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How Bloomingdale’s is using shop-in-shops to test wider retail strategy

Glossy – Late last year, Bloomingdale’s unveiled a major new concept: a rotating shop-in-shop section called The Carousel that would see curated collections of pieces from a variety of big and small brands centered around a theme. Now on its fourth iteration, Bloomingdale’s says The Carousel has been an important lesson, not just for how to improve its shop-in-shops, but also how to improve all of its retail efforts.

“The Carousel is a great place for us to test out new brands and see how they resonate with our shopper,” said Kevin Harter, vp of integrated marketing at Bloomingdale’s. “Through our learnings from The Carousel, we have been able to determine what could be beneficial to our overall assortment. We’ve also seen success in offering a cross-shopping experience and have expanded this idea to other areas in the store.”

“As stores rotate new trendy brands into their in-store shops, they capitalize on the latest hot brands,” said David Naumann, vp of marketing at BRP, retail consulting firm. “When the stores change the in-store brand, it gives them something new for customers to explore on their next store visit. It is a great way to increase the frequency of store visits.”

“Shop-in-shops, or stores-within-stores, is a growing trend,” said Naumann “For the anchor store, it can be a great way to attract new customers that don’t typically shop at the brand, and for the [brands], it gives them a captive audience of the anchor store’s shoppers. It also offers them a cost-effective space without committing to a long-term lease.”

Read Full Article: How Bloomingdale’s is using shop-in-shops to test wider retail strategy

Why Retailers Must Seize the Post-Purchase Opportunity to Create a “Moment of Trust”

Sourcing Journal – Writing last August about the importance of the post-purchase experience, BRP Retail Consulting SVP and practice lead Jeffrey Neville described retailers as creating a “moment of trust” when they regularly communicate order and shipping updates to consumers who would otherwise be left in the dark in the oft-ignored opportunity between purchase and package delivery.

“Customers who shop without a sense of risk will feel more comfortable making repeat purchases in the future,” Neville noted. Retailers are beginning to realize the value of the post-purchase opportunity as a time to strengthen the customer relationship and brand moments typically outsourced to third-party shippers.

Retailers that enrich the post-purchase experience stand to gain greater customer loyalty, an important move, BRP said, because these customers are between five and 25 times less costly to convert and 80 percent more likely to buy again in the future.

“By crafting a post-purchase experience to minimize stress and maximize convenience, retailers make an investment in a sustained relationship with their customer,” BRP noted.

Read Full Article: Why Retailers Must Seize the Post-Purchase Opportunity to Create a “Moment of Trust”

How much damage can one bad shopping experience cause a retail brand? A lot.

USA Today – Consumers have more choices about nearly every purchase than they’ve ever had before. It’s no longer necessary to visit a physical store to buy most things, and for the vast majority of products, shoppers can pick from multiple retailers on their phone or computer.

That creates a market where people don’t have to be all that forgiving of a bad customer experience, and it makes every interaction important – especially with new customers or those who have had limited experience with a company.

Indeed, 63 percent of consumers said “it only takes one unsatisfactory shopping experience” to make them stop shopping your brand, according to BRP’s Keeping Loyal Customers Happy report.

Customer loyalty is hard to win and easy to lose. One method of delivering a positive experience is by offering a personalized touch – that’s something 44 percent of survey respondents said would lead to them making repeat visits. And nearly twice that number (79 percent) indicated that personalized service from in-store personnel would influence their store choice going forward.

“Engaging the customer through personalized and relevant experiences is the key to attracting and keeping your customers happy and continuing to shop your brand,” said Senior Vice President Perry Kramer, BRP, retail consulting firm.

One challenge for retailers in providing that personalized service is convincing consumers to share their preferences. Among survey respondents, 75 percent of millennials and Generation Zers said they were fine with being identified via their smartphone when entering a store as long as they got something in return (like a deal or special incentive); for the full survey group, it was 64 percent.

“Retailers that identify customers when they enter the store and equip their associates with the proper mobile tools can personalize the shopping experience based on customer preferences, purchase history, what’s in their closet, online browsing history, time of day, weather and their physical location – all based on real-time information and personalized to create a bond with these valuable customers,” Kramer said.

Read Full Article: How much damage can one bad shopping experience cause a retail brand? A lot.

C-Store Loyalty Plans Spur Engagement

Convenience Store Decisions – C-store loyalty programs are enticing customers, while mobile options bring new ways for retailers to engage with shoppers.

Surprise and delight programs send customers coupons for free items, especially if they haven’t been to the store in a while, something particularly useful in driving fuel-only customers into the store.

“A loyalty program linked to a mobile application is powerful for retailers who have been able to get consumers to opt into the program,” said Perry Kramer, senior vice president and practice lead, BRP, a retail consulting firm.

Using today’s technological advances such as location data, geolocation, geofencing and beacon technology, retailers can leverage their ability to connect with the consumer electronically even before they pull their vehicle onto the property.

“These tools will continue to be used to speed up drive-through and in-store lines, offer personalized marketing while at the pump and in-store marketing,” Kramer said.

Unfortunately, 63% of retailers can’t identify their customer before checkout, according to BRP’s “2019 POS/Customer Engagement Survey.” Kramer noted c-stores should continue to focus on loyalty programs that allow them to identify consumers and connect with them in a personalized way.

Read Full Article: C-Store Loyalty Plans Spur Engagement

Galeries Lafayette adds retro touch to spring shopping

Luxury Daily – French department store chain Galeries Lafayette is ushering in spring with a dose of bright color at a fashionable playground.

Through May 26, “Funorama” is popping up at the brand’s Paris Haussmann flagship store with vintage arcade games and colorful fashions. High-end retailers continue to look for interesting and interactive ways to lure shoppers away from their screens and inside stores.

“The whole idea of a ‘playground’ is fun and plays into the ‘retail is theatre’ idea of entertaining customers as part of the shopping experience,” said Kathleen Fischer, director of marketing at Boston Retail Partners, retail consulting firm. “Funorama offers customers a reason to visit by transforming the store into an exciting destination complete with Legos, creative workshops and even arcade games to appeal to their customers’ nostalgic childhood memories.” Ms. Fischer is not affiliated with Galeries Lafayette, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Read Full Article: Galeries Lafayette adds retro touch to spring shopping

How Much Damage Can 1 Bad Experience Cause a Brand?

The Motley Fool – Customers’ expectations are only getting higher, and retailers may not get a second chance to meet them.

Consumers have more choices about nearly every purchase than they’ve ever had before. It’s no longer necessary to visit a physical store to buy most things, and for the vast majority of products, shoppers can pick from multiple retailers on their phone or computer.

In some measure, the so-called retail apocalypse can be traced back to this explosion of options. Shoppers no longer have any need to put up with poor selection, a lack of in-store personnel, or poor omnichannel support at one retailer when so many other chains are doing those things right.

That creates a market where people don’t have to be all that forgiving of a bad customer experience, and it makes every interaction important — especially with new customers or those who have had limited experience with a company.

Indeed, 63% of consumers said “it only takes one unsatisfactory shopping experience” to make them stop shopping your brand, according to BRP’s Keeping Loyal Customers Happy report.

Customer loyalty is hard to win and easy to lose. One method of delivering a positive experience is by offering a personalized touch — that’s something 44% of survey respondents said would lead to them making repeat visits. And nearly twice that number (79%) indicated that personalized service from in-store personnel would influence their store choice going forward.

“Engaging the customer through personalized and relevant experiences is the key to attracting and keeping your customers happy and continuing to shop your brand,” said BRP, retail consulting firm, Senior Vice President Perry Kramer in a press release. ”

“Retailers that identify customers when they enter the store and equip their associates with the proper mobile tools can personalize the shopping experience based on customer preferences, purchase history, what’s in their closet, online browsing history, time of day, weather and their physical location — all based on real-time information and personalized to create a bond with these valuable customers,” Kramer said.

Read Full Article: How Much Damage Can 1 Bad Experience Cause a Brand?

Study Finds Disconnect Between Consumers And Retailers

MediaPost – Retailers persist in thinking that the chance of more personalized service will persuade shoppers to share information (such as email address). But it’s not quite so, according to Keeping Loyal Customers Happy, a study by BRP, retail consulting firm.

While 37% offer better service as a perk, only 22% of consumers are convinced by it. What they want is specialized offers —3 4% say so, although only 27% of retailers are providing them. Overall, 68% of consumers are more likely to shop at a store that offers personalized rewards based on loyalty.

In addition, 26% of shoppers want credit toward future purchases, a benefit being offered by only 13% of retailers.

And the option to have the customer receipt emailed is a non-starter on both sides — 17% of retailers offer it, and 13% want it. Product incentives are more popular with retailers than they are with consumers.

For this analysis, BRP compared the results of its 2018 Customer Experience/Unified Commerce benchmark study with its 2017 consumer study.

Read Full Article: Study Finds Disconnect Between Consumers And Retailers

The 80/20 Rule for Keeping Customers Happy

According to the Pareto Principle, 80% of your business will come from 20% of your customers, so it makes sense to focus on those 20% who are loyal, repeat customers as they are the most valuable to your business. Your customers expect engaging and relevant interactions and conversations across any and all channels, however, they don’t have the tolerance for complicated processes. They want and expect personalization and if they are treated well, they will reward you through additional purchases.

In fact, according to the 2017 State of Personalization Report of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers, 44% of consumers say that they will likely become repeat buyers after a personalized shopping experience with a particular company[1]. A happy customer is likely to be one that is loyal, valuable and – perhaps most importantly – a customer who will be an advocate for your brand.

So, how do you keep these loyal customers happy?

Engaging your customers through personalization and relevance is the key to attracting and keeping your customers happy so they continue to shop your brand. If you can identify your customer when she enters the store and equip your associates with the proper mobile tools, they can personalize the shopping experience based on customer context. This enables your associates to offer recommendations and promotions to your customer based on her preferences, purchase history, closet, most recent online browsing history, time of day, weather and even her physical location – all based on real-time information and personalized to create a bond with this valuable customer.

Why is this important?

Keeping loyal customers happy is critical as it only takes one unsatisfactory shopping experience for 63% of consumers to stop shopping your brand[2]. Your most valuable customers have already established their loyalty to your brand, but to keep them coming back and to encourage their advocacy of the brand, it is important to ensure each and every shopping experience in every channel, is seamless, personal and positive.

I encourage you to read the BRP SPECIAL REPORT: Keeping Loyal Customers Happy for more insights.

As always, I appreciate your thoughts and opinions on this topic.  Please share your feedback below.

Perry

[1]“The 2017 State of Personalization Report,” 2017. http://grow.segment.com/Segment-2017-Personalization-Report.pdf

[2]2019 BRP Consumer Study

Study: Consumers will trade privacy for this perk

Chain Store Age – Consumers will identify themselves when they walk into a store, for a price. According to a new study from Boston Retail Partners (BRP), “Keeping Loyal Customers Happy,” 37% of retailers offer brick-and-mortar shoppers more personalized service as an incentive to identify themselves. However, only 22% of consumers prefer personalized service in exchange for surrendering their in-store privacy.

Instead, BRP analysis shows customers are more likely to prefer monetary incentives for identifying themselves in-store. These include specialized offers (34%), product incentives (27%), and credit toward future purchases (26%).

“Engaging the customer through personalized and relevant experiences is the key to attracting and keeping your customers happy and continuing to shop your brand,” said Perry Kramer, senior VP and practice lead, BRP, retail consulting firm. “Retailers that identify customers when they enter the store and equip their associates with the proper mobile tools can personalize the shopping experience based on customer preferences, purchase history, what’s in their closet, online browsing history, time of day, weather and their physical location – all based on real-time information and personalized to create a bond with these valuable customers.”

Read Full Article: Study: Consumers will trade privacy for this perk

How To Keep Customers Happy

Convenience Store Decisions – BRP Consulting finds 63% of consumers are likely to stop shopping a brand if they have a bad experience. In an ever-evolving retail environment, keeping customers happy is more complicated and more important than ever. Today’s consumers connect with brands across multiple channels, which complicates the process of recognizing, servicing, and rewarding loyal customers.

According to BRP’s SPECIAL REPORT: Keeping Loyal Customers Happy, customers expect engaging and relevant interactions and conversations across all channels and they don’t have any tolerance for unsatisfactory shopping experiences. Customers want a personalized experience and if they are treated well, they will reward the retailer through additional purchases and brand loyalty.

“Engaging the customer through personalized and relevant experiences is the key to attracting and keeping your customers happy and continuing to shop your brand,” said Perry Kramer, senior vice president and practice lead, BRP. “Retailers that identify customers when they enter the store and equip their associates with the proper mobile tools can personalize the shopping experience based on customer preferences, purchase history, what’s in their closet, online browsing history, time of day, weather and their physical location—all based on real-time information and personalized to create a bond with these valuable customers.”

Read Full Article: How To Keep Customers Happy