Friday, August 26, 2016

How Big Box Stores Look to Hook College Students - For Life

It's back-to-college season, which means retailers are battling to equip as many of America's freshmen with laptops, futons and minifridges as they can. Amid the flood of deals and discounts, some have their eyes on a bigger prize: figuring out how a new generation of customers shops and hooking a group of potential lifelong repeat customers.

The average family with college-age kids plans to spend $888.71 getting ready to go back to campus, about half of which will go to electronics, apparel and dorm furnishings, according to a National Retail Federation survey.

"Especially when it's freshmen going off to college for the first time, or a sophomore or junior establishing their first apartment, it's a big chunk of change," Retail Systems Research analyst Nikki Baird said.

And while those sales are compelling in their own right, companies with more unique or engaging pitches to college students are likely to have an advantage....

Read the entire article courtesy of The Chicago Tribune:

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Avoid These Seven Deadly Sins of Customer Experience

When it comes to providing customer service, companies often have only one chance to get it right. The reality is that even just one negative experience can be all it takes for a customer to take their business elsewhere. 

Today, companies are faced with even more pressure, as customer service capabilities are innovating and evolving to meet the needs of the tech savvy shopper. This is giving way to customer communications beyond traditional phone calls and emails, as organizations are harnessing the power of social media and chat functions as a way to personalize connections with customers in the channels that they prefer.

As the omnichannel experience grows, it is imperative to arm your representatives with the intelligence and tools required to ensure a consistent, thoughtful and personalized customer experience. Avoiding these seven deadly sins of customer communication are key to ensuring client satisfaction:...

See all Seven Deadly Sins of Customer Experience courtesy of CSA

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A Heads-Up On Holiday Retailing Strategies

A Heads-Up On Holiday Retailing Strategies

Former strategy and innovation executive, Kim Garretson, shares data from a frequent shoppers study by e-tailing on consumer holiday shopping behaviors in 2015, alerting retailers to consumer responses in planning for the upcoming season.  

Last Fall, says Kim, MyAlerts and the research firm e-Tailing Group surveyed 1,200 frequent e-commerce shoppers ahead of their holiday shopping, providing some early insights:

Consumer Holiday Shopping Habits:

  • 43% answered that they usually will wait for sales when first viewing products
  • 37% said if the price is fair, they usually buy soon
  • 50% said they always or frequently would opt-in to price drop email alerts, with another 37% saying they sometimes would opt-in to price alerts
Read the rest of the article courtesy of Media Post:

Monday, August 15, 2016

Travel Agents See Changes In The Face Of Wellness Travel

The top trends for summer and fall travel in the wellness sector point to a strong season, with a broadening customer base and more options—and therefore, more need for a professional guidance.

This year is all about shorter stays, more men, more physically challenging activities and a younger customer base, say a handful of top travel professionals specializing in wellness who spoke with TMR over the past few days.

Kathy Bernstein of Chicago-based Protravel International, a Travel Leaders Group agency, says she is seeing a trend toward shorter and more focused trips, with a specific goal such as learning to surf or meditate. The current state of information overload from surfing the internet for travel options leaves clients “overwhelmed with the volume of information and choices”—and sees her role as “helping them focus on their major motivation.”

Whether they are looking for spas or the increasing number of hotels that offer wellness options, there is something out there for everyone. But it’s important to make the right match, because “a misstep could have exactly the opposite effect of their intention.”...

Read the entire article courtesy of Travel Market Report:

Friday, August 12, 2016

Attention Retailers: Affluent Shoppers Like Coupons, Too!

Think wealthy folks are averse to using coupons? Think again.

A new study by intelligent media delivery firm Valassis found that coupon use among the affluent is strong despite their six-digit annual incomes.
Consumers collectively saved $3.4 billion by redeeming coupons in 2015, according to NCH data, and affluent shoppers were no exception. Valassis’ research illustrates an opportunity for marketers to reach this group via integrated print and digital promotions.

Among the affluent (household incomes of over $100K) shoppers surveyed, 28% have increased their use of coupons in the past year. Fifty-six percent reported that they enjoy using coupons, and 87% believe that coupons save them a lot of money.... 

Read the entire article courtesy of Retailing Today:

Report: 'Star Wars' Drives Healthy Mid-Year Growth in Toy Aisle

"The spike in outdoor toys is an example of millennials’ penchant for experiences over stuff spilling over into parenthood—a clue for toy retailers preparing for the holidays."

After slumping in recent years, toy sales are booming, and movie, internet, and television tie-ins are a big part of that. But consumers’ priority of spending money on experiences over stuff is also driving the growth, as outdoor toys dominate sales.

“I expect to see continued growth for the U.S. toy industry for the remainder of 2016 and, if it reaches 7% for year-end, that would be the fastest growth of the U.S. toy market since 1999,” NPD U.S. toys analyst Juli Lennett said in a statement. “Toys with movie tie-ins will continue to contribute to the increase, stemming from those released both in 2015 and 2016. Television, over-the-top and other content providers, like YouTube and social media, will also continue to drive growth.”...

Read the entire article courtesy of Retail Dive:

Thursday, August 11, 2016

How to Build an Auto Brand with Audio: Subaru's Stunning Success via Carmichael Lynch's Storytelling

"...heavy radio listeners generate more word of mouth about leading auto brands compared to heavy digital users and heavy TV users." 

“No one can build a brand with audio” is a misconception in the media world, especially when it comes to building auto brands. In fact, tons of brands -- including Subaru -- are building their brands with audio.

“Tier one auto” advertising describes the ads auto manufacturers air on national media, usually TV, to raise awareness and purchase consideration for their car brands. TV is often the first thought for these ads because of the assumption people need to see the “sight, sound, and motion” of the car.

So many distracting devices means Americans are not putting their “eyes on the TV screen” to see all the beautiful sight, sound, and motion of car ads. The highly regarded Council for Research Excellence finds: “Consumers have moved from a single-source, single-device ‘mental model’ to a multi-source, multi-device mental model.”...

Read the entire article courtesy of Westwood One