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Digital Marketing

To keep up with consumers’ digital advances, retailers are becoming savvier, implementing strategies and programs via smartphones, tablets and other digital venues. Digital marketing can take the form of push messaging, in-store digital signage, location-based promotions, email messaging and much more. Smart marketers are working on complete strategies that include the best new digital solutions in addition to tried-and-true traditional methods. This section will guide retailers down the path to digital marketing success.

Feed Shoppers’ Creativity To Turn ‘White Elephant’ Parties Into Sales Drivers

White Elephant parties, a gamified gift exchange often featuring unconventional items, are more than a niche tradition: 36 million Americans are expected to participate in these gift exchanges this holiday season, which could account for up to $22 billion in associated gift sales, according to zulily. With an appropriate marketing and pricing strategy, almost any retailer can generate sales from the concept. “I think there’s room for everyone to get in on this trend,” said Naama Bloom, VP of Brand Marketing at zulily in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “You don’t have to sell quirky products to have great products for a White Elephant.” The ever-changing nature of zulily’s product selection makes the site a natural destination for White Elephant gifts and inspiration, and Bloom offered tips to help retailers capture their share of this booming market: Know your audience: Potential White Elephant gifts should appeal to a retailer’s existing shopper base rather than chase outside trends; Price appropriately: Most gift exchanges involve inexpensive gifts, so advertise accordingly; and Inspire creativity: Whether they want something quirky, clever or practical, shoppers want to bring gifts that stand out. It’s All About Showing Off The Goods For the unfamiliar, a White Elephant…

Bluefly Boosts Email Revenue 11%, Site Visitor Identification 50% With Targeted Marketing

Branding itself as a highly curated fashion marketplace for the style-obsessed shopper, e-Commerce retailer Bluefly hosts more than 3,000 luxury brands across three online stores: B. luxe, B. Timeless and B. trendy. With a fast-growing product arsenal — adding an average of 150 new items to its site per week — the Bluefly team felt it had yet to capitalize on a major opportunity: identifying shoppers and building a personal connection with them. Luxury sites such as Bluefly typically attract many visitors who don’t make a purchase. But the retailer wanted to ensure that it would engage with shoppers before they left the site. Bluefly implemented shopper activation and cart abandonment programs from 4Cite to capture email addresses of shoppers even if they hadn’t made a purchase. Within five months of implementing the targeted email platform, Bluefly had: Increased visitor identification 50%; Increased email collection 41%; and Boosted email revenue 11%.

AdGreetz Delivers AI-Powered Video Personalization Platform For Targeted Ads

AdGreetz is a video personalization platform designed to use AI/machine learning to optimize creative and ad trafficking in real time, and ensure delivery of engaging and activating ads. The platform empowers brands to dynamically deploy millions of hyper-relevant, data-driven personalized video and display ads and messages. AdGreetz can be deployed to up to 21 channels, including email, an e-Commerce site, SMS and social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Target Takes Aim At Toy Retailing Crown

Photo: Stephen Allan In the clearest sign yet that Target is striving hard to take the place Toys ‘R’ Us once held, the retailer is expanding both store and digital toy departments for holiday 2018. Target’s multi-part toy campaign includes: • A nearly 250,000-square-foot expansion of store space for toys…
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How Ashley Stewart Boosts Revenue With Advanced Data Aggregation

Apparel retailer Ashley Stewart, which caters to plus-size black women, has been learning the value of understanding its most loyal customers — some of whom visit the retailer’s stores as many as three times per week. With the help of a customer data platform that aggregates information about both digital and in-store shopping activity, the retailer has been able to leverage that loyalty into increased sales and revenues. Ashley Stewart has used the AgilOne customer data platform for three years to track customer activity in multiple channels. This allows the retailer to, for example, provide customers with easy access to their spending totals during its “Diva Dollars” promotional periods. “The consumers earn ‘Diva Dollars’ for a 45-day period, and then can spend them during a four-day period,” explained Julie Daly, VP E-Commerce at Ashley Stewart. Daly spoke during a panel discussion at the AgilOne Customer Data Platform Summit held earlier this month in New York City.

Insights Into The Changing Influencer Landscape From Collab/18

The role of influencers in retail is shifting, with companies such as Macy’s starting to use their own employees rather than relying on outside players. However, professional influencers are still a valuable part of any retailer’s marketing toolbox, according to the speakers at Activate’s Collab/18 influencer marketing summit. The importance of celebrity ambassadors may be waning, but smaller influencers are valuable partners. “I think that there is a small group of people that’s getting all the brand deals, and that’s all people see on their feed, so how as a consumer can you keep up and understand what they’re supposed to follow?” said Christine Ngo Isaac, Marketing Director and Head of U.S. Consumer at Möet & Chandon. “I think that’s going to change; brands are feeling fatigue with the top, top, top influencers. It will never go away, but the way we will engage with them will be different.” Successful influencer marketing campaigns are the result of discussion and research, not just paying to appear in a celebrity’s blog post. Some of the tips offered at the conference included: Make sure the influencer’s and the retailer’s brands are compatible; Create long-term partnerships; and Look for influencers who actively engage with…

Exclusive CEO Q&A: How Nike Wins The Branding Game

Nike’s hiring of controversial quarterback-turned-activist Colin Kaepernick was a gamble, but it’s one that paid off handsomely. The company sold out 61% more merchandise in a 10-day period following the Kaepernick ad’s initial appearance, and the company got a 31% online sales bump. But if other brands want to emulate Nike’s success by embracing hot-button issues, they will need to carefully consider their own brand’s public profile before taking the plunge, according to branding expert Erich Joachimsthaler. “Nike is a very special brand, one that stands for this level of irreverence, as well as athleticism, winning, authenticity and inspiration” said Joachimsthaler, CEO of global brand strategy firm Vivaldi. “Nike is fearless, and taking a stand has become part of their DNA.”

Customer Engagement: It’s About The Journey, Not Just The Destination

When you think of companies getting customer engagement right, you probably think of those rare moments where a company gets a headline grabbing story that shows their service teams going above and beyond. While big gestures are impactful —and may provide fame on YouTube — what these acts do is make customers wonder “Why can’t every interaction be this wonderful?” Enter the new era of customer experience. A best-in-class customer engagement strategy goes beyond these one-off scenarios and makes each stage of the customer journey a priority. While that may feel like a tall order, technology — like artificial intelligence, data analytics and chatbots — can help retailers of all sizes meet customers wherever they are in the journey and provide groundbreaking experiences at each stage.

Measuring Marketing Spend In 2018: Why Cross-Channel Attribution Matters Most

With nearly nine in 10 retailers having increased their marketing budgets in 2018, according to RetailMeNot, merchants are strongly motivated to ensure the money is being spent effectively. But with the oversaturation of available data points changing how retailers view the shopper journey, the a question that should be on every retailer’s mind is: Am I measuring this spend accurately? The RetailMeNot survey indicates that the top three ways brands measure the success of offers and promotions include: Increasing sales revenue (56%); Driving new customer growth (55%); and Increasing brand awareness and brand perceptions (50%).

RSP Series: How Retail Leaders Improve Customer Acquisition And Retention

Any retailer’s long-term health requires finding the right balance between acquiring and retaining customers — particularly the loyal and big-spending types of shoppers. But rapid changes in both consumer expectations and the competitive landscape have rewritten many of the established rules for customer acquisition and retention. The 2018 Retail Strategy and Planning (RSP) webinar series, hosted by Retail TouchPoints, uncovered several new strategies for tackling these timeless challenges. Following are brief recaps of six webinars in the #RSP18 series, now available on-demand. [Read a recap of the Holiday Predictions webinar, sponsored by Salesforce, here.]

Approach LGBTQ Inclusion As A Core Belief, Not A Marketing Gimmick

The way retailers speak to the LGBTQ community and portray its members in their marketing can have a significant impact on consumers’ perception of the brand: 31% of shoppers say they are somewhat or definitely more likely to buy from LGBTQ-inclusive brands, according to a survey by FocusVision. Nearly 40% of respondents reported having a more positive impression of a brand after seeing an LGBTQ-inclusive advertisement. However, retailers won’t always benefit from presenting themselves as advocates for the LGBTQ community; 19% of respondents said LGBTQ-inclusive ads gave them a negative impression of the brand. Additionally, surveyed consumers were evenly split on whether they felt brands should advocate for the LGBTQ community. To help determine the best course, retailers should learn how their particular base feels about the issue, and act accordingly. “I think that there is more of an acceptance moving on the LGBT community.,” said Zoe Dowling, Lead Researcher at FocusVision in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “People feel there is a good amount of representation, and some even feel there should be more. For brands and retailers it’s about asking their customers and audience about what they’re looking to see, and creating a strategy around that.” One round…

KEEN Footwear Steps Up E-Commerce Game With Story-Driven Content Strategy

KEEN Footwear has predominantly operated as a wholesale business since its founding in 2003. But as more consumers go right to their favorite brands to shop, the company has sought a greater share of direct-to-consumer sales. With its growing DTC channel nearing 10% of total sales, the retailer completely revamped its e-Commerce site to appeal to the evolving consumer with one major feature: storytelling. With product categories ranging from steel-toed work boots to sandals to hiking shoes to street-style sneaker boots, KEEN Footwear sought to appeal to several varied consumer audiences. As part of the new experience, the retailer seeks to tell rich stories about the products that are relatable to any shopper browsing the site, according to John Evons, VP Global Direct-to-Consumer at KEEN.

Roots Provides Shopping Centers With Consistent Yet Localized Marketing Campaigns

Shopping centers often promote their retailers’ marketing campaigns via various digital and physical channels to drive traffic and sales. While retailers generally pay for shopping center marketing as part of their lease agreements, they often don’t take advantage of these offerings due to the difficulties of communicating with representatives at every complex. James Connell, VP of E-Commerce and Customer Experience at Roots, a Canada-based outdoor lifestyle retailer, noted that while his company recognized the value of advertising correct promotions, hours and store details at every location, it was getting cumbersome to communicate campaign directives to each individual store.

Feelunique Reaches 1 Million+ Shoppers With Word-Of-Mouth Referrals

With a global community of more than 1.3 million shoppers, Feelunique, a UK-based online beauty and cosmetics retailer, is leveraging this vast following and turning them into powerful brand advocates. Having already introduced a loyalty program, a social media influencer program and a monthly product sampling offer, Feelunique sought to provide a platform where shoppers could easily share their positive experiences with friends and family. Feelunique has more than 130,000 daily site visits and sells more than 30,000 products from 500 brands. Nearly two thirds (65%)of sales come from the very social demographic of global Gen Z and Millennial shoppers under the age of 35. With 61% of women likely to recommend a beauty brand to a friend or family member, according to Ben Van Pelt, Marketing Manager at Feelunique, the decision to implement a referral marketing program made perfect sense for the company.
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