Inventory / Merchandising / Supply Chain

Supply chain challenges are mounting for many retailers, especially those operating in multiple regions of the country and abroad. Consumers expect to be able to order and purchase products via any channel, then have them delivered to their channel of choice – and quickly! New technologies are providing the ways and means for merchants to deliver on the promise of omnichannel excellence. Now retailers must find the best ways to implement new solutions to stay competitive.

Nordstrom Focuses On Mobile App, New Leadership Team To Engage Shoppers

In this exclusive interview with Shea Jensen, Vice President of Customer Experience at Nordstrom, Retail TouchPoints delves into the brand’s new mobile and digital initiatives. Acknowledging that Nordstrom shoppers are looking for a better digital experience, the department store retailer has implemented a number of updates to the branded app. “We’re continually looking at ways that technology can support evolving how we serve our customers, who increasingly want a digital shopping experience,” said Jensen.

Two Tap Service Connects U.S. Retailers With Global Consumers

Two Tap has launched Two Tap Crossborder, an automated service designed to enable U.S. retailers to sell products to foreign shoppers more easily. With Two Tap Crossborder, retailers can start selling their products inside any international app or online marketplace. The service is designed to automate the entire purchase process, encompassing inventory management, shipping and customer support processes. International customers can shop on a web site or app using a Buy Button that has Two Tap Crossborder enabled. Customers can see a fully landed cost for their cart, pay in a local currency and have the product delivered to their local address.

BCBG Boosts Online Conversions 6% With Data-Rich Personalization

BCBG Max Azria is an old hand at personalization in the physical world, where it has been crafting strong relationships with customers for nearly three decades. In the e-Commerce world BCBG is more of a novice, but the retailer is discovering the nuances and granularity that are possible with the next generation of personalization tools. The brand already is achieving some significant results. Since going live in May 2016 with a data-driven customer experience platform from Qubit, BCBG has seen:

Why Is Zara Sprinting Away From The Competition?

Inditex, the Spanish multinational apparel company best known for its Zara fast fashion brand, has caught the eye of consumers, fellow retailers and industry thought leaders alike. In the first six months of 2016, the retailer experienced: An 11% increase in same-store sales; A total revenue jump of 16%; and An 8% boost in net income. But perhaps what is most intriguing about the retailer’s continued success is the uncertainty regarding exactly which channel is driving its revenue. A recent RetailWire article highlighted the point that Inditex does not differentiate sales registered online from those in its physical stores. So even though the e-Commerce site is gaining substantial credit for Zara’s positive financial status, no one can be sure about the effect each channel specifically contributes to the brand.

Machine Learning And Artificial Intelligence: Creating A Retail Innovation Boom

Artificial intelligence (AI), boosted by machine learning, is feeding off the massive data available across the retail industry to transform everything from manufacturing to marketing. Amazon uses AI to make product recommendations, Netflix’s AI knows what you’ll want to binge and The North Face uses IBM’s Watson AI system to power natural language recommendations. According to recent report from research firm Markets and Markets, the artificial intelligence market is expected to grow to $5.05 Billion by 2020, as a result of the adoption of AI in the media and advertising, retail, finance and health care sectors. And while AI is not new, these gains are being powered by the exponential growth of low cost computer processing power and new approaches to ‘teaching’ computers how to make decisions. AI, and associated machine learning, is feeding off big data to deliver cloud-based capabilities that are transforming the retail industry.

Make A List, And Check It Twice This Holiday Shipping Season

  The 2015 shipping season was the biggest ever, with 524 million packages delivered by the United States Postal Service (USPS) alone, according to USPS. The upcoming 2016 holiday season is expected to again set new records. While the increased volumes are great news for retailers in terms of sales, it can be a challenge to get those massive amounts of orders to customers when and where they want them.

Retailers Look To Innovation To Gain A Competitive Edge

Traditional brick-and-mortar retailers still dominate the retail space, but online sales are increasing as a percentage of retail sales around the world. Consumers’ preference for e-Commerce purchasing has been trending steadily upward for well over a decade and shows no signs of slowing down. In the U.S., e-Commerce sales currently represent approximately 7.8% of retail spend. A study by the Centre for Retail Research found that the online share of retail trade was 15.2% in the UK and 9.4% overall for Europe last year. In China, the National Bureau of Statistics reported that online retail sales made up 12.1% of total retail sales in 2015.

Fostering Profitability During Promotion-Filled Holidays

The impending holidays signal a host of seasonal staples, among them retail promotions and sweet desserts. While these might not initially seem related, they actually share many commonalities. Just like sugary treats, retail promotions are hard to resist, habit forming and indulgent. If used correctly and in moderation, both have the potential to bring happiness this holiday season — for retailers and consumers alike. However, to ensure both parties reap the benefits of retail promotions, brands must employ technology to ensure they avoid common promotion pitfalls. A constant stream of retail price promotions is becoming the new norm — and this proves especially true during the holiday season. Along with planned promotional activity, sales and high-profile competitor deals seem to light the promotional fire. With this newly adopted “hyper-promotional” activity, as Retail Systems Research defines it, retailers need to understand the role technology plays, to avoid the hidden cost of retail promotions and ensure they’re maximizing profitability while providing a satisfying deal for the consumer.

39 Million U.S. Consumers May Be Shopping Globally

E-Commerce has the ability to bring the world's products to your doorstep, and more than three quarters (77%) of U.S. consumers have either bought across borders or are ready to do so. A new consumer survey reports that 42% already have purchased products from non-U.S. digital retailers, and another 35% are open to the idea. As many as 39% of shoppers who already have shopped globally had completed purchases during the week prior to participating in the survey. The survey, conducted by IPSOS for Bronto Software, reveals major opportunities for global e-Commerce retailers in the U.S. market. Titled, Where We Buy: Consumer Attitudes On Global Commerce, the report confirms that domestic merchants are now competing in a truly global marketplace.

Unbxd Updates E-Commerce Site Search Platform

Product discovery solution Unbxd has launched an update to its Site Search platform, which uses machine learning to assist shoppers as they find products on e-Commerce sites. The Unbxd solution is designed to provide shoppers with a differentiated search experience on mobile, optimizing for multiple factors including diversity and freshness of search results, intelligent visual type-ahead and dynamic mobile filters.

Accenture To Acquire Kurt Salmon

Accenture has agreed to acquire global strategy consulting firm Kurt Salmon. Through the acquisition, Accenture will be able to expand its strategic capabilities in order to deliver end-to-end consulting services to top retailers and private equity firms.

Turkish Retailer Expands Omnichannel Capabilities

  • Published in News Briefs
Turkish apparel retailer DeFacto has built a significant physical footprint, with 357 stores in Turkey along with 60 locations in 12 other countries across the EMEA region. Now the brand is stepping up its omnichannel capabilities with the deployment of an order management system from OrderDynamics. DeFacto already is a de…
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