The ultimate form of retailing directly to the consumer is non-store retailing. A direct relationship with the consumer is the basis of any kind of non-store retail venture. It may be broadly classified as direct selling response marketing. While direct selling involves direct personal contact, indirect response marketing, the customer becomes aware of the products / services offered through a non personal medium like mail catalogues, phones, television or the internet. Retail Snapshot focuses on Future Bazaar, the web portal launched by Pantaloon Retail (India) Ltd
Lowest prices – everyday:
Through the web portal, Future Bazaar, the company offers its customers various products at daily discounted prices. The format is a web store, which aims at providing customers with a streamlined, efficient and world class personalized hopping experience, which is supported with the best technology platform. The target audience would include all individuals who have access to the internet and are looking for good bargains
The product range include a wide range of products including apparel, books, cameras, consumer durables, home and décor, laptops, kitchen appliances toys and games etc.
Future Bazaar leverages the offline brand equity and brick and mortar presence of the group via multi channel integration to benefit on economy of scales, economy of scope in promotion and distribution and by utilizing the offline learning into online and vice versa to grow at a faster pace.
Direct selling involves making a personal contact with the end consumer at home or at the place of work. Cosmetics, jewelry, food and nutritional products, home appliances and educational materials are some of the products sold in this manner. An interesting aspect of direct selling in India is that women comprise up to 70 per cent of all sales people in India, couples for 20 per cent and males account for 10 per cent. The number of men is expected to go up, because companies like Modicare, Amway and Herbalife have been encouraging men in their sales force.
Direct selling may follow the party plan or the multi level net work. In the party plan, the host invites friends and neighbors for a party. The merchandise is displayed and demonstrated in the party atmosphere and buying and selling takes place.
In the multi level network, customers act like master distributors. They appoint other people to work with them as distributors. The master distributor earns a commission on the basis of the products sold and distributed by the distributors.
Direct response marketing:
Direct response marketing includes various non-personal forms of communication with the consumer and this includes:
1) Catalogue retailing or Mail Order
2) Television retailing
4) Mail order Retailing / Catalogue retailing: This form of retailing eliminates personal selling and store operations. Appropriate for specialty products the key is suing customer databases o develop targeted catalogues that appeal to narrow target markets. The basic characteristic of this form of retailing is convenience.
5) Television shopping: Asian Sky Shop was among the first to introduce television shopping in India. In this form of retailing, the product is advertised on television deals about the product features, price, and tings like guarantee /warranty are explained. Phone numbers are provided for each city, where the buyer can call in and place the order for the product. The products are then home delivered.
6) Electronic shopping: It allows the customers to evaluate and purchase the products from the comfort of their home. The success of this form of retailing largely depends on the products that are offered and the ability of the retail organizations to deliver the product on time to the customer. Strong supply chain and delivery mechanisms need to be in place for this to be a success. Retailers are opting for click and mortar, where while having a brick and mortar retail store, they also sell some of their products or ranges on the internet. Though most off the large retail organizations in the world have already adopted this model, it is yet to catch on in India.
Information Kiosks have emerged in the western markets as a new type of electronic retailing. These kiosks comprising of computer terminals housed inside and a touch screen on the outside provide customers with product and company information and may actually aid the customer in making a purchase. A large number of international cosmetic companies have used this technology to an advantage. The terminals also serve as a market research tool for the retailers. A large amount of information about the people who have interacted with the system can be collected programs and products developed accordingly.