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The Intelligent Appointment Scheduling Blog

Once again, the world of retail has taken over the Javits Center in New York City for the annual NRF BIG Show. TimeTrade is there, of course, ready to demonstrate our unique approach to appointment-driven personalization. You’ll find us—with a crowd—in booth #2235.

As the team here was preparing for the show, I started thinking about the irony of an industry that is increasingly having problems attracting people to come to their stores to buy things holding an event that requires people to come to a convention center in the country’s biggest city to meet and… buy things.

It’s no secret the retail industry continues to struggle to attract shoppers to brick-and-mortar stores when it can be more convenient to just fire up a laptop or smartphone and buy virtually anything online. I hear that upstart,, is doing a fair bit of business these days….

One of the major topics of discussions in the sessions and at many of the vendors’ booths at the BIG Show will be how to win back customers who are choosing the convenience—and selection—of online shopping vs. the time and other “inconveniences,” such as getting out of your pajamas, getting into a car and driving to a mall, that are generally required when you shop in a store.

While many experts, pundits and worried retailers are debating every aspect of the online vs. in-store dynamic, they’re doing it at a physical event where people from all over the country, and beyond, are willing to travel to in order to hold those conversations. And the key to that willingness to travel to New York City in January is one word: conversations.

TimeTrade’s most successful retail customers have figured out that the secret of attracting shoppers to their stores lies in the ability to create conversations between customers and knowledgeable staff members. Whether it’s helping someone find the right dress or suit for a wedding or other big event, or a business that sells makeup offering a free makeover as a way to generate more sales, our retail customers are creating conversations with their prospects and customers that drive business.

And no matter what type of retail business you operate, there is almost always an opportunity to enhance the customer experience by providing highly personalized service. By offering shoppers an appointment to come to your store and be served—on schedule—by an expert who is committed to providing outstanding customer service, you are creating an environment that online retailers can’t match.

There are more clichés about the value and/or lack of time that we all have in today’s busy world than I could reference here, were I so inclined. But the reason there are so many clichés about the scarcity of time is because it really is a problem in today’s busier-than-ever society. That’s why smart retailers committed to providing an exceptional experience to every customer, every time have deployed the TimeTrade Customer Engagement Cloud to offer their customers an easy way to schedule online appointments. They know that providing a personalized, convenient in-person shopping experience is what sets them apart from the competition.

So if you’re at NRF this week and want to learn how to offer your customers appointment-driven personalization—along with Concierge services for shoppers and Analytics that help you maximize your sales and marketing efforts—make an appointment to talk with our TimeTrade experts in booth #2235.

Our team will show you how your store can benefit by providing every customer with “We’ve been expecting you” service by deploying online appointment scheduling that enables them to make appointments with you—at their convenience.

There’s a lot of talk about the “massive transformation” in retail, but small changes can pay off big for brands. When retailers are agile enough to make fast fixes, they build instant credibility – and trust – with shoppers while paving the way for long-lasting success and sales.

TimeTrade asked more than 1,000 consumers about their relationships with retail brands – what’s working, what’s not and most importantly, how retailers can improve.

The survey revealed two ways that retailers can get more shoppers through store doors and back out with more purchases in hand, eager to return again.

  1. Deliver exactly what ready-to-buy shoppers need in store. That starts before they even step foot in a store; retailers need to entice consumers, yet 95% of consumers surveyed receive irrelevant retail offers. After a bad experience with a sales rep, more than 20% of consumers leave the store without purchasing anything, and another 20% said they’d never return. Luckily, shoppers don’t have unrealistic expectations; they just want fast, smart guidance to make a final purchase decision. And when they get that help, 93% are more likely to buy.
  2. Uncover the blind spots leaving retailers in the dark. What happens on the store floor is often a black hole in retail intelligence. When consumers have bad experiences, nearly 70% of shoppers won’t tell a manager, so retailers don’t know why they are losing sales and can’t react in real-time to fix the problems. However, consumers are ready to help crack the code. More than 80% of respondents are willing to fill out email surveys, so retailers can get it right.

Skeptical, jaded consumers are ready to be impressed with standout shopping experiences that are too often few and far between today. The first step for retailers: getting the insights they need about their customers, at every stage of the buying cycle.

Get three more tips and the full consumer survey findings today.