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Author Archives: Haley Jackson

Disruption Across the Value Chain: What Auto Players Can Learn from Other Industries

March 27th, 2017 | Posted by Haley Jackson in Auto - (Comments Off on Disruption Across the Value Chain: What Auto Players Can Learn from Other Industries)

With Google manufacturing cars, Tesla selling directly to the consumer, and Amazon selling non-genuine parts, the automotive industry landscape is quickly shifting. In order to succeed as the industry evolves, incumbent auto players must continually evaluate key business strategies, from pricing to marketing to new offerings.

Automakers are not the first to come up against industry disruptors. Similar competition has developed in other sectors, including travel, retail, and consumer goods manufacturing, and organizations are already using experimentation and innovation to respond. By learning from their strategies, auto OEMs can emulate their approach to refine key business programs and develop a competitive edge to profitably navigate disruption themselves.

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Brick-and-Mortar Has Got a Lot of Life Left

January 12th, 2017 | Posted by Haley Jackson in Labor & Operations | Retail - (Comments Off on Brick-and-Mortar Has Got a Lot of Life Left)

It’s not uncommon these days to see a retailer make headlines for shuttering physical locations, highlighting the trials of the brick-and-mortar retail business model. Yet, while e-commerce sales are growing quickly, they still only comprise 8.4 percent of total retail sales in the U.S. – physical stores remain the most important retail channel by far. (more…)

Information Age: The key steps to achieving data quality over quantity

August 5th, 2016 | Posted by Haley Jackson in Financial Services | Manufacturing | Retail - (Comments Off on Information Age: The key steps to achieving data quality over quantity)

In an article featured in Information Age, APT’s Marek Polonski discusses how businesses can make the most of the data already available to them to drive better decision making and increase revenue. He outlines how to make an organization’s data actionable in five key steps. The first? Don’t be a perfectionist when it comes to data collection. Click here to read about the other four.

How to keep brick-and-mortar retail relevant in the digital age

November 4th, 2015 | Posted by Haley Jackson in Retail - (Comments Off on How to keep brick-and-mortar retail relevant in the digital age)

APT Senior Vice President Rupert Naylor recently authored an article published in Real Business titled “How to keep brick-and-mortar retail relevant in the digital age.” In the piece, Naylor comments on the evolving role of the physical channel and how retailers can succeed in the changing landscape. He explains, “With so many innovative ideas on the table and so much potential value at stake, the current retail landscape is ripe for business experimentation. While intuition may lead decision-makers to implement an initiative, its incremental profit impact cannot be accurately measured without first testing the idea with a subset of markets, stores, employees, or customers, and considering the impact in store, online and on mobile devices in a holistic way.”

Read the full article here.

Wall Street Journal: “How Stores Know What You Want When You Shop”

May 1st, 2015 | Posted by Haley Jackson in Retail - (Comments Off on Wall Street Journal: “How Stores Know What You Want When You Shop”)

A recent Wall Street Journal article, “How Store Know What You Want When You Shop,” discusses how leading apparel retailers are using Test & Learn to analyze their data to inform key decisions about discounts, product placement and styles, and much more.

As author Christina Binkley writes, “APT is a specialist in cause-and-effect analytics, which is at the forefront of the revolution that so-called big data is bringing to industries like retail, which have been run more by gut feel than science…It may evaluate where products are displayed, a discount amount, or the colors popular in Atlanta versus Chicago. This is helping the apparel industry fine-tune its pitches to consumers.”

Read the full article here. (WSJ login required.)

Digital Marketing Magazine: How to Develop a More Profitable Promotional Strategy

April 24th, 2015 | Posted by Haley Jackson in Retail - (Comments Off on Digital Marketing Magazine: How to Develop a More Profitable Promotional Strategy)

An article titled “Beyond The Cone of Uncertainty: How to Develop a More Profitable Promotional Strategy,” by APT SVP Jonathan Marek, is featured in Digital Marketing Magazine. He writes, “while promotions have long been a central part of marketing strategy, the increasing availability of customer data and the proliferation of digital-enabled contact channels are revolutionizing marketers’ ability to efficiently send personalized offers and deliver them in innovative ways.” Click here to read the full article.

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…)

How can manufacturers maximize the ROI of online ads?

November 24th, 2014 | Posted by Haley Jackson in Manufacturing - (Comments Off on How can manufacturers maximize the ROI of online ads?)

Over the years, manufacturers have refined their strategies for investing in POS displays, in-store signage, endcaps, and free-standing inserts to attract customers to their products in stores. More recently, manufacturers have increasingly allocated spend to paid search and online advertisements to assert a digital presence for their products. While it is relatively straightforward to measure the online sales impact of these digital advertising investments, it is much more difficult to confidently determine the effect that online investments have on in-store sales. Without an understanding of the complete sales impact across channels, manufacturers cannot be sure of the true ROI of online advertising.

Manufacturers can leverage in-market testing to measure the offline sales impact attributable to online advertising and glean insights to improve the effectiveness of future investments. Results from such tests can answer key questions to help maximize manufacturers’ return on digital marketing investments, such as: (more…)

How can retailers optimize their holiday staffing this year?

October 24th, 2014 | Posted by Haley Jackson in Retail | Uncategorized - (Comments Off on How can retailers optimize their holiday staffing this year?)

With the holiday season just around the corner, retailers are already beginning to hire additional employees to prepare for the increased store traffic. However, due to extreme holiday sales patterns, it can be especially difficult to measure the overall financial impact of adding seasonal employees and to ensure that each additional labor hour is profitable.

Since extended hours requiring supplemental labor have become a necessity during the holidays, retailers can benefit from leveraging insights from previous seasonal strategies to identify the optimal labor increase for each store. While it may be too risky to implement designed labor tests during the holidays, the past variation in seasonal labor at each store creates the opportunity to analyze “natural experiments” from last season. By comparing the performance of stores that increased holiday labor force to similar stores that did not, retailers can answer key questions surrounding labor strategy effectiveness, such as: (more…)