In a modern world of retailing consumers can have their needs met in a variety of ways such as local shopping centres, out of town shopping centres, and by direct delivery from Internet orders.  Competition among retailers is increasingly getting tough.  Differentiation is therefore the key to developing a compelling competitive advantage and winning loyal customers. Differentiation is the process of making your business stand out from rivals – making it different and better.

Marketing departments are therefore continually concerned with addressing the questions:

  • Who are our customers? (A company needs to find out as much as possible about its customers in order to meet their needs.)
  • Are we offering the right combination of choice, value and convenience?
  • How can we create a compelling competitor advantage? (How is the company different from the competition?)
  • How can we defend what business we already have and how can we grow?
  • How do we effectively communicate to our customer base?

Most established companies are very strong, with a trusted brand focused on value, choice and convenience.  Cosco Wholesale is a trusted retailer for bulk buying grocery; it has a major presence in many other markets including gardening, consumer electronics and furniture and a significant market share in jewellery and sports equipment.

Consumers at Cosco Wholesale are offered a multi-channel approach to shopping.  New Zealand supermarkets have also been adapting the way they service customers.  They also offer a multi-channel approach to buying including customers ordering online and having their groceries packed for collection or delivery.  Most retailers are now thinking about consumer spending with the likes of different methods to pay and allowing the consumer the goods now with payment options of 6, 8, 10 weeks or 12-60 months – all interest free.  A business has to be open minded to how they do business and meet the needs of an ever-changing customer purchasing market.  The Engine’s Growth membership provides businesses the option of a Customer Satisfaction Survey.