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Retail CRM provides insights from leading retailers and industry experts that help improve the customer experience at every touch point and across all channels. Some topics covered in CRM articles include customer loyalty, email marketing and promotion optimization. Subscribe to the feed and stay in touch with the latest retail happenings.

Retaligent Acquisition Expands Raymark’s Customer Engagement Capabilities

With an eye on expanding its customer engagement capabilities across all points of customer interaction, Raymark yesterday announced the acquisition of Retaligent Solutions, Inc., a provider of clienteling solutions. Retaligent’s products include integrated clienteling, CRM, and loyalty solutions and are built on the Microsoft technology platform. The end-to-end solution for multi-channel customer management capabilities are expected to help Raymark’s customers accelerate the execution of their customer engagement strategies by driving sales growth while improving sales associate productivity. Retaligent retail clients include Hugo Boss, Saks Fifth Avenue and Harrods.

Online Customer Satisfaction Reaches Lowest Level Since 2004

While online retail continues to thrive, new research shows that online customer satisfaction has weakened, indicating that some companies may have negatively impacted their business with strategies implemented during the economic recovery. The American Customer Satisfaction (ACSI) Index’s annual E-Commerce Report, produced in partnership with ForeSee Results, found that customer satisfaction with e-commerce web sites is down 2.6% to 79.3 on the ACSI’s 100-point scale, its lowest score since 2004. Diminishing satisfaction with online retail pulls down aggregate satisfaction with the e-commerce sector overall, which also includes online brokerage and online travel. In 2010, the ACSI predicted a recovery as customer satisfaction scores increased almost universally. Contrary to previous years, where increases and declines were almost uniform across all measured industries, this year shows a mix of falling and rising customer satisfaction, which provides insight into the success of companies’ business models after they have weathered the economic downturn.

Microsoft Makes A Splash With Dynamics AX, CRM 2011

Specifically targeting midsize and enterprise specialty retailers, Microsoft has announced an updated version of its Dynamics AX for Retail to be released in February 2011. Made generally available in August 2010, the initial release was available in 16 countries. AX for Retail R2 is offered in 38 countries. Additionally, Microsoft is now partnering with JustEnough Software Corp., a provider of demand management solutions, to offer retailers a full suite of merchandising and allocation solutions combined with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). Dynamics AX is now aligned with JustEnough Merchandise and Assortment Planning as well as Allocation and Replenishment. Two retailers are the first to adopt the partner offering: Sally Beauty Supply, which operates more than 2,700 stores worldwide, and Icon Live, a jewelry retailer with outlets in more than 40 countries.

NCR Pushes Personalization To New Heights With Launch Of Preference Manager Solution

Expanding the trend of personalization across all channels of retail, NCR Corporation added a new ‘P’ to the discussion with the introduction of NCR Enterprise Preference Manager earlier this week at NRF’s Big Show. Focused on fostering a more personalized shopping experience, the new solution enabled retailers to provide an online portal through their web site for customers to manage their shopping experience based upon their declared preferences and presence in a retailer’s channels. Consumers can select from a variety of preferences, including how they receive communications, when, where and how they get offers. For example, they can indicate they would like to receive communications via text message, in different languages or a preference to receive their receipts digitally.

New Research Offers Tactics To Bring Customers Back In-Store

While online spending continues to thrive, a new survey by Leo Burnett shows that all hope isn’t lost for brick and mortar outlets if they focus on excelling in the customer experience. Despite the constant availability, variety and convenience of the web, 50% of consumers say that the in-store shopping experience and seeing a product in real life is still irreplaceable. Moreover, 43% said they still thrive off of seeing and touching the actual product before making a purchase. Leo Burnett surveyed 2,200 American shoppers to examine some of the biggest challenges retailers are facing with regard to sustain and grow sales — starting with the need to nurturethe consumer mindset. However, there is a significant minority closing in on brick and mortars, with 20% of participants claiming that the Internet is a substantial and even preferred substitute for going to a store. Online research before purchase is also a key trend in the survey, with 34% of respondents indicating they gather information via Internet before making an in-store purchase.

Sheetz Convenience Chain Upgrades Analytics Capacity With New Teradata Appliance

Family-owned and operated convenience store chain Sheetz Inc., has adopted the new Data Warehouse Appliance developed by Teradata Corporation. “Sheetz started with a competitive system, moved to the Teradata Data Mart Appliance, and now has seamlessly implemented a data warehouse appliance – which can deliver the power and insight they need to get them everywhere they want to go. It is a big step into the world of enterprise-class data warehousing,” said Ed Dupee, VP, Retail Industry Marketing and Solutions, Teradata.

Maximizing Retail Profits Through Customer Engagement

By Scott Zimmerman, President, TeleVox The changes in the economy due to the recession have directly affected the retailer/consumer relationship, specifically consumer loyalty. Consumers are more concerned about their own finances than they are about sticking with a retailer. The impact of this trend is that retailers have to be more in tune to what customers want, how they want to be treated and what they will respond to — essentially valuing customers’ business more. As surely as the days grow shorter and the air gets colder, retailers know that their hottest time of year is fast approaching — the proverbial Christmas rush. But with more consumers making purchases over the phone and via the Internet, the process of engaging customers has expanded beyond just the point of sale to include the pre- and post-shopping experience too. That’s when engagement communications technology can make the difference. Engagement communications comprises the blending of advances in communications such as voice messaging, SMS, email and web portals with a human touch. Together they create points of engagement with a customer rather than a simple connection. Making a connection might inform, but it doesn’t necessarily activate. Create engagement points and the path is opened…

Forever 21 Launches Mobile App

<!-- @font-face { font-family: "Arial"; }@font-face { font-family: "Times"; }@font-face { font-family: "Cambria"; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 10pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }p { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; } --> Forever 21 has developed a new mobile app and site, designed to drive consumers in-store. The application is updated daily with new styles and has the discount clothing line’s entire collection available via the app and mobile site. The application is available for free in the App Store. Shoppers will have access to information on all store locations, and will be able to check store hours, get directions and phone numbers for locations closest to them. To improve shopping convenience, customers can search the store’s entire inventory via the app, including the store’s branches of brands like Love 21 Contemporary, 21 Men and HTG81 Kids, and access to the Daily 21 specials –21 items that are discounted daily. Although any internet-compatible phone can access the site, Lan Tran, online marketing manager at Forever 21, Los Angeles, told Mobile Commerce Daily that Forever 21 plans to expand to other platforms like Blackberry and Android in time…

Blue Nile Previews New iPhone App

Blue Nile CEO Diane Irvine is revolutionizing the jewelry shopping experience with the company’s newest app, set for release next week. The discount jewelry site gave a preview of the app to CNBC, showing a new level of smart and tech-savvy shopping before shoppers invest in a diamond or two. Potential customers can look up characteristics of their jewelry of choice, including stone cut and size, and the Blue Nile app will give them the price the site estimates for purchase. The app can also pick out merchandise based on a price limit. The online store is credited for discounting an average of 20-40% due to their Internet-only format. While brick-and-mortar jewelry stores are filing for bankruptcy and padlocking their shops, Blue Nile has consistently grown, citing a 9.7% increase in its second quarter to CNBC. While for men the app is designed to make agonizing jewelry shopping easier, for women, it is a way to see the most popular jewelry, their prices, and the option to share their desired selection with their friends via Facebook or email. With a simple shake, they can see the newest Blue Nile items, and the hottest jewelry to add to their wish list.

American Apparel Taps Grindr To Increase Foot Traffic

American Apparel launched a New York-based mobile campaign, offering shoppers a one day, 20% discount to increase foot traffic for area locations. The retailer teamed up with Grindr to release the coupons via location-based messaging on Sept. 13 for their Fashion Week special promotion. Since the coupon was directed only to American Apparel shoppers in the New York area, the sale had a more focused target. The goal of the one-day campaign was to also reach potential shoppers and metropolitan New Yorkers who would be active during Fashion week. Grindr founder and CEO Joel Simkhai told “Mobile Commerce Daily” that since the only reached “relevant shoppers,” both American Apparel and Grindr would “maximize marketing dollars.” The pop-up message displaying the discount opportunity was dispersed to over 50,000 New York-area Grindr users, Simkhai said. When they clicked “more” on the one-day discount message, users were brought to a landing page that featured store locations, maps, store hours and phone numbers, and promotion information.

Vesdia Corporation Celebrates 10th Anniversary; 116% CAGR

Vesdia Corporation, a company with the main goal of providing multi-channel merchant networks and shopping incentive services, is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Since its inception, the company has experienced a 116% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) and has helped consumers earn more than $100 million worth of rewards. Since the company’s beginning in 2000 as BabyMint, Peter Davis, founder and president of Vesdia, recognized that consumers would respond favorably to merchant incentives that contributed to their favorite causes, life goals or reward programs. The company credits its rapid expansion to their method of simultaneously directing new customers to the merchants in its growing network and by acquiring leading financial institution, travel and hospitality clients with the goal of increasing customer loyalty, keeping program payment cards top of wallet and influencing shopping decisions. All Vesdia clients are now utilizing these merchant relationships that shaped BabyMint’s success. These programs generated increases in loyalty and revenue while helping consumers accelerate their reward earnings. As a result, Davis has created a merchant network measured solely by the value of reward delivered to participating consumers. With a portfolio of clients ranging from American Airlines, AMC Theatres, Hard Rock Café, to Citizens Bank and Upromise, Vesdia…

First Insight CEO Greg Petro Talks Potential for Customer Gaming

As customer engagement continues to be a competitive differentiator, it’s more imperative than ever for retailers to employ new tactics and technologies to provide customers with innovation and experience at every touch point. Software provider First Insight recently launched “Sold,” a virtual store simulation game designed to generate valuable consumer data through unique online customer interactions. CEO Greg Petro shared insight into how “Sold” is helping retailers by utilizing web sites, email and social media networks to engage with consumers and collect data based on their gameplay. CRMC: The virtual simulation game, “Sold,” is designed to help retailers generate valuable consumer data through online customer interactions. How does this ultimately work from a consumer standpoint? Greg Petro: Designed as a store simulation, “Sold” gives consumers the opportunity to build and manage their own virtual shop using our clients’ new and existing products. To start, players are given $1000 to select, purchase and price their inventory as if they were in a “real” store. Since the amount of money earned during the game is determined by how well inventory sells, pricing is crucial to a player’s “profits” (the score). In addition, players can earn money by completing mini games, such as…

4 Reasons Online Retailers Must Listen to Customers, Tips On Tapping Feedback

By Carolyn Hall, Product Marketing Manager, Confirmit The customer experience is critical in today’s highly competitive online retail sector. There are many variables involved in providing a great user experience and keeping customers engaged with your brand. Here are four considerations — with insider tips — as to why online retailers must listen to their customers. 1) Customer Experiences Drive Success Great customer experiences drive retention, word of mouth and loyalty — but what drives those experiences, and are you measuring those drivers? You may be hitting your own targets, but if those targets aren’t valued by customers, your measurements are inaccurate at best, and pointless at worst. Ask customers what they want from you and build metrics that genuinely reflect that — then take action to ensure that you create experiences that will truly delight and excite customers. Ask your happy customers to refer friends, make suggestions and get involved with your business. Tip: Don’t ask customers you’ve disappointed how you can delight them next time. If you’ve failed to deliver on time, it’s not the time to talk about the next experience; it’s the time to fix this one. Create surveys with built-in logic that only ask happy…

Social Sharing’s Impact on Customer Experience Examined in New Strategy Guide

Tactics like “Share Within Your Network (SWYN)” have emerged as critical success factors for reaching and communicating with customers. A new special report from Retail TouchPoints, titled the “Marketer’s Guide to Email Strategies,” offers a compilation of industry-related trend pieces from email marketers, analysts and vendor executives. The Guide features key action items to capitalize on email campaigns to fuel social media strategies. Industry insiders point to the growing synergy between email and social, as 60% of marketers polled are effectively planning and executing on social media, according to Marketing Sherpa’s 2009 Social Media Marketing Benchmark Guide. The Marketer’s Guide to Email Strategies features input from industry experts including Brooks Bell, ReturnPath’s Stephanie Miller, Bronto’s Sally Lowery and Silverpop’s Adam Needles. The Guide’s content offers email marketers a heads up on how email is changing and how to optimize deliverability and rendering. Email communication is critical, as prospective buyers and consumers were inundated with upwards of 247 million emails per day in 2009.
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