Store strategy for holiday shopping

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Hey, this is the holiday season. The school holiday is happening now. Christmas is coming. New Year is just around the corner.

Well it sound like an annual tautology, repeating the phrase in cycle every year. Anyway, the seasons just run in cycle every year. It may sound mundane for most of Malaysian, getting their yearend bonuses, staking up new accessories for their children New Year school opening and of course spending more. Chinese New Year would ensue after the New Year. Retailers throughout the country would stack up their stores too in anticipation of the higher than average purchases at this season.

But few realised that this year season has a daub of difference compared to previous years. A business school professor would ask this question to his students and I doubt few could not answer. But if they go back home and ask their parents, most may just shrugged off that this season is just like any other previous years.

The answers are in the students’ hand. The smartphone of course. Shopping has gone high-tech in term of savings and price comparison. The availability of many new apps allowing price comparison and coupon sourcing like Albaloo App and www.albaloo.com has bring shopping to a new dimension. Buyers could just scan a barcode and discovered if they can get a better deal elsewhere. Likewise they can just sign up for an e-mail alert from their favorite brands and get the price and product feature information before they actually step into the shopping mall. They are the true millennial. The young adults have used the social media to get the best scoop on the latest trend of their clothes.

I have the pleasure of taking a stroll along the many arcades at Berjaya Time Square in Kuala Lumpur golden triangle as part of evening pleasure excursion and discovered that almost 90% of the retailers cater for the young adults market for wearing apparels. A later excursion to Bukit Bintang Plaza and Sungai Wang Complexes reaffirmed this hunch. Not only retailers selling products but services such as hair and beauty salons also targeted the young adults.

Why this is so? The answer goes back to the preceding paragraph. They are the millennials. The tech-savvy generation that has come of age. This is amplified by the social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest etc that the young adults just want to look beautiful on the social platform. The platform is on a global scale. A download of your most photogenic picture can reach your Facebook friends in Argentina or Europe and the remotest corner of Africa. They just want to be best dressed for this global voyeurism. They want their hairstyle to be fixed to the latest trend and colour. You can see how many hair saloons are sprouting up in Sungai Wang Plaza. They want the latest body hugging outfit to be displayed in Facebook and to be seen on the other side of the globe. Some young men want to display their biceps and six pack abs they hard earned to be admired all over the world. That is the reason why there are so many topless photograph of young men in Facebook. The gymnasium in Malaysia like Fitness First and California Fitness are enjoying a booming business because so many want to look best and display their best trimmed body in the social network. People are just fitter and look more beautiful compared to previous generations. The industry has also come of age that is unprecedented in the history of human consumerism.

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However, they are some valuable tips for our millennials to be smart in their buying of products and services because the debt rate among our young adults has gone up exponentially.

They can do a budgetary planning since most of them are literate and have a tertiary education. Here are some tips to be a smart shopper living in a smart age.

  • Use your smartphone to check for coupon and price comparison.
  • Limit your spending habits by leaving your credit card at home. Shop with cash instead.
  • Anticipate your repayment capabilities on your credit card. All price off and coupon would never offset your debt in term of paying exorbitant interest rate to the Banks.
  • Go for online purchase where some items are cheaper than physical retailers. Utilise ebates and Mr Rebates for online buying to get the best deal.
  • Buy earlier or delay buying until January where retailers normally slash their prices
  • Avoid paying extra for add-on items. Many add-on are marketing gimmicks that on the whole sum actually cost more.

We have come to a juncture where never before so few are noticed by so many in so little a space like our hand tablet. Everybody wants to look beautiful and best dressed. And the dress off, best trimmed.

This season shopping is indeed the best and smartest for our best looking young people. Happy shopping.

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