Is our purchase decision influenced by content?
Brand Loyalty - A unique shopping experience
‘5 items you shouldn't buy the Kirkland brand at Costco’, this article was recently published in The businessinsider.com website, written by Ms. Laura McCamy. Although, Costco doesn’t require an introduction to most of the advanced counties, for the benefit of Indians, it is a membership warehouse club dedicated to bring its members the best possible prices on merchandise. Amidst, wide range of products, Costco offers great convenience and exclusive member services, which makes the shopping a memorable experience. “Kirkland Signature” is Costco's private label which has most of the FMCG products under its name. Very soon, the Costco’s would also venture into India
Ms. McCamys article on Costco was majorly based on the report by American customer satisfaction Index (ASCI). Interestingly, Costco was awarded the top score among its contemporaries. However, Ms McCamys had pertinent observations on few items largely vindicated by the respondent’s comments during the study. I have been a Costco member since 1995 and I thoroughly enjoy the shopping experience. Although such warnings now and then would surely be a deterrent for consumers, we all shop at Costco confidently. Why? Approximately Costco sells 4,000 categories of items. Moreover, the unique shop experience it brings to table in the form of product, promotion and price would be enthralling for consumers. Further, as per the latest news Costco plans to beef up animal antibiotics policy. So, a warning about 5 is not an alarming issue (a warranty policy is also available on private label purchases)
Consumer Protection – Need for qualified content curators
Soon India will have these major chain stores which would definitely command a market power. There would be challenges to the local players and government will have all its rules and regulations in place for the ecosystem to operate seamlessly. With the private labels, Costco could leverage the progress in science and technology to offer its members a variety of product. These products come with promotions (which also involves claims) to majorly attract the customers. Because, in a market-driven economy consumers are the backbone of business, as businesses are becoming more consumer centric. Therefore, the welfare of consumers is an essential pre-requisite for a healthy and sustainable economy. Hence, India also has a Consumer Protection Act to safeguard the interests of the buyer.
With businesses taking digital transformation, there is an influx of content that is being generated on the products on various platform. Besides promotions, product reviews are becoming a significant factor in the consumer purchase decision. Primarily, consumer rely on reviews either by customers or qualified individuals to get a feel of the product benefits. In the west, these areas are curated by professionals with credentials and this is very much essential for products in the health & wellness segment. This is clearly evident from the number of websites, blogs and Youtube channels demonstrating the product usage, benefits and indirect endorsements. In India, there are few players trying to emulate such models, however, India needs well qualified and balanced individuals to develop the content about the products which would enable consumer empowerment. In case, if there are such people to protect the consumer interests, who are they?
Srinivasa K. Rao, Ph.D.,
Dec 15th, 2018.
Dr. Srinivasa Rao obtained his Ph.D in molecular genetics from university of Paris, France. He worked at Columbia University and Albert Einstein College of Medicine at New York in various scientific positions and taught cell & molecular biology at Queens College of USA. He is also the director of Granova Naturals which cater products that augment health benefits to consumer. Their merchandises are available on Amazon.in and at Dr Quinoa
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