Retail Benchmarks Holiday Season 2010 - Apparel Category

Posted on December 3, 2010 by Nanette BrownComments

Who will benefit most from what promises to be a better year for consumer holiday spending? We decided to find out. We conducted 1621 mystery shops in recent weeks measuring across 9 categories at 54 retailers in 30 locations per store.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Blog

New Study Reveals Missed Opportunities For Retailers

Posted on November 30, 2010 by David RichComments

New Retail Benchmark Study Reveals Opportunity To Increase Conversion This 2010 Holiday Season

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Topics: News

Inspect What You Expect – In Store Audits Tell You What You Need to Know

Posted on November 17, 2010 by David RichComments

How do you know what’s actually happening at your store locations day-to-day? It’s not realistic to get objective information from employees. They’re your ‘frontline’ in customer service and experience – do you know whether they’re performing up to corporate standards?

In-Store Audits can tell you what’s happening ‘on the ground’, give you fresh insight and provide internal and external accountability. Do you have marketing agreements in place and the need to be accountable to brands? Do you contract out or run in-store demos? How do you know they’re being properly executed? Do you spend money for displays? How can you be certain they’re being properly set up and stocked? How do you know they’re being set up at every location? In-store audits put metrics in place so you can measure productivity, hold partners accountable and gather the information that can improve your business and your bottom line.

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Topics: Customer Experience

M-Commerce Gains Traction

Posted on November 15, 2010 by Nanette BrownComments

Reaching your customers via their mobile phones - wherever they are - combines convenience and urgency.

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Topics: Customer Experience

Using Innovative Technology to Boost Sales

Posted on November 8, 2010 by Nanette BrownComments

Shopping online has become commonplace for the American consumer – but there’s more than one new approach to making more sales – online and at brick and mortar locations.

With the season that for many retailers is ‘make-or-break’ rapidly approaching, many retailers are trying fresh approaches. Mobile shopping apps are gaining popularity, allowing retailers to send offers directly to shoppers’ phones with the aim of reaching those buyers when they’re within a short walk or drive of the stores.

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Topics: Customer Experience

Give Customers Exactly What They Want

Posted on November 1, 2010 by Nanette BrownComments

That’s precisely what the new online shopping site Plum Willow is hoping to achieve by working with teenage interns who are telling them what they like and why. Savvy and resourceful, these teens have their finger on the pulse of a group that has considerable retail purchasing power.

“They definitely aren’t shy about telling us what they like and don’t like,” says Lindsay Anvik, director of marketing at PlumWillow, who helps oversee the internship program at its offices in Manhattan.

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Topics: Customer Experience

Macy’s Shakes it Up

Posted on October 28, 2010 by Nanette BrownComments

Macy’s has a new approach to keeping things fresh. Their ‘Impulse’ department will rotate designers every two months. They’re working with top international designers to create lines especially for their stores.

The Impulse department targets younger shoppers and prices will range from $50-300. “This customer loves to shop,” said Jeff Gennette, the chief merchandising officer of Macy’s. “She wants to be in our store all the time, and we’d better be interesting.”

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Topics: Customer Experience

Amazon Breaks New Ground – Again

Posted on October 25, 2010 by Nanette BrownComments

Amazon expert and staff writer for TechFlash Eric Engelman reports that the online retail giant was just granted a patent for ‘environmentally conscious electronic transactions’. The patent envisions a system in which customers are given "a shipping option that might not be as fast, and might be more expensive, but that is more environmentally friendly in at least one way." It also suggests letting people buy carbon credits to offset the emissions generated by the packaging and shipping of their purchases.

Who would have thought you could patent slower, more expensive shipping? The patent covers many consumer options including the option to have products shipped in smaller boxes, have items packaged together and using a shipping company that has a deliberately smaller carbon footprint.

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Topics: Customer Experience

Holiday Season 2010

Posted on October 22, 2010 by Nanette BrownComments

Consumers are most interested in value and price this holiday season. Spending is up and so is bargain hunting. The National Retail Federation is forecasting holiday sales will be the best in four years. Some sources report the numbers might be stronger for online than for brick and mortar locations.

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Topics: Customer Experience

A New Twist on Geo-Targeting

Posted on October 20, 2010 by Nanette BrownComments

The North Face, the outdoor and apparel retailer is testing a new geo-targeting strategy known as ‘geo-fencing’. Customers can opt-in to receive ‘auto check-in’ service which allows North Face to send an SMS message via a smart or standard cell phone. Essentially, users are opting to be identified when they arrive and leave certain areas.

When customers opt-in to the "Summit Signals" program, they automatically receive SMS offers once they are within a 1.5 miles radius of a North Face location. Customers also receive other information relevant to their location that would be of potential interest such as hiking trails or outdoor recreation areas.

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Topics: Customer Experience

The Value of Facebook Fans

Posted on October 18, 2010 by Nanette BrownComments

Facebook wields power and influence. People are influenced by the preferences of the people they connect and communicate with online. According to a Retail Daily survey, 38% of respondents reported that they would likely become a fan of a brand if they saw a family member or close friend do so.

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Topics: Customer Experience

Strong Holiday Season Predicted

Posted on October 15, 2010 by Nanette BrownComments

The International Council of Shopping Centers released its forecast Tuesday, predicting an increase in sales during the holiday shopping season of between 3% and 3.5%.

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Topics: Customer Experience

These Are Not Your Mother’s Green Stamps

Posted on October 13, 2010 by Nanette BrownComments

Remember S&H Green Stamps? They were an incentive for grocery shoppers back in the ‘60s and early ‘70s. Spend money, get stamps, trade the stamps for goods.

Proctor and Gamble is part of a new take on this concept and are, according to AdAge.com backing a first-of-its-kind effort to reward consumers for learning and blogging about environmental sustainability. They are also underwriting a Cincinnati program that gives people points redeemable for goods based on how much they recycle.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Blog

ICC/Decision Services Launches Springboard Process Ensuring Successful, Results-Driven Customer Experience Programs

Posted on October 11, 2010 by David RichComments

ICC/Decision Services, a NYC-based international Customer Experience Management company which counts many major North American retailers as clients, announces the launch of its Springboard Process today. Designed to provide the tools necessary for the successful launch and implementation of customer experience programs, the Springboard Process gives companies the confidence they need to embark on their customer experience programs.

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Topics: News

Shopping Lists Rule – Are You On Their List?

Posted on October 11, 2010 by Nanette BrownComments

Recent studies by the NPD Group tell us impulse shopping in grocery stores is down, list-making is up. 94% of households create a list and 72% rarely or never deviate from it. The thing then, is to be on their list. Women do most, but not all the shopping and about 40% of the list is contributed to by kids.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Brand Experience

Customer Experience Update