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Understanding Retail

P3 explain how focusing on the customer, by providing good customer service, is essential
to retailing

    demonstrate how retailers relate to their customers.

Note: Customer service is highly formalised and demanding in some organisations, while others have a lower standard of service.

    identify organisational customer service policies and how these are applied at an operational (store) level.

    show how different organisations require different levels of service by showing how you understand the industries  structure.

    identify the significant elements od some retail sectors After-sales service Identify aspects of aftersales sales service in some retail sectors

    Identify a range of service and quality standards through store visits.

Note: Selling skills and the sales process can be observed and experienced in a range of stores. A suitable assessment would involve a customer service survey in a sample of retailers.

Important: every care must be taken to ensure you are Covid 19 safe, e.g. wear a mask or face shield, keep a 2m distance etc. If you cannot complete the above in a safe way or in a environment, or because you are in lock down, or isolation etc. write your assignment from your own personal shopping experience and research knowledge   

M3 explain the ways in which sales techniques and customer service have developed in retail organisations.

    You  must demonstrate knowledge of the key elements of effective service and selling skills.

Note:  For example, customer expectations of luxury goods retailing are consistently high. The service dimensions can be compared with other clothing stores. Department stores provide a good opportunity to study differences in service, for example Harrods, John Lewis and Debenhams. These can be compared with multiple variety stores, typically Marks & Spencer and Bhs, and fashion specialists such as Topshop/Man. Customer service in the clothing sector can be compared with other sectors where product knowledge is valued, electrical goods,
and where convenience and efficiency is important, for example food.

You  must  define the types of changes taking place in the industry.

Note:  I.e whether they are short term or have longer-term implications.

    explain what causes these types of change by differentiating the key factors in the macro environment and the competitive environment.

Note:  Key factors and their significance are depending partly on the industry sector: planning restrictions impact more on food, DIY and electrical retailers than clothing and toiletries and cosmetics retailers. Economic trends will impact on consumer spending and have an industry-wide effect;

    explain that some retailers may be better able to withstand recessions and take advantage of growth opportunities.

    Competitive trends should be explained with reference to market concentration, power of multiple retailers, low barriers to entry, and innovative practices, including new types of store, refits and introduction of new products and services, including online provision.

D2 assess the impact of different sales techniques and customer service in a selected organisation.

    demonstrate an ability to make judgements about the most significant elements of service and selling skills in the industry, and the ways in which they are sustained.

    You should think creatively about new service solutions that can realistically evolve from current practices.

P4 identify the competitive factors in the retail environment a selected organisation faces.

Note: You will need to understand competitive factors in the retailing environment that drive change in the industry.
    identify aspects of government policy concerning planning guidance for new store locations, specifically the influence of Planning Policy Statements.

    Write what you know on how the Competition Commission engages with the industry and, more broadly, how retailers costs and ways of working may be determined by government policy.

    Also write about your studies of other competitive forces and include, market position, barriers to entry and new retailing concepts.

    Discuss  contrasting stores and their use of ICT to drive change and the application of ICT in marketing and stock management.

Note: Social and demographic trends can be evidenced through store-based customer surveys and/or observations. Broader economic trends can be tied into a study of the current performance of the industry as reported in the press.

    Study a shopping location and explain high street or shopping centre, in the context of the retail industry structure.

    Identify Innovative products and services in one retailer and further explain the role of these products and services in creating a dynamic industry.

    Bare in mind an innovative retailer and the ways in which it adapted to its environment and how it uses change factors to drive its business.

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