Posts

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

63% of Consumers are Likely to Stop Shopping a Brand if they have an Unsatisfactory Experience, According to New BRP Report

Enhancing customer loyalty is critical to ensure success in today’s competitive environment

Boston, MA – February 19, 2019 – 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, SVP 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.”

Keeping loyal customers happy is critical as it only takes one unsatisfactory shopping experience for 63% of consumers to stop shopping your brand. The 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.

BRP’s SPECIAL REPORT: Keeping Loyal Customers Happy is based on findings from the BRP Consumer Study and the 2018 Customer Experience/Unified Commerce Survey and offers insights into how to enhance customer loyalty.

The SPECIAL REPORT: Keeping Loyal Customers Happy highlights:

CUSTOMER IDENTIFICATION

  • Customer expectations: 64% are comfortable with retailers identifying them via their mobile phone when they enter a store, as long as it means they are offered a personalized experience
  • Retailer capabilities: 63% are unable to identify their customers prior to checkout and 20% can’t identify them until after checkout or not at all

CUSTOMER IDENTIFICATION INCENTIVES

  • Customer expectations: 26% want credit or discounts towards future purchases as an incentive to allow retailers to identify them when they walk in the store
  • Retailer capabilities: 13% offer credit or discounts towards future purchases as an incentive to customers

To download BRP’s SPECIAL REPORT: Keeping Loyal Customers Happy, visit:

https://brpconsulting.com/download/2019-special-report-customer-loyalty

The SPECIAL REPORT: Keeping Loyal Customers Happy is based on findings from BRP’s 2018 Customer Experience/Unified Commerce Survey platinum sponsors are Aptos and Manhattan Associates, gold sponsors are TSYS, ECRS, enVista and PCMS, and the silver sponsor is STORIS.

About BRP

BRP is an innovative retail consulting firm dedicated to providing superior service and enduring value to our clients. BRP combines its consultants’ deep retail business knowledge and cross-functional capabilities to deliver superior design and implementation of strategy, technology, and process solutions. The firm’s unique combination of industry focus, knowledge-based approach, and rapid, end-to-end solution deployment helps clients to achieve their business potential. BRP’s consulting services include:

Strategy | Business Intelligence | Business Process Optimization | Point of Sale (POS)
Mobile POS | Payment Security | E-Commerce | Store Systems and Operations | CRM
Unified Commerce | Customer Experience | Order Management | Networks
Merchandise Management | Supply Chain | Private Equity

For more information on BRP, visit http://www.brpconsulting.com.

What Do Consumers Want From a Retail Store?

The Motley Fool – A new survey on shopping satisfaction indicates it may not be what you think. It’s often easier to shop from home than it is to visit a store, but that does not mean brick-and-mortar retailers have no advantages over their digital rivals. Traditional stores can obviously offer shoppers the ability to handle merchandise, try it on, and see exactly what it looks like. That can minimize returns and lead to higher customer satisfaction. But it’s not the most important thing to consumers, according to a new study from BRP.

The retail management consulting firm found that 79% of survey respondents “indicated personalized service from a sales associate was an important factor in determining at which store they choose to shop.” The study also found that 64% of consumers “are comfortable with retailers identifying them via their mobile phone when they enter a store, as long as it means they are offered a personalized experience.”

Consumers want the same thing in a brick-and-mortar store, but they want personalized service from a person. That’s not as easy to deliver as technology-based suggestions, but it has the potential to be more rewarding.

“Effective customer engagement requires retailers to offer a personalized, relevant, compelling and consistent experience across channels,” said BRP Principal Ken Morris in a press release. “In today’s crowded and highly competitive market, personalization is a critical component for optimizing the customer’s shopping experience.”

Read Full Article: What Do Consumers Want From a Retail Store?

In a sneaker market dominated by resale, Foot Locker is aiming to stay relevant

Glossy – Last week, Foot Locker invested $100 million into sneaker resale platform GOAT, which merged with boutique brick-and-mortar sneaker reseller Flight Club last year. The investment is reportedly the largest-ever single investment into a sneaker resale platform, dwarfing similar investments like the $44 million investment StockX got from Google’s investment arm GV and Battery Ventures last year. (Stadium Goods received an undisclosed amount from LVMH in February 2018.)

This news is proof that sneaker resale is a huge market. The major platforms like GOAT, StockX and Stadium Goods are all worth well over $100 million each. Stadium Goods was acquired by Farfetch earlier this year for $250 million. While Foot Locker is by no means a bit player in the sneaker world, it is clear that resellers have a lot of buzz and dollars floating around them. By investing heavily into GOAT, Foot Locker seems to be planning for the future by making itself more visible to lucrative sneakerheads.

“The greatest benefit to Foot Locker in investing in GOAT is the potential to elevate its brand among sneakerheads,” said David Naumann, vp of marketing at BRP, retail consulting firm. “Sneakerheads are extremely passionate. Associating Foot Locker with GOAT and making their stores a location to order or pick up their cool shoes will make sneakerheads think more highly of Foot Locker. They may even pick up another standard shoe or T-shirt or something while they’re in the store.”

Read Full Article: In a sneaker market dominated by resale, Foot Locker is aiming to stay relevant 

SGB Media – According to findings from the BRP (retail consulting firm) Consumer Study and the 20th Annual POS/Customer Engagement Survey Consumer Study, 79 percent of consumers indicated personalized service from a sales associate was an important factor in determining at which store they choose to shop. Of the consumer respondents, 64 percent are comfortable with retailers identifying them via their mobile phone when they enter a store, as long as it means they are offered a personalized experience. Yet the study found that 63 percent of retailers surveyed are unable to identify their customers prior to checkout and 20 percent can’t identify them until after checkout or not at all. About half (53 percent) indicated that personalization is one of their top customer engagement priorities for 2019. Said Ken Morris, principal at BRP. in a statement, “In today’s crowded and highly competitive market, personalization is a critical component for optimizing the customer’s shopping experience.”

Read Full Article: Nearly 80 Of Consumers Want A Personalized In-Store Experience

The Post-Purchase Experience Is Essential to Retaining Customers

CRM Magazine – It’s a well-established fact that repeat customers are more valuable to businesses than new ones, but e-commerce retailers remain focused on acquiring the latter, according to a recent report from BRP, retail consulting firm.

Online businesses also miss another crucial opportunity, the report finds. Specifically, after customers make online purchases, they enter a period of uncertainty, unsure of whether their products will arrive on time and in one piece. By providing regular updates on the status of the order, retailers can transform this period of doubt into a trust-affirming one. Removing that risk makes customers more likely to make repeat purchases.

For setting expectations before the customer clicks the buy button, Jeffrey Neville, senior vice president and practice lead at BRP, says retailers need to ensure that shipping and return information is “clear, concise, and conveniently displayed.”

Then companies need to provide notifications at the five major stages in the delivery process—order confirmation, item dispatched, in transit, out for delivery, and delivery, the report maintains. Doing so will keep customers engaged and informed.

As for simplifying the return process, Neville states that doing so “increases customer satisfaction and loyalty.” In the report, he points out that including an adhesive, preprinted, prepaid shipping label with every package is essential, though it can also be helpful to let customers generate their own shipping labels through other channels if needed.

Read Full Article: The Post-Purchase Experience Is Essential to Retaining Customers

Coming to a city near you: Ikea, new and (maybe) improved

Retail Dive – The furniture retailer is opening 30 small-store concepts in urban areas and refocusing e-commerce and delivery efforts. Will that lure millennials? The Swedish retailer recently announced it will open around 30 urban store concepts over the next two years. These stores will differ from the big-box warehouses many have come to associate with the company. Instead, they will have a more experiential concept, creating mock ups of rooms within the store to showcase products.

As Ikea refocuses its business plan, the discussion forum on RetailWire asked its BrainTrust panel of retail experts the following questions:

  • Do you see Ikea’s shift to smaller, city-center stores and heightened focus on online delivery as smart moves?
  • What should the company retain from the traditional IKEA business model?

Here are comments from Ken Morris, principal at BRP, retail consulting firm.

“Retail is an extremely competitive industry that has arrived at a state where retailers need to evolve or die. Ikea is evolving by experimenting with new formats and shopping and delivery options for consumers. I wouldn’t classify this as radical transformation as they are tweaking their proven concepts by adding urban locations, assembly, delivery and e-commerce.
As they tweak their retail formats, they should retain the traditional iconic core products and services that customers know and love: Frakta Shopping bag, Poäng chair, Swedish meatballs and lingonberry jam while adding accessibility, delivery and relief from the annoying assembly nightmare that sometimes exists.”

Read Full Article: Coming to a city near you: Ikea, new and (maybe) improved

Satisfying Return Policies Can Lead to Loyalty

eMarketer – Return policies used to be viewed as a necessary evil. Behind the scenes, logistics can create a lot of headaches for retailers, but consumers expect a seamless process. Flexible returns have also become a differentiating factor that can make or break customer loyalty.

More online buyers means there are also likely to be more returns and exchanges. Plus, “bracketing,” the practice of buying multiple versions of an item to determine the one a shopper likes best and returning the rest, is becoming a common practice.

According to a September survey of digital buyers who had returned an item in the past six months by Narvar, 41% of digital buyers say they use bracketing some of the time; luxury shoppers do this at an even higher rate (51%).

According to the study, 96% said they would give a retailer repeat business based on a good returns experience. The biggest turn-offs are having to pay for return shipping (69%), restocking fees (67%) and difficulty finding the return policy (33%).

Retailers can be slow to meet consumers’ needs, creating a contentious relationship. In a BRP (retail consulting firm) study, 68% of US shoppers said they would be more inclined to shop on a merchant’s site that offered automated returns capability, i.e., being provided with return labels or having refunds triggered when a shipper scans the returned package. But only 8% of retailers said they offer this feature.

Read full article: Satisfying Return Policies Can Lead to Loyalty

Brand collaborations lead to double exposure for retailers

Luxury Daily – To capture consumer attention, a growing number of retailers and department stores have partnered with luxury brands to create more engaging campaigns. From ecommerce fashion retailer MyTheresa to department store chain Barneys New York, collaborating with high-end labels allows these retailers to leverage brand enthusiasm into larger audiences. However, such campaigns can also dilute retailers’ own carefully-crafted brands.

“While sharing the limelight with another brand does take away some of the focus on a department stores brand; if done well, it can enhance the store’s brand reputation by being associated with a luxury brand that consumers love,” said David Naumann, vice president of marketing at Boston Retail Partners, retail consulting firm.

Italian fashion label Versace is introducing its sunglasses collection to Barneys, and a new short gave shoppers a glimpse at the eyewear. Clad in Versace prints, a model posed with different pairs of Versace sunglasses outside of New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral, bringing the house’s Italian sensibility to the streets of New York.

“Partnering with brands on marketing and advertising campaigns has two key benefits for departments stores – leveraging brand passion and reduced costs,” Mr. Naumann said.

Read Full Article: Brand collaborations lead to double exposure for retailers

Why catalogs still have a hold on holiday marketing

Retail Dive – Many retailers have turned into fourth-quarter catalogers to cash in on the season’s sentimentality, while shoppers are crossing “irrelevant email marketing” off their lists this year.

Catalogs might be aimed at inspiration, but the hope is that the visual inspiration leads to a purchase, whether it be through the catalog, online or through a visit to the store. In that way, catalogs aren’t too different from the showroom format that retailers like Bonobos rely on, according to Ken Morris, a principal at Boston Retail Partners. It’s a trend he calls “catalog rooming” — where a customer uses a retailer’s holiday catalog to discover products and then heads into the store to see it in person and try it on, either finishing the purchase there or coming home to buy it online. 

It’s also a way to bring customers who might not have shopped in a while back into the fold, as retailers generally send out their holiday catalogs to a broader array of shoppers than they do the rest of the year. As long as they’re making $0.20 on every dollar they spend on a customer, the catalog will keep coming, Morris says — and the holidays provide more potential than the rest of the year for a big profit.

“Some of them, they’re in the red for nine months of the year and then the final three months of the year they go into the black and start to make a profit and hopefully that covers the loss,” Morris said, noting that depending on how sophisticated the retailer is, catalogs might also be tailored, placing a customer in one of a certain number of categories with different material in each. “It’s to the demographic that I fit into because they know what I buy — they know what’s in my closet, they know what’s in your closet.”

Read Full Article: Why catalogs still have a hold on holiday marketing