Page 4: Social factors
Society is continually changing. For example, tastes and fashions constantly change. As an example, consider the growing popularity of social media such as Facebook, especially among younger people. Unlike their parents, young consumers have been brought up in an age where mobile phones and computers are used every day.
Young customers are more likely to use digital technology, to shop online and to prefer online methods to print images. Older generations are more likely to stick to traditional methods. For example, they are more likely to want to have their photos developed and printed in-store.
Meeting different customer needs
Jessops must meet the needs of all customer types. It is important that Jessops caters for more traditional customers, as 65% of the photo business is still associated with producing standard prints. However, the company is responding to the younger demographic by delivering its multi-channel strategy using modern technologies. For example, iphone, android and ipad apps which allow customers to order and print gifts directly from their phone/Tablet.
Customers can upload and download images from Facebook to use in a single-image premium product, such as a high-quality print or wall art. They can produce photo books – a collection of their images presented in a personal book. A challenge for Jessops is to increase customer awareness of this product. Its research shows that 80% of people in the UK have not come across the idea of a photo book.
As well as meeting the needs of the different generations, Jessops is also developing products for niche markets. It offers:
- services for students who need to produce portfolios, including art and design work
- short print runs of personalised products such as headed notepaper, business cards and calendars
- products designed specifically for professional and amateur photographers.
Creating loyal customers
Consumers’ expectations are higher than ever. Today’s customers want products and services on demand. They are not prepared to wait.
To respond to this social change, Jessops now offers a 25-minute service for prints or a one-hour imaging gift service for products such as photographic wall art, posters, banners and photo books. It has also introduced an in store photo portrait service where customers can have their portrait transformed into gifts on the same day. It is refurbishing many of its stores to improve customer service.
Many consumers like to try a product before they make a purchase, so customer interaction with products is a key feature of the new stores.
To underpin the new focus on multi-channel delivery and gift products, Jessops has invested heavily in staff training and development. Staff are trained to be experts in their field. They are given the knowledge and skills to provide a high level of customer service. This is increasingly important in a competitive retail environment.
As a specialist retailer, Jessops seeks to provide the best possible service to its customers. This is a total process involving three key stages. High levels of customer service will help to provide competitive advantage and create loyal customers.