Actionable Insights From APT's Retail Practice

The Next Level of Localization

April 12th, 2017 | Posted by APT in Retail - (Comments Off on The Next Level of Localization)

“Going local” has been a key ambition for retailers for years now. Recently, some retailers like Target and A.C. Moore have been using new store formats as part of their localization strategy, focusing on smaller-format neighborhood stores. Others are differentiating themselves in more nuanced ways, altering merchandise allocation in each store or group of stores to meet the needs and preferences of local shoppers. Nike, for example, has localized space allocation in some stores – for example, their L.A. store includes a greater assortment of clothing to appeal to soccer fans and a trial zone with fake grass to test out cleats, due to the sport’s popularity locally.

While localization has been front-and-center in the industry for some time, retailers still have a significant opportunity to drive profit with improved strategies to meet local market demands. There are many components of a successful localization strategy, including curating marketing and pricing strategies to a region’s demographics and competitive environment. However, one often-overlooked facet of an effective localization strategy is a connection to the store space planning process. Understanding how to tailor merchandising strategies for local market demands can ultimately lead to significant profit improvement and a better customer shopping experience.


HelloFresh, Goodbye Grocery and Restaurants?

April 11th, 2017 | Posted by APT in Restaurants | Retail - (Comments Off on HelloFresh, Goodbye Grocery and Restaurants?)

Since 2012, the meal kit industry has grown, with more than 150 companies competing for their share of the growing market. The rise of brands like HelloFresh, Blue Apron, and others is representative of shifting consumer preferences: Meal delivery kits address key demands for convenience and fresh, healthy options. For grocery and restaurant chains to avoid losing market share as this segment grows, they should respond to meal kit players by innovating, with particular emphasis on convenience.

While meal kit companies are disruptors, they have not completely encroached on grocery and restaurant territory – although they are popular among some consumers, they have yet to gain widespread popularity. They also do present some drawbacks for consumers, namely cost. Purchasing the ingredients for a home-cooked meal at a grocery store, or even eating out in some restaurants, is generally less expensive than many meal delivery kit subscription prices. For example, the average HelloFresh box with three meals for two people is $69, which comes out to $11.50 per person per meal – more than they may spend at many fast-casual restaurants, and more than they would spend on grocery store ingredients.

As meal delivery kits become increasingly popular, grocery stores and restaurants should experiment to prevent share erosion from convenience- and fresh-oriented consumers. This approach empowers grocery and restaurant chains to determine which innovations will drive maximum value in maintaining market share.


The Industry Impact of Amazon Dash

April 4th, 2017 | Posted by APT in Retail - (Comments Off on The Industry Impact of Amazon Dash)

Two years after its launch, Amazon Dash – the Wi-Fi connected device that allows consumers to order their favorite products with the push of a button – has grown to offer products from more than 100 brands. With items in categories ranging from grocery to beauty to baby and pets, consumers can fill their homes with various Dash buttons and never again need to trek to the store.

This automated approach to shopping may only be the beginning. “The real long-term goal is that you never have to worry about hitting that button,” said an Amazon spokesperson, following the product’s 2015 release. With Amazon Dash Replenishment already built into some household appliances – such as Whirlpool washers and dryers that can automatically restock laundry supplies, and Brita pitchers that order new filters as needed – Dash could be a mere stepping stone to an even more automated shopping experience.


Balancing Hospitality with Technology

April 3rd, 2017 | Posted by APT in Hospitality & Travel - (Comments Off on Balancing Hospitality with Technology)

From mobile check-in apps to beacon technology and virtual reality (VR) headsets, hotels are pushing the envelope with cutting-edge innovations every day. With guest expectations for unique and personalized experiences steadily rising, introducing new gadgets is a key strategy to maintain guest loyalty and drive new business. But as exciting as these new tech tools may be, delivering service with a human touch is critical to overall guest satisfaction and financial growth in the hospitality industry.


Broadcasting & Cable: New Strategies Are Best Defense Against Threat of YouTube TV

March 31st, 2017 | Posted by APT in Telecommunications - (Comments Off on Broadcasting & Cable: New Strategies Are Best Defense Against Threat of YouTube TV)

In a recent Broadcasting & Cable article, APT SVP Marek Polonski discusses the telecommunications industry implications of YouTube’s new over-the-top (OTT) service, YouTube TV. In the article, Polonski writes that the recent unveiling of YouTube TV should drive home the point that traditional TV providers must test new strategies to maintain market share in the face of new disruptors. However, he notes, the increasing emergence of streaming services also presents an opportunity to grow broadband sales.


Sizing Things Up: How CPGs Can Get Pack Size and Pricing Right

March 27th, 2017 | Posted by APT in Manufacturing - (Comments Off on Sizing Things Up: How CPGs Can Get Pack Size and Pricing Right)

Consumers want convenience, and consumer packaged goods companies (CPGs) must find the winning combination of pricing and pack size to keep up with this demand.  For example, consumers increasingly seek products that fit their on-the-go lifestyles, prompting brands like Campbell’s and Organic Valley to introduce smaller pack sizes. But rolling out new pack size options presents critical challenges, ranging from potential sales cannibalization to shelf space constraints and private label competition. How can organizations determine which pack sizes and pricing will both satisfy consumers and drive revenue growth? (more…)

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.


Car-Sharing Conundrums: Four Key Considerations for Automakers

March 2nd, 2017 | Posted by APT in Auto - (Comments Off on Car-Sharing Conundrums: Four Key Considerations for Automakers)

U.S. car sales are declining, and with them, so is private car ownership. In response, many OEMs like Ford and GM are adapting by offering their own mobility services, like car- and ride-sharing programs.

As car manufacturers continue to roll out their own mobility operations, there are many potential implications to consider. The best way to determine which programs will truly drive profits is by conducting a test vs. control analysis on a smaller scale before widespread deployment, empowering OEMs to strategically implement new programs for maximum ROI.

Here are four key considerations for car manufacturers thinking about developing their mobility initiatives, with insights on how testing can help guide their decision-making for the best possible outcomes.


Wooing the High-Value Customer: Elite Loyalty Programs and Premium Upgrades

March 1st, 2017 | Posted by APT in Hospitality & Travel - (Comments Off on Wooing the High-Value Customer: Elite Loyalty Programs and Premium Upgrades)

Would you pay three hundred thousand dollars for a ski-themed travel package?

Air Canada is hoping to attract customers who will. The airline’s extravagant ski package includes ice skating on the world’s largest outdoor rink, skiing in the mountains, and a dog sled excursion. As part of this deluxe offering, Air Canada is even converting a private jet into a “flying ski chalet.”

While this may be a particularly posh example, it addresses a question many airlines and hotel brands alike are asking themselves: How can we attract and retain high-value customers? Luxurious, one-of-a-kind offerings like Air Canada’s ski package are one strategy in the competition to engage with this group. Many airlines and hotels are also introducing programs like premium services and elite loyalty tiers to capture more high-value customers’ business. In the war to attract the most valuable customers, it’s key for companies to understand whether new offerings actually lead to increased customer spend and new business, or simply generate profits from existing customers who were already loyal to the brand.


Inventory That Fits Just Right

February 24th, 2017 | Posted by APT in Retail - (Comments Off on Inventory That Fits Just Right)

“Get comfortable with days of inventory, not weeks,” said Home Depot’s senior vice president of supply chain, in The Wall Street Journal.

Home Depot is not alone in reducing inventory levels. Nordstrom and Ross have also joined the ranks of retailers trimming inventory in hopes of slashing backroom and distribution costs, minimizing markdowns, and decluttering stores. Yet retailers that reduce inventory in the wrong way will also mark down their profits. Before shifting strategies, retailers seeking to “right-size” their inventory must consider the impact of limiting inventory on sales both in-store and online.

Companies can pinpoint which assortments and inventory levels fit just right by testing new inventory levels and assortments in a subset of stores, and comparing their performance to that of similar stores.