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.

JCPenney CEO: 'It All Happens In The Store'

Marvin Ellison JCPenneyAfter officially stepping into the challenging role of JCPenney CEO in August 2015, Marvin Ellison is poised to bring success and renewal to the iconic retail brand. Ellison previously spent 12 years at Home Depot and 15 years at Target. He accepted the JCPenney position one year ago, in October 2014, following a tumultuous few years at the company.

Ellison has a big hill to climb at JCPenney. In 2011, former Apple executive Ron Johnson took over and initiated a failed attempt to completely transform the company's brand image, then Mike Ullman returned to the company to try to turn the tide. Ullman is now serving as the Executive Chairman of the Board for one year.


Touch Of Modern Creates Curated Shopping Destination For Men

The behaviors and preferences of the male shopper has changed exponentially over the past decade. Once stereotyped as of someone who loathed shopping, the modern man now covets immersive brand experiences and unique products that align with their individual lifestyles.

The rapid growth of Touch of Modern, an online pureplay retailer focusing on engaging and selling to the new male shopper, verifies this shift.


Brick-And-Mortar Retailers Experience 4.7% Uptick In August Sales

BackToSchool BlogEven as shoppers had pledged to curb their back-to-school spending in 2015, this year’s back-to-school shopping season turned out to be a positive one for retailers after all. In August 2015, retailers experienced a 4.7% year-over-year increase in in-store sales, according to research from ShopperTrak.

While shoppers were making fewer visits to stores, with these trips decreasing 2.7% during August, they concentrated their buying, leaving stores with more supplies in hand. Conversion rates increased 1.2% from 2014, while individual transaction sizes grew 2.4% during the same period.


Amazon Launches Flex For On-Demand Delivery

Amazon is officially competing against delivery services such as Postmates and Instacart with the launch of Flex, an on-demand delivery service using everyday drivers to deliver packages.

As part of the rollout, Amazon is advertising that crowdsourced workers can make $18 to $25 per hour by delivering packages using their own vehicle. These couriers can use the Amazon Flex mobile app to help route their deliveries.


Thought Leaders Unveil Top Strategies Through #RSPS15 Web Series

As the holidays get closer, retailers know they must execute their plans flawlessly throughout all channels if they hope to reach their internal goals and meet high customer expectations.

To gain insights on how to optimize planning and execution going forward, more than 1,100 registrants attended the Retail TouchPoints Retail Strategy & Planning Series from Sept. 21-25, 2015. #RSPS15 included nine webinars that shared tactical tips, insights, metrics and trend data necessary for retailers as they build out their strategies for 2016.


80% Of Consumers Are Willing To Share Basic Info For Better Experiences

AR Aimia ImageRetailers and brands looking to learn more about their customers are in luck: More than 80% of consumers are willing to share their name, email address and nationality with companies, according to research from Aimia. More than 70% also are willing to share their date of birth, hobbies and occupation with brands.

When it comes to customer loyalty, consumers increasingly understand that sharing more data leads to more relevant rewards and experiences. Even as data breaches have become more commonplace in the retail industry, younger consumers are still confident about sharing their personal data with brands, especially as compared to their elders. In the U.S., 62% of Millennials and Generation Z consumers are willing to share this information, significantly higher than the 41% rate among Baby Boomers.


Shipping Remains A Top Concern For Consumers As The Holidays Near

1holidayshippingWith the holiday season right around the corner, retailers are ramping up their efforts to give consumers the best experience across all channels. After all, as consumers become more digitally savvy and connected, they have come to demand more out of their shopping experiences.

“People have learned over the last 20 years how e-Commerce works,” noted Christoph Stehmann, Chief Operating Officer of Digital Commerce for Pitney Bowes. “They’ve gotten used to all of the options that have been presented to them, and they want them all. Now people want to be able to access the same retailer web sites on their mobile device, desktop, tablet or whatever else they have. When it comes to shipping they also want all of the options that exist out there.”


Kohl’s Unveils Same-Day Delivery Pilot As Part Of Omnichannel Ramp-Up

1kohls 4Kohl’s has introduced a series of new digital enhancements and delivery models as part of its “Greatness Agenda,” a strategy designed to bolster the company’s omnichannel focus.

Currently, Kohl’s is testing same-day delivery for online purchases in Chicago and San Francisco markets. Customers in the participating pilot areas can place orders on via their smartphones or tablets, and then select the same-day delivery option to have the item delivered to their address later that day.


Merz Apothecary Succeeds With Curated Goods, New Tech

Small businesses have to build out a unique offering if they want to stand out among their retail peers. While reaching out to consumers through all channels is certainly a step in the right direction, building an exclusive product line and creating a unique selling environment can have a greater impact in the long run.

Merz Apothecary is an example of a retailer that not only has implemented this concept effectively, but has adapted to the constant evolution of the retail industry. The health and body care products retailer, which has been open for business since 1875, operates two store locations, an e-Commerce site, a mobile-optimized site and a catalog. Additionally, the company has served as an Amazon retail merchant partner since 2004.


Harnessing Changing Shopper Behaviors To Improve Retail Results

AVP ShopperTrak headshotOne of the inherent benefits of technology is speed. From business processes to our personal daily routines, the world operates in a blur. Inventory is shipped to stores in hours, products are ordered in minutes via mobile and items are delivered directly to shoppers’ doorsteps.

As a result of such immediacy, a new consumer has emerged. Many click their way to purchases, with Forrester reporting that $300 billion of annual retail revenue is generated by e-Commerce. And yet, brick-and-mortar stores are where the bulk of buying still takes place. According to Forrester, more than 90% of the $3.2 trillion in annual retail revenue comes from physical stores.


Wayfair Brands Partner With LOFT To Deliver 3D E-Commerce Experience

Furniture e-Commerce retailer Wayfair has partnered with LOFT, developer of the roOomy virtual staging application, to provide high-resolution image renderings based on 3D models for products available on DwellStudio and Birch Lane.

If a customer visits the DwellStudio or Birch Lane web sites to purchase a sofa, roOomy’s technology can transform 2D images into 3D models, enabling the customer to see that sofa in all available combinations of textures and fabrics within their living space. The roOomy visualization tools are designed to help consumers make important home decor decisions and drive conversions and cost-savings for retailers.


Target Partners With Instacart To Enter Grocery Delivery Market

Less than a week after news broke of Google testing a new grocery delivery service in two U.S. cities, Target has joined the fray.

As part of a new partnership with on-demand grocery service Instacart, Target is piloting a grocery delivery program in Minneapolis that will allow consumers in the area to use or the Instacart app to purchase items from Target. After a purchase is made, consumers can opt to have their items delivered to their homes.


Most Consumers Are ‘Emotional Shoppers’

AR AOL ImageThe power of e-Commerce provides consumers with anytime, anywhere access to myriad products. This gives consumers more power to participate in retail therapy. In fact, 66% of the time, online shopping behaviors include an emotional component, according to AOL Research. For example, people shop online because it makes them feel happy, it makes them feel good about themselves or it helps them relax, escape and unwind.

“Emotional shopping” includes:


Secrets To Building Successful Mobile In-Store Experiences

AVP Hughes headshotDo you have a mobile in-store experience strategy? Many articles and studies tell us mobile is the greatest technology disrupter in retail since the barcode. At three Retail TouchPoints executive breakfasts in New York City, Dallas and Minneapolis earlier this year, mobile was the hottest topic of discussion. So hot that at one event the presenter never made it past the third slide when mobile strategy was brought up for discussion! The question for retailers remains deceptively simple: How do you build a successful mobile in-store experience that leads to higher conversion rates and larger basket sizes?

A successful mobile experience starts with a well-defined strategy, beginning with a basic choice between mobile app and mobile web. This may lead to questions concerning user interface or device type — are you designing for an iPhone experience or Android? Is it a customer facing or associate driven experience? What features are needed across channels and should they all be delivered at once or over time? Will push notifications be implemented? Keep in mind 86% of mobile users’ time is spent in apps vs. mobile web since April 2014 according to a Flurry Analytics, comScore and NetMarketShare study.

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