Customer Experience Stories of the Year

Posted on December 24, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

In our last entry we warned you about the coming onslaught in this, the season of lists. Today, we look at another one on retailcustomerexperience.com called the, "The 5 biggest retail customer experience stories of 2009." This list is predicated on the observation that consumers' relationships with brands has changed significantly in 2009. Only in the New Year will we find out if these changes are permanent. Here are the stories offered up in the list.

"An emphasis on value." Walmart was the big winner in 2009. Their approach defined the term "value" as being synonymous with "saving money."

"Private label brands take center stage." It's no surprise that consumers turn to store brands during tough economic times. However, this time around appears to have staying power as half of the consumers polled said that they found the product better than expected and 41 percent said that brand names are not worth the money.

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Topics: Customer Experience

Customer Service is the New Marketing

Posted on December 22, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

The end of the current year and the beginning of the new always bring many different kinds of lists: wish lists, shopping lists, resolutions, top stories of the year lists, etc. This story in Small Business Trends offers up a list of things to look forward to in 2010. It calls the customer experience the, "new marketing," and the, "only truly sustainable competitive advantage." Here are a few items from the story:

The coming year will be a good one for marketers to imprint upon their employees who interact with customers. Why? High unemployment levels will encourage employees to hold onto their jobs by being good at them. They will try harder.

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Topics: Customer Experience

The Loyal Shopper Principle

Posted on December 21, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

Pareto's Principle states that roughly 80% of effects come from 20% of the causes. In modern times, that's been altered by many to mean 20% of the people do 80% of the work. A recent study by Concept Shopping, Inc. has found that the thoughts of old Vilfreto Pareto and his observations may extend to shopper loyalty.

A story in Progressive Grocer reports on an analysis of over 2 million grocery shoppers. The results are that 10% of the store customers visit the store over twice a week and are responsible for almost 40% of the store's total sales. These customers spend over $39 on each visit.

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Topics: Customer Experience

How Fresh and Easy Listened to the Customer

Posted on December 18, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

Tesco's Fresh and Easy concept in the U.S. provides a vivid example of a company listening to the customer and making almost immediate adjustments based on that feedback. It has been almost two years since the stores started to appear on the West Coast. In that time, the company has, "done a lot of listening to customers." This interview with Steve Ryder, Store Design & Planning Director at Fresh & Easy Tesco's US operation, outlines some of the activity.

Based on customer feedback, 60 stores engaged in a re-fresh program in which stores were made more inviting and informative. Additional banners, more messages and more color was used to address what the customers were calling a "sterile" environment that made the stores appear to be "too discount" for the U.S. shopper.

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Topics: Blog

Grocery Grasping at Social Media

Posted on December 14, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

A frequent topic on this blog has been the acceptance and use of social media as part of the marketing mix of CPG companies. Last week, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) issued a report that says marketers are still in the very early stages of the process and are wrestling with just what exactly they should be doing on this new frontier of the customer experience.

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Topics: Blog

Raised Stakes for Customer Service

Posted on December 10, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

A survey conducted in the UK found that the younger the consumer, the more likely they are to leave a brand or company due to poor customer service. Research by Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories along with Datamonitor and Ovum found that each generation of consumers has a different and heightened idea about what good customer service is and should be. In business, it's said that if you aren't growing, you're dying. Based on this research, the same can be said for how you interact with your consumers, both now and in the future..

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Topics: Customer Experience

The Sin of Omission

Posted on December 9, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

The customer experience is a multi-faceted and sometimes complicated opportunity for brand marketers and retailers. But in many respects, it is remarkably simple. A survey was introduced today that reports more than 25 percent of the time, customers feel ignored. If true, this is a call to action for all involved. We must train store and service personnel to proactively see service opportunities.

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Topics: Blog

Bridging the Customer Web Experience Gap

Posted on December 7, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

Internet sales are being credited with providing some measure of relief for lagging sales at the country's top retailers. Cyber Monday should be proof that your web presence and its usability are critical to the overall cross-channel customer experience. The challenge for brand marketers and retailers becomes how to turn the focus and attention of the company web site back to marketing, since the evolution of many e-tailing sites began with IT departments and not brand marketers.

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Topics: Customer Experience

Facing Up to Facebook

Posted on December 4, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

The Big Money.com has published their list of 50 companies that are making the best use of Facebook called "The Facebook 50". Incidentally, they also have a "Twitter 12." Not surprisingly, many top brands and retailers made the list.. Coca-Cola stands at the top. According to a story on the PROMO Magazine website, these companies are using the technology to raise the bar on establishing loyal customer relationships, key to a brand marketer's success.

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Topics: Blog

Consumers Craving Gift Cards

Posted on December 2, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

The National Retail Federation tells us that gift cards are again finding favor with consumers who enjoy the flexibility of selecting their own merchandise at participating stores. The NRF says that gift cards are preferred by 55.2% of adults as a holiday gift. They choose this gift ahead of clothing, books, DVDs and electronics.

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Topics: Blog

ICC/Decision Services Launches Second of its iPhone Applications - ConversionCalc

Posted on December 1, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

The latest in iPhone applications shows retailers the dollar value resulting from increasing their conversion rates.

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Topics: News

Black Friday VIPs

Posted on November 30, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

The general consensus is that Black Friday resulted in an increase in store traffic, but a decrease in spending per shopper for some overall mild sales gains. But the big question remains, what needs to happen to turn retail browsers into retail buyers? Some brand marketers played the shopper experience card by offering VIP treatment on the busiest shopping day of the year.

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Topics: Customer Experience

Thanksgiving Weekend Shopping as a Social Event

Posted on November 27, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

Crowded stores and lines don't seem to dissuade tens of millions of shoppers from hitting the market over the Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend. Many are looking to cash in on the great deals and others are just taking advantage of some additional time off from work. The National Retail Federation is reporting that 134 million consumers will hit the stores this weekend. That's a six million person increase over last year. However, there is a developing set of consumers who have a different mindset about Black Friday. They enjoy the event.

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Topics: Customer Experience

Black Friday Launch Pad for Brand Social Media

Posted on November 25, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

There is mounting evidence in the use of social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, as an advertising medium. A prime example is the way that brand marketers are targeting Black Friday by sending out messages featuring special deals for their followers. Why? A recent blog post on Simple Thoughts quotes Deloitte Research as saying that, "One in five shoppers plans to use the sites in their holiday shopping this season."

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Topics: Customer Experience

On Target for the Holiday Shopping Experience

Posted on November 25, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

The news is awash with stories on how the country's retailers are gearing up for the mad holiday rush that begins with Black Friday. Most of the news has to do with price promotions, store hours and staffing to handle the increase in store traffic. As an example, a story on DSN Retailing Today outlines how mass market giant Target is preparing for the holiday's with the customer experience in mind.

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Topics: Customer Experience

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