The idea of retailing that’s socially and economically more meaningful than merely promoting mindless consumption, is a significant one. It gives shopper marketing a larger context and customers a reason for choice beyond just the color and placement of the pack. The stories behind the various products and services and how they have reached us can be compelling for shopper marketing. FabIndia, which prides itself to be an Indian chain retailing garments, furnishings, fabrics and ethnic products handmade by craftsmen across rural India, is a great example of using this story. FabIndia is known for its model of inclusion where they work with local craftsmen for shared market success.
The smell of the bakery, the laughter of children and the clinking of baskets is a big part of this shopping experience. The customer is here to explore and discover and not be guided to the checkout in clinical efficiency. In fact, shopping in India is still a part of the larger ritual of ‘going-out’. It’s the occasion for the family to dress-up, visit the mall, may be stop by at the nearby temple and finish off with a dinner. If you are naturally not located in a shopping-temple-dinner kind of a circuit, you need to think how you can build one? Can your shopper marketing initiatives be the hook for such an engagement?
Amidst this larger retail foray, the incumbents, known as the kiraanas (neighborhood grocery stores) are stepping up their game and finding a way to complement than compete. Their service orientation, together with their upgraded shelf content has made sure that the Indian homemaker always has them on her shopping list. A market dominated by unorganized retail though, will need reinventing many tenets of shopper marketing, which have been sharpened in markets dominated by organized retail.