Retail Job on Resume Pay Dividends in Other Sectors

On September 28, we reported on 2018 Universum Survey of Top Global Employers for Business Students. The retail industry is the largest non-government employer in the U.S. supporting 42 million jobs and is often the first employment opportunity for many Americans. As college students start their new school year in a booming economy with a tight labor market, knowing that a retail career on their resume is valued by hiring managers across industry sectors can be helpful to those considering in internships or full-time positions  in retail as well as reassuring that it will help and not limit their ability to transition to other sectors in the future.

A National Retail Federation commissioned study “Retail’s Value on a Resume: How Jobs in Retail Prepare America’s Workforce for Success,” by market research firm GfK shows that 80% of hiring managers across industries value the foundational job skills that a retail job experience instills in its employees. They also believe that those skills are transferable to jobs and careers in other sectors. For students considering careers or jobs in retail, the NRF Foundation provides an interactive toolkit “Retail as a Career” to identify various opportunities in retail.

As technology permeates across retail functional areas and organizations themselves, many retailers are launching technology and digital innovation initiatives to stay competitive like Target’s Tech Incubator, Walmart Labs, and Canadian Tire’s Digital Innovation centers in the Americas and around the world. Sam Berndt at NRF reports that computer-science graduates are in demand in retail and offer a good balance compared to the Silicon Valley rush. Compensation is competitive, they can be located in small and large communities with low cost of living, have interesting projects like developing innovative technological applications in AI and autonomous vehicles.

Adapted from: Berndt, Sam (2018), “4 reasons computer science grads should be looking for jobs in retail,” in Retail as a Career, NRF Foundation.

Posted in Career Useful Information, Career Video Clips, Careers in Retailing, Technology in Retailing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Retail Sales is on the Upswing, Then Why are the Malls Dying?

Monthly statistics from the US Census show that U.S. retail sales are consistently growing at a modest rate, yet shopping mall vacancies and closures are the highest in the last seven years (WSJ 2018). Experts blame the downturn in shopping malls on e-commerce, but online sales account for only 10% of US retail sales – the remaining 90% occur in brick-and-mortar stores. Yet, another conjecture blames ‘shopper boredom,’  but that runs counter to the popularity of open-air, lifestyle centers. 

In a guest column on RetailOperationsInsights.com, Profs. Rosenbaum, Ramirez, and El-Manstrly propose and test another hypothesis – shopper concern for personal security in enclosed malls. Videos of people in dangerous situations, trapped in enclosed spaces – malls, airports, movie theaters, are frequently on news broadcasts, trending on internet websites and social media – have a chilling effect. leading to shopper’s avoidance of enclosed shopping malls.

They tested their hypothesis empirically, with groups of 150 shoppers watching three short videos of a typical mall journey, one without any shoppers present, second with few shoppers and third with many shoppers. Neural activity of 450 shoppers was measured using the EMOTIV Epoc+ 14 Channel Mobile EEG device on six cognitive metrics – engagement, excitement, focus, interest, relaxation, and stress.

Their results show that shopped viewing a shopping experience with many people present lead to increased stress, lower excitement, decreased focus which induces place avoidance. What can mall owners and their retail clients do to address this issue? Can use of color, open spaces, glass ceilings/domes in enclosed malls attenuate the fear consumers experience? What role do security symbols (prominent signs of alternate/multiple exits, bag checks at entrances) and third-party certification play in lowering anxiety associated with a mall visit?

This post is an adaptation of RetailOperationsInsights.com Guest Column, “The Politically Incorrect Reason to Explain the Death of Enclosed Malls: It’s The People,” October 1, 2018.

Posted in Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 4: Store Location Planning, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business, Privacy and Identity Theft Issues, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Turbocharging Convenience Stores with Frictionless Checkout

The first Amazon Go store in Seattle opened in January 2018 and was the first commercial implementation of frictionless checkout or “Just Walkout Technology” in the U.S. retail market. Customers scan the Amazon Go app on their smartphone at entry, grab items off the shelves in the store and are automatically charged for their purchases as they walk out of the store. No waiting at checkout counters, being rung up, counting cash or swiping a credit card.  This YouTube video of experience at an Amazon Go store is courtesy TechInsider and Joseph Choi.

 

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Linda Lisanti in her article “Should You Embrace Frictionless Checkout?” at Convenience Store News reports that the two biggest complaints from retail customers “are long wait times in line and poor customer service.” Many retailers offer scan-and-go shopping technology which requires customers to scan items using the retailer app on their smartphone as they put them in their cart and pay at checkout. However, Michael Suswal, co-founder and chief operating officer of Standard Cognition suggests that AI- and machine vision-based autonomous checkout technologies are better, making store experience seamless.

The autonomous checkout technology is especially suited to fast-moving retail formats like convenience stores. Customers come in, pick up a few things and quickly go their way. It can increase the frequency and volume of transactions and be a source of competitive advantage for stores. Their smaller store footprints require fewer cameras and sensors and deployment can be quick and efficient in a matter of days.

Convenience store chain Rickers (acquired by Giant Eagle) will introduce Skip, a mobile self-checkout and mobile cloud point of sale which is expected to reduce average checkout time from 60 seconds to zero, and convert frequent fuel purchasers to loyal in-store customers. Stores can repurpose store space to display more product assortments or services, lower labor costs, free employees to answer customer questions which will improve in-store customer experience and profit margins.

How will autonomous checkout technology impact impulse purchases, an important driver of margins? As more retailers adopt, will it be an expected service (instead of augmented service currently) and dilute competitive advantage for retailers? How can retailers use the data generated to optimize their merchandise planning and operations?

Posted in Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Technology in Retailing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

You and Your Next Car: A Match Made in Heaven…or an App?

Despite their love for cars, most Americans do not like shopping for a new car, it rates lower than cleaning toilets or going for jury duty!

Cars.com’s service “Matchmaking Experience” is leveraging proprietary machine-learning algorithms to provide personalized recommendations based on the shopper’s lifestyle preferences.

Patty Odell on ChiefMarketer.com reports:

“Users share their feedback on up to 15 different lifestyle preferences at either Cars.com or on its app. Cars.com then delivers up to 20 recommended matches based on user preferences and sentiment analysis. Users then “like” or “don’t like” the recommendations offered. The Matchmaking Experience then delivers the vehicle matches to the users nearest location.”

“A pilot of Matchmaking Experience has shown promising results: a 752 percent increase in profile creation on the site, 87 percent increase in return visitors, 225 percent increase in email leads and two times the number of page views per visitor versus the traditional search experience.”

Skinner Ricketts, Cars.com CMO believes that the car-matching app and online experience and the campaign will differentiate Cars.com from its competitors in the commoditized auto marketplace category. She says, “Cars.com is not brokering transactions—we’re creating relationships between people and dealers and people and cars.”

The data collected from customers through the matching process can be shared upstream with car dealers and manufacturers to fine-tune their marketing efforts and projecting demand for car models, and customization options.

For insightful information on the complexities of the car purchase process, please check out the following infographic “10 Stats About the Overall Car Buying Process” by Fusion 360 for Mike Hale Acura at Visual.ly

10-stats-about-the-overall-car-buying-process_561844dfdca8f_w1500

Posted in Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer, Technology in Retailing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Welcome from Patrali Chatterjee

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I, Patrali Chatterjee, am honored to be the new author of the BermanEvans Retail Blog.  Joel is a prolific blog writer and meticulous in covering market-relevant topics in retail and marketing. He has set a high standard and I hope I can continue the tradition.

 

I will post blog articles in retail and marketing and I am sure you will notice changes in writing style and “voice.” Given my research focus, you may notice a bent towards e-commerce, customer insights and use of analytics in retail strategy. I will add questions to contemplate and discuss in each blog post. Please feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @DrPChatterjee

 

Thanks to Barry Berman and Joel Evans for inviting me to be a part of this journey. I look forward to connecting with you, our blog readers, starting today.

 

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Introducing the New Author of Our Retail Blog

Since this blog began in January 2012, it has been hosted and authored by Joel Evans, a co-author of Retail Management: A Strategic Approach, 13th Edition. During this time, there have been 1,860 posts! :-). Now, it is time to pass the torch to another co-author, Professor Patrali Chatterjee.

Dr. Patrali Chatterjee is a tenured Professor of Marketing and Graduate Coordinator of the Digital Marketing Program at the School of Business, Montclair State University. Prior to joining Montclair State University, Dr. Chatterjee was Vice Chair and Assistant Professor, Department of Marketing at Rutgers Business School, Rutgers University. She holds a Ph.D. in Marketing from the Owen School of Management, Vanderbilt University. 

Dr. Chatterjee’s research has appeared in several books and academic journals including Advances in Consumer Research, Information Systems Research, International Journal of Advertising, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Journal of Electronic Commerce Research, Journal of Product and Brand Management, Marketing Science and the Review of Economics and Statistics. She is a co-author of Retail Management: A Strategic Approach with Drs. Barry Berman and Joel R. Evans.

Please welcome Professor Chatterjee. And thank you for your support of our Retailing: From A to Z blog.

Regards.

Joel Evans

Posted in Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 8: Putting It All Together, Social Media and Retailing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Handling Rideshare Drivers

As we know, ridesharing via Uber and Lyft has taken off in the last few years. Thus, a lot has been written about it. For example, see Where Do YOU Stand on Ride-Hailing Apps? Today, we look at handling rideshare drivers. And many types of drivers exist.

Zachary Kee-Clemmer of Siege Media serves as our guest blogger. Zach provides the content. The infographic comes from The Zebra.

 

Handling Rideshare Drivers

Did you know Uber has quickly become the largest tech startup? The rideshare service company topped the second place AirBnB by over $30 billion last year. Uber’s success, and the success of other rideshare services, is due in large part to young professionals who use rideshare apps to commute to work. In fact, it’s often reported that the best time to drive for a rideshare service is weekday mornings because so many people commute using Uber or Lyft.

So, you’ve probably used a rideshare service before. For all its benefits, using a rideshare service can be a bit of a guessing game. You have to ride in a complete stranger’s car and be forced to make conversation — or worse, forced to sit in silence — for the duration of the ride. Sometimes you get lucky and the person is a great conversationalist, has snacks, and lets you pick the music. But more often than not, rideshare drivers make things awkward one way or another.

That’s why The Zebra created a guide to help those who struggle with awkward rideshare drivers. The guide breaks down the 10 most common types of rideshare driver personalities you’ll run into, from drivers who share too much to those that don’t say a word. We give tips on how to deal with each type and the appropriate rating to give for each driver.

Check out the full infographic below. My personal favorites are Wise Wilbur and Traveling Terry.

 

Handling Rideshare Drivers

Posted in Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment