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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.

Optimove Launches Customer Journey Marketing Plan For Shopper-Centric Businesses

Optimove, a customer retention platform provider, has launched its Customer Journey Marketing Plan, a tool designed to help customer-centric businesses visualize, manage and optimize customer conversions according to “infinite customer journeys.” The solution supports customer journeys through an interactive interface that closely resembles a terrain-based map. This new interpretation is designed to provide more accurate customer coverage with greater flexibility and adaptability.

Neiman Marcus Seeks To Keep Shoppers In-Store With Phone Charging Stations

As department store retailers regroup from their disastrous Q1 results and adjusting to the continued growth of digital commerce, they are seeking innovative ways to draw customers into their brick-and-mortar stores — and to keep them there as long as possible. Neiman Marcus has an answer that provides a much-needed service to customers: complimentary phone charging stations. An added bonus for the retailer is that while the phones are charging, customers can't use them to check prices at competing retail outlets. Neiman Marcus installed the ChargeItSpot kiosks the week of May 16 in its Washington, D.C. and Tysons Corners, Va. stores. The custom-designed units reflect the Neiman Marcus aesthetic, from the design exterior to the digital onscreen capability to the lights in each kiosk’s eight secure lockers. The planned rollout will continue through September, totaling 37 charging station across 30 locations. 

How To Manage New Overtime Pay Rules Featured

Proposed changes to overtime pay rules that are scheduled to take effect at the height of the holiday season have retailers worried and angry about the impact on their labor budgets and bottom lines. The Department of Labor rules change, which will go into effect Dec. 1, 2016, roughly doubles the current overtime pay threshold of $455 per week, or an average of $23,360 annually. The new threshold will be $913 per week or $47,476 annually. Workers making less than this amount will now be eligible for overtime pay when their work week exceeds 40 hours.

Coborn's, Foodtown Prioritize Personalization As Next Big Loyalty Driver

Many supermarket retailers are turning to personalization to bolster consumer engagement. Regional grocers Coborn’s and New Jersey-based Foodtown have selected the Birdzi platform to leverage personalization tactics both online and in brick-and-mortar locations. Minnesota-based Coborn’s launched the beta of its loyalty program on May 1. With the Birdzi solution, Coborn’s will deliver the loyalty program to guests via a mobile app, a dedicated web site and in-store beacon technology.

Raley’s Online Shopping: Personalized And Device-Agnostic Featured

With online grocery shopping predicted to double in popularity in 2016, now is a fitting time for supermarkets to optimize their online offerings. Raley’s Family of Fine Stores has taken this cue with the recent launch of E-Cart to bolster its online grocery offering. The E-Cart is designed to enable shoppers to not just order groceries on Raleys.com but to offer them a personalized journey, regardless of the device used to access the site, and also to allow them to pick up their order within the store. Shoppers can pick up items at select Raley’s, Bel Air Market or Nob Hill Foods locations.

Ron Johnson Bets On Startup After JCPenney Misstep Featured

When asked, "What is the best mistake you ever made?" by CNBC's Courtney Reagan, Ron Johnson stated: "Going to JCPenney." Following a failed leadership role as the retailer’s CEO, Johnson is going the way of the startup. The new business, called Enjoy, provides tech products along with a personal installer. Johnson shared his insights on his new endeavor and his past challenges during the Shoptalk event in Las Vegas this week.

Abof.com Adopts Real Time Personalization Solution

Online fashion portal abof.com is working with IBM to provide an enhanced personalized shopping experience tailored to Millennial shoppers. In the process, it is also increasing conversion rates and bringing its return rate close to zero. With the goal of offering the latest style tips, fashion content and trends, the retailer needed an e-Commerce solution that would help it create an interactive online platform to better target consumers and increase brand loyalty. Abof.com, which stands for All About Fashion, decided to team with IBM, which delivered customer engagement and order fulfillment capabilities that allow it to continuously refresh the e-Commerce experience and seamlessly add new content.

#RIC16 Spotlights Retail's Most Creative Disruptors Featured

The retail model that has held sway for the last 2,000 years — build a store, stock it with appealing products and wait for customers to come in — is broken, and Ken Hughes knows who broke it. The consumer and shopper behaviorist was the keynote speaker at the second annual Retail TouchPoints Retail Innovation Conference, held May 9-11 in New York City. Hughes identifies the "Blue Dot" consumer as the culprit behind today's industry upheaval. To make his point he spread out a paper road map and noted that in order to use one of these, an individual had to know where she was in relation to the wider world. But smartphone map apps now do this for us automatically, creating a "you are here" Blue Dot. "That consumer is not a small part of a big world; they are the world, and they are at its center," said…

As Amazon Prime Grows, Walmart And eBay Ramp Up Fulfillment Infrastructure

With Amazon increasing the focus on its same-day delivery service Prime Now and continually racking up new Prime members, Walmart and eBay are fighting back with upgrades to their fulfillment strategies. Walmart is testing a two-day version of its ShippingPass shipping service, which would match Amazon’s Prime’s two-day offering. ShippingPass delivery is normally three days, but the subscription cost is only half ($49) of Amazon’s price ($99). With the lower price point set to be such a huge factor in the ShippingPass offering, the product selection and customer service included with the program will have to remain up to par with Amazon’s if a sufficient number of Prime subscribers would ever think of using a similar service.

Top Takeaways From #RIC16 Innovation Labs Featured

This year's Retail Innovation Conference, held May 10-11 at Apella in New York City, brought together 185 of the industry's most innovative retail executives, who shared uniquely valuable retail disruption and innovation trends. Also featured at #RIC16 were eight Innovation Labs, highly focused workshop sessions covering a wide range of current "pain points." Presentations were led by the industry's leading solution providers and their customers. Here are some key takeaways from these sessions:

IoT Enhances Sophisticated Store Experience For High-End Appliance Retailer Featured

Advancements in the Internet of Things (IoT) have allowed retailers to personalize the in-store experience like never before. These solutions not only significantly improve the experience for customers but also for the retailer’s staff as well. Appliance retailer Sub-Zero & Wolf offers a variety of home appliances with hefty price tags, so the brand turned to Your Smart Home, a technology integration firm, to design and install an integrated A/V infrastructure inside its London-based showroom, to upgrade from previous systems that had proven unreliable, while also offering customers a high-end shopping experience. “It’s essential to create an environment that’s as sophisticated and upscale as the products we sell,” said Ricky Davies, Operations Manager at Sub-Zero & Wolf in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “The home automation system installed had to be reliable, since we’ve worked with finicky and disappointing systems in the past. It’s crucial that our team could rely on…

Fun.com Boosts Email Conversions Up To 15% With Personalized Offers Featured

When a once-a-year purchase cycle is built into your name, as it is for HalloweenCostumes.com, marketing’s task of retaining customers becomes extremely challenging. "People will buy a costume only once a year, so we need to 'win back' the customer every year," said Mark Bietz, CMO of online retailer Fun.com, parent company of HalloweenCostumes.com. Bietz and his marketing team use a number of tools and tactics to stay in touch with Fun.com's customers throughout the year, such as providing tips for throwing a great party and reminders about the costume they purchased the previous year. But it's a personalization solution from Qubit — which Fun.com deployed beginning in September 2015 — that is having the most dramatic impact.

Engaging Customers Differently: From Tagline To Reality

The end goal for all retailers should be to achieve “customer intimacy,” according to Aptos CEO and Culture Leader Noel Goggin. During his keynote presentation at Aptos ENGAGE in Las Vegas May 2-5, 2016, Goggin showed how a series of retailers, including Payless ShoeSource, Plow & Hearthand rue 21 have embraced cloud, CRM and other technologies to improve customer relationships. With these examples, he encouraged retail attendees to “take that relationship with the customer and drive it to where you want to go.”

Millennials, Gen Z Value Brick-And-Mortar More Than Older Peers Featured

Although Millennial and Gen Z shoppers have been raised with Internet connections, they still appreciate a fulfilling trip to the store. In fact, members of these generations actually believe more strongly than their elders that brands should operate physical stores. Believe it or not, 80% of Gen Z consumers and 82% of Millennials say it’s important for brands to have a store presence, compared to only 69% of Gen Xers and 65% of Baby Boomers, according to a report from iModerate.
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