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Retail CRM provides insights from leading retailers and industry experts that help improve the customer experience at every touch point and across all channels. Some topics covered in CRM articles include customer loyalty, email marketing and promotion optimization. Subscribe to the feed and stay in touch with the latest retail happenings.

Messaging Mavens: The Utility Of Chatbots Across Demographics

We've come a long way since the days of AIM and SmarterChild. The world of chatbots is emerging and fast-moving, with players as diverse as Sephora and StubHub. With the ability to exist outside apps, often leveraging texting and voice technology, chatbots have the environment to thrive and bring a sense of efficiency to consumer interactions. The promise of the “affordable butler” has arrived. Not only do bots streamline transactions, they allow brands to capture a breadth of consumer data while engaging with customers one-on-one. Unlike platforms like Snapchat and Kik, largely geared to a certain demographic, chatbots have vast — and valuable — applications to consumers of all ages.

Top Tips To Drive Targeted E-Commerce Traffic

The continued growth of e-Commerce has switched the roles of "supply" and "demand" within retail. Brands must now pursue consumers via every available digital touch point. Moreover, retailers need to drive a large audience, but also the right audience, to their sites. “The retail business model we lived with our entire lives and for generations before that assumed that the customers who represent demand would physically go to the store where supply was,” said Brian Kilcourse, Managing Partner at RSR Research. “Now we live in a world where supply must go to demand. It’s exactly the opposite direction. It upsets the apple cart in virtually any operational aspect you care to discuss. So the question is, how can a retailer set up an environment where supply can go to demand?”

Calyx Flowers Replaces ‘Robotic’ Service Reps With Retention-Focused Call Center

When Mark Ranalletti and Kap Wallingford purchased Calyx Flowers in summer 2015, the husband-and-wife team sought to pivot the online flower seller from a customer acquisition-focused brand to a customer retention-focused brand. The new Calyx Flowers team wanted the customer service atmosphere to focus on employees, replacing a former system that Ranalletti described as “robotic.” With the company suffering from a nearly 20% year-over-year sales decline and going through multiple owners in its 30+ years in business, Calyx Flowers partnered with call center SaviLinx in October 2016 to make this shift a reality.

Retail 2025: AI And Digital Natives Will Rule

As futuristic as the year 2025 sounds, it is now less than eight years away. Will time travel, flying cars and summer vacations to Mars be in the cards? Probably not, but drone delivery, chatbots and an AI-driven retail industry are near certainties. And the people driving these changes, the "digital native" generations, are quite open to disrupting, if not destroying, old retail practices. Sure, McKinsey predicts brick-and-mortar stores will still account for approximately 85% of U.S. retail sales in 2025, but will the shopper journey be the same as it is today? Not a chance. Two sessions at the 2017 NRF Big Show explored the exciting, and at times worrisome, not-too-distant future of retail. For those who are ready to greet the future’s potential triumphs and challenges, read on. For those who still believe the old school model of retail might be coming back, this is your chance to grab an old catalog and dream of days gone by.  The Upside To Being A Disruptor Let’s start off with some good news: by 2020, 30% of web browsing won't require a screen interface, (thanks to AI/natural language recognition-driven personal assistants like Alexa, Cortana and Siri), and cars will be…

12 Restaurant Brands Choose Cloud-Based Loyalty Platform

  • Published in News Briefs
What do restaurants including Smashburger, El Pollo Loco, Pieology and Veggie Grill all have in common? They are part of the dozen brands that selected Punchh, a cloud-based technology platform that builds engagement, loyalty and customized experiences in the restaurant industry, during Q4 2016. “Basic loyalty programs no longer work,”…
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How Retailers Can Grow Their Customer Base With Gift Card Programs

Whatever goods or services you sell, whether you do business primarily online or in a brick-and-mortar location — your business can benefit from implementing a solid gift card program. That’s because everyone loves receiving gift cards and this year more and more people are giving them. According to the Vantiv Shoptalk survey, conducted by Socratic Technologies, one third of the respondents said they plan to buy gift cards this year, with Millennials leading the way. And industry experts have projected that the gift card industry will be worth $160 billion by 2018. Here’s how gift cards break down by retailer type: Restaurants: 34.8% Department stores: 34.4% Generic prepaid card (e.g., Visa or MasterCard): 22.7% Coffee shop: 20.1% Entertainment (e.g., movies or music): 17.2%

The Car As Commerce Platform: Retail’s Captive Audience Opportunity

The automobile business, like the retail industry, is undergoing huge disruption. In addition to changes in the cars themselves (electric engines, self-driving technologies), there are fundamental changes afoot in the relationship between the consumer and the automobile. In many ways, automakers are trying to ensure the car is as connected to a consumer’s life as her smartphone is. Automated driving, if and when it truly becomes mainstream, will enable human attention to focus on activities that don’t involve piloting a car to a destination. And there are some heavy hitters already getting into the mix: Ford is integrating Amazon's Alexa into its latest models to shop, search and control smart home features, and Audi is working with Baidu, Tencent, Alibaba and other Chinese tech giants to build integrated services within its autonomous cars.

NRF 2017: Personalization, Deep Analytics And Talking Robots

This year’s NRF Big Show did not disappoint. The show floor was busy and energetic from Sunday through the end of the show on Tuesday. Sessions were packed and the Innovation Lab area was impressive. As usual, Retail TouchPoints sent a strong contingent of editors to cover sessions, attend briefings and record video interviews with retailers, solution providers and other industry experts. Read on for our six editors’ perspectives on key takeaways from #NRF17.

Target Promotes From Within To Fill CMO Spot

Target has finally filled its C-level marketing position, vacant since Jeff Jones left in September 2016 to join Uber as President of Ridesharing. The retailer promoted SVP of Marketing Rick Gomez to EVP and CMO, effective Jan. 29. He will report to Target Chairman and CEO Brian Cornell and serve as a member of the company's Leadership Team. Gomez is the latest executive to be promoted to a high-level slot from within a retail organization. Since December, Save Mart, lululemon, Staples, Rue21, and Nordstrom have all brought players up from their own minor league teams, rather than seeking talent from other "clubs." These brands also have not reached outside the retail industry for their newest crop of leaders.

Verifone Partnership Enables Shoppers To Pay Using Loyalty Points

  • Published in News Briefs
A partnership between Verifone and payment technology vendor FIS will enable shoppers to pay for purchases with the loyalty program points they've accrued via their credit and debit cards. The Verifone Points Redemption application connects to the FIS Premium Payback Network to allow third-party loyalty programs to participate. Merchants download…
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Storyselling Marries Content And Commerce To Build Long-Term Loyalty

Many brands are embracing the convergence of content and commerce known as "storyselling" — even though metrics around its effectiveness are still being developed. The ROI of storyselling can be difficult to measure, because interactions are more about building positive relationships with consumers versus achieving an immediate conversion. "Telling stories is a way to tell your company's point of view, and we think about it as adding value to shoppers’ experience," said Amanda Hesser, CEO and Co-Founder of Food52, which sells kitchen products. Food52's storyselling efforts have helped the retailer improve its conversion rates by 20% over the past year, but she believes its true value will be long-term. "For example, if a customer sees a platter we're selling that has a salad on it and they click on the salad recipe, that's still a win, because you've piqued their interest. If they don't convert but you're building trust with them, you're building lifetime value."

Optimove Unveils Optibot CRM Machine Learning Platform

Optimove has launched Optibot, a CRM optimization bot that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate the analysis and interpretation of customer marketing campaigns behind the scenes, and recommend actionable marketing insights to help marketers increase campaign performance. Integrated within the Optimove platform, Optibot continuously scans a brand’s customer models and campaign calendar to discover actionable insights hiding in the data that can be used to optimize retailer’s marketing activities.

NYC Juice Bar Determines Optimal New Locations Via AI Platform

Expansion can be difficult for businesses with a small footprint, especially when that footprint begins in the packed confines of New York City. But one juice bar, Pure Green, is gathering consumer data via artificial intelligence, to map growth outside of its four present locations: three in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn. With the help of Genie, an AI-powered recommendation engine from Grey Jean Technologies, Pure Green can gather and analyze transaction and consumer data from its current stores to determine the best areas to set up new retail locations. Thus far, Pure Green already expects to open two more Manhattan stops in the near future — one in the East Village and another in Tribeca — with the ambitious goal of opening 30 locations by the end of 2017.

NRF Big Show Preview: Editors’ Picks For Can’t Miss Sessions

Bigger than ever, the 2017 National Retail Federation (NRF) Annual Big Show will feature more than 300 speakers delivering more than 55 breakout sessions and 11 keynotes on six different featured stages. We know it’s an overwhelming event because we attend in full force every year. To help hone in on the most compelling content, the Retail TouchPoints editorial staff has compiled a list of most-anticipated sessions to attend. 
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