E-Commerce is no longer a standalone channel for most retailers. What happens online is co-mingled with what happens in the store and through other shopping channels. Many forward-thinking retailers are revamping their business structure so that the e-Commerce executives can work closely with other-channel executives. Yet, the online environment continues to present unique challenges to merchants, around efficiency of page click-throughs, addition of interactive elements and improvement of the checkout process.

Retail Remix Of 'Love Will Keep Us Together’: Takeaways From Etail East

Retail today is all about getting the customer to fall in love with products and brands. In personal relationships and in retail, love is complicated and must be nurtured. In retail that means delivering unique and compelling experiences; personalized messaging and offers; and relevant marketing and communications — consistently across all channels. When thinking about writing this article, I could not get this song out of my mind: "Love Will Keep Us Together," from 1975 by Captain and Tennille. Yes, I’m dating myself, but indulge me for a few minutes and listen to it. It pretty much lays out the strategy retailers should be thinking about as they are planning new customer strategies and technology implementations. During the 2018 eTail East event in Boston this month, many conversations and presentations were focused on how to win the hearts and minds of consumers. Clicktale, which offers Experience Analytics solutions, is working with a cognitive psychologist to better understand customer behavior in the digital world. Liraz Margalit, PhD has conducted studies covering the “Mobile Mindset” triggered by smartphone use; “Stress Shopping,” and “Emotions in the Digital World.” She explained: “Emotions are a gateway to our memory” about a brand. So how are retailers…

Kroger Selects Arizona Site For Automated Delivery Pilot

  • Published in E-Commerce
Kroger will launch its self-driving delivery pilot in Scottsdale, Ariz. The company is partnering with Nuro, a driverless delivery vehicle company, to begin testing the concept at a Fry’s Food Stores location. Nuro will initially use a self-driving Toyota Prius before introducing its custom R1 driverless vehicles in the fall.

Exclusive Q&A With New President

Food and New York City are the primary near-term focuses for, as the shopping site homes in on an improved user experience and better delivery options. Simon Belsham, recently named President of, explained the company’s strategies during a keynote presentation at the eTail East event in Boston, followed by a 1:1 interview with Retail TouchPoints. In the exclusive Q&A, Belsham, who joined as President in March 2018, talks about the future of, the new Jetblack personal shopping service, the site’s integration with Walmart, and how a hyper-focus on food will help the company move to the next level.

Kroger Will Sell Groceries On Alibaba’s Tmall Amid Vigorous Private Label Push

Kroger’s first venture outside the U.S. is a big one. The U.S. grocer will sell its Simple Truth products on Alibaba’s Tmall Global platform, China’s largest business-to-consumer marketplace. This strategic move is designed to support two of the company’s key Restock Kroger pillars — redefine the grocery customer experience by elevating its…

Smart Glass Boosts Online Sales 38% By Expanding Digital Audience

Smart Glass Jewelry is an eco-friendly accessory brand that finds new uses for old materials by creating fashion jewelry from recycled bottles. The SMB retailer recently discovered that both old and new strategies are needed to optimize digital marketing in order to stimulate customer engagement and sales. Beginning in March 2018, Smart Glass deployed the Springbot Exchange Audience Expander to match its customer data and identify look-alike audiences, and then to launch an automated three-series email drip campaign. The Springbot solution automatically adds consumers who engage with a retailer’s email campaign to a permanent subscriber list.

Search Is At The Heart Of E-Commerce: 60% Of Shoppers Frustrated By Irrelevant Results

A strong search engine is central to a successful e-Commerce experience: 80% of shoppers say that accuracy and convenience are the most important aspects of online shopping, according to the Shopping Barometer: Habits of the Modern Consumer survey by Adeptmind. Additionally, 60% of online shoppers find its most frustrating aspects to be irrelevant search results and the inability to find the specific item they’re looking for. Most shoppers visit a retailer’s web site already knowing what they want: 82% of people only search online to buy a specific item. However, nearly half (47%) of shoppers without a specific purchase in mindstart their journey on Amazon. “People go to Google or Amazon when they’re just shopping around and doing research,” said G Wu, Co-Founder and CEO of Adeptmind in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “When they arrive at a retailer’s web site, they want to buy something — they have already made up their mind. If they still don’t buy something, it’s absolutely the retailer’s fault.” To ensure visits to their sites turn into conversions, retailers need to help customers find what they want as quickly and simply as possible. An accurate search engine can boost conversion rates, while personalization can…

Illy Achieves 88% Customer Spending Growth With Subscription Program

Subscription services are still a growing market within retail, and gourmet coffee roasting company illy has discovered new ways to expand on the model. In an effort to build longer-lasting customer relationships, illy is enticing consumers to join the “illy a casa” subscription program by offering an espresso machine for free with the subscription. The program leverages AI, using algorithms to analyze billions of product and data points from millions of consumers through illy’s use of a platform from OrderGroove. Since launching the program with OrderGroove’s Relationship Commerce capabilities in June 2017: 44% of illy subscribers added in the U.S. during this period chose the “illy a casa” machine program; illy saw an 88% increase in customer spending, compared to one-time purchases of the coffee machine without the “illy a casa” program; The program coincided with a 10% increase in the  web site’s overall Net Promoter Score (NPS).

‘Too Many Ads’ Frustrate 53% Of Online Shoppers

The online ordering process continues to be too time-consuming for many shoppers. As many as 40% of consumers report “too many ads” as the biggest frustration when shopping on mobile devices, and 53% report the same on desktop, according to data from Usabilla. Additionally, 34% of desktop shoppers and 31% of mobile shoppers said their biggest frustration at the point-of-purchase is having to re-enter information that should already be saved. What makes this challenge even more frustrating is that 37% of consumers said they create accounts with retailers specifically to save time and avoid re-entering information.

Birchbox Launches Redesigned E-Commerce Site

Birchbox recently unveiled a revamped e-Commerce site designed to offer a more personalized shopping experience and an easier-to-navigate menu, and to further align with the company’s monthly subscription offering, which constitutes nearly 65% of sales. Birchbox had two inspirations for building the new site experience: a strong understanding of its…

Prime Day Mobile Spike Fades Fast For Non-Amazon Retailers

  • Published in News Briefs
Retailers riding Amazon’s coattails during Prime Day 2018 saw an impressive 156% increase in mobile app installs and purchases, but the good times didn’t last long. After a strong start prior to and during the 36-hour event on July 16, 2018, shopper fatigue quickly set in. An analysis by Liftoff…

Cross-Border Competition: Top Three Tips For E-Commerce Global Expansion

Must Compete with Amazon. It’s a mantra for many retailers in today’s day and age. Shifting consumer expectations around e-Commerce have challenged retailers that are still struggling to turn around two-day deliveries or meet online-order customer care needs. Unfortunately, the next big hurdle retailers must overcome is already here...succeeding at cross-border e-Commerce. Amazon made headlines earlier this year when they reported that more than a quarter of all revenue for sellers globally was from cross-border transactions, an increase of more than 50% from the year prior. Amazon’s current cross-border sales amount to between $50 billion and $75 billion USD. Cross-border e-Commerce is a major, ongoing area of focus for the industry giant, and other powerful players such as Walmart and Alibaba. A recent study from UPS reinforced this growing opportunity for retailers who dare to break borders. The study revealed that cross-border e-Commerce sales are set to grow 25% per year on average, twice as fast as domestic e-Commerce.

What Big Retailers Can Learn From E-Commerce Startups

Technology is a tool. A commodity. But its effect on business models and competition is time relative. Today, no company has an advantage over their competitors because of how they leverage landline phones. But at one time, long before the world knew of “Internet companies,” the business world was in thrall to “telephone companies.” To be clear, these were not companies involved in the manufacturing of telephones or service providers — these were companies using telephones! Telephones were no doubt a competitive advantage, but like all technologies, an advantage that erodes with time. To stay ahead of the competition, companies are constantly looking for the next technological advantage — the modern version of the mid-20th century telephone. This drive is most evident with technology companies that are built around innovating in the digital space.

Exclusive Q&A: How Loot Crate Is Managing An Influencer Tipping Point

Six years young, Loot Crate is a self-proclaimed “leading subscription commerce platform targeting super fans of entertainment franchises.” While Loot Crate appeals to all ages with its family-friendly product, a large majority (80%) of its customers, called “Looters,” are 18 to 34 years old, according to Erik Reynolds, VP of Product Marketing and Communications. “What I love about optimizing for this generation of consumers is, that they want more than just a shopping experience,” Reynolds said. “They expect a more content rich experience, especially when they’re browsing products on our site within their favorite fandoms — comics, TV, movies and games — our site, mobile app and our products have to nurture to that. We create content that not only sells the next crate but also tells a story in deep alignment with our licensor partners.”

57% Of Shoppers Say Retargeting Has No Influence On Online Buying Decisions

Retargeting is one of the most frequently used weapons in a marketer’s arsenal, but a new report strongly suggests that key elements of the retargeting process are broken. More than half (57%)of consumers feel that retargeting ads have had no influence on their decision to purchase something online, according to Nanigans. Retargeting is an online practice designed to advertise products to a shopper based on their browser history. For example, when a shopper buys pants but only browses for shoes on the same shopping visit, the retailer later displays ads for those shoes as the shopper visits other sites. While the concept behind retargeting may be sound, the execution is frequently faulty. Many retailers misjudge how much they need to be retargeting in the first place, and more of them are simply not getting retargeting right at all. As many as 77% of consumers report they often see too many retargeting ads from the same retailer, while 88% report seeing retargeted ads for products they’ve already purchased.

Walmart Launches ‘Shop By Style’ Online Nursery Destination

  • Published in News Briefs
Walmart has launched a nursery destination as part of its recently redesigned e-Commerce site experience, expanding its assortment across all baby categories. The move comes a few months after Toys ‘R’ Us — and its baby unit Babies ‘R’ Us — shuttered it stores and e-Commerce site, leaving the baby…
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