Overview of the Shopping Services Sector
Shopping Services businesses provide specific retail based services to shoppers or anyone wishing to purchase an item or gift. For example, clothing consultants, sometimes known as an image consultant or personal shoppers, are employed by Fashion and Department Stores. They help customers choose outfits, clothing and footwear. This service can be free, but some shops make a charge for this. This is then offset against the price of their purchase. This encourages the customer to buy the clothing they have looked at.
Personal shoppers also work for themselves and can be employed by individuals, who do not have the time or inclination to shop for themselves.
At first, it may seem exciting and rather glamorous to be employed solely to spend someone’s money but like most things, familiarity can breed contempt, and many can find the job rather tedious and monotonous. Also, as they are self-employed, they need to constantly market their services in order to find The job of a personal Colour Consultant is to show potential clients the optimum way to enhance their appearance and personality by colour and how they wear it.
For instance, if their client has an important business meeting or is going for an interview, then they may advise to wear red as this means power and assertiveness. They assess personality, lifestyle and job and then advise how to re-brand a client’s wardrobe successfully to hopefully emulate the success in their professional and personal life.
There are also professional Colour Consultants who work with clients in their capacity as a type of interior designer. They will meet with a client, or read their brief, following this, will then work closely with their client to ensure that they have identified colour, theme and vision for their home.
Most stores, companies and online shops offer gift services. Customers have the option of purchasing a gift certificate, choose from a Wish List or take advantage of the gift wrapping service they provide. Stores will usually ask if you would prefer a gift receipt. This then gives the person receiving the present, the opportunity to return it if it doesn’t fit or is unsuitable, without revealing the amount of the gift.
Many shops, particularly those online, offer a vast selection of unusual gifts that are quirky or very different to those you will find in abundance on the high street. Incentives for customer loyalty include huge discounts, free delivery and free gifts when spending over a certain amount.
Some manufacturers use a ‘middle man’ when it comes to marketing and selling their goods; this is called a merchandise broker. They bridge the gap between buyers and sellers and negotiate on their behalf if necessary. Typically, they are mostly used in Real Estate, Insurance and the Food Industry. To find a list of reputable Merchandise Brokers, it is wise to search for one via a Business Index site on the internet; as these will give information as well as locating the nearest one in your area.
A different way of things is to Barter for it. This is a process whereupon goods or services are directly exchanged for another gift or service that you are able to offer. There is no transfer of money from either party, and although many people think it rather strange, it has become more common over the past few years. There are Barter organisations, where you can become a member for a certain fee and are then privy to all other barterers, both and nationally. They will then be aware of the goods or services you are able to offer and at the same time, you are given access to their details should you wish to barter with them.
There are certain rules and regulations that have to be adhered to when it comes to offering or using services concerning exchange of goods for money or bartering. Some items may be illegal to import from overseas, whilst others may be counterfeit goods and therefore not allowed to be bought or sold. It is a good idea to reference Buyers Information Services which will give all relevant information about Do’s and Don’ts as well as giving clarity on the regulations.