• Guy Mucklow
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Guy Mucklow

President and Co-Founder, PCA Predict
Guy Mucklow is the co-founder of Addressy (a GBG Company), a provider of an innovative address validation tool that helps to remove friction on web forms by making it quicker and easier for customers to complete and validate their address online. Over 40% of the Internet Retailing Top 500 etailers trust this technology to increase conversions and reduce failed deliveries. Guy is an advocate of technological innovation and small business interests and has also recently been awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion.
  • Posted on: 05/05/2017

    Will giving associates mobile devices enhance the shopping experience?

    Equipping retail associates with mobile devices is only the first step. Store managers need to consider the broader picture when it comes to improving the shopper's experience. In our digital era, consumers want a faster and easier way to streamline the checkout process -- whether in person or in store. Each and every aspect of must be considered, including perhaps the most important element -- shipping. Mobile devices can help save businesses and their customers time and money, but retailers must ensure their customers have the utmost confidence that the package will be delivered with extreme efficiency.
  • Posted on: 04/25/2017

    Will omnichannel make the J.C. Penney and Sephora partnership more successful?

    Sephora and J.C. Penney’s decision to enhance and strengthen their omnichannel approach will prove to be a smart move for both businesses. In today’s digital age, retailers can no longer compete and maintain large customer bases without creating an online presence. Those that are able to establish themselves both online and in stores are positioning themselves for long-term success—omnichannel is the clear path to high sales and customer satisfaction rates. With their new omnichannel strategy, Sephora and J.C. Penney are making their products more accessible while expanding their customer base. Today’s consumer demands a shopping experience that is convenient and tailored to their preferences. Many prefer to only shop online, which requires a streamlined and comprehensive online store. Sephora and J.C. Penney are appealing to those customers by increasing the Sephora inventory on J.C. Penney’s website. Others prefer to order products online and pick them up in stores—something J.C. Penney and Sephora are now implementing. Companies that are able to master the omnichannel approach will have the greatest success. Sephora and J.C. Penney’s partnership serves as a model for companies looking to build customer satisfaction and differentiate themselves from competition.
  • Posted on: 04/21/2017

    Are Millennials and Gen Z more about convenience or price when they shop?

    Millennials and Gen Z are accustomed to the constant stream of technological advances specific to today’s digital world. As such, these groups expect the speed and convenience that technology brings to key areas of their everyday lives. Today’s shopping trends are evidence of just this. Online shopping sales are quickly overtaking in-store shopping sales, while younger generations are migrating to mobile devices for all their shopping needs at surging rates. With all this in mind, it’s safe to say that Millennial and Gen Z shoppers have grown impatient to any delays or roadblocks present in their online shopping experiences. As these consumers grow older, and as online shopping habits expand across even more industries, retailers will need to adapt accordingly. Mobile sites will need to be as streamlined and user-friendly as possible—a clean, easy to navigate design that is tailored to small screens is a must. Additionally, the checkout process needs to be as simple as possible. Technology such as address verification can help by cutting down the amount of manual typing needed and flagging typos and address errors. Tech-savvy Millennials and Gen Z shoppers will continue to be the most prominent shopper in the retail space for years to come. As such, it’ll take a lot of streamlining, updating, and optimizing in order for retailers to keep up with their growing expectations.
  • Posted on: 04/13/2017

    Is UPS’s Saturday announcement a sign of deliveries to come?

    As online shopping continues to be the go-to shopping method for customers nationwide, it’s no surprise that UPS is introducing Saturday deliveries. In fact, with e-commerce sales surging at rapid rates, it’s a wonder that weekend deliveries aren’t already the norm for shipping companies like UPS. The retail space is becoming increasingly crowded, meaning shoppers have endless options when it comes to products, retailers, and shipping methods. As a result, retailers and shipping companies must prioritize the needs and preferences of consumers. As mentioned in the article, many individuals are unable to receive packages on weekdays due to work schedules, apartment buildings lacking secure areas for deliveries, or offices that do not accept personal packages. To keep up with the needs of today’s consumer and remain competitive, retailers and shipping companies must adapt. If Saturday deliveries are a success for UPS, it will only be a matter of time before all major carriers move to a seven-days-a-week delivery schedule. And why shouldn’t they? Online shopping makes purchasing items a 24/7 option—it’s time deliveries followed suit.
  • Posted on: 04/12/2017

    Will an in-store pickup discount give Walmart an edge over Amazon?

    As some of my peers have touched on, the success of Walmart’s Pickup Discount program will rely heavily on how well it is executed. Today’s digital world has created shoppers who are accustomed to speed and convenience -- two things that are inherent in home deliveries. Nothing can beat the convenience of having a purchased product delivered right to your doorstep. The one consideration of online shopping delivery systems is the cost. Shipping costs can be expensive, adding to the overall price of a product, and have the ability to deter online shoppers -- especially if there is a better, more economical option. Walmart’s Pickup Discount program could be that better option since it cuts the shipping cost. However, to truly surpass home deliveries, the program must operate seamlessly and make the price cut worthwhile, factoring in the time it takes a shopper to get to the store. If Walmart can create a system without order errors, delays in fulfillment and crowded pickup areas, it stands to give a run for its money.
  • Posted on: 04/03/2017

    Will mobile order and pay-only stores improve Starbucks’ operational performance?

    Retailers across industries are continuing to see a rapid increase in mobile shoppers with each passing year. In today’s digital age, consumers have come to expect a shopping experience that allows them to make purchases quickly, easily and while on the go. The food and beverage industry in particular has felt the impact of this trend, and Starbucks’ move toward mobile ordering is a great example of the growing needs of the mobile customer base. Simply allowing shoppers to make mobile orders is no longer enough -- retailers must ensure the overall experience is streamlined and convenient for the customer. Starbucks’ decision to create mobile order and pay-only locations will help them do just that. By paying attention to every step of the mobile shopping experience, Starbucks is positioning itself as a brand that prioritizes the needs of consumers. Retailers in all industries -- not just the food and beverage industry -- will need to follow suit and figure out how their own customer experience can be tailored to all shoppers across all channels.
  • Posted on: 03/29/2017

    Sam’s says it’s scoring with club pickup

    Sam’s Club has taken the lead in leveraging digital technology to enhance their customers’ experiences—especially important given consumer demand for fast and easy shopping experiences both in stores and online. While the Scan & Go capability will appease many customers shopping in Sam’s Club stores, it is the Club Pickup and local store delivery options that will have the biggest impact on the customer experience and brand loyalty. Looking at online shopping trends across the retail industry, it is clear that customers are increasingly choosing delivery and pickup methods over in-store purchasing. So why should grocery shopping be any different? When it comes to online shopping, the fulfillment process is key. What customers will remember is if their order was ready or delivered on time and if the delivery was error-free. In order to truly appease customers, Sam’s Club will have to ensure both of these features are as streamlined as possible. If Sam’s Club continues to implement advanced technology, they will have no problem perfecting the fulfillment process. Technology such as address verification will be vital as they move toward local deliveries, as it helps ensure all inputted customer data is correct and minimizes the likelihood of failed deliveries by verifying all address information. This will ultimately improve customer satisfaction and build customer loyalty.
  • Posted on: 03/24/2017

    Will struggling retailers find new lives as pure play e-tailers?

    For retailers across industries, being able to pair a successful physical and online store is ideal for creating a strong brand and building a large and loyal customer following. However, given today’s highly digitized world, resorting to an online-only approach is a viable option for struggling retailers. Online shopping rates are growing at exponential rates, giving online stores the ability to expand their customer base and sustain a retailer’s business—but only if done right. Customers today expect more from their online shopping experiences, including speed, convenience, and around-the-clock accessibility. In order to build a strong reputation after failing in brick-and-mortar, retailers like Bebe need to ensure they are excelling at the online shopping fundamentals and are keeping up with the latest tech trends. Creating a mobile-friendly site is essential, as more shoppers are making purchases on the go. Additionally, building a strong social media presence is becoming increasingly important for both reaching new customers and creating customer loyalty. Last, adopting new technologies, such as address verification, is important for enhancing user experience and combating key online shopping frustrations. These include complex checkout forms, manual typing, and failed deliveries due to incorrect customer data—all of which lead to cart abandonment and seriously jeopardize return business and customer loyalty.
  • Posted on: 03/23/2017

    Is ‘wantedness’ something that marketers need?

    The idea of loyalty being a two-way-street between customers and brands is becoming increasingly important in today’s retail world. Effective marketing techniques will always be vital to a company’s bottom line. However, aspiring to a "wantedness" level of engagement with customers will both increase a business’ revenue and build brand loyalty. In today’s digital world, reaching this level of engagement is now within reach for all retailers. Technologies such as address verification and chatbots work to personalize the shopping experience to each individual customer. Both facilitate obtaining quality customer data, which retailers can leverage to make product recommendations based on past purchases, offer coupons based on a customer’s shopping habits, and better tailor the overall experience to customer needs. Every retailer’s wantedness list must include getting to know a customer and their unique needs, and this starts with collecting quality data.
  • Posted on: 03/23/2017

    Is social media influence the new key to building brand loyalty?

    Social media offers a strategic channel for retailers looking to build brand loyalty. Today’s everyday shopper is increasingly integrating social media into their personal retail experiences -- following their favorite stores on Twitter to get coupons, trying new brands based on Facebook ads and contacting customer service via social media accounts. With social media becoming an integral part of the retail industry, it is time for businesses to better leverage their own social media channels. Creating a strong social media presence helps retailers get in front of more customers -- both current and potential -- and provides a way to connect and directly interact with them through product recommendations, coupons and creative campaigns. However, simply having a social media presence is not enough -- in fact, having a social media presence but failing to effectively manage it can be seriously detrimental. Shoppers often air their frustrations with a company or brand on social media for all to see. Issues with a product and failed deliveries are strong drivers of this. Without an effective social media strategy in place -- that includes monitoring and responding to complaints and comments -- businesses run the risk of not only failing to address customer concerns, but putting the spotlight on these concerns and ultimately impacting a brand’s reputation.
  • Posted on: 03/13/2017

    Are retailers ‘blind’ to digital marketing’s flaws?

    The rise of m-commerce has led to major shifts in the e-commerce world. Online retailers are already redesigning their sites to better serve the increasing number of shoppers who are visiting online stores and making purchases from their mobile devices. Checkout pages are becoming more streamlined, navigation systems are being tailored to mobile screens, and product pages are being revamped. Similar to how the rise of m-commerce is transforming the design of online stores, it is also leading to significant shifts in marketing tactics. Digital marketing provides an opportunity for retailers to better connect with their customers from any device, anywhere. However, failing to carefully tailor marketing strategies to the individual shopper can significantly impact ROI--any effective digital marketing strategy must be targeted and personalized. Leveraging quality data is an important component in ensuring this personalization, as it perfects customer loyalty through tactics such as rewards programs, promotions based on past purchases, and product recommendations. Although digital marketing is becoming increasingly important, as it offers a clear path to mobile shoppers, it is just one piece of the marketing puzzle. To reach the full spectrum of consumers and maximize ROI, retailers need to leverage a multi-pronged marketing strategy that emphasizes both traditional and digital tactics.
  • Posted on: 03/07/2017

    Will using Uber for home deliveries work for Kroger?

    Kroger’s decision to use Uber for home deliveries is an interesting one, as it highlights an important consideration that is often overlooked in the current age of online shopping. Once a shopper submits an order at checkout, the customer experience is not over. Instead, retailers must focus on the last leg of the online shopping journey: the delivery. Ensuring the delivery process is fast and reliable is just as important as providing user-friendly product navigation and a seamless checkout process. Delivery delays or failures can have a devastating impact on customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, and company revenue. By prioritizing and working to perfect this important step, Kroger is setting itself up for long-term success.
  • Posted on: 03/07/2017

    Are chains cannibalizing their own in-store sales with e-commerce?

    With today’s consumer demanding speed and convenience when shopping, having a strong online presence is essential for retailers across industries to compete. Instead of focusing on whether online sales are taking away from in-store sales, retailers need to consider the value of a robust omnichannel e-commerce strategy, where physical stores and online stores work in harmony to increase brand recognition and boost a business’ bottom line. Beyond increasing revenue potential by opening the door to customers unable to visit a physical store, a strong e-commerce presence can lead to increased in-store revenue—it builds brand awareness among consumers, many of which first encounter a company online. Creating a positive online shopping experience for customers will lead them to expect the same experience in stores, strengthening a company’s overall brand and positioning them for long-term success.
  • Posted on: 03/02/2017

    Has the retail industry upped its customer service game?

    The expectations of today’s consumer have forced retailers to up their customer service and customer satisfaction game. With the rapid evolution of high-tech features and capabilities of online shopping, customers are expecting more from their shopping experiences. Retailers must adapt and leverage new technologies in order to meet these expectations and remain competitive in an industry of choice. We’re seeing more and more online retailers adopt conversational technologies such as chatbots in an effort to enhance customer service capabilities. By offering instant support with everything from IT problems, to product information, to purchase suggestions, these technologies also provide a prime opportunity for customer interaction. Other tech features that are transforming the online customer journey include persistent shopping carts, mobile optimized screens, and streamlined checkout pages. As consumers continue to expect more from their shopping experiences, retailers stand to gain business, revenue, and customer loyalty by embracing more technological advances.
  • Posted on: 02/27/2017

    Will irrational shipping prices doom brick and mortar stores?

    With the rise of not only e-commerce, but also m-commerce, sustaining an omnichannel business model is now more essential than ever for retailers. Today’s consumer demands speed and convenience when shopping. Having an online platform is now a necessity for brick and mortar stores to remain competitive, and shipping costs are a part of that necessity. The ability to shop on any device, anywhere, and make a purchase in seconds is a convenience that is not going to be deterred by shipping fees. That said, retailers that decide to charge more for shipping must realize that the margin of error when it comes to deliveries will be slim to none. Failed deliveries or delivery delays can seriously jeopardize return business. Deliveries have to be right the first time -- if they are, customers are less likely to care if they are paying more. The need for speed and convenience will trump all.
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