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Tech Viewpoint: Three unexpected findings from NRF 2019

Chain Store Age – The NRF Big Show exhibit floor always throws a few curve balls, and that’s a good thing.

Before NRF 2019, I posted a column discussing three tech trends to watch. In what will come as a surprise to nobody who knows me, I didn’t exactly get it right. Here are three findings from the Big Show indicating where retail is truly heading this year.

Mobile is table stakes

Channels are so 2018

“Retail is theater,” according to BRP, retail consulting firm, principal, Ken Morris. There are no more channels, only different stages to perform the single task of getting customers the products they want, when and where they want them.

You can’t change the weather–but you can plan for it

Read Full Article: Tech Viewpoint: Three unexpected findings from NRF 2019

Survey: Personalized Engagement Tops Retailers’ Must-Do List

HFN – Engaging customers with personalized and relevant messages are the keys to customer loyalty, according to the BRP 20th annual POS/Customer Engagement Benchmark Survey.

“As customer expectations for an increasingly customized experience increase and evolve, retailers are adopting new ways to identify customers and personalize their shopping journey,” said Perry Kramer, senior vice president and practice lead at BRP, a retail consulting firm.

“Retailers continue to offer more mobile services from a consumer-facing and associate-facing perspective that include personalized recommendations, loyalty rewards, coupons, discounts and promotions,” said Kramer, who noted that 63 percent of retailers plan to implement the ability for customers to use their own mobile device as a POS device within three years.

Read Full Article: Survey: Personalized Engagement Tops Retailers’ Must-Do List

Luxury retailers need to compete with mass brands in personalization: report

Luxury Daily – Personalization in a bricks-and-mortar experience has become just as important as it is in digital, and with mass consumers expecting an elevated individualized experience, luxury brands need to work harder at delivering customized retail.

A new survey from Boston Retail Partners shows that 79 percent of consumers believe that a personalized experience from a sales associate is an important driving factor in deciding where to shop. More than half of all retailers are focusing on personalization within stores for 2019, making it more important for luxury brands to heighten their customer service.

“A key takeaway from this year’s POS survey is that retail continues to rapidly evolve, with consumers as the catalyst and their constantly increasing expectations for a better shopping experience, including more personalization and an improved mobile experience,” said Brian Brunk, principal at BRP. “In the uber-competitive retail environment, retailers need to adapt quickly to new customer expectations.

Read Full Article: Luxury retailers need to compete with mass brands in personalization: report

BRP Report Outlines Top Customer Engagement Priorities

Convenience Store Decisions – A majority of retailers set sights on finding unified commerce solutions within next three years. Customer expectations are continuing to shift, and retailers are looking for new ways to achieve customer engagement.

Customers want to shop wherever and whenever they want with the benefits of both the digital and physical experience. As retailers look for ways to differentiate in today’s highly competitive market, customer engagement strategies like personalization, mobile experience and real-time retail are critical components for optimizing the customer’s shopping experience.

In fact, according to the recent BRP Consumer Study, 79% said personalized service from a sales associate was an important factor in determining at which store they choose to shop. Retailers understand the importance of personalization as 53% are focused on this for 2019, according to the 20th Annual POS/Customer Engagement Benchmark Survey.

Read Full Article: BRP Report Outlines Top Customer Engagement Priorities

Survey: Personalization critical component of in-store experience

Chain Store Age – Engaging in-store customers with personalized and relevant messaging is key to loyalty, according to a new survey.

The 20th Annual POS/Customer Engagement Benchmark Survey from Boston Retail Partners shows 79% of consumer respondents said personalized service from a sales associate is an important factor in determining at which store they choose to shop. In turn, 53% of surveyed retailers indicated personalization is one of their top customer engagement priorities.

Survey results also demonstrate that in-store customers increasingly expect an omnichannel shopping experience. Sixty-three percent of surveyed consumers use their mobile phone while shopping in a store to compare prices, look for offers/coupons, check inventory availability, etc.

Read Full Article: Survey: Personalization critical component of in-store experience

Personalization, Mobile Experience, and Real-Time Retail are Top Customer Engagement Priorities, According to New BRP Report

94% of Retailers Plan to Have Unified Commerce within Three Years

Boston, MA – January 9, 2018– Customers want to shop wherever and whenever they want with the benefits of both the digital and physical experience. As retailers look for ways to differentiate in today’s highly competitive market, customer engagement strategies like personalization, mobile experience and real-time retail are critical components for optimizing the customer’s shopping experience. In fact, according to the recent BRP Consumer Study, 79% said personalized service from a sales associate was an important factor in determining at which store they choose to shop. Retailers understand the importance of personalization as 53% are focused on this for 2019, according to the 20th Annual POS/Customer Engagement Benchmark Survey.

Retailers understand the imperative for change, as 94% of retailers, up from 81% last year, have indicated that they have or plan to implement a single unified commerce platform within the next three years. “It is time to reimagine the customer engagement model as yesterday’s retail is dead, and agility is paramount as retail continues to rapidly evolve,” said Brian Brunk, principal at BRP. “Key to this agility and transformation is a single commerce platform. Victory belongs to the agile.”

“As customer expectations for an increasingly customized experience increase and evolve, retailers are adopting new ways to identify customers and personalize their shopping journey,” said Perry Kramer, senior vice president and practice lead at BRP. “Retailers continue to offer more mobile services from a consumer-facing and associate-facing perspective that include personalized recommendations, loyalty rewards, coupons, discounts and promotions. It is also interesting to note that 63% of retailers plan on having the ability to use a customer owned mobile device as a POS device within three years.”

BRP’s 20th Annual POS/Customer Engagement Survey of top North American retailers offers insights into retailers’ current priorities and initiatives as digital and physical retail environments converge to facilitate a seamless experience across channels.

The key customer experience trends driving today’s initiatives are:

PERSONAL – Engaging the customer with personalized and relevant messaging is the key to customer loyalty

  • 79% of consumers said personalized service from a sales associate is an important factor in determining at which store they choose to shop
  • 53% of retailers indicate that personalization is one of their top customer engagement priorities

MOBILE – The pervasiveness and ease-of-use of mobile devices offers tremendous opportunities for retailers

  • 63% of consumers use their mobile phone while shopping in a store to compare prices, look for offers/coupons, check inventory availability, etc.
  • 49% of retailers indicate that the customer mobile experience is one of their top customer engagement priorities

SEAMLESS – Today’s customer journey crisscrosses channels, requiring the retailer to provide a seamless, personalized experience

  • 56% of consumers indicate they are more likely to shop at a retailer that allows them to have a shared cart across channels
  • 94% of retailers have or plan to implement a single unified commerce platform within three years, up from 81% last year

SECURE – Today’s retail environment requires security beyond retailers’ current focus on payments and networks

  • 50% of consumers are likely to allow retailers to save purchase history, personal preferences and personal details if it eases the checkout process and allows for more personalized offers
  • 61% of retailers have implemented end-to-end encryption to offer customers greater security of their personal and payment data

To download the complete 20th Annual POS/CustomerEngagement Benchmarking Survey, visit:

https://brpconsulting.com/download/2019-pos-survey/.

The POS/Customer Engagement Survey platinum sponsor is TSYS, the gold sponsors are Aptos, Diebold Nixdorf, ECRS and Fujitsu, and the silver sponsor is STORIS.

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.

Despite Push For Personalization, Just 18% Of Retailers Identify Shoppers In-Store

Retail TouchPoints – A robust 61% of retailers plan to use customer-identifying technology in their stores within three years. However, there’s a lot of work to be done to turn these plans into realities: only 18% of retailers currently use this technology, and just 4% say it is implemented and working well, according to the 2018 Digital Commerce Survey from BRP, retail consulting firm.

Even when retailers are able to identify the customer in the store, in many cases this doesn’t occur until the point of checkout — too late for associates to personalize the shopper’s experience. This delay presents a challenge for retailers, especially since 51% of shoppers feel it is important to get a personalized experience across all digital channels.

“The new retail model requires retailers to transform their business and reinvent themselves to create a successful blend of the physical and digital worlds to maintain their customers’ loyalty,” said Jeffrey Neville, Senior VP and Practice Lead at BRP in a statement. “The speed of these changes requires organizational agility to quickly and easily react to increasing customer expectations and changing consumer behavior.”

Read Full Article: Despite Push For Personalization, Just 18% Of Retailers Identify Shoppers In-Store

Virtual reality plays growing role in retail

The Republic – Retailers in central Indiana, including the Macy’s at Castleton Square Mall and the Carmel-based franchise of California Closets, are using the technology to help customers visualize products and make purchasing decisions. For various reasons — including cost, cultural barriers and fear of the unknown — the technology is not yet in widespread retail use.

“The virtual reality experience has some barriers to it,” said Jeffrey Neville, a senior vice president and practice lead at Boston-based retail consulting firm BRP Consulting.

People might be self-conscious about wearing the goggles, and the immersive nature of the experience can cause motion sickness or dizziness.

“It’s not quite a comfortable experience just yet,” Neville said.

But in the next few years, the use of virtual reality and its close cousin, augmented reality, should become more common in the retail world, experts predict. “This technology is maturing quite quickly,” Neville said.

Read Full Article: Virtual reality plays growing role in retail 



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

Virtual reality plays growing role in retail

Indianapolis Business Journal – Walmart is among the earliest retailers to embrace virtual reality on a large scale. It is in the process of deploying some 17,000 Oculus Go virtual-reality headsets to all of its 4,500 U.S. stores as a training tool for employees.

Other retailers in central Indiana, including the Macy’s at Castleton Square Mall and the Carmel-based franchise of California Closets, are using the technology to help customers visualize products and make purchasing decisions. For various reasons—including cost, cultural barriers and fear of the unknown—the technology is not yet in widespread retail use.

“The virtual reality experience has some barriers to it,” said Jeffrey Neville, a senior vice president and practice lead at Boston-based retail management consulting firm BRP, retail consulting firm. People might be self-conscious about wearing the goggles, and the immersive nature of the experience can cause motion sickness or dizziness. “It’s not quite a comfortable experience just yet,” Neville said.

Read Full Article: Virtual reality plays growing role in retail