Retail Trend or Hype? How to Discover the Difference Between Them 

If you haven’t read an email or post lately on “2023 Retail Trends” you might be living under a rock. During the month of January this type of content is everywhere. It’s kind of like your New Year’s resolution. A good idea at first but now somewhat overwhelming to keep up with. But all the new hashtags and predictions are not without merit. To offer your customers best-in-class solutions, you need to understand industry trends inside and out.

So off we went to NRF at the Javits Center in NYC. Followed by StorePoint in Dallas. We spoke to new and existing clients, fellow competitors, industry experts and a lot of Uber drivers! Similar stories and common challenges dominated our conversations. Buzz word after buzz word. Personalization, Loyalty, Workforce, Immersive Technology just to name a few. It can be tough to know exactly where to place your bet, but one thing is for certain, Intel. You only know, what you know.

Don’t believe the hype? Well, maybe you should. I spent 20 years on the other side of the table as a retailer and wholesaler. I merchandised what seems like a million different Collections for all FOBs. I pored over stock and sales reports analyzing businesses every way possible. Whether boutique or big box, I always came back to the same thing. You must know your sales floor. You must know square footage, quantity and type of fixture as well as capacity. You must know signage: promotional as well as aspirational marketing.

I searched long and hard for a solution to help keep track of ALL these variables. It was always a band-aid workaround involving tons of spreadsheets belonging to multiple parties with “hopefully” accurate information. Daunting, even scary, and hardly reliable. But it doesn’t have to be. This is the part where I tell you about my knight in shining armor, AccuStore.

Brands and retailers are reassessing their strategies and evaluating stores, and they need accurate data today just as much as I did years ago. So, when I tell you that AccuStore’s Site Intelligence is the real deal, I mean it. Through a unique and completely customizable profile you know what lives in every individual store. Think of it as the gatekeeper of your most important by-door attributes. Fixturing, marketing and equipment all accurately displayed. Any stakeholder can view. All parties utilizing the same data cutting down silos. If I had AccuStore back in the day, I would be queen of the world by now.

Clearly, I am no queen, we all know that’s Beyoncé. I think she needs AccuStore to keep track of all her Grammy’s! But in all seriousness, the visibility and intelligence you gain with AccuStore is eye opening. In addition to housing all your physical store assets, it can store immersive virtual 360-degree scans, marketing distros and merchandising directives. Communication is seamless through task management, check-ins and captures via the mobile app. No heavy lifting for store associates already wearing many hats. Quick and easy updates for profile-driven execution and management.

I met brave souls at StorePoint that candidly shared that they have zero knowledge of what’s inside their stores. I completely understood. I could 100% relate. Fixtures get down streamed, large acquisitions occur, staff turns over and historical data is lost. No different today, than 20yrs ago. What’s different is that there is now an amazing robust solution.

So, as you are planning for 2023, really stop and think about how much insight you honestly have into your stores. This is crucial knowledge for your total company. It’s time to stop guessing, padding orders, and crossing your fingers. AccuStore is readily available to help you improve your accuracy and visibility. Accurate data, a profile for every store and ease of execution. Like I said, believe the hype.

Store Surveys 101: Part 4

In case you’re late to the blog series party, we’ve been taking a deep dive into the importance of surveying your stores. In this edition we tackle answers to three need-to-know questions about store survey costs, timing and ROI.

To recap:

Survey Costs and Timing

Costs, timing and ROI are the primary concerns that come to mind before kicking off a significant project. We spoke to a leading retail surveyor to get answers to these key questions.

  1. What are the costs involved in surveying stores?
  2. “Costs can range between $500 to $5K per store – pricing depends upon the complexity of the survey. For example, how many datapoints will we need to collect at each site? What’s the distance between each store? Does your staff need a high level of post-survey support?”

  3. How long does it take to complete a store survey?
  4. “Surveys can range between several hours to one or two days based on amount of data we need to capture.”

  5. How will store surveys benefit my ROI?
  6. “The data and insights gathered through store surveys is priceless. It’s one of the easiest ways to cut marketing costs and save on indirect spend. For example, by creating a centralized cloud-based single data source, you’re able to streamline your communications. Bringing together your marketing staff, creative department, category managers and other stakeholders. Businesses using cloud-based collaboration and computing can increase productivity by nearly 400%. Additionally, creating a database of store details allows retailers eliminate overage. Knowing the details of every store, they can customize their signage and POP by store. For example, not all stores have 10 windows, not all stores have the same signage hardware, etc.”

Have additional questions about store surveys pricing, timing and ROI? Contact a survey expert today and ask if you qualify for a free 90-day trial.

5 Ways Retail Technology Reduces Marketing Costs

One of the easiest ways to cut marketing costs is by integrating a store profiling solution. Having access to accurate profile data of every store or site offers retailers store-specific insight into exactly what’s needed and nothing more.

  1. Streamline Communication – A centralized, cloud-based store intelligence platform brings your marketing staff, creative department, category managers and other stakeholders together. By increasing collaboration and communication, it’s easier for teams to make updates and receive approvals. Expediting approvals can help prevent rush fees (rush fees can increase your marketing budget by 20 percent). Accuracy helps avoid costly design errors or typos.
  2. Enhance Productivity – Cloud-based store intelligence technology makes collaboration between marketing and stakeholders a breeze therefore enhancing productivity. Businesses using cloud-based collaboration and computing can increase productivity by nearly 400 percent.
  3. Eliminate Waste – With store intelligence technology, you can tailor POP by store to eliminate print overages or ordering the wrong number of signs. Knowing your specs and amounts removes the guesswork typically involved in signage sizes or amount of display space available. By drilling down orders to the store level, retailers can save 20 percent to 30 percent on their marketing budgets.
  4. Gain Visibility – Having access to a store intelligence portal featuring photos and important details gives your team visibility into every store’s inventory. Make more data-based decisions on what each store already has or needs. Streamline orders by segmenting store promotions by size, market or architectural type. Use that visibility to spot repetitive trends to help strategize your campaigns and increase ROI.
  5. Automate Tasks – Most retailers would agree their team resources are already maxed out. Store intelligence technology allows you to automate your workflow, manage tasks, and set up reminders. Automated workflows reduce errors and inefficiencies, saving businesses up to 30 percent. Mobile and cloud technology gives corporate, store-level and field support teams access to information while on the road and allows them to collect and share vital store-level data.

Ready to reduce your marketing costs and accelerate your growth? Find out if your organization is eligible for a free AccuStore trial today.

How Store Intelligence Helps Grocery Stores

Implementing store intelligence technology enables grocery stores or supermarkets to cut costs, increase ROI, reach their sustainability goals and more. Read on to discover how this easy-to-deploy tool helps solve a variety of challenges.

Improves Marketing Efficiency and ROI
It all starts with an onsite store survey. A professional site survey teams visits every location to create comprehensive retail profiles. Profiles feature digital photos for each grocery location as well as store details such as the number of signs and store assets (freezers and ovens), dimensions, sizes of grocery store windows and more. Documenting and tracking the different assets and services available at each location empowers supermarket retailers, allowing them to make smarter, data-driven decisions.

Helps Cut Remodeling Costs
Implementing a store intelligence platform helps reduce renovation costs and complexities. From layouts and floorplans to actual attributes, store-specific insights provide a clear picture and make it easier to understand and pinpoint exactly what updates are needed. For example, knowing the available square footage in the deli section of your stores makes it easier to order the right fixtures. Having access to every stores’ measurements and details, reduces materials and labor costs.

Simplifies Maintenance Management
A store profiling and intelligence solution lets supermarket retailers automate the way stores manage their maintenance programs. With accurate store profile info, grocery store retailers can eliminate the guesswork when deciding what equipment to replace or upgrade. Management can create alerts to prevent downtime and easily keep track of their warranties and maintenance records.

Keeps Your Stores Compliant
Store intelligence keeps grocers compliant and prevents ADA lawsuits and violations in a variety of ways. From task management that helps employees maintain important ADA-related signage to tracking potential issues, store intelligence software keeps everyone alert and on the same page. For example, if older stores fixtures are unable to accommodate new ADA signage, Corporate will be in the loop and have that vital information accessible.

Helps With Sustainability Efforts
Grocery retailers can also rely on store intelligence to help achieve their sustainability goals. By creating site profiles of every store, Marketing teams know exactly what signage is needed and therefore eliminates print waste. Retailers can also avoid unnecessary store checks, reduce fuel and use automated task management to remind team members to follow recycle programs.

To learn more, schedule a brief meeting with our AccuStore experts.