Thursday, November 19, 2009

Great Ideas from the world of Retail

Here's a few ideas "the Retail Muse" found while trolling the vast cyber space of general retail. All are simple, effective, ideas that can be modified for any campus store, or used to inspire campus retailers to improve their businesses.

Clever Levis Tag

Levis jeans has developed a clever and inspiring clothing tag called a "care tag for our planet". that will be on all products beginning January 2010. The tag encourages shoppers to donate their old jeans to goodwill as a way of caring for the planet, and "giving back".

It's a simple, yet effective campaign, reminding people that little actions can have big results. Designed by BBDO West, this idea could easily inspire campus stores to try something similar and perhaps partner with campus student groups.

Charitable Giving.

Although there is always the risk of "fundraising fatigue" with shoppers, an interesting article in the Tennessean talks about the success retailers have had by pairing charitable giving with purchases. Right now customers are responding to the idea of helping others while they make purchases. Maybe it's that season for giving, or the economy, and unemployment numbers, but there clearly is a opportunity for retailers to help out, and give back.

Is there a campus store angle here? most definetely. The ability of campus stores to reach a large audience, and promote a worthy campus cause is significant, and worth exploring.

Outside / Inside Marketing

Have you looked at your in store marketing lately? What is the experience that shoppers encounter when they visit your store? Are your shelf tags easy to read?
According to a new survey called "the Elements Report", the in store marketing and store experience is critical to shoppers. 69% of customers responded that the in store experience was "a make or break scenario" and that in store marketing was far more effective that outside advertising.

Watching TV
Checked out the new retail reality show from across the Atlantic? "Mary, Queen of Shops" is an hour long show, hosted by a caustic Brit, who visits flailing retailers and tries to put the store back on track. Although a little bit too focused on fashion trends and garments, she makes some interesting observations about store purchasing decisions, the need for community events, and levels of customer service. All points for retailers to keep at the forefront of their minds.

From the BBC, it is now showing on BBC America - check your local listings, or this link for viewing times in your area and maybe watch an episode or two, wondering what it would be like to have her come through your store!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sometimes a Great Notion - Research Edition

Each week brings a new round of surveys, reports and research on retail and consumers. Wading through all the paperwork, "the Retail Muse" stumbled across these three studies that campus stores can glean some insights from.

Happy survey notions!

Impulsive Millennials.
Brandweek carries an interesting summary of a new report, called "Winning with Millennial Women Shoppers" In the report, and survey, they found that this demographic tends to shop less, buying more on each trip, and prefers the "supercentre" experience of Wal Mart and Costco. Other findings included a need to "get the job done", instead of focusing on price, and a interest in healthy, and good for you food alternatives, providing the price point was reasonable.

Gen Y tracking
Chris O'Brien, with the Mercury News, writes a fascinating article on his trip to the suburban shopping center, in search of Generation Y shopping habits and interests. Joined by Kip Yarrow, he visits MAC Cosmetics, Lids, and Forever 21, and learns a great deal along the way.

A highly recommended read for anyone retailing to Generation Y, and of course a reminder that sometimes the best lesson for retailers, is to go shopping in the mall and watch what their target demographic is up to.

Cold Hard Concrete
A Marketing professor has found that products look more inviting, and you are more likely to purchase them, when you are standing on concrete floors versus carpet. It's an inverse relationship, and counter-intuitive, but the study showed that when customers have a slight level of discomfort under foot, they view the products much more positively, which converts to sales.

It's not just the floor though. Professor Joan Meyers-Levy has also studied ceiling height, discovering that high ceilings make consumers look at the bigger picture, while low ceilings make shoppers focus on details.