In the News

Is the environment Amazon’s Achilles heel or opportunity?

“It’s undeniable that humanity is creating waste and pollution at unprecedented levels.  Online shopping is a major and accelerating contributor, not only in packaging, but also in the tons of carbon pumped out by the cars, trucks and airplanes that deliver them. While the environmental impact of online shopping is hardly an Amazon-only issue, they are an undisputed leader and they set the standard others follow”, says Mark Ryski author, CEO & Founder of HeadCount Corporation.   Read the article 

Mall Traffic Is Rising, but Department Stores May Still Be Doomed

More sales-driving innovation is needed. To its credit, the department store industry is on the right track. Adding restaurants to the mix is a bold step to be sure, as is introducing services like haircuts and styling help. But as HeadCount Corp. CEO Mark Ryski says:”Traffic for the sake of traffic does retailers no good.” His prescription for players like Macy’s, Penney’s and Nordstrom? “Food courts, waterparks and skating rinks are all well and good, but retailers need to provide shoppers with reasons to visit their stores, and not just rely on mall walkers to stumble upon their stores.” Read the article

Walmart Begins In-home Delivery in Select Markets

Walmart officially began delivering groceries to the inside of customers’ homes and refrigerators this week in Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Vero Beach, Fla., with the potential to serve more than one million customers.Mark Ryski, CEO of HeadCount Corporation said these concerns of privacy will likely stunt adoption. Read the article 

As Target and Toys R Us Partner Up, Is It a Sign of More to Come?

Toys R Us was taken private in 2005 as a means of saving the organization, but that didn’t help; the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2017. It never truly solved its debt and growth challenges and opted to call it quits last year.  Mark Ryski, CEO & Founder of HeadCount Corporation says “this sounds like a test drive for an acquisition of some kind by Target of the Tru Kids assets.”  Read the article 

Experts Dispute UBS’s Advice For ‘No-Growth’ Nordstrom

“Discounting to drive traffic may produce a bump in short-term results, but will ultimately exacerbate Nordstrom’s challenges,” wrote Mark Ryski, CEO of HeadCount Corporation. “It’s clear consumers are changing, and so adjusting merchandising mixes to reflect this is what every thoughtful retailer should be doing. Nordstrom’s business model is premium product with premium service – they need to get back to their roots, focus on the market segment that they are great at and stop trying to ‘me too’ with strategies that will please short-sighted Wall Street analysts.” Read the article

Do You Really Need to Drive More Prospects into Your Store?

The single best opportunity to grow your business is to convert more of your prospects. In Mark Ryski’s excellent book, “Conversion: The Last Great Retail Metric,” he wrote: “Sales results are not a reliable proxy for customer experience, but customer conversion rate is. In fact, conversion rate is an excellent proxy for customer experience.” Read the article

Ex-Snapchat And Quidsi Execs Launch Verishop To Bring ‘Joy Back To Shopping’

Verishop, which features curated collections of men’s and women’s clothing, home and beauty products, offers free two-day shipping with no minimum purchase and free returns. “Curation and customer service are hard to scale effectively,” said Mark Ryski, founder and CEO of Headcount Corporation. “The online retail market is enormous and growing, so a solid online offering may gain some traction, but to grow this into something significant requires getting eyeballs to the site. And herein lies the biggest challenge for Verishop — breaking through in an online sea of alternatives.” Read the article

The Flagship Is Sinking: Why Retailers Are Closing More Of Their Priciest Stores

Flagships have long been considered a key part of any retail brand — and the type of offering considered well-equipped to survive the e-commerce blitz. But a series of major closures this year has many grappling with how these costly flagship stores should be reshaped for retail’s new world order. “When these big brands start to close down flagships … it really begs the question of what else what might be going on,” said Author Mark Ryski, the founder and CEO of Headcount Corp., a retail analytics company. “The advantages of having a flagship … is to really put forward to your best offering, your best service experience.” Read the article

Lands’ End to take final steps away from Sears

Lands’ End to take final steps away from Sears as the apparel retailer exits store-within-a-store locations. “My only question is why it took Lands’ End management so long to extricate themselves from Sears,” says Mark Ryski, Author, CEO & Founder of HeadCount Corporation. “Lands’ End has a following and still reasonable brand equity, notwithstanding the historical challenges it’s faced. Lands’ End is on the right track: 1.) get out of Sears, 2.) continue to build out its online business, including third-party marketplaces and 3.) open stores slowly and carefully — don’t overbuild.” Read the article

How to Improve Your Customer Conversion Rate

Just because you have a system to collect traffic data doesn’t mean it gets used or the insights applied in a way that leads to a measurable improvement in business results. “While I’m not suggesting that LP should be responsible for delivering results—clearly this is the domain of store operations—I do believe that LP can play an important role in bringing new ideas to leaders of the teams that do. Customer conversion rate optimization is one of these ideas,” says Mark Ryski, Author, CEO & Founder of HeadCount Corporation. Read the article