In negotiation just like other business interactions between people we choose behavior based on assumptions we have about the person and/or the situation. That mindset that we bring influences how we plan, negotiate, influence, create results, and/or see the relationship. The mindset retailers have about what’s important to their customers and markets also helps them focus in one direction versus another.
Over the years, we’ve seen a shift in the mindset retail negotiators tend to adopt in some key areas. They are more focused on dominating a segment than just guaranteeing consistent smaller increases year over year. They also challenge vendor processes more confidently than allowing vendors to run their business as they want.
The newest change seems to be moving from multi-channel to Omni-channel to ensure the customer experience with the retailer’s brand is consistent regardless of touch point. Another more recent shift is from product-focus to source-focus. This means that more retailers are asking questions about the impact on social issues (child labor, working conditions, etc.) as well as environmental impact the source has on using renewable energy to keep costs lower, decreasing carbon footprint, and/or integrating recycled materials into products.
These and other mindset shifts have implications for retail buyers and how they plan and skills they need to more effectively focus during negotiation. What are you seeing in the market and approach to retailer-vendor relations? Share your thoughts here or @mohrretail.