Riding the Tiger: Two Astound Commerce Reports Outline Survival Strategies for the New Retail Jungle

Retail is evolving at a supercharged pace, with online and brick-and-mortar outlets merging into a single commerce model. At the same time, business success remains squarely predicated on customer satisfaction—and consumers have never been more demanding. Maintaining profits in today’s hyper-challenging business milieu can be daunting, but two recent reports from Astound Commerce light the way to a loyal customer base and solid revenues.

Emerging Models: A View into a Channel-Surfing Shopper’s World and Creating a Loyalist: A Look at the Current Landscape and Tips to Propel Your Retention Strategy both employ exhaustive proprietary data and incisive analytics to identify effective branding and marketing strategies for today’s brave new world of hybridized commerce.

Emerging Models surveyed 1,000 consumers in various age and gender demographics on a wide suite of concerns, from shopping outlet preference to customer service. Creating a Loyalist analyzed 25 retailer loyalty programs for effectiveness and customer satisfaction. The datasets yielded by this research are both rich and deep, allowing Astound’s analysts to confirm approaches that work—and those that don’t. The issues covered include everything from customer gender and age to retailers’ return programs.

Customer Gender and Age

Women and men exhibit different expectations and buying habits. Not only that, but younger women shop differently than older women, and the same dynamic holds true with men. Astound’s reports elucidate these differences and recommend brand and marketing strategies for accommodating each demographic “tranche.”

Correlation Between Website Visits and Purchases

More website visits correlate to more purchases for both online and brick-and-mortar stores. Astound dives deep into this truism with tangible numbers and analyses, concluding with recommendations that will lure more online shoppers to your website and to your physical retail outlet.

Curated Shopping

Subscription services and other curated shopping initiatives can be highly effective in cultivating and retaining customers—or they can flop dramatically, alienating shoppers. Astound examines the policies and technologies that will help retailers get it right. (One clear conclusion: ignore the importance of digital assistants at your peril!)

Loyalty Programs

Every retailer needs them, but they vary widely in efficacy. Astound takes a look at the components that separate the winners from the also-rans, evaluating everything from free versus fee to rapid accrual of points, cash toward future purchases, product test drives, expedited and free shipping, member pricing, and free gifts.

Making It Easy

Whether they’re online or in a mall, consumers expect a seamless shopping experience. They want smooth synchronization of all commerce channels, easy redemption of points and rewards, and transparency in all retailer policies—especially return policies. Astound aggregates statistics on customer demands and explains the technologies and procedures that will keep customers happy and revenues swelling. The retail apocalypse is overhyped, but commerce is undergoing a revolution. Astound’s new reports summarize ways to profit—rather than perish—from this sea change.

Emerging Models: A View into a Channel-Surfing Shopper’s World

Creating a Loyalist: A look at the Current Landscape and Tips to Propel Your Rentention Strategy

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Glen Martin

Glen Martin is a a frequent Astound Insights contributor whose other credits include Forbes, Wired, Outside, and Men's Journal.

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