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: 10/12/2018

    Is Amazon on the right path to improved product discovery with Scout?

    Thumbs up or down sounds a lot like swiping left or right. Might work for some very visual categories, but users will quickly tire of the novelty if it doesn't add relevance to their search. I agree with Ken that this initial form factor does not sound too promising. However, the initial launch does not always forecast the final iteration. If there is one thing that Amazon is good at it is "iteration" and learning from data. Imagine the amount of data that can be collected from Scout and stored by individual customer.
  • Posted on: 10/10/2018

    Will Best Buy’s golden years strategy deliver long-term success?

    Future success requires more than sales today, it requires relationships with customers. Best Buy's senior focus is golden for several reasons. First the older age segment is still booming. The products like GreatCall are not just gadgets, they provide much needed safety and security. Best Buy's Geek Squad is the perfect compliment that makes the technology work in people's homes and lives. Instead of searching for new product categories to sell, retailers need to find more ways to help customers buy solutions for their lives. Best Buy has done that and has created long term potential not just with today's seniors, but with their children who will need similar home solutions as they age.
  • Posted on: 10/09/2018

    Is it too late for a new store concept from Barnes & Noble?

    If you perfume the pig, it's still a pig. Size of store, woodgrain floor or oak bookshelves doesn't address the core issues. How is Barnes & Noble relevant for today's customers - how does it add value? The larger question for Barnes & Noble is the customer experience beyond the store, and connecting with customers when and where they choose to engage.
  • Posted on: 10/04/2018

    Toys ‘R’ Us to rise from the ashes of bankruptcy, but should it?

    Toys "R" Us making a comeback will be a very tough slog, especially if it is carrying significant debt. In today's "phygital" world, success requires substantial online presence, seamless integration with stores, and click and collect. Will Toys "R" Us have the capital to compete in an omnichannel world? Given the rapid expansion of other retailers in the toys and baby categories, Toys "R" Us will need to differentiate an experience in stores. Tough to do especially if you are strapped for cash. What about pop-ups? They will be everywhere this holiday. In the age of e-commerce giants and BOPIS it is very tough to be a "category killer" in a limited range of products.
  • Posted on: 10/01/2018

    Is traffic a flawed measure of engagement?

    Traffic counts is yesterday's metric and is woefully inadequate. Traffic count is analogous to page visits on a website. It doesn't provide any insights as to where people to look, how long they engaged in each area or how many stops they made along the way. The smart retailers have already replaced traffic counts with location analytics flow using beacons to track cell phone flow in the store (anonymously). Retailers like Apple and Best Buy have been successfully using beacon and location analytics to improve store design and results. Today's in-store location tracking can "geofence" stores into zones and track customer interactions within a foot on a display. Where as traffic counters only tell you how many legs entered the store, location analytic tracking precision across the store enables retailers to test all kinds of assortment and merchandising parameters to measure impact on both dwell time and conversion rates.
  • Posted on: 09/28/2018

    Is BOPIS best when it’s done outside the store?

    Great question! I would love to hear from retailers on this one. Depending on location, there could be space limitations or zoning restrictions preventing outdoor BOPIS. The stark reality is that BOPIS of any kind entails more cost and infrastructure. Some might argue that if customers don't come inside you lose a chance for a second sale. Yet despite all these potential reasons for excluding outdoor BOPIS, no retailer can afford to miss opportunities to engage customers at any level. The data presented in this article would suggest that outside options are another way to engage and maintain relationships. What I fail to understand is why more retailers don't test BOPIS in several forms.
  • Posted on: 09/27/2018

    How will AI transform the supply chain?

    After labor costs, inventory is the most expensive part of retail. AI has tremendous potential to lower inventory costs in many ways: more accurate forecasting, customizing assortments by local market, substantially lowering out-of-stocks, and the list goes on. AI is also the real-time nerve center that makes click and collect possible, efficient and profitable. However, we must not forget what the acronym stands for - "I" is for "Intelligence." Intelligence requires connected data, across all silos and systems. Said another way, many brick-and-mortar retailers will be challenged by the technology and costs of creating the infrastructure required to feed the AI beast with the data it requires to be "intelligent."
  • Posted on: 09/26/2018

    Does business need more and better storytellers?

    The challenge with much of retail is their focus on "telling" customers their story. The greater opportunity today is to engage customers to tell their story. Genius lies in engaging customers to share their experience.
  • Posted on: 09/25/2018

    Hershey delivers category insights directly to retailers via tractor trailer

    The Hershey trailer seems more like a rolling billboard than an "experiential opportunity" for retailers. What will the trailer have inside that the Hershey team can't bring to the retailer meetings already taking place Never say never if this leads to tangible change that produces measurable results. However 25 visits for the year will hardly make a dent. It seems like a very expensive model to reach a select few.
  • Posted on: 09/24/2018

    Amazon shows third-party sellers all the love with microsite and TV campaign

    Very smart political move by Amazon, especially when third-party sellers account for half of Amazon's sales in many categories. Promoting 20,000 resellers on a microsite is only 1 percent of the estimated 2 million third-party sellers on Amazon's marketplace. What will it take to be part of that 1 percent? Will it be a significant differentiator that produces incremental results with no substantial increase in selling costs? While being showcased might feel very good for the third-party seller, results count -- everything else is conversation. And as always, the key will be whether the initiative resonates with customers and they vote with their purchases.
  • Posted on: 09/21/2018

    Will the EU’s anticompetitive investigation follow Amazon back to the U.S.?

    Amazon is more than a retailer. It is more than one of the most efficient consumer ecosystems. It is an ecosystem with unprecedented capability to market to one customer at a time. To make it all work requires unprecedented infrastructure and levels of data. Marketplace seller data improves speed and effectiveness of the overall ecosystem. It can also be harvested by Amazon to rapidly exploit areas of opportunity. Yes, I'm quite sure that Amazon will be investigated multiple times. The question is how do you "firewall" the marketplace seller data when it is the oil that makes the entire ecosystem work for distribution? When you sleep with the "devil" data is the new gold that makes everything transparent.
  • Posted on: 09/20/2018

    Would you believe older men with lower incomes are the new drivers of online sales growth?

    Retailers and brands should focus on the "new" e-commerce shopper IF they have the capabilities to harvest data at the individual level, and the CRM to market and personalize for these customers. The research quoted sounds like the "old" market segmentation strategy based upon demographics of a group. Success in e-commerce requires the ability to market to a "segment of one" and build ongoing relationships with individuals. In terms of acquiring and retaining new customers, Ms. Baird is most definitely on target about differentiation through simplifying the buying process. Ease of use and simplification apply as differentiators for any age group.
  • Posted on: 09/18/2018

    Will competition force all grocers to offer free store pickup?

    If you ask customers, the overwhelming response is yes to free pickup. However, there is a huge margin challenge in groceries versus apparel and other categories where pickup is free. As the other major players like Walmart, Target and Amazon push the envelope of free pickup, speed and convenience become factors which will drive Kroger to offer some variation. Kroger should in fact be able to leverage Ocado to create a competitive advantage and offset most of the margin loss. In the world of food, the last mile is increasingly pick up at the store. And free is the most powerful four letter word for customers.
  • Posted on: 09/17/2018

    Walmart expands test of giant automated grocery kiosk

    The need for speed doesn't always mean winning the last mile. Customers are situational shoppers. For those looking for fast convenient pickup, grocery kiosks could be the answer. The kiosks would be far less costly than the last mile delivery if customers use them. The kiosks certainly leverage Walmart's strengths of stores and location. The only thing better might be a drive through garage where someone loads your groceries for you … and I'm sure that someone is working on that.
  • Posted on: 09/14/2018

    Are ad agencies history?

    Data is just that -- sets of numbers. Retailers and brands need people who can interpret those numbers. More importantly, they need talent that knows how to apply the data in ways that engage customers. Traditional media agencies who ignore Big Data will be severely challenged. Those agencies that transform and create value to reach customers "where they are" will have a rich future. BTW, there no longer is a "head of the table" -- everyone is working in cubes.

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