Actionable Insights From APT's Retail Practice
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Reinvigorating Retail: Capitalizing on Online and Off-Price Concepts

September 18th, 2017 | Posted by APT in Retail - (Comments Off on Reinvigorating Retail: Capitalizing on Online and Off-Price Concepts)

Could online and off-price concepts be the key to capturing market share in the retail industry? It is no secret that the industry is facing headwinds, primarily driven by shifting consumer preferences. However, many online-only retailers and off-price retail concepts have found unique success in the challenging retail environment. Yet, much like traditional retailers, these organizations must continue to introduce innovative strategies to keep pace. One example of such innovation is Gilt’s recent website relaunch, in which the online designer merchandise retailer placed more emphasis on personalization than its traditional flash sales, while also introducing a mix of full-price and discounted goods.

As traditional brick-and-mortar retailers search for new ideas to get ahead of the competition, they may not make full-fledged pivots to online-only or off-price strategies, such as developing an entirely new off-price brand. However, as they explore similar concepts—such as off-price sections in-store, online flash sales, or enhanced omnichannel offerings—there are important considerations they should keep in mind as they emulate elements of these concepts to refresh and refine their own strategies.

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Your Customers Don’t Stick to One Channel, and Neither Should Your Analytics

September 18th, 2017 | Posted by APT in Financial Services - (Comments Off on Your Customers Don’t Stick to One Channel, and Neither Should Your Analytics)

By 2025, traditional financial institutions (FIs) could see profits decline 20-60% if they fail to evolve digitally. This is not news to banks; most are already aware that they need to grow their digital offerings to keep up with consumer demand, and many are responding by investing more resources in mobile apps and online platforms.

The driving force behind this digital evolution is growing customer acquisition and engagement across channels, and as banks shift the way they interact with customers, they need to change the way they assess their marketing initiatives. Many FIs are stuck measuring their digital campaigns within the same channel they execute them, relying on click-through rates and conversions to evaluate program success. This approach is helpful when making tactical changes to execution, such as ad placement and content, but is problematic when organizations rely on it to answer broader strategic questions that inform budget allocation.

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Optimizing CPG Advertising Spend in the Age of Digital Media

September 11th, 2017 | Posted by APT in Manufacturing - (Comments Off on Optimizing CPG Advertising Spend in the Age of Digital Media)

Over $14 billion. That’s the total measured-media spend for the categories of Food, Beverages and Candy and Personal Care in the US in 2016. Highlighting the large investments CPGs are making in advertising, these were two of the largest measured-media spending categories. Research also shows that internet ad spending is forecasted to be the biggest ad medium in the US in 2017 – even topping television – with an expected investment of $69 billion.

As digital advertising becomes increasingly prevalent and CPG advertising budgets continue to grow, organizations must carefully re-allocate media spend across digital channels as well as mass media platforms, such as radio and print ad campaigns. In order to make informed investments in this area, CPGs first need to understand the true value of digital campaigns for their business. From there, they can develop a better understanding of where to focus their marketing spend, and strategically distribute budget across programs for maximum impact.

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Learnings From Across Industries: Insurers Tackle New Technologies and Tech Startups

September 11th, 2017 | Posted by APT in Insurance - (Comments Off on Learnings From Across Industries: Insurers Tackle New Technologies and Tech Startups)

With more than 80% of insurers planning to invest in new technology this year, the trend of InsurTech—the application of technology to traditional insurance practices—is sweeping the industry. This trend is evident not only as incumbent insurance players adopt cutting-edge technologies, but also in the rise of insurance tech startups, which are creating a new kind of competition for traditional insurers.

Insurers are not the first to face industry disruption, especially in the form of pressure to adopt new technology or respond to the competitive threat of tech-focused newcomers. Similar changes have emerged in other sectors, from hospitality and banking to retail and telecommunications.

As insurers contemplate how to refine key business programs in the face of such industry disruption, they can apply best practices from their peers across industries. Leading companies in many sectors have turned to business experimentation to innovate strategically in response to new technology and emerging competitors, and insurers can emulate this approach to optimize their responses to the changing industry landscape.

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Convenience Stores Expand Their Offerings: Maximizing the Value of New Programs

September 1st, 2017 | Posted by APT in Retail - (Comments Off on Convenience Stores Expand Their Offerings: Maximizing the Value of New Programs)

Convenience stores are racing to establish themselves as more than just a pit stop for fuel and snacks. Previously, we addressed how some convenience store chains are adding features such as seating areas, Wi-Fi and drive-thru windows, and investing in services like USPS goposts to drive traffic.

Now, as highlighted in a recent Wall Street Journal article, convenience retailers continue to grow their offerings and services through money-transfer options. BP gas stations in Australia partnered with Western Union to enable customers to send money overseas, with gas station attendants facilitating the transaction. This collaboration allows customers to set up a transaction using their mobile app, but pay in cash at the gas station. It is also helping Western Union compete with FinTech startups that already provide consumers with international money transfers from home computers or mobile devices.

But what are the benefits for BP? The chain is not alone in capitalizing on the concept of in-store cash transfers; 7-Eleven offers MoneyGram kiosks at select locations, and other convenience retailers may implement similar services. The obvious advantage of any new offering is that it will drive customers to the store, leading to additional purchases. However, there is a question of how to maximize this positive impact. Given the potential complexity of rollout and partnership agreements to offer financial services in-store, it is critical that convenience retailers develop a keen understanding of not just a program’s success, but how they can tailor the offering to make it as impactful as possible.

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Q&A with Fopefolu Agbedia, Vice President in Client Services at APT

September 1st, 2017 | Posted by APT in Analytics - (Comments Off on Q&A with Fopefolu Agbedia, Vice President in Client Services at APT)

At APT, we work with client organizations across twelve industries to help them enhance their analytics programs and make data-driven decisions. This Q&A will be the first in a series spotlighting leaders across the firm, sharing their insights on analytical challenges and best practices.

The following interview has been edited for length.

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What Auto Players Can Learn From Other Industries: Evolving Consumer Preferences

August 31st, 2017 | Posted by APT in Auto - (Comments Off on What Auto Players Can Learn From Other Industries: Evolving Consumer Preferences)

Imagine being able to complete the entire car-buying cycle – browsing, choosing a car, financing, test driving, and ultimately, buying – without ever setting foot in a dealership. With new, customer-focused home delivery programs, that scenario is quickly becoming a reality.

As the car-buying experience becomes increasingly omnichannel, the role of the dealership is shifting. Many customers still purchase vehicles at dealerships; however, they expect immediacy and customization, and on top of that, they are becoming more open to alternative ways of buying vehicles. In fact, research suggests that about 4% of all new cars could be sold online by 2020. As a result, dealerships are becoming increasingly focused on education and demonstration, offering car buyers the experiential component of the auto purchase cycle that other channels are unlikely to provide.

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World-Class Campaign Analytics for a Competitive Edge

August 18th, 2017 | Posted by APT in Financial Services - (Comments Off on World-Class Campaign Analytics for a Competitive Edge)

Americans receive billions of offers from banks each year, as financial institutions (FIs) are investing more than ever to acquire valuable customers and create enduring relationships. Many banks are offering increasingly generous, eye-catching credit card and other rewards promotions, sometimes even featuring large cash bonuses worth hundreds of dollars.

It is extremely challenging, though, for executives to understand what approach works best with each customer. With so many different levers to pull – including offer, messaging, platform, and more – how can banks gain a competitive edge and identify the right variations for the right customers?

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Testing Beyond the Lab: Leveraging the Clinical Trial Approach to Enhance Decision-Making

August 16th, 2017 | Posted by APT in Life Sciences and Healthcare - (Comments Off on Testing Beyond the Lab: Leveraging the Clinical Trial Approach to Enhance Decision-Making)

The concept of clinical trials, a central component of the research and development process, is very familiar to most life sciences leaders – but what may be less familiar is how they can take this approach beyond the lab to drive value across their organizations. As the pioneers of clinical trial methodologies, pharmaceutical companies already know that test vs. control analysis is the most accurate way to measure the impact of an initiative. Today, more and more organizations are capitalizing on this existing expertise to reduce the risk of innovation and enhance their decision-making.

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Answering the Billion Dollar Question: Optimizing Insurance Marketing Spend

August 16th, 2017 | Posted by APT in Insurance - (Comments Off on Answering the Billion Dollar Question: Optimizing Insurance Marketing Spend)

For some insurers, marketing is a billion dollar question. Today, many insurers may dedicate a large chunk of that budget to mass media spend, such as radio, TV, print and billboard campaigns. But as marketing strategies increasingly focus on more personalized channels, such as digital and direct mail, leading insurers are refining their outreach strategies across platforms, and re-allocating budget accordingly.

As insurance executives shift their marketing priorities, it will be critical that they understand the true impact of their personalized outreach. From there, they can develop a better understanding of how to focus their marketing spend, and smartly distribute budget across personalized outreach, mass media marketing efforts, and more for maximum impact. Further, with any form of personalized outreach, there are many different combinations of levers to pull, including communication platform, messaging, cadence, and creative. So how can decision-makers develop an understanding of which campaign variation will be most effective with which policyholders?

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