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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.

Inaugural National Merchant Day To Honor Payments And Loyalty Innovation

  • Published in News Briefs
Mark your calendars: September 13, 2016 will be more than an ordinary Tuesday. It also will be the first National Merchant Day, designed to celebrate retailer innovations in payments, loyalty and customer engagement. Sponsor PYMNTS.com will hold a full-day conference in New York City that day, bringing together retailers and solutions providers to discuss their latest technologies.

Under Armour Charts Innovative Course With UA Lighthouse

  • Published in News Briefs
In an era where retailers seek to outpace industry trends, some ambitious brands have built their own innovation labs to better understand how to improve the modern shopping experience. Under Armour is the latest brand to do so, recently opening UA Lighthouse, a new manufacturing and design innovation center in Baltimore. The 35,000-square-foot facility will serve as a platform to develop best practices and efficient methods, in terms of speed, quality and cost, for how all Under Armour product is made. Products will include custom athletic shoes and apparel, elite team product and key footwear and apparel styles.

CMO Conversation: Moosejaw's Dan Pingree Featured

Freely admitting a tendency toward "dumb" content and marketing, Moosejaw is an entertaining outdoor retailer that doesn't ever take itself too seriously. Case in point, the example below: part of an image from a product page on the Moosejaw.com site. Recently, I had a chance to chat with Moosejaw's Vice President of Marketing, Dan Pingree, to find out what makes him and Moosejaw tick: Retail TouchPoints (RTP): How do you define your role as the head of marketing at Moosejaw? Dan Pingree: I have been here four years and my role overseeing the marketing team covers every part of the customer acquisition and retention journey. It's quite a broad role at Moosejaw compared to other places I've worked. We have data analytics, email marketing, SEO and SEM within our team, consistent with other companies. But we also manage creative — graphic designers, etc. One of the things that allows us…

For 42% Of Consumers, Amazon Will Be The Prime Holiday Destination

As the holiday season nears, retailers’ concerns about Amazon’s dominance are no joke: 42% of U.S. consumers reported that the e-Commerce giant will be their primary holiday gift destination, according to research from Signal. So why are all these consumers making the decision this early to flock to Amazon? They prefer Amazon to other e-Commerce sites because:

Qubit Adds Features To Digital Experience Management Program

Qubit has upgraded its Digital Experience Management (DXM) platform to enable businesses to provide consumers with data-driven personalization. New features added to the platform include: Adaptive Targeting; Visitor Cloud Data Exchange (VCDX); Abandonment Recovery; and Customer Preferences. Brand marketers can use the platform to deliver end-to-end customer experiences ranging from data collection through reporting and analysis, all in one integrated workflow, without being stranded in a data silo.

Online Grocery Pickup: A Shortcut Around The Last Mile?

The classic fulfillment image of online grocery shopping remains home delivery. But recently, big name brands such as Walmart and Kroger have stepped up investments in curbside pickup — a unique development given the vertical’s plethora of on-demand grocery delivery services such as Instacart, FreshDirect and Ahold’s Peapod. The handling of the last mile has become a paramount concern for retailers as they compete with Amazon in this growing $13 billion market. While pickup programs might serve as a partial shortcut around the last mile, they raise the stakes for retailers in terms of ensuring that the final point of interaction is successful.

Beauty Retailer Boots UK Deploys IBM Analytics-Powered Mobile Sales App

  • Published in News Briefs
Boots UK, a pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer that is part of the Walgreens-Boots Alliance, has partnered with IBM to deploy a new app for sales associates. The company is the first retailer to offer IBM’s analytics-powered Sales Assist app, which is designed to help turn every salesperson into a personal shopper for in-store customers. The service is available in more than 2,300 stores. The app uses beacon technology to locate and identify shoppers on the store floor, look up online inventory and suggest products based on previous purchases. Using deep analytics combined with customer data, it can provide real-time product and location information straight to the associate’s mobile device.

Macy's CEO Resignation: Planned Succession Or Response To Recent Results? Featured

  • Published in News Briefs
After 13 years at the helm of Macy's Inc., CEO Terry Lundgren will hand the reins over to Jeff Gennette in the first quarter of 2017. Lundgren will continue as Executive Chairman and will work side-by-side with Gennette, who will take the titles of President and CEO of the iconic department store retailer. While Lundgren's resignation is being framed as part of a long-term succession plan, Macy's (along with other department stores) has had its share of struggles recently as it faces fierce competition from Amazon and a long-term shift in consumer buying behaviors. In Q1, Macy's same-store sales dipped 6.1%, the fifth quarter in a row this figure has declined.

Who Will Buy Neiman Marcus? Featured

Editor’s Note: This article is an excerpt from one of RetailWire's recent online discussions. Each business morning on RetailWire, retail industry executives get plugged in to the latest news and issues with key insights from a panel of retail industry experts. Neiman Marcus, known for selling the most luxurious and memorable of luxury goods, is putting something else up for sale: itself. The retailer is reportedly seeking a buyer or an investor, since soft sales have made it tough for the department store to pay down debt totaling $5 billion. Neiman Marcus' most recent quarterly results, for the period ending April 30, 2016, revealed a 5% decline in comp store sales compared to the same quarter the previous year. The decline in net revenues was even sharper, dropping from $19.8 million in Q3 2015 to $3.8 million this year. The chain, which was acquired in a leveraged buyout by Ares Management LP…

Online Activewear Retailer Selects RetailNext For Planned Stores

RBX Active, currently an online-only activewear brand, has plans to stretch into brick-and-mortar retailing by opening stores across the U.S. As its first step, RBX has signed a multi-year contract with RetailNext for in-store analytics services. "Integrating RetailNext into our new store locations allows us to test concepts and layouts, similar to what can be done with our online store, in the interest of delivering true inspiration to our community of passionate, active customers," said Adam Hanan, Director of Retail at RBX Active in a statement.

Walmart Seeks Faster China Growth Path In Deal With Alibaba Rival

Walmart has agreed to sell its Chinese online operations to the country's second-largest e-Commerce company, JD.com, as it attempts to compete with retailing behemoth Alibaba. JD.com will take ownership of Walmart's Yihaodian marketplace platform, although Walmart will continue to operate the Yihaodian direct sales business and will be a seller on the marketplace. As part of the deal, the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer will take a 5% stake in JD.com. While Walmart's brick-and-mortar stores are not part of the deal, the planned strategic alliance is designed to drive traffic to both these stores and Sam's Club China locations. Sam's Club will open a flagship store on JD.com and offer same- and next-day delivery through JD.com's warehousing and delivery network, which covers a population of 600 million consumers, according to a company statement.

Why The Demise Of The Home Bookcase Should Matter To Marketers

You learn a lot about people by what’s on their home bookcases. Books read, music listened to, photos kept, artwork and knickknacks collected, etc. You get to know something about their interests, tastes, sophistication and even family history. These days, however, the bookcase seems to have a lesser role at home. Digitization impacts what we keep and display. Books on the shelf are becoming less the norm as PDAs, Kindles and other readers replace our hardcovers. Digital music is replacing our album covers and CD cases. Elaborate stereo systems are being obsolesced by barely-there Bluetooth speakers.

54% Of Shoppers Prefer Installment Payment Plans Over Free Shipping Featured

Shoppers value offers like free shipping and discounts — but not as much as the chance to pay for their purchases via interest-free installments. A survey of more than 1,000 U.S. credit card holders conducted by Splitit revealed that more than half (54%) preferred installment payments over free shipping. Nearly as many, 53%, chose installments over a 10% discount offer. High-income consumers (those with annual salaries of $100,000 to $150,000) were the most enthusiastic about installment plans, with 60% selecting this payment method. The survey also revealed that four in 10 credit card users would increase the size of their purchase by at least 10% if they were offered an interest-free installment payment option.

Manhattan Associates Scales Up Call Center Customer Service Functionality

Manhattan Associates has enhanced its Omni-Channel Customer Service Solution, providing call center customer service representatives with a single app and interface that can service sales across multiple brands, countries and channels. With call centers now supporting multiple brands across many countries and multiple currencies, customer service reps must navigate different screens and interfaces to deliver seamless experiences, frequently logging in and out of multiple customer service applications.

Attention Entrepreneurs: 5 Tips For Attracting VC Investment Featured

Significant venture capital (VC) investment in retail and its associated technologies traditionally has been the exception rather than the rule. In 2015, VCs invested just over $1 billion in retail and distribution, according to MoneyTree. While that figure represented an increase over 2014's $776.7 million, retail is still far from a VC favorite. By comparison, software attracted $23.6 billion in VC funds in 2015, with biotechnology nabbing $7.7 billion. But there are signs that VCs' interest in the retail industry is on the rise, particularly as emerging technologies lower barriers to entry for new companies. One indication is the number of new forums designed to connect "idea people" with "money people," including:
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