Best Buy Deploys QR Codes to Enhance Shopping Experience

Best Buy adds QR codes to all their retail stores. 82% of consumers already use mobile phones during their shopping trips, so it’s critical that retailers understand and embrace this new shopping behavior. [Read More]

Store Tour: KEEN Retail Flagship

In August, KEEN opened their first branded retail store in the trendy Pearl District of Portland, Oregon. The 900 square-foot store called “the Garage.” A shoppers first impression is that this is a high-energy, fun place to shop. The overall customer experience is very favorable. [Read More]

Will first generation customer experiences kill location based marketing?

First generation customer experiences from retail location based marketing pioneers such as ShopKick and FourSquare leave something to be desired. Will these early experiences get shoppers excited and hungry for even better experiences, or will they be disappointed and become difficult to win back?

It’s understandable to “cut some corners” to get a proof of concept in the marketplace, but it’s vital to pick the right places to save effort. Marketers must deliver a compelling customer experience from day one! (read more)

Store Tour: Penzeys Spices Does Great Retail

I live in a great urban retail district in Portland, Oregon called the Pearl.  This week I was surprised to notice a new retail shop open in my neighborhood.  Penzeys Spices is a 50 year old company that operates 48 stores and they do it quite well.

Their value proposition is that they provide high quality spices to the home cook, at affordable prices.  The design of their retail stores is very consistent with that promise. (more)

Mini-Store Visit: Office Max

When you see something “not quite right” with a retail customer experience, one question that always comes up is if the mistake was in the design or the execution.  Obviously one element of good design is that it can be easily executed in the store.  If the fundamental flaw is in the design it means it’s going to be a flaw across an entire chain, while flaws in execution can be localized to one of more stores.

Walking my local OfficeMax this week, a few customer experience mistakes jumped out at me: (more)

Future of Retail (as seen in 1992)

In 1992, I was part of a team at Blockbuster Entertainment that imagined what the future of entertainment retail might look like.  We believed that consumers wanted "Songs" rather than albums, and that long before video on demand was a reality in 300 million homes, it would be practical in 4,000 retail stores.  We were naive enough to build the proof of concept. This was 9 years before iTunes was launched and the content owners weren’t ready to give up their inefficient distribution model. This is the promotional video we developed for the concept… at least I got to meet Dennis Miller.

Mobile is the Future of In-Store Marketing

Imagine a shopper walking into a retail store, and holding their phone in front of the aisle.  The phone’s camera instantly photographs all the products on the shelf, performs image recognition on the boxes, looks up competitive prices online, and color codes the image with the products that are a good deal.

Do you think that sounds like science fiction?  It’s not.

We Can Eliminate Vampire Power at Retail

Vampire Power is the electricity that consumer electronics waste when they are plugged in and not turned on.  In the case of handheld consumer electronics (such as phones and digital cameras), the wall chargers waste power, even when the actual device isn’t connected to them.

Recently AT&T began selling the Zero Charger that shuts itself off when a device is not connected.  This made me wonder how significant vampire power is, so I did some quick math…

Powell’s Books launches “MissYou” Retail Marketing Program

Ownership is one of the most powerful psychological concepts in consumer marketing.  Once a consumer “owns” a product, they become a zealous advocate and defender of their purchase decisions (listen to a MAC vs. Windows debate some time).  Retail Designers go to great lengths to trigger this “Endowment Effect” in shoppers even before they buy.

So I thought Powell’s Books offer to create a digital photo of visitors in front of the landmark book retailer, with their own name on the marquee, is a brilliant way to make visitors feel like the own the brand. (more)

Just say no to insincere greetings.

Psychologists tell us that the best remembered and most influential parts of a shopping visit are the very first and last experiences. (it has to do with the theta oscillations and the coordination of spike timing of neurons, for you neuromarketing geeks).

That’s exactly why companies like Walmart employ “greeters” to welcome you to their store.  But too many retailers delegate the role of store greeter to an employee without retaining the spirit and the results are tragic. (more)