Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bet on Consumers Wanting Turnkey Experiences

Las Vegas isn’t your typical retail setting. Still, the economic setbacks in the overall retailing community were suffered by Sin City. Visitor volume dropped about 7%. Per visitor spending dropped as deeply as 30% and even now is 15% below 2008 levels.
     A recent article in VEGAS INC suggests ways that the Las Vegas tourist industry can profit from the changed shopper psychology. The advice is based on two streams of evidence. First are research findings from Stanford University and Clarkson University. Second are the conclusions of a project sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and conducted by business consultants R&R Partners, in which consumers participated in focus groups and evaluators tagged along with tourists to discover how they spend their time and why.
     You probably can adapt the advice, even if you’re operating in a lower-neon district.
  • Consumers seem to be enjoying scrutinizing their savings. Las Vegas can gear up to accept cash and debit cards rather than depending on credit cards. Other retailers could do the same.
  • Brick-and-mortar (B&M) shoppers have become more interested in what the retailer can do for them and less interested in what the shopper is expected to do for themselves. Because visitors travel to Las Vegas for entertainment, the venues should resist temptations to cut back on the entertainment quotient in offerings. On top of that, make it turnkey. Hotel check-in, getting the right tickets for the show, and making reservations at the spa should all be as easy as possible. Other B&M retailers should look for ways to say to the shopper, “Sit back and we’ll do it for you.”
  • Consumers want experiences that include others. What group experiences can you can offer? Product knowledge sessions in which couples, families, and groups of friends participate? Wine tasting. How to plan a vacation. How to set up a model railroad. You might charge a fee to make this a direct source of profit or at least to defray expenses. Or you might offer activities at no fee in order to build footsteps into your store.
  • Keep your promises. The R&R Partners project found that Las Vegas visitors were irritated when paying to eat at a restaurant owned by one or another famous chef, then to find that the food is of inferior quality because the only meaningful presence of the chef was his name.
Click below for more:
Offer Family-Oriented Experiences
Keep Your Promises
Keep Up on Your Promises

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