Retailers Don’t Want to Follow Dinosaurs and Dodos
By George Anderson
To avoid ending up on the scrap heap of history, retailers and manufacturers, need to do a better job of listening to consumer needs and then providing meaningful answers.
Paul Higham, the former chief marketing officer of Wal-Mart Stores, told an audience at the 2005 GMA Merchandising, Sales and Marketing (MSM) Conference, “You need to really
learn what customers want and be superior to competitors in order to be dinosaur-proof and grow.”
One area where opportunities for growth exists is in delivering convenience. For stores, said Mr. Higham, this goes beyond the physical location. “It’s about creating an environment
where people enjoy the shopping experience,” he said.
One way that Wal-Mart created a more appealing and convenient shopping environment during his tenure, said Mr. Higham, was by providing a place where customers could shop for
everything in one place. Stores were made more appealing to kids “with the company’s trademark smiley faces and cookie certificates.”
Moderator’s Comment: What are companies doing to listen to their customers and how is this “listening” being demonstrated in stores? –
George Anderson – Moderator