Retail TouchPoints - Your Source For The Latest Retail News And Trends - Retail TouchPoints - Retail TouchPoints Thu, 30 Jul 2015 20:37:08 -0400 RTP en-gb More Parents To Complete Back-To-School Shopping After School Starts More Parents To Complete Back-To-School Shopping After School Starts

BacktoSchool.3As many as 31% of parents shopping for children in grades K-12 plan to complete their back-to-school spending after the start of the school year, increasing from 26% in 2014, according to research from the Deloitte 2015 Back-To-School Study. Additionally, 38% of respondents say shopping for this season is less important because they replenish school supplies throughout the year.

Shoppers in 2015 simply don’t have the need to buy the items they purchased last year, according to the survey. The number of consumers who plan to reuse last year’s items has risen from 26% to 39% between 2011 and 2015.

{loadposition GIAA}“Consumers are sending a message to retailers that says the back-to-school shopping season just isn’t that important anymore — and that could dramatically disrupt an industry that traditionally relies on this defined period for a significant portion of annual sales,” said Alison Paul, Vice Chairman and Retail and Distribution Sector Leader at Deloitte LLP. “The question for retailers is how to capture the sales that may not fall exclusively in July or August, but increasingly spread throughout the year. If consumers are content with the items they already have, the two-for-one promotion may no longer get them to the register. Instead, retailers will have to provide something more meaningful or exclusive that fits their customers’ needs when they are ready to buy.”

Up to 80% of smartphone owners who took the survey said they plan to use their devices for back-to-school shopping, a 6% increase over last year. Reinforcing the significance of that increase, smartphone device ownership has more than doubled from 40% in 2011 to nearly 90% of the adult purchasing population in 2015. 

Smartphone shoppers plan to use their smartphones over other devices, such as laptops, PCs and tablets. They also are using their phones more to research products. While 44% of consumers will access a retailer’s web site and 42% will access product information using their smartphones, just 29% plan to use the devices to complete a purchase. 

When it comes to research, 55% of parents shopping for children in grades K-12 say they will research online first before completing a purchase in a store. The store is still tops among this demographic when it comes to finalizing purchases, with 86% visiting a discount or value department store and 44% buying online.

]]> (Glenn Taylor) News Briefs Thu, 30 Jul 2015 15:03:22 -0400
Former Walmart Exec Hired As CMO Of 99 Cents Only Former Walmart Exec Hired As CMO Of 99 Cents Only

99jacksinclair99 Cents Only Stores has named former Walmart EVP Jack Sinclair as its new Chief Merchandising Officer (CMO). In this role, Sinclair will be responsible for the merchandising and marketing functions of 99 Cents Only Stores.

Sinclair served more than seven years as EVP of the U.S. Grocery Division at Walmart, which generated growth through a focus on local assortment and fresh foods, before retiring from the position in March 2015.

Prior to working at Walmart, Sinclair spent 14 years at UK-based Safeway PLC, where he served in a variety of roles, eventually managing store operations and merchandising as Group Marketing and Trading Director.

"Jack's significant experience in retail merchandising will be an asset to 99 Cents Only Stores as we continue to improve the execution of our core business plan that emphasizes a strong mix of seasonal, grocery, and close-out products," said Andrew Giancamilli, Interim CEO of 99 Cents Only Stores. "His deep knowledge of the grocery and fresh food category will be particularly valuable, given the importance of these categories to our customers and for driving traffic in our stores."

]]> (Glenn Taylor) Retail Movers & Shakers Thu, 30 Jul 2015 08:56:33 -0400
Lowe’s Canada Acquires 12 Former Target Locations Amid Expansion Efforts Lowe’s Canada Acquires 12 Former Target Locations Amid Expansion Efforts

ca.lowesLowe’s Canada has completed its acquisition of 12 former Target locations, including a distribution center in Milton, Ont., for approximately $114 million. This acquisition came as part of a real estate auction following Target's decision to cease operations in Canada.

Construction currently is underway for two additional stores in Ancaster and Mississauga, Ont., representing an additional investment in excess of approximately $38 million. The new stores are designed to enhance Lowe's presence in Western Canada and strengthen its base in Ontario.

{loadposition GIAA}"These 14 new locations are a tremendous win for us in Canada, accelerating our growth across the country and bringing our total store count to 54 locations," said Sylvain Prud'homme, President of Lowe's Canada. "We continue to receive a positive reaction from our customers on our store experience and this helps us reach additional communities more quickly."

The new Lowe's store sites are located across Canada, many in markets where Lowe's currently is underpenetrated.  The new locations will create approximately 2,000 jobs in Canada. This total will include 37 stores in Ontario, three in Saskatchewan, nine in Alberta and five in British Columbia.

Opening dates for the remaining 14 locations will vary based on construction timing and varying schedules.

]]> (Glenn Taylor) News Briefs Thu, 30 Jul 2015 08:22:33 -0400
Donald J Pliner Builds Detailed Shopper Profiles To Maximize Personalization, Loyalty Efforts Donald J Pliner Builds Detailed Shopper Profiles To Maximize Personalization, Loyalty Efforts

Donald J PlinerTo better gauge the wants, needs and preferences of shoppers, brands and retailers must build comprehensive profiles that outline their entire relationship with the business.

Over the years, luxury footwear and accessories brand Donald J Pliner has developed a business that spans across channels. In addition to six branded stores and a direct-to-consumer e-Commerce site, Donald J Pliner sells through major department stores such as Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, independent shoe boutiques and online retailers such as Amazon and Zappos.

As a result, the brand has faced challenges in creating a comprehensive picture of customers and their overall loyalty.

“If I buy Donald J Pliner shoes from the Garnett Hill catalogue or Nordstrom, how do you know I’m a regular customer?” noted Julian Chu, Operating Partner at Castanea Partners, which is the holding company for Donald J Pliner and several other brands. “Like most brand manufacturers, we have limited visibility to the customer in our wholesale channels.”

Because Donald J Pliner doesn’t technically “own” the customer through these wholesale networks, team members have a limited understanding of these customers, including their recency, frequency, monetary value and merchandise preferences.

“We only see what is selling through by store and in the aggregate," Chu said. "So in this channel we rely in close partnerships with our retail partners to collaborate on putting together seasonal assortments that will best meet the wants and needs of their customers.”

Although Donald J Pliner’s direct channels provide the brand with a wealth of data about individual customers, the company previously had issues accessing this information. Moreover, team members lacked the tools to analyze data across touch points, Chu explained. “We didn't have a cross-channel view of the customer, so we couldn't identify where and when customers shopped across different stores including the online store.”

A Push Towards Customer-Centricity

A new partnership between MarketLive and AgilOne is now empowering Donald J Pliner to create a more unified view of its customers by combining their digital and physical entities. Recently, MarketLive launched ML-360 to give retailers a complete picture of customer preferences and purchase intent. ML-360 was developed in partnership with AgilOne, which provides the predictive technology to facilitate highly targeted customer acquisition, retention and loyalty campaigns.

Donald J Pliner initially moved its e-Commerce site to MarketLive in early 2013. This provided the brand with improved site stability, performance and manageability.

“We stopped worrying so much about the technology and could focus on marketing and merchandising,” Chu noted. This led to the brand implementing AgilOne in 2014 as its integrated customer analytics and marketing database system.

“The ability to combine our retail POS and online transactional data gave us a single view of the direct-to-consumer business,” Chu reported. “AgilOne also provided householding and customer de-duplication capabilities, which are essential to developing a more accurate picture of your customers.”

With AgilOne, the brand was able to identify a segment of repeat buyers and implement an email campaign designed specifically re-engage and reactivate them. The marketing team also was able to identify VIP customers, track repeat purchase patterns and communicate with these customers at the right time. Since implementing these more advanced marketing campaigns and tactics, Donald J Pliner’s online revenue has increased by approximately 50%.

In addition to improving its email campaigns, AgilOne has helped Donald J Pliner maximize ROI on its direct mail program.

“The catalog is not dead — far from it, in fact — but it's an expense medium so one has to be careful,” Chu said. “AgilOne gives us the ability to analyze the incremental return from each direct mail campaign so as we expand the program, we'll know which customers to target with direct mail, and how often. And thus, hopefully add to the bottom line!"

Over time, Donald J Pliner has been able to mine deeper customer insights, such as the total number of categories shopped and overall rebuy rate. The brand also can determine how many consumers shop across multiple channels. Chu noted that these insights “directly influence important decisions we are making every day.” 

Customer-centricity now has become a strategic focus for Donald J Pliner, and both MarketLive and AgilOne are helping the brand see success, according to Chu. By breaking down organizational silos, Donald J Pliner will be able to answer crucial questions, such as:

  • Which marketing programs serve best to acquire new customers? 
  • How much do we have to spend to acquire them? 
  • Which customers can we retarget primarily via email, and which ones are really influenced by our direct mail campaigns? 
  • What content/offers should be in any of these campaigns?
  • What kinds of products/price points does a given customer prefer?

“By understanding these attributes for our customers, we can tailor our marketing strategies and offers to the right customers to both increase their relevance to the customer and improve the return from our marketing investments,” Chu explained. “In the end it's about becoming a more profitable business.”

]]> (Alicia Fiorletta) Retail Success Stories Thu, 30 Jul 2015 09:03:34 -0400
Stripe Now Valued At $5 Billion Following Partnership With Visa Stripe Now Valued At $5 Billion Following Partnership With Visa

Visa has formed a strategic partnership with online payment provider Stripe to support new technologies and online payment experiences for merchants, developers and consumers worldwide. In a recent funding round, Visa, American Express and Sequoia Capital have collaborated to invest an undisclosed sum in Stripe, which is now valued at $5 billion.

With the partnership, Stripe will accelerate its international expansion, particularly in emerging markets, accessing Visa’s global footprint through its acquiring and issuing partners. As part of the agreement, the companies will collaborate on issues related to payment security and product information, as well as e-Commerce experiences such as “buy buttons.”

{loadposition GIAA}With Visa and American Express investing in the company, Stripe has positioned itself as an ally to credit card companies, especially since its software allows businesses and app developers to accept credit card payments quickly.

“As Stripe thinks about the best ways to move the overall payments ecosystem forward, the biggest determinants on the financial side are the credit card networks,” said Patrick Collison, Co-Founder and CEO of Stripe, in an interview with The New York Times. “We hope to continue working closely with them.”

Stripe also will be one of the first beta partners to connect to Visa’s network capabilities via APIs and SDKs, and will offer their developer community access to payment and risk management services, Visa’s tokenization service and security technologies.

]]> (Glenn Taylor) News Briefs Wed, 29 Jul 2015 15:15:52 -0400
EBay Closes Down Same-Day Delivery Service EBay Closes Down Same-Day Delivery Service

EBay has discontinued its eBay Now same-day delivery service, according to a company blog post. The online marketplace also announced it will close down multiple standalone mobile applications, including eBay Valet, eBay Fashion and eBay Motors. In retiring the mobile apps, eBay plans to migrate these functionalities into its flagship eBay app.

The company is undergoing a transformation in an attempt to narrow the focus on its online marketplace, with the blog post indicating that these closures are the “first phase of their sunset plans.” News of the closures follow eBay’s sale of its Enterprise business for $925 million and its official split from PayPal.

When the eBay Now service launched in 2012, customers in New York, Chicago, Dallas, and parts of the San Francisco Bay Area were able to access same-day delivery of items from local merchants via couriers.

EBay also is discontinuing a local pilot program in Brooklyn, NY that started in December 2014 and offered same-day delivery from approximately 80 local merchants. Both eBay Now and the Brooklyn program will officially stop service on July 31.

The company initially shut down the eBay Now mobile app in November 2014, bringing the program’s delivery capabilities and many participating merchants’ inventory into its core mobile apps.

“While we saw encouraging results with the eBay Now service, we always intended it as a pilot,” said RJ Pittman, Chief Product Officer of eBay, in the post. “We are now exploring delivery and pick-up/drop-off programs that are relevant to many more of our 25 million sellers, and that cover a wider variety of inventory that consumers tell us they want.”

EBay will continue to pilot scheduled delivery in the UK, according to the post.

Most of the employees affected by the eBay Now shutdown will be reassigned elsewhere in the company, an eBay spokesperson told CNET.

]]> (Glenn Taylor) News Briefs Wed, 29 Jul 2015 11:28:47 -0400
Turbana Taps Geoscape To Educate Store Partners On Multicultural Retail Turbana Taps Geoscape To Educate Store Partners On Multicultural Retail

bananasWhen retailers have multiple stores with different consumer demographics, it’s vital for them to understand which products will sell best depending on the demographic makeup of each store.

Turbana, a distributor of tropical produce in North America, has the challenge of marketing and supplying its Turbana Tropicals line of products to retailers serving multicultural communities. With the help of BI solutions provider Geoscape, Turbana is now gathering consumer demographic data on a consistent basis. With this information in hand, managers are able to stock individual stores more efficiently.

{loadposition GIAA}Geoscape also helped Turbana launch an educational campaign for partner retailers and create a mobile app so partners can easily access the shopper data.  The educational campaign helped Turbana grow its tropical produce business by more than 300% in 2014. Within six months of the launch, one of Turbana’s retail partners increased sales by more than 30%.

Turbana Tropicals was initially designed to capitalize on the growing Hispanic and Asian communities throughout the U.S. By gearing the new product line to these communities, the distributor has sought to differentiate its product from competitors.

“We wanted to capture that opportunity, and we saw that a lot of retailers were not capturing that customer,” said Ricardo Echeverri, VP of Sales for Turbana Tropicals. “It was an opportunity to introduce these products to retailers and invite new customers into their stores.”

Initially, many Turbana retail partners were not completely familiar with the demographics of their individual store locations, nor did they know much about the Turbana Tropicals product line, according to Echeverri. Therefore, the products weren’t getting effective exposure to shoppers. “We felt our partner retailers weren’t very familiar with our items,” Echeverri said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “It’s a very fragmented market, and logistics are very time consuming, so learning about products can be a hassle. These buyers either don’t have enough time for it, or they didn’t know which Tropicals products to carry according to the demographics.”

In turning to Geoscape, Turbana could demonstrate a specific ethnic breakdown for the surrounding areas of all of Turbana’s retail partner locations. With the demographic makeup in hand, the Turbana team built an educational campaign, which informed retailers of the revenue the Tropicals line could drive to each store.

To build the accompanying mobile app, Turbana collected a list of every retail partner’s store, along with each store’s corresponding address. The Turbana team then downloaded each address into the app, so that users can log into the app and access mapping and demographic data.

“With the mobile app, a retail manager can find what populations are around the store, what items each population consumes, what holidays and products they should promote,” Echeverri said. “It describes exactly what a product is and the temperature it should be stored at, and even gives out different recipes. It’s a very educational application.”

Given the difficulties retailers may have in when it comes to keeping track of produce from outside the U.S. — especially when products that appear to be the same have different names from different countries — the Turbana team looks to continue using the Geoscape technology to educate retail partners.

“The idea for us is not to sell the products, it’s to sell the program,” Echeverri stated. “We want to work with them side-by-side and deliver the program for them, and we want to offer them not only the tools of the app, but the expertise that we have.”

]]> (Glenn Taylor) Retail Success Stories Wed, 29 Jul 2015 10:25:33 -0400
Limited Too Brand Set To Return In 2016 Limited Too Brand Set To Return In 2016

1LimitedTooChildren’s apparel retailer Limited Too will reopen its doors in 2016, eight years after the brand was discontinued in 2008.

Brand management company Bluestar Alliance has acquired the brand trademarks for Limited Too from Sun Capital Partners, a private equity firm that owns The Limited women’s retail chain. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

{loadposition GIAA}Bluestar Alliance expects to bring Limited Too merchandise to department stores, and plans to open up to 200 stores under the Limited Too name over the next five years.

“Our goal from a marketing perspective is to uphold Limited Too’s branded lifestyle mission and to enable girls of all ages to express their individuality and creativity through diverse categories that stay true to the brand DNA and mantra of ‘It’s a Girls’ World’,” said Rebecca Karakasli, VP of Marketing at Bluestar Alliance.  “There are not many brands where best friends can share their styles from head to toe, be it for school days, sleepovers or just simply taking selfies together.”

At its peak, Limited Too had approximately 600 stores, but in 2008, Tween Brands converted all 560 remaining locations into Justice stores.

]]> (Glenn Taylor) News Briefs Tue, 28 Jul 2015 12:05:51 -0400
Has Social Commerce Reached A Tipping Point? 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.

For the fourth year, Retail TouchPoints surveyed a group of retailers to gauge their thoughts and perspectives on Social Commerce strategies. This year, 97 merchants were represented, and they varied in their product categories and annual revenue.

So has Social Commerce officially reached a tipping point? Find out how retailers are prioritizing social engagement and advertising by downloading this exclusive survey report now!

]]> (Alicia Fiorletta) Special Reports Tue, 28 Jul 2015 09:35:14 -0400
52% Of SMBs Will Not Be EMV-Ready By Oct. 1 Deadline 52% Of SMBs Will Not Be EMV-Ready By Oct. 1 Deadline

EMV-2More than half (52%) of SMBs will not be EMV-ready when the EMV liability shift deadline passes on Oct. 1, 2015, while 37% of SMBs still have no plans to accept EMV cards after the deadline, according to a study from payment solutions provider Cayan.

Cayan surveyed 344 small business owners and managers in June 2015 for the study designed to uncover tactics for SMBs that currently have no existing EMV plans to transition to EMV-enabled technology after October 1.

The study examined three specific situations likely to occur after the liability shift: Cost of fraudulent transactions; Customer complaints; and How to handle the response to another business experiencing fraudulent transactions. Cayan designed the survey to educate SMBs on the liability shift and the cost of upgrading to EMV, and asked them whether experiencing the situation would drive them to become EMV-capable.

A majority (60%) of SMBs said they couldn't bounce back if they were required to cover a fraudulent charge of more than $500 out-of-pocket.

As many as 63% of SMB businesses that currently have no plans to accept EMV said they would adopt the technology if it gave them fraud coverage, while 47% would become EMV-capable if they had to cover $100 or less in fraud.

In addition, 57% would become EMV-capable if consumers complain about not being able to use their EMV chip card, with 40% saying they would upgrade to an EMV-capable payment system after receiving five or fewer complaints a week.

Only 16% of small businesses would become EMV-capable after hearing about another business being liable for fraudulent charges.

“When we talk to small businesses about the risk of card fraud after October 1, they aren't highly motivated to upgrade,” said Henry Helgeson, CEO of Cayan. “However, when we start associating a dollar amount to the risk — even $100 lost to covering fraud — they are much more interested in becoming EMV-ready. The survey results reinforce our observation: Small businesses cannot afford to be on the wrong side of the liability shift. Our goal is to help small businesses understand the consequences of not upgrading and become EMV-ready before they risk losing a single dollar to fraud.”

]]> (Glenn Taylor) News Briefs Tue, 28 Jul 2015 09:06:06 -0400