Target, REI, H&M Take On The Holidays In Unique Fashion

Will the recent terror attacks in Paris have a dampening effect on holiday sales? What other factors will impact holiday shopping in 2015? Retail TouchPoints has been following all the news and predictions around what to expect this year, and in this article you'll find a comprehensive collection of predictions, implementations and strategies.

Most forecasters continue to predict that the 2015 season will be a robust one for retailers. Lower gas prices are putting more dollars in consumers' pockets, and rising confidence is making shoppers more willing to take that money out of those same pockets.


Toshiba Integrates With SAS To Strengthen Retail Loyalty

ToshibaSASToshiba Global Commerce Solutions has signed an agreement with SAS that enables the two companies to integrate retail promotions and loyalty systems with business analytics processes. The agreement is the first original equipment manufacturer (OEM) agreement for SAS.

Under the agreement, Toshiba can embed SAS advanced analytics products, such as SAS Visual Analytics and SAS Visual Statistics, into its loyalty management systems, allowing retailers to uncover insights that help them recognize and react to trends through real-time data visualization.


Retail Planning 101: Go With The (Cash) Flow

VP SAS head shotRetail is a cash flow business. Buy merchandise on one side, sell it at a profit on the other. Some retailers make money with higher margins — think jewelry or furniture where the volume is low and the dollar value is higher. Others make money by turning the inventory more often — for example, grocery and mass merchandise where the volume is high and the dollar value is lower.

An important metric retailers consider is the cash conversion cycle. It expresses how quickly a retailer can convert its merchandise into cash. The shorter the cycle, the less time capital is tied up, which is better for a company's bottom line.


Cybersecurity Is Not Just For Payments

VP SAS head shotOver the last year, payment card security — or actually, the lack of payment card security — has been one of the top discussions among retailers and consumers. New payment technologies are coming forward such as Apple Pay and Point-to-Point encryption, but will those new payment technologies do the trick?

A recent study by ACI Worldwide and Aite Group titled, Global Consumers: Concerned And Willing To Engage In The Battle Against Fraud,  found retailers have little consumer trust when it comes to data security. Only 55% of survey respondents said they think the stores they frequent deploy security systems to prevent data breaches. And nearly one third of respondents (29%) said they don’t trust retailers to protect their personal and financial data from criminals.


27% Of Holiday Shoppers Will Visit Retail Stores On Thanksgiving Day

Brick-and-mortar stores such as Walmart, Kmart, Target, Best Buy and Sears are opening their doors to the public on Thanksgiving Day, and consumers appear to be taking advantage of this recent trend. More than one fourth (27%) of people shopping during Thanksgiving weekend say they will shop at stores open on Thanksgiving Day, according to the SAS Holiday Shopping Styles Report.

The survey of more than 2,000 holiday consumers revealed that 40% of respondents will shop at retail locations on Black Friday, with an additional 14% still on the fence. The number increases for online purchases, with almost half (49%) of consumers saying they will shop online on Black Friday and 53% planning to shop online on Cyber Monday. In total, 57% say their primary shopping will take place in the store, while 42% will make the majority of their purchases online.


Only 16% Of Organizations Say They Have Highly Effective Loyalty Programs

Customer loyaltyOnly 16% of businesses believe they have a highly effective loyalty program, according to a recent survey conducted by the International Institute for Analytics (IIA) and commissioned by SAS.

More than half (56%) of respondents said they use a customer retention rate metric to measure loyalty program success, while 27% calculate customer lifetime value. Only 54% of organizations said they could calculate the revenue impact of their customer loyalty programs.


DSW Uses Size Optimization To Help Merchandise New Store Mixture

DSW8With 400 stores and growing, DSW is constantly challenged with providing the right selection of shoes for every shopper. Adding a series of smaller format stores to the mix has heightened the challenge.

“These [smaller format] stores are 8,000 to 12,000 square feet so the precision of the assortment has to be right,” said Linda Canada, SVP of Planning and Allocation of the shoe retailer. A typical DSW store is approximately 20,000 square feet, she explained.


3 Building Blocks Of Optimized Price & Promotion Strategies

Shadow_SAS_Ebook_PricingAs many as 76% of retailers are continuing to increase the number of pricing changes sent to stores. To deliver effective pricing and promotion strategies, retailers need to access the abilities of Visual Analytics.

This E-book, titled: 3 Building Blocks Of Optimized Price & Promotion Strategies, will help retailers more effectively collect and analyze customer data in order to execute better pricing and promotional programs.


The Art Of Knowing The Customer

SAS_E-Book_drop_shadow_250pxBrooks Brothers reduced inventory by 27% and Macy’s has saved $500,000 in labor costs. Those are just two examples of retailers using high performance customer intelligence and analytics in order to drive superior business performance.

This E-book offers 8 ways retailers can get to know their customers better, while creating business efficiencies. Customer case studies illustrate best strategies from 1800FLOWERS, Family Dollar, Sobey’s and more.

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