The Critical Shopping Experience

Lucas, James
March 1999
Marketing Management;Spring99, Vol. 8 Issue 1, p60
The article presents a study conducted by Frankel, a Chicago based company, which found that marketers often overlook the relationship between shoppers and the store environment to drive sales. Technology and the Internet are raising the bar for retail outlets and with merchandisers vying for customer patronage, consumers are less likely to purchase after a bad shopping experience or a critical incident. The ultimate result is lost sales and lost revenue. Frankel says that the store is not just a place where consumers come to purchase. The store is a medium that provides what alternative retail channels cannot-direct interaction with a product or service. In 1998, Frankel contacted some 5,000 households across the country via mail and asked consumers to share their retail experiences during the November-December, 1997 time period-when high levels of shopping and retail visits increase the likelihood of negative incidents. The purpose of Frankel's Critical Incidents study was twofold: to determine the levels and nature of the quality of shopping experiences across different types of retailers and to offer a framework for retailers to develop strategies to better establish and differentiate themselves as brands.


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