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From Samepoint. The Samepoint Big Data Retail team conducted research and analysis of the Social Media landscape to identify which of the nation’s top retailers are experiencing inventory issues, and within which geographical areas. The Samepoint Social Media Retail Application extracted and aggregated the customers’ comments at a regional and store level. These comments were then categorized, analyzed and sorted by sentiment (Positive, Neutral, and Negative).
From Platt Retail Institute. Advancements in digital technology are causing a seismic shift in consumer purchase behavior. Customers today access multiple channels to execute a purchase, leading to the requirement that all channels work seamlessly to support the brand and the experience. This trend started with the Internet, but is now being advanced in a very dramatic and rapid fashion due to mobile and other digital technologies. Consumers, empowered with these digital communication devices, such as smartphones and tablets, are pressuring organizations to deliver compelling and innovative experiences to retain top of mind and share of wallet. As distinctions between purchase channels blur, companies must build a singular view of and communication strategy with their customers, which can include touch points such as call centers, direct mail and catalogs, the Internet, mobile, physical selling locations, and social media.
From Platt Retail Institute. It is hard is for companies to drive home their messaging today among the waves of instantaneous, continuous communication that engage customers. Clearly, you would like to excite your audience about your brand and avoid things that contradict your intent as you execute your business model. Yet as customer and vendor executives describe their approach to differentiation in this new commerce world, both sameness and contradictions thrive. What isn’t thriving is a clear model for success.
From Motorola Solutions. To meet shopper expectations in the omnichannel world, you must be able to see what’s in-stock and where it’s located across all supply chain channels. This paper discusses how omnichannel retailing is changing end-to-end supply chain operations, especially when it comes to meeting customers' complex fulfillment demands. It also examines the growth in importance of direct-to-customer shipping and offers suggestions for how retailers can utilize technology to make all the components of the supply chain work seamlessly together.
From The Retail Equation. Consumer technology companies like Apple no longer have the corner on the market for mobile technology at the point of sale. Recently, several major retailers have publicly announced the adoption of mobile retail practices to enhance the customer experience...and increase the bottom line. They understand that the longer a consumer waits in the store for customer service or in line to checkout, the longer they have to consider whether they need the items and the more likely they are to postpone the purchase or walk away all together. Mobile technology nearly eradicates this time hassle by offering the customer the opportunity to check stock or checkout from anywhere in the store. However, in doing so it can present challenges when trying to merge this sought after mobility with the concepts of best-in-class merchandise return capabilities, while keeping retail fraud under control.
From McGladrey. Retailers and vendors need to develop a new game plan to grow and prosper in tomorrow's environment. The first step is to engage in an intense self-analysis. This includes consumer research in order to determine the wants and needs of the target customer, increase the value proposition with new and differentiated merchandise, find a path to a more efficient sourcing and logistics structure, strengthen its brand (whether national or owned), and implement a multichannel distribution network. Success will be tied to customer satisfaction.
From Payfone & GlenBrook. Mobile remote commerce is beginning to emerge as an increasingly important new retail channel, with the potential to generate significant sales for sellers and payment volume for financial services players. However, this new channel presents certain unique challenges for payment systems, particularly with the respect to the potential for fraudulent use of payment cards and other financial accounts. Payfone has developed a number of customized solutions which utilize unique data elements available from the mobile data network to more accurately assess whether a given payment transaction is legitimate, and can do so in a way that is highly convenient for the buyer.
From Motorola Solutions. Lord & Taylor's flagship Fifth Avenue store in New York needed to keep their display shelves fully stocked. But display sample inventory was such a labor-intensive, time-consuming process, they could only do it once a week. With Motorola Solutions' handheld RFID readers, they saved 75% of the labor and can run display sample inventory daily. Read the case study to see how floor sample displays are now at least 95% complete, and how sales went up 2%.
From Platt Retail Institute. There is great interest among North American companies with a solid base of success in their domestic market to export that success overseas. They are targeting the established, large consumer economies in Europe and the Pacific, as well as Brazil and other Latin American nations, which are finally viable economically. On top of this are the growing interests in the potential of exporting to the huge, middle class consumer markets emerging in India and China. Conversely, businesses in Europe, Asia/Pacific and Latin America have long looked to the U.S. market with visions of unlimited opportunity. It’s a nation with a big, affluent, consumption-intensive population, and America is one of the least restrictive markets to enter. America remains among the most desirable export markets in the world. Success in one place does not predict success in another place. But international expansion presents the classic dichotomy of opportunities offset by challenges. If you are new to global expansion and are planning your strategies, this can be a good time to consider the risks that can trip up even well funded overseas ambitions. In addition to whatever other resources you are consulting, this article from PRI's Journal of Retail Analytics addresses six issues you need to consider.
From Gensler. In this video presentation, co-leaders of Gensler’s top-ranked retail design practice, Barry Bourbon and Irwin Miller share case studies of retailers that have exported their brands to new markets, along with lessons learned from the global partnerships that paved the way.
From Motorola Solutions. Over the last decade, brick-and-mortar retailers have been forced to deal with the Internet revolution in all its glory. There’s no doubt that the invasion of retail stores by these mobile enablers of virtual shopping has been costly. Not just in sales, but in customer loyalty, too. Discover how retail stores are fighting back with their own aggressive omni-channel strategies based on information provided by their wireless networks.
From Platt Retail Institute. Platt Retail Institute’s Research Article “The Media-Saturn In-Store Digital Experience” provides an in-depth look at the broad range of customer-facing technologies employed by Europe’s largest electronics retailer, Media-Saturn-Holding. In a conversation with Ingolf von Wittken, head of Digital POS Concepts at Media-Saturn, PRI explores how the German-based retailer is using digital technologies to enhance its customers’ in-store shopping experience.
From Platt Retail Institute. Technology touches almost every aspect of commercial activity. And with the rapid pace of technological innovation, its impact on business enterprise will only increase in the future. Like many other industries retailers are being impacted by technology advancements, as well as changing shopping habits.
From Motorola Solutions. This paper outlines the key trends shaping the unique needs and demands of the wireless environment in retail today. It also highlights six key strategies for establishing a successful wireless network. A thorough understanding of both is critical for driving compelling experiences for the connected shopper.
From HCL Technologies. Achieving Supply Change Visibility excellence has become a major concern for supply chain leaders. To address the above-mentioned challenges organizations need a dynamic and robust SCV framework that can enable quick response to change as well as improve and strengthen the organizational supply chain by making data readily available to all stakeholders, including the customer.
From Motorola Solutions. This white paper examines the future of retail, including changing shopper mindsets and behaviors, and the new expectations shoppers have for their in-store experience.
From RIS News/Cognizant. This 2012 Shopper Experience study offers new insights into customers and how retailers can reshape their strategies to provide personalized in-store experiences that will keep shoppers coming back.
From McGladrey LLP. By all indications, 2012 will be another year of lethargic growth, store closings and increased focus on everyday low prices by several major retailers, all which will have a significant impact on the entire retail landscape. Multichannel is key to survival for many.
From 5th Finger. In this whitepaper we help retailers navigate their way to a solid mobile strategy by discussing the latest in consumer behavior, mobile retail trends and opportunities.
From the Platt Retail Institute. The Transformational Impact of eCommerce on Retail Stores. It is time for retailers to transform the store shopping experience to include Web access. This article addresses the questions: Why is eCommerce outpacing in-store retailing in sales growth and customer experience satisfaction? And, how should stores be reconfigured to leverage the advantages of eCommerce?
From IBM. Today’s consumers seek and accept shopping advice from peers, family, friends and even strangers. They bring attitudes and expectations, shaped by experiences across a broad spectrum of industries, to every interaction with retailers. And through this lens of connectivity and collaboration – which enables them to know almost everything about every product and brand – these “smarter,” empowered consumers ultimately decide which retailers have earned their trust.
From The Platt Retail Institute. The “70 Percent Rule” has been consistently advanced by those seeking to profit from the sale of all manner of in-store marketing devices – from POP displays to digital signage – as justification for these expenditures. Viewed another way, these expenditures are assumed to be effective because the marketing tools are located in-store. The implication is that in-store marketing activities are the most important factor impacting in-store purchase decisions.
From Platt Retail Institute. The digital signage industry continues to grow, despite a challenging economic climate. Industry verticals such as financial institutions, out-of-home, and higher education are increasing their use of digital signs. Yet retail adoption of digital signs continues to lag. There are many reasons for this. Cost is a major impediment of course. But beyond the financial considerations, there are more fundamental issues that continue to challenge retailers. Those to be considered in this article include a lack of understanding of how to leverage technology to enhance content relevancy and impact, and how to integrate digital signs with other emerging in-store technologies.
From DiCentral. Regardless of the size or scope of their businesses, retailers that engage a managed services provider for EDI both eliminate complexity from trading partner relationships and get critical help bridging the retailer/supplier gap. This white paper discusses how managed EDI tools benefit the retailer, and explores how EDI can reduce the risks and the complexities associated with the modern retail supply chain.
From Grant Thornton. Multichannel retail — the merging of traditional brick-and-mortar retailing with online and mobile retail channels — involves far more than allowing customers to purchase items through a website. Multichannel retailing presents ample, seemingly boundless opportunities for brand engagement and interaction with customers across new platforms. Yet inevitably, these new technologies, platforms and sales channels come with new risks and challenges for companies to manage.
From RSM McGladrey. Slower-than-historic post-recessionary growth and the persistent high levels of unemployment are key issues facing businesses today. More importantly, employment growth and rising income represent opportunities to drive market share and higher sales. The consumer is responding differently than in past cycles, placing more emphasis on value – from the purchase of more private brands when it comes to basic/commodity merchandise, to cross-shopping among distribution channels. Typical of most cycles, discretionary spending is beginning to gain momentum, outpacing overall retail sales. Consumers, aided by the Internet, are smarter and more demanding shoppers. Winners among retailers and vendors will be those that understand their consumers – what they want, when they want it and at what price they are willing to pay. Those that build and act on that understanding will be the companies that prosper in the new era of growth that is now developing.
From Grant Thornton LLP. With the holiday season behind us, gift card sales continued to surge. Not only did more people purchase gift cards this holiday season, but the average amount spent on each card increased as well. While consumers flock to gift cards for their flexibility, businesses have embraced them as a means to increase sales, improve cash flow and manage inventory. But with the growth in use of gift cards also comes an uptick in scrutiny and regulations, especially within the past year. Grant Thornton LLP’s new white paper, Gift cards: Opportunities and issues for retailers, explores the areas of risk and opportunity gift cards can bring to retailers and outlines how new rules from the IRS and the Federal Reserve Board provide retailers and gift card issuers much-needed guidance.
From Deloitte. This report examines how these trends will most likely shape consumer spending patterns and the world of consumers more broadly. What will consumers in different geographic and demographic segments value? What will they need and want? Given what they have faced in recent years, how will their attitudes and behaviors continue to change in the coming decade? To set the stage for this discussion, the report begins with a broad look at how changes in the global economy are likely to affect consumer spending as we slowly emerge from recession. In so far as one can ever predict the future, it then looks at longer-term economic, demographic, and technological trends and some of the resulting changes in consumer attitudes and behaviors that are likely to take place over the next 10 years.
From VeraCentra. How relevant are your marketing communications? Studies reveal that up to 63 percent of consumers have or will consider abandoning a brand all together because of irrelevant communications. Executed well, relevancy can prevent customer defection, improve customer satisfaction and increase customer spending while reducing marketing costs. Growing Customer Relationships with Increased Relevancy describes: • What marketers risk if today's relevancy requirements are ignored • How to use Business Intelligence to achieve deep customer understanding • Which technologies facilitate relevant customer communications • Quantifiable improvement in customer metrics and campaign response rates
From Grant Thornton LLP. The goal of this white paper is to help convenience store companies identify trends affecting the industry. The white paper touches on both big-picture trends, such as merger and acquisition activities, as well as trends in technical areas that may get overlooked as executives grapple with strategic issues. In addition, the white paper identifies four emerging issues that convenience store management need to keep on top of: shifting consumer preferences; volatile gas prices; employee engagement; and mergers and acquisitions. It also has lists of ideas for management personnel to consider as they evaluate what’s right for their organization.
From Deloitte and the National Retail Federation. To better understand ways companies are tackling today’s talent challenges and positioning themselves for long-term success, Deloitte collaborated with the National Retail Federation (NRF) to conduct a comprehensive survey of the industry’s talent management strategies and practices. Survey respondents included senior executives from the largest retailers in the U.S. based on STORES' Top 100 list. Through an analysis of the results, Deloitte and the NRF identified various areas where retailers have the opportunity to better align their operations with talent management objectives.
From Continuum. Retail promotional signage is more complicated today. It requires collaboration that includes your vendors, merchants, marketing specialists, pricing staff, advertising coordinators, translators, operations and store environment. You have to organize and communicate. What worked in the ‘90s will not work today. You have to achieve customer impact, centralized branding, management of your total promotional signage “real estate”, time-to-market, pricing accuracy, reduced administrative burden, localization and assortment clustering for demographics and regulatory environment, bullet-proof in-store execution and helpdesk support for marketers and stores.
From Retail Systems Research. For retailers, the “moment of truth” comes at that exact second in time when the customer gives the clerk money in exchange for merchandise. But retail payment systems are undergoing a quiet revolution. Alternative forms of payment are emerging, offering new flexibility to consumers both inside the store and in new shopping channels, and causing a gradual shift from traditional forms of payment. While some look to consumer acceptance of new payment methods as the bar to measure the potential of such innovations, RSR wanted to uncover the motivations of retailers who ultimately must decide to make these new methods available to customers.
From Precima. Factors like growing competition, the explosion of brand choice, and an overload of market noise have all led to the increasing power of the consumer and the decreasing effectiveness of traditional retail strategies. In the face of this new market reality, we see retailers and manufacturers increasingly adopt a consumer-centric strategy as the new basis for competition. Precima provides ten tips to retailers and manufacturers for adopting a comprehensive consumer centric approach to business, drawing on the data and findings from research that Precima and DemandTec commissioned from IDC Global Retail Insights, titled "Being Consumer-Centric: A Retailer and Manufacturer Update."
From ARS Interactive. The content dilemma is a published study of online website users impressions and opinions of product page content presented on online retail websites. The paper contains insights and opinions gleaned from online shoppers to indicate what is important regarding product page information and how online product information is presented across online shopping websites.
From Grant Thornton LLP. Retailers throughout the country and across nearly all sectors experienced their biggest declines in decades at the end of 2008, and continue to suffer declining sales in 2009. The economic downturn has hit the retail sector hard. But with the challenges, there also are distinct opportunities. This white paper highlights five key trends transforming the retail sector and offers tips for capitalizing on these areas of growth: buyers are choosing clicks over bricks, private-labels are gaining ground over name brands, going green is bringing in the green, a loyal customer is your best customer, and improving processes lowers costs and boost customer satisfaction
Given the realities of a global economic recession that has thrust companies into a vortex of plunging consumer demand, the rise of consumer control fueled by the ever-growing popularity of social media, and the decline of brand loyalty owing to a competitive marketplace awash with consumer choices, companies are under more pressure than ever to improve customer satisfaction and retention. At least part of the solution lies in the power of capturing, integrating, enhancing, analyzing and acting upon customer feedback. This is evidenced by a plethora of success stories that show a strong correlation between an increased focus on customer feedback as a strategic imperative and positive business outcomes. Aberdeen research findings further speak to the year-over-year improvements across several key performance indicators that companies have realized as a result of putting the right technologies, organizational resources, business processes, and performance metrics in place to achieve success with respect to their customer feedback initiatives.
Retailers constantly strive to attract new customers and retain loyal customers, at the same time competing against a myriad of other retailers who are also trying to gain and maintain many of these same customers. So how does a retailer meet the customers’ xpectations and gain a competitive advantage?
It’s an easy guess that retailers today spend a great deal more time thinking about comp store sales and store budgets than about innovation. Given retail’s pressures, it sometimes seems in fact that any concern beyond this coming Saturday is in the realm of long-range planning. Why should a conscious and planned-out drive for innovation merit center stage?
The $22 billion (US) global market research and polling industry is undergoing rapid change in response to the emergence of the Internet as a tool for the collection of information on the tastes, preferences and behaviors of consumers and citizens. Part of this change involves a revolutionary shift in a fundamental element of market research: increasingly “sample size” is no longer the sole determinant of survey costs, and new software holds the promise of allowing an unprecedented level of direct client engagement in ongoing research.
By the art of customer experience, we mean all the many strategies and techniques retailers use to engage and delight customers and inspire their behavior. This can take many forms: décor that resonates with customers’ lifestyles or aspirations; lifestyle displays that help customers understand how to integrate particular merchandise into their lives; impeccable housekeeping that demonstrates retailers’ attention to every detail that impacts the customer; pleasing scents and sounds (since the art of customer experience is multi-sensory); the ability for the customer to personalize selections, which intensifies their emotional connection to you; special services to respond to special customers’ every whim; and more.
As customers become more sophisticated, expecting more benefits and incentives to remain loyal, customer service continues to be the top priority for specialty retailers. To satisfy customer service requirements, retailers are trying to differentiate their offerings while maintaining the focus on the overall return on investment (ROI).
One key aspect of Customer Centricity is understanding and anticipating the needs of your customers and prospects. Retail execution that synchs well with customer needs, desires and goals (whether articulated or not!) will result in improved customer satisfaction, increased customer retention and higher sales (and margins).
In today's world, successful loyalty strategies must assume a more comprehensive role in the overall marketing plan—one that seeks to identify and leverage the current relationships between a company and its customers, then extends that equity to achieve a competitive advantage based upon that relationship.