A consumer is an integral part of the marketplace in todays time. In fact, without consumers, the marketplace is nothing. But still, consumers are served by a large number of low quality goods and services by suspicious manufacturers or companies for making more and more black money.In other words, consumers are being exploited by unreliable manufacturers just because of their illiteracy. A few consumers don’t even know about the consumer rights. In order to protect the right of consumer, government enacted a law called Consumer Protection Act in the year of 1986 that provides 6 basic rights to the consumers. All these rights are created in order to provide worthy products and services to the consumers.There are following consumer rights:1. Right to Safety:As per this right, the customers get the right to be protected against the shopping of goods and amenities which are unsafe to life as well as property. This right plays an essential role in order to safe and secures the life of consumers. This right involves concern for the consumer’s long-term interest and their current needs. Most of the times, the manufacturing defects of distinct products, for instance, pressure cookers, gas cylinders, iron, geyser, grinder-mixer, toaster, and other electrical appliances may cause harm to the life, health, and property of the innocent customers. This Right to Safety protects the customers from the sale of such unsatisfied and low quality products as well as services.2. Right to Information:As per the Right to Information, the consumers have the right to get information regarding the purity, price, quality, quantity and standard of goods or services in order to protect themselves against the abusive and unfair practices of dishonest proprietors. According to this right, manufacturer or owner must deliver right and relevant information to the consumers regarding the products.3. Right to Choose:As per Right to Choose, each and every customer has the right to choose the goods or services according to their choice and requirement. The right to choose is actually an assurance of ability, availability and access to a variety of products and services at reasonable price or fair price. The manufacturer or owner or supplier or retailer can’t force the consumer to purchase a particular brand only. The consumer can freely choose the highest quality and most suitable product as per their interest and budget.4. Right to be Heard or Right to Representation:Right to be heard or Right to Representation enables a consumer to represent them in front of anyone. In other words, consumers can complaint against dishonest manufacturer, owner, company, brand, etc. and a consumer grievance redressal forum has to consider their problem under this right.5. Right to Seek Redressal:Under Right to Seek Redressal, the consumer has the right to seek redressal or get compensation against unfair trade practices of suspicious manufacturer. This right assures justice to consumer against ill-treatment. The Right to Redressal includes compensation in the form of money or replacement of products as per the satisfaction and requirement of the consumer.6. Right to Consumer Education:As per the Right to Consumer Education, consumer acquires the knowledge about consumer rights. A knowledgeable customer knows the importance and right use of their rights. In fact, they can take action against any person due to which they are being cheated.Finally, I want to say that a large number of consumers are educated, but there is no shortage of illiterate consumers, who don’t have knowledge about the rights of consumers. Illiteracy is the main reason of their exploitation by many dishonest retailers. Now, they need not to be worried about it anymore as there are tons of genuine online consumer forum available for 24×7 in order to make them aware of consumer rights.Consumers can easily complete the procedure of consumer forum online complaint registration by following easy steps and get the best and optimal resolution corresponding to their problems within the least time.
Retailers invest large amounts of money to get consumers into their businesses with the aim of selling them products.Owners monitor conversion rates, i.e. count the number of customers entering the store versus actual buyers to enable them to monitor success.Team members are encouraged to approach consumers to build relationships and make a sale. But, is the process really working?Many of us as potential buyers are either ignoring the messages or are confused by the messages retailers are sending us and as a result do not buy what is on offer.The role of a retailer in today’s highly competitive market is to bridge the information gap between consumer and product.Two Types of Consumer
In today’s market place, we have two types of consumer. There is the consumer who knows what they want before they even leave from home; they rely on the internet and do their own homework prior to venturing out; they may even organise home delivery to avoid the shopping experience completely.In this article, I want to concentrate on the second type of consumer; the consumer who enters your store.As retailers, you have invested in these people and it’s these people who should be your target. We often neglect or confuse these people when it comes to the information process.Consumers to your store can be divided into four groups and how you provide information to these groups varies dramatically.Your objective is to actually take the customer through the four stages of the shopping experience.The journey of discoveryThe journey of inspirationThe journey of functionalityThe journey of excitementThe Glancing ConsumerA large proportion of shoppers have no intention of buying from you, yet over 60% of purchases are impulse. This means there are a lot of retailers doing something right, yet there are still plenty of opportunities out there.A typical customer glances at a display for about ten seconds. This means you have a short span of time to get a lot of information across.The key is how do you get a ‘glancer’ to linger longer and move to the next stage in the buying process.Your ‘how to’ checklist should include creating a typical simple, fashionable and colourful display that encourages the ‘glancer’ to look at the display for longer than ten seconds.Many displays are too confusing for customers. They often are so intriguing or over-communicative that the ‘glancer’ switches off and keeps moving to another glance opportunity.Glance displays are your shop window. Your display needs to stand out from the crowd. The most effective eye catching displays are simple, uncomplicated displays. Tom O’Toole, one of the world’s most successful retail bakers, often says ‘displays need to be simple, this does not mean it’s easy’.Effective information providers at this point tend to use simple colour combinations that are fashionable and displays that are uncluttered.Part of the success formula is to ensure your team observe the ‘glancer’. If a ‘glancer’ shows interest, that is an opportunity to build a relationship with them. If they glance and do not register any interest, then do not build a verbal relationship with that consumer.Make Them CuriousAn objective of the retailer is to convert a ‘glancer’ into a curious shopper. This can be achieved by daring to be different in the way you merchandise and/or how team members interact with the consumer.I recently visited Hamleys, the largest toyshop in the U.K. This was a week after the London bombings and coincided with the film release of Batman Begins and the launch of the new Harry Potter book …… enough challenges for any retailer to cope with.The store was selling copies of Harry Potter’s new book for £12.99, discounted from the £16.99 RRP, but way above the £4.95 that retailer Kwiksave was selling it for.The store was packed. Hamleys had created Batman windows that made consumers glance longer. In the entrance was a power display of the new Harry Potter book, but consumers’ interest was maintained by the Hamleys team who were playing with flying saucers at the entrance.All this visual activity which included displays, movement and team banter could not help but make passersby curious, plus the information coming across was this is a fun experience to be involved with. Hamleys easily took the customer to the next stage in the information game.Make Your Customers Actively InterestedYou have got them in the store and they are curious; this is a huge opportunity that retailers often miss.If this is a new experience for the consumer, they often do not know enough information to actually ask the right questions; they are often too embarrassed and do not want to look foolish. This is where the information gap is at its greatest and where most mistakes are made.At this point it is the retailers role to be proactive in engaging the customer, not the other way around.Some salespeople will still completely ignore the customer, even though the customer has given out a number of signals to tell the salesperson they have reached this critical point.Other salespeople will jump in with both feet and assume the customer knows the ins and outs of the product and then bombard them with jargon. In my experience, computer and telephone retailers are the worst at this.The key is to take it slowly, firstly observe or listen to the customer so you can gauge what level they are coming from, novice, expert or somewhere in between.Then my advice is to provide three key points of information. Make these three points relevant to the customers’ needs and wants. Any consumer can manage three key points of information and this allows them to then ask more questions, as they feel appropriate.One of the most important ways of getting information across at this stage is to use product signage.The most effective signage system is to provide the name of the product, three benefits and the price.And Finally Provide the DetailThe last stage in closing the information gap is in providing the detail. I am sure, as a consumer, we can all relate to the person who provides information overload and conversely the situation where we have left the store none the wiser.At this point it is obvious to all concerned that more information is required.The biggest mistake of many sales team members is that they assume that we can absorb new information rapidly, just by listening. The result is often a confused shopper who leaves the store with a comment such as ‘I need to think about it’.When it comes to providing detailed information consumers need to see it, not hear it. This information may need to be provided on packaging or labelling. It may need to be provided on the Web. In some situations, it is best to provide it on ‘How to’ leaflets.When it comes to big-ticket items, the consumer may need information in writing they can take away with them to study prior to making a decision.If this is the case, it is important that the salesperson is proactive in keeping the relationship going; otherwise the consumer may use your store for the information and then use another store for the purchase.Many sales are lost due to the information gap. Your and your team’s role is to reduce the gap.Analyse your processes, train your team and grow your business.