Should you really try to fulfill your customers’ needs?

The Truth: Their wants are more important!

In almost every case, customers don’t need what they buy.  Any customer browsing in your store already has them fulfilled. After all, the only things a human being needs in food, water and shelter. They buy what makes them feel the way they want to feel. To operate a successful retail store you need to find out how your customers want to feel. Consider your target customer for a moment. What is their primary focus? Find out what they are willing to spend to fulfil their wants, and make your store and products satisfy these wants.

Here are some examples of how customers buy for their wants.

  • Eric wants an enjoyable eating experience, so pays more for a restaurant meal rather than buying a simple loaf of bread. (Even though the loaf of bread fulfils his need for sustenance)
  • Tanya is 16 and wants acceptance from her peers. She will pay for a brand her peers admire. She accepts she will spend more compared to the cost of basic clothing.
  • Heather wants to improve her relationship with her friend. She is happy to part with money for a thoughtful, appropriate gift she knows her friend will appreciate.

Remember, two people may have the same disposable income, but with vastly different wants. They prioritise their spending according to these wants.  Ensure that your target market is a group of people who want the experience the products in your store will give them.

This boutique is designed to appeal to a person wanting a stylish, yet peaceful life.

They are unlikely to need the dinner plates, but the merchandising implies that bright coloured tableware will help fulfil this want.

When merchandising the products you sell, aim to sell the lifestyle your customer wants. The colours, sound and design in-store all contribute to reassuring the customer of this. Someone devoted to sustainable living wants a clear conscience about their purchase. Reassure them with in-store signage about the products’ ecofriendly source.  Someone desiring status will appreciate other field-leaders wearing your products. Appeal to this customer with celebrity endorsements.

Someone shopping in your store isn’t looking to fulfil needs. Their wants are more complex, and variable. A visitor to your store may want safety, a sense of belonging, respect, attention, happiness, freedom from pain or something else completely. If they believe the thing you sell will fulfil their desire, you have your sale.Share:     

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