Retail is one of the industries most impacted by digital technology and has one of the highest potential for change. Euler Hermès in its 2017 study on the digitalisation of retail trade lists the 10 main challenges for retailers in France by level of risk: Controlling multi-channel sales, Optimizing the cost of online presence, Redefining marketing positioning, Exploiting Big Data, Preventing reputation risks, Optimizing the use of marketplaces, Integrating new payment methods, Adopting sustainable sourcing and Offering a mobile and agile customer journey.
These challenges are not hindering sales, which have been growing by an average of nearly 5% per year over the last 10 years, but are profoundly changing the industry. For example, profitability (EBIT) increased by 2.3 points between 2011 (5.7%) and 2016 (8%) and the share of online purchases should double by 2020 to reach 15%.
IÉSEG CONSEIL has been working for many years with its clients in the retail sector, which is our flagship industry in terms of turnover, and advises them on the best strategy to adopt in the light of long-term developments in the sector. Our clients, ranging from large shopping centres to retail outlets, regularly call on us for the following services:
Consumers have a huge choice when they want to buy a product and are less attached to brands than in the past. In this context, brand image and awareness are paramount. A strong brand image will facilitate a high retention rate. Our consultants will help you to determine your company's reputation, your brand positioning in relation to your competitors (positioning matrix), to measure the impact of your communication or by quantifying your notoriety. To do this, our consultants calculate for example a crucial indicator in the retail sector, the NPS, Net Promoter Score, which makes it possible to identify the proportion of promoter customers ready to recommend your brand/product, compared to detractors, customers who will share their dissatisfaction.
We have been carrying out satisfaction studies with numerous points of sale for years. Our consultants work on a long or short term basis with both large shopping centres and retail outlets. Long-term studies, which allow us to measure the evolution of customer satisfaction over time, are very much appreciated by shopping centres; points of sale prefer "express" studies in the context of an imminent report. These studies may concern the evaluation of the user experience through the customer journey but also the overall satisfaction of the retailer or the needs expressed by the consumer but not satisfied by the company. Our agile model allows us to recruit in a short time to quickly gather information on your brand and deliver an analysis deliverable including all the key information in record time. All our studies are tailor-made and take into account the specificities of your brand. Our flagship study in this field consists of a weekly analysis of the customer satisfaction of a large shopping centre for its luxury brands. The strategic recommendations made by our consultants and implemented each week by the shopping centre's employees allow us to identify their relevance and their impact on the evolution of customer satisfaction over the long term.
In the highly competitive retail market, it is essential to know your competitors and their offers, to know how to position yourself in relation to them and to know the image that customers have of the brand. In order to answer these questions, our consultants help you to understand how your brand is perceived by your customers, to differentiate yourself from the competition by developing a competitive advantage and to build consumer loyalty by improving your customer satisfaction. Through the use of different marketing tools such as the PESTEL matrix, SWOT and NPS (Net Promoter Score), our consultants will make strategic recommendations that are directly applicable and will allow you to have a direct impact on your business.
In order to evaluate the quality of the services offered by your point of sale, such as customer reception, customer care, the sales pitch or the cleanliness of the store, we use mystery visits. As part of the visits, we recruit field staff who "play" the role of fake customers and reproduce a scenario defined in advance with you, which may include a purchase act at the end of the visit. Following their visit, they fill in an evaluation grid that will enable us to collect key information about the customer experience within your store. These mystery visits are particularly useful in the context of franchises, in order to check compliance with the standards in force but also as part of an overall study of customer satisfaction. Mystery calls, carried out in our dedicated phoning room, follow the same logic. After having established the quality of your customer relationship, our consultants will make strategic recommendations that will enable you to change your habits by training your salespeople in the new customer expectations. This in order to improve the satisfaction of your customers.