CUSTOMER ANALYSIS STRATEGIES AND PERFORMANCE OF SMALL-SCALE TRADING ENTERPRISES IN KENYA: A SURVEY OF NAKURU, NYANDARUA AND KITUI COUNTIES
Trading enterprises contribute significantly to the economic competitiveness of the country, however, their sales performance has been remarkably low forcing some of them to struggle or go out of business altogether. One of the reasons why these businesses fail is their inability to capture the market. The study, therefore, sought to examine the influence of customer analysis strategy on sales performance of small-scale trading enterprises in Kenya focusing on Nakuru, Nyandarua and Kitui counties. It specifically focused on the influence of customer information, product knowledge, brand knowledge and customer decision-making on sales performance of the trading enterprises. The study was guided by the Customer Engagement Marketing Theory. The study adopted a descriptive exploratory research design targeting 397 randomly selected small scale trading enterprises in Kenya focusing on Nakuru, Nyandarua and Kitui Counties. Data was collected using pretested questionnaires. The results were analyzed using both descriptive involving frequencies, percentages while multiple regression was used for inferential statistical methods. The results revealed that Customer Information abstraction significantly influenced sales performance in Nakuru and Kitui Counties. Customer Decision-Making was significant in Nakuru County while Brand Knowledge played a significant role sales performance of trading enterprises in Nyandarua County. The sales performance of Kitui County trading enterprises was also significantly influenced by Product Knowledge and Brand Knowledge. These results suggest that customer engagement strategies were not necessarily the same across the three counties. The businesses, therefore, need to focus on discovering customer tastes and develop unique ways of delivering products and services to customers.