The Retail Doctor's Blog

Attract, Close & Delight Your Customers

3 Hurdles To Using Mobile Marketing For Your Luxury Retail Stores

Bob Phibbs

I was about to pay for my purchases at CVS when the cashier asked me, “Do you want to update your account with your text number and receive 20% off today’s order?”

As I was only buying deodorant and a candy bar, I quickly did the math and figured 20% wasn’t worth getting spammed on my phone.

I’ll admit, mobile marketing is gaining traction, and it makes sense as over 50% of consumers carry a smartphone with them.

But I still see the difficulties of getting mobile messaging right for your retail store. Especially if you sell luxury goods.

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Topics: Marketing, Attract customers, mobile marketing

How Apple Will Affect Your Retail Sales

Bob Phibbs


Apple just showed off their new IPhones and their new Apple Watch.

I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a techie, so I tuned into the live blog for the updates. If you’re not an electronics retailer, you may have missed why this is such big news.

The iPhone 6 and the larger iPhone 6 Plus are going to be screamer products. 

This is the phone experts had hoped for from Apple two years ago when Samsung began offering larger screens.

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Topics: Retail Sales, retail employee, trends, apple, payment systems

Preparing For Christmas: How To Unclutter Your Retail Store

Bob Phibbs


Like food...

Like alcohol...

Like a lot of things ... can be good. 

Until you have too much.

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Topics: Merchandising, Retail Holiday Sales

Never Make Assumptions About Your Retail Customers Again

Bob Phibbs

It was during a huge clearance sale shortly before the holidays. The rack sign read 3 shirts for $20. A woman held up several to her elderly husband's chest, picked 9 and asked, "Can you give me these for $50?"

The harried clerk took one look at her soiled and tattered jacket and unkempt hair then declared, "No. See the sign? It's three for $20. That would be six for $40 and nine for $60." He then turned away.

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Topics: Customer Service, Retail Sales Training

7 Reasons Retail Competitors Have More Business Than You Do

Bob Phibbs

I hear one thing over and over again from retailers and it's I just need to attract more customers.

Heard it before the recession of 2008 ...

Heard it after...

Heard it during the housing bubble...

Still hearing it ...even over the ice bucket challenges.

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Topics: Retail Sales

How To Sell Your Boss On Why You Need Sales Training

Bob Phibbs

I sat next to a young woman on a plane to Chicago the other day. She was on the second leg of a trip home from Boston to Seattle. Her flight had been delayed and then finally canceled 8 hours earlier.

“But,” she said, “I pleaded and cried and told them my mom was in the hospital and they put me on this flight. I put on a good show - with tears - and I got my way.”

When it comes to getting our way, especially with a boss or someone in a position of power, most of us have little idea how to get what we want, so we accept what we get.

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Topics: Retail Sales Training

Retail Marketing Tip: Care About The Customer Pass-Off

Bob Phibbs

Where do you think retail marketing starts? No, not a coupon or your website. It's by showing how much care you give at the end of a sale.

In my work with window fashions dealers, I always suggested they leave a bouquet of flowers on the table after they had thoroughly cleaned up their work areas and cleaned the window glass. [Not an $85 bouquet of roses mind you, a $9.99 bunch from the local florist or even grocery store.]


It was unexpected and a nice touch to make their purchase a wow. It helped cement the manner the dealer went out of their way for the customer. That led to many more referrals - the best type of marketing you can do.

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Topics: Marketing, Retail Sales Training

Omnichannel Warning: Retail Is About Discovery,Not In Being Discovered

Bob Phibbs

I recently purchased a canteen. It is detailed in leather and has intricate lacing.

Oh, I had no need for it. It wasn’t on sale. I didn’t spot it online.

I saw it in a store.

In Montana.

For 75 bucks.

And I don’t have a horse. And I don’t go camping.  I just liked it.

That discovery is at the center of the debate about where shopping is headed.

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Topics: Retail Sales, Customer Service, omnichannel

6 Smart Ways to Spend $1000 (Or Less) To Attract More Retail Customers

Bob Phibbs

When I was in fifth grade, my dad took me to the Schwinn bicycle shop in Toledo and told me I could have any bike I wanted for my birthday. So many possibilities! It was like winning the lottery!

Nowadays, when it comes to my speaking and consulting business, spending money rarely has that exuberance. That’s because I have to do it if I want to remain competitive.

Wanting to do it has little relevance. If I want to be here tomorrow, I need to invest today.

For many retailers, investing in their business is usually thought of only in a crisis:

  • We have to get a new A/C system; the compressor stopped working.

  • The POS system crashed, and we lost all the data.

  • We need to replace the roof; they can’t patch the leaks anymore.  

You get the idea.

The smart retailers are always looking for how they can invest in their future long-term success. They know that finding out how to attract customers and also close the sale are priorities.

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Topics: Retail Sales, Attract customers

7 Cringe-Inducing Behaviors That Push Retail Customers Away

Bob Phibbs

There’s a boom of shiny objects out there for retailers to play with, from iBeacons that will deliver coupons to shoppers' smartphones when they stand in front of a display to virtual mirrors that dispense generic compliments when you try something on. 

All over, retailers are struggling with lower footfall, with consumers waiting for the deal, and with the elephant in the room, the relentless push of Amazon. For you, it can feel like a no-win scenario.

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Topics: Customer Service, Retail Sales Training

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