Actionable Insights From APT's Retail Practice
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Proof that Online Search Ads Can Boost Offline Store Sales

November 26th, 2013 | Posted by MHarper in Retail | Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Proof that Online Search Ads Can Boost Offline Store Sales)

In a recent article on Google’s Think Insights blog, Kirthi Kalyanam, Professor of Marketing and Director, Retail Management Institute at Santa Clara University, asks the question, “Can online search ads impact offline store sales?” To answer this question, Kalyanam looked at a meta-analysis of experiments with 13 top U.S. retailers, conducted by APT. Click here to read more about the findings.

Banks Charge for Branching Out

November 25th, 2013 | Posted by JDouglass in Financial Services | Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Banks Charge for Branching Out)

In the constant struggle to figure out how to successfully charge fees, some banks are now charging customers for using the branch. A recent article by CNBC cited multiple cases in which banks are introducing accounts for customers who plan to bank mostly through online, mobile, and ATM channels. However, if the customer wishes to bank in the branch, he may face a sizable fee: $8.95/month in the case of Bank of America’s “eBanking” account mentioned in the article.

As we’ve seen with many other banking fee innovations, charging for branch services bears risk. Bank of America recently folded their eBanking account offering after three years, a spokesperson acknowledging that “Customers want full service banking, even if they only visit a teller infrequently.” This action further underscores a trend that we’ve seen before:  fees will likely be much less successful if they are tacked onto a product or service that customers are accustomed to receiving for free. In many cases, it may simply be too difficult to get around the customer’s disposition against fees for products/services that were historically free.  Alternatively, banks may be more successful in charging fees for new or expedited services, such as fraud monitoring and faster mobile check deposit availability.

So how can banks determine which fees are profitable? Neil Weinberg, editor of American Banker suggested, “What is a premium service that they’re willing to see fees from? That’s the experimentation.” Experimentation is indeed the way APT has helped many banks understand the profitability of new fees. Banks should test new fees in a few markets or branches to measure the impact on key performance metrics and decide whether broader rollout is warranted. Click here to read more about APT’s work analyzing in-market tests at leading financial institutions.

Costa Coffee Licenses Test & Learn Software

November 22nd, 2013 | Posted by CCorman in Restaurants - (Comments Off on Costa Coffee Licenses Test & Learn Software)

Computing Magazine recently featured an article about how Costa, one of the world’s largest coffee chains, is using APT’s Test & Lean software to make more profitable decisions. Here’s the link to the article: http://www.computing.co.uk/ctg/news/2307097/costa-selects-analytics-firm-apt-to-sharpen-up-its-decision-making

A short preview of the article is below:

Matthew Price, finance director at Costa, said that it was “critical” for the coffee chain to have the best tools in place to quickly generate insights that create value for the business.

“APT is instrumental in improving the analytic rigor and speed with which we make decisions on store investment and the right range of products,” he said.

“The ability to automate complex analytic processes has not only provided more accurate decisions, but it has significantly decreased the time required to understand the impact of each new idea,” he added.

 

Tablets at your Tables

November 12th, 2013 | Posted by retailblogadmin in Restaurants - (Comments Off on Tablets at your Tables)

Recently, restaurants like ThinkFoodGroup’s Jaleo added tablets to their tables, discarding traditional paper menus in hopes of leveraging flexibility offered by digital devices to improve guest experience and sales.

ThinkFoodGroup, which is testing iPad-based menus in two of its restaurants, including DC’s Jaleo, is smart to try this idea before investing significant capital. Cost is not limited to the $500 up-front investment per tablet; it also includes employee training, breakage, and theft (Jaleo has already reported four stolen tablets). Additionally, restaurants must ensure that guests are comfortable with the new experience and are not turned off by technology at the table. (more…)

Does Co-Branding Work for Restaurants?

November 7th, 2013 | Posted by CCorman in Restaurants - (Comments Off on Does Co-Branding Work for Restaurants?)

A recent article in Nation’s Restaurant News discusses Bruegger’s Bagels new partnership with Caribou Coffee. The two chains are trialing two co-branded units in Minneapolis to get a preliminary read on the idea’s validity.

A co-branding strategy, very familiar to holdings companies such as Yum!, Focus Brands, and Dunkin’ Donuts, introduces three interesting questions: (more…)

Solving Big Data Challenges

November 1st, 2013 | Posted by MHarper in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Solving Big Data Challenges)

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Dr. Jordan of Penn State’s Smeal College of Business, discusses the challenges of Big Data for companies. APT’s software suite has been designed to solve many of the challenges outlined in the article, as evidenced by the more than 100 leading organizations that leverage APT daily.

“These are great tools, but who has the skills to use them?”

This article suggests that companies must hire “Big Data experts” to use specialized Big Data tools. APT is designed for use by business analysts. It takes only a few hours of training, and doesn’t require an advanced degree in Computer Science or Statistics. The article gets one aspect absolutely right when it suggests that for Big Data to be useful, analysts must understand the industry. While APT has gained a deep understanding of each of the industries in which it serves, we believe that institutionalizing a Big Data analytics process within the organization and empowering internal users always yields better results than outsourcing analysis to vendors with black box solutions.

“What do we do with all these numbers?”

We agree that standard spreadsheets can’t scale to make sense of Big Data. However, the answer to “what do we do with all these numbers?” is clearer. APT focuses on helping banking executives make decisions that will drive significant bottom line improvements. The outputs of APT are designed to answer three key questions to help make more profitable decisions: 1) Will our new idea work? 2) Will it work better in some situations than others? And, 3) How can we tailor and target a rollout for maximum profitability going forward?

To learn more about how APT continues to solve the Big Data challenge, click here to read a Forbes article written by APT’s Chairman, Jim Manzi. And click here to watch a video of APT’s CEO, Anthony Bruce, discussing testing’s role in Big Data.

Solving Big Data Challenges

November 1st, 2013 | Posted by JDouglass in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Solving Big Data Challenges)

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Dr. Jordan of Penn State’s Smeal College of Business, discusses the challenges of Big Data for companies. APT’s software suite has been designed to solve many of the challenges outlined in the article, as evidenced by the more than 100 leading organizations that leverage APT daily.

“These are great tools, but who has the skills to use them?”

This article suggests that companies must hire “Big Data experts” to use specialized Big Data tools. APT is designed for use by business analysts. It takes only a few hours of training, and doesn’t require an advanced degree in Computer Science or Statistics. The article gets one aspect absolutely right when it suggests that for Big Data to be useful, analysts must understand the industry. While APT has gained a deep understanding of each of the industries in which it serves, we believe that institutionalizing a Big Data analytics process within the organization and empowering internal users always yields better results than outsourcing analysis to vendors with black box solutions.

“What do we do with all these numbers?”

We agree that standard spreadsheets can’t scale to make sense of Big Data. However, the answer to “what do we do with all these numbers?” is clearer. APT focuses on helping banking executives make decisions that will drive significant bottom line improvements. The outputs of APT are designed to answer three key questions to help make more profitable decisions: 1) Will our new idea work? 2) Will it work better in some situations than others? And, 3) How can we tailor and target a rollout for maximum profitability going forward?

To learn more about how APT continues to solve the Big Data challenge, click here to read a Forbes article written by APT’s Chairman, Jim Manzi. And click here to watch a video of APT’s CEO, Anthony Bruce, discussing testing’s role in Big Data.

Solving Big Data Challenges

November 1st, 2013 | Posted by CCorman in Restaurants - (Comments Off on Solving Big Data Challenges)

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Dr. Jordan of Penn State’s Smeal College of Business, discusses the challenges of Big Data for companies. APT’s software suite has been designed to solve many of the challenges outlined in the article, as evidenced by the more than 100 leading organizations that leverage APT daily. (more…)

APT Chairman featured in Chief Marketing Technologist

November 1st, 2013 | Posted by Dan Schreff in Retail - (Comments Off on APT Chairman featured in Chief Marketing Technologist)

“[APT’s] credentials in controlled experiments in business, particularly retail, are unparalleled,” wrote Scott Brinker in a recent article for Chief Marketing Technologist.  In the interview, APT Chairman Jim Manzi discussed the importance of running in-market tests for leading organizations to understand the impact of each business decision.  Manzi explains that due to the extremely “noisy” data environment in which consumer-facing businesses operate, there are countless external factors that may contribute to the outcome of any new program (e.g. a remodel program or a new ad campaign).  However, by actually implementing the program with a small subset of stores, employees, or customers prior to broader rollout, executives can understand the true cause-and-effect impact of each decision. Click here to read the full article.