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8 Tips for Improving Your Testing Process

February 13th, 2015 | Posted by Haley Jackson in Retail - (Comments Off on 8 Tips for Improving Your Testing Process)

Most retailers use in-market tests to help inform decisions. But just running tests isn’t enough. Based on our work with dozens of retail brands, here are eight tips for improving your testing process.

  1. Grow your innovation funnel. You should never be left with just one idea to try – if it doesn’t work, what’s left? Ideas for testing should span marketing, merchandising, operations, pricing, and capital investments. Many retailers generate these ideas from a broad range of sources, including talking to customers and managers in the field, competitor actions, and importantly, analyzing their own transaction and customer data more deeply. Often ideas are filtered through taste panels, focus groups, surveys, and the like, which can help weed out a fraction of the ideas that may not work. Ultimately, however, all of the resulting ideas are unproven until they are tested in the real world. For example, new promotions could give away money to customers who would have paid full price for the promoted item, targeting Millennials could alienate other customer segments, etc. It’s easy to make any idea sound good and support it with customer feedback, management anecdotes, executive intuition, or survey data, but the reality is that many innovative ideas don’t work. Organizations need to have enough ideas in the funnel so that they can throw away the ones that don’t work and refine and target the ones that do.

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CPGs leverage digital channels to connect with customers

February 11th, 2015 | Posted by Haley Jackson in Manufacturing - (Comments Off on CPGs leverage digital channels to connect with customers)

While the majority of consumer packaged goods sales are still derived from brick and mortar retail, the evolution of new distribution channels has increased the feasibility of manufacturers distributing and marketing products directly. As previously discussed, CPGs are leveraging these to explore new strategies (e.g., loyalty initiatives, direct shipping services) to more closely interact with consumers. Bolstering online and mobile capabilities can increase access to customer data and enable manufacturers to keep up with consumer trends, such as the growing shift towards shopping in digital channels. Traditionally, digital platforms have primarily served to educate consumers about products, but by enabling online or mobile purchases, manufacturers can collect shopping behavior data directly to learn more about their customers’ preferences. Other potential upsides to leveraging a digital DTC channel include strengthened brand loyalty and engagement and more control over product assortment and pricing. (more…)

APT Space Planning Optimizer

February 6th, 2015 | Posted by Katheryn McKee in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on APT Space Planning Optimizer)

Determining the optimal space allocation for departments and categories across stores is a central responsibility for space planners seeking to achieve space performance goals. This video shows how innovative retailers are moving beyond the traditional approaches of large spreadsheets, complex queries, and “gut instinct” to solve this challenge with APT’s Space Planning Optimizer, which generates localized space recommendations.

The Data Culture Balancing Act

February 5th, 2015 | Posted by Joel Read in Financial Services - (Comments Off on The Data Culture Balancing Act)

McKinsey & Company recently posted an excellent article, “Getting big impact from big data,” and addressed a proverbial elephant in the room: while most executives believe big data analytics is a critical tool for success, fewer companies have been able to successfully use analytics to drive major business decisions.

So what is preventing organizations from unlocking the value of their data? According to McKinsey a major barrier has been internal organizational cultures that are not familiar with analytical practices and therefore unwilling to take ownership of a new system with unproven results. This keeps organizations from being able to operate data driven initiatives at scale. So while software solutions can help, there is also a significant cultural challenge that needs to be overcome for organizations to realize the full value of big data. (more…)

The Data Culture Balancing Act

February 5th, 2015 | Posted by Joel Read in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on The Data Culture Balancing Act)

McKinsey & Company recently posted an excellent article, “Getting big impact from big data,” and addressed a proverbial elephant in the room: while most executives believe big data analytics is a critical tool for success, fewer companies have been able to successfully use analytics to drive major business decisions.

So what is preventing organizations from unlocking the value of their data? According to McKinsey a major barrier has been internal organizational cultures that are not familiar with analytical practices and therefore unwilling to take ownership of a new system with unproven results. This keeps organizations from being able to operate data driven initiatives at scale. So while software solutions can help, there is also a significant cultural challenge that needs to be overcome for organizations to realize the full value of big data. (more…)

APT Category Management Insights

February 5th, 2015 | Posted by Katheryn McKee in Retail | Uncategorized - (Comments Off on APT Category Management Insights)

 

All category managers want to grow their categories, but identifying profitable opportunities among the massive quantities of data is exceedingly challenging. This illustrative video shows how life can be different for category managers – Leah and Amber – when one starts to use APT’s Category Management Insights, while the other has to conduct manual analysis to try to make the same decisions.

8 Tips for Improving Your Testing Process

February 3rd, 2015 | Posted by retailblogadmin in Restaurants - (Comments Off on 8 Tips for Improving Your Testing Process)

Most restaurant chains use in-market tests to help inform decisions. But just running tests isn’t enough. Based on our work with dozens of restaurant brands, here are eight tips for improving your testing process. (more…)

Big Data, Omni Channel, and Testing: Turning Buzzwords into Profits

February 2nd, 2015 | Posted by JDouglass in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Big Data, Omni Channel, and Testing: Turning Buzzwords into Profits)

APT SVP Will Weidman recently authored an article in Global Banking & Finance Review, “Big Data, Omni Channel, and Testing: Turning Buzzwords into Profits.” In the article, Weidman points out that in-market testing is an effective method to rapidly determine which strategies drive KPIs in an omni-channel world: “Organisations can build out a funnel of tests across channels, functional areas and divisions to optimise ROI on nearly every decision made. The most sophisticated testers use learnings from each test to revise strategy and generate new testable ideas going forward, creating a continuous cycle. Conveniently, this model works extremely well in the ever-changing omni-channel environment, where there are new ideas and concepts to test each day.” Click here to read the full article.