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.

Customer Experience Management Solution Provider Raises $16.3 Million

MomentFeed, which provides mobile customer experience management solutions for multi-location brands, has raised $16.3 million in a new funding round led by Level Equity. The investment will be used to add new products, features and services and bolster operations. Additionally, MomentFeed will be able to add additional sales executives to focus on new clients and grow its network of advertising, marketing, SEO and social media agency partners. "This funding is an affirmation of our business strategy and allows us to continue on the path of powering our clients' success," said MomentFeed CEO Robert Blatt in a statement. "With 80% of mobile consumer interaction with multi-location businesses now happening through the digital representations of their stores, there are many more powerful capabilities that we can now add to our platform to help our clients succeed."

Tapping Community To Connect Digital Strategies

Kelly Stickel launched Remodista to focus on retail disruption. By using Community as a business model, Remodista is working to “build, foster and create a trusted environment where we attract like-minded individuals thinking through disruption and innovation. Through collaborative research and analysis, we think through the business challenges looking at the future of retail.” Stickel and a panel of retail leaders will share their insights on Community and Commerce during the Retail Innovation Conference, May 9-10 in New York City. This Q&A provides a preview of this compelling session:

Moosejaw, Home Depot Among Top Customer Service Leaders

They sell different products but they have one thing in common: excellent customer service. Based on the 20th annual Mystery Shopping Study conducted during Q4 2016, Astound Commerce identified these retailers, listed in alphabetical order, as customer service leaders: • B&H • Gap • L.L. Bean • Lancôme • Moosejaw • The Home Depot • Zappos B&H, Home Depot and Zappos were repeat winners from the 2015 survey. Moosejaw was acquired by Walmart earlier this month.

Creating A Returns Process That Works For Everyone

While e-Commerce sales skyrocket, online returns are growing at an even faster rate. When it comes to online shopping, consumers are three times more likely to return an item they purchased online versus in-store. In fact, 30% of consumers say they purchase items online with the intent of returning and 25% of those same customers wouldn’t make a purchase if they had to pay for the cost of returns. While we're all familiar with the saying “the customer is always right," this can be a hard mantra to live when dealing with returns. In order for retailers to maintain a loyal customer base without negatively impacting their bottom line, retailers should become more strategic with returns policies and processes. Here are a few ways to give yourself a competitive advantage and prevent returns from becoming a pain point at your company:

Winning The Last Mile: Controlling Costs While Satisfying Consumers

The "last mile" of retail — fulfillment, delivery, returns and post-purchase services — has become the latest competitive arena for winning sales and customer loyalty. If retailers fail to meet customer expectations with a delivery or product installation, it's highly unlikely that shoppers will give them a second chance. But while retailers are competing for customer loyalty, they are faced with rising costs around deliveries as well as returns, another critical element of the last mile. And passing these costs along to customers is not an option. Today’s consumers expect free or low-cost shipping.

Whole Foods Leverages Customer Data To Improve Merchandising

  • Published in News Briefs
Whole Foods Market has partnered with dunnhumby to help evolve its category management and merchandising through customer data and insights. By leveraging data-driven, customer-led insights, Whole Foods will be positioned to enhance the shopping experience by helping customers find the products, services, brands and flavors most relevant to their needs.

Global Commerce, Mobile Initiatives Top E-Tail Challenges In 2017

In an exclusive pre-event Q&A with Retail TouchPoints, eTail Division Director Lori Hawthorne shares her insights on the top trends and technologies that retailers need to focus on in 2017. Sessions covering global commerce, mobile initiatives, Artificial Intelligence, supply chain challenges and more will top the ticket at the annual eTail West conference, Feb. 27-March 2, 2017 in Palm Springs.

Can Gap's Virtual Dressing Room App Reduce Returns?

Return rates as high as 30% to 40% have been a long-standing challenge for online apparel retailers. Gap's new DressingRoom app, which uses augmented reality (AR) to help shoppers see how its clothes will fit before they place an order, takes aim at the problem. Shoppers enter their height and weight into the app and select one of five body types, which displays a virtual 3D model to show how different items will fit. If shoppers see something they like, they can buy it from within the app.

Sunglass Hut Localizes In-Store Experience

  • Published in News Briefs
Sunglass Hut has enabled stores across Australia and New Zealand to localize and personalize merchandising, with the goal of creating shopping experiences that feel custom-tailored for each location. The retailer, which operates more than 2,700 locations worldwide, has implemented the One Door Merchandising Cloud application. The solution combines product and…

Messaging Mavens: The Utility Of Chatbots Across Demographics

We've come a long way since the days of AIM and SmarterChild. The world of chatbots is emerging and fast-moving, with players as diverse as Sephora and StubHub. With the ability to exist outside apps, often leveraging texting and voice technology, chatbots have the environment to thrive and bring a sense of efficiency to consumer interactions. The promise of the “affordable butler” has arrived. Not only do bots streamline transactions, they allow brands to capture a breadth of consumer data while engaging with customers one-on-one. Unlike platforms like Snapchat and Kik, largely geared to a certain demographic, chatbots have vast — and valuable — applications to consumers of all ages.

Top Tips To Drive Targeted E-Commerce Traffic

The continued growth of e-Commerce has switched the roles of "supply" and "demand" within retail. Brands must now pursue consumers via every available digital touch point. Moreover, retailers need to drive a large audience, but also the right audience, to their sites. “The retail business model we lived with our entire lives and for generations before that assumed that the customers who represent demand would physically go to the store where supply was,” said Brian Kilcourse, Managing Partner at RSR Research. “Now we live in a world where supply must go to demand. It’s exactly the opposite direction. It upsets the apple cart in virtually any operational aspect you care to discuss. So the question is, how can a retailer set up an environment where supply can go to demand?”

With $187 Billion At Stake, Don’t Neglect Employee Productivity Investments

If retailers aren’t already investing in employee productivity, they should start now. They could collectively be missing out on as much as $187 billion, according to research from Cisco. Just 6% of retailers’ investment priorities are focused on employee productivity use cases, such as checkout optimization, remote mobile experts, smart lockers, interactive kiosks and next-generation workers — despite the fact that Cisco estimates that these use cases deliver the greatest ROI for retailers.

Exclusive Interview: The Strategy Behind Zappos' Cross-Country Tour

Zappos made its name as an online-only footwear retailer, but its next steps will take the brand firmly into the physical world. The "Friends with Benefits Road Show" will finally allow Zappos' loyal customers — and hopefully some new converts — to see, touch and feel its products. A specially outfitted 40-foot shipping container will cross the U.S. throughout 2017, giving consumers the chance to enjoy local fashion displays, celeb-curated Zappos products, pet fashion shows and adoptions, local eateries and live music. The road show kicked off in Austin, Texas from Jan. 27-29; Nashville and Atlanta are on the schedule, with future destination announcements coming later.

Retail 2025: AI And Digital Natives Will Rule

As futuristic as the year 2025 sounds, it is now less than eight years away. Will time travel, flying cars and summer vacations to Mars be in the cards? Probably not, but drone delivery, chatbots and an AI-driven retail industry are near certainties. And the people driving these changes, the "digital native" generations, are quite open to disrupting, if not destroying, old retail practices. Sure, McKinsey predicts brick-and-mortar stores will still account for approximately 85% of U.S. retail sales in 2025, but will the shopper journey be the same as it is today? Not a chance. Two sessions at the 2017 NRF Big Show explored the exciting, and at times worrisome, not-too-distant future of retail. For those who are ready to greet the future’s potential triumphs and challenges, read on. For those who still believe the old school model of retail might be coming back, this is your chance to grab an old catalog and dream of days gone by.  The Upside To Being A Disruptor Let’s start off with some good news: by 2020, 30% of web browsing won't require a screen interface, (thanks to AI/natural language recognition-driven personal assistants like Alexa, Cortana and Siri), and cars will be…
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