JC Penney to host virtual runway

Posted on March 5, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

Consumer research concludes people are making purchasing decisions from home. The internet is the primary source consumers use for product research and base initial purchasing decisions. JC Penney is expanding their virtual marketing campaign to tap into the home-based decision shopping trend.

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Topics: Customer Experience

Customer Experience: Giveaways top in store promotions

Posted on March 2, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

This past week there has been quite a bit of news of business "giveaways" as in store promotions. Let's do the rundown:

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Topics: Customer Experience

Are you measuring your brand's presence?

Posted on March 2, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

People in the retail industry know consumer's are changing their shopping behavior. Many retailers are adapting business strategies in hopes of either stay ahead of the game or adjust in sync with consumers. As your brand or retail shop changes it's in-store advertising, product sampling, marketing, packaging, or merchandising tactic, are you measuring the results?
-Tropicana changes it's branding back due to consumer opinion.
-Target stores emphasizing food and household products over apparel.
-Kroger's expands it's store brand in ready meals.
The list of retailer and brand adaptions are endless. What have been their results?

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Topics: Customer Experience

Target's new approach, without loosing the brand

Posted on February 27, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

Target will be making major changes soon due to the new direction of consumer needs. Last quarter the retailer took a hit in sales. Consumers are spending more on food and essential items rather than Target's core of fashion and home essentials.

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Topics: Customer Experience

Listening To You Customer Market Pays Off!

Posted on February 27, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

When Hyundai first announced their promotion of the returnable car, I asked whether or not it would work to boost sales. The promo itself tapped into the true fears and concerns of Americans. There is no other way a company can be more in tune with creating a great customer experience than soothing post-purchase fears.

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Topics: Customer Experience

Customer - driven strategy

Posted on February 26, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

Customer feedback takes many forms and what you do with that information is up to the company. Harvard Business Review author Anthony W. Ulwick outlines a strategy on how to use customer feedback to boost your brand innovation.

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Topics: Customer Experience

Five Reasons to Shop Your Own Brand

Posted on February 26, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

More and more promotional dollars are being channeled towards non-traditional media. How do you make sure its money well spent?

If you're among the growing number of marketers shifting ad dollars away from traditional media into the flashier world of experiential marketing (promotions, special events, new media and more), you might want to implement some kind of strategic assessment to make sure those dollars are pulling their weight.

Unlike television and print media, the effectiveness of which can be quantified with through relatively simple metrics, assessing the success of alternative media and promotional events is best evaluated through a strategically deployed mystery shopping program.

1. You get to experience the customer's point of view.
Forget manager's reports or employee assessments. The best way to ascertain the real impact of your brand is through a carefully designed mystery shop. And not just one. Objective mystery shopper reportage from staggered or repeat visits to the same store, series of stores or event(s) will create a crystal clear picture of just where your promo is working "“ and where it's not.

2. You find out what's going right.
It seems counter-intuitive to talk about measuring experience, but that's precisely why it's worth working with an accredited mystery shopping organization. They'll help you establish a measurable set of evaluation criteria along with specific questions designed to create as accurate an assessment as possible. If you're shopping a store, for example, trained mystery shoppers can monitor every aspect of the experience, from merchandising and signage to temperature, background music, even the length of time it takes to be greeted by a sales rep.

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Topics: Mystery Shopping

Mystery Shopping: Does It Cost Too Much?

Posted on February 26, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

Is cost keeping you from collecting information that leads to higher conversions? Information programs can cost much less than you'd expect-- in some cases, as little as $35 per store.

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Topics: Blog

Customer Experience: Long-Term customer appeal

Posted on February 25, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

The retail industry is taking a harder look improving their customer experience programs. BNet.com published the American Consumer Satisfaction Index findings from the fourth quarter, to which it appears consumers are having better shopping experiences. The ACSI report also revealed Wal-Mart and Dollar General's customer's satisfaction did not increase with the industry trend.

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Topics: Customer Satisfaction

Customer Experience: Retail's recession fighting tool

Posted on February 23, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

AdAge published a very insightful article on the changing spending habits of consumers. The list includes payment methods, expendable items, and where consumers are shopping. The topic of major interest, is how consumers feel when they shop.

How Are your Consumers Feeling during shopping:
"¢ Self-conscious
"¢ Cynical
"¢ Buying based on research

Retailer's typically cannot change how a consumer pays for their goods, but they can influence how a consumer feels about spending. The research evidence shows consumers are more hesitant to spend, questioning the validity of their purchases, and basing shopping decisions on word of mouth research (primarily via the internet). Organizations who have established and continually improve customer experience can lessen the negative feelings associated with purchases.

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Topics: Customer Experience

Brand Wars: Name brands versus private label.

Posted on February 23, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

In today's economy, the retail industry is seeing consumers engage in two shopping trends. Consumer coupon use is increasing and there is a push to buy store label and generic brands.

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Topics: Customer Experience

Competitive Audits

Posted on February 22, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

Further proof that the scope and advantage of mystery shopper programs extends well beyond that of a perfunctory customer service evaluation is their effectiveness as a tool for conducting competitive audits - and for building a body of competitive intelligence that can be used to inform your own product, staffing and service-based decisions as well as long-term strategic development.

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Topics: Compliance Audit

In-Store video promotions used by Tween Brands

Posted on February 20, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

In-store video promotion is a growing trend. Meijers uses video at the point of sale and Betty Mills runs customer testimonials onsite. These are just two examples of the growing trend to use media for in-store promotions. Tween Brands is applying the same tactic but to their niche market.

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Topics: In-Store Marketing

P&G ends in-store promotional RFID tags with Wal-Mart

Posted on February 19, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

In-store promotional displays are used in retail centers across the nation. One of the issues brands endure managing promotional displays is accountability. The introduction of RFID tags allowed brands to digitally manage whether or not the displays where set up.

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Topics: In-Store Marketing

Measuring Progress is a Bottom Line Difference Maker

Posted on February 18, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

Clarifying employee expectations and creating reward and incentive schemes go hand in hand with increased sales. That's what measuring company progress can do for you. But it's "how" companies are deploying performance measurement programs that is changing the business landscape today.

Historically, gauging consumer "experiences" has been the primary responsibility of the customer service department.

But in my experience, customer service departments have become little more complaint departments. Or even worse, a place to go for customers to go and replace unwanted merchandise. Let's face it, you can't use the current customer service department model as a way to gauge the health and vibrancy of your company's customer relationships "“ it's an outmoded model that is spread too thin in terms of responsibilities and is not advanced enough to handle all the measurements that need addressing across the company.

Enter the mystery shopper.

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Topics: Mystery Shopping

Customer Experience Update