The Candid Voice in Retail Technology: Objective Insights, Pragmatic Advice

The BOOT Methodology©

To support our goal of creating a business context for technology, RSR created and trademarked The BOOT Methodology©.

We use this methodology in all our benchmark research. Our process is deceptively simple, yet powerful. It helps us focus the industry not on technology for technology's sake, but as an outcome of a business strategy. The BOOT Methodology© is designed to reveal and prioritize the following:

Retail Systems Research Boot Methodology
  • Business Challenges – Retailers of all shapes and sizes face significant external challenges. These issues provide a business context for the subject being discussed and drive decision-making across the enterprise.
  • Opportunities – Every challenge brings with it a set of opportunities, or ways to change and overcome that challenge. The ways retailers turn business challenges into opportunities often define the difference between Winners and “also-rans.” Within the BOOT, we can also identify opportunities missed – and describe leading edge models we believe drive success.
  • Organizational Inhibitors – Even as enterprises find opportunities to overcome their external challenges, they may find internal organizational inhibitors that keep them from executing on their vision. Opportunities can be found to overcome these inhibitors as well. Winning Retailers understand their organizational inhibitors and find creative, effective ways to overcome them.
  • Technology Enablers – If a company can overcome its organizational inhibitors it can use technology as an enabler to take advantage of the opportunities it identifies. Retail Winners are most adept at judiciously and effectively using these enablers, often far earlier than their peers.

Our methodology gains even more power when survey responses are cross-tabulated based on retailer performance. Using the baseline metric of year over year comparable sales results, we tease out the core differences between those who over-perform, who we call “Retail Winners,” and their peers.

Those differences are important, because they illustrate that “winning” is rarely an accident of good product. Instead, it’s an outcome of a set of thought processes, strategic mindsets and tactical decisions that reflect a focus on the customer and internal concerns, rather than a focus on the competition.