Customer Experience Analytics: Which comes first…the Chicken or the Egg?

Which should come first, the chicken or the egg? How long will the chicken stay for, where will she go, and how many eggs will be in her basket?   The answers to customer experience analytics still seem tantalisingly out of reach for many retailers.   This year’s RBTE event at Olympia had its fair share of new IT initiatives as well as more established applications, refreshed, re-invented and re-packaged. And it’s a few years now since store traffic & customer movement analytics first burst onto the scene and certainly into my personal consciousness. It claimed to offer to physical…

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“Selling other Peoples’ Stuff! Is it the end of Generic Retailers?

The Daily Post:- 23rd May “Selling other peoples’ Stuff! The end of generic retailers?   So what are the common threads amongst many of the retailers suffering in the current market climate? They’re certainly well publicized. Of course there are the issues with over-sized expensive store portfolios, a slowness to embrace omnichannel, a lack of consumer confidence and a dearth of disposable income…but certainly at the epicenter of the evolving shopping behavior storm is the “good old” retailer of generic product and brands. The reason is the crumbling of one of the foundations on which the retail industry was largely built.…

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“Spoil you Staff with Space!” and “Your Space with Staff!”

The Morning Post:- 22nd May “Spoil you Staff with Space!” and “Your Space with Staff!”   Many discussions I have been having recently on allocating space within stores. The whole model is changing from those large product areas, static stockrooms, over-spaced or unruly queuing areas and pitiful backroom facilities for staff to one that reflects not only the requirements of the shopper but in fact what generates the income. Or it should be. And due to popular demand the whole area of backroom space and facilities is the most vibrant and vociferous discussion…not surprisingly. On average only 10% to 15% of…

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Omnichannel Overload: Finding focus in a confusion of retail possibilities

Why is omnichannel the focus of retail? The short answer to this is because it’s what the customer wants, and never has the old adage “the customer is always right” been so apt or so accurate as in the consumer-centric world in which we now live. Customers want the convenience of the online world with the ability to browse, choose and pay in the comfort of their own homes, and with the rapid rise of m-commerce the freedom to do these things beyond the confines of their houses – out into the dynamic world’s that they inhabit. However physical retail…

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Dark Sugars: Passion & Pride in Chocolate Heaven

Being passionate about chocolate wouldn’t rank as being unusual in our sweet toothed society, however converting an indulgence into a thriving business riding the crest of a chocolate wave for two decades takes more than simply applying recipes.   Dark Sugars is destination number one for chocolate experiences in London, nestled appropriately on Shoreditch’s Brick Lane amongst the famous facades of its many frequented Indian restaurants. Decidedly sweeter though no less spicier Dark Sugars provides a world of sensory wonder to those who cross its dark threshold. As its name suggests the passion and inspiration for the brand comes from…

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Converse Relationship: Clever Footwork to Customer Loyalty

As part of VM-unleashed’s 10th anniversary year we take a look back at some retail milestones from the last decade and explain why each store’s message is as relevant for us today as it was then. Converse flagship store, New York City “Converse know who they are! The key to brand success in 2013 is the commercial and emotional maximisation of the brand personality. Converse is the best example of taking an iconic product and bringing it to life through celebration of the classics, adaptation to new trends, celebrity, cultural and creative endorsement and collaboration and personalisation for customer empowerment.…

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Lush for Life: Believing in the Body & Soul of Beauty

It’s not often that the atmosphere in a store is so real and tangible you can almost touch it and taste it. And whilst the assortment on offer may look good enough to eat in Lush, it is the experience which is something to die for and not a misguided mouthful of soap-suds.   Complete strangers are struck instantly by the friendly welcome, the overwhelming enthusiasm of the staff, and the intensity of customer engagement where it seems every customer is the most important ever to cross this therapeutic threshold. Lush, of course, has been around for a while. Originally…

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“The Flow of Retail Passion!”

It is a very long way from the product drawing board to an exciting store full of inspiring stock and enthusiastic staff. The journey is complicated logistically, commercially, geographically and emotionally, and involves the passing of the product baton between many hands.   First and foremost the outcome in terms of product proposition must be commercially complete incorporating all the processes and parameters that deliver an assortment plan that learns from past experience as well as future predictions. Logistically that plan must be delivered on-time, in sequence and coordinated to present the perfect proposition complete and in its utmost glory…

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Passion is an absolute pre-requisite for commercial retail success

Successful retail businesses are driven by passionate people, with sales & profits the commercial outcome of a passion for product and lifestyle.   It would be unfair and inaccurate to say that retail businesses have been without passion as in fact some of the most famous and successful retailers ever, from the Limited Group to the Body Shop, have been built around passionate individuals. However too many other companies, founded in less demanding and competitive times, rely too much on simply selling the same stuff to the same people in a cold commercial way. “Ordinary retailers, selling ordinary products to…

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1st Joy of a Retail Spring – Understanding customer behaviour

1st Joy of a Retail Spring – Understanding Customer Behaviour Make it your new year’s resolution to understand how your customer behaves inside your stores. In many ways having got them into your store you’ve done the hard part, and everything they do, and everything they buy now, is a bonus that cannot be ignored.   The key is understanding how your customer reacts to your store, your product display, your layout, your service and everything else that can convert a sale. Understand what is working and what is not. Adapt and evolve to ensure the customer is behaving in…

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