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Solution Spotlight

The Retail TouchPoints Solution Spotlight features new products or services relevant to the retail industry. If you would like us to consider featuring your product or service on the Retail TouchPoints web site and in the weekly email newsletter, please submit your solution here: Solution Spotlight Submission Form.

Solution Spotlight: NRF 2011 Recap

More than 21,000 retail industry executives walked the show floor during the 100th Annual NRF Big Show in New York last week. Solution and service providers released many new and innovative products and services, many highlighting the need for more mobile solutions, social media applications and enterprise-wide systems that create a consistent brand experience across all channels. In the Solution Spotlight NRF report, Retail TouchPoints offers a sampling of some of the introductions from the show. Among the solutions highlighted in the Solution Spotlight are: Aruba Networks - Wi-Fi Mobile Marketing solution Opterus - Store Ops Center QlikView - Real-Time Analytics BVI Networks - RetailNEXT Store Intelligence Platform Click here to download the full Solution Spotlight report.

TellApart Empowers Retailers By Transforming the Analysis Of Ads and Customer Data

Concept: Every day retailers collect behavioral and transactional data on web site visitors and shoppers. TellApart offers retailers the ability to merge that information in a cloud-based store to create a granular, scalable system for customer segmentation. TellApart’s solution offers marketing applications, such as Transactional Retargeting, designed to help retailers drive substantial incremental revenue. Team: Headquartered in Burlingame, California, TellApart’s team has roots in online retail and engineering from finance and software companies including Google, Yahoo and LinkedIn. TellApart’s data platform concept came to co-founders Josh McFarland and Mark Ayzenshtat while working at Google. It was further refined at Greylock Partners, where they both spent time as Entrepreneurs-In-Residence. As a Product Manager/Engineering duo at Google, they worked closely on the DoubleClick Acquisition and were the minds behind the AdWords API. TellApart is backed by Greylock Partners, a top venture capital firm that has funded companies including Facebook, LinkedIn, Pandora and Zipcar. Alongside Greylock, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, Ron Conway, and LinkedIn Founder and Chairman Reid Hoffman also are company investors.

Solution Spotlight: LightSpeed Mobile Empowers Store Employees With iPod Touch Technology

Concept:LightSpeed Mobile utilizes mobile retail units to introduce a new development of the personal retail experience while shoppers are in a store. LightSpeed Mobile was developed to give consumers a more personalized retail experience where they can receive a new kind of one-on-one service from sales reps and can complete their purchase anywhere in a store. After the company saw the advantages of the system adopted by the Apple Store, the creators of LightSpeed Mobile decided to deliver a similar, unique one-on-one experience based on the same hardware, so retailers could affordably re-create it for their locations, regardless of size. The ability to close deals when the customer is most interested in a product they are considering to purchase will increase chance of spending. In the end this will serve the global need to deliver more convenient and personal service to consumers.

Solution Spotlight: OrderGroove Provides Subscription-Based Tools To Enhance Online Loyalty

Concept:OrderGroove’s technology is designed to allow retailers to tap the power of convenience to turn new and existing customers into repeat buyers — with the ultimate goal of increasing sales, building customer retention, maximizing lifetime value and slashing customer defection rates. OrderGroove’s flagship SaaS solution, the RetentionEngine Platform, is designed to allow online retailers to turn any purchase into an ongoing subscription, over which the customer has complete control. Retailers can also allow customers to sign up for clubs to their favorite brands. OrderGroove aims to encourage one-time purchasers to become repeat, subscription-based customers. For example, a customer may visit filtersfast.com to purchase HEPA air filters. Instead of capturing just a one-time sale, filtersfast.com uses OrderGroove to automatically ask the customer if he would like to sign up for regular deliveries of his specified filter, at no extra charge and perhaps attached to a special incentive, such as 10% off on all items included in the subscription. Another example is a customer who signs up to receive a new dress shirt every month from their favorite apparel brand. In both cases, the customer can participate in a useful, free service that saves time and money, and the retailer “locks in”…

Solution Spotlight: ILoveVelvet Tailors Shopping Experience For Enhanced Loyalty & Quick Payment

Concept:Today, retailers not only compete with each other — they compete with the ease and personalization of Internet shopping. In a cutthroat market, retailers are looking for ways to attract customers and inspire loyalty, turning a one-time visit into a lifelong relationship. Likewise, customer expectations are evolving to include more personalized service and custom incentives, as well as dramatic reductions in wait time. Recognizing this developing concern, ILoveVelvet launched in France in 2009, with the mission of enabling luxury and small- to medium-sized retailers the ability to provide this custom shopping encounter while eliminating the payment queue. Customers have the option to allow their purchase history, loyalty card and other information to be stored and accessed by the retailer, and in exchange, are rewarded with a valuable and engaging, one-on-one experience. By providing this tailored shopping experience, retailers build customer loyalty and showcase a high degree of brand differentiation, contributing to repeat sales and potentially creating brand evangelists.

Solution Spotlight: Endeca Commerce Suite Taps Web 2.0 To Optimize Online Customer Experience

Concept:An Endeca-powered dynamic storefront is designed to present the most relevant and compelling content to customers, based on their specifications, at each step of the online shopping experience. By incorporating content like as user reviews, video and buying guides directly into the decision-making process, these storefronts aim to give customers the experience of one-on-one customer service without stepping into a store. Studies have shown that retail web sites that incorporate this broad variety of content into the customer’s online experience have seen increases in traffic, conversion rates and online sales. Released in March of 2009, the Endeca Commerce Suite was designed to allow merchandisers the ability to provide their customers with a more intuitive and user-friendly online experience, thereby converting more site visitors into site customers. Its design gives merchandisers increased control over how content is presented on their respective web pages, via features such as Content-Spotlighting™ and Page Builder, resulting in higher site traffic, customer loyalty, and sales.

Solution Spotlight: First Insight Brings Consumer Trends to Retail Decision Makers

Concept: First Insight is aimed at connecting retailers and manufacturers to the voice of the consumer to optimize and streamline critical business decisions. By tapping into the current thinking of large groups of consumers through online casual games and applying predictive analytics, First Insight’s solution is designed to gives retailers the power to generate early insight on trends, attributes and product demand, before they make their purchasing decisions. Consumers are identified through various avenues of social media, their current insights are gathered through casual games and then predicative analytics are applied. The resulting solution offers a real time, ahead-of-the-trend view of consumer behavior, which retailers can use to truly sense product demand. Consumers also benefit because they are given a more active voice in the retailing process, expressing what they want and will be more likely to buy. Team: Headquartered in Pittsburgh with offices in Boston and India, First Insight is led by an experienced management team with interdisciplinary expertise in merchandising, market research, consumer intelligence, operations research and software application development.

Solution Spotlight: RFID-Enabled Solutions Streamlines Store Operations

Concept: RFID Enabled Solutions (RES) is a global provider of business solutions that are focused on optimizing operations, reducing expenses and improving business processes using radio frequency identification (RFID). RFID is a data collection technology which uses radio signals to transmit information about an item such as a serial number or name. RES provides end-to-end RFID solutions designed to increase data accuracy and product visibility, ultimately aimed at increased revenue generation and enhanced customer satisfaction. Team: RES leadership, with over 30 years of retail and over 20 years of RFID experience, has led some of the major retail RFID pilots in the U.S., including rollouts with Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch and Industry Standard. The company is owned and operated by Neco Can, Kurt Domini, Ryan Jones, and Brad Chuminatto. RFID Enabled Solutions is headquartered in Dublin, OH with offices in Dayton, OH, London U.K. and Turkey. Market Relevance: There’s been a great deal of chatter in the industry, as RFID is poised to become ubiquitous. The technology matures into a low-cost, general technology supported by the world’s rapidly developing wireless infrastructure and Web-based software application base.

Solution Spotlight: Searchandise Commerce Streamlines Merchandising Tactics

Concept: Searchandise Commerce, which was founded in July 2008, is aimed at taking merchandising tactics in the brick and mortar world and translating them to the Web. In physical stores, retailers vie for coveted spots, such as end caps or kiosks, to increase awareness and actively engage consumers as they conduct product research or commence the purchase process. As product research increasingly begins on the Web, the analogy for premium positions are the top spots on search engine results pages or featured product zones on retail sites. With more online shoppers beginning product research on retail sites rather than on search engines, retailers can offer manufacturers an opportunity to boost their on-site visibility by applying the strategies of in-store merchandising, and combining it with the tactics of paid search. Searchandise Commerce is designed to enable manufacturers to apply cost-per-click bids to advance a product position within a search list, or any section where products are presented. Unlike traditional paid search solutions, all traffic stays on the retailers’ Web site. The company addresses manufacturer and retail needs, in turn, offering the consumer a seamless shopping experience. When consumers conduct product searches on a retailer’s Web site, Searchandise is integrated transparently within…

Solution Spotlight: M-DOT Network Platform Streamlines Coupon Usage

Concept:The couponing industry is moving into the digital age as numerous Web, mobile, and device-oriented solutions are now in place to deliver digital content. The problem is there is not an industry standard solution for integrating digital content with retailer point of sale (POS) systems. Designed to remedy the problem retailers have dealing with numerous integration points, which has potential to deter consumers, MDot Network is an open platform that sits between the hundreds of companies producing digital content and the retailer’s POS. MDot’s solution is designed to provide a single point of integration that connects the coupon issuers to the retailers and the retailers' clearing house. Team:Founder and CEO Bill Catania, who came up with the original concept, heads Erie, PA-based MDot Network. Catania has direct experience in new business start-ups through his Motorsports/e-Commerce based business RaceFan, Inc., an Internet-based motor sports marketing venture. Mike Kavis, CTO, and Greg Rapp, VP of Engineering, architected the transaction processing engine and the open platform for eOffers. Kavis and Rapp both have over 20 years of IT experience and are both former Chief Architects at Catalina Marketing, with a combined 40+ years of retail and loyalty marketing experience.

Solution Spotlight: Runa Leverages Analytics to Improve Conversion Rates

Concept:In recent years e-tailers have focused on driving traffic to their sites, spending more than $20 billion on SEO/SEM in 2008, according to Runa. Now at a market saturation point, this investment produces an average conversion-to-sales rate of 2-3%, at best. The Runa team is convinced that the next wave in online retailing will increase conversion rates by appealing to shoppers once they’re on a Web site.

Solution Spotlight: AisleFinder Helps Consumers Navigate Stores with Interactive Kiosk Map

Concept:Created in 2008, AisleFinder is an in-store interactive shopping display and kiosk application designed to enable shoppers to quickly and efficiently find the items they want to buy within medium-to-large sized shopping/retails stores. You can think of it as Google Maps for the store. The solution provides a Web site and iPhone application designed to help customers find desired items by directing them to the aisles where the items can be found. AisleFinder is for grocery and retail locations that want to add value to their brand, as well as the customers shopping experience by giving customers a way to explore the store and do more targeted shopping. If we can save the customer time, they have more time to explore the store.

Solution Spotlight: Confirmit Customer Feedback Solution

Concept: Confirmit is an on-demand software platform designed to enable customer feedback. Confirmit is designed to allow retailers to collect feedback through various channels, including Web, telephone, paper and IVR (Interactive Voice Response). As retailers increasingly take advantage of multiple sales channels, particularly online, this is crucial to meeting customer expectations. Customer retention is critical to retailers, and to maximize retention, they need to create experiences that customers want to repeat, and products that customers want to repurchase. Retailer clients use Confirmit to collect actionable customer feedback at all key touchpoints in the retail process — from point of sale, through service interactions, complaints handling and renewal/repurchase.

Solution Spotlight: Aisle411 Gives Shoppers Power to Navigate In-Store

Concept: Aisle411 is a comprehensive mobile marketing solution designed to allow consumers to use their cell phones to locate products within a retail store. It's an “audio store map” designed to direct shoppers to the items they are looking for, down to the aisle and bay location. The service can also provide shoppers with mobile coupons, marketing messages or offers specifically related to the items they requested to offer timely and relevant mobile marketing opportunities. Team: While shopping a big box hardware store, Aisle411 Founder & CEO Nathan Pettyjohn was having difficulty finding a desired item. After two store associates were unable to help find the item, and 20 wasted minutes later, Pettyjohn left the store without the desired item. As he left the store, Pettyjohn encountered another frustrated customer who was also leaving the retailer frustrated and empty-handed. This frustration prevents a seamless shopping experience and can ultimately detrimental to retailers and CPG manufacturers who count on the retailers for distribution.

Solution Spotlight: Alert Technologies Smart Button Streamlines Fitting Room Service

Concept: Alert Technologies was approached in 1990 by a large regional retailer with a simple question: “Is there a way our customers can ask for assistance from inside the Fitting Room?” That question became the driving force behind Alert Technologies. The The Smart Button™ Fitting Room Service System technology offers retailers a mobile paging system and an occupancy sensing system that tracks length of stay; number of visits, and transmits requests using any in-store communication channel. The solution is largely focused on serving small to medium footprint specialty apparel retailers with a well-defined service strategy and a concern for customer experience. Houston-based Alert Technologies has found the most success with retailers looking to reverse missed conversion opportunities due to service failures in the fitting rooms, and for retailers looking for a tangible way to measure the impact of associate training on customer service.
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If you would like us to consider featuring your product or service on the Retail TouchPoints web site and in the weekly email newsletter, please submit your solution here: Solution Spotlight Submission Form.