience through
express checkouts as well as the ability to communicate online through social
media platforms. Customers were also more likely to recommend the store to
friends and family who lived within the locale.
The research project was focused on investigating the level of loyalty for products and services offered by the company. The study would enable the marketing team to concentrate on the main challenges and opportunities aimed at increasing both sales and the retention of the organization’s current customers. Some of the key areas under examination include problems with customers, most attractive qualities, and market advantage that the company had over their core competitors.
Other areas of interest included factors such as consumer behaviors and attitudes towards the brand. Despite the competitive nature of the retail industry, the sector offers many avenues for improvement and advantages through the challenges presented. The study of customer loyalty and retention is essential in facilitating brand development, reducing marketing expenses, forecasting sales and accuracy, and ensuring recurrent business. In light of this, various areas of improvement for the organization include improving communication systems and platforms, increasing reward systems, and inquiring more about the concerns of customers.
Customer loyalty can be described as the act of purchasing a product or service from one brand or shop even when the client is presented with other alternatives. The factor is a result of positive experiences, either from the act of service during the time of trade or from using the product or service itself. For many organizations and brands, the main aim is to ensure that clients experience positive emotions throughout the trading process, whether through an efficient customer service team or the provision of high-quality offerings. According to Shaw and Hamilton (2016), companies need to consider developing an emotional bond with a client before they can build loyalty because it stems from the perceived value of the shopping experience. To this end, establishing a relationship with the consumer facilitates an attachment to the organization. Furthermore, developing a relationship with customers is crucial in ensuring that they remain loyal.
The aspects of customer retention and loyalty have become an important area to examine due to the competitive nature of the retail sector. From a financial perspective, retaining a client is significantly cheaper than acquiring new buyers. Accordingly, clients are more prone to using products and services that they are familiar with and those that satisfy their needs. For this reason, contemporary businesses focus more on customer retention rather than attainment. Furthermore, the retail industry generates more than 60 percent of its sales from repeat customers (Shaw & Hamilton, 2016). Old customers also tend to spend more on their purchases than new ones. Brands, therefore, tend to concentrate on improving their reputation with new consumers to ensure their loyalty.
Customer service is an essential part of the business strategies employed in the retail industry. Selling products and services needs to be accompanied by a positive customer experience at each stage (Sao et al., 2017). A critical behavioral factor among clients that brands need to consider is the behavior of sharing both positive and negative experiences with consumers. Negative encounters with a product or service are more likely to be shared by customers than positive experiences. Therefore, it is essential to ponder on the risks of ineffective services regardless of the market expansion opportunities provided by applying better customer service.
The consumer’s overall outlook and personality will determine their level of allegiance to a brand. Therefore, brands need to consider behavioral factors that may reflect the views of their loyal customers (Cook, 2017). Brands must also ensure that the quality of services and products they provide correspond to the perception of quality from the consumers’ perspectives, instead of assuming that they are satisfied. For this reason, customer engagement has become an essential part of the marketing model within the retail sector. Some of the relevant areas that brands focus on, concerning consumer attitudes and behaviors, include lifestyles, desires, and needs, shopping attitudes, as well as social, economic, cultural, and environmental factors.
Technological tools and services have presented opportunities for brands to improve their client service and delivery techniques. By using websites, social media, and online stores, brands have enhanced their capacity to increase convenience, foster communication, answer inquiries, and solve problems for their consumers. Clients in the younger demographic – 35 years and younger – use social media and other online platforms as convenient and economical tools to make purchases, financial transactions, and engage in communication with the organizations’ customer service teams.
The project manager, who also comprises the head of marketing, initiated the assignment. She developed a business case as well as a feasibility test of the market under study. The main problem presented for the research was the lack of customer retention that the company experienced over its three years of operation. Highly competitive retail stores within the same geographic location further exacerbated the challenge, making it difficult to achieve an acceptable profit margin. Even though the quality of the products offered was considerable, the store still suffered from poor customer engagement.
The goal of the project was, therefore, to evaluate the level of loyalty for existing consumers. In this respect, the research was a descriptive and qualitative study, which involved an open and close-ended questionnaire as the primary data collection tool. Key stakeholders included the consumers, company, project team members, employees, management, and the broader community that the retailer serves. Consequently, the role of the project manager was to create a budget, a timeline of the project, recruit members, and oversee all operations therein.
The planning process involved developing the questionnaire and determining the type of consumers who would be surveyed. A sample of 500 respondents (shoppers) was assessed through the polls. Data was then collected and analyzed by project team members. Additionally, communication strategies involved the use of emails, weekly progress meetings, and short messaging services (SMS). The time taken for the project from initiation to closure was two months.
The quality planning process involved evaluating the effectiveness of the tasks provided to each team member. Furthermore, the status meetings were essential in supplying the project manager with information on plausible areas of improvement. Regarding the communication process, the project manager’s goal was to ensure that critical information was disseminated in a timely fashion and that feedback was provided accordingly. As an outcome of the role, the deployment of diverse communication tools was necessary.
A significant process of executing the plans involved monitoring the time, workforce, and resources used in the project. Time was predetermined for each stage of the project. The strategy was to ensure that the study observed the stipulated deadline. Financial resource control was also a critical part of the assignment. A considerable challenge experienced at this stage was ensuring that team members completed their tasks with the limited resources allocated to them. The observation of the group members’ activities was also performed by the project manager, who recorded it in a timesheet.
The execution process also involved solving problems efficiently to guarantee that tasks were completed in the time required. Challenges experienced during the research included inadequate procedures used in information sharing. Team members in the field experienced difficulties in recording the data for analysis within the centralized system. A risk involved in the project was the rigid timeline of tasks assigned to team members. The schedule was inflexible because it did not account for uncertainties such as setbacks in the various stages of the project. Data analysis was performed using multiple software programs including Excel and SPSS. The coding and analysis of qualitative information were conducted in consideration of the goals that were to be attained.
The project was completed within two months. The data was presented to the marketing director of the firm, who was capable of making decisions based on the findings. Notably, expected outstanding activities and deliverables were absent after the project’s completion. After the conclusion of the assignment, the project manager determined that the set goals were achieved. The manager also verified that the task was within the predetermined scope.
One of the project manager’s ethical responsibilities included ensuring that the information collected, much of which was sensitive and confidential, was used solely for the project. Therefore, information handling during collection, recording, and analysis was a critical task delegated exclusively to trusted team members. Lastly, conflicts of interests between the project manager and the group were absent.
496 participants out of the selected sample population provided complete answers to the questionnaires. Analyses of customer behavior and perception of the goods and services were established through the responses. The study revealed that a majority of the market was comprised of consumers under 35 years old. Some of the behavioral traits exhibited by the studied respondents included a high value for customer service and a need for a prompt response regarding their inquiries, concerns, or complaints. Customers also valued convenience in purchasing products or services through online shopping or quick express checkouts. Time was also established as an essential factor in determining the consumers’ appeal and loyalty to the store.
Another key finding was that most customers were interested in developing a positive relationship with their retailers. With the opportunity provided by this information, the firm can enhance its interactions with its consumers by developing new communication facilities in the future. Furthermore, a significant proportion of the customers interviewed were found to be active social media users. Platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram were the most common social media sites used. Customers who had purchased the offerings provided by the store for at least a year were asked whether they would be willing to recommend these products and services to other people such as friends and family. The majority replied that they would be willing to endorse it to people living within its proximity. From the survey, one of the challenges experienced by consumers was the lack of communication platforms that would be used to issue their complaints.
The project was aimed at examining consumer behavior, which would help vital decision makers to increase retention and loyalty. One of the main problems experienced in the business is the lack of preservation and devotion from consumers. Accordingly, high consumer turnover was attributed to poor engagement, insufficient integration of modern technology, and increased competition within the locale. According to the research findings, the company loses much of its investment because of customers who switch to the retailer’s rivals. Nonetheless, the conducted survey allowed the marketing team to evaluate the attitudes of their consumers, including shopping behaviors and attitudes, lifestyle choices, convenience, and customer service needs. With this information, the marketing team will be able to develop business strategies that increase consumer engagement, suitability, and satisfaction.
The project provided the management with an opportunity to understand the specific needs of consumers. The analysis revealed that reasons for shifting to other retailers included a limited choice of products, inferior quality, poor service provision, and inability to engage with the business. The project also outlined the consumers’ expectations, which would serve as a guideline under which the management would operate. The investigation, therefore, presented opportunities to achieve a competitive advantage through their service provision model. Through the model, the store would also save the costs derived from potential losses accrued in the event of lost customers.
The project has provided valuable insight necessitated by the need to increase loyalty and retention among shoppers of the retail store. Through the survey, the organization understood the significance of enhancing its interaction with consumers and the risks derived from ignoring the satisfaction of the client. Furthermore, more financial resources are directed towards acquiring customers as compared to retaining the existing ones. In this respect, the firm has to prioritize the maintenance of customer loyalty through strategies such as the integration of modern communication platforms and the establishment of facilities that enable customers to deliver their grievances. Notably, the retailer is not excluded from augmenting the areas that affect its capacity to retain its clientele. One of the most effective ways to identify these challenges is through seeking the perspective of the market that the organization serves. Another helpful lesson is the need to develop a more agile business model that makes room for market changes caused by shifting customer needs, technological changes, operational challenges, and market opportunities that occur in the future.
A crucial proposal for the
business is to develop interactive digital platforms that enhance engagement among
all its stakeholders. The strategy can be
achieved by creating customer support systems on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. It is also essential to
seek customer feedback on some of the products and services provided within the
store. The strategy helps in establishing ways of improving their shopping
experiences. In addition, the marketing
team may enhance loyalty through increasing rewards using periodic or seasonal
promotions and sales.
Cook, S 2017, Measuring customer service effectiveness, Routledge, New York.
Sao, A, Singh, S, Dixit, S, Pandey, AK & Singh, S 2017, ‘Quality, productivity, and customer satisfaction in service operations: An empirical study’, International journal of mechanical engineering and technology, vol. 8, no. 10, pp. 579-596.
Shaw, C & Hamilton, R 2016, The intuitive customer: Seven imperatives for moving your customer experience to the next level, Springer, New York.