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Industry Insights brings the latest trends, acquisitions and previews of upcoming conferences and events to retailers’ desktops. This section enables store managers to learn new strategies related to sales and tips on optimizing inventory, merchandising, allocation and more. Subscribe to the feed and stay in touch with the latest retail happenings.

Help Yourself: Digital Malls Represent A $7 Billion Opportunity

  • Written by Fatima D. Lora


Research_pieceMany mall developers, retailers, consumer product manufacturers and even vending operators are facing demographic, economic and technological challenges, as 12% of consumers are moving to urban areas annually, according to a study, titled: Digital Malls: The Next Generation of Self-Service Shopping, by the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG).  Additionally, 8% of retail sales have transitioned to e-Commerce channels and high levels of unemployment continues to dampen consumer spending.

To combat these challenges, the study pointed to three technology-enabled, self-service retail trends that hold promise: innovative vending machines, micro-markets and virtual stores. Though developing individually, when combined they could create a new retail business model ― the “Digital Mall” ― a vision estimated at $7 billion, according to Cisco IBSG. Characteristics of the model include high interactivity, low labor and target locations in densely populated areas such as airports, large offices, resorts, stadiums and universities.

Read more: Help Yourself: Digital Malls Represent A $7 Billion Opportunity

Bad Experiences Equal Lost Customers

  • Written by Fatima D. Lora


Research_pieceA recent survey of 5,000 consumers confirms that customers may abandon a company following a bad experience, but they are less likely to abandon a retailer or Internet service provider, according to Temkin Group in the report titled: What Happens After A Good Or Bad Experience? And good news for one retail segment: consumers report the fewest bad experiences with grocery chains.

Some specific companies that others can learn from, experiencing the fewest bad experiences include: Whole Foods, ING Direct and Holiday Inn. Some of the companies with the record of worst number of bad experiences include: Gap, QVC, eBay and Best Buy.

Read more: Bad Experiences Equal Lost Customers

Report Finds Holiday Shoppers Prefer The In-Store Experience

  • Written by Fatima D. Lora


present_outoffocusMost U.S. consumers prefer to shop for holiday purchases in a physical store, according to a recent survey conducted by SDL, a provider of technology that enables retailers to combine, analyze and understand consumer behavior across purchase channels.

The survey, titled: Preferences On Holiday Shopping Experiences, examined the habits, beliefs and behaviors of more than 3,000 shoppers during the 2012 holiday season. It concluded that understanding and engaging customers based on their preferred use of each channel creates an experience consumers will value during the holidays and throughout the year.

Read more: Report Finds Holiday Shoppers Prefer The In-Store Experience

Ubiquity: The True Impact Of Mobile

  • Written by Fatima D. Lora


Research_pieceConsumer demand for mobile devices continues to expand, with smartphone sales nearing 1.5 million units in 2016, according to BI Intelligence. With the addition of 500 million current and estimated tablet computers, more than two billion smart mobile devices will be in use within three years, predicted the mobility research firm.

This forecast indicates that the intensifying demand for smartphones is based more on computing power, web access and app functionality than for the ability to make phone calls, noted a report from Digital Clarity Group that investigated the shifting mobile landscape.

That report, titled Understanding The “Mobile Shift:” Obsession With The Mobile Channel Obscures The Shift To Ubiquitous Computing, highlights the massive and disruptive adoption of smart mobile devices, how mobility is initiating the era of ubiquitous computing, and what this all means for the mobile enterprise.

Read more: Ubiquity: The True Impact Of Mobile

Nearly 50% Of Consumers Believe They Are More Informed Than Store Associates

  • Written by Fatima D. Lora


Research_pieceShoppers found their personal mobile devices to be more efficient than store associates in helping them make buying decisions, according to a new survey from Motorola Solutions. But the buying experience improved when sales associates used new technologies as part of their customer service strategies.

The sixth annual installment of the Holiday Shopping Study from Motorola confirmed the increasing connectedness of today’s consumers: Overall, 46% of Gen Y shoppers (ages 18 to 34) and 38% of Gen X shoppers (ages 35 to 49) reported feeling more in tune with inventory data accessed via mobile devices than through conversations with in-store associates while shopping during the 2012 holiday season.

Read more: Nearly 50% Of Consumers Believe They Are More Informed Than Store Associates

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