In an attempt to understand the changing landscape of retailing and shopper marketing, the Retail Sector Market Interest Group of The Chartered Institute of Marketing Sri Lanka Region organized a Retail Summit, recently, at Waters Edge. Nearly 80 participants availed themselves of this valuable opportunity to be enlightened on the four pillars of modern trade with local and international perspectives.
Mr. Ravi Jayawardena, Head of the Retail Market Interest Group of CIM Sri Lanka Region, inaugurated the summit giving an insight into the changing landscape of modern trade in Sri Lanka.
In an interesting and thought-provoking address on shopper understanding, Ms. Manita Khuller, Trade & Shopper Marketing Director of Ogilvy Action, Asia Pacific Region stated that shoppers often make their buying decisions at the store, and are often influenced by store location, shelving, promotions etc. She further stated that with the development of retailing, the store has become a marketing medium and over 50% of the purchase decisions in some categories are made in-store. Quoting examples from supermarkets, convenience stores and petrol shed stores, she elaborated on the differences in shopper expectations at each channel and how to optimize the assortment and layout, in order to drive sales. Her presentation ran through several case studies of leading retail stores and brands, enlightening the participants on the changes in the landscape of retailing and modern trade around the world.
Mr. Teilman Nieuwoudt, Consultant - Supply Chainlabs, Vietnam based his presentation on supply chain management, an integral part of modern trade. His presentation identified the key processes and flows in an organization and discussed the recent development in the area, such as the need for improved consumer service, better integration amongst the processes, decreased inventory, shared performance management information, improved partner connectivity, aligned processes and increased collaboration etc. As he emphasized on collaboration, Mr. Nieuwoudt explained certain channel conflicts which have resulted from cultural differences, poor alignment, accountably issues, competing partners, lack of leadership and communications, technology barriers, unclear benefits etc. His presentation also ran through 4PL services, chain mapping, selecting and using the technology for supply chain excellence etc.
Mr. Asanga Ranasinghe, Customer Development Director of Unilever Sri Lanka & Head of Corporate Integration and Market Interest Groups of CIM Sri Lanka Region addressing the audience elaborated on Point of Purchase (POP) and how retailers could exploit POP in converting shoppers to buyers. He stated that the brand owners have a competitive edge over private brand owners, who lack innovation.
Therefore, he urged brand owners to be innovative which would help them to successfully negate the competition from private brands owned by retail chains. Talking of the difference between shopper, consumer and customer, Mr. Ranasighe stated that organizations often try to understand the consumer but fail to realize the significance of shopper, who makes the ultimate buying decision. In his presentation, Mr. Ranasighe explained how retailers have evolved into strategic partners of brand owners and the interdependence of the two parties; as he urged the need for collaboration. He spoke of two golden rules which were critical for collaboration, ie, understanding the shopper and understanding the business model of the retailer. Mr. Ranasighe's presentation enlightened the participants on the recent developments in retailing and modern trade in Sri Lanka, illustrated with success stories of renowned brands and retail stores.
This Retail Summit was organized with the objective of inculcating best marketing practice in the retail industry, thereby contributing towards the development of the retail industry of the country. It was one of the most recent initiatives taken by the CIM MIG - Retail Sector in pursuit of their vision.
The Chartered Institute of Marketing is the world's largest and most prestigious professional body for marketing with over 50,000 members in over 80 countries around the world. CIM Sri Lanka Region is the largest CIM Region outside the UK and is the fastest growing CIM body. For the fourth consecutive year, CIM Sri Lanka Region has won the award for Best Overall Improvement Professional & Studying Members - Overseas at the CIM International Chairmen's Conference in recognition of the excellent value created towards its membership.