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Getting Back To Customer Service Basics In A Digitally Connected Era

FEAT Omni Service imageFor as long as retail has existed, so has customer service. One would argue that the two go hand-in-hand, and that a retailer cannot continue to exist — let alone excel — without exemplary customer service.  

But throughout the past decade, the world has become far more complex, with consumers referring to myriad devices and resources throughout their unique shopping experiences. In turn, these savvy shoppers, who retailers now profile as "omnichannel consumers," are expecting more out of service experiences — from initial engagement with a brand or retailer to post-purchase interactions.

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Delivering Better Customer Service: Putting The Person In Personalization

VP OLR Retail head shotThe proliferation of business technologies is creating greater scope than ever for automating customer service processes, but how do retailers ensure these capabilities deliver an effective, personalized experience?

It’s no secret that consumers are moving away from traditional paths of promotion to purchase, towards an unpredictable pattern of browsing and buying wherever, however and whenever they want — often referred to as a ‘Commerce Anywhere’ approach. While this presents great opportunities for retailers, the increase and variety in customer touch points creates new challenges, in terms of offering a seamless and satisfactory level of customer service.

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60% Of Retailers Lack The Data To Successfully Personalize Campaigns

RR COLLOQUY image2As many as 60% of retailers admitted that they do not have reliable or sufficient data to ensure their targeting efforts are successful, according to a COLLOQUY report.

The report, titled: Ally In Aisles And Online, outlines the top challenges that retailers face in providing a seamless and secure experience to customers. These challenges include: Providing customers with relevant offers; delivering value without increasing costs; and converting sales through the checkout process.

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Thorntons Aims To Have One Million Rewards Program Members By Q2 2015

fuel phoneLoyalty and rewards programs have been mainstays in the retail marketing mix for decades. But with the rise of mobile devices, some industry players are questioning the effectiveness of plastic cards and general offers and coupons.

But gasoline and convenience store chain Thorntons is turning the traditional rewards program model on its head by partnering with Paytronix Systems, which provides rewards program solutions to restaurants and retailers.

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Woodman’s Foods Taps Birdzi To Personalize Offers Across Channels

woodmans storefrontWoodman’s Foods, an independent and employee-owned grocery retailer, will roll out the Birdzi Shopper Engagement platform to all 15 of its stores in 2015. The retailer, which operates under the brand name Woodman’s Markets, will use the platform to personalize offers for consumers using their desktops and mobile devices. In addition to the rollout, Woodman’s has joined the Birdzi Personiphi Network.

With the platform, Woodman’s Foods can offer shopper enrollment and shopper ID capabilities so consumers can receive customized savings without an ID card.

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Party Galaxy Sees 1,520% Boost In Social Media-Driven Site Traffic With SocialCentiv

Retailers can use social networks such as Facebook and Twitter to connect with brand fans and even engage prospective customers. Some retailers are bringing their social strategies to the next level by using tools and implementing campaigns that drive traffic to their stores and e-Commerce sites, and eventually, boost sales.

For example, Party Galaxy, a party favor, decoration and costume retailer, used the Twitter marketing tool SocialCentiv to increase traffic generated by social media by 1,520%. Over the course of several months, Party Galaxy also tripled the number of its Twitter followers.

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Taking Things Personally: How Connected Data Enables Personalized Customer Courtship

VP OrderDynamics head shot1The retail environments we recognize today have seen a massive transformation since the storefronts of the 1500s in the English countryside. Each had a sign, a storefront and an owner, serving the unique and very personalized needs of residents in the surrounding hamlets — the clothiers, the haberdashery, the grocery, the cobblers, the butcher and the blacksmith. Owners knew every patron and family by name, along with their inseam measurements, shoe size, weekly grocery list and personal wardrobe preferences.

Since then, retail has come a long way with store design, staffing, inventory and scope. However, it has in many ways lost its focus on knowledge of the customer’s true needs, as retailers have used averages or groupings to scale their merchandising decisions. Further, personalized interactions have fallen adrift with the introduction of today’s mass market selling strategies across brick-and-mortar stores and e-Commerce sites.

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BCBGMaxAzria Maximizes Email Performance With Personalization And Automation

BCBG emailWith a thriving, 25-year history, BCBGMaxAzria has made its mark in the fashion and retail worlds by creating high-quality apparel and accessories that appeal to the wants and needs of its customers.

Across all three brands — BCBGMaxAzria, BCBGeneration and Herve Leger — marketing campaigns and engagement strategies focus on the subtle, yet extremely important details of each item. To create more tailored and compelling email campaigns, BCBGMaxAzria has leveraged Bluecore, which has helped create highly personalized, automated trigger campaigns.

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74% Of Online Retailers Send Irrelevant Promotions

RR OrderDynamics ImageDespite a myriad of research studies pointing to the importance of personalization, the majority (74%) of online retailers still promote irrelevant items to shoppers via email, according to OrderDynamics research. Some retailers (33%) don’t even sufficiently follow up with consumers after they sign up for the brand mailing list.

The report, titled: Customer Relationships: The Dating Game, compares retailing to dating, in that businesses have to convince consumers to “go out” with them to start and continue a business relationship. The study specifically measures the effectiveness of a “first date,” or purchase, as well as the long-term relationships that can lead to additional purchases and increased order values. Opinion Matters conducted the study on behalf of OrderDynamics by surveying more than 60 retailers and 2,000 consumers.

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