Price has become the main tool for many retailers to get and retain customers. The obvious problem with this approach is that ultimately margins shrink and cost cutting starts to damage customer experience and the overall business. As retailers test out different ways to maintain or grow sales unique products are proving to be very useful tools. One obvious example is the rapid development and growth of own brand products, particularly in supermarkets and department stores.
Own brand products have been around for a long time but many are now more directly competing with established brands on quality. Shoppers recognise this and often believe that if they like the own brand product it will be better overall value than a similar one from a well-known brand. This strategy is being used by all major grocers and is being capitalised on by Aldi and Lidl to attract new customers. The key point is that retailers are creating products that you can’t buy anywhere else.
This is not a new technique and furniture retailers have been exploiting this strategy for many years. If you really like a specific settee you have no choice but to buy it from them. This gives the retailer a strong negotiating position on price and also the ability to sell other furniture and accessories that go with the settee. Obviously a similar effect can work in supermarkets and most other categories of retailer.
I predict that this unique products strategy will continue to grow in many areas of retail. Success will come to those retailers who market their own brand products best. Just putting product on a shelf will not be enough to make them sell. The prize for getting shoppers to love your products and having no choice but to buy from you is a big. It also makes life harder for price comparison websites too!