RELATIONSHIP MARKETING APPROACH AND STRATEGIES IN RETAILING
Ph.D Research Scholar,
Retailers face a dynamic and competitive retail environment. With increased globalization, market saturation and increased competitiveness through mergers and acquisitions, retailers are seeking competitive advantages by better managing customer relations. In today’s high tech age, where the marketing concepts and tools have undergone major changes with the introduction of e-commerce, online selling, network marketing, direct marketing, relationship marketing has become the base on which the business strategies as well as marketing strategies are built. Business organizations today have begun to recognize and consider the human quotient as well as the emotional quotient of business relationships. Relationship Marketing has evolved as a discipline that helps the businesses to look beyond transactions to long-term business associations. Successful Relationship Marketing strategy helps the organization deepen and strengthen its revenue streams on long-term basis. Relationship Marketing is a considered to be a core corporate philosophy on which the business strategy is built upon. This article considers the development of relationship marketing in retail industry. It begins by examining the relationship marketing literature and considering its application to the retail industry. This paper shows how the relationship marketing principle underpins the implementation of retailing strategies. Keywords: Retailing, Relationship Marketing, Evolution, Application, Strategies.
The retail industry is generally a very dynamic, fast changing sector. It constitutes one of the main sectors in the economy, in terms of transactions and turnover; as a consequence, it is a highly competitive and sophisticated industry. Companies have to be constantly monitoring the market, to identify any new trends on a timely fashion and, above all, they have to keep up with the customer’s increasing expectations and changing tastes. Nowadays, it is becoming more and more difficult and challenging to keep the customer satisfied and loyal - customers’ preferences change quickly. The lowering of international barriers has led to a considerable increase in the number and type of products available to the consumer. Consumers have definitely acquired more freedom of choice and this makes them less likely to retain brand loyalty; especially when several substitutes, of equally good quality, are available on the market. Furthermore technology - the advent of Internet - has added a new dimension to the shopping experience. Consumers can easily and fairly quickly compare online, product specifications, price and availability. Thus, it allows them to gain information faster on the purchase they wish to make. Consequently, retailers have to be as creative and innovative as possible, in order to be in the position to supply their customers with products, that present new and interesting features, all the time. Retailers have to keep a close watch to demographic changes, in order to better understand and predict consumer behaviour. Relationship Marketing is a considered to be a core corporate philosophy on which the business strategy is built upon. It is reflected in all of the marketing disciplines including branding, advertisements, promotions, public relations as well as through all sales channels and networks through which the Company reaches out to the Markets and Customers. Relationship marketing, just as the name implies is simply the art of developing a personal relationship with customers.
AN OVERVIEW OF RETAILING
The word ‘Retailing’ refers to any activity that involves the direct sale to an individual customer or end user. The world first saw the emergence of retailing in the pre 1850s when the Yankee Peddlers, Bartering, Trading Posts and General stores were in place. The first...