Executive ViewPoints

The retail industry is fortunate to include numerous executives with extensive experience — and they are willing to share their insights in the Retail TouchPoints ViewPoints section. These byline pieces focus on industry trends and do not include solution provider sales pitches. Many of the byline pieces receive the greatest number of clicks on the RTP site each year.

Author Offers Key Tactics To “Empower” Store Associates & Extend Social Outreach

As retailers are tasked with delivering an integrated approach to customer service, social media has offered the opportunity to cultivate a community of enthusiasts who are able to extend a brand’s ability to communicate effectively with customers. In 2008, author and Forrester Research analyst Josh Bernoff brought the novel Groundswell to life, and now in 2011 is emphasizing the need to empower store associates to become “HEROs” (“Highly Empowered and Resourceful Operatives”). Retail TouchPoints had the chance to catch up with Bernoff and discuss the need for retailers to identify impressions on social environments and their impact on marketing, as well as the retailers who have created a band of “HEROs” for social success. Retail TouchPoints: In Empowered the “IDEA” strategy helps companies view customer service as a marketing channel rather than a customer service cost center. Can you elaborate on how retailers can utilize “IDEA” to connect with customers more effectively? Josh Bernoff: IDEA stands for the four steps in treating your own customers as a marketing channel: Identify mass influencers, Deliver social customer service, Empower with mobile information, and Amplify fan activity.

6 Essentials For Improving Retail Store Management With Web-Based POS

By Tom Greenhaw, Founder & CEO, Cashier Live Retailing is the cornerstone of a free market economy. It took a lot of hard work to get here, but now you’re part of the centuries-old tradition of hanging a shingle and providing the public with the goods they need for their daily lives. Before you get too nostalgic, you should know that retail store management has come a long way from the days of a simple “Mom & Pop” operation. Over the past decade, advances in technology have created the potential for highly sophisticated front-end solutions, many of which have been specifically designed to streamline the task of retail management. As a retail owner, it’s in your best interest to implement smart solutions that simplify basic management routines and deliver a higher ROI than traditional retail processes. Although the idea of installing cutting edge technologies may sound expensive, some of the most able technologies consolidate multiple management functions at a very affordable price.

Defy Customer Defection: 3 Steps to More Relevant Customer Communication

By Connie Hill, Founder and President, VeraCentra Lack of relevancy advances customer defection. A recent study revealed that 63% of consumers have abandoned, or are considering abandoning a brand altogether because of irrelevant emails and junk mail. Failure to master relevancy can have a devastating effect on a retailer’s ability to acquire, serve and retain customers. Executed well, relevancy can prevent customer defection, improve customer satisfaction and increase customer spending while reducing marketing cost. Retail marketers must understand the relationship between relevancy and customer defection and offer prescriptive recommendations for defying defection. What is Relevancy?Relevancy in marketing communications is commonly referred to as creating personalization or customization for potential customers. But relevancy also includes presenting customers with unique offerings, identifying channel preference and coordinating precision timing for marketing communications. In a nutshell, for both strategic and tactical application, Adam Sarner, CRM analyst at Gartner Group defines relevancy as: “basic demonstration of customer memory.”

Acxiom VP Promotes “Generating Jingle” To Engage Last-Minute Holiday Shoppers

While the recession is technically over, research shows consumer sentiment is still dismal. According to a recent survey from BIGresearch, 81% of consumers believe the recession has not ended. To help retailers engage those still-skeptical shoppers, Acxiom recently published a report titled “Generate More Jingle This Holiday Season: Engaging Last-Minute Shoppers to Lift Holiday Sales,” which analyzes last-minute holiday shopper trends and behavioral traits. The report offers retailers strategies to leverage key last-minute shopper insights to reach and engage them with renewed confidence. Recently Retail TouchPoints caught up with Jim Harold, Acxiom’s VP of Retail & Consumer Markets, for a Q&A. Harold emphasized the importance of in-store presentations and displays, how analytics can help retailers determine valuable customers and the demographical personas assigned to last minute shoppers: Retail TouchPoints: During the 2010 holiday season, competitive differentiation is key. The report discusses how retailers who are able to identify their last-minute shoppers can provide a competitive margin of differentiation. What can retailers do to achieve this goal?

Corner Office Convo: Oracle Retail's SVP, Duncan Angove

Each year, Oracle's retail team hosts the CrossTalk forum, where leading retail executives gather to discuss challenges and strategies. With the bar raised dramatically in today's competitive business climate, Retail TouchPoints talked with Oracle Retail's GM and SVP Duncan Angove to get a sense for the key trends and themes which are expected to dominate the CrossTalk event. Check out this Q&A to learn more.

LoveSac Founder Shawn Nelson

After winning "The Rebel Billionaire," see how LoveSac Founder Shawn Nelson beats the stuffing out of the furniture industry with cool cross channel efforts and in-store ambiance in 20+ stores across the U.S. and AustraliaClick here to download the full interview.
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