Apr 16

April 16, 2015

Fast Casual

Fast Casual: The Restaurant Model of the Future?

In the fiercely competitive restaurant industry, the fast casual segment has proven to be a quickly rising star. It is clear that many of the core qualities of fast casual restaurants have resonated with consumers, leaving other restaurant segments scrambling to adapt to this changing customer preferences. What has contributed to the ascent of fast casual restaurants, and what does it mean for the future of the restaurant industry? Millennials and Fast Casual: A Perfect Pairing The most pressing question…

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Mar 10

March 10, 2015

beacon technology

Beacons: Redefining the Mobile Customer Experience

As hand-held technology has become more commonplace, businesses are facing a new challenge of determining how to engage with their mobile users in a meaningful way. Retailers are beginning to address this task through the use of beacon technology. In this sense, a beacon is a small sensor placed in-store that emits a wireless Bluetooth signal which is picked up by smartphones whose users have downloaded the specific app linked to the beacon.  The smartphone then sends users a targeted…

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Feb 27

February 27, 2015

AEP 2015

Top Violations Found in AEP 2015 Secret Shopper Compliance Programs

Supporting over 30 health plans nationwide in their compliance towards CMS Marketing Guidelines, TrendSource is in a unique position to identify the top violations that occurred during AEP 2015. Based on over 4,000 completed secret shop compliance audits during the 2015 AEP season, we found the following to be the top violation trends. Most of these violations were not trending during AEP 2014. Across the board, health plans improved their performance by addressing violations identified during AEP 2014. Events and…

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Feb 12

February 12, 2015

2014 Post Holiday Study

2014 Post-Holiday Study: A Wintry Mix of Consumer Insights

Consumers across the U.S. have been battling the cold, wintry storms for months. But no mega polar vortex could stop them from putting on their snowshoes, hats and scarves to head to the stores this past holiday season. In fact, 96% of respondents from our 2014 Post-Holiday Consumer Insights Report identified visiting a physical store as their preferred channel to purchase holiday gifts. While in-store shopping remains first choice, holiday shoppers are using their mobile devices for much more than…

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Jan 23

January 23, 2015

CMS Compliance Programs

TrendSource’s AEP 2015 in Review

That’s a wrap! The AEP 2015 season has come to a close, and health plans are now working to deliver the services promised to their new beneficiaries. During our 6th AEP season, we conducted over 4,000 compliance audits between 10/01/2014 – 12/07/2014. Below are the trends we observed across a variety of plan types and regions.   DIFFICULTY LOCATING EVENTS Secret shoppers encountered difficulty finding events, even when they arrived at the correct location and spoke to venue employees (e.g….

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Jan 13

January 13, 2015

Mystery Shopping Design

Designing the Right Mystery Shop Program For Your Organization

Corporate strategies can succeed or fail for a number reasons. Most failures can be explained by the strength of the strategy or the strength of execution. Mystery Shop Programs as a Tool to Drive Successful Execution Given the importance of successful execution, there are many tools available to organizations to ensure that this is not a point of failure in their strategies. One commonly used tool is execution of mystery shop programs. The majority of programs are designed to assess…

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Dec 29

December 29, 2014


The Growing Importance of Mobile Apps Across Industries

According to the IBM U.S. Retail Black Friday Report, smartphones and tablets accounted for 52.1% of all online traffic on Thanksgiving, which exceeded traditional PC’s for the first time.  This recent statistic is evidence of the growing influence of mobile technology on shoppers, and this trend is expected to continue its rapid growth. The benefits of mobile as a marketing and customer engagement platform are abundant for businesses, allowing an unparalleled level of personalization and targeting based on a variety…

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Nov 28

November 28, 2014


Researchers Mystery Shop Top Holiday Retailers on Black Friday

Last year, TrendSource sent three researchers out the morning of November 29, 2013 to experience Black Friday shopping at some of the top retailers. This year, TrendSource is at it again with a few new researchers and a change-up in shopping destinations. Based on the top three retailers cited in the 2014 Pre-Holiday Buying Intentions Study, please enjoy Heather’s holiday shopping experience at Kohl’s, Ryan’s rummage through Walmart, and Caleb’s cruise through Target. Happy Holiday (shopping)! Kohl’s: Store Associates Make…

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Nov 18

November 18, 2014


It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year…For Holiday Shopping Insights!

Winter is coming…and with it comes another batch of pre-holiday shopping consumer insights! Most of us are about ready to stuff the turkey, but holiday shoppers are full flurry ahead with their gift purchases for the upcoming holiday season. The results of the 2014 Pre-Holiday Buying Intentions Study indicate 7% of consumers are almost finished with their gift purchases, 16% are about halfway through and 25% are just starting to hit the stores for the season. Don’t worry if you…

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Oct 21

October 21, 2014

Halloween Survey 2014

Halloween Scare: An 11% Drop in Holiday Participation Since 2013

Not everyone loves Halloween. But for many of us, Halloween is a chance to dress up, take our kids (or ourselves) trick-or-treating, and convince everyone it’s the only day of the year we can eat a pound of candy with no regrets (because we fully intend to resume our healthy diets in November). Last year, we asked our wINput users about their holiday plans and while some spending habits have changed this year, we found many still celebrate this spook-tacular…

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