Niche Box Retailers Are Missing the Boat With Online and Phone Surveys

Have you ever been considered a ‘loyal customer’ by one retailer, then have that retailer file bankruptcy, and in that filing sell its assets to another, your contact information and data included? I have, and when it happened I didn’t feel like a loyal customer, I felt used and abused, bent-over and screwed. I might have been okay with it, had I been asked, and offered to opt-out in the referral of my information, but that wasn’t the case.

Of course, I think we all know that retailers raise the prices then pretend to give us a discount because we are a so-called loyal customer – just like I think we all realize that when we give online or phone surveys that they are just getting more information to sell us more stuff. Let’s discuss this shall we?

Asking a customer if they are highly likely, likely or not likely to recommend a store is a seriously flawed question. Further, asking someone how they would rate their last visit to a store where they made a purchase is also flawed. Let’s discuss why.

Not long ago, I had commented online about a product I bought in a major box retail sports store, you know a store like:

– Sports Authority
– Sports Chalet
– Dicks Sporting Goods
– Big 5

In fact it was one of those listed above. If you know anything about the sporting goods big box retailers, you know they’ve seen better days – online sales are taking their toll on the industry and there have been some large high-profile bankruptcies, I expect we will see more in the future.

Here is something to think about; there was an interesting article in Business Insider on January 12, 2017 titled; “Amazon’s plan for 100,000 new jobs in the US may not exactly be what Trump was looking for,” by Eugene Kim explaining the massive gains made by Amazon and the lackluster gains and dramatic challenges and store closings of big box retailers from Sears to Macy’s.

There was an interesting article in CFO Magazine titled; “U.S. Retail Sales End Year With 0.6% Increase – Sales picked up momentum after a slow start to the holiday season, bringing the gain for all of 2016 to 3.3%.” written by Matthew Heller and published on January 17, 2017. The article stated:

“The NRF [National Retail Federation showed] reported holiday sales rose 4% in November & December YOY, and 2/3rds U.S. output goes to goods and services consumed by U.S. households. A 2.4% jump in auto sales accounted for much of the rise in retail sales in December as shoppers took advantage of big discounts offered by the auto industry. ‘The strategy largely worked, with the late-year surge lifting auto sales to another annual record,’ the WSJ noted. Sales at building material stores and at furniture shops increased 0.5% while sales at online retailers jumped 1.3% last month after gaining 0.3% in November.”

So, you see the problem isn’t just with the Sporting Goods sector although it has been hit quite hard. Myself, I’ve gone to shopping online for most all my sporting goods now, except shoes, I like to try those on before I buy them. All the surveys and customer loyalty programs don’t seem to be working in this space. It’s a blue horizon for Amazon from here on out.

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