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TouchPoints TV is a periodic video podcast which covers the Retail Industry and offers insights from leading executives on emerging strategies, innovative products and services, and recent retail news. Subscribe to the feed and stay in touch with the latest retail happenings.

Addressing Change Management Challenges At Lifeway Christian Stores

  • Published in Retailers

Lifeway Christian Stores is working with Relex to solve systems and integration challenges at its 170 stores. The new solution allowed the retailer to move away from using spreadsheets in order to manage inventory more effectively. “We needed an integrated system that would allow us to have a forward-looking picture when we allocated and replenished products for our stores,” said Bill Crayton, VP, Merchandising. The biggest implementation challenge involved change management among the internal team. “We had to really work hard to educate and go through the discovery process. We identified power users so they would own it and there would be accountability.”

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How The Entertainer Personalizes The Toy Store Experience

  • Published in Retailers

The Entertainer is one of the largest independent toy retailers in the UK and operates more than 100 brick-and-mortar stores, as well as an e-Commerce site. Retail TouchPoints sat down with Rob Wood, Head of Online at The Entertainer, to discuss the company’s partnership with SmartFocus, which resulted in a 44% increase in email click-through rates and 120% increase in mobile sales. Wood also shared insights on how to leverage real-time marketing and personalization to engage customers, and how it leveraged chat bots to help customers find the perfect toy.

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Innovation Initiatives At Neiman Marcus

  • Published in Retailers

This year the Neiman Marcus Innovation Lab is working on several new projects, including the Luxottica Sunglass mirror and an update to the Memory Mirror – a project that was delivered from paper concept to deployment in six weeks, according to Scott Emmons, Head of the Innovation Lab. Additionally, “We just announced that we are partnering with Theatro for IoT in-store communications,” designed to tie Last Call associates together across the 40+ stores. Emmons also is interested in looking into virtual try-on: “I think it’s finally come of age.”

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Making The Community-Commerce Connection

  • Published in Retailers

Marta Wohrle founded Truth In Aging as a community-based initiative to empower women over 40 to identify the best beauty products. Community members review products: “They are curating their own commerce experience,” Wohrle noted. As a follow-up, Truth In Aging developed a commerce model and is now selling products recommended by the community. The business model includes three parts: curated commerce, Truth In Aging branded products developed along with the community, and branded manufacturing.

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‘Shop Local’ Strategy Drives Omnichannel Initiatives At Guess

  • Published in Retailers

Guess received a Customer Engagement Award for Cross-Channel Strategies from Retial TouchPoints. Guess is working with Radius8 to deliver a Shop Local strategy – an omnichannel approach to bringing more shoppers into the stores. This initiative takes the traditional store locator to the next level by allowing consumers to shop the local inventory in the stores online, noted Edward Park, SVP, Guess. Guess currently is testing the strategy in 10 stores and plans to roll it out to all 450 stores in North America during Q1 2017.

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'Hyperseasonal' Hickory Farms Gains Endless Aisle Capability With Digital Transformation

  • Published in Retailers

Hickory Farms is "a multi-million dollar business that operates like a billion-dollar business for 12 weeks of the year," according to Director of Information Technology Gordon Jaquay. During the holidays, Hickory Farms opens 500 to 600 pop-up stores across North America, creating a hyperseasonal bump in addition to its year-round wholesale and direct businesses. In an interview with Retail TouchPoints, Jaquay revealed that the retailer is in the midst of a digital transformation using Microsoft Dynamics 365 that will centralize key internal databases. Additionally, beginning with holiday 2017, retail customers seeking items that aren't in-stock at a kiosk will be able to get them delivered direct from the warehouse. "The associate will now be empowered to provide that experience to the customer, so it will be better for customer retention, provide a better experience in general, and keep Hickory Farms top of mind, because we'll be completing the sale when the customer is ready to buy," said Jaquay.

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Touch Of Modern Ramps Up Content, Mobile Strategies In 2017

  • Published in Retailers

In 2017, content marketing and mobile optimization are two major imperatives that every retailer needs to get right, or they’ll be left in the dust. During this episode of TouchPoints TV, Jerry Hum, CEO and Co-Founder of Touch of Modern, shares the content marketing strategies the e-Commerce brand has started to incorporate into its web site, which include an educational blog and product videos. “We always look at our products as content, not just things to sell,” Hum indicated at #NRF17. The 2016 Retail Innovator Award Winner also discusses how the content push has coincided with the brand’s continued push into mobile, and how the retailer appeals to mobile-savvy shoppers.

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Using Mobile To Deliver A More Relevant Store Experience

  • Published in Retailers

Cy Fenton, CIO and SVP, Books-A-Million accepts a Customer Engagement Award from Retail TouchPoints. The retailer worked with Mad Mobile to implement a mobile engagement solution for store associates. “We need to be more relevant for our customers,” said Fenton. “We want to be able to connect with them around brand and around media properties that they love and enjoy…moving from strictly a book store to help customers engage with everything they are passionate about.”

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