Assignment Reflection

Retail Simulation

Over the course of the term I have learned many things in the Retail Management class. We focused on the 4 P’s, people/staffing, customers and their behaviors, operations, and the financial aspects of operating a retail store. The decisions I made for every one of these situations impacted the weekly revenue of my simulated store.

I first had to select a location to place my grocery store.  I had to take in consideration of what kind of neighborhood the building was in and the cost of rent. Picking a store that was not by any other building would not have been a good idea since that would mean there would not be a lot of car traffic. I also could not have picked the busiest place in the city because the cost of rent would have been too much. Along with the location I had to figure out what place would have been best for a billboard advertisement. Putting a billboard on a smaller building in a busier area seemed to work just fine. Other promotions that I ran were email promotions and radio advertisements. With the radio, I had to figure out what station my target audience listened to the most and that is how I picked the proper station to advertise on.

I decided to sell all the necessary products along with a few impulse products. The impulse products that I decided on were gas grills and portable grills. I eventually got rid of the gas grills because the portable grills sound more often. Most grocery stores have a 20-40% markup on all their product. I decided to go a 30% mark-up on all items. I learned that some items are more price sensitive than others so I had to adjust on certain products to lower the price so that more sales would take place.

Along with operating a store, you need to have the proper amount of staff available to make the shopping experience enjoyable for your customer. The way I staffed was to make sure my store was prepared for the busier times of the day. The mornings and midafternoon I had half the number of workers than in the evenings after most people are done with work.

A major aspect of running and managing a store is to make sure the store is making money instead of losing it. You have to make sure that your costs of all expenses are less than the monthly revenue. If your revenue is not larger than your expenses, you have to work the numbers and look how to cut back on the fixed costs of your business. No business can survive by not making money so that is why I think this aspect is the most important. One way to make sure you can capitalize your sales is by putting the best-selling products in the back of the store. By doing this, the customer will walk through your whole store and this may lead them to buy things that they did not have intent on purchasing once they first entered the store.

Overall, I think this simulation was very useful and very informative. As a manager of a retail store, I can confidently say that this simulation covers all the responsibilities that I am required to do in my every day duties. For anyone looking to be in charge of some sort of retail store, I would strongly recommend to take the time to do this simulation so you can know what to expect.


Assignment Reflection

How to Generate Larger Profits

This week I had an assignment that involved a simulation. During this simulation, I learned a few things about consumer behavior and retail layout and merchandising. When studying consumer behavior, we try to understand why and how the customers buy. Generally, customers move along the decision-making process each time they go and make a purchase. Depending if the purchase is considered low-involvement or high-involvement, some of the steps may be skipped. For example, buying a gallon of milk is a low-involvement purchase. Most people either get the same brand, or find the cheapest option. This decision is fairly quick so the customer would skip a few steps and just go to the purchase stage.

Retail layout is another huge factor in driving profits. A lot of retailers put the major need products in the back of the store. The reason for this is because it forces the customer to walk buy the rest of the product. An example of this would be the location of milk and eggs within a grocery store. These products tend to be a need for most people so they put these products in the back of the store. Another tip that I learned was to put the inexpensive products up front to create more impulsive purchases. An example of an impulse buy would be candy bars at grocery stores. They place these items by the registers because all customers will see them.

So how can you apply these this information to real life?

  • Put the top sellers towards the back of the store
  • Try to generate impulse buys
  • Place complimentary items next to each other
  • Place salespeople next to the high-involvement products
Blog Post

Social Media Managers

I have been interested in learning more about the careers within Retail. One job stands out to me the most because of my degree I am pursuing. I am interested in the Social Media Manager position that retail stores may have. The reason why I am intrigued with this position is because the do not necessarily need to be in the store. They can manage these accounts from an office outside of the store, or even at home. These people manage accounts on all sorts of sites. The most common websites that stores use are:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Snap Chat
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Tik Tok

This job is becoming more and more popular within the marketing field. With the way social media is growing, it is almost a must that businesses make these accounts and update them frequently. People are constantly on their phones and checking their social medias throughout the day to pass time. So it make sense that you try and get posts and other advertisements in front of them as much as possible.

As much as I am on my phone, I think that there is a strong chance that I look more into this career. I also believe that this position will become more and more popular for businesses everywhere.

Blog Post

Yes, Amazon is expanding!

In a recent article that I read off of RetailGeek, it explained how Amazon is growing and making changes to their business. In Chicago, Amazon is now offering free same day pick-up and free return drop off. They are opening up kiosks up in the Chicago area to give customers faster access to their purchases or giving them the chance to return their items. This is such a smart idea for Amazon. For one, returning things on Amazon can be a hassle. As it stands right now, you have to go to their website and print off your return label and then go to a UPS store to ship it back. On top of the return aspect, Amazon will offer free same day pick up for prime members at these locations. If these places take place nationwide, Amazon will grow even bigger. Bezos is always looking for ways to make his customers happy and coming back. And this idea of his, just might be one of his best yet.

If you would like to read the article for yourself, here is the link!

Amazon pilots new Pickup Locations in Chicago (field report)

Assignment Reflection

Social Media Audit

  • This assignment taught a couple of interesting things. For starters, it showed me that 8 am and around 7 pm are great times for a post. During this audit, it seemed like that is where the most interactions occurred. I also noticed that a post with multiple pictures of a certain product, along with a link, can make more people interested in it. The posts with the most interactions on it seemed like when they had a link and multiple pictures of that product. If I were a marketing manager at Buhi, I would focus on Instagram the most. Overall Instagram had many more interactions than Facebook did. I would also suggest that Facebook should be posted on Mondays and Wednesdays. The reason why I say that is because many more people interact on their competitors’ posts those days, with Wednesday being the most interactive.