As the earnings reports for two major retailers indicate, it’s quite difficult to predict exactly which categories consumers will be spending on — and promotional advertising or industry trends aside, it may not actually be the ones you’d expect.
Last month Target CEO Bryan Cornell indicated that apparel remains a challenging category for the company, and in general for all retailers. He noted that the intensity of promotional efforts (don’t act like you haven’t seen those vibrant Target apparel commercials lately) might suggest otherwise but that’s not necessarily true. That said, Target is a company that understands the importance of what its customers think, as well as the value in being able to measure that sort of feedback to bring about future success.
Cornell also noted that the digital experience is an area to prioritize because of its positive impact on the business, saying: “The one thing that we continue to see, and that we’ve embraced as an organization, is whether our guest is shopping in-store or online — it starts digitally. So we continue to make sure we’re investing in our digital assets. The majority of retail business in the United States continues to be done in stores but it starts online.”
Now more than ever retail businesses are seeing their customer’s journey shift as behaviors move online. A journey that begins via a mobile app can move to purchasing at physical locations for some goods, or an online store for other goods. The point is that these journeys are not only worth tracking, but also analyzing to determine what impact specific business decisions are having on the bottom line.
ForeSee does this by tracking customer experience through our technology that uses a proven methodology to predict behaviors and provide insights on the experience customers are having both in and out of the retail sphere.
Turning to the home goods category of retail, both Home Depot and Lowe’s reported favorable results for the quarter. And in a very interesting aside, Lowe’s CEO Robert Niblock attributed the strength of sales in the category to a recent consumer sentiment survey revealing that rising home prices are motivating consumers to spend more — a trend he expects to continue.
So again, staying active when it comes to hearing what your customers have to say — as well as having the technology to translate what to do with that feedback — can prove to be an invaluable tool for success.
Check out the the recent Yahoo Finance article for more insights, and of course get in touch with ForeSee if you’re interested in making customer experience data a competitive advantage for your business.Categories: Retail