November 04, 2014

Coming Soon: Hillstrom's Diagnostics

Each year, I look back at what clients asked me to do. Then I map their requests and issues against the direction our industry is headed in.

The story of the Fall of 2014 is obvious - new + reactivated customers. Retailers have spent a decade teaching customers to never visit a store, just sit at home and browse (omnichannel). As a result, anywhere between 25% and 50% of store foot traffic simply disappeared over the past four years, depending upon the specific study you read. Loyal customers are hanging in there, but there are too few new + reactivated customers to allow the retail channel to grow, sinking so many omnichannel strategies.

In e-commerce, the story is the coming ceiling on new customer acquisition. This will set off a rapid deceleration in sales growth, given that most e-commerce brands retain between 25% and 40% of twelve-month buyers, coupled with a sub-standard 1x-to-2x customer evolution process.

And in catalog marketing, the story is demographics - new + reactivated customer counts are falling apart, as the merchandise assortment caters mostly to a 60+ customer audience.

It became obvious, then, that most businesses are struggling to diagnose customer problems. If businesses could accurately diagnose the problem, then we'd see strategies and tactics to counter the issues I consistently identify. Worse, most businesses are using campaign-centric reporting (RFM response in catalogs, conversion metrics in e-commerce, monthly comp store sales in retail), and as a result, businesses cannot possibly diagnose the problems I am seeing.

So, it's time for a booklet on diagnosing customer productivity problems.

You'll learn all about the diagnostics I am using to identify popular retail, e-commerce, and catalog problems. The diagnostics quickly identify when problems started, and frequently outline (in short order) what the problems are. The diagnostics do not, of course, tell you how to fix the problems. But they clearly identify where the problems are, so that your merchandising and marketing experts know where to start.

Hillstrom's Diagnostics - coming soon to an Amazon website near you.