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.

 

Read the full article here —>

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Future of Retail, Pt 5

A person with a smart phone can scan a bar code in Best Buy or Macy’s, check the price, and order from Amazon or Target on the spot. So Amazon could receive an order from a customer that was stimulated to buy while in Best Buy.

This may revolutionize retailing and cause considerable consternation and ultimately dislocation for several players.

Remember when the Internet arrived and customer who was savvy gained the power to check prices of all the options. Especially for durables, that power led to sensitivity to prices and resulting price pressures.

 

Read the full article here —>

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 —>

The Future of Retail, Pt 2

“It’s a snowy Saturday in Chicago, but Amy, age 28, needs resort wear for a Caribbean vacation. Five years ago, in 2011, she would have headed straight for the mall. Today she starts shopping from her couch by launching a videoconference with her personal concierge at Danella, the retailer where she bought two outfits the previous month. The concierge recommends several items, superimposing photos of them onto Amy’s avatar. Amy rejects a couple of items immediately, toggles to another browser tab to research customer reviews and prices, finds better deals on several items at another retailer, and orders them. She buys one item from Danella online and then drives to the Danella store near her for the in-stock items she wants to try on.

As Amy enters Danella, a sales associate greets her by name and walks her to a dressing room stocked with her online selections—plus some matching shoes and a cocktail dress. She likes the shoes, so she scans the bar code into her smartphone and finds the same pair for $30 less at another store. The sales associate quickly offers to match the price, and encourages Amy to try on the dress. It is daring and expensive, so Amy sends a video to three stylish friends, asking for their opinion. The responses come quickly: three thumbs down. She collects the items she wants, scans an internet site for coupons (saving an additional $73), and checks out with her smartphone.

As she heads for the door, a life-size screen recognizes her and shows a special offer on an irresistible summer-weight top. Amy checks her budget online, smiles, and uses her phone to scan the customized Quick Response code on the screen. The item will be shipped to her home overnight.”

Read the full article here —>

New Allegheny Market House in the North Side Opens 11/21/13

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Visit the New Allegheny Market House in the North Side this holiday for your gift shopping!  Located in a the Historic Deutschtown at 503 E. Ohio St.  and open Thursday 11A – 6P, Friday 11A – 7P, and Saturday 11A – 6P.   A unique shopping experience featuring local North Side artists, artisans, and makers.  Come out and support your local economy while exploring an up and coming shopping district!

Take the Survey!

We want to know what you thought about the new California Markets that happened in Brighton Heights this summer.  We know many of you liked it so much we organized an additional event for October.

Your feedback is important and we’d like if you could take the survey and let us know your thoughts!

CLICK HERE to take the survey.

Thanks so much for supporting PGHretail’s efforts.

 

http://bit.ly/1cezvvH

PUPPETS ON PARADE!

Much thanks to our local artist, affectionately known as “The Puppet Lady”, Cheryl Capezzuti.  She is loaning us her unique and memorable puppets for our newest community event, the Dance & Drum Puppet Parade during the California Markets.  Check out Studio Capezzuti for more details about her work and the annual First Night in downtown Pittsburgh that she has been organizing.

If you’re interested in becoming a puppet on parade, meet at Studio Capezzuit behind 1509 Termon Ave. at 12:45PM to pick out your puppet.  Then at 2PM and 3PM, meet on California Ave. to exchange puppets and join the additional parades in the neighborhood!

Unsure what we mean? See us at 3269 California Ave. at the Brighton Heights Citizens Federation office to get some assistance!

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