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: 04/24/2019

    Kohl’s goes all-in on Amazon returns

    Right now it's a win for Kohl's in terms of driving traffic. But will the relationship last? Amazon could open other return centers with other retailers to expand national coverage. Or returns programs could be part of Amazon's own store expansion plan. Rest assured that returns at stores have not gone unnoticed as Walmart rapidly expands online. The Kohl's returns expansion is another indicator why Amazon needs a physical presence. The clear winners are the customers who receive services beyond and after the initial sale.
  • Posted on: 04/23/2019

    Giant Food to fill prescriptions for fruits and veggies

    Healthy eating is a complex behavioral change, but this could be a major step in the right direction. What is impressive about the Giant Food produce RX pilot is that it is part of a holistic approach involving nutritionists, pharmacists, and a nutritional rating system. This is a model example of focusing on customers and experience versus just selling products. The best part is that it is highly measurable and all of the partners can get valuable insights into how it can scale.
  • Posted on: 04/22/2019

    Why is Petco doubling down on same-day delivery with Shipt and Instacart?

    Same-day delivery is stretching the last mile to the max. Retailers need to smartly leverage multiple options at the local level. After three failed deliveries with Amazon Prime, I as a customer no longer think Amazon first. Seamless, reliable delivery has moved very high on the customer expectation list. Speed is nice, reliable on-time delivery wins the race. Retailers need to evaluate as many options as required.
  • Posted on: 04/12/2019

    Should retail rivals see Amazon’s $15 minimum wage and raise it $1?

    This is disingenuous at best. Sniping at competitors does not do anyone any good. Do your business and do it well for both customers and employees. This is NOT Bezos' finest hour. Sounds a lot more like political defense than the innovation Amazon is known for.
  • Posted on: 04/11/2019

    Amazon Go doesn’t want to leave cash on the table

    Amazon does not make all of the rules. If Amazon wants to expand stores, it has to find an efficient way to deal with cash. Some of the issues are real and some are perceived. This is one case where Amazon could learn a great deal from Walmart and the many ways it has adapted to customer payments. Walmart is well on the way to becoming a national bank -- and they have many ways of accepting customer payments … including cash.
  • Posted on: 04/10/2019

    Will Walmart clean up with its robotic workforce?

    While the press is filled with stories about automated checkout, Walmart has been innovating the more mundane, behind the scenes activities required to make stores successful. You can't buy what is not on a store shelf. FAST unloaders and Auto-S units expedite shelf stocking. Plus there is all the additional real time data along the chain to enhance and speed up predictive analytics for better inventory management. The additional pickup towers are another sign that Walmart is omnichannel focused and leveraging automation to improve click and collect. Automation is a critical pillar of future retail success. Walmart is a great example of applying technology to improve operations and customer experience.
  • Posted on: 04/05/2019

    Will Walmart’s new registry make parents forget Babies ‘R’ Us?

    The better question is, what took Walmart so long? Earning customer relationships through selling products for newborns is one of the most powerful and profitable relationships a retailer can have. The key word here is "earning." The registry has to be easy, convenient, relevant and engaging. By leveraging its growing click and collect expertise, this can be a real winner for Walmart.
  • Posted on: 04/04/2019

    Will rebranding deliver the results that Staples needs?

    It appears that Staples Loop is trying to differentiate through rich content on a variety of work-life topics. Providing consistent, relevant content is a major challenge and investment. Will customers go to yet another source on how to be "more productive?" The most promising part of Staples website would appear to be "services and solutions." It would seem that Staples' best investment would be investing profitable services rather than developing "work-life fulfillment" content. However, every retailer must continue to test alternatives. In this case, Google Analytics of traffic and flow will provide answers very quickly on what customers find relevant.
  • Posted on: 04/02/2019

    Which data sources should be driving personalization?

    Ideally, all sources should feed personalization for the customer. Past purchase behavior is indicative of choices made at different places/channels and different points in the customer journey. My purchases in-store rarely overlap with my purchases online. Yesterday's purchase of consumable ink for printing does not reflect preferences for a new camera. Retailers' single greatest challenge is compiling a household profile across time. At the most basic level each retailer must focus on those sources where they are most likely to engage with core customers -- and never forget their increasing potential to cross-shop in multiple ways.
  • Posted on: 03/22/2019

    Are smartphones too personal for work?

    Any issues related to employee productivity being affected by devices started with computers and access to the internet. If associates are so distracted they can't do their job there are other more serious issues. On the flip side, activities like checking in on kids can give peace of mind to focus on work. Most retail associates are "digital natives" that literally run their lives on their phones. It's very hard to change ingrained behavior. The challenge for retailers how to leverage BYOD to better engage and serve customers.
  • Posted on: 03/21/2019

    Do furniture retailers need a new approach in the digital age?

    Furniture is a purchase that you literally live with everyday. It is highly personal in terms of style, colors, fabric etc. So everything an online retailer can do to provide "rich content" will help customers with choosing items that work for them. Mission critical is exact sizes, 360 photos/videos and lifestyle photos. Even better is AR or other visual means for the customer to visualize their purchase in the living space. At the end of the day, furniture is one of those categories that just works better in a hybrid model where customers can "touch, see and sit" in a showroom before they buy online and ship it home.
  • Posted on: 03/07/2019

    Do retailers need to reevaluate their omnichannel strategies and tactics?

    The simple answer is that retail success is no longer based on traditional "place." Place is now where and when the customer chooses to shop. Today's customers don't see channels. They don't think online versus store. They are increasingly expecting and demanding "seamless." They engage on their terms in the ways most relevant to them on a given day. Omnichannel execution has become mission critical simply because that is how today's customers engage and purchase.
  • Posted on: 03/06/2019

    Target crushes it with strongest holiday results in years

    One key word will dominate retail success for the next decade - relevancy. In a customer-driven world, it is not about the product-centric past. The retailers who are winning are focused on convenience and adding value to the customer's experience. Target's successes have been won by focusing on relationships with customers and establishing relevancy, especially for its core target segment of women. The whole (experience) is greater than the sum of the parts. The unsung and often hidden success factor is logistics. While Target emphasizes its stores, today's relationships are omnichannel. To remain relevant, Target and Walmart must continue to make their customer experience relevant and convenient wherever and however their customers choose to shop.
  • Posted on: 03/04/2019

    Technology disruptors are causing independent supermarkets to innovate

    The discussion must include the substantial cost for not only the infrastructure and technology, but also the cost of new talent required to execute the strategy. However, there are opportunities to partner. Giants like Microsoft and Google are aggressively pursuing partnerships that enable the smaller operators to engage with lower cost barriers. The bottom line is dependent upon management thinking about their business from an entirely disruptive perspective - a world where the customer is in charge. Tomorrow is day one, but it is radically different than yesterday.
  • Posted on: 03/01/2019

    Retailers take on massive legacy system challenges one module at a time

    The most important criterion for replacing legacy systems seems to have been missed - impact on customer experience. While speed and ROI can be important, the race in retail today is to win and keep relationships with customers. If new systems simply "pave the legacy cow path" to make it faster, the ROI will be short term at best. The number one issue for today's CTOs is how to make the customer experience seamless, faster and more convenient end to end. If the system changes make the retailer more relevant in ways that add value for the customer, almost everything else falls into place, especially ROI.

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