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: 10/17/2017

    Should Kroger sell its c-stores?

    In the traditional world of retail it made sense to separate and evaluate "channels" or retail formats separately. C-stores are certainly a different style of store generating a different market basket from large format grocery stores or pharmacies.But in the future world of omnichannel the c-store can quite literally become an efficiently-placed outpost for click and collect that retains customer relationships.In the UK you can purchase from the department store John Lewis and collect your goods at the small-format, food oriented Waitrose corner store when you buy milk. You can also pick up your sweets from Waitrose orders when you go buy your computer at John Lewis.Future investment decisions in retail can not only rely on above-the-line metrics like revenue. There is a more holistic strategic question of how to leverage omnichannel to grow customer relationships and lifetime value.
  • Posted on: 10/17/2017

    What is the online marketplace opportunity for retailers?

    A fascinating range of comments on this topic already. Testimony to the transformation of retail across many dimensions. For retailers is no longer a question of "either or", but one of finding a strategic balance with partners that will optimize success across the emerging ecosystem that has become today's retail.
  • Posted on: 10/16/2017

    A mall carves out pop-up space for online brands

    The single most powerful retail medium of the future will be customer experience. At this point in time, it is the one thing that you can not replicate online. Amazon is buying and building stores. Alibaba is building a mall for it's marketplace retailers. The [email protected] Field is a new iteration of the march toward the merger of online an physical retail, with the focus on the customer and their experience.Until AR/VR becomes a credible alternative reality online, experience with people in a physical space will be a premium that differentiates. Said another way, the store will be become even more about the experience and less about the merchandising products on shelves.
  • Posted on: 10/11/2017

    What marketing lessons can we learn from Amazon?

    In todays marketplace, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. The greatest strength of Amazon is that marketing has been built as an ecosystem with the consumer at the core. For Amazon it is not about selling products, it's about building lifelong relationships with customers.Kiri has adeptly summarized Amazon's strengths across the traditional four Ps. However, the real key to Amazon's success is that they have ALSO mastered the four Cs:
    • Customers: Amazon is customer-centric in everything that they do, from systems, to service, all the way to engaging customers in reviews.
    • Costs: Amazon has built an ecosystem designed to drive out costs so that they can be consistently competitive on price. And more significantly, they create perceived customer value through Prime music, videos and free shipping.
    • Convenience: From one-click ordering to ease of returns, Amazon has been built from the ground up to make it convenient and easy for customers. Amazon Alexa is the new wave of AI for convenience and subscriptions.
    • Communication: Amazon is the epitome of ongoing communication about your order, tracking shipments, and satisfaction. They have built their amazing traffic and first site search status by engaging customers with reviews and Q&A. Their CRM customizing communication is second to none.
  • Posted on: 10/10/2017

    Walmart seeks online edge with 35-second returns

    If it really works as proposed, Walmart has a competitive advantage and huge differentiator. While Amazon make the returns process simple, you still have to make a trip and pay to ship the item back (or go to Kohl's). The Walmart app with returns is a game changer. The Walmart returns feature is enough of a tipping point to get customers to download another app and give Walmart another window to gaining customers online and into their ecosystem.Today's omnichannel consumers are searching for choice, convenience and seamlessness across the process, including returns when necessary.
  • Posted on: 10/05/2017

    Have retailers killed off Black Friday?

    There is an old saying that it ain't over until the fat lady sings. If predictions hold true that Cyber Monday will be bigger than Black Friday this year, the lady is about to sing.The reality is that today's customers shop any time and everywhere. They don't think channels, they look for a seamless experience and promotions across both digital and physical. Increasingly customers look for choice, convenience and relevance as much as a good deal. And increasingly they are using their phones to shop even if they fight the crowds and go to stores.The smart retailers will orchestrate an integrated online and store campaign, across the super shopping weekend of Black Friday through Cyber Monday.
  • Posted on: 10/02/2017

    IKEA buys TaskRabbit to give consumers relief with furniture assembly

    DIY retailers like Lowe's and Home Depot have been using networks of installers for a long time. For all those who have struggled to tighten all the fasteners and lift the furniture in place this is a huge value-add solution that differentiates IKEA.Like Best Buy's purchase of the Geek Squad, IKEA seems wise in creating a first mover solution in ready-to-assemble furniture with the ability to exercise quality control via ownership. The future of retail goes well beyond selling products. It is all about providing choice and solutions that consumers value. From assembling furniture to diversifying for smart home solutions, TaskRabbit has legs to run in the profitable services business.
  • Posted on: 10/02/2017

    Could retail workers benefit from implanted microchips?

    And I was worried about retailers tracking my phone in their stores? Just because something can be done doesn't mean that it should be. The convenience of opening a door or buying a candy bar with an implanted chip would seem to come at a very high cost of personal freedom and security. Unless there are life-saving uses my vote is that transhumanism is dehumanizing.
  • Posted on: 09/29/2017

    Personalization works. Why don’t more marketers use it?

    Maybe it's because email is not "sexy" anymore. Maybe it's because the devil is in the details of managing CRM to create personalized messages. Given the data on what produces better results, not personalizing email is big miss of one of the marketing fundamentals.Email is the start of the journey to get people online to explore more. Email is the one thing, usually the first thing, that customers open everyday, so why wouldn't you personalize with a name and message? The best part is that personalization in email is easy to track and it's easy to measure results. Just ask Amazon, one of the world masters in personalization at every customer touch point. A lot of Amazon's success resides in their investment in one of the most comprehensive CRMs, enabling personalization across all platforms and media, including the not-so-sexy email.
  • Posted on: 09/28/2017

    Will a window to Disneyland bring Disney fans to the mall?

    The magic of Disney theme parks is how they make you feel. I'm not sure if a video screen can capture or recreate that same emotional experience with a live feed.Kudos to Disney for trying something different to engage customers. I agree with Matthew that there is much more potential to differentiate the experience with AR, chat and touchscreens. What little girl wouldn't want to talk to a princess?In-store streaming might not bring more people to the stores, but it will most definitely get kids in-store begging their parents to take them to Disneyland!
  • Posted on: 09/27/2017

    Will customers let Walmart deliver in-fridge?

    In the race against Amazon you have to be willing to fail rapidly. This pilot might fall into that category. But kudos to Walmart for stretching the envelope and letting consumers decide.This rendition of delivery inside someone's home seems fraught with security issues. And who wants someone to see the inside of their refrigerator?Decades ago, the milkman used to deliver to a cooler on my doorstep. Today with IoT and subscription services we are entering a whole new age of automated delivery through Dash, Alexa and even your smart refrigerator. Maybe we need to bring back that milkman cooler ... or better yet build houses and apartments with "lockers" and coolers that have delivery doors accessible from outside the home.
  • Posted on: 09/22/2017

    Hilton Honors members go shopping with points on Amazon

    The most loyal airline and hotel rewards members are "prime" customers, or certainly the candidates that Amazon Prime is looking for as subscribers. Amazon receives a lot of benefits from this relationship. It is always interesting to see how many ways Amazon uses to attract new customers to the Prime ecosystem.For the Hilton brand there is some value in being a first-mover loyalty program offering an unexpected range of Amazon choices to members. There is very low risk for the Hilton brand, and very low cost in testing the program. There is also a very fast way to "bleed off" points at a ratio of 500 points to $1.In the age of convergence and disruption it is better to jump in and test things rapidly, especially in ways that the customer decides. The "road warriors" will vote soon enough on how or whether they spend their points.
  • Posted on: 09/20/2017

    Kohl’s to accept product returns for Amazon

    In the very near future a "store" will not just be a destination to stack products to sell at cash registers. Customers are demanding a seamless experience before, during and after the sale. Whether the Kohl's/Amazon partnership is exactly the right model is yet to be determined. But it is a great experiment in making the "store" a focal point and hub of integrated customer experience and service. Given Amazon's current track record and trajectory, Kohl's certainly chose one of the most innovative partners driving retail transformation.
  • Posted on: 09/20/2017

    Will others follow Neiman Marcus’ return to a full-price focus?

    If department stores can't differentiate their relevancy and customer experience, off-price stores will not save them.
  • Posted on: 09/19/2017

    Five skills every retail manager needs to succeed

    Nothing wrong with the five essential skills listed by Bob ... they are still essential in retail stores today. But today's marketplace requires even more.In today's omnichannel environment, the primary differentiator of stores is the customer experience. Customer experience goes way beyond effective communication. It is everything that happens before, during and after the sale -- especially after the sale. Quite literally, the customer's experience in the store starts and ends with the store manager. Far too many store managers are burdened with operations and paperwork and rarely set foot on the retail floor.Success is about a sale made today, but the more important goal is the customer experience that creates loyal customer relationships and lifetime value. If there is one overarching skill of a successful store manager it is the ability to create and sustain customer experience excellence in their store.

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