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6pc of retailers can identify consumers upon entering store: report

LUXURY DAILY – Whether through smartphones, iBeacons or other technologies, retailers are ramping up their ability to pinpoint consumers and tailor shopping experiences, according to a new report by Boston Retail Partners.

Ninety percent of retailers can identify consumers at the in-store check-out, up 17 percent from the year-ago period, but that is generally too late to make an impact, no matter how useful for profile-building and future engagement. In the next five years, there will be an 883 percent increase among retailers looking to identify consumers upon entering the store, according to the report.

“Consumers expect a personalized, seamless experience wherever, whenever and however they shop,” said Ken Morris, principal at Boston Retail Partners, Boston. “Unified commerce and customer experiences that transcend channels are the new model, and it is imperative that retailers’ customer relationship management programs deliver a seamless experience across all channels.”

Read full article: 6pc of retailers can identify consumers upon entering store: report

BRP 2015 CRM SURVEY: Customer Experience/Engagement is #1 CRM Priority for Retailers

In Boston Retail Partners’ 2015 CRM/Unified Commerce Benchmark Survey of the top North American retailers, respondents indicated that their top CRM priority was enhancing the customer experience/engagement.

TopCRMPriorities

Retailers are responding to consumers’ heightened expectations for a personalized, seamless experience wherever, whenever and however they shop. Retailers understand that customer relationship management (CRM) is an essential enabler and key to influencing customer behaviors with contextual and personalized experiences across channels.

Closed-loop CRM Program

ACRM Circle successful CRM program is built on a closed-loop system that begins by identifying customers to establish new relationships, followed by engaging with customers in compelling ways such as gamification that enhance the customer experience, then analyzing customer behaviors in real-time, and finally, retaining customers with superior service and loyalty programs. This continuous loop is essential for retailers to cultivate valuable customer relationships.

The findings of the 2015 CRM/Unified Commerce Survey identified that retailers are focused on the key aspects of CRM that will enhance the customer’s shopping experience across channels and increase sales. The key findings of the survey are:

Identify the Customer – 883% more retailers plan to identify customers when they walk in the store within five years.

Engage the Customer – 74% of retailers indicate that customer experience/engagement is one of their top three CRM priorities.

Analyze the Customer – 100% of the retailers surveyed plan to utilize analytics/dashboard to understand customer purchases and shopping behaviors within two years.

Retain the Customer – 46% of retailers indicate that a structured loyalty program is one of their top three CRM priorities.

Special thanks to the silver sponsors of this year’s CRM/Unified Commerce Benchmark Survey: Enactor and Epicor.

I encourage you to read the complete survey report for additional insights on retailers’ top priorities and how they are focused on improving the customer experience.

Download Now: 2015 CRM/Unified Commerce Benchmark Survey

As always, I welcome your thoughts and opinions. Please share your comments below.

David

Why Millennial Moms Rock

Motherhood Through My Eyes Blog – This post discusses key findings fromBabyCenter’s latest report on millennial moms, and stats from Pew Research as well as thoughts from Ken Morris of retail consulting firm Boston Retail Partners on how brands are connecting with millennial moms.

Read full article: Why Millennial Moms Rock

Retailers Turn to Social Data for Product Development, Planning

eMARKETER – Retailers are using social media data, now more than ever before, for product development and promotional planning. Boston Retail Partners’ “2014 Merchandise Planning and Allocation Survey” found that among retailers in North America, use of social media data for product development increased 550% from last year’s study. The research also identified a 190% increase in use of promotional planning.

Read Full Article: Retailers Turn to Social Data for Product Development, Planning

Tech Guest Viewpoint – Social Media Use Grows for Merchandise Planning

CHAIN STORE AGE – What a difference a year makes! We have seen a dramatic increase in the use of social media by merchandisers over the past year, as retailers look for innovative ways to enhance their merchandising decisions to deliver the products consumers want across a seamless shopping experience. Guest article by Ken Morris, Principal, Boston Retail Partners.

Read full article on Chain Store Age

Using Social Media Insights for Merchandise Planning

In my last post, I discussed the dramatic increase (550%) in the use of social media by merchandisers in the past year, revealed by our 2014 Merchandise Planning and Allocation Benchmark Survey.  After reading our survey report, a few retailers have asked us for ideas on how they can or should be using social media insights in their merchandise planning processes.

Here are a few ideas on how to use social media for merchandise planning.

Tapping the value of social media beyond brand awareness

Beyond the obvious reason to increase brand awareness and loyalty, social media is becoming an imperative marketing and merchandising tool for retailers. Social media has created an avenue where retailers can actively engage their customers and “listen in” on the social dialogue.  In addition to facilitating open communication with consumers, it also allows retailers to glean valuable insight into the preferences of their target market. This real-time insight to customer preferences enhances retailers’ merchandising decisions to offer the right products, at the right place and at the right time.

Enhancing merchandising decisions

Leveraging a strong social media campaign, retailers can influence the trends and key items for the season.  Retailers can incorporate social media feedback on trends when planning their future lines to help drive merchandise decisions that reap substantial financial benefits such as a reduction in markdowns, higher gross margins and increased sales.Store Shelves with Towels_Blog

Traditionally, assortment decisions are made in a meeting with a handful of people. Retailers can now enhance assortment decisions based on consumer opinions from social media platforms. For instance, retailers can test different styles/assortments and receive a quick response that helps segment the ‘likes’ based on products, demographics and psychographic attributes to augment other data in merchandise planning decisions.

Beyond planning, social media insights can also play a roll in managing order levels and replenishment. Based on real-time social media responses and feedback on new merchandise, retailers can adjust order levels, allocation and replenishment to maximize margins.

Other ideas for social media

We foresee social media becoming more fully integrated into retailers’ e-commerce sites. Retailers are already making it easy for customers to post recent purchases and discuss products on social media sites like Facebook. The next step is to enable consumers to buy directly from the social media sites without having to navigate pages in the e-commerce solution.  This technology is currently available and provides a prime opportunity for retailers to make it easier for the consumer to get what they want, whenever and wherever they want it and in real-time.

As always, I welcome your thoughts and opinions. Please share your comments below.

Ken

Retailers report a 550% increase over last year in the use of social media for merchandise planning!

What a difference a year makes! We have seen a dramatic increase in the use of social media by merchandisers in the past year, as retailers look for innovative ways to enhance their merchandising decisions.

Just released this week, our 2014 Merchandise Planning and Allocation Benchmark Survey revealed that retailers are focused on expanding their use of social media and other technology solutions to deliver the products consumers want in a seamless shopping experience.

While the use of social media for merchandise is still a fairly new idea, BRP’s survey of top retailers uncovers considerable windows of opportunity for retailers to optimize business processes and leverage advanced technology to enhance the effectiveness of merchandise planning and allocation decisions.

Here are some of the key findings that demonstrate the achievements of retailers leveraging technology to improve their merchandise planning processes: MPA Survey Cover

  • Nearly 50% of retailers have integrated business processes and systems across channels
  • 31% of retailers utilize a single inventory across channels
  • 26% of retailers have real-time visibility of in-store/online inventory

Retailers are focused on those areas of improvement to enhance their assortments:

  • 33% of retailers utilize CRM data to feed their business intelligence tools
  • Nearly 40% of retailers use social media to facilitate planning within product development, a 550% increase over last year’s report

I encourage you to read the complete survey report for additional insights on how retailers are focused on improving their merchandise planning and allocation processes.

Download Now: 2014 Merchandise Planning and Allocation Benchmark Survey

As always, I welcome your thoughts and opinions. Please share your comments below.

Retailers just scratching the surface of social media use: report

LUXURY DAILY – A growing number of retailers are leveraging social media to inform merchandise planning, according to a new survey from Boston Retail Partners. The report found that compared to 2013, the number of retailers using social media to influence product development has grown by 550 percent, comprising 39 percent of respondents.

http://www.luxurydaily.com/retailers-just-scratching-the-surface-of-social-media-use-report/

Retailers See Dramatic Gains with Social Media for Merchandise Planning

PROGRESSIVE GROCER – Retailers are focused on expanding the use of social media and technology solutions to deliver the products consumers want in a seamless shopping experience, according to results of a survey by Boston Retail Partners (BRP).

http://www.progressivegrocer.com/industry-news-trends/national-supermarket-chains/retailers-see-dramatic-gains-social-media-merchandise-planning