Christmas Shopping – has the race officially started?

It only feels like yesterday since we were last singing Christmas carols and drinking mulled wine. But the holiday season is upon us once again, and it’s time to get some Christmas shopping done!

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What now for in-store shopping?

We have seen a lot of discussion in the press recently over the roles of various shopping channels and the future of the entire shopping experience. It’s a fact that there seems to have been a real gear shift in terms of online shopping. The headline ‘the death of the high-street’ has been bandied about with the growth of online shopping being cited as signalling the end of shopping as we traditionally know it. Here at Retail Maxim we thought it would be interesting to understand the motivations of UK shoppers who still shop in-store, such as how frequently they are shopping and what motivates them to shop in-store. Our aim is to get a bit more perspective on the situation.

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Do we still visit shopping centres?

It’s clear to all retail professionals that online shopping is showing huge growth. The convenience, competitive pricing and speed which online shopping offers appeals to lots of us.  We have previously discussed how this affects stand alone retailers but it also begs the question of whether it affects shopping centres.

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Are customers using click and collect?

In a world of next day delivery and free delivery, a reliable and important service which is sometimes overlooked is click and collect. It’s a service which a number of large businesses run and structure a lot of their logistics around. But how often is it used and is it important to the consumer? As collection lockers are being installed in supermarkets and shopping centres, which see an opportunity to drive footfall, we also wanted to see if people are using these. We sent out a poll to a number of you to find out more…

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Top 5 advantages of being a mystery shopper

Mystery shopping is a very rewarding job for some, and it can really work with those in need for a flexible yet reliable career. We are going to discuss the advantages of being a mystery shopper and what character traits you may need to be a successful one. You never know, you may be the perfect fit.

Also take part in our exclusive competition to win a FREE £30 Amazon voucher – More about the competition inside.

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How do online stores affect retailers in the UK?

It’s hard to ignore the impact that online shopping is having on retail and our shopping experiences, but is it necessarily for the better? A common retailing technique that is overlooked is matching the level of service provided in store with a fully equipped website. With this in mind, we put out a poll to find out how a retailers’ online presence affects a customer’s perception and potential sales. Continue reading “How do online stores affect retailers in the UK?”

Interest Rates Rises and Christmas

On the 2nd of November, the Bank of England raised the base rate from 0.25% to 0.50%, in an attempt to tackle inflation following the post-Brexit economic slowdown. The term interest rate refers to the amount that is due to be charged to the borrower as interest and it comes as a percentage of the loan in question. While the rise in interest rates won’t affect savers much, it might affect small businesses, first-time homeowners and mortgage payers. Continue reading “Interest Rates Rises and Christmas”

Is upselling good customer service?

We have all been victims of it. You are in a cafe or a restaurant, you have chosen and ordered a yummy meal and you are excited to finally eat your lunch. As you are about to pay, the nice lady at the counter asks “Would you like dessert for only £1 more?” All of us has experienced upselling in one way or another. On one hand, the extra pound spent for an additional item is a great deal. But on the other side, the cafe has led you to spend more money for something you didn’t really want. Continue reading “Is upselling good customer service?”

3 ways to prevent poor customer service

What determines the true cost of poor customer service? The short answer is that there isn’t an equation to help determine how much you are losing by poor customer service.

No two customers or businesses are the same but the negative impact of producing poor customer service can be similar, if not the same.

For each customer that is lost from poor customer service, you lose new customers that could have been referred to you. Along with that, your brand’s reputation could be damaged and brand loyalty. This will further negatively impact your performance and profits.

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Beware of mystery shopping scams

mystery shopping scams

Unfortunately, there are a lot of email scams involving Mystery Shopping assignments. There is no way to prevent these but they should be reported to your local law enforcement agency.

How to spot a scam

  • All emails from us come from addresses ending in @retail-maxim.co.uk. If someone contacts you from a different address, it isn’t us
  • Genuine companies will use a company email address. If someone contacts you from an account with Hotmail or Gmail (or similar) they are unlikely to be a genuine company
  • We only send emails to shoppers who have registered with us. If you didn’t register on our database, we won’t email you
  • We always speak to our shoppers every time that we offer them an assignment
  • We do not pay our shoppers through Western Union, and we never ask them to transfer money with Western Union
  • If you are asked to bank a cheque, it’s likely to be a scam
  • No genuine mystery shopping company would trust someone they don’t know with a large sum of money as an advance. If you are contacted and offered a large payment in advance, this is likely to be a scam
  • If an offer looks too good to be true, it probably will be. Mystery shopping does not normally pay large amounts. If you are offered £100 to conduct a basic enquiry it is very unlikely to be a genuine assignment
  • If you apply for non mystery shopping work on a job site and are then told that the vacancy is filled but there is mystery shopping work available as an alternative, this is likely to be a scam.

Here are a couple of links which give a bit more information on such scams:

http://www.safefromscams.co.uk/MysteryShopperScam.html

http://www.mysteryshoppersmanual.com/category/mystery-shopper-scam (a USA-based site but a lot of the information applies to the UK too)

In the UK, all internet scams/attempted scams should be reported to Action Fraud, the national fraud and internet crime reporting centre:  http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/