The Three Ps of Retailing

The Three Ps of Retailing

BCom(H), 3+ years in Peddle Plus with deep experience in customer relationship management, sales, marketing and branding.

Having read a few other marketing books in the past few months, I realized that no matter what the business, the basic principles of marketing apply to all. But, in a certain business, like retail, I identified that there are a few more insights that need to be acknowledged. There is certainly a lot I still need to learn, but in the past three years, having worked at Peddle Plus and having conversed with nearly 1000 retailers, I realized there are a few principles that are consistently and unconsciously used by retailers to process their retail work. Keeping that in mind I would like to share a few words. Hence, I coined a few principles under retail that I’d like to share.

3 Ps of Retailing

1. People – As Philip Kotler advocated in his books, “people” is a very important principle for any business. Just like Kotler, I don’t refer to “people” as the customer, I refer to “people” as the retailer’s employees. These employees adapt to the retail workings which are usually already applied by the retail owner but rarely noticed. Retail owners tell their employees to get the item from their godown for the customer, and unknowingly the employee majorly gets the correct item for the customer, even when the customer itself doesn’t know the exact name of the item. The employee unconsciously adapts to the retail owner’s teachings and applies the same. Unfortunately, these employees are usually underestimated because of their background of low education, even though they most definitely show some promising results.

2. Power – One thing where we can all agree is a powerful person is to some extent an unstoppable person. One who yields power is surely considered credible, trustworthy and at the same time dangerous. I don’t refer to power in a tyrannical sense. I refer to power as an abstract under voluntary control.
All major retailers are powerful, be it Big Bazaar – Future Retail, Vmart PH, Chumbak Design Pvt. Ltd., DMart – Avenue Supermarts Ltd etc or any other big retailer. These big retailers tend to have one thing in common, and trust me it is not JUST the product. It is brand awareness. Retailing isn’t about only about revenue generation or customer traction. It is about changing the perception of your retail in the customer’s mind as a brand. And it can only be done by either adapting to technology or by marketing or BOTH. If as a retailer, you decide to work only to generate revenue, manage your retailing over paper or delete your bills to avoid taxes, God help you. In the changing economy and changing customer mindset, you will suffer. Power to a retailer is calculated with the Product, Revenue, Technology and Brand. Combine these powerful elements and watch the retailer reach the moon.

3. Psychology – A retailer’s thought process and mindset are very different from the average businessman’s. A businessman has more of an industrious/risk-taking personality. They tend to take heavy risks. They recognize the possibility of failure and they most definitely fail. But they NEVER quit. Nearly 70% of retailers in India are the complete opposite. They are ignorant, lazy and at the same time too scared to make changes. The fear factor derives majorly from their method of invoicing, implying that they tear the invoices to hide the sale and further avoid taxes. The fear is understandable, but the method is their downfall. Retailers won’t take risks in investing in technology or marketing for the very same reason. They fear that their records could be exposed, affecting their business negatively. I am no doctor in psychology but the fear factor is quite evident as to why retailers don’t adapt according to the upcoming trends in the market and eventually suffer. There is a reason why the retail sector is so unorganized in India and it is mainly because the retailer mindset is still old-school. But within this chaotic industry, there is HUGE visible scope for improvement and growth.