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TouchPoints TV is a periodic video podcast which covers the Retail Industry and offers insights from leading executives on emerging strategies, innovative products and services, and recent retail news. Subscribe to the feed and stay in touch with the latest retail happenings.

TouchPoints TV: The Importance Of A Video Commerce Strategy

Justin Foster, Co-Founder of Liveclicker, discusses the importance of a video commerce strategy moving forward for retailers. "Because consumers expect to see video, it's more important than ever that retailers integrate video throughout the customer lifecycle."

He also provides recommendations for constructing an effective video content strategy. Finally, he explains that when determining the success of video programs, retailers must review both quantitative and qualitative data.

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TouchPoints TV at #NRF14: Scott Knaul, SMK Workforce Solutions

The retailers able to deliver a consistent customer experience are the ones that are able to succeed, Knaul noted. Specifically around workforce management, retailers often are not optimizing their schedules and balancing the store workload. You need to get store managers executing consistently to deliver on the promise a successful customer experience, he explained. SMK is working with a number industry partners to promote workforce management through a 2014 webinar series. Those partners include Empower Software, The Connors Group and Opterus.

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TouchPoints TV at #NRF14: Curt Bimschleger, GENCO


Bimschleger shared his insights on the importance of effective omnichannel returns processes. Retailers today are asking for all-in-one facilities that include fulfillment and returns in the same building. Then you have a much more streamlined supply chain, he noted. "The stores now need to be prepared in the omnichannel world to accept returns from an online purchase. Sometimes the SKUs are different and that's not the easiest for some stores today."

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TouchPoints TV at #NRF14: Michael Colaneri, AT&T


Mobility is at the top of the list, then integration and analytics, according to Colaneri. “Mobility is a little more than just a smartphone that consumers have in their hands — they are looking at engaging with retailers throughout the shopping experience. From an integration perspective, retailers are very much interested in integrating the entire experience no matter what the touch point is.” Finally, the analytics associated with the behaviors of consumers are very important, he noted. Regarding the term “omnichannel,” Colaneri said he defines it as “a retailer looking at every single touch point a consumer might have with them.” I do see that continuing…the concept of engaging the consumer, no matter how they interface with the retailer, is very, very important.

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TouchPoints TV at #NRF14: Atul Jalan, Manthan Systems


Jalan discussed the future of analytics at a Big Idea session during NRF 2014. "Information has become intelligent," he explained. The Manthan customer analytics platform identifies specifics about customer behavior and purchasing. "We try to understand her social behavior as well, trying to achieve a 'segment of one.'" This helps retailers decide which offer and promotion to provide to a customer. Today, "analytics has closed the loop, and become truly actionable."

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TouchPoints TV at #NRF14: Russell Young, Stratacache


“Over the past couple years, retailers have been spending a lot of time trying to identify with themselves – What channels are we playing in,” Young noted. Now retailers need to accelerate their experiences within specific channels. Young mentioned wearable technology as a forward-looking trend to watch. The iBeacon also has entered the scene. Young explained: “While it’s great technology from a use case perspective, retailers now have to figure out how to provide that incremental value to drive consumers to adopt the app and let us speak to them while in their connected journey inside the store.”

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TouchPoints TV at #NRF14: Lori Schafer, SAS


Retailers need to innovate, innovate, innovate, said Schafer. They must understand what’s coming. If they were not the early adopters, they must execute this year. “Technology should no longer be an expense item, it needs to be strategic,” she said. Schafer mentioned new technologies, such as Google Glass and beacon technology. Regarding beacons, “It’s finally taking off after being around for a few years.” Retailers can now deliver personalized offers within a few inches of when a shopper stops in front of a product on the shelf. She added that companies like Giant Eagle and Safeway already are testing it.

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TouchPoints TV at #NRF14: David Dorf, Oracle Retail


"We don't use the term 'omnichannel,' we use the term 'Commerce Anywhere,'" noted Dorf. Commerce Anywhere is a connection between applications to allow retailers to deliver on their brand promise. In Oracle Retail's most recent release, Version 14, "We have connected point of service, web commerce, planning supply chain, merchandising, and mobile...so we can serve all the channels and give customers what they want." He added that two significant priorities for retailers are inventory alignment and transparency.

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TouchPoints TV at #NRF14: Jay Yanko, Verizon Enterprise Solutions


For Verizon, the three pillars of omnichannel retail are cloud, mobility and security.

In recent weeks, security especially has become a hot topic throughout the retail community. But Jay Yanko, Managing Principal of Verizon Enterprise Business Solutions, confirmed that "it isn't any particular retailer's problem. It's an industry problem. We have to come together as a community to solve it."

During this episode of TouchPoints TV, Yanko discusses the three key drivers of omnichannel success, Verizon's latest customer win, and how the company taps its network of partners to create an ecosystem of plug-and-play solutions for retailers.

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TouchPoints TV at #NRF14: Linda Palanza, OneView Commerce


OneView Commerce announced a partnership with hybris Software to “allow retailers to base their entire business from in-store and web on one commerce platform. This is exactly where retailers want to take their businesses,” noted Palanza in a discussion with Andrew Gaffney, President of Retail TouchPoints. OneView also was selected by Canadian Tire to implement traditional and mobile POS solutions.

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TouchPoints TV at #NRF14: Todd Berner, Zebra Commerce


“Mobility is a revolution,” said Todd Berner, VP of Zebra Commerce. “It has been around for a while, but it’s really starting to take off and impact all aspects of the business.”

In fact, retailers across categories can see several benefits from using mobile technology at the front- and back-end of the store. During this episode of TouchPoints TV, Berner shares current mobility trends and challenges, and how in-store mobility can help create more meaningful customer-to-associate interactions.

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