Retail Benchmarks Holiday Season 2010 - Apparel Category

Posted by December 3, 2010 by myadminComments

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.

Read More

Topics: Customer Experience, Blog

New Study Reveals Missed Opportunities For Retailers

Posted by November 30, 2010 by David RichComments

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

Read More

Topics: News

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

Posted by 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.

Read More

Topics: Customer Experience

Customer Intercepts – Ask the Right Questions and Thrive

Posted by November 15, 2010 by David RichComments

Gaining the Edge

Business people always look for ways to gain an advantage for their company. It’s often the small (and sometime not so obvious) edge that makes all the difference in results. In the current economy, the typical apparel retail store has a conversion rate of 18%. That means 100 people walk through the doors and 82 walk out without having made a purchase. Just a small uptick in percentage can have a huge financial impact. An increase of just 5% - from 18% to 23% could result in $8,176,000 in sales per 100 stores. 5% = over $8 million dollars.

Read More

Topics: Customer Intercepts

M-Commerce Gains Traction

Posted by November 15, 2010 by myadminComments

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

Read More

Topics: Customer Experience

Mystery Shopping – a Real Value or a Real Bust?

Posted by November 11, 2010 by David RichComments

Mystery shopping is the program everyone loves to hate. Yet, it’s the only real objective retail tool available. Why is it so disrespected? Because its’ often misunderstood, poorly implemented or improperly used. Mystery shopping tells you exactly what’s happening in your stores including how employees are performing, how your displays look, how clean your stores are, how bathrooms are being maintained, how long someone waits to pay for a purchase. You work tirelessly to get it right at the corporate level, but how do you know your plans, goals and training are being properly and effectively implemented in your stores?

When done right, Mystery Shopping is a tremendous asset for retailers. Results can be used right away to improve the customer experience and to motivate employees, optimize resources and improve operations in every way. Sound big? It is. Mystery shopping is observational research at the business level and like any research, you have to know what data needs to be gathered and how to best interpret and use it. Without these metrics in place and properly carried out, the value is questionable. And like most things, something done poorly is usually worse than not doing it at all.

Read More

Topics: Mystery Shopping

Using Innovative Technology to Boost Sales

Posted by November 8, 2010 by myadminComments

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.

Read More

Topics: Customer Experience

Give Customers Exactly What They Want

Posted by November 1, 2010 by myadminComments

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.

Read More

Topics: Customer Experience

Macy’s Shakes it Up

Posted by October 28, 2010 by myadminComments

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.”

Read More

Topics: Customer Experience

Amazon Breaks New Ground – Again

Posted by October 25, 2010 by myadminComments

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.

Read More

Topics: Customer Experience