Shopper Experience

Shopper Engagement delves into the latest trends and strategies retailers are using to cultivate long-term relationships with shoppers. Social media, mobile technology, in-store tablets and more are covered in this section. Subscribe to the feed and stay in touch with the latest retail happenings.

Whole Foods May Triple Current Store Count To 1,200

WholeFoodsNo one could accuse Whole Foods of being timid about its growth prospects. The supermarket chain foresees operating 1,200 stores in the U.S. by 2021, which would be nearly three times its current store count of 436. Projected growth of the retailer's 365 by Whole Foods Market concept stores could push the total even higher than the 1,200 mark.

Whole Foods' optimistic projections come at a time when traditional supermarkets are consolidating and non-grocery retailers are making a strong bid for the consumer's food dollar. In Supermarket News'2016 Top 75 listing of grocery's biggest players, four of the top 10 were non-traditional formats: two big-box discounters, Walmart and Target, and two drugstores, CVS Health and Walgreens.


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.


The ABCs Of Tech Teaming: Lessons From Sesame Street

The development and implementation of new technology is vital to the future of retail. With all of the choices available, knowing when to start and who to team up with can make all the difference. But is it is more effective to build an internal innovation lab, hire a strategic partner, or create an effective hybrid of the two?

For example, should a retail company pair up with an augmented reality company’s existing platform or help develop an AR system to deliver a show-stopping customer experience? Retail TouchPoints uncovered a few examples of partnerships that might help companies decide if and when, and with whom, to take the tech plunge. 


For MGM Resorts Casinos, Price Optimization Is A Sure Bet

For the vast majority of brick-and-mortar retailers, customer demographics shift gradually: the neighborhood gentrifies or goes downscale, or a competitor's closure drives more people to a particular location.

For the 150 different retail stores located within 15 MGM Resorts International hotel casino properties, however, the customer base can change radically from week to week or even day to day. That's one of the factors that makes pricing both a challenge and a major opportunity for these retailers.


Can Your Web Site Handle The Super Bowl Blitz?

1 SUPERBOWLYou spent the money. Your ad campaign is a lock; an untouchable winner. Pop the champagne corks now. But wait! Are you sure your web site can handle the traffic Super Bowl 50 will generate? With the potential for over 191 million viewers reacting to your ad, generating a possible 1000% increase in page views and billions of dollars at stake, even a successful Super Bowl ad campaign can still be thrown out of bounds by a less-than-immaculate web reception.

Even if you’re not one of the heavy hitters spending $5 million for a 30-second spot, a slow or buggy web experience can make your hall of fame marketing campaign a total dud.


Can Retailers Keep Pace With Millennial Consumers?

Retailers know they have to adapt marketing and advertising messages to target each new generation of shoppers. But the evolution of technology over the past 20 years has forced merchants to speed up their understanding of today's more technologically advanced Millennials.

The Millennial generation has grown up with the technology revolution and is now gaining more buying power, motivating retailers to tap into more content-based campaigns that are focused on a personalized customer experience.


Retailers Fail To Deliver On Consumer Shipping Preferences

1RR Temando ImageWhile retailers continually strive to deliver convenient shipping and fulfilment options to consumers, research indicates that there is still a disconnect between what they are providing and what consumers actually want.

For example, 77% of consumers have used or would like to use guaranteed weekend or after hours shipping, and 42% are willing to pay a premium for this shipping option. However, only 34% of all retailers offer this shipping option, according to the 2016 State of Shipping In Commerce report from Temando.


Can Macy's And Other Department Stores Win With These New Tactics?

Department stores may have lost momentum due to declined sales during the holiday season and an overall increase in e-Commerce activity, but that hasn’t slowed down their efforts to pursue growth in 2016. Retailers such as Macy’s are introducing new marketing strategies, including store-within-a-store concepts and pop-ups, to drive customers back into their stores.

As many as 85% of consumers prefer to shop at brick-and-mortar stores versus online, according to TimeTrade. But in order to grow with the ever-changing marketplace, department stores must update the in-store experience. 


Abandonment Issues? Solve Them With The Right Follow-Up Campaign

Nothin1cartimageg makes a retailer’s day better than a customer’s cart chock full of items. It’s perfect. It’s profitable. It’s…not happening. What’s the deal? For some inexplicable reason, the cart is left alone and the “Buy Now” button is never pushed. The conversion consummation has been put on hold by yet another shopper who can’t commit. Sure, you can send out a reminder email, but does that really bring a customer back? 

The results of Listrak’s fifth annual Shopping Cart Abandonment (SCA) Research Study reveal best practice recovery tactics used by Listrak's clients as well as the Internet Retailer Top 1000. See for yourself why retailers not using an SCA campaign are leaving millions of dollars on the table.


Timberland Tablets Blaze A Trail Connecting Physical And Digital Commerce

Timberland Tap Wall Herald Square 1.16.16There's a bit of the great outdoors in one of the most urban locations imaginable: the Timberland store in Manhattan's Herald Square, literally steps from the Empire State Building. The retailer is in the midst of a 90-day pilot there that provides visitors with technological "Sherpas" in the form of NFC-enabled tablets available at a kiosk/charging station. When shoppers use a tablet to tap tagged inventory, rich product information comes up on the screen.

"We're creating a blended physical/digital environment where we can show product and immerse customers in the Timberland brand, while gaining a better understanding of their preferences in-store, online and post-visit to help shape our retail strategy," explained Timberland's VP of Direct to Consumer Kate Kibler in an interview with Retail TouchPoints.


The Daily Deal Fad Is Dying Out Whilst Couponing Is Thriving: Here’s Why

1ImBullThe daily deal craze that once dominated our email inboxes has now begun its demise. According to figures released by Experian, sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial have experienced a 22.8% decline in recent years. As couponing continues to grow (it’s expected that in 2016, there will be around 127 million digital couponers in the U.S. alone), consumers are around six times more likely to use a coupon code than a daily deal voucher when making an online purchase.

But why have bargain hunters fallen out of love with daily deals and group buying? In theory, the concept of group buying sites is great for everyone involved: Create a high level of demand on a product or service by promoting them at extremely low prices for a limited time only (‘snap it up, while you still can!’). Businesses, particularly SMBs, receive a level of exposure and are guaranteed a certain number of sales by employing these sites to market them.


How To Forge Ahead In The New Year: Lessons Learned From #NRF16

Positive vibes reverberated throughout the vast exhibit halls and session spaces during #NRF16. Retailers, solution providers and industry analysts all seem ready for an exciting, disruptive and innovative year.

The six members of the Retail TouchPoints editorial staff also felt this vibe. Here are the key themes, lessons learned and Quick Tips from our insiders' perspectives:


SATO, Intel Combine IoT Solutions With Big Data Analytics

1satointelSATO Global Solutions (SGS) is collaborating with Intel to provide a data-driven, end-to-end IoT solution designed to improve inventory accuracy.

According to McKinsey, IoT innovations in store layout, automated checkouts, and inventory management are expected to impact retail by up to $1.2 trillion worldwide by 2025, as a result of transforming business processes and enabling new business models.


Sports Experts Implements Interactive Shoe Wall

Sports Experts, the largest sporting goods retailer in the province of Quebec, has partnered with Orckestra to unveil an omnichannel commerce platform built for an immersive digital in-store experience.

By using RFID technology, the Shoe Wall allows customers to explore product details and offers the autonomy of online shopping with real-time access to information such as in-store availability, without having to locate a store associate. As customers browse the selection of shoes on display, they’re encouraged to place any of them on one of the scanners. That monitor will switch to a product view providing detailed product specs (size, color, variants etc.). Customers can then choose self-checkout with pay and go, or ship-from-store options. 1ORCKESTRASHOEWALL

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