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.

Experiential Retail: The Act And Art Of Millennial Shopping

“To the best ladies’ night ever! Thanks MatchesFashion!” The six women raised their champagne flutes on the garden rooftop and took a quick selfie, before proceeding into the SoHo loft in NYC to shop for $3,000 Chloe dresses and get their hands on the season’s hottest Aquazzura pon pon sandals. The line defining their shopping excursion versus their social outing had completely blurred, but what was evident was they were having a memorable (and brag-worthy) experience at the exclusive MatchesFashion Residency. It is a concept brands have been attempting to get right with sports and entertainment marketing for years: becoming completely entwined in a consumer’s experience and elevating the impression of their brand, and customer spending, in the process. But in the past, that touchpoint occurred in the front row at Madison Square Garden or courtside at the AT&T Center. In order to attract and create loyalty with millennial shoppers,…

Gen Z Remains Price Conscious And Seeks Experiential Retail Featured

  • Published in Trend Watch
Retailers aiming to capture a younger audience must understand four major characteristics of the Gen Z shopper: they are very price-conscious, they prefer experiences over material items, they’re not brand loyal and they prefer paying with cash to credit and debit cards. With Gen Z currently making up 25% of the total U.S. population and representing $44 billion in buying power, brands need to move quickly in order to align their business models to this demographic.

Nike Is #1 Brand Addressing Consumer Social Behavior

  • Published in News Briefs
When it comes to understanding consumers’ social habits, Nike leads all other brands, according to a study from Vivaldi. Levi’s and Under Armour also made the top 10 list in the apparel segment; and other top brands hail from food service, travel and automotive industries. The 2016 Social Currency study…

5 Digital Transformation Tips From The Experts

The vibe at the 2016 eTail East show last week in Boston was invigorating. Each speaker was proud and enthusiastic about telling their own digital transformation story. Here are five top tips from execs at the conference, including: Rose Hamilton, Chief Digital Officer, Vitamin Shoppe Nick Taranto, Co-Founder and CEO, Plated Wayne Duan, Director of Digital Commerce, Walgreens Thoryn Stephens, Chief Digital Officer, American Apparel Sandep Varma, VP, Enterprise CRM, Loyalty and Analytics, 1-800-FLOWERS

Wayfair Boosts Click-Throughs And Traffic With Optimized Search Ads Featured

Online retailers want lots of people to click through the ads they place on search engines, but what they really need is lots of the right people to click on their ads. The "right" people are those who actually are interested in the e-Tailer's products, and who could be motivated to complete a purchase. Furniture retailer Wayfair has worked with the Yahoo Gemini platform to optimize its search ads since May 2015, and has achieved strong results both in generating clicks and attracting good prospects. Wayfair's click-through rate (CTR) is 240% higher than the retail industry benchmark, and the overall quality of those clicking also has been high.

Apple Stores Renovate, Rebrand And Rename Employee Positions

  • Published in News Briefs
Rarely one to stay in the same place before trying out a new concept, Apple is making some tweaks to its brick-and-mortar retail business. The tech giant will be implementing three new retail positions within U.S. and UK stores, according to a report from MacRumors, including: Pro, a sales position…

Hyper-Personalize Campaigns Using Analytics: Four Ways to Increase Customer Spending

When it comes to marketing, long gone are the days of a business sending out a homogeneous message and hoping it “stuck,” that is, resonated enough with the customer to result in increased sales. Thankfully, that finger-crossing is over. In the context of today’s digital revolution, reaching out to customers takes a whole new form. Reasons for this are two-fold: technology now allows businesses of all types to find out a whole lot more about their customers before a marketing strategy is even formed: they can learn a customer’s browsing history, past purchases, social media habits, a general idea of their preferences, and more. The second aspect of today’s form of marketing is based on the first: using all of the valuable data collected from the customer to formulate marketing campaigns that are highly personalized based on their increasingly specific preferences. This is hyper-personalization — the newest wave in digital…

TouchCommerce TouchAssist Virtual Assistant Leverages Natural Language Technology

TouchCommerce has launched TouchAssist, a customer engagement solution designed to enable brands to offer intelligent automated conversations via a “smart” virtual assistant. TouchAssist leverages Natural Language Understanding (NLU) technology from Nuance Communications, which acquired TouchCommerce for $215 million in July 2016. Using TouchAssist, brands and consumers can have conversational, text-based interactions through a blend of automated and live assistance tools, intertwined within a single web or mobile web interface. With the new offering, consumers can escalate from virtual assistant to live agent while maintaining the context of the conversation.

Department Store Drama Dominates Q2; Are More Store Closings In The Cards? Featured

A disappointing Q1 for department stores kept all eyes on a select few retailers throughout Q2. Although the major department stores managed to improve their financial results over Q1, these retailers still have plenty of internal fixes to implement in order to successfully complete any turnaround effort — including facing the reality that store closings may be a necessity. In the latest example of the hits these brands are still taking, Macy’s announced it would close 100 stores by 2017 — approximately 15% of its brick-and-mortar arsenal — as the company’s net sales decreased 3.9% and comparable store sales dipped 2%. This is the second year in a row Macy’s is closing a significant number of stores, and it follows the January 2016 announcement that the iconic brand would be implementing a $400 million cost-cutting plan.

Everlast Site Search Bumps Up E-Commerce Conversion Rates From 0.15% To 1.5% Featured

Everlast Worldwide Inc., a manufacturer, distributor and wholesaler of boxing and fitness equipment, increased e-Commerce conversion rates from 0.15% to more than 1.5% since implementing site search capabilities from SLI Systems in 2014. A big part of the motivation for improving site search functionality came when the brand noted that only 1% of site traffic was using the search functionality delivered through its previous e-Commerce site experience. Everlast sought ways to optimize site search in order to improve e-Commerce merchandising capabilities and promote products effectively, according to Mike Ebert, E-Commerce Director of Everlast Worldwide.

Urban Outfitters, Tilly’s and Follett Create Chief Digital Officer Positions

Overhauls at the C-level are becoming common occurrences within retail, with CEOs alone turning over at a 60% higher pace than last year. It's another indication that many of the old tricks to running a brand simply don’t hold up the way they used to. Brands now have to create newer digital-driven positions at the C-Level based on optimizing today’s customer experiences. Three retailers — Urban Outfitters, Tilly’s and Follett — have recently taken that step by creating the new position of Chief Digital Officer (CDO). To fill the new roles:

New Index Taps Promotions Data From 500 U.S. Retailers

  • Published in News Briefs
RetailMeNot has launched its Promotions Index, which aggregates average promotions data from the top 500 U.S. retailers across 19 retail categories. The Index also will report on the level of consumer engagement with retail promotions. There's a strong need for such data, according to a survey of 110 retail marketers…

The Secret Sauce Behind Pop-Up Store Popularity Featured

While pop-up stores have been a growing avenue for retailers seeking to build an alternative brick-and-mortar presence, the changes in consumer behavior have taken these shop concepts from a niche strategy to a go-to brand builder. As the struggles of department store retailers and traditional brands in 2016 have revealed, holding a stable brick-and-mortar presence across hundreds of high-square-footage stores is difficult. With the top-25 retailers (excluding Amazon) losing 0.9% of market share since 2010, small- and mid-level players have more of an edge when it comes to being nimble and creative with their store environments.

Search Engines Remain Powerful 'Funnels', Even Against Amazon Featured

  • Published in E-Commerce
While Amazon continues to be at the forefront of e-Commerce sales, online brands shouldn’t give up their quest to gain visibility among consumers, especially when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). Even though 38% of consumers report starting their shopping journey on Amazon, 35% of them choose to begin their purchase journey through a search engine. Upon starting on a search engine, 52% click through to Google Shopping results, according to PowerReviews. PowerReviews conducted a survey of more than 1,000 American consumers to better understand the path they take when making a purchase.
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