Trend Watch

Mobile technology. Digital innovations. Social Commerce. These and many other trends are constantly being changed and being updated with new solutions, services and strategies. Retail TouchPoints editors stay on top of the latest activities and announcements, and bring you fresh perspectives on the hottest trends affecting the marketplace. Check back regularly for the latest new perspectives.

Study: Expect Deep Holiday Promotions As Shoppers Seek Value, Seasonal Spending Shifts Earlier

Although 48% of shoppers say they search for a particular brand when they begin an online shopping journey, an even higher percentage (58%) of consumers named lower pricing as the top reason they buy online from a retailer other than Amazon, according to a study from Valassis. And when it comes to choosing an online retailer, consumers are driven by incentives such as free shipping and returns (48%), further indicating that retailers need to focus on providing shoppers with bottom-line value — when they can afford to do so. These shopper tendencies will spur a highly promotional holiday season, according to Dave Cesaro, Executive Director, Vertical Marketing at Valassis. The concept of the holiday season already has become more fluid, with shopping events such as Prime Day and an earlier back-to-school season converging in the summer — 49% of shoppers planned on buying a holiday gift during Prime Day, Cesaro said. With more sales events occurring from July through the rest of the year, retailers are now forced to establish, or continue, deeper promotions when people shop the most.

‘Total’ DTC Success Happens Across 3 Stages: Acquisition, Sales And Engagement

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) is becoming quite the hot buzzword as merchants seek to bring more control of supply chain operations in-house. Traditionally, DTC brands were manufacturers or suppliers that sold products to end consumers without going through a retailer, distributor or other wholesaler, but the success of many digital natives in the space has convinced some retailers to adopt a DTC model themselves. As the DTC market becomes flooded with retailers and brands alike, these businesses must go beyond creating a strong e-Commerce presence to succeed; instead embracing the model across the three stages of the customer lifecycle: acquisition, sales and engagement, according to a report from L.E.K. Consulting. “The bar is rising, and the skills of being a retailer are not inherent in most brands,” said Robert Haslehurst, a Managing Director and Partner at L.E.K. Consulting in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “What we see among our own clients and among the broader landscape is often a too-narrow perspective on the thinking of the DTC model. They set up an e-Commerce business and say ‘We’ve checked that box. We’re done.’ They are not taking the view that this is going to be 100% of what a brand does, and it’s…

As Singles Day Becomes Multi-Week Event, Can U.S. Retailers Attract Chinese Shoppers?

Source. Although Alibaba anticipates sales of $37 billion in goods across its marketplaces during the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, largely identified by its original name “Singles Day,” the e-Commerce giant is continuing to evolve the event into a multiple-week extravaganza powered as much by hype as by substance. For the event, brands already are selling items from cars to cosmetics via livestreaming: Alibaba reported that on one of its Taobao livestreams, 55 cars were sold in just one second. The e-Commerce giant also reported that more than 17,000 brands started livestreaming on the first day of its pre-sales. Chinese smartphone-maker Xiamoi’s livestream attracted more than 200,000 online viewers within the first 10 hours.

With Both VC And PE Firms, Retailers Must Balance Investment Risks And Rewards

Attendees at any retail conference in 2019 are likely to see numerous panels and keynotes that include venture capitalists, private equity investors or both, with speakers detailing their experiences investing in brands, assisting with growth strategies and the various challenges that can arise. While each deal has its own individual contours, there’s a basic divide between the strategies of VC and PE investors. VCs often take on companies in their nascent states, as the retailer (and the investors) seek the elusive goal of creating a unicorn — a company with a billion-dollar valuation. In contrast, private equity firms often quietly back some of the larger, established brands in the hopes of maintaining stable growth.

Teradata Universe Report: How BevMo! Moved Toward CCPA Privacy Compliance

The Teradata Universe conference, held Oct. 20-24, brought together 3,200 attendees in Denver to gain greater insights into data analytics, along with practical examples of how they can be applied to improve business intelligence and operations. Retail speakers included executives from Meijer, Mercado Libre, Rakuten, Loblaws, and Nordstrom. Additionally, analysts and academics discussed a wide range of topics, such as the multiple ways AI can enhance marketing campaigns via personalization and real-time reactions to digital advertising. How BevMo! Protects Customer Privacy The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1, 2020, with enforcement beginning six months later. The law will have significant impacts well beyond the Golden State, since the CCPA jurisdiction applies to any company doing business with California residents. The law includes low minimums for the number of customers and amount of revenue generated to trigger the CCPA’s application, according to Jay Irwin, Director of the Center for Enterprise Security at Teradata. “Companies will need to be able to tell these residents where they got their data, who they bought it from, what they are planning to do with it and who they are going to sell it to,” said Irwin during a…

How Hanna Andersson CEO Mike Edwards Plans To Grow Niche Brand Into Billion-Dollar Business

In this exclusive Q&A, Hanna Andersson CEO Mike Edwards (former CEO of eBags) shares insights into his strategies for competing in the $160 billion global children’s market; the company’s new Innovation Studio initiative; the importance of social media and influencers at Hanna Andersson and much more. In addition to his roles at Hanna Andersson and eBags, Edwards’ extensive retail resume includes: EVP, Global Merchandising at Staples; President, CEO & Investor at Borders, Inc.; President & CEO, Director and Investor, lucy activewear; EVP Operations, JOANN Stores; EVP Merchandising and CMO, West Marine; and VP and GMM, Golfsmith; SVP and GMM, CompUSA. He also held roles at Target Stores and May Department Stores early in his retail career.

Exclusive CEO Q&A: How David’s Bridal Stores Add Value In A Digital World

It’s been just a few months since James Marcum took the CEO job at David’s Bridal, and to hear him share the retailer’s story, the honeymoon is still on. Prior to Marcum’s arrival, the 330-store retailer came through a bankruptcy reorganization in less than two months, shedding approximately $450 million in debt without having to close any store locations. Unlike many retailers that have experienced financial troubles, Marcum sees the David’s Bridal national store footprint as one of its major assets, along with: • The breadth of its assortment, sizing and services, including alterations, customization and accessories; • Improved alignment between its in-store and online customer experiences, designing them to meet the changing requirements of today’s wedding consumer; and • The retailer’s vertical supply chain, which should help the company navigate the current trade wars.

TikTok Tops 800M Users: Is It Retail's Next Big Social Investment?

Even though TikTok has only been available to the global market since 2017, it’s already won the hearts and attention of Gen Z (or Centennials) everywhere. The premise is simple yet powerful for its target audience, which is eager to be creative and express themselves. Users create vertical, looping videos that can be anywhere from 15 to 60 seconds long. Then they can edit their videos, adding music, sounds and other effects. Retailers and brands, including big names such as Walmart, Kroger, Macy’s and e.l.f. Cosmetics, already have launched TikTok campaigns, garnering impressive levels of consumer engagement along with millions — in some cases billions — of views. Even so, TikTok has remained largely under the radar, making it an ideal medium for retailers to try out new concepts in a low-pressure environment. For now, marketers that can master the social network’s vocabulary and exercise their creativity will have an almost open field in which to create connections with younger consumers.

Exclusive Q&A: Why Retailers Should Embrace Sustainable Supply Chains

Is that shirt you’re wearing bad for the environment? In the broadest sense, it probably is. According to UN Climate Change, total greenhouse gas emissions from textile production — 1.2 billion tons annually — are more than those from international flights and maritime shipping combined. In early 2018, some estimates projected that the sector’s emissions would rise by more than 60% by 2030.

Beyond Basic Personalization: Takeaways From The Bluecore Summit

Lori Gatto, VP of Marketing, TomboyX More than 300 retail executives gathered in New York City on September 18 for the Bluecore Summit, to share insights via presentations, roundtables and breakout conversations. Attendees represented a variety of retailers and direct-to-consumer brands, including Nordstrom Rack, BCBGMAXAZRIA, Express, Hammacher Schlemmer and many more. One of the high-level takeaways from the summit was that retailers need to do a better job executing their personalization strategies, noted Shar VanBoskirk, VP, Principal Analyst at Forrester. Successful personalization strategies deliver:

Moving Toward Inclusion: More Retailers Appoint C-Level Diversity Officers

Retailers, like any other business, can make mistakes that alienate their audience or even their own employees. In today’s 24/7 news cycle, it’s very easy for a brand to make a gaffe that causes PR mayhem, but that’s still not a valid excuse in an era when inclusiveness is becoming more encouraged. In response and as a way to prevent future embarrassments, retailers are becoming more cognizant of their hiring, promotional and marketing efforts. Some deem these issues important enough to create a C-suite position: the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. When deciding whether to appoint a Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, retailers should take note of some of the realities within the changing industry, including: Retailers are actually doing a better job at implementing diversity; they are currently outperforming other industries such as technology, health care, engineering and manufacturing; Major players such as Target and Macy’s have taken significant steps to bolster their diversity and inclusion initiatives to improve both the customer and the employee experiences; There are four top qualities retailers should seek out when onboarding Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officers; and They must fix “the two B’s,” bias and behavior, to improve hiring processes and instill a…

#RSP19 Webinar Series Recap: Turning One-Time Shoppers Into Repeat Customers

The 13 webinars in the 2019 Retail Strategy & Planning (RSP) series, now available on-demand, illustrate how today’s shoppers are sizing up the brands and retailers they buy from. Providing key insights on how retailers can turn one-time consumers into full-time shoppers, the sessions feature fresh survey data on topics including holiday trends, location intelligence, omnichannel shopping and premium loyalty programs, along with real-world examples from companies including CVS, Keurig, Grove Collaborative, Bonobos, lululemon, Peloton and Standard Dose. Following are some of the key quotes and data points from this year’s slate of webinars:

#RSP19 Webinar Series Preview: How One-Time Consumers Become Full-Time Shoppers

From Monday, Sept. 16 through Friday, Sept. 20, Retail TouchPoints will present the 2019 Retail Strategy & Planning Series, a 13-webinar series dedicated to uncovering the new ways shoppers are assessing, selecting and connecting with the brands they buy from. The #RSP19 sessions will specifically address the new tools and tactics retailers should embrace to better understand this new wave of shoppers; nurture relationships with them; and transform one-time engagement into recurring revenue.

Study: 31% Of Retail Associates Still Don’t Receive Formal Workplace Training

Although it’s becoming increasingly accepted that retailers must give their employees a reason to stay (beyond just a paycheck) if they want to improve their culture and ultimately provide an excellent customer experience, 31% of all frontline retail employees still say they do not receive any formal workplace training, according to the Axonify State of Frontline Workplace Training Study. The lack of formal training is even higher for part-time employees (36%), who might have less incentive to stay in the first place if their retail work is an in-between or secondary job.

Resale Is The New $51 Billion Retail Reality — Retailers Should Prepare Accordingly

The sale of secondhand apparel and accessories, referred to mainly as resale or “recommerce,” has gained significant traction as consumers increasingly seek out value (both from a pricing and sustainability standpoint), as well as clothing that expresses individuality and is easily shared via social media. In fact, the overall resale market has grown 21X faster than the retail apparel market over the past three years and is expected to reach $23 billion by 2023 ($51 billion when accounting for thrift stores and donations), according to the thredUP 2019 Resale Report. The rapid growth has been spurred by a group of disruptors in recent years, including Poshmark, The Real Real, Vestiaire Collective, thredUP, Threadflip, Depop, Rebag and StockX, and has convinced some of retail’s biggest traditional players to hop on the bandwagon.
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