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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.

Coupon Marketing: How To Ensure The Right People – And Only The Right People – Respond To Your Offers

Here are two troubling statistics that should drive fear into the hearts of any retailers who use digital coupons as part of their marketing strategy: 88% of consumers say they are likely to try using a high-value digital coupon more than once; 92% say there are highly likely to share a digital coupon with another person because they might want to use it.

How Retailers Can Optimize For The Growth Of Voice Search

Every time you ask Siri to tell you where the nearest hardware store is or Alexa to help you remember the title of the movie you watched recently, you engage in a voice search.  In SEO terms, voice search is a type of Internet behavior made by users who verbally state their queries and questions, in natural language, to a “smart device.” Voice search is growing, and the amount of high-intent traffic it drives to web sites is hard to ignore. 

What The Mattress Industry (?!) Can Teach Us About Unlocking New Sales Opportunities

A decade ago, we never would’ve thought that the stagnant mattress market had anything valuable to teach retailers. Yet here we are in 2019, and the mattress market is booming: there are more than 200 players and, growing 6.5% each year, it’s expected to reach $43 billion by 2024. In this highly competitive and commoditized sector, where every brand is aggressively offering discounts, it’s exceedingly difficult to rise above the noise.  Consider this: it’s harder than ever for marketers to grab the attention of consumers. Recent data from WBR Insights shows that over 80% of marketing program owners in retail feel more pressure to meet acquisition and revenue goals than they did last year. In an effort to stand out, 75% of retail marketers are running either weekly or continuous discounts. 

How Bot-Supported Customer Service Can Save The Buyer Journey

If you don’t understand the customer journey, you may as well be selling blind. Luckily, chatbots are helping brands gain a deeper understanding of the customer journey — and take better control of it, especially when it comes to customer service. Armed with huge data sets of customer service preferences, brands can offer more personalization from end to end.

By Creating Media Businesses Retailers Can Drive New Revenue Streams

CPG marketing continues to be in the throes of evolution. Traditional marketing practices have been upended due to the growth of digital tactics, including e-Commerce, social media and 24/7 mobile connectedness.  One of the hallmarks of this evolution has been the emergence of the retailer as a critical player in the media and advertising ecosystem. The biggest headline of the last few years — and there have been a lot with Facebook and Google remaining relatively dominant as the largest digital players — has been Amazon, which now stands as the third-largest advertising company, generating $12 billion in ad revenue. 

3 Key Lessons For Solving Geo-Pricing

The fact is becoming clearer that price is king in retail. With Amazon and direct-to-consumer brands like Asos, Everlane, Warby Parker and others saturating the retail market, traditional retailers — such as Kohl’s — are having to really circle back internally to revise their pricing strategies and discover areas where they need to improve. One of the primary areas that retailers are uncovering as problematic is geo-pricing. Retailers have known for a while that geo-pricing — tailoring pricing based on specific regions and locations — is pivotal to remaining competitive. In particular, the rise of Amazon’s dynamic pricing capabilities, which adapt prices every 10 minutes on its vast product catalog, is of increasing concern for traditional retailers. Furthermore, they are becoming all too aware that their current approach and infrastructure is too antiquated to deliver the results that they need to remain relevant in today’s market.

The Case For The Software-Defined Store: Agility In The Face Of Change

Adapt or perish, now more than ever, is a retailer’s imperative. Stores today face new customer expectations, new competitive business models and new technology options at a scale not experienced since the birth of the Internet. Those who innovate, invest and engage customers in new ways will prosper. We all know what happens to those who do not. A big part of adapting to today’s everchanging retail environment is creating an effective IT strategy and seeing it through to the end. IT must be managed as a business strategy enabler and be evaluated on how cost effectively it provides a long-term platform for the delivery of the in-store strategy, not simply on how it can fix the latest fire drill. Retail IT solutions need to be evaluated on how they can enable the store strategy, and how well they equip the business to manage escalating rates of change, particularly in customer engagement models. This requires a longer-term view of investments and their ROI. And in many cases, the software defined store approach which incorporates edge virtualization with intelligent automation can serve as the answer for retailers’ needs, here is why…

The Search KPI Red Herrings E-Commerce Retailers Should Avoid

An e-Commerce site is a delicate balancing act. Inventory, pricing, content, CRM, search, recommendations, cart, payments and many other components need to be tied together to create a harmonious customer experience. If any of these components fall short of customer expectations, then online retailers are losing potential revenue. It’s therefore paramount that they measure the performance of each of these components, and understand how they all scale up to meet the overall goal: revenue.

Maximizing Revenue: Three Key Areas To Examine With A Shorter Holiday Shopping Season

The 2019 holiday season has been shortened by a full week, and retail marketers have likely been in planning mode for months strategizing ways to maximize opportunities and revenue in the minimized time frame. The conditions for this year’s holiday shopping season is chock-full of challenges: 1) An increasingly noisy marketplace, 2) Significant time constraints, 3) Ever-changing consumer preferences and behavior, and 4) The rising bar of expectations for seamless, personalized experiences. With the official kickoff to the season mere weeks away, marketers still have time to make important changes to their strategy and execute tactics that will make the most of the limited time they have in front of their customers. A recently released consumer trends report issued by Selligent Marketing Cloud points to how consumers are prioritizing experience, and provides retailers meaningful insights into how those experiences dictate both their spend as well as their perceptions of brands.

Mistakes That Could Be Tanking Your Omnichannel Retail Efforts

About 80% of consumers browse for product information while still inside a store. Brands that communicate instantly and intuitively through clear information have a better chance of making a sale. What’s more, the math really is simple — more channels lead to more streams of revenue from consumers who may be aware of the brand but have no way of buying from it. Wherever you look, every fact and statistic points to the benefits of implementing an omnichannel retail strategy. And yet, retailers big and small fail to do just that! Argos UK is a commonly cited example in this context. However, haven’t we all had experiences where we’ve received delivery feedback emails without the actual delivery having happened, or ended up trying to return the product, only to discover that we’d have to use the same route it came in through? Which is why it is important that we discuss some common, and not-so-common, omnichannel mistakes that you could be making. We also discuss some ways to correct them. Mistake #1: KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid!) The premise of omnichannel retail has been widely misunderstood. Many retailers still believe that being present on all channels possible will result in…

Gearing Up For The Reverse Shift From Online To Physical Stores

While the tidal wave of e-Commerce continues to take over retail, it’s easy to overlook the churning rip currents of digitally based companies making the opposite move to brick-and-mortar from online retail. E-Commerce companies want and need those physical stores to meet the needs of customers so they can try on, touch and feel products before committing. Consumers still want immediate access to the goods, or a convenient way to return unwanted purchases.

Mind The Gap: The Pivotal Point Between Customer Acquisition And Retention

It’s a magical moment that often goes unrecognized: that pivotal point when a person who has never shopped with your brand before makes her first purchase. Whether she heard about you from a billboard, a social media post, a magazine mention or a TV ad, your customer acquisition plan has succeeded. Cue the celebration! Of course, the point in time when the cashier finalizes the sale and the new customer takes hold of her shopping bag also marks a handoff for retail marketers between customer acquisition and customer retention strategies. The focus shifts from acquiring the shopper to keeping the shopper coming back.

5 Things Retailers Can Do To Avoid Chargebacks

For decades, EDI has been the standard of how businesses exchange information, documents, and data — to this day it still remains a backbone for global business, but some would argue that it’s outdated, not easy to understand, and requires technical expertise (and they wouldn’t be entirely wrong). The biggest challenge is that most companies assume an "if it ain't broke, don’t fix it” approach, where they react to an issue when it happens but don’t think about how they can avoid it in the future — simply put, they’re not being proactive. This approach can be a costly one for today’s businesses and is especially true for retail, an industry that is making strides with new technologies. Yet something as mundane as EDI isn’t thought of as a technology that could significantly, positively impact their business — they’re looking at new, shiny technologies like IoT, AR and AI.

Conversational Commerce: Offering The Benefits Of In-Store Shopping Online

The retail landscape continues to shift in recent years as advancements in technology enhance the online shopping experience. The latest trend? Conversational commerce. Conversational commerce leverages human brand specialists, artificial intelligence chatbots and augmented reality (AR) to deliver a more simplified and personalized shopping experience for consumers through participating retailers’ online stores and social media platforms. This platform provides consumers with a seamless, on-demand shopping interface that allows them to engage with representatives, both live and virtual, to have their questions answered, preview products, garments and accessories in true 3D and complete the transaction all in one application.

How Brands Can Know If 3D Is Right For Them

In 2017, more than 1 trillion photos were captured, mostly on digital devices like smartphones. That’s up from 380 billion just five years before and a mere 57 billion in 1990. We’ve become increasingly visual and we’re only getting more so. For brands, this means two things: first, that product imaging is vitally important to communicating your offering with customers; and second, that image type and quality matter. A lot. Today, brands have more options than ever for creating high-quality visuals. I’ll examine how one of those options, interactive 3D, can fit into a retailer’s mix of product assets, offering insight on the benefits and drawbacks of 3D visuals and where they tend to perform best.
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