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One week in, Stop & Shop strike has no end in sight

Grocery Dive – Analysts say customer loyalty could take a hit as workers picket without wages and stores remain closed or are operating on limited resources.

The picket lines outside Stop & Shop locations across New England are still in full force today, marking one week since 31,000 workers walked out of their jobs. Right now, dozens of stores across New England are still closed and others are operating on limited hours with a reduced product selection and limited staff. Peapod deliveries have been put on hold, which is a significant issue for shoppers who rely on grocery delivery.

Limited services and closed doors have pushed shoppers into competing stores. That could cause a significant number to permanently defect, particularly if the strike drags on for a long time, said David Naumann, vice president of marketing for BRP Retail Consulting Firm.

“The strike, in and of itself, won’t be what erodes customer loyalty the most. It is the opportunity that it gives competitors to impress new shoppers (former Stop & Shop customers) to join their loyalty programs and convince them to switch their allegiance to their brand,” Naumann wrote in an email to Grocery Dive.

Read Full Article: One week in, Stop & Shop strike has no end in sight

Survey: Older, younger consumers shop brick-and-mortar differently

Chain Store Age – Customer expectations of the in-store experience depend on whether they are older or younger than 38. According to a new survey of 1,298 consumers from BRP, retail consulting firm, “Consumer Shopping Habits – The Generation Gap,” digital consumers age 18-37 approach brick-and-mortar stores very differently than traditional consumers age 38 and up.

For example, digital consumers tend to want in-store technology that enables personalized shopping. Sixty-five percent want personalized recommendations, while 61% want a curated selection of products from stylists and 60% want recommendations based on what is in their closet.

Meanwhile, traditional consumers are more interested in technology that helps ensure product availability – 63% want associates to have the ability to order out-of-stock products and 60% want the ability to search in-store inventory availability.

Digital consumers are also more interested in having technology-enabled control of their in-store shopping experience – 87% say self-service options allow them to control their own experience and 71% like automated pickup and returns processes. In contrast, 60% of traditional consumers say self-service options allow them to control their own experience, while 49% say automated returns are nice but not necessary, and 41% say automated pickups are nice but not necessary.

Before entering a store, both digital and traditional consumers will use technology to research and prepare for the trip. However, digital consumers are more focused on prioritizing their purchases, while traditional consumers zero in on discounts, as demonstrated by differences in likelihood to perform the following activities:

• Compare prices (59% digital vs. 64% traditional).
• Look for offers/coupons (44% vs. 57%).
• Build a shopping list (62% vs. 49%).

Read Full Article: Survey: Older, younger consumers shop brick-and-mortar differently

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

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?

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.

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 

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