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In the recent past, competition between businesses operating in similar industries has drastically increased. Vrechopoulos (2001, p. 5) argues that in developed countries, such as the United kingdom among other European countries, more than 70% of businesses have adopted the modern ways of marketing, all in an effort to diversify their market niche, offer improved customer services, thus remaining competitive. One of the most successful clothes retailing shop operating in the U.K. is the Topshop (Varley & Rafiq 2004, p. 77). This paper will critically evaluate the Topshop’s Visual Merchandising, Atmospherics and Web atmospherics marketing strategies.
Background on Top Shop Visual Merchandising, Atmospherics and ‘Web atmospherics’
Topshop is one of clothes retail shop operating in the United Kingdom and more than other 20 countries across the globe. The firm has also established online operations in most of its markets, in order to increase sales revenues. The business is a branch of the Arcadia Group that owns numerous retail shops including Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge and Burton. In 2000, the firm uploaded its internet site in order to the internet generation, especially in the U.K., although the site significantly was lacking the actual buying facilities. However, this was rectified in 2002, thus vastly increasing the sales volume of the firm.
Kotler (2004, p. 34) argues that visual merchandising is an act as well as a profession of coming up with three-dimensional displays and door plans, all with an aim of maximizing sales revenues. The main purpose of visual merchandising is attracting, motivating and engaging customers towards making purchases. This leads to a higher sales turnover that in most cases translates to increased profitability. To achieve the element of visual merchandising, Topshop has adopted appropriate image differentiation as well as fresh retail look. This service is provided by Topshop catwalk fashion trends via merchandising in-store.
With regard to the e-retailing, corresponding stimuli are via sound, usability, customisation visuals and text, sound among other parameters.
The retail versus e-retail operations
The store environment is extremely vibrant, lively and energetic. As indicated by Eroglu (2003, p. 9) atmosphere is one of the aspects that has made Topshop a knockout as compared to other firms. Harold (2011, p. 50) indicates that atmospheric is consciousness in designing space, thus creating given effects in the buyers. It can also be described as an effort to design the buying environments, in order to give rise to detailed emotion effects to the buyers. For instance, the hardwood flooring surfaces used by company represents style and warmth, while the big images of the models as well as in-store signage visualizes the aspects of being authentic and fun.
Store layout and display techniques
As witnessed on the Topshop Flagship Store located on the Oxford Street, Topshop employs a mixture of free-flow and boutique format depending on the size of the store. As a part of display techniques, Topshop uses store displays and evolving windows as a major voice of its brand (Marianne 2005, p. 17).
McKinney (2004, p. 89) categorically states that e-store is a purposeful design of an e-retailers site. For Topshop, the website design enables efficient and essay navigation for users. The firms’ navigation bar on the left side of the website indicates the various services and products offered through the e-store. The other element that has significantly improved the web atmospheric is the visual, colour and text used on the firm's website. Further, the zoom facility enables customers to view the products in close range as well as availability of text (Wang 2002, p. 10).
Topshop is considered one of the most successful retailers having reinvented its brand image from cheap teens brand to a street style leader. It is essential to note that, the e-store used by Topshop promotes the image of the urban chic clothing, all targeting young women and teenagers.
• the navigation is for both the bricks and clicks stores.
• the two methods apply streamline format (Siomkos 2004, p. 41).
• both e-store and in-store gives in warmth and colour with visual images of products, for example, the website portrays product and the store merchandises.
• the experience of in-store is much attracting, but the e-store more entertaining because of lighting, colour and music applied (Wang 2002, p. 14).
• however, both clicks and bricks have an equivalent credits for their clients (Kotler 2004, p. 101).
From the above information, one can see that both offline and online marketing strategies employed by Topshop retail shop have been extremely successful. However, there is a need to improve the store environment in the web atmospheric to match with that of visual merchandising atmospheric. Further, there is the need to increase brand awareness, both to online and offline customers. Currently, only the brand loyalty for the offline customers is estimated to be at 78%, 24 % higher than that of online customers. In this regard, more online marketing strategies, with the aim of raising brand awareness to the online customers, should be adopted by the firm, thus being able to raise its profitability by at least 12% in the next five years (Marianne 2005, p. 78).
Topshop is one of the most successful companies in the 21st century. The firm has been able to compete accordingly, due to the effective use of contemporary marketing strategies, thus raising the firm profitability level (Vrechopoulos 2001, p. 8).
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