Chris Petersen, PhD.

President, Integrated Marketing Solutions

President of Integrated Marketing Solutions

Chris Petersen is a founding partner of Integrated Marketing Solutions (IMS). He currently serves as President, and Senior Partner focused on building strategic relationships that produce measurable results. Dr. Petersen has over 30 years’ experience consulting in business analytics, retail metrics, scorecards and measurement. After measuring hundreds of retail pilots around the world, Dr. Petersen has a very simple and fundamental retail change management philosophy – Results Count … everything else is conversation.

Founder of IMS Retail University

Dr. Petersen is the founder of IMS Retail University. He drew upon his training in psychology and measurement to develop pragmatic processes, tools and analytics that can be applied to improve retail performance. The IMS Retail University curriculum has evolved from foundational courses, to strategic briefings on best practices attended by top Executives. Over 15,000 “graduates” from 43 countries have attended an IMS Retail University workshop.

Speaker, Writer and Photographer

Dr. Petersen has extensive international experience working with both retailers and manufacturers. He shares his experiences, knowledge, with and wisdom through his weekly retail blog, Results Count ( He is also a regular blog and feature article contributor to RCE ( Dr. Petersen is worldwide speaker on retail trends, best practices, and critical success factors.

As a function of his extensive worldwide travel, Chris has become an avid photographer. He shares retail photos on and posts his personal photo favorites on

Other Links from Chris Petersen, PhD.:

IMS Results Count Blog

IMS Results Count Pinterest

  • Posted on: 06/26/2017

    Is e-commerce making vendor compliance programs more important?

    The growth of e-commerce places a premium on on-time delivery, shipment accuracy and in-stock position. Hybrid strategies like click-and-collect create a more pressing need for in-stock and having the store shelf level correct right now.The question is whether retailers will continue with the legacy of punitive measures to generate charge-back revenue or use metrics-driven scorecards as an interactive means of partnership to create value (because, for instance, in-stocks are the fastest way of growing revenue for both the retailer and the vendor).With increasing use of supply chain automation and metrics one has to ask, why not publish the critical metrics weekly? Check-boxes on a form might be required for some qualitative measures, but the time interval lags too much to improve performance. The best way to improve performance is to increase the frequency of measurement on critical success factors that drive results.A critical question for today's retailers trying to survive in an omnichannel world would be the comparative value of: a.) charge-back revenue by measuring non-compliance or b.) incremental sales and profits generated by partners who meet weekly scorecard metrics for on-time accurate delivery and in-stocks.
  • Posted on: 06/19/2017

    Why are so many associates being deprived of tech by their employers?

    Cost, infrastructure and support are the typical objections cited by retailers. But I would love to see a study of associates who are adequately equipped with technology to assist customers in-store ... my bet would be that the value of service and additional products sold would far outweigh the initial hardware costs.I've heard a number of retailers suggest that the real reason they don't let associates have access to Wi-Fi is the fear that they will spend time surfing the web and engaging on social media. If the retailer's major fear is that associates will abuse the technology, then the managers probably have fundamental problems of how to engage staff to create a compelling experience in-store.
  • Posted on: 06/19/2017

    Did Amazon just patent tech that could end showrooming in its stores?

    Just because you can patent shopping control technology does NOT mean you should implement it in your stores. The genie is out of the bottle. Consumers expect access and to control their experience, any time and everywhere -- even in Amazon stores.
  • Posted on: 06/16/2017

    Where’s the art in data-driven marketing?

    The art of marketing will always be the human creativity of developing new ideas, experiences, merchandising and formats to engage customers.The science is being able to quantify and validate what works where and when.
  • Posted on: 06/14/2017

    Can fitness centers save malls?

    The age of malls is over, at least as originally conceived. Malls simply can't draw enough traffic via stores alone to justify the premium retail leases.Perhaps the healthiest thing for malls to do is to stop thinking in terms of "anchors" to replace the dying department stores. Bahram Akradi has coined a very appropriate term: "lifestyle villages."The large physical space formerly known as the mall needs to find multiple ways to attract customers to make multiple visits. What better way than a fitness center which results in multiple visits per month? However, a fitness center attracts a small core group of customers. Malls need a variety of lifestyle experiences and businesses beyond stores to attract a broad base, especially Millennials.In the successful mall of the future, traditional retail stores will occupy a minority of the space. The key for those retailers is to figure out how they can transform to tap into the new "mall lifestyle" and become a part of it.
  • Posted on: 06/13/2017

    Will Best Buy increase gadget sales with a try-before-you-buy offer?

    Kudos to Best Buy for trying something different! The key to tech adoption is customer experience. And the customer's fear of open box is that it might not work properly. Short-term rentals could work really well to address both of these things.An added benefit could be that the customer not only buys the open box item but steps up to a newer/upgraded version later based upon their experience.
  • Posted on: 06/13/2017

    Has Rainbow Shops created a compensation model aligned with omnichannel realities?

    In the eyes of today's omnichannel customers, there is no "channel" ... shopping is a seamless experience between digital and physical.Far too many stores have been operating in silos because of the historical baggage of systems designed separately for stores' POS and e-commerce.Mr. Cost seems to have come up with a pragmatic solution, at least temporarily. It is a start in building the teamwork and acceptance in creating a seamless experience valued by customers.The future of "hybrid retail" is full of many more permutations. Click-and-collect is projected to grow dramatically. Does the credit for the sale get split? And what about buy online but ship-from-store to home? Retail infrastructure and systems must quickly evolve to tracking customers' purchases across both place and time.The future of retail is less about the individual product sold today and more about building customer relationships.
  • Posted on: 06/08/2017

    Can a failed department store find a second life as an off-price retail chain?

    Gordmans has an interesting historical saga of flipping from a department store to "off-price" stores," back to Gordmans focused on brands. Starting in 1975, Gordmans started opening stores specifically branded "1/2 Price Stores." At one point the 1/2 Price Stores accounted for half the stores in the chain.So what happened to the success of off-price stores for Gordmans and other department stores? The retail world has changed dramatically in the last two decades. Yes, consumers are still price conscious, but they now have an increasingly diverse array of options online, as well as stores.To paraphrase Warren Buffet at his last shareholder's meeting: "The department stores and malls are already represented online"... often at better prices. Retail stores can no longer just compete on price and selection.This weeks discussion regarding UNTUCKit opening stores a great example of how online is merging with physical stores to create a hybrid model that reaches how consumers where and how they want to shop ... even for value clothing.
  • Posted on: 06/06/2017

    Is UNTUCKit the next big thing in apparel retailing?

    The future of retail success in an omnichannel world is all about this:“UNTUCKit demonstrates a special synergy between online and offline that touches consumers in both their physical and digital worlds."Consumers no longer "see" channels ... they want and respond to a seamless experience wherever and whenever they shop.It's not a question of whether stores will survive, but how they will be integrated as part of an ecosystem. Just ask Amazon why they are prototyping so many types of stores and ask Walmart why they are testing so many iterations of click-and-collect.
  • Posted on: 05/19/2017

    Is Dick’s Sporting Goods smart to wait on more retail failures before opening new stores?

    A major factor in the future success of "stores" will not be just the lease costs, but creating a compelling customer experience across ALL channels. In today's world physical store success is highly dependent upon digital transformation.The most encouraging statement from Mr. Stack is where Dick's plans to invest: "The savings will be reinvested in digital, e-commerce, marketing, its Team Sports HQ high-school outreach initiative ... "If retailers wait for rock-bottom store lease prices the "Monster from Seattle" will have gobbled up even more share.
  • Posted on: 05/18/2017

    Will Apple get customers to go back to school?

    Apple is one of the retail success stories that stands in stark contrast to Amazon's march to eat the rest of retail.The strategy of holding a broader range of classes is significant in four ways:
    1. It expands the customer experience that Apple uses to draw people to its stores;
    2. It is hands-on marketing for new products and an opportunity to explain to customers why they need to upgrade;
    3. Classes for teachers is pure genius ... the teachers will take Apple back to the next wave of Apple customers in the classroom where Apple has been losing ground to Google;
    4. The fourth reason might be the most significant of all. Stores need to attract superior talent who can create a differentiated customer experience.
    By adding three more positions Apple expands the career path that it can use to attract and retain talent. There is a reason Apple has the lowest staff turnover in retail ... and this the expanded career path is huge factor in this age where store talent can make all the difference.
  • Posted on: 05/17/2017

    How many training hours are appropriate for store-level workers?

    The question of how much training depends upon whether the retailer views staff as a labor expense or a strategic asset to differentiate store experience. If the latter, the hours mentioned in this article don't begin to provide enough training that focuses on customer engagement and quality of service.The most overlooked and neglected training in the retail industry is that of store and assistant managers. Many managers move up from floor staff. A good RSP does not necessarily a good manager make. Managers set the whole tone for the store experience ... and they need the talent to develop others to do that. Training on how to manage, coach and lead needs to be ongoing at this level.
  • Posted on: 05/16/2017

    Are digital CX initiatives being lost on Baby Boomers?

    An interesting question would be to analyze age difference across different time periods in retail. When paying by credit card was early in its life cycle, I'm quite sure that there were major differences in opinions and adoption rates.What is so often missed in the context of mobile engagement and e-commerce is that the total worldwide online purchases account for less than 15 percent of retail. And mobile e-commerce is a fraction of that. Which means that more than 80 percent are purchasing in stores.As a Baby Boomer I can testify that my shopping has become situational. I prefer seeing "important stuff" in person in-store. But when pressed for time, there is no hesitation about using my phone (or Alexa) to order from Amazon Prime.Why has Amazon gotten so successful with Baby Boomers? It's all about the ease of use and the quality of the experiences that meet the needs of the customer regardless of age.
  • Posted on: 05/15/2017

    Can retailers keep up with Gen Z’s digital savviness?

    While Gen Y might be termed "digital natives," Gen Z is the generation that sees the world through the portal of smartphones. Gen Z literally grew up with a digital device in their hands. More than ever before, marketers must think mobile first, personalized and "there's an app for that."What comes after Gen Z? Connections hardwired into the brain?
  • Posted on: 05/12/2017

    Will Amazon dominate the online furniture market?

    Where online furniture sellers can disrupt traditional retail, Amazon has the capacity to disintermediate. Amazon Prime Air and leased ships can bring goods directly from Asian factories to consumers, disintermediating even distributors in the supply chain.There is a significant problem with large furniture ... once the online shipper drops it in your driveway, how do you get it into your house by yourself? Low-/no-cost home delivery and setup can be a huge differentiator for local retailers.Furniture is a considered purchase, typically at significant price points. It is still a category where customers want to touch, feel, sit and lay on it in a store. The question of how much share will be lost to Amazon depends upon whether stores will step up to differentiate value based on customer experience, professional staff and service levels.

Contact Chris