You don't need me to tell you that it's been an incredible couple of years for retailers around the world. Not only has there been significant change, but the rate of change itself is dizzying. The new challenge is striking the balance between getting the day-to-day affairs done while also looking out for those things on the horizon that could alter established routines and processes.
Many of the things that are on the minds and the "worry lists" of retailers have been there for a while: integrating channels, delivering a consistent customer experience and providing quality customer service. But there are some new elements to the game that are still of indeterminate impact: social media, apps, new marketing tools such as Groupon and the like.
Those shifting trends are the impetus behind our 2011 Top 100 list, the second in what we intend to be a series of annual publications. We started by gathering with our family of retail experts — our advisory panel — and getting on paper several hundred trends, tools and retailers that had an impact on customer experience in the past 12 months. We then had those retail experts vote on the nominees numerically, ranking each one on a numbered scale of importance, and then we distilled the results.
(And undoubtedly, we missed something that you think probably should have made the list. Come on over to RetailCustomerExperience.com nd let us know what that is, and why.)
Here's to a very successful and safe 2011!
James Bickers, editor