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: 08/14/2018

    Aldi shoppers are getting curbside pickup, but do they want it?

    The best things in life and retail are not free. Even if Aldi charges something for its services it must balance that with its low price model. Aldi is late to the game, but that doesn't mean they can afford to stand idly by as Walmart and all major grocery chains ramp up delivery and pickup. If delivery and pickup appeals to Walmart customers, it will have similar appeal for Aldi's customers. The question is at what cost. The best part of this whole story is the word "pilot." Aldi and every other retailer must fail fast enough to find the model that works for them.
  • Posted on: 08/10/2018 to offer easier returns for marketplace purchases

    From Walmart's perspective, they must stay competitive and meet customer expectations on ease of returns. Third-party sellers have been more than unhappy with Amazon's policies and arrogance. They need a viable alternative marketplace. This could be a major strategic win in recruiting third-party resellers to its marketplace. The timing couldn't be better. This is yet another example of how Walmart has changed its behaviors and strategy to remain competitive in an omnichannel world. The battle online is more than winning customers. It requires a viable and profitable marketplace that attracts third-party sellers.
  • Posted on: 08/08/2018

    Amazon delivers latest Prime perk to Whole Foods’ curb

    No surprise here on accelerating pickup at Whole Foods. The surprise is that it took this long. It is also clear that Amazon realizes that it must compete with Walmart and the grocery chains on convenient pickup. However, this is not just another grocery pickup model. It is another component in building and leveraging the Prime ecosystem. Whether it is Whole Foods pickup, Amazon Fresh delivery or streaming music and movies, Bezos' ultimate goal is to make Prime so attractive and relevant that it would be almost impossible to resist becoming member. Said another way, this is a cog in the Prime machine and very effective at leveraging profitable members.
  • Posted on: 08/06/2018

    Walmart looks to automate grocery pick-up

    Alphabot demonstrates Walmart's new DNA and willingness to innovate across many areas. Walmart's core strength has been stores. This technology directly leverages click and collect and could provide differentiation. Given Amazon's move to offline stores and increasing emphasis on groceries and consumables, Walmart can not afford to be complacent. Walmart has been investing and piloting in many online areas. It's great to see an initiative focused on stores and core customers. In today's retail, no single thing is the killer app or solution. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Alphabot appears to be a critical component of click and collect for Walmart.
  • Posted on: 08/03/2018

    Will in-home 3D scanner drive online clothing sales?

    The price tag of $1,400 is a huge barrier for consumer adoption. Relatively few consumers would pay that to get clothes tailored to within one-tenth of an inch. There would have to be significant health or other benefits to justify in-home adoption. The technology might have potential for some small retailers, fitness centers and maybe clinics, but the current price is too great for widespread adoption. Apparel retailers certainly can't afford to fund it. Amazon seems to do just fine growing apparel sales without the technology. Who came up with the name "Naked?" I'm not sure that name has consumer appeal at any price. Most of us would gladly avoid standing in front of any mirror or scanner.
  • Posted on: 08/02/2018

    Who in retailing’s c-suites should drive customer experience?

    The challenge with CX is that retailers break into pieces based upon their functions, roles and historical silos. From the eyes of the customer, CX is a journey across many touch points -- discovery, online, in-store experience, click and collect, purchase, delivery, install and perhaps returns. In current C-suite roles, no one best capitalizes on real-time across all of the touch points that create a relationship with the customer. Maybe it's time for another chair in the C-suite for the CXO. To fully capitalize on analytics that will change experience in meaningful ways for customers, retailers need a CXO who gets up every morning thinking like a customer wherever they are in their journey.
  • Posted on: 08/01/2018

    Zara bets on faster deliveries from stores to boost online growth

    Shipping from stores has a lot of potential benefits. An obvious advantage is increased speed of delivery by optimizing proximity. Another potential advantage is reducing overall inventory levels. However, staffing to run both stores and distribution is complex. The greater challenge is the fact that many stores were not designed as distribution centers and limited space can restrict assortments. Shipping from stores either requires greater assortment curation, or much more precise store level inventory planning, or both. Retail of the future requires multiple options to meet the ever-increasing demands of consumers. When you are spread across 47 markets, shipping from stores could be a competitive advantage IF you have the talent and resources to invest in all of the infrastructure required to make it work within the stores.
  • Posted on: 07/30/2018

    Retail’s new cobbling economy

    "There is no shame in cobbling." Most smaller retailers will need to cobble to survive. Even Amazon is "cobbling" together a variety of different third parties in order to solve its massive need for distribution. In today's retail world, every retailer needs to be able to reach customers where they choose to shop, and how they want to take deliver. Cobbling is a requirement to remain competitive and relevant. The key is "strategic collaboration" of combining resources that compliment and build greater value. The whole must be greater than the sum of the parts.
  • Posted on: 07/26/2018

    Retailers throw ‘hiring parties’ to reach staffing goals

    The logical extension of creating an experience in-store is to create a "hiring experience." Apple's success has been based upon "hiring for smiles" and teaching the employees the technology. If retailers are going to create a better experience in-store, they need to select staff who can engage. Hiring parties can help employers find staff with the right profiles, give applicants an appreciation for both the job and culture and create an additional win by engaging current staff in the culture and values as they help with the hiring party. Nothing is more expensive than a "bad hire."
  • Posted on: 07/25/2018

    Kroger’s 90-day terms have CPG suppliers seeing red

    This is the same poker match that has been going on for decades, but the stakes are much higher. Time is money. In this case it involves millions. When is a retailer too big not to sell? There is not much that vendors can do except cut corners and realign or restructure marketing funds. Much like international tariffs, there are few/no winners in this saga. Kroger will ultimately pay a price in some form.
  • Posted on: 07/24/2018

    Chick-fil-A to pilot meal kit market test in ATL

    What is so compelling about Chick-fil-A's offering is how convenient it is for the customer. No subscription or placing orders required. Also no delivery costs for Chick-fil-A. The offering is very compatible with Chick-fil-A's core business so it should add line extension sales. The keys are quality and reliable availability of the kits during peak demand times. Winner, winner -- chicken dinner in minutes with no fuss.
  • Posted on: 07/23/2018

    Retailers use brand ads to help pay for free delivery

    Using vendor money to offset costs is certainly nothing new. This is another iteration that will help retailers offset some costs of shipping. However, there is a law of diminishing returns -- how many ads will customers look at? There could also be an interesting logistical challenge of making sure that ads get placed in boxes with compatible merchandise. At the end of the day, it is far better to test these strategies now than wait for perfection and miss an opportunity. This is a kind of strategy that can be quickly morphed based upon conditions and what is learned.
  • Posted on: 07/19/2018

    Petco pilots experiential store concept for fur babies

    Beyond children, nothing is more precious than the family pet. This translates into customers who are looking for more than pet food at a cheap price. Petco's concept not only taps into differentiated services, it provides a social experience for both pets and owners. Retailers must extend and evolve the store experience to remain relevant. Petco and PetSmart are focusing beyond selling products and developing experiences that build customer relationships. Innovation for future survival in an Amazonian world must begin now.
  • Posted on: 07/18/2018

    Target’s inside app continually crowdsources design ideas

    The key to engagement is connecting with customers, and Studio Connect takes this to a whole new level. What is intriguing about the concept is how Target has directly engaged designers with customers, even enabling segmentation. This is not only a win-win for design, but gives Target key insights into trends and how to curate assortments. Studio Connect is essentially a crowd sourced "focus group" on steroids which provides unique feedback not possible from analyzing sales. This is the kind of innovation that retailers must employ in order to compete with Amazon.
  • Posted on: 07/17/2018

    Direct-to-consumer brands key to Nordstrom’s assortment

    In addition to choice, customers crave uniqueness. Nordstrom's "partner of choice" program is a great example of both assortment curation, and providing customers with differentiated brands and products. The key to future success is both diversity and differentiation. What is admirable about Nordstrom's approach is that they are going beyond assortments and testing a variety of store formats designed to reach new customers. The battle of the future is "retail relevancy" that wins customer relationships based on more than having product at the lowest price.

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