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.

Exclusive Q&A: How Bentley’s Pet Stuff Grew From 1 To 100 Stores In 2 Years

Featured in the photo above: Lisa Senafe, Co-Owner and Co-Founder of Bentley's Pet Stuff, and Giovanni Senafe, Vice President and Co-Founder. Through a steadfast focus on the brand promise, a successful acquisition strategy, and a little help from The Profit reality TV show host and financier Marcus Lemonis, Bentley’s Pet Stuff is on track to own and operate more than 130 stores by the end of 2018. Today, Bentley’s Pet Stuff (formerly Bentley’s Corner Café) is co-owned by Senafe’s wife, President and CEO Lisa Senafe and Marcus Lemonis, who is the CEO of Camping World, in addition to hosting The Profit. Key success strategies for Bentley’s, outlined by Giovanni Senafe, Vice President and Co-Founder, include: A subscription delivery service that offers a variety of pet food selections based on a concept of Mixology. “Pets no longer need to eat the same food all the time.” Marketing is local: Bentley’s supports local animal shelters, donates “tons of food,” and participates in pet adoption events. Real estate occupancy costs are 40% to 60% lower than the average, because Bentley’s stores are not a cookie-cutter size. “We are now known in the landlord landscape as an asset because we are willing to take…

Teacher Peach Sales Soar 114% With Amazon-Only Strategy

Rather than splitting her team’s efforts between its own e-Commerce site and the Amazon Marketplace, Teacher Peach Founder and Chief Creative Officer Randi Brill decided to focus exclusively on the marketplace in 2017 — and she saw sales increase 114%. Founded in 2012, Teacher Peach is an online-only retailer of teacher gifts and classroom products. “While I understand that focusing exclusively on the Amazon Marketplace is not for every business, it certainly was a very smart strategy for our business,” Brill explained in an interview with Retail TouchPoints.

Customer Reviews Help Brand Gain Quick Traction With Retailers

After establishing its business with natural products specialty stores and a select group of e-Commerce companies, the Seaweed Bath Co., a manufacturer, wholesaler and online retailer of seaweed-based skin, hair and personal care products, began to grow its business with larger retailers. Leveraging consumer-generated content (CGC) in the form of online product reviews was a key component of the company’s strategy to build its brand in the mass market, so Seaweed Bath turned to Bazaarvoice to help collect authentic product reviews from consumers and distribute them to its retail customers.

Kroger CIO Q&A: Innovation Initiatives Leverage IoT, Mobile Scanning And Shelf-Edge Videos

Long gone are the days when supermarkets were the most risk-averse, tech-unfriendly retailers on the block. In fact, the nation’s largest supermarket chain, Kroger, displays a commitment to data, innovation and tech savvy that other retailers should envy. The leadership of Chris Hjelm, who has been EVP and CIO at Kroger since 2005, is one reason Kroger has been able to keep up with the times. “I came from a background of high-tech at companies including Orbitz, eBay and FedEx,” said Hjelm in an exclusive interview with Retail TouchPoints. “I created a research and development team shortly after I got here, and that’s been a huge contributor to innovation — and it’s a unique capability compared to many of our competitors.”

PacSun Road To Unified Commerce Begins With OMS

California-inspired teen fashion chain PacSun has embarked on a multi-year plan to deploy unified commerce, starting with the implementation of an enterprise Order Management System (OMS) within the next 12 months. “The OMS implementation will provide the foundation for the various use cases we want to expand to enhance the omnichannel shopping experience for our customers,” said Alan Flaesgarten, VP of IT for PacSun, in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “The big win for PacSun is to sell our inventory in any channel, regardless of where the customer engages with us.”

Finding The ‘Glue’ That Defines Customer Engagement At TechStyle

Q&A with Traci Inglis, Brand President, Fashion Brands – JustFab and Shoedazzle, TechStyle Fashion Group In this exclusive Q&A, Traci Inglis shares her insights into the magic behind TechStyle’s success with the brands under her purview, including JustFab and Shoedazzle. Founded in 2010, TechStyle serves more than five million VIP members across the JustFab, Shoedazzle and Fabletics brands. Before joining TechStyle in 2013, Inglis worked in marketing at Express, held a role in Retail Real Estate and Investor Relations at Westfield, and led the Digital Marketing and CRM teams across all brands at Torrid and Hot Topic.

L.L.Bean Extends Forecasting Timelines To 18 Months, Tightens Inventory

As a retailer that began its journey in the catalog business, L.L.Bean has taken many steps to evolve its supply chain to cater to consumer demand. The latest move has lengthened and improved its forecasting capabilities. The retailer’s recent major supply chain overhaul began in 2014, with the implementation of new forecasting and fulfillment tools from JDA Software. Since implementing the solutions, L.L.Bean has: Extended forecasting abilities from monthly and seasonal to 18 months in advance; Improved forecast accuracy 4%; Switched forecast processes from manual to automatic; and Tightened its inventory management levels.

Millennial Focus Boosts Wine Access Email Click-Through Rate 35%

Wine Access has been dedicated to bringing “wine, wine lover and winemaker together,” since it was founded in 1999, according to Mark Alexander, VP of Marketing and Product Management. But by 2017, the online marketplace needed to tweak its tasting menu to reach Gen X and Millennial consumers. A rebranding effort that included revamped email marketing helped the retailer improve click-through rates by 35% and also lower the average age of new customers by 10%. Attracting younger customers is critical in the highly competitive $220 billion American wine market. A recent white paper published by Wine Access, titled Through the Grapevine, revealed that Millennials now comprise 47% of the target customer segment — larger than any other demographic group. Additionally, wine trends change quickly: Rosé, for example, is now 14X more popular in terms of sales than it was just two years ago.

Less Than A Year After E-Commerce Debut, Alfred Dunner Doubles Online Sales In 6-Month Span

Family-owned Alfred Dunner operated successfully as a wholesale women’s apparel brand for more than 75 years before finally opening a direct-to-consumer e-Commerce site in September 2016. Its late entry into digital sales hasn’t held Alfred Dunner back: online sales doubled in the six months between June and December 2017. The sales totals have completely outpaced initial goals, according to Juliana Mathewson, Director of E-Commerce at Alfred Dunner.

EBay, Cosabella, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM Lead The Next Wave Of AI Implementation

Retailers are beginning to share more about both the benefits and the limits of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Major benefits often include higher customer satisfaction, increased conversions and higher revenues. At NRF 2018, Deborah Weinswig, Managing Director of Fung Global Retail and Technology, hosted a panel featuring three success stories from eBay, Cosabella and 1-800-FLOWERS.COM that showcased how and where AI can help retailers bolster the customer experience. 1-800-FLOWERS.COM ‘Human-Nurtured’ Approach To AI Deployment Chris McCann, CEO of 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, pointed out that his company’s GWYN (Gifts When You Need) AI-powered gift concierge, still needs a human touch in order to function correctly. The technology, powered by IBM Watson, enables shoppers to enter a conversation with a bot that adapts and learns human language with every interaction. “We often say automation for automation’s sake would clearly deliver the wrong message,” McCann said during the session. “To some degree, we take a human-nurtured augmented intelligence approach. How do you get that balance to make sure that the technology is making the right decision? It’s a learning process, and it’s what we’re going through with GWYN. We need to show that GWYN is understanding what to look for, what attributes need to be put into…

1:1 With CIO McNamara: How Target Achieved 25% Digital Growth In 2017

With mobile devices in the hands of employees across all 1,800 stores, Target was able to boost its digital business by more than 25% during 2017, said Mike McNamara, Chief Information and Digital Officer, in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. After a quick trial in late 2016, Target has now distributed upwards of 50,000 new mobile devices to all stores, with about 25 to 45 per store. “They were a big hit with the stores immediately,” said McNamara. The devices — TC51 mobile computers— are supplied by Zebra Technologies.

EBay Deploys Chatbots To Ease Holiday Gift-Giving Stress

Gift-giving can be an arduous and stressful process, but throughout the 2017 holiday season, eBay sought to help shoppers make difficult decisions with the help of an automated AI-powered chatbot. In partnership with Facebook Messenger, eBay leveraged ShopBot to personalize the shopping experience, direct consumers to one of eight curated gift guides and recommend trending holiday deals. The bot leverages natural language processing and visual technologies to make the customer experience more user-friendly and conversational. The mission of the bot is to “make shopping with eBay as easy as talking to a friend, whether you are looking for something specific or just browsing for inspiration,” according to Jay Vasudevan, Lead Product Manager of eBay. The platform is designed to encourage shoppers to rely on live social conversations as a starting point for their holiday shopping, and in turn find the most appropriate merchandise and best deals. “Shoppers can enlist the bot to do the heavy lifting of deal hunting and discovery for them, through simply texting, talking or snapping a picture in Facebook Messenger of the item they are looking for,” Vasudevan said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “The bot will then ask you questions to better understand your intent, and make…

HyperX Improves Inventory Turnover, Forecasting With Supply Chain Solution

When you’re shipping more than three million hot commodity items after a period of rapid growth, you need to make sure your supply chain is in tip-top shape. This was the case for HyperX, the gaming division of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., a leader in memory products such as flash drives and SD cards. Since launching its first gaming headset in 2014, HyperX has expanded to keyboards, gaming mice and mouse pads. Fast forward to 2017 and HyperX has shipped more than three million gaming headsets to consumers.

Exclusive Q&A: How Alex And Ani Elevates Personalization To The Gift-Giving Level

Personalization is a complex but necessary task, which can become even more complicated when the holiday season rolls around and gift-giving gets into high gear. Alex and Ani, a brand built on the premise of customization, is tapping the benefits of personalization to help consumers choose the best gifts for their friends and family. In an exclusive interview with Retail TouchPoints, Katherine Bahamonde Monasebian, Head of Marketing and E-Commerce at Alex and Ani details why: Introduces Private Label Financing: Sees Ticket Sizes Triple In First Week

When introduced a private label financing program in November 2017, the retailer sought to entice its shoppers to spend more with a set of new credit card payment options. The new choices impressed shoppers: in the program’s first week, saw ticket sizes triple versus purchases made with typical credit card payments. Additionally, by offering customers what’s essentially an open line of credit, the online home improvement retailer is anticipating longer-term benefits: increased repeat purchases.
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