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Shopper Connections

BY CSA STAFF

Retailers have learned that the only way to survive in a tight economy is to know their shoppers’ expectations and preferences, and deliver specific service based on these needs. As chains interact with shoppers across new and evolving channels, however, they must support consumer-centric strategies with analytics that monitor shoppers’ habits and preferences to ensure they deliver the personalized service, regardless of the channel in which they shop. 


In fact, personalization is now considered so important to retail longevity that 41% of retailers made consumer-centricity an enterprise strategy in 2010, up from just 11% in 2009, according to “The State of Personalization in Retail: Benchmark 2010,” study, conducted by Retail Systems Research, Miami. 


While a majority of retailers already mine point-of-sale data to understand shoppers’ demographics and purchases, retailers are challenged when it comes to keeping and attracting more of their “best” shoppers, and moving their “good” and “better” customers into a higher segmentation, especially as they shop in new retail channels.


“The best way to retain those top, profitable shoppers is to target the best products, services, price and promotions according to their consumers’ needs, and do so in their preferred shopping channels,” said Janet Hoffman, managing director, retail practice for technology, outsourcing and consulting firm Accenture. 


This type of differentiation comes from gaining a 360-degree view of the shopper. Chains must understand purchase patterns in-store, online, through smart phones and social media, and even how they respond to pop-up stores or promotions in interactive kiosks and vending machines, according to Hoffman.


“There is no longer such a thing as a single channel customer, so for consumer-centricity to work, retailers need to know what the consumer wants in all channels,” she added.


Currently, retailers analyze data in their planning to understand preferences and see historical shopping patterns. But the real key to meeting shopper expectations is through the use of predictive analytics. Such analysis gets to the heart of what to expect with regard to shoppers’ future demands, allowing retailers to merchandise and market on a much more targeted basis. Moving ahead, chains must be able to take a snapshot of what is happening enterprise-wide — in-store and across digital channels — to get a complete view of the shopper. 


While enterprise-wide, cross-channel consumer-centricity may seem overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. The following tips can help chains reconnect and attract their best shoppers:


• Invest in technology, especially predictive analytics. 


• Integrate analytics across all channels.


“The digital consumer is more nimble than ever,” Hoffman explained. “Retailers need an analytics platform that is flexible enough to delve into their buying actions enterprise-wide.”


• Use analytics to know and identify your shoppers. Understand where they shop, and how their behavior differs across channels, including innovative ones, such as pop-up stores and social media. 


• Be ready to act. “Retailers need to understand what consumers consider valuable, and take action on insight through merchandise, price and promotions that satisfy the needs of your best shoppers,” Hoffman advised.

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FINANCE

Genesco Q4 net income up 19%

BY CSA STAFF

Nashville, Tenn. — Genesco said Friday that its net income rose 19%, boosted by acquisitions and higher revenue from its stores.

Net income rose 19% to $30.9 million, from $25.9 million in the prior-year period. Revenue rose 17% to $560.5 million, from $479 million. Analysts expected revenue of $539.8 million.

Same-store sales were up 9%.

For the full year, net income rose 85% to $53.2 million. Revenue rose 14% to $1.79 billion, from $1.57 billion.

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OPERATIONS

Family Dollar in arrangement with Marketing Management

BY CSA STAFF

Matthews, N.C. — Family Dollar Stores launched its strategic alignment with Marketing Management, Inc. (MMI) in front of more than 100 key suppliers at the company’s Private Brand Summit Thursday in Charlotte, N.C. Through this exclusive on-site alignment, MMI will assist Family Dollar with private brand sourcing, product development, category analytics, assortment strategy, quality assurance and customer insights.

"Enhancing our private brand assortment to drive margin improvement and customer loyalty is a key strategic initiative for Family Dollar," said Don Hamblen, Family Dollar senior VP — customer marketing. "A compelling assortment of private brand merchandise gives our value-conscious customer more choices at lower prices without lower standards. Our alignment with MMI will help ensure our assortment is focused on quality and value across all our consumables departments."

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