Retail Store Manager Jobs #discount #coupon


#retail manager jobs

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“retail store manager”

Retail Store Manager to be Placed in Canada/australia/hongkong Countrywide Visas 3-8 YearsCanada, AustraliaRetail, Wholesale, Store Management, Business Development. Few Hours Ago Looking for Store Manager For Pondicherry – Leading Retail-diva HI STYLE INDIA (P) LTD 3-7 YearsPondicherryStore Manager Store Operations Today Walk In – Retail/store Managers Cars24 Services Pvt. Ltd. 2-5 YearsMumbai, Mumbai Suburbs, Navi Mumbaisales, selling, Retail, Retail Sales, Retail Store Manager 2 days ago

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Assistant Store Manager ( Hardcore Sales Background) – Retail Luxury C Kaamkaajindia 4-8 YearsMumbaiSales, Team Handling, Luxury, Client Management, top brand, HNI. 1 day ago Retail Store Manager Confidential 3-7 YearsHubli, Dharwad, Mangalore, Salem, Hyderabad, ChennaiStore Management, Retail Sales, Store Planning, inventory planning. 5 days ago Job Opening For Retail Store Manager – (bihar, Jharkhand, Gujarat) SLA Consultants India 3-8 YearsAhmedabad, Patna, RanchiRetail, Apparel, Store Management, store manager, Department manager, floor. 7 days ago

Female Retail Store Manager- Chennai 2Coms Consulting Pvt Ltd. 1-6 YearsChennaiRetail Outlets, Store Management, EBIT, PROFIT AND LOSS, STORE OUTLETS. 6 days ago Hiring For the Post of Store Manager – Retail & Csr(counter Sales Rep) Excel HR Solutions Private Limited 2-4 YearsPuneCounter Sales, Retail, Store Management, sales, Business Development 2 days ago Retail Store Manager ARJAY RETAIL 3-8 YearsBengaluruRetail, Store Management, showroom management 4 days ago

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  • The four benefits of multi-channel retailing #pc #retailers


    #multi channel retailing

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    The four benefits of multi-channel retailing

    The following is an excerpt from the free guide “Multi-channel Retailing: An Introduction,” sponsored by Frank Mayer and Associates and available for download here .

    Creating a successful multi-channel experience can seem intimidating to many retailers, who may wonder if the effort is worth it. They may not have a choice, however.

    “Consumers are expecting this kind of integration already,” said Ron Bowers, senior vice president of Frank Mayer and Associates. a Grafton, Wis.-based merchandising company. “They expect that if they order an item online, they can return it in the store, that kind of thing. It’s up to retailers to make sure that expectation is met.”

    But multi-channel retailing offers plenty of benefits to retailers, benefits that make investing in the strategy worthwhile.

    Improved customer perception

    “Channels are disintegrating for customers,” said Jeremy Gustafson, vice president at KSC Kreate, a digital commerce agency based in Hollywood, Fla. “People are watching television and using their tablet at the same time. They expect the same kind of integration with their shopping experience.”

    Brands who don’t provide that kind of experience, he said, are likely to lose customers, especially as the digital generation gains even more buying power.

    Stores who do create a seamless experience that integrates all different forms of technology, however, can gain significant customer loyalty. Those brands are perceived as forward-thinking and responsive to customer’s needs — qualities that will keep customers coming back.

    That improved perception offers another advantage, as well. In a world of big-box stores and online shopping, finding the best price is easier than ever for customers. A store that is perceived as responsive to customer needs and gives customers easy access to a variety of channels can differentiate itself in a crowded field. That allows the brand to compete on the experience offered, rather than just price. Customers might be willing to pay a little more for the convenience, and will come back repeatedly, and brands don’t have to slice their profits just to keep up.

    The primary driver for a retailer adopting any strategy is, of course, increasing profit, most frequently by increasing sales. Multi-channel retailing, by offering a variety of engagement points for the customer to make a purchase, increases the convenience and ease of sales, thus boosting profit.

    A customer who thinks about buying a pair of pants, for example, may not want to drive to the mall, park, walk to the store, find the pants and try them on. For that customer, she can go online at home and order the pants from the store’s website. Another customer, however, might be in the store trying on the pants and decide she’d like them in a different color. In that case, she can use an in-store kiosk to find the pants in the preferred color, order them and have them delivered to her home. Still another customer can use her smartphone to take a picture of the pants, send it to a friend and discuss whether to purchase them or not. Having a variety of engagement points gives retailers more tools to make a sale.

    Better data collection

    Knowing the customer is a key tenant for successful retailing, and multi-channel engagement points provide more opportunities to gather information about customers.

    There are two benefits to the data collection offered by multi-channel retail: First, the possibility for gathering more information exists, and the information can be used more effectively.

    “People usually are more comfortable entering information themselves, rather than giving it to a salesperson,” said Steve Deckert, marketing manager for Sweet Tooth, a Toronto-based provider of loyalty programs to retailers. “So they are far more likely to enter their email address into a kiosk than give it to a cashier. At the same time, by having that information available across a variety of channels, the retailer has more opportunities to capture the information, and more of it.”

    If a retailer can track what a customer is purchasing, and where, more targeted marketing can be introduced. Someone who tends to browse online and then purchase in-store, for example, can be emailed an invitation to a private showing in a store, and the list of products to be shown can be sent before the event, increasing the likelihood of purchase.

    Not only is it more likely that the customer will provide important information, but if all the different channels are communicating, then the information only needs to be entered once.

    “If you’re going to ask someone for information about themselves, it needs to be available whenever they come to you,” said Verizon’s Bagel. “Otherwise, it feels intrusive and annoying to have to repeat the same information over and over again.”

    Multi-channel retailing offers benefits for more than shoppers. Workers, too, can benefit from the use of new technology, by arming them with more information and increasing their efficiency.

    A tablet, for example, frees employees from the point-of-sale system, instead allowing them to carry the register with them. Employees can go directly to the aid of customers, helping them to find out what is in stock, what is available at other stores and when new products might be launching. The tablet also can contain information about the loyalty program, so a frequent customer can be given VIP status. Then, when a purchase is ready to be made, the customer does not have to stand in line, but rather can simply continue talking to the salesperson and make her purchase via tablet.

    While every type of channel has its own unique set of challenges, there are some strategies that are true across all engagement points.

    Be consistent. Messaging across all channels should have the same look and feel; the customer should always know exactly what brand she is interacting with.

    “Traditionally, retailers have approached each channel individually,” said Gustafson. “What is needed, though, is to create a single marketing message, and then figure out how to deploy it across all channels. The messaging doesn’t have to be identical, but it all needs to be clearly related.”

    Provide a value-add. Make sure each engagement point offers something to the customer. An in-store kiosk that simply accesses the company’s website, for example, is not bringing anything unique to the customer; instead, she can check the website at home, on her own. The same is true of a tablet. If the salesperson with the tablet does not have access to more or better information than the customer can access via her own tablet or smartphone, the application will not bring much value to the transaction.

    Security. There is a fine line between being helpful and being intrusive, and it’s a line that is easily crossed. Customers are aware of security issues, and are wary of providing too much personal information.

    “There has to be a clear connection between the information collected, how it’s used and what value the customer receives from it,” said Bagel. “Understand your brand strategy and what level of intimacy is appropriate. Depending on your clientele, privacy might not be as important — digital natives tend to be far less concerned with privacy than Baby Boomers, for example. But everyone wants to know that they will receive a benefit from giving you information.”

    Be committed. Multi-channel retailing requires an investment in time and money. There needs to be a clear strategy across all teams, and cooperation is critical to success.

    “In order to have totally seamless solution, all stakeholders need to be involved, giving their insight and taking ownership and having support and understanding as to what is being done, why and how,” said Bowers. “This is not a sometime commitment; this is a total marketing strategy for the retailer to invest in the future of the customer acquisition, retention process and loyalty programs.”


    Erfolgreicher Multi-Channel-Handel #hotel #promo #codes


    #multi channel retailing

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    Erfolgreicher Multi-Channel-Handel

    Multi-Channel-Retailing ist ein Businessmodell, das beim E-Commerce parallel mehrere Vertriebskanäle einsetzt (= mehrgleisiger Vertrieb des Handels). Es zielt damit auf den sogenannten multioptionalen Kunden, der zwischen den einzelnen Absatzkanälen hin- und her wechselt. Dabei nutzt er die verschiedenen Vorteile, die ihm jeder Kanal bietet. So informiert sich der Kunde zuerst online, lässt sich das Produkt im physischen laden vorführen, kauft es aber schliesslich im Online-Shop, weil er dort einen Preisvorteil erhält. Dieser Usertyp wird in Zukunft im E-Commerce an Bedeutung gewinnen. Deshalb implementieren viele Unternehmen eine Multi-Channel-Vertriebsstrategie.

    Multi-Channel-Strategie vor allem im B2C-Bereich
    Viele Unternehmen haben in den letzten Jahren eine Multi-Channel-Strategie implementiert. Vor allem im B2C-Bereich ist dieser Trend zu beobachten und es hat sich gezeigt, dass Multi-Channel-Anbieter deutliche stärker im Markt positioniert sind, da sie das Potential des Online-Handels besser ausnutzen.
    Ein Grund dafür ist, dass Multi-Channel-Kunden tendenziell mehr kaufen und loyaler sind. Denn dank der Präsenz des Anbieters auf verschiedenen Kanälen lässt sich der Kunde besser bewirtschaften und bei seinen „Wünschen packen“. Die befürchtete Kannibalisierung des „Hauptkanals“ findet nicht statt.

    Vorteile eines Multi-Channel-Vertriebs
    Folgende Vorteile ergeben sich aus einem Multi-Channel-Vertrieb:

    • Erhöhte Marktabdeckung:
      Der Einsatz verschiedener Kanäle erlaubt es, unterschiedliche und auch neue Zielgruppen anzusprechen
    • Zusätzlicher Nutzen für den Kunden:
      Die Kunden wählen ihren „Lieblingskanal“ nach nutzenorientierten Gesichtspunkten und empfinden das Angebot als „wertsteigernd“. Dies erhöht die Kundenbindung. Zudem erlaubt es den Unternehmen, spezifische Leistungen auf einzelne Kanäle zu verteilen und so ein umfassendes Branding zu generieren.
    • Wirtschaftlichkeit:
      Ein Mehrkanalsystem kann zu einer Senkung der Distributionskosten führen.
    • Risikoausgleich:
      Ein Multi-Channel-System erlaubt es, Abhängigkeiten zwischen Zielgruppen und Absatzmittlern auszugleichen und zu minimieren.

    Erfolgreiche Umsetzung: Diese Punkte gilt es zu beachten
    Multi-Channel-Retailing stellt ein Unternehmen aber auch vor gewisse Herausforderungen. Folgende Aspekte müssen gemeistert werden, um einen Erfolg sicherzustellen:

    • Saubere Kundendaten:
      Effizientes Multi-Channel-Retailing ist nur möglich, wenn alle Kundendaten aus den verschiedenen Systemen und Kanälen zentral verwaltet werden. Wichtig ist es, alle Daten möglichst aktuell zu halten und die verschiedenen Kanäle zeitnah zu bedienen.
    • Harmonisierung der Infrastruktur:
      Infrastrukturen von Unternehmen sind meist organisch gewachsen und bestehen aus unterschiedlichen Systemen, die nicht immer auf dem neusten Stand sind. Da es oft unmöglich ist, alle Systeme gleichzeitig upzugraden, ist es daher sinnvoll, eine Art Zwischenschicht einzusetzen, die alle Systeme und Kanäle miteinander verbindet. So wird sichergestellt, dass die Produkte in allen Kanälen zur Verfügung stehen.
    • Integrierte Kommunikationsstrategie:
      Damit der Kunde das Unternehmen möglichst aus einem Guss wahrnimmt, muss die Kommunikationsstrategie kanalübergreifend ein einheitliches Markenbild vermitteln.
    • CRM:
      Teil der Markenwahrnehmung ist der Umgang mit den Kunden. Vor allem das Beschwerdemanagement spielt beim E-Commerce eine wichtige Rolle. Deshalb ist darauf zu achten, dass die Kommunikation mit den Kunden über alle Kanäle vereinheitlicht wird.

    Apple s Retail Strategy Is Still Paying Off in a Big Way #retail #comic


    #retail strategy

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    Apple’s Retail Strategy Is Still Paying Off in a Big Way

    NEW YORK (TheStreet ) — Apple (AAPL ) no longer breaks out the sales of its retail store business as part of its quarterly results, but industry analysts who follow the consumer-electronics leader say the rest of Apple’s report suggests its retail operations remain strong at a time when the company is launching its most anticipated product in years.

    Apple’s retail stores received attention recently for having only display models of the Apple Watch and only allowing customers to place orders for the device. The practice was promoted in an email and video by Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president of retail. She encouraged retail employees to push consumers to purchase an Apple Watch through Apple’s online store.

    Ahrendts’ method of promoting the Apple Watch was seen by some as a change in Apple’s retail strategy. Historically, the company has hyped up the first-day sales of new products, leading to long lines outside Apple’s stores.

    But analyst Tim Bajarin of Creative Strategies said the absence of the Apple Watch in the Apple stores was more of a “one-off” event than a change in the company’s retail direction.

    “You can’t glean any retail information from the Apple Watch,” Bajarin said. “That had to do with their supply chain. But you can get a pretty strong understanding that since their [overall] numbers did well, you have to believe that retail is stronger than ever.”

    For the fiscal second quarter. Apple said it earned $13.6 billion, or $2.33 a share, on revenue of $58 billion. In the same quarter a year earlier, Apple reported a profit of $10.2 billion, or $1.66 a share, on $45.6 billion in revenue. Sales of the iPhone and Mac were among the quarter’s highlights, with iPhone revenue rising 55% from a year ago to $40.3 billion on the sale of 61.2 million units. Mac revenue rose 2% to $5.62 billion on 4.6 million units.


    Multichannel Retailing: Definition, Benefits & Challenges #about #retail


    #multi channel retailing

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    Multichannel Retailing: Definition, Benefits & Challenges

    This lesson will identify the benefits of multichannel retailing, such as customer loyalty and improved analytics. We will also look at challenges, such as information security and personnel time. Examples of multichannel retailing will be given.

    What Is Multichannel Retailing?

    Ever see something you wanted to buy right then and there? When you go to the store, do you want to know if another store has the same product at a lower price? What about sitting on your couch and seeing a product advertised on television that you’d like to buy right away? If you like ordering goodies from your couch, car or deck, then you are a fan of multichannel retailing.

    Multichannel retailing is when a company provides numerous ways for customers to purchase goods and services. This marketing strategy could include selling through traditional outlets such as catalogs, brick-and-mortar stores, mail, and telephone. But, it also includes nontraditional electronic and mobile outlets like websites, chats, emails, apps, and social networks.

    Multichannel retailing is a way to build a brand and reach a lot of consumers. You want to target channels that give you the most return on your investment. Let’s review the benefits of multichannel retailing and look at Sears as an example.

    What Are The Benefits Of Multichannel Retailing?

    Multichannel retailing is a marketing concept that is always evolving. The bottom line is that most companies these days are expected to give customers a variety of ways to shop. Customers want convenience, and they want things done immediately. Multichannel retailing offers the following benefits.

    • Flexibility for consumers when purchasing and paying for goods and services,
    • More opportunities to build a brand among diverse audiences,
    • Additional chances to solicit and use consumer testimonials,
    • 24-hour access to customers to build brand loyalty,
    • A greater degree of visibility among various demographics, and
    • Improved analytics to help understand consumer behaviors.

    Sears was one of the first companies to use a multichannel retailing model. Established in 1886, Sears started as a traditional outlet, a mail order catalog store. By the 1950s, the company built several brick-and-mortar stores. After expanding its Kenmore, Craftsman, and Diehard brands, it was acquired by Kmart in 2004. Sears continued its multichannel transformation.

    Combined with Kmart, Sears has turned itself into a diversified, online behemoth. The company not only owns familiar brands such as Discover and Allstate, but it has dramatically improved convenience for customers wanting their brands. Now consumers can buy something in the store and have it shipped home or vice versa. Interestingly enough, Sears continues to invest in different types of brick-and-mortar stores, including outlets and discount stores.

    The company has improved its retail sales with a large investment in online marketing channels and changes. For example, Sears became a part of the the Shop Your Way rewards program, which is an online platform that builds shopping around a social network. The company also expanded its app, Sears2go, which allows you the convenience of shopping with your mobile phone.

    Sears even offers an electronic personal shopper from its website while giving store customers the flexibility to use a kiosk in its stores. By offering multiple shopping, payment, and shipping methods, Sears looks to continue shifting its business model to more of an online retailer. Now that we know the benefits of multichannel retailing, let’s look at the drawbacks.

    What Are The Drawbacks of Multichannel Retailing?

    The drawbacks of multichannel retailing are usually related to companies spreading themselves so thin that they are not able to offer a truly integrated experience to customers. For example, there are a few questions a company needs to answer before expanding into multiple channels as a marketing plan:

    • Are you able to keep the prices of goods and services comparative to competitors?
    • Can you offer a comparable customer service experience online?
    • Do you have the ability to keep customer information secure in all settings?
    • Are you able to compete when consumers compare quality across other retailers?
    • Do you have the money to invest in targeted messaging?
    • Do you have the staff available to maintain the multiple channels?

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    Retail Jobs (Managers – Assistants) in the UK #online #retailers


    #retail manager jobs

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    Retail jobs

    Sign up for job alerts Get new jobs for this search by email

    Found 689 jobs

    Are you a Retail professional looking for new opportunities? Here at Leisurejobs we supply a huge number of Retail jobs from junior level to senior management, working with exciting brands like Paddy Power, Starbucks. Thorpe Park. Costa Coffee and many more. Whether you’re a Retail Manager, Merchandiser, Retail Assistant or a specialist Personal Shopper we’ve got you sorted!

    Acton £7/hr (part time and full time available – must be flexible) Oxygen Free Jumping

    Oxygen Freejumping is the market leading trampoline park chain in the UK.

    Manchester, Greater Manchester Competitive Tiffany Co

    Christmas with Tiffany Co. your time to sparkle! Unwrap your potential as a Tiffany Co. Seasonal Sales Professional at Selfridges, Manchester.

    London (Central), London (Greater) Competitive Tiffany Co

    Christmas with Tiffany Co. your time to sparkle! Unwrap your potential as a Tiffany Co. Seasonal Sales Professional within one of our London-b.

    Manchester, Greater Manchester Competitive Tiffany Co

    Christmas with Tiffany Co. your time to sparkle! Unwrap your potential as a Tiffany Co. Seasonal Sales Professional at Selfridges, Manchester.

    London (Central), London (Greater) Competitive Tiffany Co

    Christmas with Tiffany Co. your time to sparkle! Unwrap your potential as a Tiffany Co. Seasonal Sales Professional within one of our London-b.

    Cardiff £8.00 per hour Praesepe

    We are seeking an enthusiastic and motivated individual to take on the role of Assistant Manager in our Cashino Venue in Cardiff.

    Weoley Castle, Birmingham £8.00 per hour Praesepe

    We are seeking an enthusiastic and motivated individual to take on the role of Assistant Manager in our Cashino Venue in Weoley Castle.

    London Competitive Chelsea FC

    Our aim is to be the best, not just within the sports industry but also amongst all global consumer brands.


    What is a Retail Marketing Strategy? (with pictures) – mobile wiseGEEK #retail #stores #online


    #retail strategy

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    wiseGEEK: What is a Retail Marketing Strategy?

    A retail marketing strategy refers to how a store and its products sell goods to its target customers. Each type of retail business has to make decisions about all the details of its marketing mix. A marketing mix consists of the product, price, place, promotion and packaging. Internet marketing strategies and those for stores that people shop at in person must be developed to meet the needs of potential customers. A retail marketing strategy is first outlined in a business plan.

    A business plan contains information about the intention and goals of the company. It’s created before a business opens. Business plans include research about who the company’s potential customers are as well as what their needs and wants are. A retail marketing strategy should be a part of the business plan. It should include decisions about the marketing mix approach, such as how customers will get the products.

    For instance, a furniture company may choose a large warehouse. while a jewelry manufacturer may decide to sell only over the Internet. Other businesses may select a combination of a brick and mortar store for in person customer purchases plus a website for customer online shopping. All retail marketing decisions should consider the target customer as well as the company’s profit. For example, having an etail website rather than a retail store may save on overhead costs, but it won’t be a profitable choice if the target customer isn’t likely to shop online.

    Common retail marketing strategies involve how products and stores are positioned and differentiated. A differentiation strategy focuses on products that can stand out from the others competing for the attention and dollars of the target market. For example, a furniture store may offer hand-made products or other items very different from what competing stores are offering. Of course, the product shouldn’t only be different, it has to be something that targeted customers want and need. Retail market differentiation must set stores and products apart in order to create strong branding.

    Branding is the identity of a product or service. Retail products and services in the same industry can differ widely from each other. For example, low-cost hair cutting services are branded and differentiated from upscale salons by their “no frills” store design. Expensive hair salons, on the other hand, are usually very detailed and fashionable in their store’s look. As part of it’s retail marketing strategy, an upscale salon may be positioned to potential customers as trendy, while the low-cost basic hair cutting establishment’s market positioning could be promoted as budget -friendly.

    Article Discussion

    4) This is a great article and absolutely correct in a number of ways. My team works with a lot of retailers and brands in helping them maximize their ROI – Return On Investment — in this area and part of this is by using shopper insights.

    When you work closely with shopper marketeers, you can cover all areas of the retail marketing experience, including retail design all the way to implementation. The more retailers and brands that wake up to this type of shopper marketing and the value it brings in, the more savings at the point of sale they are likely to achieve.

    3) Retail marketing is crucial nowadays for any store owner, whether it be a small store or a large multi-store retailer. But it has to cover all parts of marketing, including online and offline. We now work with our clients to make sure all the parts are covered from the best design of a POS through online campaigns and make sure all this is joined up. It pays really big didvdends if this done.

    2) SurfNturf-I know that when I worked for Clinique, one of the other counters had a purchase with purchase promotion, so we prospected throughout the store in order to get customers to the counter.

    We offered three minute eye make up tips and provided free samples in order to get people to our counter.

    I think when marketing your business you really have to know who your target market is and what the general retail trends are for your product or service. Marketing branding is really important so that your customer base can identify with your product and understand it.

    1) Product marketing strategy involves creating retail advertising in order to promote your products.

    Advertising strategies might include offering a gift with a minimum purchase. Many cosmetic companies offer promotions like these as well as purchase with purchase which requires the customer to buy a product at a lower price as long as the minimum purchase has been made.

    Sometimes retail advertising promotes make up artists or celebrities that will be visiting the store in order to entice future customers to the store.

    Sometimes stores will provide free giveaways to the first one hundred customers in order to encourage them to go to the store early. This is usually done during high traffic sales like Black Friday.

    Sometimes retail advertising will offer buy one get one free or offer a few products at cost in order to entice customers in the store to purchase more merchandise.


    Why Retail Strategies are in Desperate Need of Change #discount #coupon #codes


    #retail strategy

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    Why Retail Strategies are in Desperate Need of Change

    Accurately Responding to Market Change to Create Competitive Advantage

    Retail strategy is at a reset moment. Historically, retail CEOs have designed business strategies by creating differentiation among the 8 primary factors of location, store, merchandise/assortment, visual merchandising, staff, service, mass media and communications, and price. A retailer could achieve sustained leadership by standing out in at least 2 of these dimensions.

    For example, Walmart’s differentiation is based on broad assortments and low price, or Nordstrom on Service and highly specific assortments.

    However, an unprecedented change in consumer technologies, and more so consumer behaviors, has transferred the balance of retail commerce power from retailers to consumers. Consumers are now more connected and informed, and have far more purchase options than ever before. Their personal technologies have changed their behaviors. Consumer expectations have increased, their loyalty has decreased and because barriers to switching brands continue to decline they are in fact switching brands at an accelerated pace.

    To respond to consumers’ new behaviors, technologies and purchasing power, retailers must append their business strategy with new forms of differentiation, recognize that customer relationships increasingly influence consumer purchase decisions, understand that mass media communications have given way to consumer preferences for highly personalized messaging, and that business intelligence is a new basis for competitive advantage. My diagram below visually illustrates the adjustments needed for todays successful retail strategy.

    While the 8 historical differentiation factors still apply, they are fleeting and insufficient by themselves. They are also being copied and replicated by existing and new competitors in shorter and shorter time spans a trend that will continue to erode differentiation and accelerate commoditization.

    The definition of competitive advantage is differentiation that is relevant, measurable and unique. If you recognize that the retail market has changed in a way that none of the original 8 dimensions are unique, you also recognize that they are no longer capable of creating competitive advantage by themselves.

    Fortunately, the rise of consumer empowerment also brings new opportunities for retailers. Consumers want to engage with their preferred brands pursuant to their terms and using their personal technologies. Retailers that apply Customer Relationship Management (CRM) strategies to engage consumers and nurture consumer relationships can find that these Customer Relationships trump every other competitive differentiation factor for certain classes of consumers, such as loyalty members, repeat customers and high value customers. Further, customer relationships don’t deteriorate over time. In fact, just the opposite, they normally get stronger over time, making customer relationships one of only two sustainable competitive advantages available to retailers.

    The other sustainable competitive advantage is the ability to apply business intelligence for improved decision making throughout the enterprise. Business intelligence is the long heralded but seldom achieved capability to get the right information to the right decision maker at the right time. And for the record, decision makers are not found in just the C-suite. Too often, business intelligence (BI) is narrowly viewed as something for corporate leaders, somehow suggesting the remaining 99% of the business can operate just fine without intelligence.

    BI software can use data to create a differentiating customer experience and more accurate merchandise/assortment planning forecasts among other things. However, executive sponsorship is required to create a culture which discourages subjective, gut or intuitive decision making (risk taking) and instead favors data driven, fact based and evidence supported decision making in all areas of the business.

    Not Worthless, Just Worth Less

    So what about the original 8 competitive advantage factors?

    Location and Store. Omni-channel renders any single location and store less potent. More merchandise sold over more channels lessens the volume of business done in any single channel. This doesn’t suggest that the location, store or any single channel is unimportant but that channel diversification renders any single channel less important than the overall omni-channel strategy .

    Merchandise and Assortments. These are being copied by high volume imitators and lower cost competitors in shorter durations. For example, shoes, bags, apparel and new fashion trends revealed on Milan runways now have their designs copied and reproduced in hours, and are manufactured in China or Bangladesh in less than four days. However, on the flipside, better data is creating better science to compliment artful assortment planning so that any knowledgeable retailer taking advantage of the science can create improved merchandise and assortment forecasts and plans. Merchandise/assortments is still a critical success factor, but is increasingly replicable by competitors and available to any retailer willing and able to apply data and science to deliver increased accuracy, which thereby renders less differentiation and competitive advantage.

    Visual Merchandising. Still important but easily and quickly replicable. Little to no differentiation here.

    Staff. While most retailers view staff as expenses and not assets, a few retail leaders are upping their game in terms of staffing – mostly as it relates to their Customer Experience Management goals. Retail staffing as a differentiator varies considerably by sector.

    Service. Most retail customer service disappoints but the industry is taking note of the strategies and successes of retailers such as Zappos and Nordstrom. Pre-sale and post-sale service processes are easily and quickly replicable. However, upping the game from simple service scenarios to delivering rewarding and memorable customer experiences (CX) is indeed a strong competitive advantage. For reference, I include CX management within CRM. I know today they are often considered separate, but it’s clear to me they will merge. Understanding this now will help retailers create a single CRM strategy and avoid fragmented processes and systems.

    Mass Communications. Mass media branding value and mass communications conversions are dying. I continue to hear retail marketers suggest that mass media creates branding. Unfortunately, they fail to realize that consumers determine the brand value not from paid advertising (which is at an all-time low in terms of believability) but from social media and their own consumer experiences. Retailers must engage consumers via a social media strategy and finely tuned segmentation in order to deliver relevant, personalized and contextual messaging and offers that resonate in order to achieve conversions and campaign effectiveness. This is a big transition that most retailers make at a snails pace.

    Price. Unless you are Walmart, competing on price remains a fools errand.

    The unprecedented pace of change in the retail industry is producing a growing divide between those that act and those that wait and see. As innovative retailers respond to more demanding consumer behaviors they will in turn attract larger numbers of new customers while those retailers who procrastinate will involuntarily become the source of those customer defections and incur a steady business deterioration.


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    Multichannel retail is exciting for customers and quite scary for many retailers. It brings with it new opportunities and new threats. It is about change in customer shopping habits. Yet it is vital for the retailer not to lose sight of the customer’s fundamental needs, which actually haven’t changed. This is the first in a series of articles looking at the pros and cons of multichannel retail, what are the potential pitfalls and risks and how it can boost profits for those who get it right.

    Last year, I visited a pub that refused to take credit cards. Intrigued, I asked why and the owner explained that he was quite resistant to the banks taking a percentage of what should be his money, he didn’t feel it was right. Not too long afterwards the pub closed down. Unfortunately he missed the fact that regardless of his own feelings, his customers had changed, they wanted and needed to pay by credit card and by refusing to change with them his business suffered.

    Change is of course a part of every business, and recognising how your customers are changing is vital for any business owner. It’s not necessarily easy though. Change is not always that obvious. At first change, especially change driven by technology, can be surrounded by lots of hot air and hype, and then gradually become reality, creeping up over several years.

    Gartner identified this route to change in their Hype Cycle, which shows what happens with many new technologies; Internet, 3G phones (remember that hype?) and others. Multichannel Retail follows this curve. Where the potential for the technology is written about by an excited press before companies have a chance of making the potential benefits a reality. This creates peak of inflated expectation followed by disillusionment when people try out the new technology. This happened with the Internet when we had dial up connections and poor quality websites and search engines. But then the functionality improves over a period of years. This is the risky part. Those who haven’t changed in the initial rush can be caught out as the wave of change is slow and steady yet powerful and gets less publicity.

    Multichannel retailing itself is not a new change, it was over 35 years ago Argos recognised a market where customers wanted to browse at home and buy in store. They successfully addressed that market with their catalogues and shops. The wider emergence of integrated multichannel retailing is more recent, being driven by the expansion of the Internet as a new selling channel. For example, the Internet now represents a third of Argos’ overall sales (with the Check Reserve service key to this growth which underlines the importance of it being multichannel not just internet).

    What is multichannel retail?

    Multichannel retailing is firstly about the customer. It is about recognizing that many of today’s consumers want multiple touch points with their retailers when and where they want them. These touch points can include the shop, Internet, telephone or smartphone. A multichannel retailer will aim to offer a consistent brand presence no matter which touch point the customer uses.

    Now if a retailer only offers say, two touch points (shop and phone) and the consumer uses four touch points (shop, phone, web and smartphone) then the retailer is missing out on revenue opportunities, and risks losing that customer to a competitor with the right touch points.

    Mark Lewis, chief executive of Collect + said “Our research has shown that retailers must continue to adapt to offer services that fit in with busy commuter lives if they are to maintain customer loyalty.”

    This change in consumer shopping habits allows retailers the opportunity to engage with their customers more than ever before, across different touch points. If they get it right they can really grow their businesses, but there is a risk if they don’t they can lose customer’s loyalty.

    What does the customer want?

    If multichannel retail is really about the customer, what does the customer want? Well they want what they have always wanted: 1) good service, 2) convenience and 3) value for money (VFM).

    In the early days of the Internet, even up until quite recently, the Internet was viewed by many in retail as a disruptive new technology. There was talk of customers abandoning stores and buying most products and services over the Internet at the cheapest possible prices. It was all about price. But with the rush to get online, the technology driving the websites was not refined; this had a negative impact on quality and service.

    Now things have changed. The pendulum may have swung away from the core customer requirements of Service, Convenience and VFM for a while as people chased cheapest prices in the excitement of this new shopping channel. However the pendulum has now returned to a happier medium reflecting the tradition customer values.

    The second article on successful multichannel retail looks at an example of how one of the most successful multichannel retailers in the UK focuses on these core values and not on price. They maintain margins, deliver a high quality of service and are growing rapidly in doing so.


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