Senior Omni-channel Strategist, Watson Customer Engagement, IBM

Ship From Store: Easier or Harder Than You Think…It Depends

Shipping costs matter It’s hard to imagine a current retailer that’s not at least a little bit concerned about the potential competitive incursion of Amazon on their business. But, beyond the obvious price and product assortment aspects of competing against Amazon, there’s an area where many retailers have a competitive asset that they’re overlooking…it’s called […]

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Brand Relationship: When Is It Most Vulnerable?

Every retailer works to create and maintain a strong brand relationship with its customers. [In this case I’m talking about the retailer’s brand, not a product brand.] They want that brand to represent something that ties a consumer to them in a way that supersedes price, proximity, marketing hype, etc. as the primary selection criteria. […]

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The Store’s Pivotal Role In The Post-Purchase Brand Experience

As I’ve mentioned in previous writings, the post-purchase phase of the consumer’s brand experience has the greatest potential influence on a consumer’s relationship with a retailer. In an IBM study of 1,500 US consumers, we found that: Eighty-five percent more consumers aged 40 and above say the post-purchase experience has a greater potential to strengthen […]

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Today’s Merchandising Realities: Are Stores Ready For “The Truth”?

The amount of change to be handled in order to support various omni-channel capabilities is, perhaps, greatest in stores — where change is often difficult (i.e., given the number of stores and employees involved). Such omni-channel initiatives as in-store pickup or return of online purchases, online visibility into available store inventory, pickup time guarantees, (and […]

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“Out of Stock,” out of Luck? Maybe Not

Since the first retailer opened for business, out-of-stocks (OOSs) have been an issue for consumers. But, in recent years, consumers have shown an increasing impatience with inconvenience. And, there are few consumer inconveniences worse than wanting or needing something, being more than willing to pay for it, going to the store, and finding that the […]

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You Had Me At “Goodbye”: Post-Purchase Phase Is Key

Some years ago, I blogged about the importance of the post-purchase brand experience in deepening or undermining the brand relationship that a consumer has with a retailer. I cited a U.S. consumer survey that our Institute for Business Value (IBV) conducted in 2011. The respondents to that survey made it clear that of the 3 […]

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IBM Consumer Expectations Study Insights: Yesterday’s “Good Enough” Is Today’s “Not Even Close”

As many as 10 years ago, consumers were already clear about their expectations for a seamless brand experience across all channels with retailers. [85% percent said they “expected” such a seamless experience, and ­­­­­­­­82% said they expected that experience to be consistent regardless of the number of channels involved.] Last year, we completed our IBM […]

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New insights into the ever-evolving consumer

The following insights into the latest expectations and behavior of today’s evolving consumer were presented to 100-plus senior retail executives attending the 2014 Shop.org Summit Executive Afternoon, sponsored by IBM. The statistics were drawn from IBM’s Global Consumer Study and Holiday Benchmark Study, as well as, a handful of additional sources. Let’s begin with a […]

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Building The Brand Relationship

Mention the word “brand” to any retailer, and you’ll get their attention immediately. Every successful retailer knows that “brand” is something that is very difficult to build and very easy to destroy. And, they know it’s an essential component in the foundation of every long-term, successful retail business. But, well beyond your logo and slogan, […]

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Smarter Commerce: The Next Great Battleground For Retail

Ninety percent of consumers trust the recommends of friends and family.  Seventy percent trust recommendations from other consumers.[1]  But, only 18% trust the recommendations of retailers and manufacturers.[2]  Worse yet, consumers’ instant access to the opinions of other consumers is extensive.  By the time the numbers are all in, the worldwide smartphone market is expected […]

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