Tag Archives: Retail Trade

The Retail Customer Experience Race

As the market becomes more and more crowded with new products and services, it is becoming more difficult than ever for companies to stand out from the noise. In the past, how you packaged your product was of paramount importance, along with the messaging around it. These elements are still critical, but in addition, now you need to offer your customer a unique experience.
Today, most retailers understand the inherent value of upselling, cross-selling and running specials’at the service level, these tactics maximize the marketing dollars spent getting that customer in the door. Yet small businesses are losing when it comes to capitalizing on these opportunities.

Software Advice, a resource for customer service technology reviews and comparisons, recently conducted ‘The Great Retail Experience Race: Local vs. National’ to compare the customer experience of five Austin, Texas-based retailers and five comparable national chain stores. To gather this data, a team of 20 secret shoppers conducted 200 site visits, each lasting at least 15 minutes. One of the questions they had to answer was whether employees told them about sales or specials during their visit, or if anyone tried to upsell or cross-sell them. In every industry category but one, the national store outperformed the local shop. 

Consumer Insights Executive Creates Research Excitement at BP

Diana Gabbard, consumer and shopper insights FVC at BP, is the
lead for consumer and shopper insights for the retail marketing team including
over 9,500 gas stations in the east of Rockies area.  At last year’s TMRE, Gabbard sat down with IIR’s Marc Dresner
to discuss BP’s consumer insights
that is being led by Gabbard.
With a great deal of experience in a variety of industries, she
has found the gasoline category to be very different from other retail
categories. In fact to consumers, gasoline is a very perfunctory category with
very low involvement and mostly negative emotion.
‘This leads us down a different insights path. It leads us
to a very behavioral-based foundation of research that we use to then latter up
to more of the attitudes and the choices that the consumers make,’ Gabbard
She has added several new research tools to the toolbox of
the retail marketing team. In addition, Gabbard has worked to engage and excite
the team, getting them a little bit close to the consumers and get excited
about research.
While expanding the toolkit, Gabbard wanted to get people
very comfortable and understanding the value of the different tools.  She commented, ‘It is about engaging those
stakeholders at every step of the way as well as building the trust with the
team that these techniques and tools would deliver the results that would help
transform the business.’
A lot at BP has changed since Gabbard arrived just three and
a half years ago. Today, BP is using more mixed methodological types of project
approaches, as well as a lot more technology.
‘We are really creating an excitement and the research and
insights ‘buzz’ around BP helping to represent the consumer voice,’ she said.

Check out the full interview below:

Want to learn more about this topic and hear directly from industry experts? Attend this year’s TMRE in Nashville! To register, click here.

Australians’ Retailers Tech Innovations Instore Are Paving the Way to the Future

Innovation (Photo: Seth1492)

Australian retail companies generate 292 billion in revenue annually, however only 14.6 billion of that number is from online sales. The online retail sensation, which has led to about 11 times more revenue in the US then Australia, doesn’t seem to be happening down under.

Online/Offline Convergence Instore

With two-thirds of Australians reporting that they prefer ‘brick and mortar’ retail stores it would seem to an untrained eye that IT has no place in the Australian retail industry. However, this is far from the case as Australian retail firms begin to use IT innovations to create more engaging customer experiences within traditional store settings.   An example of these innovations is storing customer demographic information through in-store video feedback.

Implementation of this video feedback technology will allow retailers to know who was shopping for their products and when. This kind of information could prove invaluable for advertisers seeking to directly target certain market segments. When new products are released retailers will be able to see who is shopping for those products and can use that information to target the corresponding market segments with their advertisements.

Data Mining in a Cashless Society

An additional retail innovation likely to impact market research is the replacement of the conventional cash register with point-of-sale devices capable of reading the increasingly popular mobile payment apps on smartphones. Instead of taking merchandise in line to wait for a cashier at a register, customers who decide they want to purchase something can just take out their smart phone and instantly purchase it.

This kind of cashless system, combined with technology like video feedback could place marketers even deeper into the mind of consumers. When consumers have the ability to make purchases at will, and marketers have the chance to actively observe how they do it, the result could be the perfect product.

The Art of the Explorers

To further explore the implications of innovative technology, social and big data, emerging methodologies  and how they will shape the future of market research, we invite you to join us at The Future of Consumer Intelligence event taking place on May 14-16, 2013 in San Francisco, California. It will be a gathering of the entire “consumer culture” collective traversing common ground across roles and industries to translate behavioral information into business opportunity together.

Jeffrey Marino is a contributing writer concentrating his focus on Business Administration, Management Information Systems, and Tech Innovations. He blogs at Fordham Nights and can be reached at JMarino@iirusa.com