Deshoppers, a growing number of customers who purchase clothing, wear the item, and then return it, are costing retailers about $16 billion a year, according to a recent article in Business Insider. This is a common issue and it’s only becoming more prevalent in stores. E-commerce is also going to worsen this issue because it [...]
While retailers are focused on improving customer satisfaction through e-commerce and mobile platforms, the key will be measurement. It will be critical to determine whether or not your efforts are effective in improving the consumer’s experience. Only by measuring success will a retailer be able to ensure that the customer is satisfied and — ultimately — see sales and market share increase.
A recent analysis showed that retail sales began declining when gasoline hit $3.50 a gallon. Coincidence? Maybe not. When gas prices go up, people perceive that “everything” else is also getting more expensive. People start saving the trip to the store by buying more products online. However, sales at one brick-and-mortar store — the gas station — have been rising.
Social media is about talking with your friends and sharing pictures. What social media is not about is shopping and several retailers are learning this the hard way. Last year, a major video game retailer opened a store on the biggest social network. According to Bloomberg, the retailer boasted 3.5 million fans. “Six months later, the store was quietly shuttered.”
Toymakers have their fingers crossed that parents are going to be more willing to splurge on toys for their kids this year, according to a CNBC article. This trend was recently spotted at the 109th American International Toy Fair in New York. According to market research, toy sales in the U.S. declined during 2011 to $21.18 billion, a 2 percent dip from 2010.
Recession? What recession? For the retailers catering to the rich, there is no such thing. According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, the biggest luxury-goods retailers are tackling 2012 with even more confidence, thanks to a very successful 2011. Research cited in the article suggests major luxury retailers are reporting sales growth around 20 percent for the last quarter of 2011.
Independent family-owned grocery stores are still surviving in many towns despite competition from large supermarket chains. That’s because neighborhoods continue to support them in many communities, according to The Berkshire Eagle. Longtime family-owned market owners say the keys to success are providing personal attention and creating an atmosphere where customers are treated like family.
According to the National Retail Federation’s Valentine’s Day survey, almost two-thirds of online shoppers in the United States plan to spend money celebrating the holiday. But here’s the interesting part: Blog.Shop.org reported that 25 percent of smartphone owners expect to research or compare products on their phone, and a third of tablet owners are planning to do the same thing.
Forget about clipping coupons. Shoppers with smartphones want mobile coupons. That’s according to a survey from BrandSpark, which found that 54 percent of smartphone users are interested in accessing coupons with their mobile device. Retailers must use caution, however, as overwhelming consumers with daily deals could upset and disenfranchise customers.
One retailer is adjusting to the new demographics of America by launching an online brand that caters to plus-sized women. The company found through research that those shoppers struggled to find fashionable clothes. So it designed a brand with fashionable and trendy plus-sized clothing in mind. It’s an example of a retailer understanding customer demand and catering to the market.
Technology is constantly shaking up how retailers connect with consumers. Now the term “omnichannel” is emerging as the latest buzzword to describe how shoppers move seamlessly between the store, website and mobile device. However, retailers can’t lose focus of what matters most, and that’s executing through brand to sell products at the right price and right time.
Randy Misener, Editor-at-Large
Randy Misener is the Industry Executive responsible for Enterprise Retail Management solutions at Avanade. Majority owned by Accenture, Avanade was founded in 2000 by Accenture LLP and Microsoft Corporation and has approximately 15,000 professionals in more than 20 countries.