The Challenges of Clustering

As the seasons change and the weather starts to warm up, I found myself on the hunt for a new summer outfit – ideally a lightweight blouse paired with a matching skirt. While the merchandise I’m looking to buy isn’t necessarily relevant, the situation I found myself in is.

It’s the kind of situation consumers experience waaay too frequently and, frankly, a large reason why providing a stellar customer experience while improving sell-through is such a challenge for many retailers today. 

The story goes like this: 

I came across THE perfect blouse/skirt on a retailer’s e-commerce page. Sizing is always a potential issue so instead of making an online order, I resort to a brick-and-mortar visit.

As I make my way to this retailer’s store, ready and willing to spend, I ultimately find:

  1. The blouse isn’t available at that particular location
  2. The skirt isn’t available in the size or color I wanted
  3. The sales associate was super unhelpful (irrelevant to the point I’m trying to make – but argh—still worth noting) 

Okay, fine. It happens. How was the retailer to know I was going to waltz into their Newbury location looking for product A and product B?

The thing is, businesses “doing retail right” do know – and plan their assortment accordingly. Successful retailers know when it comes to finalizing their assortment plan for the upcoming season, they must rely on truly localized demand to ensure they stock the right product at the right location (and in this particular instance, in the right color and size).

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Topics: allocation, assortment optimization, customer experience, merchandise planning, customer choice, merchandise buy, retail clustering, customer preference

3 Takeaways from Cowen’s Re-Think Retail: The Store Must Do More

Customers require an easy shopping experience, a focused product assortment, and an experience which connects them to the brand, retailer, or other people. – Cowen Research, Re-Think Retail: The Store Must Do More 

How are you breaking into the new world of retail?

Obviously, times have changed. Consumers have changed. How we do business has changed.

Technology has really changed. 

With all this change going on in our world, it’s inevitable retailers must change too. But how can retailers ensure they’re adapting to survive? To succeed? To thrive? 

In a recent retail manifesto, Cowen Research gives their two cents on how retailers are “rethinking retail” as profound shifts in customer expectations continue to force traditional retail business models to innovate and change. 

From Cowen’s perspective, it’s all about the store.

Just like the title of the report illustrates, the store must do more to “maximize a customer’s experience” and “minimize tasks” as their purpose has fundamentally shifted. In today’s new world of retail, stores must act as customer acquisition points where convenience, curation, and culture trump all other factors.

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Topics: customer experience, predictive analytics, in-store assortment, convenience, inventory optimization, in-store experience, data

Delivering on Delivery Expectations

"The No. 1 driver of shopping cart abandonment (aka lost market share) is extra fees applied at checkout (aka logistics costs).”  - Retail Dive

As a consumer, it’s easy to overlook the complexities retailers must overcome to execute on delivering the right product to the right place, at the right time.  

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Topics: customer experience, retail technology, amazon, fulfillment, walmart, consumer habits, order delivery, delivery

Another One Bites the Dust? Not So Fast.

This week's retail news greeted us, yet again, with another not-so-surprising headline, which has been a reoccurring theme throughout the past year:

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Topics: customer experience, shopping trends, physical stores, consumer insights

Talks You Don't Want to Miss at Shop.org 2017

Shop.org, the annual e-commerce conference for retailers, is just around the corner and we are sooo excited.

In light of the upcoming event, we highlighted some of the most interesting items on the agenda—just for you. 

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Topics: data overload, customer experience, retail technology, e-commerce, in-store technology, shop.org, consumer insights

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