Was this Black Friday Naughty or Nice for Retailers?

Like reading tea leaves or gazing into a crystal ball, predicting the future of holiday shopping trends is not an exact science. After all, retail shoppers are people who are known to be a pretty fickle bunch.

In “How to Prepare for the 2015 Holiday Shopping Season” we turned an eye to the future with some predictions about this year’s holiday shopping trends.

Preliminary results for Black Friday shopping are in; now let’s see if our predictions were accurate.

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Build Trust With Your Customers by Keeping Them In-the-Know

The only thing worse for your business than an angry customer is an angry customer who feels that you have misled them in some way. Customers need to trust that the company they’re working with has their best interests at heart before they give them money, and one way to earn that trust is to be as upfront and honest as possible. This is true of every facet of business no matter what industry you work in, but it’s especially important when it comes to wait times.

Restaurants, retail stores, repair services, and many other types of businesses will likely require their customers to wait at some point during the transaction. This is an inevitable part of life, but in an age where attention spans are shortening, and people are programmed for instant gratification, wait times can be devastating to your business. A study done by Northwestern University found that when standing in a fast food line, the amount a customer is willing to pay decreases each extra second that they’re waiting.

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How to Deliver Hyper-Personalized Customer Service

When you think about personalizing your retail business, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

If you’re like many retail store owners, it’s marketing. You consider cross-channel or omnichannel marketing. You make sure you gather enough data on your customers to share relevant marketing messages. Is this enough?

Probably not.

In retail, you have a unique opportunity. Your employees work one on one with customers. As they begin talking to shoppers, it’s easy to sprinkle in personalized service. It’s good old-fashioned customer service with one associate personally investing time into one customer.

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How to Stand Out by Utilizing Modern Retail Technologies

Are you ready to update your customer shopping experience? Here’s how you can use modern retail technologies to differentiate your brand.

With the growing amount of competition on the retail landscape—thanks largely to the number of customers who are shopping online instead of at brick-and-mortar retailers—it is no longer enough for your store to merely sell quality products and services.

On the contrary, today the most successful retailers out there are also engaging their customers on intellectual and emotional levels.

Said another way, emphasizing a unique and satisfying customer experience is one of the best ways that brick-and-mortar retail stores can continue to draw shoppers who might otherwise opt to shop online.

Ask yourself this: why do so many people buy coffee at Starbucks instead of just buying Starbucks-brand coffee grounds at the grocery store?

Opting to visit a Starbucks location and order a drink there is not only less convenient and more time-consuming than brewing coffee at home, but it is also markedly more expensive.

The catch, though, is that Starbucks, instead of trying to compete with home-brewed coffee on cost (not a feasible option) have focused instead on creating a stellar and customized customer experience. From friendly and personal baristas to a comfortable store atmosphere established by familiar aesthetics and good music, Starbucks’ success is as much about the customer experience as it is about the product.

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Want More Sales? Don’t Forget About Dads!

For too long, fathers have been represented in the media as the bumbling guy who waits outside the fitting room. He holds mom’s purse while she gets down to the important business caring for the family, handling all of the back to school shopping for the kids and leaping tall buildings in a single bound.

It’s a metaphor that has seen dads portrayed as the butt of many jokes, but is it true?

When it comes to shopping, are fathers firmly planted in the passenger’s seat?

If you don’t think so, the latest research on the shopping habits of fathers from Young & Rubicam (Y&R) may surprise you.

While advertisers and retailers have been busy falling over themselves trying to entice moms, dads have been big spenders all along.

Whoops!

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5 Things Retailers Need to Know About RFID Technology

What if you could decrease your online order cancelations by 60%? That’s exactly what one children’s clothing retailer was able to do using radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology to reduce online out-of-stocks.

However, RFID goes beyond reducing online out-of-stocks. It provides an all-encompassing improvement to inventory accuracy, sales, margins, and expedited returns, according to a research study at Auburn University.

It’s these kinds of RFID benefits that have retailers giving this technology a much closer look.

Want to learn more about harnessing the power of retail technology?

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How to Make Sense of The Fitting Room Experience

Trying to redefine your sales? Searching for ways to strengthen your brand? Have you peeked into your fitting rooms lately?

Fitting Room Analytics Provide Crucial Insights

Tucked in the corner of your company is a series of tiny rooms. There, customers haul in endless trousers, tops, and accessories – all with the hopes of finding the perfect styles for the perfect prices.

Fitting rooms promise more than designer labels and wardrobe upgrades, though. They also provide crucial insights into your brand’s sales authority and customer appeal. Therefore, capturing fitting room analytics and studying them is essential. There are five key data points that fitting rooms offer. Let’s examine them now

Want to learn more about harnessing the power of retail technology?

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Why Retailers Absolutely Need People Counting

Most retailers are missing massive opportunities by woefully underutilizing one of the most critical numbers: The conversion rate of visitors to buyers. Are you surprised?

Retail conversion is probably the most crucial metric for retailers.

Want to learn more about harnessing the power of retail technology?

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5 Things You Need to Know About Beacons Technology

If you want to stay competitive in the retail apparel industry, you have to embrace new retail technology—especially technology that syncs the mobile and in-store experience for your customers.

Some companies have been slow to introduce mobile-friendly technology into their stores for fear of hurting the retail experience. Many big box retailers have made the switch in 2015, however, because they’ve found that sophisticated mobile technology can lead to:

  • Greater brand visibility
  • Increased customer engagement
  • More foot traffic and sales in brick and mortar.

One of the most advanced forms of mobile-friendly technology to hit the market in recent years is beacon technology.

Want to learn more about harnessing the power of retail technology?

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Keyboard to the Car: Buying Online, Picking-Up in the Store

Has your clothing company recently launched a Buy Online, Pickup in Store policy? Has this idea proven itself to be an inspiration or an impediment?

Buy Online, Pickup In-Store: The BOPIS Strategy

It is such a simple idea: sync inventories to networks and search engines, provide consumers with virtual shopping carts and then let them reap the rewards of online shopping and in-store pickups.

Convenience serves as the cornerstone of this next-generation marketing.

The Buy Online, Pickup In-Store (BOPIS) strategy promises to be the salvation of retailers – and with good reason. It delivers undeniable value to customers, and this translates to stronger sales and improved relationships.

Despite the appeal of next-day delivery, the physical store still bests the online model by delivering what consumers value above all else — instant ownership – Lee Peterson, executive vice president of Brand, Strategy & Design at WD Partners.

Nothing is perfect, however, and BOPIS is no exception. Challenges counter every advantage, forcing companies to examine thoroughly whether this tactic should be implemented or ignored. Let’s find out!

Want to learn more about harnessing the power of retail technology?

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