Marc Brokenbrow’s latest Business Surgery takes a look the possible reasons behind the recent demise of high street retailer Game.
I would never describe shopping as a hobby of mine or something that I particularly enjoy. I don’t like dealing with the crowds, making decisions on what to buy, or the difficulty of knowing whether I am getting value for money. In spite of all this, I still have to shop and one thing that has certainly made my life a lot easier (and more enjoyable) is internet shopping.
Now I am not writing this blog to tell you how wondrous internet shopping is (I’m a little late for that), but how important it is to engage with your customers and to facilitate their needs – and the importance of doing this continuously. You can’t just sit back and enjoy the good years because troubles can be lurking around the corner.
One prominent and present example of this is the demise of the well known UK high street giant Game. They were dominating the video games market and only 5 years ago made the acquisition of Gamestation, their greatest rival at the time. Although this was a very successful period for Game, they were slow to compete against rival internet companies such as play.com and eBay, who were taking a share of their sales in the online market. This definitely had a detrimental effect to Game and alongside a number of other reasons has lead to them going into administration.
In my opinion, I think the fundamental flaw for Game was not keeping up with its customers in terms of their needs and shopping habits. If they had been more customer-focused they may have chosen to concentrate their efforts on online sales channels, or even considered an acquisition of a web-based rival instead.
So was market research the solution for Game?
I think the answer is yes and the key to Game remaining customer-focused could well have been achieved by carrying out a customer needs based assessment. This would have allowed Game to keep in touch with their customers and to find out what they currently wanted and what they required in the future. An Online Reportal facility would have also been a very useful tool for Game and is something that our clients are increasingly requesting. It offers real-time results from a study and can aid the client by targeting customers who are deterred by the current service they are getting. The Online Reportal could have been crucial to Game’s survival. It would have shown them how people’s shopping habits were changing and, more importantly, it would have shown them at that precise moment, giving them time to implement change.
If you would like to know more about what we can do for you when it comes to a customer needs based assessment or would like more information on the Online Reportal facility available during a project, please feel free to contact us here at B2B International.