In the News

Why A Less ‘Significant’ Black Friday Is Good For Retailers

“While the frenzy around Black Friday is diminishing, there will be shoppers looking for bargains and I would advise retailers to continue to treat it as an important selling opportunity,” said Mark Ryski, CEO of Headcount Corporation. “While there will very likely be a decline in store traffic, this may actually be good for retailers. Here’s why: When stores get so over-run with traffic, conversion rates tank because it’s very difficult to efficiently serve customers — mayhem is bad for conversion.” Read the article.

How to Turn Retail Traffic Insights into Better Business Results

If you think this responsibility lies outside the realm of loss prevention, you may want to reconsider: many of the systems that now perform LP functions also have retail traffic counting capabilities. But, just because you’ve implemented a retail traffic counting solution doesn’t mean the insights are being applied appropriately. Mark Ryski, trend analyst and contributing writer, delves into conversion optimization possibilities and challenges in the retail space in his feature article for the September-October 2017 issue of LP Magazine. Read the article

How Will Retailers Use Facial Recognition Technology?

“Facial recognition and biometric data is highly sensitive and personal and Walmart is significantly over-reaching to use it for improving customer experience and reducing staff costs,” said Mark Ryski, CEO of HeadCount, which helps retailers analyze store traffic and conversion data. “While I do believe there is great potential to use and apply biometric data (especially for security purposes), I am very concerned about how some retailers might use this data under the guise of ‘improving customer service.’” Read the article

Retailers Are Sucking Wind In The Fast Fashion Race

With the influence of mobile and social media pushing styles in and out of fashion at a breakneck pace, some retailers are admitting that they aren’t able to catch up.  Some members of the RetailWire BrainTrust, like Mark Ryski, CEO of HeadCount Corporation, suggested altering the buy cycle to meet the trends.
“Buying later, buying smaller and moving quickly will become a necessity for retailers to successfully compete against more nimble online and offline retailers who are able to deliver,” says Ryski. Read the article.

Brick-and-Mortar Retailers’ Secret Weapon: Conversion Rate Optimization

While declining store traffic continues to dominate the headlines and remains the most frequent reason cited for lackluster store performance, the fact is, it’s only part of the story. If it’s true that store traffic has experienced a permanent and intractable decline, then what are brick-and-mortar retailers to do?  In the aftermath of the dot-com bubble in the early 2000’s, online marketers realized that they couldn’t merely focus on generating website traffic, rather they needed to focus on conversion – that is, get more visitors to buy. The same is true in brick-and-mortar retailing. Read the article

Brick-and-Mortar Retailers’ Secret Weapon: Conversion Rate Optimization

Most major tier-one retailers today track traffic and conversion rates in all their stores, so the basic data needed to conduct conversion rate optimization (CRO) already exists. However, the variability in physical stores makes applying conversion improvement initiatives across stores consistently a challenge, and it also makes measuring results more challenging too.  Given the difficult business conditions so many brick-and-mortar retailers are facing, it’s baffling that CRO hasn’t become more of a focus if not an obsession. Read the article

Why Grocery Chains Continue To Expand In An Overstored Landscape

“There are too many stores selling groceries,” wrote Mark Ryski, founder of HeadCount Corporation in an online discussion last week on RetailWire. “At the end of the day, consumers will decide who the winners and losers will be, but until then it will be painful for grocery retailers and good for consumers. The market is finite and ultimately something has got to give — the shake out will come and it will be big.”  Read the article.

My Face is Not Your Business

“Facial recognition and biometric data is highly sensitive and personal, and Walmart is significantly over-reaching to use it for improving customer experience and reducing staff costs,” said Mark Ryski, CEO of HeadCount Corporation. “While I do believe there is great potential to use and apply biometric data (especially for security purposes), I am very concerned about how some retailers might use this data under the guise of ‘improving customer service.'” Read article

Are Retailers Squandering Store Traffic?

Online, Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) has become an industry onto itself, spawning a global community of consultants and service providers, formal methodologies and over a hundred books dedicated to the topic on Amazon.com alone. There is only one book on brick-and-mortar conversion listed on Amazon. Given the difficult business conditions so many are facing, it’s baffling that CRO hasn’t become an obsession with brick and mortar retailers. In today’s environment, retailers can ill afford to squander the sales opportunities. Stemming the tide of store traffic declines may be difficult if not impossible, but it doesn’t prevent retailers from focusing on the opportunities and applying CRO strategies. Read the article.

Hot 100 Retailers: Sustained Sizzle

Being a hot retailer doesn’t come easily, yet a handful of companies have managed to stay on the Hot 100 Retailers list every year since its inception a dozen years ago. Dick’s has managed to prevail despite adverse trends over the last few years that have claimed competitors and earlier this year caused Wall Street to lose some confidence in the once high-flying retailer. The company has also pared down store openings for the next two years. “Wall Street won’t necessarily like it, but Wall Street doesn’t seem to like negative comps either, and overbuilding stores is a sure way to get them,” says Mark Ryski, CEO of HeadCount Corporation.  Read the article