Don’t just do it

July 30, 2010

I read with interest in Retail Week a piece on B&Q and how they had embraced the internet for their on line research.

Using their own social media application ‘B&Q Voice’ they had generated their own panel of 80,000 customers which had allowed them to generate 2-way dialogue with their shoppers in the form of both quant surveys and through focus groups.

It is encouraging to see the research aspects of on line communities being made use of in addition to the ‘one to many’ broadcasting which seems to be the norm from many retailers.


Banking on good service?

July 29, 2010

Interesting to see the launch of a new bank Metro Bank today and its intention to place customer service at the heart of its offer, and to use the shopping mall as it model.

We know from our own work in retail that good service remains the number one issue for all shopping centres, so making this a key differential is both a brave and commendable move. I’m not sure their rates will tempt me to open an account however I may well mystery visit them just to see exactly what it is that make them different.


False Positives

July 27, 2010

In a recent piece of research amongst shopping centre managers, we found that all the centres we spoke to are tracking footfall as part of measuring the performance of their centres. Footfall is useful figure  and a common currency that everyone can understand as it gives a broad indication of how a scheme is performing, so we weren’t that surprised by this result. What did surprise us was that less than 15% of centres were measuring their conversion.

Knowing footfall has gone up would lead you to believe that your centre is performing better, but if your conversion has dropped, you may actually have less people spending money than you had before.  So the centre may actually be performing worse in financial terms, but someone only tracking footfall may well believe that their centre is actually improving, and the root of the problem will never be looked in to.

By measuring other metrics such as conversion and party spend you can get a more accurate picture of the health of your scheme.