Marketing specialists have been discussing for a few years whether marketing practices Marketing developed by manufacturing companies is valid for service organizations, and the answer is always "no". However, it is rarely given a different treatment.
El Marketing of Retail Trade, as part of the Marketing of Services, must respond in its mix to the characteristics of that activity. Try to constrain yourself to the classical variables, which work well for manufacturing (product, price, distribution and communication), does not contribute to the better clarification of the possibilities of using Marketing in the direction of this activity and does not consider the key success factors for that business.
Above all, it is necessary to ask what exactly the offer that the retail entity makes to its customers, and the answer highlights a focus on the retail business that must go beyond the simple “sale of goods and services”, to conceive it as “Make available a space where buyers acquire what they need and want, when they need it, enjoying a shopping experience” .
The proposal that follows is consistent with the conception of the business of the retail trade declared before and with the practical utility of using these criteria for the preparation of the Marketing Plan and the taking of strategic in this type of entities, based on the achievement of a successful position in the market, based on the management of those variables that, in one way or another, allow “creating values” for clients based on the key success factors for this sector.
The proposed mix is made up of the following variables: Physical facilities, Merchandise and services, Price, People and Communication
The physical environment in which the services are purchased provides an important opportunity for tangibility as evidence of quality, since it is an essential element to build the personality of the establishment, like that space where memorable shopping experiences are going to take place.
Within this variable we must consider the location, andThe time factor, the atmosphere of the establishment, the conditions of cleanliness, order and decoration, not only inside the store, but in its immediate surroundings, which is why we must also consider the stained glass windows, canopies, signs and exterior lighting. .
Therefore, by to plan the place of location, the number of doors, the paint of the walls, the material of the floors, the lighting, the signage, the furniture, the ventilation, the type of internal distribution and the spaces or the decoration, the designers are taking decisions about the environment to be created for customers, taking into account the stimulation of the five basic senses of their target audience, to satisfy the need for a shopping experience, which will report a pleasant stay or not in the establishment, all of which plays a decisive role in creating an image consistent with the positioning that is to be achieved.
Merchandise and services
For retail marketing, merchandise is probably the most complex expectation that customers have of a business, as the customer expects to find such a variety and assortment that allows him to select what is most consistent with his buying intentions and preferencesHence, the main objective of a retailer is to acquire the adequate quality and quantity of merchandise, in correspondence with what their potential customer wants and is willing to buy, in order to maximize the buying opportunity of their customers.
This is important for the strategy to be followed, since depending on the target market that the establishment is targeting, this will be the type of goods, brands or styles with which customers will try to satisfy their needs and the level of commercial services. to be provided, such as parking, returns, home delivery, etc.
Thus, there are establishments with minimum services to benefit the costs and provide an offer of Prices low, while others offer a full range of services that is logically reflected in Prices older, in addition to other possible intermediate combinations. Obviously, at the extremes, there are different types of customers and two different satisfactions offered: the saving of time, energy and expenditure, in the first case and, in the second, a greater and more complete choice to ensure the full satisfaction of Demanding customers.
These aspects will be reflected in the financial results, so it is essential to take into consideration in this decision, the efficiency of the assortment, in relation to the target market, the strategy and the established objectives.
This is a variable to be considered in the purchase decision process by consumers, it also identifies to some extent the type of establishment, making it part of the global picture, given that the trend in the use of price as an indicator Quality is well known.
Although many studies have shown that it is not the most important criterion in determining purchasing behavior, as has traditionally been considered, for some types of product it is extremely important and, therefore, plays a decisive role in the selection of the establishment, not only in search of Prices low, but also as part of the price-quality ratio, in search of a higher profit volume.
People. If we start from the axiom that "the service is the people", which refers to the inseparability characteristic, existing in the services, there is no doubt that this has to be a variable to consider in the shaping of the marketing mix of retail trade .
It is the sales force, as contact personnel, who in their permanent interaction with clients provides information, acts as a prescriber, influences the decision of clients and, therefore, projects the image of the establishment to the extent that their interaction staff manages to meet the expectations of customers and a seal on the type of care offered by the establishment.
Therefore, the recruitment and selection criteria of the sales force are essential, since in the performance of this profession, elements of technique and experience are combined with a strong vocation for service and other qualities, which cannot always be formed if there is no component. with a similar personality, such as: their communication skills, empathy, flexibility, improvisation and creativity, among others.
A capable sales force can become essential distinctive competition to build a competitive advantage that is difficult to imitate.
As for other sectors, the communication in this sector it is part of the Marketing mix and involves a series of activities that provide the consumer with information about the establishment and the offer that it has, hence it has an important role in forming the image of the establishment. It includes merchandising in a very important way, in addition to personal sales, advertising, sales promotion and public relations.
In this sense, communication actions try to attract the attention of customers to the availability of goods and services, persuading them of their distinctive, unique, price or any other attraction or benefit that makes it desirable depending on the selected target market.
The Marketing mix, as is known, constitutes a unit where each of its elements interacts and depends on the other, which together make up the offer. In the case of retail trade, this offer, seen more generally, constitutes the “product-establishment”.
Therefore, the effect that the impact of all the elements of the mixture on the customer has integrally, will generate a certain shopping experience for the customer and will shape their assessment of the "product-establishment", and will determine their loyalty, the ultimate goal of any marketing strategy.
Author Dr. Luis Barreiro Pousa
Published in: Marketing in Action (Bolivia)
No. 15, year 2 November-December 2002 pp 6-7
 To expand on this point see Barreiro, Luis. The store as a product in the retail trade of goods. In Space (Cuba). No. 3. July 2000. pp.32 - 35