We work with companies large and small, nationally and internationally to help them understand changing consumer preferences and more confidently assess business opportunities and market strategies.
Retail Keynotes and Training
A combination of psychological, retail and marketing education and work experience are the secret sauce in our approach to training whether it is a keynote on the future of retail or training on sales and service, inventory management, store operations, hiring and training, negotiating, buying and everything else retail.
We provide the most up-to-date strategy reviews and competitive solutions from our access to extensive research as well as information from some of the largest corporations in the world.
We specialize in strategic development consulting, action-based learning workshops, and cutting-edge keynotes in the areas of retail, marketing, technology, and leadership.
Executing whole branding – examples of retail leaders
Whole branding for the Pauline Stores – part 1 exercise (your strategy) and part 2 exercise (your execution or tactics)
Where do we go from here?
Time To Up Your Game: How To Reinvent Your Business To Meet The Ever-Changing Customer Needs & Expectations
Presentation at the 2017 AGM Conference in Orlando, FL. Do you think you know what your customers really need, want and desire? Is that a great product? A great price? Efficient service? If only it were that simple! Yes, they do need all of these things. In fact, you have been providing them all along. But something is still missing and it shows - dwindling sales and profits. It is called: inspiration. Inspiration to change, to adapt, to dare to stand out, and to think of different ways of running your business. Because, only businesses that dare to change, to try different approaches and to be unique can thrive today and in the future. Join us for an eye opening and inspiring journey into the new consumer's expectations and how you can exceed them. Leave with at least ten resolutions that will help guide you in your quest for customer relevance and better profits.
Rate of change
Retail Doom and gloom
Who is doing it right?
Resolutions & imperatives
What Gets Measured, Gets Done. 15% Sales Increase Anyone?
Presentation for Pinch A Penny Pool Patio And Spa Owners in Orlando, FL. When you recommend water testing to your customers for their pool, you do it because it is critical that they measure their pool water chemistry to ensure the water is safe and performs in the best possible way. Running a business follows the same rule: measure your sales, staff and inventory performance to ensure you are on the right track and if not to correct a downward trend. Ultimately, only what gets measured, gets done and if you cannot measure it, you cannot change it. For instance, how can you increase your most profitable customers' repeat business, if you don’t know who they are and don’t keep track of their sales? Or, how can you increase your sales of your most profitable items, if you don’t keep track of what they are and if they are truly profitable? Or, how can you reward your best store associates for their sales efforts if you don’t know how much they sell and how profitable their sales are? And finally, how can you increase your sales by, let’s say, 15% if you don’t know whether you need to get more customers in to do so, or simply convert more of them into buyers, or sell more products to your customers (increase your items per transaction) or sell higher ticket items to increase your average transaction or a combination of all of these and what is the optimal combination?
All of these questions will be addressed in this session where you will learn about the most important Key Productivity Indicators (KPIs). We’ll start with Gross Margin Return On Inventory Investment (GMROII), looking at how to use it to improve your sales, customer service and space allocation in your store. Find out how to calculate Inventory Turnover using the retail method, as well as Stock-to-Sales Ratios, Maintained Margin, Average Transaction, Units Per Transaction, Conversion Rate, Sales Per Square Foot, Selling Cost Percentage, Sales and GP Per Employee and Staff-To-Customer Ratios. Take home formulas for each KPI, as well as benchmarks on what makes for good and superior performance and be on your way to a 15% sales increase or even more.
Customer Data: Your Crystal Ball To Predict (And Achieve) Stellar Results
Presentation for Pinch A Penny Pool Patio And Spa Owners in Orlando, FL. Since marketing is all about reaching the right customers at the right time, customer data collection - often referred to as Big Data - can be used to predict purchases, analyze customer behavior and better understand the people buying our products. This, in turn allows us to better market to our customers with offers, and personalized recommendations that are more likely to get their attention and increase their intention to buy and our sales as a result. Because if traditionally marketing was about guessing the demographics of our ideal market segment, this is no longer the case today. With big data, we can easily see exactly who is buying - who they are and where they live - and extrapolate even more details about our customers' behaviors and buying patterns.
Learn how important big data and analytics are and how vital it is that we collect data accurately and 100% of the time (or nothing can be done with it!). Then learn how accurate data can dramatically increase sales by helping:
- More clearly define our ideal customer
- Optimize customer engagement - Data can provide insights into who our customers are, where they are, what they want, how often they make a purchase, when and how they prefer to be contacted, and many other important factors. We can also analyze how customer interact with our website – and physical store – to improve their experience
- Improve customer retention and loyalty
- Achieve marketing optimization and performance. With traditional advertising, it’s difficult to track impact and return on investment directly. But big data can help us make optimal marketing buys across many different channels and to continuously optimize our marketing efforts through testing, measurement, and analysis
- Achieve real-time personalization. Big data combined with machine learning algorithms gives us the opportunity to personalize our offers to individual customers in real time. - - Think about the “customers also bought” section of Amazon or the list of recommended movies and TV shows from Netflix. Companies can personalize what products and promotions a particular customer sees, even down to sending personalized coupons and offers to a customer’s phone when he walks into a physical location.
- Improve content marketing
- Provide market research
- Manage brand reputation. With big data, we can easily monitor mentions of our brand across many different websites and social channels to find unfiltered opinions, reviews, and testimonials about their organization and products. And if we are really savvy we can also use social media to provide customer service and create a trustworthy brand presence
- Provide competitor analysis
Bringing It Home - From Ideas To Innovations To Actions
Presentation at the 2016 Running Event in Orlando, FL. Store owners say they get great ideas by attending The Running Event and other conferences, but sometimes struggle with executing what they’ve learned. Bringing it Home: How not to lose the momentum from the conference is a 60-minute session which includes the time for small group work to learn how to create an action plan and act on it. In essence, this session teaches them to prepare an action plan for their return to their stores so the insights and great ideas do not just slip away.
Store Traffic Is Down: Time To Reboot
Presentation at the NSRA 2016 Annual Leadership Conference in San Antonio, TX. Experiential retailing has reached new heights, blurring the lines between hospitality and retail, and physical and digital. New concepts, an amalgam of traditional services, convenience and new options, can help traditional retailers compete with the rise of online shopping.
Experiential retailing is also about deploying analytics to help understand consumers’ shopping behaviors and responding to them in relevant ways, about understanding the impact that technology has in shaping those behaviors, how generations relate to those technologies, and about embracing social and mobile as an extension of your reach and business overall.
Learn what you need to do to meet consumers’ new experience expectations and explore the opportunities that social, mobile, technology and customer data offer to compete in today’s market. And finally learn the key rules to run a sound business.
New keynotes and workshops addressing on the latest and hottest topics all filled with practical, stimulating and actionable content.
Retail And Consumer Trends
Big Data Analytics
Selling-Marketing To Millennials
Retail And Consumer Trends
Retailers have seen a lot in the last decade or so. First, customers started demanding lower and lower prices, then deals every day, then instant free delivery and no cost returns, and now, they are only coming to a store if we can deliver them an outstanding experience.
Experiential retailing has been around for a long time but it has reached new heights lately blurring the the lines between residential/personal and retail, hospitality and retail, and physical and digital (some call it 'category convergence').
New concepts, an amalgam of traditional services, convenience and new options, are supposed to help traditional retailers compete with the rise of online shopping. ‘By offering services like hair salons, bike repair shops, and restaurants, stores are becoming one-stop-shopping giving customers an experience they can't purchase with a click of their mouse’ explains Urban Outfitters Marketing Manager Tracy McGinnis. Urban Outfitters, Bonobos, Warby Parker, Nordstrom, Restoration Hardware are just a few examples of retailers focusing on “experience/lifestyle retail” as you have not seen before.
As we always say, customers shop horizontally and the new experiences customers are having at these stores are raising the bar for everyone else.
In this presentation you are going to learn what you need to do to meet consumers’ new experience expectations by coming on an exciting journey with us where we are going to explore trends that you need to watch and embrace. Here is a taste of them (note: we update and change them monthly):
- A new definition of competition: industry game changers
- A new definition of shopping: mobile and online imperatives
- New retail channels: social retail outlets
- Caring for Generation Z: your plan for the future
- Caring for Generation Y: the most difficult customers
- A new definition of store: merchantenment, retailtenment
- Slow shopping: tapping into US consumers' preference for experiences
- In store technology that customers really care about
- Deliver me now: anyway possible
- IoT: to gain operational efficiencies and deeper customer relationships
- Low price no more: you need a point of difference and price is not it
Mobile is definitely a significant part of the way customers experience brands today. Yet, receiving offers via phone is not something customers always like. In fact, most of the time they think it is intrusive. That sometimes happens when retailers use beacons to target customers as they walk past their store and just send them random offers.
What if you could market your brand in a way that your customers feel valuable and it is a service to them? Can it be done? Of course, it can! Learn in this presentation what some of the the top retailers are doing to personalize offers and messages to their customers and make them crave those messages and help them reap the benefits with increased sales.
Big Data Analytics
It has been said that data is the new oil. That may be true insofar as it is and will become even more valuable than oil to our economy but this will only be the case for those companies who realize the value of data and how to collect it, store it and then use it to better understand and even predict the behavior of staff and more importantly customers.
First companies have to determine what data is important to their businesses, then they have to determine how they will capture that data and if it is cost effective to do so.
Once the data has been collected then how will it be stored and in what format, this will determine how easy it will be to then sort, filter and turn into usable information. Often the storage of data is done in what is called ‘data warehouses’ but that name is somewhat misleading insofar as there really may not be a single place where the data is stored and in no way does the data exist on shelves or pallets!
In this session you will learn how to:
- Build a business case for collecting and using data in your company
- Identify what basic data you should be collecting every day
- Decide on the best format to store that data for easy access and understanding
- Identify the best uses of data today to better understand your customer
- Learn what software is available for analysis
- Learn the difference between predictive analytics and data analysis
Selling-Marketing To Millennials
Much has been written and said about millennials. Learn the true facts about this much researched generation, they are your customers, your employees, your boss and everything else in between.
Learn the reasons why they are the way they are and most importantly how to capitalize on their strengths and deal with their differences and learn how to increase your sales and profits by aligning with their goals and aspirations.
Because there is a lot that they have to offer that can benefit you. Plus, they are here to stay and buy!
In this session you will learn:
- What is a Millennial? Definition; Differences with other key buying generation groups (Boomers and Xers)
- What characteristics are common to Millennials around the world?
- Global social media map
- How do Millennials decide what to buy and why? Path to purchase; Media that reach them
- How do you talk to Millennials?
- Why you need to connect with Millennials?
What makes a great leader? A deep understanding of psychology. But no, you don’t need a degree in the science of the mind and have studied all the behavioral theories but rather you need to understand a few fundamental truths about what motivates people's actions and perceptions.
Because you can teach people how to do things right – the correct behaviors – but unless they are motivated, they are not going to do them just because you asked. Learn to be an effective leader by understanding your people’s motivation, needs and competency levels.
Did you know that family businesses account for a staggering 50 percent of the gross domestic product of the U.S.? And it is not just in small storefronts or website businesses: 35 percent of Fortune 500 companies are private or public companies that are controlled by families (source: Forbes)
And yet if you own a family business, you know those statistics don’t come without pain. Independent Business Owners and family business owners in particular reach a point when their overwhelming question and biggest worry is: what should I do with this business I own?
Even when business is thriving, they often wonder how long can they continue to run it and put in 70-100 hours’ work a week. And if it is not doing so well, they wonder when they should sell and how much they can sell it for..
And sometimes they wonder: what are my options? Leave it to the kids, sell it to them or to friends? Put it on the market and sell to strangers? And most importantly — How much is it worth?
No easy questions or answers and certainly no small decisions to make and that is why it is important to have a clear roadmap to determine what the next steps should be after reviewing pros and cons of all options which is the subject of this workshop. In particular, you will learn:
- How to asses the health of your business and know when it is time to close and move on (is it a 'dead man walking’?)
- The steps to create a viable plan to sell your family business
- The pros and cons of selling your business to family and friends
- The step you need to take to get your business ready for sale
- The steps you need to take to assess the value of your business and how to determine what your asking price should be
- Will you sell it yourself or hire a broker? Learn the upside and downside to each approach
BOOKS WORTH READING
Retail Selling Ain’t Brain Surgery, It’s Twice As Hard is a hands-on book for Retail Sales Associates of any age or experience who want to gain a deeper insight into what they do.
The new Retail Sales Associate will benefit from many of the practical examples and exercises included in the book and the seasoned Retail Associate will benefit from new insights into Customer behavior. Mr. Dion introduces Professional Retail Sales Associates to new strategies on: Avoiding Vending Machine Selling; Keeping Your Distance; Customer Behavior; In-Your-Face Customers; Customers For Life; Less Than Righteous Returns; Maximizing The Last Moment With Your Customers; The Real Secret Service; Practicing To Improve Your Skills.
James Dion has a diverse skill set in that he has worked retail, manufacturing and operations. He is a genuine retail expert with a big interest in systems. This is invaluable in establishing credibility as he understands the complexities of business and can relate to the challenges of his audiences.
Ruth Crowley, Vice President, General Merchandise
Harley-Davidson Motor Company