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Report: Retail experiences can drive growth, profit and loyalty

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York City — PwC US, in its report Experience Radar 2011: Retail Insights, found that retailers that design differentiated ‘experiences’ around their products and services can drive growth, profitability and lasting consumer loyalty, while also maintaining a price premium over competitors.

The study, based on PwC’s Experience Radar methodology, measured the experiences of more than 6,000 U.S. consumers across 11 industries.

The PwC Retail Insights study found that consumer loyalty is born from shopping experiences that create strong psychological connections, rather than from points or rewards programs alone. Looking at five core consumer experience attributes — accessibility, support, quality, presentation and social belonging — the PwC study’s objective was to identify what’s most important to consumers and then develop and deploy an action plan to deliver a great customer experience.

“In today’s economy, retailers must identify new ways to set themselves apart, and that begins with a clear focus on customer experience,” said Susan McPartlin, PwC’s U.S. Retail & Consumer industry leader.

PwC suggested that retailers focus on enhancing service through investing in knowledgeable staff and leveraging front-line employees. According to the study, product knowledge and recommendations accounted for almost one third of good experiences related to support, while only 1% of shoppers cited rewards programs alone as influencing their purchase decisions.

According to PwC, retailers should consider developing an experience action plan built upon their loyalty program’s customer knowledge that strives to achieve five key experience enhancers: using front-line staff to create positive shopper experiences; make customers brand ambassadors; overcome shopper concerns and help them avoid risk; embrace the anytime, anywhere economy; and when something bad happens, fix it.

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Retail Checklist: Tips for Black Friday crowd control

BY Staff Writer

Bay Shore, N.Y. — With a week to Black Friday, Lawrence, a Tensator Group Co., and a provider of queue management solutions, has issued its top five considerations for Black Friday crowd management.

By bearing the following considerations in mind and implementing simple queue management solutions, customers will be able to safely and efficiently move through checkout lines, according to Lawrence, and retailers can rescue sales that would have been otherwise abandoned.

Here is what retailers should keep in mind as they gear up for the big day:

Safety first: Allocate enough queue space to accommodate everyone looking to enter the store or the checkout lines.

Have extra barriers on-hand in case the need arises to better define spaces around hot selling items or to establish additional queuing spaces.

Utilize unproductive space. Turn wait time into additional browsing/shopping time by using in-queue merchandising solutions. Keeping customers engaged and entertained will make wait time more pleasurable and smart retailers can expect to benefit from additional revenue generation by offering impulse products.

Communication is key with large crowds. Make sure all store signage is clear, visible and effective bottom line: Make customer service and satisfaction the top priority. Train your staff to be alert, attentive, know the safety rules and be service oriented.

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NRF survey: 33% of consumers expected to shop Black Friday, will monitor social media for deals

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Washington, D.C. — A survey released Thursday by the National Retail Federation said that the number of people “definitely” shopping stores and websites on Black Friday as jumped to 33%, from 27% in 2010.

According to a preliminary Black Friday shopping survey, conducted for NRF by BIGresearch, up to 152 million people plan to shop Black Friday weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), higher than the 138 million people who planned to do so last year. According to the survey, 74 million people say they will definitely hit the stores and another 77 million are waiting to see if the bargains are worth braving the cold and the crowds.

“Though many retailers are already touting select Black Friday ads, there’s no doubt we’ll all be blown away by what retailers still have in their bag of tricks for shoppers,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “We fully expect to see excited shoppers as early as midnight at stores around the country, as many holiday shoppers would rather stay up all night to take advantage of retailers’ Black Friday deals rather than set their alarm to wake up the next morning.”

For the first time, NRF asked shoppers how they plan to keep track of retailers’ holiday sales and promotions announcements. Half (50.5%) will keep up with advertising circulars throughout the holiday season and nearly one-third (31.7%) said they will tune in to watch retailers’ holiday commercials. Additionally, 23.1% will seek out coupon websites like RetailMeNot.com and FatWallet.com, and 32.3% will specifically keep track of the email coupons they receive from retailers.

The survey found 17.3% will monitor retailers’ Facebook pages and 11.3% will check out group buying sites like Groupon and LivingSocial. Of those who own tablet devices and who plan to shop for or research holiday items this year, one in five (21.3%) will seek out group buying sites and 31.2% will check out retailers’ Facebook pages.

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G.Han says:
Mar-27-2013 05:32 pm

The rising number of people "definitely" going to shop on Black Friday is due to the marketing techniques that the stores are using. I also decided to buy some stuff I needed on Black Friday but when I saw how many people were at the mall I bought only Duracell Alkaline Batteries and went home, it was too exhausting for me.

G.Han says:
Mar-27-2013 05:32 pm

The rising number of people "definitely" going to shop on Black Friday is due to the marketing techniques that the stores are using. I also decided to buy some stuff I needed on Black Friday but when I saw how many people were at the mall I bought only Duracell Alkaline Batteries and went home, it was too exhausting for me.

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