Special Reports

Retail TouchPoints Special Reports provide a comprehensive, detailed look at a specific industry trend or topic. Each article features industry insights, statistics, expert quotes and case study examples. Topics include Omnichannel Customer Service, Social Media, Retail Payment, Next-Gen Technologies and much more.

Results Are In! Find Out Which Omnichannel Tactics Work Best

1omnichannelEffective omnichannel strategies are helping retailers improve loyalty, increase brand interactions and boost basket size, according to the 114 business leaders surveyed for the 4th annual Retail TouchPoints Omnichannel Survey.

Although the term "omnichannel" is now part of our everyday retail dictionary, many business executives are still trying to figure out the most effective strategies. While the brick-and-mortar store continues to be the most prevalent selling channel, online sites are now in relatively equal standing.


Mobile Technology: Internal Applications' Not-So-Hidden Impact

RTP ENL 111715 FeatUnlike earlier retail industry disruptors, like the 1970s debut of UPC codes and e-Commerce's growth in the 1990s, the mobile revolution was spearheaded not by retailers but by consumer technology advances. Perhaps that's why customer-facing mobile initiatives continue to soak up so much of the industry's attention.

But for retailers, mobile use cases for their internal staff — store associates, managers and executives higher up in the organization — may ultimately have an even greater impact on these organizations' operations, and their ability to provide a superior customer experience.

Take the often-heard complaint that customers enter brick-and-mortar stores better-informed about products, prices and promotions than the associates themselves. Equipping staff members with mobile devices linked to key internal applications and databases gives retailers the opportunity to do more than just "level the playing field." They can make personalization scalable, move clienteling beyond the precincts of luxury retailers and perform "save the sale" rescues on a regular basis.



Innovation Labs Help Retailers Keep Pace With Industry Shifts

innovation teamThe pace of change within the retail industry is accelerating and shows no signs of slowing down.

Some businesses are struggling to keep pace with new consumer trends and other disruptive forces. In fact, 45% of retailers say consumers' purchasing behaviors are extremely unpredictable, albeit important to understand, according to Retail Systems Research (RSR).

"How, when and where people shop has changed, and retailers need to shift how they think about the overall shopping experience to meet consumer expectations and demands," said Kevin McKenzie, Global Chief Digital Officer at Westfield Labs, the innovation lab for mall operator Westfield. "As we continue to see the physical and digital worlds blend, the focus of retail is going to become more about creating fully immersive shopping experiences that start at the point of consumer inspiration and need.



11 Retailers Named 2015 Store Operations Superstars

Shadow RTP RT062 AWD StoreOpSuperstarAwards Oct 2015In today's exceedingly connected, highly demanding environment, store operators must balance immediate on-the-ground needs with omnichannel expectations. For its fourth annual Store Operations Superstar Awards, Retail TouchPoints recognizes innovative, successful store operations strategies, with winners running the gamut from Tier 1 department store and groceries to smaller specialty retail businesses.


2015 E-Commerce Tech Preview: Insights From 13 Thought Leaders

Shadow RTP RT064 GD E-Commerce-Technology-Preview Sep 2015Retail TouchPoints is proud to introduce its first E-Commerce Technology Preview, featuring insights from 13 of the most forward-thinking retail executives.

This guide offers an exclusive and unique look at how retailers are gearing up for e-Commerce and omnichannel success in 2016 and beyond.

This comprehensive collection of e-Commerce thought leadership will help retailers determine the most effective go-forward business strategies. Best practices, trends, strategies and technologies are dissected and discussed by the following executives:


RTP Unveils 2015 E-Commerce Outlook Guide

Shadow RTP RT0063 GD E-Commerce-Outlook Sep 2015 FINALIn its annual Outlook Guide, Retail TouchPoints asks top retail industry experts and analysts to share their predictions for the year ahead.

The retail industry is changing so rapidly, with new trends and technologies constantly emerging. As a result, we have decided to develop a dedicated Outlook Guide specifically for e-Commerce.

In the 2015 E-Commerce Outlook Guide, some of the top thought leaders in the space share insights into how they think the e-Commerce realm will continue to evolve through the end of 2015 and beyond. Additionally, executives from some of the most cutting-edge brands discuss how their businesses are embracing digital tools and tactics to innovate and better reach customers.


How Retailers Can Tackle Cross-Border Commerce

The proliferation of omnichannel retailing has empowered consumers to buy from their favorite brands and retailers at any time and use their preferred channels. Thanks to e-Commerce, consumers now have the ability to browse and buy from retailers around the world.

As a result, total cross-border shipping is expected to skyrocket from $80 billion in 2014 to $330 billion by 2020, according to the UPS Global Pulse Of The Online Shopper Study. In fact, global shoppers surveyed in the study said that they made 24% of their purchases with online retailers outside of their own country. These behaviors confirm that more consumers are able to access retailers regardless of location and, in turn, are eager and willing to buy from brands that are not local to them.


Pop-Up Stores Become More Than Just A Trend

The pop-up store has become a go-to marketing strategy for retailers looking to extend the brand and introduce new products. The pop-up industry has grown to approximately $10 billion in sales, according to PopUp Republic.

Pop-up shops are being developed in a variety of shapes and sizes, as well as locations. They can be found in a traditional brick-and-mortar store — as a store-within-a-store — as a standalone kiosk or even via a motorized vehicle, taking the lead from the food truck craze.


Has Social Commerce Reached A Tipping Point?

shadow RTP RT050 SURV Social Commerce Jul 2015For nearly a decade, retailers have been trying to crack the social code. During the first few years, it all seemed so simple: more Facebook “likes” equaled more engaged customers.

However, merchants soon realized that Facebook “likes” didn’t always lead to customer love and loyalty, and the number of Twitter followers didn’t necessarily improve bottom-line results. Evidently back to square one, the retail industry has spent the last few years trying to determine how content can engage shoppers and drive them to e-Commerce sites as well as brick-and-mortar stores.


Progressive Retailers Tailor Customer Loyalty Programs To All Channels, Individuals

Shadow RTP RT060 SR OmnichannelLoyalty July 2015Traditionally, customer loyalty programs have been the backbone for retailers striving to attract new customers and boost retention rates. While consumers continue to join programs and pack more loyalty cards into their wallets (both physical and virtual), they now crave an experience that extends across channels and devices, and is more relevant to their unique wants and needs.


Embracing Content And Community To Drive Social Sales

In the U.S., 180 million consumers use social media, according to eMarketer. By the end of 2016, that number will grow to 185.4 million.

Even with a large, thriving and engaged community at their disposal, retailers have struggled to crack the social code. Back in 2011, retailers thought Facebook storefronts would be the solution to their social woes. After many retailers quickly started and stopped Facebook initiatives, the industry as a whole was back to square one.

But today, the retail industry is witnessing a social media revival. New tools, tactics and consumer behaviors are driving a new era of social selling where content, feedback and community create tangible results for retailers across verticals.


Economic Optimism Sets The Stage For A Profitable Holiday Season

shadow RTP RT057 GD Holiday Guide June 2015As we move further and further away from the 2008 recession, retailers can be confidently optimistic in their overall outlook for the 2015 holiday season.

Confirming this optimism, the National Retail Federation (NRF) predicted a boost in sales growth for 2015 over 2014. Retail industry sales will increase approximately 4.1% in 2015, up from 3.5% growth in 2014, according to NRF in its February 2015 economic forecast report. That boost would be the biggest annual growth since 2011, when retail sales for the year increased 5.1%. Additionally, NRF predicts non-store sales will grow between 7% and 10%.


#RIC15 Brings Innovation And Disruption To The Forefront

supp RTP RT058 SR RIA Recap June 2015We’re in the midst of a retail revolution. Shoppers today have access to a wealth of tools and information that empower them to make the best buying decisions. As a result, retailers are focused on creating experiences that educate and engage consumers, and also help them differentiate from competitors. 

More than 120 retail executives converged to discuss the latest trends and technologies disrupting the overall industry during Retail TouchPoints’ inaugural Retail Innovation Conference (#RIC15), which was held June 16-17, 2015 in New York City.

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