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Five Tips to Prevent Showrooming from Ruining Your Business

BY CSA STAFF

By Al Beery, [email protected]

Cross-channel shopping has transformed the way consumers conduct product comparisons. Customers no longer have to drive between stores to determine where to find the item they want at the best price. As a result, many brick and mortar retailers are observing a phenomenon called “showrooming” – consumers use a store to try out a new camera or see how a dress fits before buying the product at a lower price from an online retailer. While showrooming can certainly be damaging to a business, it also presents an opportunity for retailers to rethink their strategy, leverage their in-store advantages and make on- and offline channels complement each other.

Unify the online and in-store offerings
E-commerce is constantly growing and chain stores need to adapt by making their physical store locations an extension of their online offering. The best way to do this is to leverage their inherent advantages – personalized customer service, no wait time and zero shipping fees. For example, if a customer is viewing a product online, it will be important for a retailer’s website to let them know which nearby locations have that specific product available.

Obtaining data on customer shopping and purchase history is another way to drive foot traffic. If you know that your customer has been looking at a product for an extended period of time on your store’s website or mobile app, the retailer can follow up with offers for that product via email. By doing this, retailers are communicating their appreciation to their customers who have spent time looking at their website and in turn, those customers will be more likely to visit that retailer’s store or website for future needs rather than turning to a competitor.

Enhance the in-store experience
The advantage of in-store customers is that they may not want to wait for the product they are looking to buy to arrive in the mail. Customers walking into a retail location are, at minimum, interested in purchasing a product. This makes it increasingly important for retailers to be able to anticipate incoming customers’ needs and wants.

Retailers should not wait until a customer has walked through the doors to create a positive in-store experience. A retailer with an online offering can track what a customer has viewed and provide deals or offers that are redeemable at their nearest location. Customers will appreciate that retailers are paying attention to their preferences as well as the opportunity to avoid a shipping fee.

Provide employees with a 360-degree view of customers
Retailers need to make sure that in-store employees are armed with the tools to provide a positive experience. This means preparing employees for face-to-face interactions by providing a complete, 360° view of each customer.

Not only should retailers gather information about what a customer has bought, but also which channel preferences they demonstrate. Retailers can then use this information, along with predictive analytics to anticipate their customers’ future needs and wants. If a customer recently made a purchase online and is now at a register, the cashier can anticipate that the customer has a question that was not answered by the information available online. In the future, customers will remember the high level of service they received and will likely turn straight to a retailer’s physical location for more complex needs.

Send only personalized deals and offers
Knowing customers’ tastes and purchase habits provides opportunities to not only send offers, but send offers that are tailored to them. By mining purchase history, customers can be identified as online-centric, store-centric or cross-shoppers, so that campaigns and interactions can be properly tuned to each customer’s preferred behavior.

Smart retailers are using advanced customer communications tools alongside predictive analytics to deliver highly targeted offers to each customer. Providing personalized deals enables retailers to build customer trust, making it increasingly likely that customers will spend more time and money with a brick and mortar retailer that understands their preferences as opposed to turning to an online alternative.

Surprise and delight your customers
Retailers also need to be paying attention to what their customers are saying on social media platforms. If a loyal customer has been advocating for a retailer on Twitter, retailers can express their appreciation by providing exclusive in-store deals. This could be an offer the customer receives in-store and provides a great way to surprise customers, making their experience memorable.

The more channels there are to interact with customers, the more opportunities there are to close sales. The retailer that does the best job of holistically addressing customer needs regardless of channel will be in a better position to yield high customer satisfaction levels and customer retention results. Using customer behavior data along with predictive analytics is a critical step that allows retailers the ability to effectively manage customer needs, preferences, and requirements.

Al Beery is the director of client Services for Pitney Bowes Software with over 20 years of experience in location intelligence, data analytics, retail site selection and marketing strategy and analytics. He can be reached at [email protected].


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P.Lopez says:
Apr-10-2013 12:14 pm

Customers walking into a retail location are, at minimum, interested in purchasing a product. This makes it increasingly important for retailers to be able to anticipate incoming customers’ needs and wants. ChatRandom

P.Lopez says:
Apr-10-2013 12:14 pm

Customers walking into a retail location are, at minimum, interested in purchasing a product. This makes it increasingly important for retailers to be able to anticipate incoming customers’ needs and wants. ChatRandom

williamson says:
Mar-30-2013 09:26 am

Retailers also need to be paying attention to what their customers are saying on social media Babulilm platforms. If a loyal customer has been advocating for a retailer on Twitter, retailers can express their appreciation by providing exclusive in-store deals. This could be an offer the customer receives in-store and provides a great way to surprise customers, making their experience memorable.

williamson says:
Mar-30-2013 09:26 am

Retailers also need to be paying attention to what their customers are saying on social media Babulilm platforms. If a loyal customer has been advocating for a retailer on Twitter, retailers can express their appreciation by providing exclusive in-store deals. This could be an offer the customer receives in-store and provides a great way to surprise customers, making their experience memorable.

P.Lab says:
Mar-06-2013 08:27 pm

This could be an offer the customer receives in-store and provides a great way to surprise customers, making their experience memorable. essayontime fraud

P.Lab says:
Mar-06-2013 08:27 pm

This could be an offer the customer receives in-store and provides a great way to surprise customers, making their experience memorable. essayontime fraud

P.Lab says:
Feb-26-2013 02:17 pm

While showrooming can certainly be damaging to a business, it also presents an opportunity for retailers to rethink their strategy, leverage their in-store advantages and make on- and offline channels complement each other. home builder Calgary

P.Lab says:
Feb-26-2013 02:17 pm

While showrooming can certainly be damaging to a business, it also presents an opportunity for retailers to rethink their strategy, leverage their in-store advantages and make on- and offline channels complement each other. home builder Calgary

M.Azul says:
Jan-23-2013 06:37 am

This is very helpful tips for my business. I have to change my strategies and go with this kind of techniques to gain more profit most especially my business is an Ecommerce. Customers buy views on youtube are the key point to consider for a better and successful business. We have to provide them a good and convenient service that increase youtube view our business could offer. Applying these 5 tips will have big changes of my business for a successful one.

M.Azul says:
Jan-23-2013 06:37 am

This is very helpful tips for my business. I have to change my strategies and go with this kind of techniques to gain more profit most especially my business is an Ecommerce. Customers buy views on youtube are the key point to consider for a better and successful business. We have to provide them a good and convenient service that increase youtube view our business could offer. Applying these 5 tips will have big changes of my business for a successful one.

H.Ashton says:
Nov-27-2012 08:46 am

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H.Ashton says:
Nov-27-2012 08:46 am

The five steps are very useful. I already applying it to my business to calcul hypothécaire and to get rates using calcul prêt hypothécaire.

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Chobani founder named Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur of the Year

BY CSA STAFF

NORWICH, N.Y. — Chobani founder Hamdi Ulukaya has won the Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur of the Year 2012 Retail and Consumer Products Award. Ulukaya was also awarded the Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur of the Year 2012 Overall Award.

The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award encourages entrepreneurial activity and recognizes leaders and visionaries who demonstrate innovation, financial success and personal commitment as they create and build world-class businesses.

Ulukaya was honored at the Entrepreneur of the Year gala, the culminating event of the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum in Palm Springs, Calif. The forum is the nation’s premier gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies. Awards were given in nine additional categories. All Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award winners were selected by an independent panel of judges from 244 regional award recipients.

"Entrepreneurs continue to be a driving force in leading the economic recovery. Their ability to see around corners and find new, better ways of doing things makes them an engine of growth," said Bryan Pearce, Americas director, Entrepreneur of the Year, Ernst & Young LLP. "Ulukaya’s ability to not only see an opportunity in the market, but to turn that opportunity into a nutritional phenomenon is inspiring at a time when the news is frequently doom and gloom on market growth."

After leaving his family’s dairy business in Turkey to pursue higher education in the United States, Ulukaya recognized an opportunity to tap a relatively untouched market: Greek yogurt. Instinctively following his gut, he purchased an old Kraft yogurt plant in 2005 with the goal of bringing superior products to the U.S. market.

In less than four years, Ulukaya took Chobani’s sales from $50 million to almost $700 million per year. While other competitors focus largely on mass marketing and TV advertising, Ulukaya has instead taken a more creative, grassroots approach, capitalizing on social media and word-of-mouth marketing to build a cult following around the brand. With almost 600,000 Facebook fans, Chobani prides itself on being engaged and connected with its growing community.

Despite rapid expansion of the Chobani brand, Ulukaya sticks by his company’s philosophy: "Nothing But Good." His philanthropic initiatives have supported more than 50 groups globally. In 2010, Ulukaya created the Shepherd’s Gift Foundation, an independent 501c(3) in honor of his mother — Chobani means “shepherd” in Turkish. The foundation contributes 10% of all Chobani post-tax profits to those working for positive, long-lasting change.

Ulukaya recently launched Chobani Champions, the first Greek yogurt for kids. Ulukaya is also undertaking a major expansion of the current New York plant and is constructing a new plant in Idaho that, when finished, will be the largest yogurt plant in the country. On a global scale, Ulukaya acquired Bead Foods in Australia in 2011 and is planning to move into Canada as well.

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Survey finds Hurricane Sandy has moderate impact on retail supply chain

BY Staff Writer

New York — Importers and manufacturers who sell to America’s major retailers continue to be optimistic regarding a strong fourth quarter and holiday shopping season, according to Capital Business Credit, a non-bank lender that services the retail sector.

According to CBC’s quarterly Global Retail Manufactures and Importers Survey, 74% of importers of retail goods believe the winter/holiday season will be the same or stronger than last year. Of those who believe it will be stronger, the majority estimate that sales will increase by more than three percent compared with last year. Respondents indicated that Black Friday will continue to be the busiest shopping day of the season with Cyber Monday and the day after Christmas tied at a distant second.

"Importers continue to be optimistic about the most important quarter in the retail calendar," said Andrew Tananbaum, executive chairman at CBC. "It appears that retailers are purchasing and selling more merchandise than in 2011, which is not only encouraging for the sector but for the overall economy."

When asked if Super Storm Sandy will impact holiday retail sales in general, 50% indicated that it would have no impact and a third indicated it would have a negative effect. However, for November specifically, Super Storm Sandy will have a negative impact on 45% of importers’ businesses.

Other Super Storm Sandy data includes:

  • A little less than half of respondents did indicate that Sandy has made it more difficult to ship goods (44%).
  • A third (32%) said that it may decrease the number of re-orders retailers place to replenish fall merchandise.

"It appears that Sandy was not as catastrophic to importers’ businesses as it has been to other industries," Tananbaum said. "As importers and retailers no longer overstock merchandise, the storm’s impact was less devastating than it could have been. However, we do suspect that some companies may have lost merchandise that was in their warehouse."

Tananbaum continued: "While respondents did indicate that it has been more difficult to ship goods, they have not reported major problems or bottlenecks at the ports where their merchandise arrives. We consider this very lucky."

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