June 09, 2021

Changes in New Merchandise Adoption Across the 24-Month File

In this Time Lapse Analysis, we look at the percentage of weighted historical spend in New Merchandise. We have twenty-four month of weighted customer history, and we look back across the past twenty-four months. It's "go time".

Yeah, I circled two areas for your amusement.

18-24 months ago new merchandise was a smaller fraction of weighted customer spend. Interestingly, the best customers (the top rows in the Time Lapse Analysis) were least likely to buy new merchandise. The best customers (remember how those customers faxed orders in and bought via the phone) like what they like, and they don't like being swayed by merchants offering tempting new items.

Now look at the circled area on the right side of the analysis. The middle of the twenty-four month customer file was most likely to embrace new merchandise when the assortment shifted. Yes, all customers shifted - but those in the middle of the file were willing to take a chance on new merchandise.

So often we see Executive Teams who bring in a new merchandising team. These poor souls are tasked with "fixing the assortment". Oh boy. The minute they try to fix things, the most loyal customers rebel ... they reject ... they refuse what is being offered.

As a Customer Development expert, be sure to know "who" is most likely to buy the new stuff your merchandising team is pushing on customers. Target those customers first - then take risks among customers less likely to embrace the assortment.

P.S.: You are probably a pickleball maven, or you wouldn't be reading this, #amirite? If so, you'll want to watch this best-of-five slugfest from Atlanta ... what some are calling the greatest pickleball match of all time.

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