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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.

59% Of Shoppers Won’t Buy Items With ‘Arbitrary’ Prices

When shoppers perceive that an item’s price is unfair or arbitrary, a majority (59%) will refuse to buy the product. However, they will accept price increases or decreases that remain within a “fair” range, particularly if the changes are based on data science, according to a Forrester Consulting study that examined consumer attitudes toward pricing and promotions. An original survey in May 2017 queried 1,250 shoppers in the U.S., UK, France, Germany and Brazil and Forrester followed up with additional research in April 2018. Key findings included:

Despite Anchor Store Closures, Malls Can Secure Success With Dining, Experiences, Entertainment

As many as 30% of malls will need to close due to the oversaturation of shopping centers in the U.S., estimates Coresight Research. But the need to reduce significant square footage isn’t all bad news. While more than 1,100 department stores are set to close between 2018 and 2023, mall operators can secure future success by: Focusing on potential “anchor” replacements, but not in the form of large format stores; Prioritizing high-end dining and experiences to cater to future generations of shoppers; and Embracing the concepts of “destination centers” and “retaildential” complexes.

21 Innovative Solutions Showcased At #RIC18

At the 2018 Retail Innovation Conference, innovation wasn’t limited to the educational sessions. Sponsors showcased solutions for some of the retail industry’s most pressing concerns, including marketing personalization; mobile applications; making loyalty and referral marketing programs more effective; deepening connections between retail associates and shoppers; and the latest in design and digital signage. Following is a roundup of the sponsors’ offerings.

#RIC18: 17 Quick Quotes Provide Taste From Smorgasbord Of Retail Topics

The 2018 Retail Innovation Conference featured more than 50 retail industry executives and experts speaking on a wide range of the hot topics — from the sometimes-difficult move from online to brick-and-mortar to optimal use cases for AI, voice and personalization. These 17 quick quotes provide a “tasting menu” for those that couldn’t make the conference, which was held April 30-May 2 in New York City. “If you want the rewards of creativity and innovation, you have to take the risk. Comfort zones are great, but nothing actually grows there. They’re deserts.” — Ken Hughes, Award-Winning Shopper BehaviouralistCreativity can’t be cultivated by simply creating the right environment — you have to work personally to generate fresh ideas and innovations. Trendy accoutrements like beanbag chairs or coffee bars are what Hughes calls “lipstick on a gorilla” — they’re superficially attractive, but don’t actually improve the creative process, which is ultimately a personal responsibility.

#RIC18: Unlocking The Secrets Of Gen Z Shoppers

Retailers are engaged in a “race for relevance” as they try to meet the needs not only of Millennials but the generations following them, Gen Z and Gen Alpha. According to Shopper Behaviouralist Ken Hughes, these current and future consumers are motivated by a set of values based on growing up as true digital natives. “For them, a [print] magazine is a broken iPad,” said Hughes, showing a video of an infant trying, in vain, to activate the pages of a print magazine. “In retail, one of our challenges is not to be a magazine.”

#RIC18: Walmart CIO Embraces People-Led, Tech-Powered Strategy

The 2018 Retail Innovation Conference, April 30 to May 2, began with Store Tours on Monday, and then the content section kicked off Tuesday morning with an informative “fireside chat” with Walmart CIO Clay Johnson and Retail TouchPoints Editor In Chief Debbie Hauss. Additional reporting on the sessions, the event’s Top Tweets and a sponsor roundup will be appearing in the coming days.

Exclusive Q&A With Mastercard Exec: Expanding Payment To Wearables, VR And Smart Home Devices

Payments are the unglamorous but absolutely necessary piece of any consumer purchase. As retail touch points have multiplied and become more technologically complex, encompassing mobile devices, wearables, and now voice, AR and VR applications, payment providers have had to keep pace. One indication of the breadth of this challenge is in Kiki Del Valle’s title: she is SVP of Commerce for Every Device at Mastercard. Del Valle, who will be presenting the session, titled Transforming How People Pay: Commerce For Every Device at next week’s Retail Innovation Conference, April 30-May 2 in New York City, revealed why payment providers need to balance innovation, consumer convenience and data security within a rapidly shifting customer journey.

Study: 43% Of Shoppers Turn To Local Retailers For Immediately Needed Purchases

Despite the growing demand for rapid e-Commerce delivery, most shoppers still rely on local retailers for products they need in a hurry: 43% of consumers always turn to a local store when they need an item within two to three days, while 28% are evenly split between buying from a store or a web site, according to the 2018 Local Consumer Survey by Netsertive. In comparison, 29.1% of shoppers turn to Amazon when they want fast delivery. A strong Internet presence is still important for local retailers, as the vast majority of shoppers research a store before visiting. The most common research platforms include:

UPS Study: U.S. Consumers Shopping Across Borders Climbs To 47%

It’s an increasingly small world in e-Commerce: Almost half of U.S. online shoppers, and a majority of online shoppers outside the U.S., choose e-Tailers that are based outside their own countries. Around the globe, consumers are embracing mobile commerce, online marketplaces and diverse shipping options, although adoption rates and satisfaction vary (in some cases dramatically), according to the latest UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper report. Based on a comScore survey of more than 18,000 consumers, the study captured the differing behaviors and preferences of online shoppers in the U.S., Asia, Europe, Canada, Mexico and Brazil.

Influencer Marketing Playbook: Micro Influencers, Multi-Tier Campaigns & New Instagram Features

In September 2017, super influencer Arielle Charnas of Something Navy was said to rack up more than $1 million in sales for Nordstrom in less than 24 hours with her debut clothing collection, Something Navy x Treasure Bond. This is just one example of the incredible impact that influencer marketing can wield for retailers and brands.  Research on influencer marketing demonstrates its value for creating awareness, increasing brand value and boosting sales. Results from the 2017 State of Influencer Marketing report by Launchmetrics revealed:  88% of influencer marketing tactics were effective at raising awareness about the company or its products;  65% claimed that it was effective for increasing customer loyalty; and 53% claimed that it was effective at driving sales.  This feature hits on the latest trends, best practices and case studies in influencer marketing, including:  The value of micro influencers;  The benefits of a multi-tier, long-term influencer strategy; New Instagram features gaining momentum among influencers; and Case studies from international retailers such as Bodyguard Apotheke, Feelunique and Matsuya. “Brands are starting to experiment a little more with influencer marketing itself,” said Michael Froggatt, Director of Intelligence at Gartner L2 in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. They are making these moves in part…

Exclusive Q&A With Gartner L2’s Amazon Guru: Watch Out For Total Vertical Integration

Jeff Bezos’ ambitions for Amazon go well beyond becoming the world’s number-one retailer, according to Cooper Smith, Director of Amazon Research at Gartner L2. “That’s a means to an end,” said Smith in an exclusive interview with Retail TouchPoints. “I believe his vision is for Amazon to be the ultimate purveyor in the marketing, selling and transportation of goods.” Smith revealed key insights into both the omnichannel retailer’s latest moves and its long-term plans, including: • The likeliest targets for Amazon’s next brick-and-mortar acquisition after purchasing Whole Foods;• How these acquisitions will help Amazon crack higher-end markets, particularly in apparel;|• The likelihood that Amazon will introduce Amazon Go-style cashierless technology in its brick-and-mortar stores;• Which “strange bedfellow” combinations may be needed to challenge Amazon; and• The potential location of Amazon’s HQ2.

Exclusive Q&A With KIDBOX CEO Miki Berardelli

At KIDBOX, Miki Berardelli has managed to combine innovative leadership, social consciousness, youth empowerment and fun into a successful children’s apparel shopping platform. In 2018, KIDBOX is embracing private label and will be introducing its own exclusive private brands. Learn Berardelli’s secrets to success in this exclusive Q&A. You can also hear from her at the upcoming Retail Innovation Conference, April 30-May 2, where she'll part of a panel discussing best practices for building a private brand in the digital era.  Retail TouchPoints (RTP): What are your proudest accomplishments at KIDBOX?

Consumer Study: 63% Of Online Shoppers Expect Three-Day Delivery As Standard

Shoppers are looking beyond cost when making e-Commerce purchasing decisions, according to the 2018 Consumer Trends Report from Kibo. While price is still the most important factor for 61% of shoppers, its share has fallen from 70% in 2017. At the same time, a small but growing portion of shoppers rate other factors as more important: Speed of fulfillment (8%, up from 2%); Online shopping experience: (8%, up from 4%); and Variety of fulfillment options: (7%, up from 4%). Flexibility and speed are particularly important purchase influencers: 40% of shoppers say taking more than two days for delivery would prevent them from making a purchase, while 63% expect delivery within three days as the standard. Making a variety of delivery options visible early in the shopper journey also is important: 76% of shoppers say having multiple fulfillment options influences their purchasing decision, up from 64% in 2017. The findings are similar to the results of the Retail TouchPoints 2018 Last Mile Survey, which reported that 65% of consumers want greater shipment flexibility and 61% want faster deliveries. “What we’ve been seeing is a shift towards convenience and a shift towards the experience portion of the buying cycle,” said Tushar Patel,…

Gen X Leads In Grocery Spending, But Millennial Families Are Catching Up

Although Millennials are making the shift into marriage and child-bearing later in life than the generations that preceded them, they are increasing their grocery spending significantly as they form families. Millennial parents report spending an average of $360 per month on groceries, 47% more than Millennials without children, who spend an average of $245 monthly. These are some of the findings from the 14th Edition of The Why? Behind The Buy, an annual report on the buying patterns and behaviors of grocery shoppers from CPG-focused sales and marketing firm Acosta.

The Missing Link In Personalization: Only 13% Of Retailers Identify Most Profitable Shoppers

While as many as 77% of retailers say they have an established process to identify their most loyal customers, only 13% say they can accurately identify those that are most profitable, according to the BRP 2018 Customer Loyalty Special Report. Up to 39% of retailersdo have processes in place to identify profitable customers, but admit that their efforts still need improvement. Another 27% project that they will be able to identify these shoppers within three years. Retailers that want to maximize customer profitability as well as loyalty are leveraging personalization efforts across a number of different areas:
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