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.

Starbucks Creates Siren Retail Group To Manage Specialty Store Growth

Starbucks has promoted Cliff Burrows to head its new Siren Retail Group, which will encompass the retailer's Roastery, Starbucks Reserve and stand-alone Princi bakeries. Burrows, who has been with Starbucks since 2001, most recently as Group President for the U.S. and Americas, also will take charge of growing the company's global Teavana business. The Siren Group's debut is part of several organizational changes at the company, including the promotion of John Culver to the role of Group President for Starbucks Global Retail. His most recent position was Group President for China/Asia Pacific, Channel Development and Emerging Brands.

Reinventing Retail: Improving The Customer Experience Through Application Intelligence

The retail industry is in the midst of digital transformation. Retailers must utilize innovative technologies in order to stay ahead of their competition. However, in this technological ‘rat race,’ simply providing web and mobile apps that enable e-Commerce and m-Commerce is no longer enough to ensure business success. Instead, competitive advantage hinges on the quality of the customer experience delivered by those apps, across all digital channels. Today’s savvy customers demand a seamless, personalized and convenient experience when using a mobile app or a web site. They also expect this experience in-store. A lack of focus in these areas puts customer satisfaction at risk, meaning lower conversion rates, revenue, profitability and, over time, loss of brand credibility.

Is Off-Price Now The New Normal? Featured

While many traditional retailers had a weak Q1, off-price retailers such as TJX, Ross Stores and Five Below did quite well for themselves in the same period. Unlike department stores that often feel the need to mark down inventory for the sake of getting the merchandise off their hands quickly, off-price retailers already purchase their inventory at a discount. A recent RetailWire article spotlighted what appears to be a trend: most consumers now purchase their clothes at off-price outlet stores. The article noted that off-price shoppers now represent two-thirds of all consumers, according to a study from The NPD Group. The study also indicated that off-price buyers represent 75% of apparel purchases across all retail channels.

MasterCard Buys UK Payments Provider VocaLink For $920 Million

In another sign that MasterCard is determined to stay relevant in a rapidly changing payments landscape, the company will acquire a majority stake in payment systems provider VocaLink for £700 million (approximately $920 million U.S.). London-based VocaLink offers products including ZAPP, a mobile payments app leveraging Fast ACH technology. The company operates payment technology platforms supporting Faster Payments, a real-time account-to-account service enabling payments via mobile, Internet and phone, as well as the UK ATM network LINK. In 2015, VocaLink reported revenues of £182 million and processed more than 11 billion transactions.

Customers Flock To Hello Kitty-Themed Pop-Up Café In California

  • Published in News Briefs
Irvine, Calif. just got a whole lot cuter. The city is now home to America’s first Hello Kitty Café, and consumers are flocking to the pink shipping container refurbished into a walk-up counter and dining patio area. In fact, the crowds were so big that the café had to temporarily close for a few hours.

Convenience Economy Fuels Global Estate Sale Segment At EBTH: Exclusive CEO Interview Featured

Every retail segment can benefit from a more convenient way to purchase. That was part of the premise behind the development of EBTH (Everything But The House) back in 2008. Fast forward a few years: with 123% year-over-year growth and $30.1 million in sales in 2015, EBTH is resonating with a global audience, according to Andy Nielsen, President and CEO, EBTH. Recently I had the chance to chat with Andy to find out more about the challenges of building a strong, Internet-based global company. He also shares insights for other entrepreneurs and retailers working to grow their businesses.

Mastercard Masterpass Will Serve 5M Stores In 77 Countries

Mastercard has introduced the global digital Masterpass solution, which allows consumers to pay online, through mobile apps or in brick-and-mortar stores. Currently available at hundreds of thousands of merchants online or in-app, Masterpass contactless payments will soon expand to more than five million physical locations in 77 countries, with 1.8 million merchant locations in the U.S. alone. "Easy and intuitive payment methods have become table stakes," said Craig Vosburg, President of North America Mastercard at an event introducing the new service on July 14. "We've evolved our network to enable connections, security, ubiquity and interoperability. We want to enable our customers to pay anywhere, anytime, any way they want."

Architecting A Converged Commerce Platform

Today’s connected consumer is accustomed to the advantages of leveraging both online and offline channels for an effortless, economical shopping experience. While multiple points of service have historically been the standard — retailers are looking at a uniform platform, ensuring consistent presence across touch points. This article studies the rationale behind the move, and the benefits that could accrue to the enterprise from it. In a recent digital report1, optimizing customer experience has been highlighted as an area promising ‘the most exciting opportunity’ for 2016. More than half of the retail respondents see customer service and experience as the primary driver of competitive differentiation over the next five years.

New Ways Tech Can Reinvent The Shopping Experience

To some degree, there’s no need to visit a brick-and-mortar store in 2016. In sections of New York City, for instance, you can get everything you need from Amazon, from trampolines to  a T-bone steak for dinner. And yet, late last year the online retailing giant began expanding into brick-and-mortar with a bookstore in Seattle’s University Village. With headlines proclaiming brick-and-mortar stores heading rapidly towards obsolescence, Amazon’s move may seem puzzling.

Olympics Expand Ad Opps For More Sponsors; Under Armour And Lululemon Jump In Featured

At the same time as the Olympic athletes will be running, swimming, hurling and vaulting in their quest for golden glory, there will be another competition going on in Rio. That will be the fight for eyeballs, impressions and marketing leadership. This year, a change in the sponsorship rules has put several well-known brands, including retailers Under Armour and lululemon, right in the middle of this heated contest. Until this year, "rule 40" of the Olympic Charter severely restricted what advertising could be seen or said before and during the Games, which will be held August 5-21. Athletes and their agents lobbied hard for the rule change. Now, companies that have sponsored athletes through years of training and qualifying competitions can share the spotlight during the event itself. Previously, marketing opportunities had been largely limited to official sponsors such as Nike and McDonald's, which pay millions for these rights.

The Experience Matters: 3 Takeaways From Consumer Card Spending Featured

It’s been no secret that traditional retailers have had a difficult time in 2016, as consumers opt to spend where they can do more than just buy physical products. They want experiences. A recent study confirms this premise. Bank of America Merrill Lynch aggregated data from the bank’s cardholders’ June 2016 debit card and credit card spending to confirm that experiences matter more than ever in today’s retail market.

Travis Perkins Selects Infor To Improve Customer and Employee Experience

Travis Perkins, a UK-based retailer of building materials and home improvement tools, has partnered with cloud-based enterprise solutions platform provider Infor. The retailer selected Infor CloudSuite to deliver a variety of strategic, technical and financial benefits, with the goal of enhancing the experience for its customers and employees across the business. The Infor partnership is the retailer’s most significant investment in IT solutions to date, according to a company statement.

Flipping The Model: Successful Retailers Tailor Campaigns To Each Customer's Needs

With 2016 already halfway over, retail marketers are deep into their 2016 campaigns intended to acquire and retain customers, drive sales and improve overall customer loyalty. But what are marketers doing differently to make 2016 better than 2015? Last year, the Commerce Department recorded only a 2.1% increase in retail sales (excluding automotive) over 2014 — marking the worst such performance since 20091 and a far cry from the 4.1% increase that the NRF projected2. If retailers haven’t changed the way they approach marketing, are we in for more of the same? Most retail marketing today is periodic and campaign-based, driven by the retailer’s needs at a single point in time, whether those be building promotions around holiday or seasonal sales opportunities, launching new products, reducing inventories or pursuing other initiatives. In general, retailers cannot expect periodic campaigns that cast a wide net to generate above-average sales. Ask any marketer whether…

Infor Buying Spree Continues With Starmount Acquisition

Less than a month after buying analytics solutions provider Predictix, Infor has announced plans to acquire Starmount, a manufacturer of in-store systems including POS, mobile commerce and inventory management. The acquisition will help Infor deliver its CloudSuite Retail suite of cloud-based enterprise applications in support of "converged commerce," which is designed to provide retailers with a single selling system for all consumer interactions. After forming its Infor Retail business unit in summer 2015, Infor:
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