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: 12/14/2018

    Does Starbucks have a big delivery opportunity?

    Have you ever been in a business meeting with Starbucks delivered in a box? I have several times and it's definitely NOT the same experience or anything that tastes like the same coffee. HUGE quality delivery problems. Not to mention cost. The $5 coffee just went to $7 or $8.
  • Posted on: 12/13/2018

    Retailing success doesn’t depend on silver bullets

    The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. In retail stores today, that whole must be focused on creating a compelling CX (customer experience). The single greatest component of CX is the "people" part. And the single greatest change agent is the store manager. All too often they are buried in operations and paperwork. Store managers are the single most influential factor in recruiting and developing the talent required to make a difference with customers. While store managers are not a "silver bullet" per se, they are an incredible focal point worth investing in and rewarding. They don't need "silver bullets", but they need the time and resources to adequately train staff to engage customers. The successful store of the future needs to have the "quarterback" on the floor actively developing all of the touchpoints that collectively comprise the whole of CX that makes the difference.
  • Posted on: 12/12/2018

    Kraft Heinz ‘embraced failure’ in digital transformation

    Removing fear of failure is a foundation of innovation. However there is a corollary principle from one of the most innovative leaders on this planet right now: "It's not an experiment if you know it's going to work." -- Jeff Bezos. I would underscore the word EXPERIMENT in the Bezos quote. There should be no fear of failing, but there must also be the expectation of designing and measuring tests in ways that lead to insights that change the customer experience.
  • Posted on: 12/07/2018

    Will Active Ride Shop customers be stoked over lifetime commissions?

    The cost could be very affordable depending on what "one point" is worth. Yet points also have to be meaningful for the referring customer. My biggest question is about Active's ability to track lifetime purchases. Many retailers struggle with name changes, address changes and tracking households. However, it is a great way to engage customers in your business if the lifetime incentives can be cleanly tracked and managed. I can't wait to see the disclaimers and legalese that defines "lifetime" rewards. Bottom line -- creative disruption comes in many forms and this is one that can be tested and measured on the bottom line.
  • Posted on: 12/06/2018

    Will Instagrammers all scream for Baskin-Robbins’ new ice cream concept?

    It is interesting that we have reached an age where "Instagrammability" is not only a key marketing strategy, but a focus of driving incremental sales. I may be too "old" to comment on this one, but it seems to me that customer experience is at the core. Instagram posts would be the outcome of great products and customer experience. Said another way, design a great experience for your target customers and they will spread the word by Instagram and other means.
  • Posted on: 12/05/2018

    Drugstore/grocery pilot is two-thirds Walgreens and one-third Kroger

    "Fill in" grocery shopping assumes that there is a convenient location and sufficient foot traffic. This will be an interesting experiment indeed -- will consumers see this as a convenience store with pharmacy, or a pharmacy with convenience foods, or something else? Given the rising capabilities for click and collect as well as the delivery of groceries, prepared meals and prescriptions, this format faces very stiff competition from Walmart and national grocery chains. A real key to the strategy will be the ability to curate assortments to the individual local store. While there are many variables challenging this pilot, it is far better to test than sit idly by and get run over by the disruptors.
  • Posted on: 12/04/2018

    Walmart gives associates a tool to deal with out-of-stocks

    Inventory has always been a tightrope walk for retailers. Too much and you kill inventory turns and GMROI profitability. But out-of-stocks are even worse -- you lose immediate sales and jeopardize future relationships with customers. Walmart's new tool is a win on three levels: 1.) an opportunity save an immediate sale, 2.) an opportunity for customers to have a positive experience both in-store and online, and 3) an opportunity for associates to engage customers in positive ways. Success always lies in the details of execution. Training associates on how to engage customers will be even more important than training them on how to use tech tools.
  • Posted on: 12/03/2018

    Can Gap cut its way to profitability?

    Right-sizing stores should be an ongoing process, not an event. If retailers are focused on the right omnichannel balance they need fewer stores, but in the right places. Shrinking to achieve profitability is a slippery slope. Sears has been on that path for a decade. The critical challenge for the Gap is "relevancy." It's not just the number of stores or staff. They must make the store and online experience relevant for today's customers. At the most fundamental level, Gap needs to re-examine its brand an core product offerings -- are they relevant to today's Millennials? Cutting the number of me-to products is just as important as shedding stores.
  • Posted on: 11/30/2018

    What will it take for retailers to win the last-mile race for customers?

    What gets measured gets done, and can be managed. It is alarming how many retailers do not have adequate systems or KPIs to track both effectiveness and efficiency of last-mile deliveries. Relative to the high cost of shipment to the customer's door, retailers must start measuring more than just a single sale today. That last-mile shipment today is well worth the investment for a loyal, long-term customer relationship. Regarding BOPIS, make it incredibly convenient and consistent and they will come, and come back.
  • Posted on: 11/16/2018

    Can Bernie Sanders force Walmart to raise its minimum wage?

    A classic case of the size of government and control. This isn't just about Walmart, but the goliath companies competing globally. Where does the government control end? If you start with U.S. wages, what about the extremely low wages and working conditions abroad where many brands produce a majority of goods? Who will decide? What are the metrics? Will the benchmarks need to change if there is another global recession?
  • Posted on: 11/14/2018

    Visually rich social content produces ‘shoppable’ experiences for retailers

    A picture is worth a thousand words. Rich content can be worth 10 times more. However, the best content in the world means nothing if it isn't seen. There are two major success factors: a.) rich content must be relevant for the target audience, and b.) put in the right place at the right time. The major challenge for both retailers and brands is "shelf life" in the fast-paced social media world. What is fresh today is stale tomorrow. There is no question that visual platforms can engage customers, but there is a cost for both rapid content creation and digital asset management across many platforms. DAM (Digital Asset Management) will be a critical discipline and technology going forward.
  • Posted on: 11/13/2018

    Will right-sized stores drive bigger returns for Macy’s?

    Customer relevance matters far more than size of the store. In today's world, the trend is toward smaller formats in order to improve "shopability." But what happens inside is far more important than the size of the box. Customers are looking for convenience, relevant assortments and a seamless experience. Smaller-sized stores will only improve Macy's performance if they are designed for customers in that market, deliver on experience, AND integrate with the Macy's brand online. There is always an interesting historical legacy in these discussions. Retail has historically measured performance on store metrics: sales per square foot, store inventory turns, and year-over-year comps. Today, sales are part of the whole ecosystem of omnichannel. Stores can improve online sales and vice versa. So the question of measuring improved performance must transcend the store itself.
  • Posted on: 11/12/2018

    Amazon and Apple get co-opetitive

    No brand, not even Apple can afford to ignore the reach and growth of Amazon. The future conflicts will be less about products and more about content and media. In the case of both of these giants, content creation and streaming media is relatively new. Both need media distribution in order to gain credibility and customers for streaming.
  • Posted on: 11/07/2018

    What are the omnichannel challenges facing e-tailers opening stores?

    Online retailers will find that when you build physical space, it doesn't necessarily mean they will come and continue to come back. Physical retail has to be relevant and resonate with customers, especially the store experience. Online natives face the unique challenge that customers will have high expectations that the quality of the brand's online experience will transfer to the store. While curated physical inventory is a unique challenge in stores, the best advice for online natives is to focus on the customer experience more than the products.
  • Posted on: 11/06/2018

    Facebook delivers digital brands to the Market @ Macy’s for Christmas

    When millions of items are just a click away, customers crave uniqueness. Limited supply peaks even more interest. What a great opportunity for bespoke-type digital brands to get customer exposure. Macy's has a great opportunity to be first and unique in offering this "phygital" experiment. And Facebook gets its toe in the water as "broker" and platform. There are all kinds of questions about whether this will scale. The best part is that it is highly measurable, digitally and physically. The worst that can happen is that the brands, Macy's and Facebook, walk away with a ton of learning and insights.

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