Friday 13 April 2012

Flash Mobs morphing into Cash Mobs, a new force in retailing?

Inspired by Flash Mobs, a cash mob is a group of people who assemble at a local business and all buy items from that business. These groups of online activists are harnessing social media like Twitter and Facebook to get consumers to spend at locally owned stores in cities around the world in so-called Cash Mobs.
At the first International Cash Mob day on Saturday 24th March, wallet- toting activists gathered in as many as 200 mobs in the United States and Europe, with the aim of spending at least £12 each in locally owned businesses, according to the concept's founder, Cleveland lawyer Andrew Samtoy. 
Essentially, this is a break-through moment, an event where a virtual society enters the real world, prepared to put their real money where their virtual/real mouths are, and actively support local shops….as their contribution to the on-going health of the community.
The need for conversion
However, it is essential to bear in mind that such initiatives are one-off injections of support, the ‘first bite’ of a new product. As you know, the ‘repeat purchase’ depends upon how well the experience matches, or exceeds expectation. In other words, for local retailers this is a windfall, an opportunity to meet and influence a target audience that wants to support local business and the community, and is prepared to spend money in the process…and tell others about their experiences (Remember, that’s how they got to the shop in the first place)
Capitalising on the trial visit
To convert these ‘trialists’ into regular customers, retailers need to ensure that their 8P Marketing Mix (Products & Assortment, Pricing, Promotional activities, Place i.e. store location, Personnel, Physical distribution & handling, Presentation of stores & products, and Productivity) more closely matches shopper need than equivalent offerings available from local and out-of-town multiple retailers. What they lack in price advantage, needs to compensated for in terms of personal service and convenience, to an extent that shoppers willingly come back for more…
How suppliers can help
Suppliers can help by revising their independent retail business model, and find ways of helping survival-mode retailers to adapt the state-of-art retailing principles established by the major multiples, and build an alternative route to consumers, as a way of realistically diluting trade concentration.
Have a pro-active weekend, from the NamNews Team!.

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