As 2011 comes to an end, Retail TouchPoints would like to share insights into the top 20 most viewed articles this year. It came as no surprise that a majority of the articles viewed this year were case studies featuring success stories from leading retailers. Based on the articles receiving the most clicks, retail executives are looking to learn from their peers. Additionally, two of the hot-button topics in 2011 were mobile technology and social commerce.
Through the use of exclusive projects such as the first annual Nex-Gen Retail Awards Report, Customer Loyalty Report and the 2011 Holiday Outlook, Retail TouchPoints was able to highlight current retail trends and point SMBs into the right direction with inexpensive ways to combat the competition. The Nex-Gen Retail Awards Report honored 10 companies that showcased innovative solutions at the 2011 National Retail Federation (NRF) Annual Convention. The innovative solutions profiled in the report included 10 categories: social media; in-store marketing; inventory management; store intelligence; mobile technology; customer engagement; point of sale; analytics; store operations; and cross-channel.
In a challenging economy retailers are struggling to turn shoppers into brand advocates. With that in mind, customer loyalty was a hot topic in 2011. Retailers are working to create a seamless customer experience throughout the mobile and social world. Nikki Baird, RSR Research Retail Managing Partner, acknowledged this current trend and offered predictions for the upcoming year. “So far, online and store have been the dominant channel, but we're seeing huge growth in mobile,” Baird said. “According to our research, the number of retailers offering something via the mobile channel — whether just information or full commerce capabilities — is going to double in the next 12 to 18 months.”
Before the start of the holiday shopping season, Retail TouchPoints presented the 2011 Holiday Outlook in order to help retailers prepare for the challenges ahead. With retailer case studies from Coach, JCPenney, Kirkland’s and RadioShack, readers were able to learn about best practices in social, mobile and in-store strategies to meet the needs of the multi-channel consumer. Honing in on inventory strategies that serve new consumer habits for the holiday season, Paula Rosenblum, Managing Partner at RSR, predicted electronic gadgets such as 3-D televisions, digital cameras and the iPhone 4S — which was recently noted as the most purchased smartphone. “Also, I think the luxury market is going to be strong,” she said. “I think we’ll see high-end department stores doing well, jewelry and watches going strong and a ‘forever-type’ message around jewelry.”
The top articles also included viewpoints from industry executives from companies including Predictix, Reflect Systems and SCOPIX. Below is the list of top 20 articles of the year, in order of number of clicks: