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Retail Innovaiton

In today's digitally empowered business environment, retailers must stay on top of the latest technology and marketing trends in order to remain competitive. The companies that will thrive moving forward are actively testing and implementing innovative ideas and solutions. Retail TouchPoints stays on the cutting edge of retail innovation by hosting the annual Retail Innovation Conference, interviewing industry leaders, and tapping our collective experience to deliver insightful reporting on the most important retail stories.

Retailers Must Overcome Fear Of Failure To Infuse Successful Innovation Into Business Strategies

As changing shopper preferences continually push the boundaries of what retailers can and should do to improve the customer experience, they also need to address the ongoing challenge: What is the best way to foster innovation? A number of retailers have addressed the challenge of keeping pace with industry shifts by creating innovation labs, with varying degrees of success. Whatever route retailers take, they should not be afraid to take chances on new projects — even though some of them will fail.

Exclusive: Neiman Marcus, Jet.com Execs Share Experiences From Dubai Tech Event

Last month I had the opportunity to chair the Retail Day during the GITEX Technology event in Dubai, UAE. It was a unique experience and a fantastic opportunity to learn about retail challenges around the world. I also was asked to invite some U.S.-based retail executives to speak at the event and was honored to share the experience with two amazing retail innovators:

Target Rolls Out Mobile AR For Furniture And Home Products

  • Published in Mobile
Target is making its next move into augmented reality (AR) with the “See It In Your Space” mobile feature, designed to display three-dimensional versions of Target products within shoppers’ homes. Target is the latest furniture retailer to integrate AR into its mobile offering, joining Wayfair, IKEA and Chairish. The feature is currently only available with 200 “Project 62” brand home products from Target, but the retailer says it will roll AR capabilities out to hundreds more products by year end, including other Target home furnishing brands such as Threshold and Pillowfort. It plans to include “thousands” of home décor products by 2018.

Tommy Bahama, Costco, Foot Locker CEOs Chart Diverse Paths To Success

At the SAP Retail Executive Forum held earlier this month in New York City, chief executives from a diverse group of retailers shared some of the “secret ingredients” that have contributed to their organizations’ long-term success — even as the retail industry has undergone near-constant change. The leaders of Tommy Bahama, Costco and Foot Locker offered insights that included: • “Customers are looking for you to do what you did last time, but to do it better. Stay focused on delighting your guest.” — Doug Wood, CEO, Tommy Bahama • “The culture of the company is what it’s all about. Culture is not the most important thing, it’s the only thing, because it drives all the decisions you make.” — Jim Sinegal, Co-Founder and Director, Costco Wholesale • “Consumers don’t think in terms of channels, they think in terms of the Foot Locker brand.” — Dick Johnson, President/CEO, Foot Locker

Sportswear Retailer Integrates Payment Into VR Experience

The jury may still be out on whether virtual reality (VR) will truly take off as a shopping experience, but one forward-thinking retailer already has made VR transaction processes more seamless. Body Language Sportswear has been testing a VR app that allows shoppers to move from interactive 360-degree views of its products directly to checkout, without needing to take off the VR headset or pull out their wallets. The e-Commerce retailer is offering products via the Payscout app, which introduced a VR commerce capability in June 2017. The app integrates with Visa Checkout (VCO), allowing users to register their payment credentials within the digital wallet or access an existing VCO account. The app currently is available for the Google Cardboard hardware, but there are plans to adapt it for iOS and additional VR platforms.

Target, Gap, Nike Among Retailers Tackling Climate Change

Major retailers including Target, Gap, Nike, Levi’s, GUESS and VF Corporation are some of the latest merchants to commit to new internal policies designed to combat climate change and reduce their greenhouse gas footprint. More than 300 companies have committed to set emissions reduction targets through the Science Based Targets initiative, which is a partnership among CDP, WRI, WWF and the UN Global Compact. This organization provides guidelines designed to help U.S. companies align their corporate goals with climate science.

Catalina Names New Global Chief Retail Officer

Catalina, a shopper intelligence and personalized digital media platform, has appointed Tom Corley as Global Chief Retail Officer and President of U.S. Retail. Prior to joining Catalina Corley held leadership positions at Kraft Foods Group and Acosta, garnering nearly three decades of retail and CPG experience.

Target Goes National With Google Voice-Activated Shopping

  • Published in News Briefs
Following what the retailer termed successful test programs in California and New York City, Target has expanded its partnership with home delivery service Google Express to the continental U.S. Target customers can use the Google Assistant for voice-activated shopping via Google Home devices and Android TV, with a promised expansion…
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Anthropologie Brings AR, CGI Into Online Furniture Shopping Experience

While many say a picture is worth a thousand words, Anthropologie seeks to multiply its images’ value even further than that throughout its online shopping experience. The retailer has partnered with creative studio CVLT to add computer-generated imagery (CGI) and augmented reality (AR) into its custom furniture library. As part of the experience, Anthropologie’s custom furniture product pages now include a CGI-enhanced canvas designed to enable real-time exploration and design customization, so that shoppers can see  what customized products will look like before they buy.

Mastercard Pop-Up Experience Showcases Literal Window Shopping

I recently had the opportunity to get a sneak peek into a new pop-up in New York City, presented by Marie Claire magazine and Mastercard. The experience, called The Next Big Thing Concept Shop, brought to life a variety of unique technology innovations for retailers that can help brands merge the physical and digital shopping experience for their customers.

Innovators Point The Way To The Store Of The Future

The so-called “retail apocalypse” may have been debunked, but there’s still no question that the industry is in the midst of profound change. Retailers aren’t just looking for ways to tweak the shopping experience; many seek to reimagine every aspect of how they will interact with consumers. Pano Anthos, Founder and Managing Director, XRC Labs, brings a perspective that is both future-oriented and grounded in today’s retailing requirements. He has identified five key themes that are reshaping store-based retail:

New Jersey Mall Adds Italian Lessons To Sistine Chapel Exhibit

This month, the Westfield Garden State Plaza mall in Paramus, N.J. introduced Up Close: Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, an exhibition that allows visitors to experience Michelangelo’s famous ceiling frescoes from the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel without having to hop on a plane to Italy. In addition to this unique experience, visitors have the opportunity to learn the Italian language while surrounded by the near life-size reproductions.

Target Aims To Outrun Competition With ‘Innovation Sprint’

  • Published in News Briefs
Target is partnering with BCG Digital Ventures to conduct a 14-week “innovation sprint,” designed to help the company develop a portfolio of new growth ventures, according to a company blog post. As various types of innovation labs become a greater priority in retail, Target has continued to test out different…
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Early Birds Get A Jump On Retail Transformation: RIC18 Reg Is Open

The premier event focused on retail innovation and transformation is open for Early Bird registration now! The 2018 Retail Innovation Conference (RIC18), set for May 1-2 in New York City, is offering a limited-time discount for retailer attendees who book early. Launched in 2014, the Retail Innovation Conference sought to expand Retail TouchPoints’ mission to empower and connect the retail world. Since the inaugural event, the conference has successfully brought together today’s top retail leaders, innovators and forward thinkers so they can better collaborate and share their perspectives on must-have tools and tactics for success.

AR And VR: Shopping Enhancements Or Shiny Distractions?

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are already making inroads in retail. Lowe’s, Wayfair and Design With Reach, for example, use these technologies to help customers visualize how furniture and other design changes will look in their homes. AR’s ability to bring ratings and reviews, long a staple of e-Commerce, into the brick-and-mortar environment presents an exciting prospect, according to Pano Anthos, Managing Director of XRC Labs. “Customers walk into a store and we’re blind as bats,” he said during a session at the 2017 Retail Innovation Conference. “We don’t know if the product stinks or falls apart in five minutes, or anything about where it comes from. Everyone online looks at ratings and reviews, so why not in the store? AR provides the first wave of that potential by having the digitization of ratings and reviews dropped onto your phone.” Despite these real-world use cases, opinion remains sharply divided about the ultimate value of AR and VR, as well as how much — and how quickly — retailers should invest in the technology. Members of the RetailWire BrainTrust recently debated the technologies’ merits: Art Suriano, CEO, The TSi CompanyI can see the strongest benefits of AR and VR…
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