• Summertime rules: analysing Europe’s back-to-school footfall trends

    As the school year ends each summer, a key sales opportunity begins for European retailers.

    Families that shop for clothes, shoes, stationery and accessories that their children will need when the next term begins are a valuable revenue driver – and the spend taking place in 2017 is likely to end up even higher than last year, says Kantar.

    Yet many retailers fail to make the most of the back-to-school sales potential. Shopper traffic during school holidays can be erratic, making the planning of inventory and staffing levels a challenge.

    To help you plan your summer retail strategy more effectively, we’ve identified three key back-to-school strategies based on an analysis of shopper footfall from several European countries in 2014-16.

    Be prepared for the stock-up shopper

    Whether they’re hunting down the best prices, ….

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  • School’s out, store’s in


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  • Why the schedule matters for successful staffing

    You may be working hard to attract shoppers, satisfy their demands and drive conversions – but are you fully optimising the role your store associates play in this equation?

    Staff members are one of brick-and-mortar stores’ most valuable assets. In addition to making sure that the business is working effectively on an operational level, retail staff members are essential to customer service, as they provide shoppers with advice and reassurance that encourages them to make a transaction.

    But however strong a store team might be, it will not deliver optimum results unless its schedule and workload are built around a holistic understanding of shopper behaviour.

    Examining the effectiveness of your staff rota, and its ability to optimise the shopper-to-associate ratio (STAR) in your stores, can yield impressive results. McKinsey ….

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  • When it comes to customer loyalty, is the store keeping pace with online?

    In the omnichannel retail environment, where digital and physical channels are interconnected, the consumer is spoilt for choice with where, how and with whom they shop. And their expectations across these channels continue to rise.

    This has made securing customer loyalty significantly more challenging for retailers. Market competition is intense, and even a single bad experience can be enough to push regular shoppers towards competitors.

    In order to cultivate customer longevity in this highly competitive environment, the retail loyalty market has exploded. In fact, market research forecasts that loyalty management spend will surpass $4.5 billion by 2021, according to ABI research.

    But while investment is increasing, many retailers are finding their loyalty schemes are more effective in nurturing customer retention and spend online than ….

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  • How can retailers understand in-store shoppers as well as they do online shoppers?

    In the world of online shopping, it’s relatively easy to track and analyse customer behaviour, as every action is digitally logged. Retailers will know who has shopped and where, how long they browsed the site, what they purchased, and whether they redeemed a marketing offer or collected loyalty points.

    Back in the physical store, however, the same shopper will browse and buy with relative anonymity. Much less is known about in-store shoppers by store associates – and this makes it much more difficult to personalise purchasing journeys.

    Retailers urgently need ways to gather the same in-depth insights online and offline, if they want to optimise the customer experience. Now is the time to stop guessing what in-store behaviour patterns look like, and start knowing how consumers shop.

    In order to understand bricks-and-mortar shoppers in greater depth, many retailers are implementing location-based analytics across their store estate. ….

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  • IoT update: how are retailers successfully implementing connected technologies in the physical store?

    As digital-loving consumers clamour for more and more connectivity in their lives, the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) is gathering momentum among innovative retailers. Shoppers want convenient access to personalised products, services and information, 24/7.

    In response, Juniper Research forecasts that merchants will spend $2.5 billion on IoT technologies by 2020. In fact, many retailers are already leveraging business intelligence solutions in their operations to better understand consumer behaviour and optimise the customer experience. For instance, retail traffic insights can be used to improve checkout times, store layout, and shopper-to-associate ratios.

    And as a greater number of connected technologies reach the market, new opportunities arise for retailers to enhance or reshape the customer experience. As Forbes journalist, Barbara Thau, concludes in a recent ….

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