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Why Benchmarks and Standards Are Stagnating Retail Stores

Knowing how a consumer thinks and feels about a given brand and its products is important. Understanding how loyal they feel toward the company and how likely they are to recommend it to their friends is also critical intel every business can benefit from. This is why retailers across the globe reach out for tools such as the Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey and Applied Predictive Technologies (APT). These products are designed to address any gaps that are causing customer dissatisfaction so that a brand can better understand what consumers want from them, but should these benchmarks be the “be all, end all” solution for retailers?

What NPS and APT Are Designed to Address

Both products are specifically designed to uncover what a customer is and is not satisfied with. The products use different algorithms to measure the customer experience.


NPS is designed to discover how satisfied a customer was with a given product and/or service. It also gauges whether customers like the brand and if they would recommend the company to a friend or family member by filtering survey respondents into three sections:

  • Detractors
  • Passives
  • Promoters


APT uses cross-functional Big Data-driven algorithms to help brands measure the effectiveness of their merchandising, marketing, operations, capital initiative, and ultimately, their profits. This program can take several factors into account, including the weather and local economic conditions.

NPS, APT, and other similar technologies create standards which retail executives are lead to believe are the new benchmarks in the industry. Executives feel comforted by the fact that they have “black box” metrics on hand, as they feel that this enables them to make safer business decisions.

The Benchmark Scoring Pitfall Retailers Fail to See

Analytical data is important in retail, but these systems are often not specific enough to deliver information a brand can really sink its teeth into. For example, the NPS survey does not specifically identify why a customer may be scored as a “Detractor,” or what made another customer a “Promoter.”

Another problem is that a business may not have any idea how to proceed with the results of these tests and surveys. Without having a plan in place to act on the results, this information is not going to help the business get very far.

Making a Mark with a Strong Brand Identity

Creating a strong brand identity doesn’t come from staring down pages of click-through rates and web traffic analytics; however, as the leading retailers in this industry know, technology does play a key role in standing out and rising above.

Technology gives retailers the opportunity to orchestrate the ultimate customer experience. Customers can now call a store associate for a different size, color, or style of garment with a tap of a button, and that information can be saved and stored. Associates can quickly address customer calls with a simple, easy to use iOS device and retrieve a customer’s past purchase history, allowing them to make better and more insightful purchase recommendations. Best of all, everything can connect to one central point where real-time data can be pulled upon request.

There is no question that data and analytics are critical for retailers. But brands must go beyond relying on stagnant benchmarks and questionable survey results by investing in intuitive technologies in order to excel in this competitive marketplace.

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