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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.

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.

Exclusive Q&A: How Loot Crate Is Managing An Influencer Tipping Point

Six years young, Loot Crate is a self-proclaimed “leading subscription commerce platform targeting super fans of entertainment franchises.” While Loot Crate appeals to all ages with its family-friendly product, a large majority (80%) of its customers, called “Looters,” are 18 to 34 years old, according to Erik Reynolds, VP of Product Marketing and Communications. “What I love about optimizing for this generation of consumers is, that they want more than just a shopping experience,” Reynolds said. “They expect a more content rich experience, especially when they’re browsing products on our site within their favorite fandoms — comics, TV, movies and games — our site, mobile app and our products have to nurture to that. We create content that not only sells the next crate but also tells a story in deep alignment with our licensor partners.”

Designer Shoe Trading Club Takes First Steps

Luxury Shoe Club, a membership club designed for buying and selling pre-owned designer shoes via an iPhone app, kicked off operations July 17. The app uses an algorithm to assign a fair market dollar value to each pair, and women listing their new-in-box and gently worn designer shoes can earn points good for purchasing others’ shoes. Members earn half the point value when they list the shoes and get the other half when they are sold; members can also “buy” points. Luxury Shoe Club collects a fee on each transaction. The U.S. luxury shoe market accounts for $8.6 billion annually, and the average price for a pair of women’s designer shoes has climbed to $770. Sales of pre-owned designer shoes have reached $800 million annually, and Luxury Shoe Club estimates that there is $1 billion of new-in-box luxury shoes sitting idle in women’s closets.

Carter’s Decision Support Solution Cuts 8 Days’ Inventory Out Of System

Inventory carrying costs remain retailers’ biggest capital expense, but companies are generally cautious about reducing inventory levels as a way to cut costs. That’s because lowering inventory levels can create delays and out-of-stock situations that play havoc with the retailer’s service levels. Carter’s Inc., however, leveraged a decision support solution that helped the retailer trim eight days of inventory from its system, while actually raising service levels for its 800 retail stores and e-Commerce business. For the first seasonal “buy” following the September 2016 implementation of the Anaplan Connected Planning solution, the children’s apparel retailer “shrunk our inventory carrying costs and increased our cash flow by $25 million in working capital, with no impact to our customers,” said Peter Smith, EVP Global Supply Chain at Carter’s. “We got improved service, match levels and fulfillment levels while simultaneously reducing inventory costs.”

Peet’s Coffee Takes The Guesswork Out Of Promotions With New Loyalty Solution

Peet’s Coffee was looking to expand its Peetnik Rewards loyalty program to all 240 stores following a beta test period, but needed a more reliable platform. By partnering with Paytronix, the chain got a more stable platform, along with a bonus: detailed data about program members’ activity, which has translated into valuable marketing insights and measurable benefits. The chain moved its loyalty and stored value program to a SaaS platform from Paytronix. Within six months after a July 2017 chainwide rollout, Peet’s had achieved:

Mobile-Optimized E-Commerce Site Reduces Lonely Planet Bounce Rate 89%

Traditionally known as a publisher of travel guides, Lonely Planet actually boasts one of the earliest e-Commerce sites —one that has sold books online since 1994. But despite its deep roots in the web, Lonely Planet only recently adapted a mobile-responsive experience for its online shop, launching a completely redesigned e-Commerce site in February 2018. In the first three weeks after unveiling the new site, Lonely Planet saw: Bounce rate decrease by 89%; A 195% increase in products added to cart; and A roughly 12% increase in site visitors compared with the three weeks prior to the site launch.
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