Trust is at the core of every strong, long-lasting relationship, and in tough economic times, a consumer’s trust in a brand or retailer is absolutely priceless.
When retailers focus on building trust, they reap benefits in the form of increased customer loyalty, retention, and sales.
Trust also allows a retailer to expand or experiment with their product or service offering, with the expectation that the loyal customer will automatically embrace anything new that is sold under your banner.
The Australian Financial Review
Bunnings goes to the dogs
Pets are big business in Australia, with the speciality pet sector currently tracking at $10 billion and growing fast. Such impressive growth drew the attention of Wesfarmers-owned hardware giant Bunnings, who, in its largest category expansion since introducing kitchens nearly two decades ago, launched a specialty pet-care department offering items ranging from food to toys and bowls for dogs, cats and birds. Close to 1000 new items will be added to its current offering of kennels, mats, bedding and pet doors.
Bunnings managing director Mike Schneider told The Australian Financial Review the move was about creating a bigger offer for consumers, rather than seeking to make up sales as the housing market slows against the tougher economic backdrop.
60% of Australians own pets, and with many owners already bringing their dogs to Bunnings on the weekend shop, making an expanded pet-care offering “a really natural fit for the brand”. Schneider said Bunnings would apply its strategy of "combining lowest prices (and) widest range" to its pet line.
Coles shops for lucrative international customers
Rather than sticking to the traditional retail game, Coles is evolving into a 'brand' as a supermarket and also as products. In 2022, an alliance agreement saw over 140 Coles-label products available on the shelves of Singapore’s biggest supermarket chain following a multimillion-dollar deal brokered by the federal government’s trade agency to boost food exports. The products include Coles’ Ultimate Biscuits, Urban Coffee, its Soup range, and a selection of its Wellness Road products.
“Consumers in Singapore always perceive Australian products [to be] of better quality.” Said FairPrice Group chief procurement officer Ah Yiam Tng. “Coles’ products will be here to complement our assortment for more affluent consumers.”
Back on Australian territory, Coles has teamed up with Uber Eats to launch what they say is Australia’s largest on-demand grocery-delivery service, operating within the Uber Eats app. Melbourne customers will be first in line to buy Coles’ products via the Uber Eats app from nearly 40 locations, with the service rolling out to 500 stores across the country in upcoming months.
Specsavers has an ear for consumer demand
Specsavers looked to be ahead of the curve when it came to product line expansion, first entering the audiology market in 2017 with the launch of its first audiology business on Queensland’s Gold Coast. In 2021, Specsavers Audiology opened its 250th Australian store – an amazing milestone that was achieved in just five years.
Using the same Specsavers business model of offering affordable products and services in optometry, the expansion into audiology sought to disrupt what was previously seen as a highly specialised, closed market with open, transparent pricing designed to make hearing services accessible to more Australians. The move obviously paid off, with Specsavers now seen as Australia’s fastest-growing audiology business.