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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.

Subscription Gifts Challenge 'Big Bang' Valentine's Day Model

Valentine's Day gift giving has traditionally been about the impact of a one-time gift. Whether it's flowers or candy that will only last a little while, diamonds that are both forever and a girl's best friend, or the hand-made card designed to melt the recipient's heart, gifting has been about making a splash on the big day itself.

This year, however, the growing popularity of subscription retailing is providing competition to the traditional "Big Bang" gifting model for Valentine's Day. Rather than the splashy one-time present, many shoppers are opting for gifts that keep on giving, month after month.

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FiveStars Raises $50 Million To Personalize Offline Commerce For SMBs

fivestarsFiveStars, a company that provides loyalty programs for small businesses, has raised $50 million in funding to provide solutions personalize offline commerce. HarbourVest Partners, with participation from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Menlo Ventures and DCM Ventures, led the Series C round.

The funding will allow Five Stars to expand and connect more customers to businesses, earn more rewards and experience VIP treatment. It will also increase hiring in roles that include sales and engineering.

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Brightpearl Raises Additional $11 Million To Grow SMB Client Base

Brightpearl logoBrightpearl, which supplies a cloud-based inventory management and business platform to SMB retailers and wholesalers, has raised $11 million in its latest round of financing. This brings the company's funding total to $30.5 million. Brightpearl will use the cash, from Eden Ventures, MMC Ventures and Notion Capital, to accelerate the growth of its sales and marketing organization in the U.S., and to scale engineering, service and support teams to deliver value to its more than 1,400 customers in 30 countries.

The Brightpearl software provides an integrated solution combining accounting, inventory, purchasing, CRM, shipping/fulfillment, POS and other modules to help manage multiple aspects of a small to medium-sized retail business.

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How To Gain Customer Loyalty In Retail Banking: Customer Experience 2.0

1qulixFor the past several years the term ‘Customer loyalty’ has become a real trend in almost all spheres where business interacts with a customer: banking, retail, telecommunications, insurance, etc.

Every business understands that the more new customers attracted and old ones retained, the higher is the ARPU (Average Revenue Per User). The rush began with the world's largest banks in the U.S. and Europe and increasingly spread across the globe. Banks’ management was heavily investing the field, while thinking whether this initiative is worth the money spent.

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Priceline.com Taps Data Solution To Optimize Recent Acquisitions

Heavy competition has prompted considerable consolidation in the travel industry, and Priceline.com is no exception. Over the past two years parent company The Priceline Group has acquired five companies, including Booking.com, KAYAK, agoda.com, rentalcars.com and the restaurant reservations site OpenTable. The company operates on a global scale, serving customers with online and mobile booking services in more than 200 countries.

Priceline's acquisition spree has contributed to increases not only in data volumes but in the sources, types and overall complexity of data that the company's internal analysts and business users need to deal with. In other words, it's a classic example of the challenges of Big Data.

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Slyce Launches Snap-To-Coupon Platform For Mobile Devices

Visual search solution provider Slyce has introduced Snap-to-Coupon technology, which is designed to enable consumers to snap a photo of any coupon and generate a mobile-optimized version of it, which can be stored on the retailer’s app. The solution is compatible with coupons from newspapers, catalogs and receipts.

Retailers can use push notifications to remind consumers to use the scanned coupon. These reminders can be automatically triggered based on parameters such as pending coupon expiration dates or when a consumer is near a physical store.

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Creating That Magic Moment Through Customer Experience

1David-Trice EngagecxDo you feel special when a company where you’ve just shopped sends you a personalized email, thanking you for your business? Probably? Maybe? Do you feel special when you get the same sort of email from every company where you’ve done business? Doubtful. It’s more likely that you’ve figured out that sending out “personalized” emails is now an automated process every company out there is doing.

This is the trap in which many companies today find themselves — trying to look like they have personal relationships with customers without truly getting to know them. And, while the intent is well meaning, the execution falls flat. Most of the time, customers can see right through it.

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'Tis The Season To Tailor Marketing Campaigns To Mobile-Empowered Shoppers

Ramsey Masri OtherLevelsHoliday shoppers are frequently creatures of habit, but as retailers and marketers know, shoppers' habits are changing.

This holiday season, retail marketers are faced with the challenging task of building bridges between customers' traditional holiday expectations (sales, discounts, holiday promotions) and the new realities of the mobile marketplace (smartphone browsing, easy-to-use shopping apps, mobile rewards programs, online offers, tantalizing text messages and more).

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How To Reward Engagement: Practical Tactical Options

1Kate Hogenson KobieThere’s a lot of buzz among loyalty marketers about recognizing the value of a customer’s engagement with the brand as well as their purchases, and doing so with hard value discounts or cash back in return. That’s a very nice sentiment, but the buzz is surprisingly short on information about how to do it without losing your shirt or looking just plain silly.

How on earth can a loyalty marketer determine how many points to award for a non-purchase activity when those same points can then be used for discounted or free product?

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Backcountry's Gearheads Leverage Expertise And Enthusiasm To Build Customer Relationships

People who are passionate about their outdoor activities, whether they are skiers, cyclists, mountain climbers or off-roaders, like to trade stories with other aficionados. And when these enthusiasts are shopping for apparel and equipment, they seek out particular brands, but also advice from people they can trust — people who not only know the products inside and out, but also how the gear will fit into the customer's particular needs and style.

Pure-play outdoor retailer Backcountry has built its contact centers based on these facts, staffing them with enthusiastic outdoor adventurers called "Gearheads." The retailer arms these employees with both technology and extensive, ongoing training.

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C-Level Challenge: Turning One-Time Customers Into Loyal Customers

1Michael Ross DynamicActionRetail CEOs, CFOs and CMOs are more challenged than ever to answer the growing omnichannel demands of consumers while providing profitable growth for owners and shareholders. The issue often arises that with disjointed data and even more siloed organizations, the answers C-level retailers need are almost impossible to attain. They are often not asking the right questions to understand how their merchandising, marketing, operations and finance efforts should be performing and if they are truly winning the retail battle.  

Through my years in working with retailers, I’ve determined that there are a key set of questions that retailer executives must be prepared to answer, and should be regularly posing to their teams in order to stay profitable and survive. The first of those questions is related to customer profitability:

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Z Gallerie Selects Full Suite Of Cloud-Based Aptos Solutions

Z Gallerie exteriorFashion-forward home brand Z Gallerie will deploy a full suite of cloud-based retail solutions from Aptos (formerly Epicor Retail Solutions). The end-to-end omnichannel solution, delivered in a Software as a Service (SaaS) model, provides Z Gallerie with strong CRM and e-Commerce functionality combined with solid financial reporting capabilities.

Z Gallerie will leverage a complete solution set that includes Aptos Store (for point of sale); Aptos Merchandising, Planning and Resourcing; Aptos Retail Analytics and Sales Audit; Aptos CRM and Clienteling; Aptos Digital Commerce; and Aptos Enterprise Order Management. The suite will enable the retailer to better understand customers' wants, needs and buying behavior, as well improve customer engagement and allow the company to expand its digital commerce footprint.

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Mi9 Retail Acquires Raymark

Mi9-logoMi9 Retail has acquired Raymark Xpert Business Systems. The newly combined company will offer a broad suite of real-time enabled applications including merchandising, analytics, point of sale, omnichannel, clienteling and CRM, while continuing to support and develop all existing applications. Neither party disclosed a purchase price.

Based on the growth of its flagship solution that combines merchandising and business intelligence, Mi9 Retail has experienced strong growth over the past two years. Built on a common set of web technologies, retailers can deploy this solution in the cloud, on premises or as a service.

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Kohl's To Open New Store Formats As Part of Growth Strategy

1kohls store smallKohl's will add three new concepts to its store footprint in 2016. The department store retailer will open five to 10 smaller, more agile 35,000-square-foot stores in underserved markets as well as 10 to 15 FILA sports apparel stores in outlet malls. In addition, the retailer plans to open two more Off-Aisle by Kohl's off price locations in 2016, following a single-store pilot of the concept.

"We are in a strong position to explore new formats as an additional avenue for growth and diversification," said CEO and President Kevin Mansell, speaking at the WWD Apparel and Retail CEO Summit on Oct. 27.

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