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Nowadays, modern consumers can access and purchase company products from the online stores or from the physical stores. Despite the presence of the virtual stores, consumers still prefer visiting the physical stores of the companies (Jin and Kim 397). However, the appearance of a physical store often determines its suitability. Microsoft Company possesses numerous physical stores across the United States. One of its renowned physical stores is the Microsoft store situated in Westfield, San Francisco. This store is on the focus concerning its arrangement. Due to such concerns, this essay intends to analyze the strengths, weaknesses, and the pain points of the Microsoft physical store located in Westfield, San Francisco.
The Microsoft store located in Westfield, San Francisco, has some strength in its physical planning. Efficient staffing- With the ever-increasing consumer needs within the stores, having a prompt and an efficient staff is necessary (Jin and Kim 399). The San Francisco store has an adequate staff, which is in a systematic arrangement. According to Ghosh, Tripathi, and Kumar (84), customers often admire a stress-free store that has an efficient and a prompt staff that assures buyers of a shopping convenience. Merchandize mix– The San Francisco retail store practices product diversification. The physical store has an assortment of modern tablets, personal computers, laptops, phone accessories, and other valuable electronics.
Efficient billing systems– the kind of a billing system that a retail store uses often influences the decisions of the customer concerning store selection. The San Francisco store has a well-organized billing system that supports visual billing on the products, and a state-of-the-art payment system. According to Ghosh et al. (84), “a customer chooses a store based on parameters like convenience, merchandise mix, and atmospherics.” An informative signage- the layout of the San Francisco store has an appropriate signage for the convenience of the consumers. Such appropriate technological signage with a commercial appeal, eminent through the store markings, writings, and directional marks, makes buyers confident and relaxed.
Some weaknesses in the arrangement of the Microsoft retail store in San Francisco, explain why its redesigning is necessary. Merchandize display– According to Pantano and Laria, the method of displaying merchandize can influence the decisions of customers about store selection (197). The San Francisco branch of Microsoft store has an uninviting display of the products as the company has a single layer of a product display. The office layout– The Microsoft store in San Francisco has an open room, with crowded tables and chairs. Pantano and Laria (199) state that this form of a floor layout affects the perceptions of the consumers concerning their roaming freedom and the accessibility of the products.
Confusing shop attendants- The decisions of the consumers concerning store selection depend on the physical appearance of the staff (Jin and Kim 397). The Microsoft branch in San Francisco has workers who wear differently colored clothes. Such appearances make the customer service seem poor, because it scares the shoppers who fear fraudsters, harassment, and public humiliation (Ghosh et al. 84). The lack of immersive systems– Within the San Francisco stores, the layout lacks a digital scenario. The company does not use the 3D real-time simulations such as the HD computerized screens that stimulate the buyers. Pantano and Laria claim that an absence of 3D displays makes consumers lack fascination (197).
Modern physical stores must have some unique appearance in their design to fascinate the consumers and have a better attractiveness than the virtual stores (Jin and Kim 340). The San Francisco physical store of the Microsoft Company seems to have a real-time environment with a proper lighting, coloring, and an attractive architectural design, but lacks a unique appearance. Lack of a 3D innovation– A major problem that makes the store lose its novelty is the severe lack of a 3D immersive system. Pantano and Laria (197) state that unique 3D computer graphics make stores appealing and improve the presentation of the product information.
In the San Francisco store, consumers have to touch the tablets and phones to get the product features. Technological products become valuable when their information appears via technological devices (Pantano and Laria 195). The lack of wall displays– Displaying tablets and phone gadgets on tables placed in the stores has become a common feature in most of the retail shops (Pantano and Laria 195). The company has failed to utilize the space adjacent to the store walls to enhance the secretiveness of the consumers, their confidence, and their shopping pleasure. In addition, the store has a limited entertainment. Lack of entertainment influences the perception of the consumers concerning their waiting time.
Planning of a physical retail store is an imperative issue for most of the modern physical stores. In the modern days, efficient and prompt staff, proper store layout, appropriate lighting, and coloring of the store, merchandize mix, technology integration and an appropriate architectural design, are some of the salient features that a modern physical store must consider. The physical retail store of Microsoft located in the Westfield region of San Francisco has an adequate staff, efficient billing systems, a proper merchandize mix, and an informative signage. However, the San Francisco store looks rather overcrowded, technologically deficient, and with a confusing workforce that dresses on unmatched store attire.
Ghosh, Piyali, Vibhuti Tripathi, and Anil Kumar. “Customer expectations of store Attributes: A study of organized retail outlets in India.” Journal of Retail & Leisure Property 9.1 (2010): 75–87. Print.
Jin, Byoungho, and Jai-Ok Kim. “A typology of Korean discount shoppers: shopping motives, store attributes, and outcomes. “International Journal of Service Industry Management 14.4 (2003): 396-419. Print.
Pantano, Eleonora, and Giuseppe Laria. “Innovation in Retail Process: From Consumers’ Experience to Immersive Store Design.” Journal of Technology Management & Innovation 7.3 (2012): 194-206. Print.