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Omnichannel / Cross-Channel Strategies

Cross-Channel Strategies offers readers an inside look at the successful cross-channel promotions, campaigns and programs employed by industry leaders. Retailers across industry segments and regions are adopting unique and innovative approaches to reaching today’s cross-channel consumers. Subscribe to the feed and stay in touch with the latest retail happenings.

European On-Demand Grocery Platform Expands to U.S.

Online grocery shoppingFinland-based Digital Foodie, an on-demand grocery platform encompassing the user experience as well as digital commerce, order management and fulfillment, has received a strategic investment from Enterworks that will fuel its expansion into the U.S. The combined company is focused on all aspects of the grocery supply chain, including serving CPG and manufacturing companies with a food-focused Product Information Management (PIM) solution.

The Digital Foodie solution, which has been deployed in more than 1,100 stores in Europe, will allow U.S. grocery retailers to more easily move into e-Commerce while still maintaining their brand and loyalty relationships with shoppers.

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Mobile Site Acceleration Boosts Conversions 23% At American Giant

Everyone talks about business agility, but American Giant has actually put it into practice — with impressive results. When the online apparel retailer shaved an average of five seconds off of its mobile site's speed, conversions increased 23%.

"Anything you can do to improve site speed will bring benefits," said Jennifer Patchen, Director of Site Operations for the San Francisco-based retailer. Reducing the desktop e-Commerce site's speed by just a single second boosted conversions there as well, by a smaller (though still measurable) percentage.

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Starmount Partnership Powers Omnichannel Payments

Starmount logoA new partnership between Starmount and Aurus offers retailers the ability to implement payment solutions that are capable of processing both in-store and e-Commerce transactions.

Retailers will be able to incorporate payment-as-a-service with their Starmount POS solutions, including Starmount Engage mobile POS, managing consumers' payment processes separately from their POS transaction data.

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5 Brand Activation Tips For Retailers To Cross The Digital-Experiential Divide

1Luis Camano GrupoGallegosIn order to drive consumer actions in the moment, it is essential that brands pay attention to where consumers have been on their journey and where they’re going next, be it online or to the mall, and find creative ways to engage.

To quote Amanda Hansen’s article in Ad Age: “Brand activation that resonates with customers and achieves results calls for strategic planning that starts with ‘why.’ Why will your target audiences care? Why would they engage? Then focus on the how.”

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10 Best Practices To Build A Successful Marketplace

1Adrien Nussenbaum MiraklRecently, Best Buy USA abruptly announced that it was closing its marketplace after five years of operation. This decision comes amid exceptional growth in marketplaces around the world: they now account for 37% of overall online transactions.

Successfully launching and operating a marketplace cannot be achieved without planning, strong strategic vision, and commitment. Below are ten best practices you should absolutely consider when launching a marketplace.

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PetFlow Online Redesign Focuses On Relationship-Building With 'Pet Parents'

PetFlow, a retailer of specialty pet food and supplies, has revamped its e-Commerce store as part of an overall push to build a loyal consumer base. The retailer's tough challenge involves creating an online destination that is not only equal to, but better than, the face-to-face relationships that customers can have when they shop at their local pet store or chain.

To that end, the newly designed PetFlow site includes:

  • A live chat option with personalized advice for pet owners;
  • A Quick Food Finder that enables dog and cat owners to search for their preferred brand of food on the spot; and
  • An introduction to the retailer's Good Deeds charitable initiative, which makes food donations to pets in need tied to customers' purchases.
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Survey: 43% Of Retailers Don't Track Mobile Fraud

Mobile-Commerce-FraudEven though mobile fraud rates rose 81% from 2011 to 2015, many retailers remain alarmingly complacent about the problem. In fact, 43% of surveyed merchants simply don't know the share of total fraud coming from their mobile channels, according to the fourth annual 2016 Mobile Payments & Fraud Survey. Nearly as many (38.5%) say their biggest challenge in managing mobile fraud risks is determining whether or not they have a mobile fraud problem to begin with. (Hint: they probably do.)

"Despite awareness that the mobile channel poses a greater risk than standard e-Commerce, businesses are taking a blanketed approach to their security strategies," said Don Bush, VP of Marketing at Kount, which conducted the survey along with CardNotPresent.com and The Fraud Practice, LLC. More than 1,500 payments and fraud professionals representing a variety of organizations within the payments ecosystem were surveyed between November 2015 and March 2016.

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Nordstrom Job Cuts Reaffirm Need To Go Digital, But Keep Focus On Brand Experience

While Nordstrom appeared to elude the department store blues prior to 2016, the luxury fashion retailer isn't out of the woods yet. As part of an initiative to cut $60 million from its 2016 budget, Nordstrom expects to eliminate between 350 and 400 jobs in Q2.

Job cuts at retail headquarters this year have become more of the norm in recent months, with Sears, Walmart, Hudson’s Bay and Macy’s all canning corporate employees.

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Audio Brand Harmonizes Digital Experience Worldwide With SaaS Platform

Until fairly recently, Harman International suffered from something of an identity crisis. If consumers knew the name at all, they associated it with high-end audio brands such as Harman Kardon and JBL. Yet the $7 billion company also is a leader in automotive technology, including GPS and navigation systems, as well as professional audio systems and even the ultra-hot Internet of Things (IoT) category.

Delivering a unified message about Harman — not to mention supporting cross-channel sales for a wide range of products— was a significant challenge not only because of the company's low profile, but also the scattered state of its digital presentation and supporting infrastructure. In 2014, Harman was operating 13 different e-Commerce systems, including separate platforms for seven global operating areas.

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Sometimes You Just Need a Little “Push”

1VP ShoffstallMarketers and retailers are under nearly constant pressure to cut through the noise of every other retailer trying to sell their product to the right customer, at the right place, at the right time. But how do you know what will make a customer click “buy”? When is the best time to catch them?

According to a recent report from Onestop Internet, 25% of consumers said receiving relevant push notifications on their smartphones "always" makes them more likely to complete a purchase, and an additional 49% of respondents answered "sometimes."

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TouchCommerce Rolls Out SMS Messaging

1SS TouchSMS ImageTouchCommerce has released TouchSMS, a solution leveraging native text messaging (SMS) capabilities to engage consumers in a personalized, two-way brand interaction with a live retail representative.

With TouchSMS, enterprises have the opportunity to offer customers a way to hold time- and location-sensitive conversations with the brand using two-way text messaging. Additionally, the solution enables brands to add personalized engagement options for consumers who may have a slow or limited Internet connection, for example at airports and convention centers or while traveling abroad.

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Rock/Creek Unites Digital And Store-Based Customer Tracking

Rock/Creek has a lot to gain from learning about its customers — particularly their plans for outdoor adventures. The retailer's most valuable shoppers are those who are about to "graduate"— set off on a backpacking trip across Europe, hike the length of the Pacific Coast Trail or scale the heights of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Knowing exactly when these trekkers are prepping to leave allows Rock/Creek to supply them with everything they need to enjoy the trip (and hopefully survive to return and buy more products). The total "spend" from these customers easily can reach $5,000 to $6,000 per adventure, including items like specially designed shoes, GPS-enabled watches and emergency communicators.

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Communities Influence The Next Wave Of Customer Engagement Strategies

As more retailers adopt content marketing strategies to differentiate themselves from the pack, they must not lose sight of the goal to connect with their consumer base — particularly those shoppers who already are "fans" of the brand. In fact, embracing the concept of “quality over quantity” can build strong communities, which can promote the brand even further.

Focusing on these top consumers — as opposed to taking time to concentrate on casual shoppers — enables retailers to gain a greater understanding of their highest spenders and, in turn, boost engagement. In building these robust relationships, retailers can create relatable content marketing programs that influence shoppers beyond their current community, and deliver a strong ROI.

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