Actionable Insights From APT's Retail Practice
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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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The Appeal of Amazon Prime Day and How Retailers Can Emulate its Success

August 16th, 2017 | Posted by APT in Retail - (Comments Off on The Appeal of Amazon Prime Day and How Retailers Can Emulate its Success)

With Amazon Prime Day 2016 generating an estimated $500-600 million in incremental sales, the special, one-day price-cutting event was clearly very successful. Prime Day sales for 2017 skyrocketed even further: over 60% higher in comparison. And beyond sales alone, a record number of customers signed up for Amazon Prime on Prime Day 2017 – more than on any single day, ever – to cash in on the Prime Day deals.

Many elements of Prime Day contribute to its mass appeal, from the wide variety of merchandise available and the convenience to the urgency created by the limited availability of the one-day event. While other retailers may not be able to replicate the exact recipe for Amazon Prime Day, at the heart of this concept is a focus on driving customer engagement. With more Prime members making a purchase on Prime Day this year than last, and orders via mobile app more than doubling, how can retailers harness the power of this model and apply it to their own business?

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Streamlining the Supply Chain: Applications of Business Experimentation

August 8th, 2017 | Posted by APT in Manufacturing | Retail - (Comments Off on Streamlining the Supply Chain: Applications of Business Experimentation)

Marketing, merchandising, promotions, and pricing: these are just a few of the areas in which leading retailers and CPGs are already leveraging business experimentation to test new programs and measure their overall impact. While organizations are increasingly standardizing analytic processes to evaluate new initiatives in these areas, there is a significant opportunity to optimize programs in another crucial area: supply chain.

With the emergence of Amazon and other online-only competitors, it’s more important than ever that CPGs and their retail partners collaborate to ensure they have the right products on the shelf at the right times. Applications for retailers and CPGs to leverage test vs. control analysis may seem more easily applicable for programs such as new pricing structures and marketing campaigns. However, there are a variety of “testable” initiatives that retailers and CPGs should consider to inform their decision-making and strategies. This approach will ultimately help them develop a greater competitive advantage in a changing industry environment.

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Modern Retail: Reinventing the Brick-and-Mortar Experience in the Face of E-Commerce

August 1st, 2017 | Posted by APT in Marketing & Media | Retail | Technology - (Comments Off on Modern Retail: Reinventing the Brick-and-Mortar Experience in the Face of E-Commerce)

A green screen studio, a movie-theatre-style marquee, and a stylish mural depicting classic Hollywood imagery—Warby Parker’s newest Los Angeles location is undeniably cool, and stands as a beacon of life amidst what some have deemed the “Retail Apocalypse.” In an era where many are struggling and a number of high-profile retailers are consolidating their networks, brands that started out as online-only players, such as Warby Parker and Bonobos, are doing the opposite: opening new physical locations.

These “showrooms” operate differently from typical brick-and-mortar stores in that they carry less inventory and serve primarily as an avenue to engage with consumers, providing the opportunity to experience a product before an online purchase. In addition to showrooming, in-store features such as Nike’s basketball court, where consumers can take part in Nike’s “personalized sports experience,” highlight a growing shift in the role of physical retail locations. Stores are now places where consumers can connect with a brand, discover new and exciting products, and make decisions around purchasing—whether in-store or online.

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