50 Best Tips of 2013
21. Value store associates. Associates are the top driver of customer satisfaction, hands down. Retailers must realize associates are crucial to sales - just one bad interaction can destroy an entire customer relationship. CFI Group's recent Retail Satisfaction Barometer (RSB) study found that associates' friendliness, the ability to understand customer needs and product knowledge are the most important characteristics in driving incremental sales.
Sheri Petras, CFI Group, "4 Tips to Increase In-Store Customer Satisfaction," Oct. 18, ROI Report
22. Break down company silos by rolling up your sleeves and getting on the retail floor or online to gain better perspective of what's driving customer experience and conversion. Success is measured not only by sales, but also by end user experience, loyalty and engagement.
Amy Choyne, Kenneth Cole Productions, "The Top Women in Cross-Channel Retail," March/April, Retail Online Integration
23. Test ABC analysis and cycle counting. Cycle counting (i.e., the periodic counting of just some of your inventory) is a more accurate substitute for the costly and time-consuming process of complete inventory counting. Rather than experiencing regular business interruptions for full inventory counts, cycle counting allows you to limit counts to the items dictated by a pre-defined count calendar. Using ABC logic, the fastest-moving inventory is counted more frequently than the slowest-moving inventory. For example, you might count A inventory (your fastest movers) monthly, B inventory quarterly and C inventory (your slowest-moving inventory) only once or twice a year. The benefit of a cycle counting approach is that it dramatically improves accuracy, visibility and the ability to quickly identify trends or locate misplaced inventory. Cycle counting software streamlines the process even further and can create inventory accuracy levels of 99.5 percent or greater.
Maria Haggerty, Dotcom Distribution, "3 Simple Ideas to Improve Inventory Management," May 14, The Art of Delivering Style blog
24. Offer products of a different price range. Supplementary product suggestions should be across a varied price range. If three items have been suggested, it's crucial that all three offer a welcome mix of price points. Most often, the item that costs the least will be chosen. However, it will leave a good impression in the minds of customers, increasing the chances of repeat sales.
Radhika Subramanian, Emcien, "Tips for Using Big Data to Optimize Upsell and Cross-Sell Strategies," March 8, ROI Report
25. Don't rely on your customer to turn their phone sideways, rather adapt your website to better fit the space available. Scale down the number of columns to one or two, and make sure they aren't separated with too much space in between that will force the user to scroll sideways multiple times. Consider gallery style layout.
Kate Webster, ResourceNation.com, "Tips for Simplifying Your Mobile Site," Jan. 22,ROI Report
26. On your homepage, show which mobile wallets you accept so consumers know it's an easier mobile website to make purchases on. Anybody who has ever had to type their credit card, shipping, billing and account details on a mobile device will understand why most people drop off at this point; a mobile wallet can save some of these sales.
Danielle McCormick, Skava, "Tips for Optimizing Your Site for Mobile Shoppers," April 22, ROI Report
27. Use autocomplete for fewer keystrokes. Autocomplete is a big help for all of your visitors, as it provides suggestions and spelling alternatives after just a few letters or words are entered into the search box, but it's a particularly handy timesaving tool for busy mobile shoppers. Search suggestions should have some space between them so that when mobile shoppers click on their choice, they won't mistakenly tap the wrong one.
Terry Costa, SLI Systems, "5 Tips for Creating Shopper-Friendly Mobile Commerce Sites," May 31, ROI Report
28. Even though you have a native app, recognize that people might not use it. It can be wrong to assume people are going to download your native app just because you have one. Consumers routinely use both forms of mobile native apps and mobile web apps. If they're rushed, they might go straight for the mobile site vs. taking the time to download a native app. To succeed in today's mobile world and comprehensively reach engaged end users at or near the point of sale, retailers can't put all their eggs in one basket. Instead, they need to focus on performance excellence in both areas.
Stephen Pierzchala, Compuware APM, "Optimizing Performance for Native Mobile Apps," July 12, ROI Report
29. Give clear and distinct choices right away. Only display a subset of the options you usually show, and make the price available upfront. This is important. If users on desktops, laptops and tablets have short attention spans, here we're talking about an even shorter fuse. Make prioritization decisions when serving the mobile version of your product page.
Tim Ash, SiteTuners, "Make It Boring: The Psychology of the Mobile Product Page," July 23, Designed to Convert blog
30. Offer social login on your e-commerce site. Not only does this tactic increase opt-in rates because the registration process is easier, but it will help you to more data - and that data will be more accurate. The net result is that you'll capture useful data right out of the gate that might have taken you several form fields and a year's worth of time to capture in the past. For example, you may have wanted to capture gender and ZIP code data, but were hesitant to ask for this information at opt-in because of fear of form abandonment. With social login, however, you can gather this data and be able to deliver more relevant content based on a consumer's gender and location.
Loren McDonald, Silverpop, "Social Login: The Retail Game Changer," Jan. 4, ROI Report