Features - Retail TouchPoints - Retail TouchPoints https://www.retailtouchpoints.com Sun, 18 Mar 2018 18:57:42 -0400 RTP en-gb Intoxicated Consumers To Spend $233 Million Online During St. Patrick’s Day https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/news-briefs/intoxicated-consumers-to-spend-233-million-online-during-st-patrick-s-day https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/news-briefs/intoxicated-consumers-to-spend-233-million-online-during-st-patrick-s-day

0aastpatrickThis St. Patrick’s Day, shoppers will spend their green to the tune of $233 million on online purchases while under the influence of alcohol, according to ContentSquare. Clothing retailers are expected be the largest beneficiaries of the celebration, reaping $58 million in e-Commerce sales.

Technology is another big draw for inebriated revelers, at $25 million in online sales, while the homeware and jewelry categories will approach $18 million each. Hungry partygoers will spend $24 million on food.

Retailers that are expecting (or hoping for) a bump in attention from St. Patrick’s Day celebrants may want to consider tailoring sales or promotions to this audience. Key figures for the holiday include:

  • Approximately 17.1% of Americans will make a drunken online purchase.
  • Men are 38% more likely to buy while intoxicated than women.
  • Nearly 25% of Millennials expect to shop inebriated on St. Patrick’s Day.
  • Tipsy consumers are looking for something personal – 79.8% will buy a treat for themselves, while only 7.5% will make a purchase for their spouse or significant other.
feed@retailtouchpoints.com (Glenn Taylor) News Briefs Fri, 16 Mar 2018 17:23:48 -0400
Southeastern Grocers To Close 94 Stores In Restructuring Agreement https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/news-briefs/southeastern-grocers-to-close-94-stores-in-restructuring-agreement https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/news-briefs/southeastern-grocers-to-close-94-stores-in-restructuring-agreement Southeastern Grocers To Close 94 Stores In Restructuring Agreement

Southeastern Grocers (SEG) has entered into a restructuring support agreement with a group of its creditors. The retailer will close 94 stores, but the remaining 582 locations will continue operating without interruption.

The restructuring, which SEG hopes to exit within 90 days, will decrease the retailer’s debt levels by more than $500 million, freeing up capital to remodel stores in a significant portion of the grocer’s footprint over the next several years. The revitalization effort will include new concepts and products catering to local tastes and needs.

The grocer will shutter supermarkets across its entire seven-state operating area: 35 in Florida; 19 each in Georgia and South Carolina; 10 in Alabama; nine in North Carolina; and one each in Louisiana and Mississippi. All four of the retailer’s grocery banners will be affected, including 45 Winn-Dixie supermarkets, 26 Harveys stores, 22 BI-LO locations and one Fresco y Más. A list of closings is available here.

"The agreement we announced today is an important step in Southeastern Grocers' transformation to put our company in the best position to succeed in the extremely competitive retail market in which we do business,” said Anthony Hucker, President and CEO at SEG in a statement. “With a foundation built on iconic, heritage banners, and with the strong support of our leadership team, we will work through this process as quickly and efficiently as possible. We are excited to emerge with the optimal store footprint and greater financial flexibility to invest in Southeastern Grocers' growth."

BI-LO also was preparing for a potential bankruptcy filing for this month. The February 2018 announcement coincided with the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing of Tops Friendly Market, a New York-based grocery chain that blamed its financial struggles on challenging market conditions such as falling food prices and excess competition.

feed@retailtouchpoints.com (Glenn Taylor) News Briefs Fri, 16 Mar 2018 16:30:25 -0400
Boxed CFO Leaves In Wake Of Alleged Takeover Rejection https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/retail-movers-and-shakers/boxed-cfo-leaves-in-wake-of-alleged-takeover-rejection https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/retail-movers-and-shakers/boxed-cfo-leaves-in-wake-of-alleged-takeover-rejection Boxed CFO Leaves In Wake Of Alleged Takeover Rejection

Boxed is facing an executive-level shakeup with the departure of Naeem Ishaq, CFO of the online wholesaler, according to Fast Company. He is the third executive to part ways with the retailer in recent months, following Behzad Soltani, VP of B2B in February 2018, and CMO Heather Mayo in September 2017.

The latest exit takes place one week after Boxed reportedly rejected a $400 million takeover bid from Kroger, according to Bloomberg. The retailer had also held preliminary talks with Amazon, Target and Costco, but those retailers didn’t submit a bid. At the NRF Big Show in January, Boxed CEO Chieh Huang revealed that his dream was to stay independent and take the company public.

Boxed carries a limited selection of bulk-sized essentials and grocery products, which allows the fulfillment of more orders using fewer people and less space than competitors. The retailer has been dubbed the “Costco of Millennials” due to its young, tech-savvy consumer base, but its performance with enterprise customers also has been impressive. Office purchases of bulk goods represent 50% of all new business for Boxed and 25% of overall sales.

The online retailer is in the right market for expansion, as the online grocery market’s compound annual growth rate has increased 18% over the last five years, according to Forrester Research. Boxed is staying at the cutting edge of e-Commerce by debuting three new customer-facing technologies in early 2018: Augmented Reality (AR) View to let customers see and compare products; a Facebook Messenger chatbot capable of handling customer service questions; and a group ordering option for customers to share links and split the bill through Venmo.

feed@retailtouchpoints.com (Glenn Taylor) Retail Movers & Shakers Fri, 16 Mar 2018 14:14:02 -0400
Warby Parker Raises $75 Million Ahead Of Possible IPO https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/financial-news/warby-parker-raises-75-million-ahead-of-possible-ipo https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/financial-news/warby-parker-raises-75-million-ahead-of-possible-ipo Warby Parker Raises $75 Million Ahead Of Possible IPO

One month after revealing a goal to expand to 100 U.S. stores, Warby Parker has unveiled how it plans on funding this level of growth. The eyewear retailer has raised $75 million, bringing its total funding to date to nearly $300 million.

T. Rowe Price, an asset management firm, led the Series E round. Warby Parker said it plans to use the money for research and development and technology investments. One recent initiative is the Prescription Check mobile app, which lets eligible customers complete vision tests at home and acquire a new prescription without having to visit an eye doctor in person.

The new funding values the New York City-based company at $1.75 billion, according to a Recode report. Yet despite this impressive valuation, Warby Parker still covers less than 1% of the U.S. market share for eyewear, according to Co-Founder and Co-CEO Dave Gilboa, meaning there is significant room for growth.

Gilboa said Warby Parker will be profitable for the first time in 2018.He attributed the profitability breakthrough to accelerating revenue growth, supply chain improvements and the opening of the company’s new $16 million Optical Lab, which pulls more assembly work in-house while boosting gross margins.

The company’s growth has fueled speculation that the brand will seek an IPO in the future. But for now, Gilboa admitted that investments in future products and services are sometimes “easier to make as a private company.”

The retailer’s ability to raise funds spells good news for omnichannel brands that grew as online-only retailers before building out brick-and-mortar presences, such as IndochinoCasper and UNTUCKit. Like Bonobos after Walmart acquired the fashion retailer last year, Warby Parker now has additional resources to scale out effectively across all channels.

feed@retailtouchpoints.com (Glenn Taylor) Financial News Fri, 16 Mar 2018 11:57:43 -0400
Gladson Acquires FSEnet+ and Webcollage https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/news-briefs/gladson-acquires-fsenet-and-webcollage https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/news-briefs/gladson-acquires-fsenet-and-webcollage Gladson Acquires FSEnet+ and Webcollage

Gladson has acquired FSEnet+, a product data management and syndication provider, and Webcollage, a cloud-based platform that allows manufacturers to manage and publish rich product information for retailer sites. Gladson provides brands with a digital content hub of consumer goods product information and images, as well as store optimization services.

"Our clients are struggling working with multiple providers of product information and digital assets due to inconsistent formats, and ever changing product labeling and packaging,” said Paul Salay, CEO at Gladson in a statement. “Retailers and other data recipients need complete and consistent data to power their e-Commerce web sites and to optimize their shelf management process. By combining the FSEnet+ product data management engine with the Webcollage platform, Content Publisher, we have taken significant steps to enable a more efficient transfer of information between supply and demand."

The combined platforms are designed to offer end-to-end product content management to drive efficiency in supply chain, space management and e-Commerce operations.

feed@retailtouchpoints.com (Glenn Taylor) News Briefs Fri, 16 Mar 2018 10:32:30 -0400
Indochino Boosts Showroom Bookings 77% Via Landing Page Localization https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/retail-success-stories/indochino-boosts-showroom-bookings-77-via-landing-page-localization https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/retail-success-stories/indochino-boosts-showroom-bookings-77-via-landing-page-localization Indochino Boosts Showroom Bookings 77% Via Landing Page Localization

As an e-Commerce retailer that thrives on physical showrooms to successfully expand its brand — reaching 50% annual revenue growth for the second consecutive year — Indochino needs to strategically leverage digital marketing to ensure that online shoppers visit its brick-and-mortar shops. With Unbounce, a landing page conversion platform, the made-to-measure suit retailer is using landing pages and geotargeted content to craft personalized shopping experiences.

In a nine-month period, Indochino secured 800+ showroom bookings via Unbounce landing pages and 750 newsletter signups, growingin-store bookings 77% year over year. In total, 340,000+ unique visitors accessed the landing pages in that time span.

Over the past year, Indochino opened eight showrooms in eight cities, including New York and Washington, DC, and has plans to open 18 more this year, giving it 37 showrooms by the end of 2018.

“These are major markets for us, whether people are buying online or in showrooms,” said Lisa Craveiro, Director of Acquisition at Indochino in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “We can now focus our efforts and our budgets on specific marketing channels that work best for hyper-local targeting.”

City-Specific Sites Drive In-Person Appointments

To help power its expansion, Indochino leveraged Unbounce to create hyper-local landing pages that invited men to “suit up” in each newly established showroom, building brand awareness and leading to in-person appointments in those markets. Prior to using Unbounce, Indochino’s web site landing pages lacked a simple navigation path that focused a users’ attention toward conversion goals.

“We were sending paid traffic to Indochino’s sites, but it was difficult to have city-specific messaging that could direct shoppers to a New York showroom,” said Craveiro. “They also lacked a strong call-to-action (CTA). Now, when shoppers arrive on the web site, they’re fully informed, they know when a new showroom is opening, they know the address and everything. We can create multiple variants of the same page with just a slight difference.”

By using the platform’s A/B testing tools, the Indochino marketing team can optimize CTA placement, headlines and imagery for each localized landing page.

Craveiro noted that because the company’s content management system (CMS) isn’t set up to easily communicate localized messaging, the Indochino team is now leveraging the Unbounce platform for sweepstakes and Facebook pages as well.

Working with a designer, the team created mock editorial articles for their Facebook ads to link to. These articles — which appear as blog posts — contain CTAs to “schedule an appointment” in a showroom, but also to “see the suits” for those preferring to browse. These articles provide a relevant destination for anyone arriving from a Facebook ad, but they also allow Indochino’s marketers to communicate different value propositions based on different ad messages. These pieces may include headlines such as “5 Reasons To Check Out Indochino’s Local Showroom.”

Indochino also is branching out further into paid media. The retailer may begin testing radio advertising within the next few months, but the scaling of this and other media initiatives will depend on initial test results.

Indochino Rolls Out Wedding-Specific Ads, Landing Pages

Beyond leveraging location-specific content, Indochino also uses landing pages to promote partnerships with wedding vendors such as The Knot and The Wedding Wire. Indochino already is rolling out wedding-specific ads and matching landing pages, as men are beginning to purchase suits for the summer wedding season.

“Weddings are a big part of our business,” Craveiro said. “We know how influential the bride is in that suit-buying decision for the groom. Often, we want to reach males specifically, but when it comes to weddings, we also want to reach wives-to-be as well. We leverage our partnerships to run eblasts, listings and other forms of display advertising in order to reach brides. There’s a lot of targeting you can apply — reaching those that are going to get married in the next four-to-nine months, which has been great targeting for us.”

feed@retailtouchpoints.com (Glenn Taylor) Retail Success Stories Fri, 16 Mar 2018 09:42:53 -0400
Is Cash Dead? An International View https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/executive-viewpoints/is-cash-dead-an-international-view https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/executive-viewpoints/is-cash-dead-an-international-view

0aaRalf Gladis ComputopIt’s widely believed that the ancient Greeks invented money as we know it. On the contrary, however, the first coins to ever appear came from a coastal kingdom on the Aegean Sea in ancient Turkey, about 2,700 years ago. The amount that each coin was worth was embossed on gold or silver flat coins. They were used to trade with visiting merchants from overseas.

That’s a far cry from the “international payments” scene today. Nevertheless, it would be fair to say that for thousands of years, not much really changed with money. Cash was king. Even as credit card payments really took off during the 1980s, they were initially mostly for domestic, not international, use.

Fast forward to the present day. With all the advances in payment options, some retailers may be wondering if cash’s days as a payment method are numbered. 

Well, there’s life in the old dog yet, particularly internationally.

Why? Cash is very popular in geographies where people mistrust their banks and governments. Electronic payments require trust in data privacy because consumers can be tracked. So where is cash still strong, and where is it faltering globally?

International Feelings About Cash For Payments

Many Germans and Italians have more trust in cash than they have in banks or in governments to treat their data privacy properly. And recent scandals around the NSA and GCHQ haven’t helped to build that trust. As long as consumers have good reason to believe that they will have their privacy infringed, it will be impossible for politicians to introduce a cashless society. Trust comes first.

Sweden, however, is a good example of a place where established trust is enabling the decline of cash for payments. People in this country trust their government and their society is innovative, so Swedish consumers have learned to cherish the convenience of electronic payments. Therefore, Sweden is leading the way to a cashless society in Europe.

Bridging The Gap Between Cash And Electronic Payments – For Now

Solutions such as Amazon Cash and Barzahlen in Germany are evolving to bridge the gap between cash and electronic payments. Unbanked people can use these solutions to buy online and pay cash at a retailer’s cash register.

However, the vast majority of future payments will be electronic and processed via apps, e-wallets and initiated by mobile devices, wearable devices and standards such as Near Field Communication (NFC).

Alternatives To Cash Payments In The Coming Years

As mentioned, e-wallets, including ones like Alipay, Masterpass, PayPal and WeChat, will become invaluable in coming years. Wallets will process payments online, in-app and in-store via NFC or QR code.

Convenience is and will continue to be the driver behind the rise of e-wallets. For instance, driving to an ATM to take out cash is inconvenient. And then how do you carry and protect the cash? Avoiding the effort and cost involved with handling cash has been driving the global success of credit and debit cards ever since the first Diners Club cards were issued in 1950. Plastic cards, however, do not provide the convenience desired within the digital age. Who likes to type in a 16-digit card number, validation date and validation code on a keyboard — let alone on a smartphone?

E-wallets have paved — and will continue to pave — the way to a convenient digital shopping experience in an omnichannel retail world.

In addition to digital wallets, a rather old-fashioned payment method will soon regain mainstream popularity: bank payments/transfers.

We are starting to see evidence of the rising popularity of bank accounts for payments due to the introduction of Faster Payments in the U.S. and UK and Instant Payments in Europe. These make it much faster, easier and more convenient for consumers to send money from account to account. Historically in Europe, with 28 member states and just as many banking systems, it had been difficult, expensive and slow to transmit money between countries. However, with SEPA Instant Payments announced for 2018, it will be easy, fast and cost-effective to send money to any European account within 10 seconds, 365 days per year.

Being able to process payments instantly from account to account will be a big leap forward towards a cashless society. However, without complete consumer trust in data privacy, it will still prove impossible to replace cash altogether.

Much has been said recently about the rise of electronic payments and cryptocurrencies and the demise of cash. In fact, Blockchain co-founder and CEO Peter Smith said “cash will be extinct” in recent interviews. But that statement is a bit premature.

Retail payments are a serious business, and the industry is built on trust. And trust is built from experience. Every country has its own history of payment preferences and habits.

Cash is still popular in many geographies — but it is on the decline. Cash will eventually disappear as consumer trust in data privacy and security increases. However, it will still take a couple of decades to get to that point.


Ralf Gladis is the co-founder and CEO of Computop, Inc., a leading global payment service provider.

feed@retailtouchpoints.com (Ralf Gladis, Computop) Executive ViewPoints Fri, 16 Mar 2018 09:38:38 -0400
NYDJ Apparel Taps Salesforce For E-Commerce Enhancement https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/news-briefs/nydj-apparel-taps-salesforce-for-e-commerce-enhancement https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/news-briefs/nydj-apparel-taps-salesforce-for-e-commerce-enhancement NYDJ Apparel Taps Salesforce For E-Commerce Enhancement

NYDJ Apparel has selected Salesforce to improve direct-to-consumer online channel growth, taking advantage of the Commerce Cloud and Marketing Cloud features to improve the shopping experience for the women’s denim and apparel brand.

Commerce Cloud will offer NYDJ shoppers content, campaigns, offers and recommendations based on information such as browsing history, past purchases and whether they are shopping on the web, smartphone or social media. Marketing Cloud will help NYDJ deliver the right message at the right time, such as by offering reminders or incentives to customers who add items to their cart without completing a purchase.

Founded in 2003 as Not Your Daughter’s Jeans, NYDJ is known for pioneering fit technology in denim and an inclusive size range spanning petite, plus, tall and maternity. The NYDJ assortment now includes tops, pants and other apparel, with products sold in department stores and more than 7,000 global points of distribution.

“The pace of change in our industry is staggering, and our commitment to creating the best product and experience for our customers ensures a bright future for NYDJ,” said Lisa Collier, President and CEO at NYDJ in a statement. “We look forward to further streamlining our commerce and marketing with Salesforce to build experiences that create life-long customers.”

feed@retailtouchpoints.com (Glenn Taylor) News Briefs Thu, 15 Mar 2018 15:13:10 -0400
Valassis Rebrands Print Coupon Portfolio As RetailMeNot Everyday https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/news-briefs/valassis-rebrands-print-coupon-portfolio-as-retailmenot-everyday https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/news-briefs/valassis-rebrands-print-coupon-portfolio-as-retailmenot-everyday

Valassis-RetailMeNotValassis will collaborate with RetailMeNot to rebrand RedPlum, a portfolio of consumer-facing print coupons, as RetailMeNot Everyday. The platform will specialize in direct mail deals and a free-standing insert coupon book that complement the digital deals, cash-back offerings and discount gift cards provided by RetailMeNot.

RetailMeNot Everyday has a weekly audience of up to 78 million households, while RetailMeNot attracts 53 million monthly web site visits and 23 million monthly unique mobile visitors.

“This convergence of digital and physical media is a natural next step in the RetailMeNot and Valassis partnership,” said Marissa Tarleton, CMO at RetailMeNot in a statement. “It’s exciting for our business, benefitting shoppers and brands alike.”

Print and digital coupons appeal to different facets of retail, according to Kelton Global: 56% of deal seekers prefer print coupons for household item purchases, while 62% use them for groceries. In comparison, 66% prefer digital deals for electronics, and 65% check for clothing, shoe and accessory offers online.

feed@retailtouchpoints.com (Glenn Taylor) News Briefs Thu, 15 Mar 2018 14:23:01 -0400
Plastic Logic Unveils Freezable ESLs For Supermarkets https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/solution-spotlight/plastic-logic-unveils-freezable-esls-for-supermarkets https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/solution-spotlight/plastic-logic-unveils-freezable-esls-for-supermarkets Plastic Logic Unveils Freezable ESLs For Supermarkets

Plastic Logic, a designer and manufacturer of glass-free electrophoretic displays (EPDs), has launched a 11.5” x 0.5” EPD designed for rail-type electronic shelf label (ESL) applications.

The displays are designed to overcome many of the problems associated with traditional paper labels, which can easily be damaged and require time-consuming manual systems to manage updates. Additionally, ESLs often have difficulty operating and updating at sub-zero temperatures.

The displays are operational at -10°C temperatures without extra development work, with display performance good for update times under two seconds — making them a fit for retail environments where ultra-high-speed updates aren’t necessary.

The EPD offers low power consumption, wide viewing angles and clear readability under any store lighting conditions. It features an organic screen display with up to 16 shade levels, with a color display option made available in Q1.

In addition to the standard 11.5” x 0.5” shelf-edge EPD option, Plastic Logic is also able to offer custom display sizes on request.

feed@retailtouchpoints.com (Glenn Taylor) Solution Spotlight Thu, 15 Mar 2018 13:41:32 -0400