OPERATIONS

Research: Boomers and Gen Y divided on retail sensory experiences

BY Staff Writer

Boston — New research released by Brodeur Partners uncovered that Baby Boomers and Generation Y’ers think differently about the shopping experience.

According to The Brodeur Partners’ Retail Relevance Study, Boomers see the ideal shopping experience as getting a good deal on a decent product. For Gen Y, it’s more about a stimulating, sensual, “sharable” experience.

The study used maximum difference scaling methodology to identify what is most and least relevant in a shopping experience. The study asked 2,000 American consumers to think of their favorite place to shop and identify those elements that were most and least relevant.

Among the key findings, twice as many Gen Y’ers (18 to 34) are “okay if people know I am associated with a retailer” than Baby Boomers (55-plus).

Sensory appeal and the ability of a retailer to “make me smile” are one-third more important to Gen Y than to Boomers. Practical decisions drive choice of retailers for 8-out-of-10 Boomers, but only half of the Gen Y respondents.

“Put simply, younger shoppers view their ideal shopping experience as less functional and much more social, expressive and sensory-driven,” said Jerry Johnson, Brodeur’s executive VP strategic planning. “Retail shopping is probably more intertwined with social networking than we’ve realized. When a Gen Y consumer checks in to a retailer on Foursquare or ‘likes’ a retailer on Facebook, that’s very valuable to a retailer. Peers by nature are ready to have the experience their friends just did.”

And though sensory experiences clearly matter, Johnson warned retailers that they can’t simply barrage the Gen Y consumer with loud music, seductive smells and images of beautiful bodies: the research indicated that retailers need to focus equally on the social aspects of the experience, and be a brand with which a consumer would want to associate.

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OPERATIONS

Friendly’s teams with Micros Systems for web ordering and loyalty program

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Columbia, Md. — Micros Systems said Monday that Friendly’s Ice Cream has expanded its partnership with Micros through the addition to its technology solution set of online ordering and a guest loyalty program.

To support its initiative of adding to its customer base and retaining current customers, Friendly’s has elected to deploy Micros webOrdering and Micros iCare Customer Relationship Management solutions.

The implementation of the webOrdering solution allows Friendly’s to increase its sales through new distribution channels such as off-premise ordering. With this new solution, orders placed through the Internet are sent to the Micros POS system and processed as a typical carryout request, ensuring workflow of the restaurant staff remains uninterrupted.

Micros webOrdering is being piloted in four Friendly’s locations with plans for a complete rollout to its corporate-owned locations and many franchise locations by June 2012.

“We sought a reliable and cost-effective product for our online ordering solutions, and found this with Micros webOrdering,” said Richard Del Valle, VP restaurant operations support, Friendly’s Ice Cream.

An additional venture that Friendly’s is launching in July 2012 is the Micros iCare loyalty program. By implementing iCare across its enterprise, Friendly’s will have the tools necessary to build stronger relationships with its customers and gain a better understanding of their preferences and buying patterns. Friendly’s will expand the current email club, Best Friends of Friendly’s, to the Micros iCare technology engine, which seamlessly processes member transactions, supports loyalty program rules, and conducts market segmentation and mailings through a sophisticated email generation algorithm. Program performance results and metrics will then be measured to define low, medium and heavy users, and show when and how customers pursue offers and rewards. The information generated by Micros iCare allows Friendly’s to retain existing patrons and boost visits.

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STORE SPACES

K3 Retail launches alliance with JustEnough Software

BY Staff Writer

Newport Beach, Calif. – U.K. Microsoft Dynamics solution-provider K3 Retail said Monday it has formed an alliance with JustEnough Software to help retailers more effectively plan financials, assortments, markdowns, promotions and allocations with flexibility, accuracy and ease.



JustEnough’s Merchandise & Assortment Planning, Price & Markdown Planning, Promotions Planning & Analysis, Space Planning and Allocation & Replenishment solutions are fully integrated with Microsoft Dynamics AX. As a result, users can more effectively plan assortments and markdowns, maximize selling-space effectiveness, allocate products to the optimal stores and replenish inventory with accuracy.



The JustEnough retail planning solutions are designed to help retailers avoid stock-outs, over-stocks, lost sales and dissatisfied customers.

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