6.3. Methodology for assessing the competitiveness of retail services
The meaning and essence of the problem. The practical evaluation of the competitiveness of services is considered by the author on the example of retail trade for a number of reasons.
First, trade is a traditional field of activity of commodity experts and a testing ground for testing the results of commodity research.
Secondly, the services of trade (in comparison with other services) cause a lot of criticism for more than a decade.
Third, trade is the sphere of services in which competition for the consumer has reached the greatest acuteness. It is known that the survival of trade organizations in a competitive environment is possible with an optimal profit, i.e. profit, which is achieved by ensuring the necessary quality of trade services and reducing the costs of providing services. Meanwhile, many entrepreneurs, trying to increase profits by reducing costs, worsen the quality of trade services. One of the measures that are designed to force trade organizations to maintain an appropriate level of service quality is to assess the competitiveness of services and bring its results to the consumer.
A necessary condition for the successful competition of the store for consumers is the presence of competitive advantages.
According to , two groups of competitive advantages should be distinguished: price and non-price.
To price competitive advantages include all the opportunities to reduce the cash costs incurred by the buyer in the process of purchasing the goods at a certain point of sale. This group can include not only the price paid by the consumer for a particular product, but also the cost of travel from home or work to the store, as well as the temporary and emotional costs of the buyer at the stage of selecting the product and making a purchase in the store (Table 35).
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Competitive advantages, depending on the type of costs for consumers
Consumer Cost Type
Ways to Acquire Competitive Advantage
Reduce the price of a particular product ( make it a moving position ).
Reduce the overall price level (positioning the thrifty store).
Enable a discount system for regular customers
Enact seasonal and holiday discounts. Choose the location of the store as close as possible to the target consumer.
Increase the number of stores on the network.
Make travel to the store free of charge (successful experience of IKEA stores in Moscow)
Time spent searching for the necessary product and the place of its acquisition
Strengthening of the advertising of the store and its assortment. Positioning as a store where everything is there.
Innovations in the field of merchandising the store
Improve the quality of service by constantly training contact personnel and monitoring his actions.
Creating a certain atmosphere in the trading floor
To non-price competitive advantages include a rational assortment of goods, a high level of merchant services, the proper quality of the products offered.
The effectiveness of the store's competitive strategy can be measured using various indicators, such as the growth rate of sales, the growth of the company's capitalization level, the growth of market share. According to , the most reliable indicator is the growth of the market share of the enterprise in the retail services market. Therefore, one should agree with the author's interpretation [571 of the competitiveness of a retail trade enterprise as the ability of an enterprise to occupy a preemptive position in the market in comparison with other similar trading enterprises by providing the buyer with the necessary high-quality goods, the required assortment, at a convenient time, high quality of service.
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