In early June, I wrote a post about how market research could have helped J.C. Penney avoid the mess that is their new pricing structure (For Sale: The Shopper Experience at J.C. Penney). Since then, one of the key architects of this effort, Michael Francis, abruptly left the company, and J.C. Penney has decided to revamp its marketing to make sure customers know that they are still getting a deal. Was it because of my blog post? Not likely. (Secretly, do I hope someone from J.C. Penney will call me and thank me for writing such a witty yet concise blog about their plight? You bet.)
J.C. Penney is not alone in their struggles to stay ahead of the competition; the retail industry has been changing significantly and rapidly in the past decade. We’ve moved past the MTV generation where everything needs to be flashy (remember those swing dancing GAP commercials?) and into a world where technology and social media dominates. This not only affects the shopper decision path, but also how we shop once we are in the store. I’ve been guilty of going into a large electronics store, opening the Amazon app on my phone, and scanning the bar code to determine if Amazon’s low price outweighs the two day wait (cost savings almost always beats instant gratification for me).
It’s been a game changer and moving target. There was a simpler time when the key to success in retail was location, brand image and happy customers. These are still important factors, and we conduct quite a bit of research around Positioning and Performance to help companies gauge how they are doing in these realms. But, in this day and age, Innovation has become more and more critical to succeeding in retail. And, it’s not just about staying ahead of the competition, it’s about staying ahead of your customers and how their lives are changing.
The Pert Group has a variety of solutions for Innovation, Positioning, and Performance; both within the retail industry and across many others. We also have industry experts who have worked with retail companies and understand how the playing field is constantly shifting. To learn more, contact me – I’d love to talk about how we can help your brand.
How has the way that you shop changed?
- For Sale: The Shopper Experience at J.C. Penney
- Restaurant Industry: Feeding More Than the Average Customer
- Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman: Photo Retouching in the HBA Industry
- Could the Restaurant Industry Finally Be Bouncing Back? Market Research Thinks So
- Innovative Trends in the Adult Beverage Industry