Future of Retail, Pt 6

For decades the mystery shopper was the main way retailers assessed operations from a customer’s point of view. By sending in a fake shopper, typically once a month, an individual store essentially was buying a dozen performance snapshots per year. Then telephone surveys began to supplement mystery shopping. Today, digital technologies are supplanting both, with online customer surveys providing an exponentially greater number of performance snapshots per day.

A well-managed loop that links customer experience feedback with recommendations on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Yelp, can boost service quality and operational performance, increase traffic and create more happy customers — people who crow about a retailer online for free, turning their friends into new customers too.

A new mini-industry has emerged using these techniques, known as “customer experience management,” or CEM. Our company, Empathica — as well as a number of competitors — are providing customer feedback to operations, while partnering with “web-scraping” companies to listen to random chatter online.

 

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Future of Retail, Pt 4

“Like many men, I’ve never been very enthusiastic about shopping.

That’s partly because I’m frugal, and don’t enjoy spending money. It’s partly due to the hassles I associate with visiting retail stores — a series of inconveniences that begins in the parking lot (hunting for spaces), continues in the aisles (where I can never find what I need), and ends at the cash registers (where I have little patience for long lines).

Much of the problem, though, lies in psychology. While I can be confident of my decision-making skills in other areas of life, my shopping decisions are often plagued by second-guessing, paralysis, and buyer’s remorse. Even when I recognize the need for a product — I’ve been looking for a good pair of lace-up black shoes for three months — I often put it off, afraid of making a decision I’ll regret.

In the last year, however, I’ve noticed these problems are ebbing. I don’t dread shopping as much as I used to. At times, I’m even starting to enjoy it. Upon reflection, I attribute this attitude adjustment to a simple phenomenon: I’m becoming armed with better information.”

Read the full article here —>

Future of Retail, Pt 3

While Black Friday and Cyber Monday were successful days for the retail sector, these two days alone are not a panacea to the sector’s performance challenges. Some retailers will continue this momentum. Others will not. The difference between the two sets of retailers? Knowing when and how to act as the water around you gets hot.

In our world, there are two kinds of frogs — those that jump out of the pot when it’s boiling and those that boil. Smart retailers jump out of the pot before it boils. They are keenly aware of changing conditions on the ground. And they don’t allow personal opinions about the cause behind the changing conditions to stand in the way of decisions and actions.

The global push to meet today’s needs without compromising future generations’ ability to do the same is one such boiling pot for retailers. Some are ignoring customer interest in all things environmental and social. Smart retailers, on the other hand, have realized the water around them is getting hot and they are proactively taking action. As a result, these retailers are cutting costs today, planting growth seeds for tomorrow, and setting the stage for accelerated strategic agility well into the future.

Read the full article here —>

The Link: Public Transportation and Business Corridors Pt. 1

Check out this article!

Pittsburgh is a great city and has many wonderful assets like, parks, bridges, sports arenas, colleges, shopping, cute neighborhoods, low cost of living, you get the picture. Now, Pittsburgh’s want to use its’ existing assets, like the Port Authority, could be a little big greater which make them that much more wonderful.

One of the biggest issues besides the political nature of a government run public transportation [PT] system, is its’ ridership. The Port Authority and the catch 22 situation of expanding bus routes or investing in other modes of transportation come down to this: if there is no destination, there is no need for a route. On the flip-side, business corridors may think: there is no route, what will happen to my destination?

Having lived and worked and visited other transportation systems in US and foreign cities, Pittsburgh could use some upgrades and improvements. Yet the only way an investment will work is if the people use it. I’ve been a big advocate of light rail, yet in this highlighted article above, an expert states this may not be a viable type of transport for this city. He also highlights how the lack of riders on a bus will actually increase the carbon foot print in comparison to the energy used for a single rider in a car.

Look in Pt. 2 for additional considerations and information regarding our need to utilize the existing assets our city has that will benefit you, your community, and the world as a whole.