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: 08/17/2017

    Did retailers shine or go dark on the rare solar eclipse sales opportunity?

    These kinds of discussions are always interesting because the shine the spotlight on a central question of retail today: Can retailers capitalize on an event by selling more product, or will retailers seize the opportunity to sell more than a specialty product at a one-time event?I live in the area of the total eclipse and it is interesting to see how many local retailers are using the event to sell their brand and relationships. The small shops, restaurants and hotels have been particularly good at using social media to showcase their business and brand. Some are even giving away the glasses in order to create an experience that will create a relationship for years to come.Here are just some of the examples of entrepreneurs capitalizing on the experience of the eclipse to sell their brand and business:
    • Solar homes are being rented as showcases of technology and services;
    • Camera shops are giving classes on how to photograph the event;
    • Restaurants are taking to the streets for "eclipse dining" to create an experience that guest will remember and come back for;
    • Instead of planting crops, a farmer is renting 10x20 spots in his field to draw people to his community (not to mention making more money than growing corn);
    • And the small town of Tyron "bet the farm" and launched a first ever social media campaign to promote the entire community and what it has to offer.
    So yes, there are retailers who sell hundreds, even thousands of pairs of solar glasses. But that's peanuts compared to the businesses that are holistically marketing the event as an experience that customers will remember and a relationship that will create much greater lifetime value in future purchases.
  • Posted on: 08/17/2017

    Is Walmart on an unstoppable run?

    The question is not whether Walmart is "unstoppable" ... the question is whether they are moving fast enough to blunt the gains of the Amazon juggernaut.The other question is whether Walmart can pull of a "Bezos" and convince shareholders that profits may suffer while they invest in initiatives to dominate in the future.
  • Posted on: 08/15/2017

    Is Target ready to make a move on the home delivery front?

    Even if you are on the right track, you still get run over if you're not moving fast enough. Pilots are great, but survival requires the ability to scale rapidly.Grand Junction and Target Restock are definitely moves in the right direction to meet the rising expectations of today's consumers. In playing catch up, it will be interesting to see how Target manages the mosaic of logistics in order to reliably fulfill the last mile at the consumer's door. Beyond the delivery trucks, it is no simple matter to manage the inventory required across all of the partners and distribution points.
  • Posted on: 08/14/2017

    Will Aldi upset the grocery home delivery cart?

    If you are not offering home delivery, you will not be in the game.The interesting question for the future is whether retailers like Aldi will be able to build out their own logistics, or if all but Amazon and Walmart will be dependent upon third-party delivery for the last mile.With Aldi now entering the home delivery game on the back of Instacart, one has to wonder how long it will be before someone buys Instacart. If Bezos were running Walmart, an Instacart acquisition would probably already be in the works.
  • Posted on: 08/10/2017

    Do Amazon Marketplace sellers need outside help?

    Amazon Marketplace has truly become a "siren" calling third-party sellers. The lure is quickly increasing online sales via a turnkey platform. The danger is drowning in a sea of anonymity.Amazon offers amazing turn key services for third-party sellers that are very attractive for those without a platform or major web presence. The tremendous growth in Amazon web traffic and delivery capabilities are services that few third-party sellers can match themselves.However, with millions of other sellers now offering millions of products on the Marketplace, there is no guarantee of sales or being discovered. If there's one area where third-party sellers can benefit it is how to market and standout from the crowd on Marketplace. Mr. Thompson has it right: "[success] requires constant nurturing by updating its marketing."Third-party sellers also need assistance regarding how to protect their brands on Amazon Marketplace, but that's worthy of a discussion topic on another day.
  • Posted on: 08/08/2017

    Should executive pay structures change to address slower growth at retail?

    Results count ... everything else is conversation.Executives get paid for producing results. However, there is a danger in focusing on just the short-term quarterly and annual results.Executives, particularly the CEO, are also responsible for vision and strategy. There has be some sort of flexibility in the overall compensation to incent key executives to stay long enough to implement the strategy.
  • Posted on: 08/04/2017

    Can customer journey methodology level the playing field for brick and mortar retail?

    Brick-and-mortar retailers have a long legacy of product-centric marketing and driving traffic to a location. Big box retail stores were built on reaching the masses through broadcast media.Customer journey marketing and personalization is built upon marketing to the "unit of one" -- the individual. Instead of frequency and reach of mass media, retailers now need to focus on collecting individual customer data across time and place. That requires Big Data and analytics that most legacy systems were never designed to analyze. It also requires investments that stretch many retailers' capital and budgets.However in the age of omnichannel consumer behavior, CRM trumps market segmentation.
  • Posted on: 08/03/2017

    Will grocery stores become the new mall anchors?

    Will grocery stores in malls generate traffic? Yes. Will grocery stores be successful in mall locations? That depends upon thinking outside of the box.We've entered an age of retail where if you build it, they might not come. It is far less about the building/location and much more about fulfilling the customer's rising expectations.To be successful in a mall location, grocery stores will need to consider:
    • Growing customer preferences for being able to shop online;
    • Very efficient click and collect options ... especially with current mall parking configurations often requiring long walks;
    • Options for home delivery.
    Currently, mall floor space is some of the most expensive retail real estate, and groceries are a very low-margin business. Given the overall decline in mall traffic, grocery stores will have do much more than sell to walk-in traffic.
  • Posted on: 08/02/2017

    Should user-generated content move beyond product pages?

    Amazon built its empire on the backs of UGC -- customer reviews, customer photos, videos and the ever expanding Q&A.But as Glenn Taylor suggests, most of the UGC has been very product-centric. Retailers and marketers should be moving to UGC 2.0 to expand and augment the customer experience before, during and after the sale.Speaking of augmenting the experience, there are a host of new opportunities becoming available to use Augmented Reality to deliver and enhance UGC both in-store and online.As with everything in the world of marketing, there needs to be the appropriate filters and approval in place. The last thing a brand can afford is inappropriate UGC content going live and out of control.
  • Posted on: 07/28/2017

    Should stores entertain bored tag-along shoppers?

    "Husband storage pods" ... Malls can do this, yes. For stores it should be more in context.Malls need to do anything to generate traffic these days. More importantly, they need to make that traffic stick. The longer the real shoppers roam stores, the more likely they are to discover something and potentially purchase.A store environment is different. Generating sales per square foot is still a key consideration. It would be far better in a store environment to have experiences relevant to what the store sells. For example, most department stores sell furniture or furnishings -- so why not have a play and discovery area for smart home and connected devices?By the way, entertaining tag-along shoppers is not a male gender thing. My time and purchases in photography stores goes up exponentially if my wife can find something relevant for her (e.g., in hands-on areas related to framing or decorating).
  • Posted on: 07/27/2017

    Can robots keep shelves stocked at Schnucks?

    If robots can make the Amazon warehouse hum, they can certainly keep Schnucks' shelves stocked.Out-of-stocks are a huge concern of the primary stakeholder -- the customer. If the robots can significantly reduce out-of-stocks, it will increase customer satisfaction and have a noticeable impact on increasing revenue ... which will positively please another key stakeholder -- the shareholders.If Schnucks uses the robots to eliminate some staff, employees will not be happy. If Schnucks is smart it will use robots for the mundane tasks which will free up staff to be more customer-facing to differentiate the store experience in ways that Amazon and others can't.
  • Posted on: 07/26/2017

    Will Hy-Vee’s new c-store concept redefine convenience in the Twin Cities?

    Sounds a lot like Walmart Neighborhood Market with gas pumps. And that's not a bad thing.Consumer shopping habits are changing rapidly, as well as their expectations. All retail chains must adapt formats to remain competitive. The Hy-Vee concept could be a solution for time-strapped customers needing a few items, as well as a drive-up collection point for click and collect for major Hy-Vee online purchases.However no retailer should build new stores without also thinking mobile and digital integration. The convenience store purchase of the future will be part of a seamless chain of experiences.
  • Posted on: 07/25/2017

    Will dropping prices on cosmetics drive traffic to department stores?

    Matching price on cosmetics to get customers back to the department stores might be a temporary fix, but it is only treating a symptom of a larger disease. Why aren't customers shopping as much in department stores?Price is always a consideration, but also a slippery slope. Online retailing sets today's prices. Omnichannel customers today are looking for seamless shopping across channels. The reason they go to stores is not for price -- they value experiences in-store that they can't get online.The real question if you are a department store is not the pricing of cosmetics but the question of what makes Sephora successful.
  • Posted on: 07/25/2017

    How will smaller rivals survive in an Amazon and Walmart world?

    So what will it take to survive an Amazonian world? In the words of Sam Walton: "do something we are not doing."Smaller retailers have a core asset online doesn't have (yet) ... associates who can deliver the one thing customers crave the most -- personalized service. Even larger retailers like Best Buy are proving that the way to profits is through services beyond products that add value to customers' connected lifestyle.The number one question for traditional retailers: are staff clerks for stocking shelves and ringing cash registers, or will you invest in staff who will create the differentiated service on a personal level that Amazon and Walmart can't provide?
  • Posted on: 07/21/2017

    Did Amazon just send Sears a life line with their Kenmore deal?

    Amazon did not throw a lifeline to Sears ... it just created major disruption in yet another category and further extended the Alexa ecosystem.In fact Amazon got a sweetheart deal -- selling major appliances which have significant gross margin dollars using the Sears warehouses distribution system so that the large bulky items don't clog Amazon's system. Top that with service and installation and Amazon is suddenly in the business of disrupting prices and distribution of every other major appliance retailer. While the deal may save the Kenmore brand, it is another nail in the coffin for Sears retail stores.

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