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« Today at Apple » Program : A New Reflection on Specialty Retail’s Future

Posted on January 23, 2018

Providing experiences, creating proximity with shoppers, engaging consumers. If you are evolving in the retail industry, you’re probably pretty familiar with these golden pillars. Yes, it’s true that these days retailers have to push the envelope and think outside the box in order to stay relevant and keep their shoppers interested.

With its new program “Today at Apple” which launched earlier this year, Apple is bringing the meaning of community to the next level. Using an innovative way of thinking called “imagination retail”, Apple’s creative teams put together a way to transform the in-store experiences of 495 Apple Stores around the world from a product-based to a people-based business. According to the article in Forbes, each of these Apple brick-and-mortar stores will be transformed during the process, to create a community hub bound by technology and personal connections.

“We’re creating a modern-day town square, where everyone is welcome in a space where the best of Apple comes together to connect with one another, discover a new passion, or take their skill to the next level. We think it will be a fun and enlightening experience for everyone who joins.

Angela Ahrendts, Senior VP Retail, Apple

The primary goal of these new concepts will be to promote connections between people so they can experience human interaction instead of simply going in a store for a product purchase. It will also allow and create natural bridges between tech-savvy consumers, and everyday users. With Millenials’ increasing purchasing power and the growing number of Baby Boomers who need and use technology but may require more assistance, “Today at Apple” will definitely bring a new sense of community to the shopping experience. It will also disable the fear of using new technologies for people who are less comfortable with certain types of innovation.

Takeaways

“Today with Apple” can definitely be seen as the real beginning of an essential retail revolution. From the products that people use, to the experience that changes people’s lives, Apple used innovation in a very creative and disruptive way: to increase shoppers’ perceived value of visiting brick-and-mortar’ stores.

A movement such as “Today with Apple” which involves a lot of resources, including financial ones, must be primarily lead by a good knowledge of consumers. As a central principle of lead management, consumers should always be the heart of every strategic decision that will be made to generate positive growth.

Do you have an excellent knowledge of your consumers? Do you know exactly what their needs are? Having a good understanding of shopper behavior will help you and your organization innovate and imagine new ways to increase engagement, conversion rates and ultimately increase profitability.

Contact us today to learn how we can help you identify opportunities to increase customer engagement, conversion rates, and store performance.

Focus on the NRF 2018 Retail’s Big Show

Posted on January 11, 2018

NRF 2018 Retail’s Big Show is undeniably THE biggest North American event of the year for retailers coming from all around the world. It is a long awaited occasion for retail professionals to meet, network, get up-to-date with new technological innovations and create eventual or immediate strong partnerships with collaborators. Last year, the convention and EXPO attracted nearly 35,000 attendees across various industries and markets.

There are multiple conferences, labs and other activities occurring throughout the show, so we believed it would be handy to provide you with Prodco’s recommendations on which events you may want to add to your agenda. Here are a few suggestions we believe may spark your interest:

 

Conferences

The Changing Face of Retail: A Conversation with Doug McMillon

As the face of retail tends to change and evolve constantly, some retailers like Walmart are adapting their strategies to create more integrated and omni-channel ways to reach consumers, innovate and generate performance. “The changing face of retail: A conversation with Doug McMillon” which will take place on Sunday, January 14 from 3:00pm to 3:30 might be very interesting. It is also a golden opportunity to hear Doug McMillon, President and CEO of Walmart, speak about his vision and strategic thinking.

Click here for more information on the Conference

 

The Brick and Mortar Stores Strike Back!

How can brick and mortar stores keep driving foot traffic and growth in 2018? It’s a question that many retailers have on their mind since the beginning of retail’s free fall following ecommerce growth. Hear Brian Kavanagh, Sr. Dir. Insights Driven Performance and Retail Evolution at The Hershey Company, and Jason Breazeale, Sr. Manager, Innovation, speak about how innovative technologies and strategies can drive customers back into physical stores. Make sure you add the conference to your schedule on Monday, January 15 from 10:30am to 11:00am.

Click here for more information on the Conference

 

Networking

Women run retail breakfast

Powered by Women in IT community, the “Women run retail breakfast” and networking session promises to be inspiring and empowering, especially for women in the retail industry. To attend the networking session, you’ll have to RSVP when you register for NRF 2018.

 

Prodco Free Demo Sessions

Stop looking at simple data reports, and start using business intelligence to drive decisions in your business. At Prodco, we do more than just door count. We measure your store’s true performance by providing the missing piece of the retail puzzle. Let us show you how we can provide you and your business with innovative technologies that will allow proper data generation, but also highly valuable insights that will really make a difference in your everyday decision making.

Book your personalized free demo with our dedicated team now

 

Takeaways

Register today to take advantage of the standard rate prices and attend the 2018 NRF Retail’s Big Show.

Come see us at booth #4345 while you are walking through the show. We will be pleased to meet you and to go through your goals and objectives to see how we can tailored solutions that will really meet or go beyond your expectations.

Four Reasons why Brick and Mortar Stores are Still Highly Valuable for Shoppers

Posted on January 5, 2018

These days, technology is everywhere! Online shopping is convenient and has never been more accessible. A large majority of the population probably thinks the era of physical stores will come to an end sooner or later. However, Retail Dive analysts seem to think otherwise. Located in Washington, DC, Retail Dive is specialized in sourcing retail shoppers’ insights. They recently conducted a survey questioning 1,425 U.S. consumers on the reasons that make them choose to shop in stores versus online.

Here are 4 reasons why shoppers keep their relationship with brick and mortar stores instead of turning themselves entirely to technology.

  1. Desire to Touch and Sample the Products

According to Retail Dive’s consumer survey, the desire to test and feel the products is the main reason why consumers still appreciate shopping at brick-and-mortar stores. 62% of respondents said that the ability to see, touch, feel, and try out the products that they are interested in purchasing was the most important part of their buying experience.

  1. Gratification of Bringing the Products Home Immediately

49% of Retail Dive’s survey respondents state that they still shop in brick-and-mortar stores. The instant gratification linked to being able to enjoy a product right after its purchase is a satisfaction consumers can’t get when they choose to shop online.

  1. Ability to Return Products Faster and Easier

20% of consumers indicate easy returns as one of the main reasons why they still want to shop in stores. Even though retailers are attempting to create hassle-free return policies for online purchases, some consumers do not yet feel comfortable with the process and therefore buying online will always be a deal breaker.

  1. Ability to Speak with Store Associates if Required

18% of respondents said that the social aspect of shopping in a brick-and-mortar stores was an important aspect of their purchase process. For these shoppers, chats, emails and phone support can’t beat a real conversation with a person who is entirely dedicated to help them make the best possible decision.

Takeaways

In fact, the rising popularity of e-commerce and online purchases is undeniable. However, retailers still need to deliver quality rich experiences to their consumers in-store. In the upcoming years, the real challenge will be to integrate both online and in-store shopping experiences in order to smooth the borders of online and offline shopping to create a complete Omni-channel experience.

 

Are you creating an engaging shopping experience for your consumers? Do you have the right tools to measure your customers’ loyalty? Are your stores’ traffic trends in line with the industry? Let us help you identify where opportunities for improvement exist and benchmark your chain against the industry. Book your free demo today.

Holiday Sales Review : A Winning Season for Retailers

Posted on January 3, 2018

Here we are, the curtain has fallen to reveal the 2017 holiday sales results, and they are extremely positive for North American retailers.

According to Mastercard’s latest SpendingPulse report, released on December 26, retail sales grew up to 4.9 percent this holiday season compared to last year’s same period. The study by Mastercard also revealed which categories benefitted from the highest increase in sales: electronics and appliances had the highest increase of 7.5%. The jewelry category saw an increase of 5.9%, being a great option for last minutes gifts. Home furnishing goods’ spending increased 5.1% this year, which represents the strongest growth of the past 10 years.

According to Sarah Quinlan, Senior Vice President of Market Insights at Mastercard, this year’s big win for retailers is due to many factors including but not limited to: strong economy, new strategies developed by retailers to start engaging shoppers differently, and cleverly placed in-store promotions. Speaking of in-store promotions, early November sales were 18% higher than they were in 2016.

Stock investors apparently foresaw the impressive results as stock prices of certain retailers such as Ralph Lauren (10%) have risen over the past few months. In comparison, global stock prices have only risen 3% in the S&P500.

Takeaways

The 2017 holiday sales season has been an overall success for retailers. It is widely known that some popular and well established retailers had to close their doors earlier this year. However, the last sales sprint of 2017 was an optimistic breeze for retailers who have been able to innovate and react agilely to the industry’s fluctuations over the past few years. Brick-and-mortar stores will continue to have a special place in consumers’ hearts as long as they can continue adapting to modern shoppers’ reality and respond to their consumers’ specific needs. Early fall promotions and advertising attracting door traffic, insight-based strategies, and a good knowledge of consumer behavior/shopping habits will remain retailers’ best allies.

Get our latest retail index for your market and region to benchmark your performance, and start planning strategies that will rank you as a leader in your category. Contact our team now.

2017 Holiday Sales Predictions and Advice to Reach your Store’s Full Potential

Posted on December 26, 2017

A few years ago, Boxing Day was a crucial sales day for most Canadian retailers, as it was considered by shoppers as the ultimate opportunity to save big on a variety of products. Today, this anticipation is still topical for a lot of shoppers. However, statistics are increasingly showing that most North American shoppers, including Canadian shoppers, kick off their holiday spending season on Black Friday, which is also considered the highest dollar spend day of the year. Consequently, this year’s Black Friday sales figures in Canada are almost double last year’s sales. These recent statistics prove that there is a shift in the shopping habits of Canadian consumers; they are becoming even more similar to American holiday shopping traditions.

The last Saturday before December 25th is also a very lucrative day for retailers across North America, which sometimes tends to be overlooked. It is the year’s second largest shopping day for consumers who are looking for last minute gifts. Prodco’s retail traffic index data over the last several years confirms the phenomenon, showing that the last Saturday before Christmas is the busiest shopping day of December, just ahead of Christmas eve.

According to a CIBC Poll, Canadians plan to spend an average of $643 on holiday shopping, which represents an increase of 8% compared to last year. Usually, the holiday shopping global spending in the US is a little higher with an average of $906 spent. However, half of the poll’s respondents confessed that they were probably going to go over their planned budget during their holiday shopping spree.

Even if Boxing Day seems to have lost popularity in Canada, it is undeniable that great sales opportunities exist for retailers on Boxing Day. A study conducted by Bloomberg revealed that the 2017 Christmas sales forecast is now more than one percent higher than expected earlier this year.  If this season’s sales attain Bloomberg’s latest projections, retailers might achieve the best holiday sales performance since 2005.

Considering these promising forecasts, you, as a retailer, must be ready to brave these busy shopping days and leverage all the resources available to capitalize on these opportunities. Begin by clearly understanding historical traffic trends around this time of year and align staffing requirements to convert the large number of shoppers into sales and successfully achieve your holiday sales goals.

 

Takeaways

The holiday shopping season is the most important period for retailers globally. It is a sales marathon, with Black Friday as the starting point and Boxing Day as the finish line. To end your sales season on a high point: be sure to prepare your organization, your sales staff, and your brick-and-mortar stores to successfully capitalize on this exceptional high volume of opportunities. Prep your teams by analyzing and understanding your stores’ historical traffic trends and leverage it with Prodco’s Retail Traffic Index to increase sales.

Prodco is a global leader in the delivery and management of retail traffic intelligence. Contact us today to get your hands on meaningful data reports that will help you take advantage of all opportunities and achieve your stores’ maximum potential this holiday season.