How are customers affected by expansion?

Author : teriann

I like progress. I like to see when businesses make improvements in order to offer their customers a better shopping experience.  I don’t mind enduring slight inconveniences if it means that  in the long run I will get a better quality of service or product.

There are however some aspects of progress that can have negative impact on customers.  For example in one local grocery store, the shelves were reorganized in order to accommodate expansion.  As a result customers ended up wandering aimlessly as they tried to find their desired items.

Even though extra staff were on hand in that particular store to provide assistance to customers, it greatly lengthened the amount of time that you spent shopping.

Who wants to spend more time in a supermarket?

Expanding for the Worse?

Most companies view expansion as a positive step because if they are able to sell more products however if customers feel as if they are being greatly inconvenienced they might decide to shop elsewhere. This is especially true if there is an issue that affects a lot of shoppers such as insufficient parking space.

In some cases, the expanding business can make customers lose that sense of closeness they felt in the smaller store.  Larger stores can lose that personal touch that had attracted customers in the first place. So if the store expands too much there is a slight risk of alienating loyal customers.

Expansion – Benefits

I still like the idea of expansion despite its detractors, as narrow aisles or erratic shelving can make shopping an unpleasant experience.

There should be some rules to expansion though that I think all businesses should follow.

The rules of expanding a business should be: the expansion must not be done at the inconvenience of customers, keep customers abreast of changes, ensure the safety of consumers during the expansion and allow customers to provide an input or feedback throughout the process.

So what’s your take on the issue? Do you like when businesses expand? Drop me a line!

Teri Ann Paisley

Gleaner online writer

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