Millennials Say Amazon.com Provides Best Customer Service, Boomers Disagree

From Forbes.com:

While consumers overall recently voted L.L.Bean the best in customer service, if you ask a Millennial, he or she will likely disagree. New analysis from Prosper’s Customer Service Champions ranking reveals a vast disparity between two of the most divergent generations, Millennials (born 1983-1997) and Boomers (born 1946-1964), when it comes to the retailers they elevate to customer service excellence.

First, let’s take a look at Millennials’ choices. This generation crowned online giant Amazon.com as their Customer Service Champion, followed by Victoria’s Secret, Best Buy, Nordstrom, and Macy’s. As an online leader and de facto search engine for many, Amazon’s top position among that this tech-savvy generation should come as no surprise. Add to that the Amazon Prime membership program, which is most heavily concentrated in young customers – nearly two out of five members are under the age of 35 – and Amazon’s got a recipe for loyalty among the Millennial generation that few retailers have been able to successfully copy. Continue reading

L.L.Bean Boots Amazon.com From Customer Service Champion Pedestal

From Forbes.com:

Amazon.com, retail disruptor extraordinaire, has just been given the boot. The Bean Boot.

Crowning 2013’s inaugural list of Customer Service Champions, Amazon slipped to second position in 2014, behind L.L.Bean (the former #2). Prosper Insights & Analytics’ 2014 Customer Service Champions were developed from a write-in vote from more than 6,000 U.S. consumers (18+) during the third quarter of 2014 and weighted by each retailers’ relative size in annual revenues as well as its fan base, as defined by a retailer’s promoters (per the Net Promoter Score.*)

This year’s results provide interesting insight into the mindset of consumers. In the last decade, Amazon quickly rose to top of mind among consumers with deep discounts, a wide array of products and services, and free shipping incentives, providing the catalyst for changing the traditional definition of customer service in the digital age. In contrast, century-old L.L.Bean has relied less on the heavy promotions that have marred retailers’ profit margins during the recession and in the years since, instead upholding customer satisfaction through quality products – Guaranteed to Last™ – as well as the no-threshold free shipping incentive that consumers love. With consumers slowly easing back into spending, and retailers searching for solutions to pull back from deep discounting while still remaining competitive, L.L.Bean certainly provides a model for differentiating via satisfaction and quality which resonates with today’s consumers.

custsvc0315

Continue reading

Prosper Integrates Science of Influence Metrics into Learning Evolution’s Online Training Programs for Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) Companies and Retailers

Worthington, OH – 4/2/2015

Consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies recognize their vital role in coordinating category management and shopper insights to help retailers keep up with the ever-changing consumer. To meet this need, Learning Evolution and Prosper Technologies have expanded their relationship to integrate Prosper’s Science of Influence metrics into Learning Evolution’s certified online category management and shopper marketing training programs for CPG and Retail firms.  Continue reading

Among Top QSR Chains, Starbucks, Subway, Chick-fil-A Boast Healthiest Patrons

When QSR magazine released its list of top 50 quick service and fast casual chains last year, industry behemoth McDonald’s unsurprisingly sat atop that list. Having served billions and billions of consumers worldwide, McDonald’s 2013 sales in the U.S. were more than double that of second place competitor Subway, intimating that consumers still have an appetite for the Golden Arches. However, consumer tastes and lifestyles are changing, with words like “natural,” “organic,” and “fresh” landing onto competitor’s menus – and onto consumers’ plates. While the movement toward healthier and more responsible living has been a boon to some quick service chains, sales at McDonald’s are consistently suffering.

With this trend in mind, I shuffled the positions of QSR’s top 10 restaurants, re-ranking these establishments not by overall sales, but by the lifestyle choices their patrons make, courtesy of the syndicated insights Prosper collects. Continue reading

How The Integration Of Technology And Neuroscience Will Boost Marketing Tech Growth

The latest from Prosper on Forbes.com

The fusion of science and technology is fostering a new era of growth for the marketing tech category. The need for data-driven communication solutions brought about by the growth of the Internet has fueled this growth. The old network message distribution model is about to crumble due to the impact of changes in technology and its adoption by consumers. Marketers are being forced to seek new models such as those based on Neuromarketing which focus on individuals and how the various choices they are faced with can be shifted or influenced at multiple “scales” of behavior (e.g. individuals, group or market/society). Much of this will happen as part of the science of influence. Continue reading…

Walmart’s $7 Billion ‘Gift’ To Kohl’s

Although Walmart’s global e-commerce operations reported 22% gains in sales for fiscal year 2015, U.S. same-store sales at Walmart stores were comparatively lackluster at +0.5%. Overarching retail trends like declining store traffic, the “death” of malls, and rise of online shopping (and, of course, Amazon.com) have been discussed at length by analysts and industry pundits with Walmart executives announcing plans to combat this in-store shopping fatigue by improving customer experience, keeping prices low, and expanding product assortment. While this three pronged approach to engaging shoppers and promoting loyalty to Walmart seems well-meaning, it’s also very broad and, quite frankly, could be used to define the strategies of any one of Walmart’s competitors, including Amazon.

Using the years of syndicated insights Prosper has collected on Walmart, I took a deeper look at one of the big discounter’s core customer groups – its grocery shoppers – in order to gain a better understanding of what ails this retailer. This analysis revealed that potential revenues are leaking like a sieve out of Walmart’s apparel departments, with Kohl’s lapping up a hefty proportion of Walmart’s so-called “lost opportunity.” Continue reading

How Neuromarketing And The Science of Influence Will Change Marketing

The latest from Prosper on Forbes.com

Gary Drenik, CEO of Prosper, recently talked with Dr. Martin Block, a professor from the Medill School at Northwestern and a member of the Applied Neuromarketing Consortium, to discuss new research on Neuromarketing just published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. The findings may lead to a whole new way of understanding and influencing consumer behaviors through the science of influence as a promotion variable.

In addition, the current issue of the American Marketing Association’s “Marketing News” features an article written by Dr. Don Schultz, professor (emeritus-in-service) of integrated marketing communications at Northwestern. In this article, Schultz highlights key areas which can create problems for marketers who focus more on distribution of messages than outcomes.

Together these viewpoints highlight how important influence is to marketing, media and promotion.

Click here to read Gary’s Forbes post that includes highlights from his interview with Martin Block, as well as a link to Don Schultz’s article in “Marketing News.”