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BRP Report Shows Post-Purchase Experience Important Too

Convenience Store Decisions – As retailers prepare for the 2018 holiday season, BRP warns focusing on loyalty post-purchase is a key strategy in building your brand.

According to a new report from Boston Retail Partners (BRP), the post-purchase experience is not getting the attention it deserves as retailers focus more on customer acquisition than loyalty.

BRP published the Best Practices for Enhancing the Post-Purchase Experience report to address the importance of the time between the customer clicking the buy button and the customer receiving and using the product. This is your customers’ most recent experience with your company and impacts the feelings they share with friends and family and the relationship they have with your brand. The satisfaction level during the post purchase experience has a direct correlation on a customer’s decision to buy again, or not.

Retailers that meet or exceed post-purchase customer experience expectations create a unique brand experience that customers will “share” with others personally and on social media. Exceptional post-purchase customer experiences also inspire customers to build long-term relationship with brands.

“Retailers who communicate regular updates and reassurances on order and delivery status to customers create a moment of trust with the brand,” said Jeffrey Neville, senior vice president and practice lead, BRP. “Customers who shop without a sense of risk will feel more comfortable making repeat purchases in the future.”

Read Full Article: BRP Report Shows Post-Purchase Experience Important Too

New Report from BRP Offers Best Practices for Enhancing the Post-Purchase Customer Experience in Preparation for Holiday 2018

95% of Customers that are Satisfied with the Returns Process will Purchase from a Retailer Again

Boston, MA – August 15, 2018– According to a new report from BRP, the post-purchase experience is not getting the attention it deserves as retailers focus more on customer acquisition than loyalty. BRP published the Best Practices for Enhancing the Post-Purchase Experience report to address the importance of the time between the customer clicking the buy button and the customer receiving and using the product. This is your customers’ most recent experience with your company and impacts the feelings they share with friends and family and the relationship they have with your brand. The satisfaction level during the post purchase experience has a direct correlation on a customer’s decision to buy again, or not.

Retailers that meet or exceed post-purchase customer experience expectations create a unique brand experience that customers will “share” with others personally and on social media. Exceptional post-purchase customer experiences also inspire customers to build long-term relationship with brands.

“Retailers who communicate regular updates and reassurances on order and delivery status to customers create a moment of trust with the brand,” said Jeffrey Neville, senior vice president and practice lead, BRP. “Customers who shop without a sense of risk will feel more comfortable making repeat purchases in the future.”

By crafting a post-purchase experience to minimize friction and maximize convenience, retailers make an investment in a sustained relationship with their customer. Enhancing your post-purchase customer experience doesn’t necessarily mean investing heavily in the latest technologies – it’s all about making the experience easy and transparent. Best practices that create a welcome and trusting experience for your customers to return time after time include:

  1. Set customer expectations before the click “Buy”
  2. Communicate tirelessly
  3. Set a fair and competitive return policy
  4. Simplify the return process
  5. Deliver your products in professional packaging
  6. Turn a digital experience into an omni-channel experience
  7. Use your stores for something more
  8. Gather customer feedback

To download Best Practices for Enhancing the Post-Purchase Experience, visit: https://brpconsulting.com/download/2018-post-purchase-experience-white-paper/

About BRP

BRP is an innovative retail management 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.

Are you Offering Shoppers the Digital Experience they Expect?

New research identifies gaps between customer expectations and retail execution when it comes to digital experiences.

According to the Retail’s Digital Crossroads: The Race to Meet Shopper Expectations report, based on research conducted by Incisiv, there is a disconnect between customer expectations and retail execution. The research combines findings from surveys of 1,212 retail consumers and 60 retail executives to understand the effect digital has on the shopping experience.

“The digital divide in retail is growing, as over 75% of retail shopping traverses the digital realm, but less than half of retailers deliver on the most important digital capabilities that customers desire,” said Brian Brunk, principal, BRP. “Further, very few retailers offer the next generation digital technologies, like automated returns and proximity-triggered mobile coupons, that could significantly influence future purchase decisions. Retailers must transform and quickly close the digital gap to remain relevant with their customer.

Consumers are no longer confined to a linear buying journey and expect greater convenience and empowerment to shop the way they want and where they want. Digital sits at the core of that promise and it’s no surprise that most consumers research prices, reviews and product information before they set foot into a store and when they are in the store they perform these actions on their mobile devices.

“Mobile devices and the capabilities they enable are the primary catalyst for the continued evolution of the customer experience,” said Ryan Grogman, senior vice president and practice lead, BRP. “The majority of today’s consumers research products and brands digitally prior to visiting a physical store and, once they are in the store, about half of them use their mobile devices to perform price comparisons, read product reviews, and even validate inventory.”

Consumers are more likely to shop at retailers that align next-gen technologies to their digital preferences; however, in many cases, retailers don’t offer the capabilities that impact consumers’ shopping preferences.

Proximity-triggered Mobile Coupons – Consumers value digital discounts and promotions on their mobile devices. 

  • 65% of customers would more likely shop at a retail brand that offered this capability
  • 8% of retailers offer this capability

Augmented Reality Experience – Many consumers appreciate the opportunity to see products in a virtual environment.

  • 48% of customers would more likely shop at a retail brand that offered this capability
  • 15% of retailers offer this capability

Automated Returns Process – Consumers expect the returns process to be easy and frictionless.

  • 68% of customers would more likely shop at a retail brand that offered this capability
  • 8% of retailers offer this capability

I encourage you to download and read the complete Retail’s Digital Crossroads: The Race to Meet Shopper Expectations report:

DOWNLOAD NOW

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

David

Tod’s taps WeChat’s ecommerce capabilities to launch influencer collection

Luxury Daily – Italian fashion label Tod’s is partnering with Chinese social network WeChat and influencer Mr. Bags for a new digital pop-up shop.

The pop-up combines editorial content with shopping, allowing customers to learn more about the products and their creation before making the purchase directly through WeChat. The collaboration emphasizes not only the importance of ecommerce but also the continued crossover between European luxury and China.

“Digital pop-up shops are following in the footsteps of physical pop-up shops that are currently a hot retail trend,” said Jeffrey Neville, senior vice president and practice lead at Boston Retail Partners, Boston. “Pop-ups appeal to consumers because they offer access to limited-run merchandise that continually changes.

“From a brand perspective, digital pop-ups expose customers that don’t normally shop a brand to their product, create a sense of urgency to ‘buy before it’s gone’ and present an opportunity for retailers to move slow-moving or over-inventoried products.”

“Retailers need to move beyond worrying about Amazon to finding creative ways to leverage platforms and/or partnerships that quickly expose their products to more customers while creating brand loyalty to drive incremental revenues,” Boston Retail Partners’ Mr. Neville said. “Tod’s use of WeChat’s Mini Program is a smart strategy to extend the reach of the limited-time, exclusive pop-up shop and make the purchase frictionless with WeChat Pay.

“The WeChat Mini Program is a logical extension to WeChat’s globally dominant platform, with more than 1 billion active users, that combines chat, social media and payments.”

“Consumers expect personalized shopping experiences and curated assortments,” Mr. Neville said. “Pop-up shops help consumers identify with brands that resonate with them.

“Luxury brands that offer curated products in online pop-up shops that are promoted to individuals based on customer context will have the greatest success,” he said.

Read Full Article: Tod’s taps WeChat’s ecommerce capabilities to launch influencer collection

Social Commerce Best Practices: Optimize Mobile, Match Products To Platform Strengths

 

Retail TouchPoints – Social media is no longer just a place for building brand awareness or loyalty: it’s another potential storefront, a frontier where the customer journey can take on fresh new forms. There are approximately 3.2 billion active social media users today, according to Hootsuite. The major platforms have enormous audiences that are too big to ignore.

The vast majority of retailers already are active on social media, with 92% of brands using two or more channels, according to Brandwatch. However, engaging in social commerce takes greater effort than just maintaining a presence on a social media platform, and the process of delivering sales through these third-party sites carries its own unique risks and rewards. Joining social commerce early adopters such as Burberry and Target, are brands such as apparel retailer MM.LaFleur that are just beginning to explore this terrain.

“Big-ticket items that typically involve a lot of research and consultation from a sales associate are not as conducive for social commerce,” said Jeffrey Neville, SVP and Practice Lead at Boston Retail Partners in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “However, social media does open the door for consumers to dialog with a retail associate to move them down the path to purchase.”

MM.LaFleur has used social media both for relationship building and driving incremental revenue, according to Neville. The retailer’s Instagram presence has been driving sales online, and it uses the tools provided by social media to empower in-store associates, inspiring trust in shoppers and helping them choose the right merchandise.

Read Full Article: Social Commerce Best Practices: Optimize Mobile, Match Products To Platform Strengths

5 Important Consumer Demands Retailers Need to Know

Material Handling & Logistics – Last mile logistics are a complex undertaking that has recently been at the forefront of the dialogue around the “Amazon Effect” and how it impacts consumers, retailers and logistics companies alike. Consumer expectations for faster delivery times are growing rapidly, and retailers are tirelessly strategizing ways to provide these services. And logistics companies are looking toward new technology to make the last mile of delivery more efficient and less costly.

Nearly two times as many consumers say they took advantage of same-day delivery in the last 12 months versus the year prior. And consumers aren’t happy when same-day isn’t an option: nearly 1/3 of consumers now say they feel ‘frustrated’ when a company doesn’t offer same-day delivery.

Delivery speed has become a crucial aspect of the online shopping experience and a major decision factor for online shoppers. 53% of consumers have abandoned a purchase because of slow delivery times. That’s a lot of missed opportunity!

Over the last year, we’ve seen a number of retailers add same-day delivery to their options at checkout. In fact, Boston Retail Partners’ 2017 Digital Commerce Survey showed that same-day delivery was offered by 51% of retailers in 2017. While that may sound like retailers are making real inroads, more than half described their service as “implemented and needs improvement.”

Read Full Article: 5 Important Consumer Demands Retailers Need to Know

Deliver Us From Amazon: Why The E-Commerce Titan May Not Win The Same-Day

Investor’s Business Daily – Roadie, a startup that gets everyday folks to deliver packages while on their way to wherever they’re already driving, has notched a lot of oddball same-day delivery jobs that Amazon (AMZN) doesn’t do. A glass aquarium from Fountain Valley to Long Beach, Calif. A set of keys to someone locked out of her house in Georgia at 2 a.m. A box of trial evidence from San Francisco to Napa in time for a panicked lawyer’s court date.

The driving force behind this latest retail trend, as ever, is Amazon. Its Prime same-day delivery service follows a free-shipping perk that is now a de facto requirement for online shopping. But after scrambling to catch up to Amazon on free shipping, these old brick-and-mortar titans are rushing to stay ahead of the e-commerce giant on same-day delivery. And this next online battleground might actually tilt in their favor, some analysts say.

Speedy delivery doesn’t come cheap. Customers could pay anywhere from $5.99 to $9.99 per shipment for the pleasure. But demand continues to mount, which makes it “absolutely essential” for retailers in order to compete in this “instant-gratification economy,” said Retail Metrics head Ken Perkins, who thinks one-hour delivery might be the next goal. “People want to see a package on their door when they return from work.”

Boston Retail Partners analyst Scott Langdoc knows that serious pain. As a former C-suite exec at “mini-Webvan” delivery company PDQuick at the start of the new millennium, he says that Google Maps would have made all the difference.

“If I had the tools that are available today, starting with Google Maps but fast-forwarding to the (artificial intelligence and machine learning) tools that are available today, it’s amazing to think what I could’ve done at my scale or what Webvan or Kozmo could’ve done at their scale,” he said.

Like many of its peers of the time, PDQuick didn’t survive. It was bought out and went back to its roots as a scaled-down SoCal neighborhood delivery service, Pink Dot.

“What we’d intended to do before the 2001 implosion was basically do what Shipt did, which was to generalize the delivery and logistics capability for any retail platform so we could bring in inventory. A retailer brought in drivers and you would be able, based on location, to provide that capability,” said Langdoc.

“Fast forward 15 years, that is what Shipt is; that is what Instacart is.”

Read Full Article: Deliver Us From Amazon: Why The E-Commerce Titan May Not Win The Same-Day

How Smaller Merchants Can Get Amazon-Style Logistics

PYMNTS.com – Divey Gulati knows firsthand how challenging it can be for eCommerce merchants to fulfill and mail orders. After all, Gulati and a co-founder once had their own eCommerce business.

While Gulati and his co-founder managed to automate practically every function, there was just one piece of their business they couldn’t wrap their heads around — shipping and logistics.

As a result, Gulati helped build ShipBob, which provides merchants with Amazon-style logistics. An end-to-end fulfillment solution, the company provides warehousing for customers and package delivery in one to two business days, along with additional software features that help merchants manage their inventory.

 

The company is also eyeing same-day delivery, since the market is trending strongly toward same-day delivery. According to the “2017 Digital Commerce Benchmark Survey,” conducted by Boston Retail Partners, some 65 percent of retailers will offer same-day delivery within the next two years.

As of 2017, 51 percent of retailers said they offer same-day delivery, a massive jump from the 16 percent offering it only a year before. Increasingly popular and helping to make those same-day deliveries happen, third-party apps like Uber and Lyft have moved up from 20 percent of the same-day market to 32 percent over 12 months.

In all, consumers want their purchases on their doorsteps faster than ever before. Two-day shipping just may not cut it in the future.

Read Full Article: How Smaller Merchants Can Get Amazon-Style Logistics

‘It’s the way of the future’: Express debuts a new store concept for the modern worker

Glossy – Today, Express launched a new store concept in NYC dedicated to the modern worker. It’s a testing ground for a number of experiential activations the 38-year-old retailer could roll out to its 600-plus stores.

Located on Madison Avenue in Manhattan, the longstanding store has been revamped to feature product “stories” dedicated to a variety of work styles — for example, there’s a space for the office worker and one for the more creative type. There’s also a lounge-style workspace, equipped with charging stations and WiFi. Kornberg expects that shoppers will browse, work, stay a while. The fact that updates mirror American malls’ buzzy transition to lifestyle centers was no mistake.

With its new concept store, the retailer is moving in the right direction, said David Naumann, vp of marketing at consulting firm Boston Retail Partners. “Stores must now encompass both worlds — the sensory experience generally available in the physical world, and the unique and personalized shopping experience common in the digital world,” he said. “To meet consumer expectations and survive in today’s challenging retail climate, most retailers will need to transform their retail and customer engagement models to be successful.”

Read Full Article: ‘It’s the way of the future’: Express debuts a new store concept for the modern worker

Nordstrom Deals Raise Question: Should Retailers Acquire Tech Startups?

Forbes – Nordstrom is the latest retailer trying to fill in its digital gaps through acquisitions. The department store chain last week announced the acquisition of two tech startup companies, BevyUp and MessageYes.

BevyUp is a digital selling platform that Nordstrom intends to integrate into a new app for its employees later this year. MessageYes is a conversational commerce platform that allows shoppers to interact with a retailer via text message and receive AI-generated personalized recommendations. Nordstrom expects to increase its facility with engineering, data science and machine learning through that acquisition.

While acquisition is emerging as a popular way for companies to boost their digital operations, some members of the RetailWire BrainTrust wondered in an online discussion last week if it makes sense for Nordstrom.

 

 

“Owning the development and innovation of new technology gives retailers ultimate direction and control over new feature design,” said Ken Morris, principal at Boston Retail Partners. “However, this also has the potential of costing more than buying/licensing technology it could take some executive focus away from their core responsibility of increasing sales and enhancing the customer experience. You can still be a technology-focused retailer without owning the product.”

Read Full Article: Nordstrom Deals Raise Question: Should Retailers Acquire Tech Startups?