Wandering the floors of NRF's BIG Show a couple of weeks ago, it seemed to me that the retail industry has made a lot of progress analyzing the behavior of shoppers, dissecting it in nearly every way imaginable, and then targeting those shoppers from all possible angles. Yet, we've sometimes remarked that all we're really trying to accomplish is to get back to the days of yore, when shopkeepers knew the names of their customers, what they wanted, and how to engage them.
With that in mind, I paid a visit to the booth of a small company with a catchy name, offering a "Happy or Not®" system for retailers, that harkened back to a simpler time. It really is simple: a small, standing display is installed near the checkout or store exit, giving shoppers a chance to indicate whether their in-store experience made them very happy, sort of happy, sort of unhappy, or very unhappy by pressing a button with the appropriate smiley or frowny face. The data is then analyzed, assessing results by location, day, time, etc. Retailers can get daily reports online or via e-mail, with trend analyses included. The question can also be changed, so retailers can ask about product quality, selection, or anything else the retailer chooses.
The company has a number of clients in Europe and is in the process of rolling out in the U.S. Retailers using or testing the system include Tesco, Carrefour, HEB, Office Depot, Boots and Delhaize. The system is also in use at Heathrow airport in the UK, where it provides feedback on the passenger security experience.
How important is it for retail managers to ask shoppers how happy or unhappy they are shopping in stores on a day-in and day-out basis?