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Retail Success Stories

Retailers can greatly benefit from learning about their peers’ success stores. In this section, Retail TouchPoints offers case study articles featuring exclusive interviews with retail executives and their solution provider partners. These in-depth looks into retailer implementations include statistics, metrics and ROI use cases, in addition to quotes from the executives leading the charge.

Self-Service App Deepens Customer Connections At Fairway Market

Some retailers worry that adopting a self-checkout solution will deprive them of a key point of contact with their customers. Fairway Market, a New York City metro area chain of 15 supermarkets and four wine and spirit stores, wanted to be absolutely sure that wouldn’t happen when it deployed a self-checkout app, because the retailer prides itself on a family atmosphere and a close relationship with shoppers. The retailer is in the process of rolling out its first self-checkout app and will be seeking results that include:

Bluefly Boosts Email Revenue 11%, Site Visitor Identification 50% With Targeted Marketing

Branding itself as a highly curated fashion marketplace for the style-obsessed shopper, e-Commerce retailer Bluefly hosts more than 3,000 luxury brands across three online stores: B. luxe, B. Timeless and B. trendy. With a fast-growing product arsenal — adding an average of 150 new items to its site per week — the Bluefly team felt it had yet to capitalize on a major opportunity: identifying shoppers and building a personal connection with them. Luxury sites such as Bluefly typically attract many visitors who don’t make a purchase. But the retailer wanted to ensure that it would engage with shoppers before they left the site. Bluefly implemented shopper activation and cart abandonment programs from 4Cite to capture email addresses of shoppers even if they hadn’t made a purchase. Within five months of implementing the targeted email platform, Bluefly had: Increased visitor identification 50%; Increased email collection 41%; and Boosted email revenue 11%.

NYDJ Boosts Traffic 11%, Revenue 33% After Relaunching Personalized E-Commerce Site

Telling brand stories and personalizing the customer experience are vital parts of e-Commerce success, but neither will be effective if a retailer’s site isn’t up to speed. When NYDJ, a California-based women's denim and apparel brand, sought to deliver the perfect fit for its customers by relaunching its e-Commerce site, the retailer saw: An 11% increase in organic traffic; A 33% boost in year-over-year organic revenue; Total conversion rates climbing 22%; and A mobile conversion rate boost of 31%.

The Snuggle Bugz Baby Formula: Abundant Content Builds New Parents’ Confidence

There’s no shortage of advice for parents, particularly first-timers. In fact, it’s all too common for new moms and dads to suffer from a bad case of information overload. Retailers in this space want (and need) to be perceived by shoppers as trusted advisors, so it makes sense that the corporate mission of Canadian baby retailer Snuggle Bugz is to give confidence to customers navigating parenthood. Fulfilling that mission means providing plenty of solid content, both about the products it offers and other parenting issues. Unfortunately, the retailer’s old e-Commerce platform was causing a confidence gap between its in-store and online customer experiences. “Our stores are beautiful, and people can get all the information they need there,” said Sharron Vanderbeek, Director of E-Commerce at Snuggle Bugz, noting that the average employee spends more than 100 hours in product knowledge training each year.

Exclusive Q&A: How Zenni Drives 30% Revenue Growth With Extremely Affordable Eyewear

Zenni Optical prides itself on its low price points, with prescription glasses starting at $6.95 (the finished pair of glasses, not just the frames). And despite selling 25 million pairs of glasses since its inception in 2003, the e-Commerce retailer has kept a relatively low profile. But with its average customer already owning five pairs of Zenni-manufactured glasses, the retailer seeks to expand its clientele further and to capitalize on a growing online eyewear market, as it nears $200 million in 2018 revenue. In an exclusive Q&A with Retail TouchPoints, Bai Gan, Chief Product Officer at Zenni Optical, and Sean Pate, Brand Communications Officer, explained: How the retailer achieved 30% year-over-year revenue growth, powered by a vertically integrated manufacturing and supply chain production system that produces 14,000 glasses a day; How virtual try-ons continue to drive the online experience, especially with 3D technology on the horizon; Why a digitally native brand like Zenni decided to host its first ever pop-up after retailing online for 15 years; and The company’s mission of driving down the cost of high-quality, affordable prescription eyewear.

How Ashley Stewart Boosts Revenue With Advanced Data Aggregation

Apparel retailer Ashley Stewart, which caters to plus-size black women, has been learning the value of understanding its most loyal customers — some of whom visit the retailer’s stores as many as three times per week. With the help of a customer data platform that aggregates information about both digital and in-store shopping activity, the retailer has been able to leverage that loyalty into increased sales and revenues. Ashley Stewart has used the AgilOne customer data platform for three years to track customer activity in multiple channels. This allows the retailer to, for example, provide customers with easy access to their spending totals during its “Diva Dollars” promotional periods. “The consumers earn ‘Diva Dollars’ for a 45-day period, and then can spend them during a four-day period,” explained Julie Daly, VP E-Commerce at Ashley Stewart. Daly spoke during a panel discussion at the AgilOne Customer Data Platform Summit held earlier this month in New York City.

MM.LaFleur Ads Go Subterranean To Boost Search 140% In NYC, 170% In Boston

Generating brand awareness and driving customer acquisition can be a challenge, especially when trying to attract an on-the-go, urban consumer who doesn’t always have time to stop and seek out new brands. But MM.LaFleur, a retailer that sells women’s professional attire, discovered a very efficient method to get its message out to potential shoppers — the subway. After launching a four-week out-of-home (OOH) campaign with OUTFRONT Media, MM.LaFleur saw branded search spike to 170% over the pre-campaign average in Boston and 140% in New York City. The increase in branded search activity occurred in each city during its respective campaign.

How Pura Vida Bracelets Engage Shoppers Through The Buying Lifecycle

An end-to-end approach to customer engagement is critical for excelling in this new era of retail, which is dictated by constantly shifting consumer behaviors, according to David Court, Director and Partner at McKinsey & Company. During the Bluecore Explore Summit, which was held Sept. 13, 2018, in New York City, executives from brands including Pura Vida Bracelets revealed how they use data and innovative engagement tactics across all stages of the buying journey. Two of the biggest consumer behavior shifts are the move from in-store to online commerce, and shoppers’ high expectations from retailers, noted Court: Consumers are beginning to trust online reviews (88%) more than sales reps (20%); 83% of customers say they want personalization; and 94% would walk away from a brand if they don’t like the service they receive.

Yesway Drives 44% Redemption Rate Among Rewards Members Who Visit C-Stores

The 150-store convenience retailer Yesway has ambitious plans to acquire, improve and rebrand as many as 500 additional stores over the next few years. Even before this expansion occurs, however, the retailer is solidifying its business with an intense focus on customer loyalty. Yesway launched Yesway Rewards on the Paytronix platform in June 2017. Initially introduced at 37 stores, the loyalty program soon became an integral part of the brand's expansion. It’s now available to customers at more than 100 locations.

Exclusive CEO Q&A: How Sustainability Drives Customer Loyalty Among Coyuchi Subscribers

The Coyuchi For Life tagline couldn’t be simpler: New Linens. No Landfill. The idea is simple too — Coyuchi, which has provided organic home products including bed linens for 25 years — offers Coyuchi For Life subscribers new towels, sheets and duvets every six, 12 or 24 months via a monthly fee. When customers are finished using the items, they send them back in “return kits,” and the company renews, upcycles or recycles the products. The program, which kicked off in April 2017, was designed to address the 10 million tons of textile waste that end up in landfills annually. Additionally, Coyuchi For Life taps into several powerful consumer trends, according to CEO Eileen Mockus:

Exclusive Q&A: How Black Lapel Scales Custom Tailoring For An Online Audience

While many e-Commerce apparel retailers struggle with high return rates, Black Lapel has managed to keep its rate below 2% through a combination of questionnaires, one-on-one interactions with experts and post-sale follow-up. Black Lapel emphasizes education, developing loyalty by teaching potential customers about the benefits of custom suits. The growing omnichannel brand offers shoppers the custom tailored experience both online and at its showroom in New York City. In an exclusive Q&A with Retail TouchPoints, Derek Tian, Co-Founder and CMO of Black Lapel, details: How two finance professionals became retail clothing entrepreneurs; The process behind giving e-Commerce customers expertly-fitted suits; Why Black Lapel sometimes suggests post-sale alterations, even if the customer doesn’t request them, in order to perfect the “fit”; and The biggest marketing challenges the retailer faced as it found its feet. Retail TouchPoints (RTP): How did you come up with the idea of Black Lapel, and how did you get started? Derek Tian: My business partner Warren Liao and I were both working in finance after school, but we both were a little bit bored with our finance careers. We weren’t getting the kind of challenge we would find fulfilling. As the idea of entrepreneurship started to take…

Exclusive Q&A With New Jet.com President

Food and New York City are the primary near-term focuses for Jet.com, as the shopping site homes in on an improved user experience and better delivery options. Simon Belsham, recently named President of Jet.com, explained the company’s strategies during a keynote presentation at the eTail East event in Boston, followed by a 1:1 interview with Retail TouchPoints. In the exclusive Q&A, Belsham, who joined Jet.com as President in March 2018, talks about the future of Jet.com, the new Jetblack personal shopping service, the site’s integration with Walmart, and how a hyper-focus on food will help the company move to the next level.

Footwear Retailer Schuh Kicks Online ‘Hijackers’ Off Its Site

As many as 19% of online customer journeys for UK footwear retailer schuh used to get interrupted by various forms of injected ads, often from competing brands. These ads, generated when consumers unknowingly infected their browser or smartphone with malware, were not visible to schuh’s online team — but they were definitely a visible distraction for shoppers. Namogoo alerted the schuh team about the extent of the online hijacking problem in June 2014, according to Stuart McMillan, Deputy Head of eCommerce at schuh. “I was a bit surprised about the extent of the problem, but given the diversity of users on our web site it made sense,” McMillan said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “The biggest surprise was that I hadn’t even considered the problem until Namogoo came along.”

Smart Glass Boosts Online Sales 38% By Expanding Digital Audience

Smart Glass Jewelry is an eco-friendly accessory brand that finds new uses for old materials by creating fashion jewelry from recycled bottles. The SMB retailer recently discovered that both old and new strategies are needed to optimize digital marketing in order to stimulate customer engagement and sales. Beginning in March 2018, Smart Glass deployed the Springbot Exchange Audience Expander to match its customer data and identify look-alike audiences, and then to launch an automated three-series email drip campaign. The Springbot solution automatically adds consumers who engage with a retailer’s email campaign to a permanent subscriber list.

How A 40M Decrease In Email Promos Increased Revenue At TUMI

Working to deliver a more relevant customer experience, TUMI was seeking to consolidate business functions “that have a direct relationship with the customer on a 1:1 basis,” noted Charlie Cole, Global Chief eCommerce Officer at Samsonite and Chief Digital Officer at TUMI. “We thought all these functions should live in one place,” he explained, “including online analytics, customer service, sales (retail/online/outlet/drop ship), warranty, repair, email send/open/click, social graph data…” Finding the right solution was a challenge, Cole explained: “We didn’t necessarily know where in the vendor landscape we were going to end up, so we talked to all sorts of partners, including email, personalization, more traditional CRM, etc.” After a thorough search, Cole and his team landed on the Customer Data Platform (CDP) from AgilOne. In this Q&A, Cole shares his learnings and results from the implementation.
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