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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.

How To Optimize Mobile, Site Speed And Site Search Ahead Of Holiday 2018

For most retailers, the holiday season begins promptly in November, although some retailers start the previous month for Halloween and others as early as September for back-to-school. While retailers can forecast the start of the holiday season, one area that proves to be unpredictable are the strategies and tactics used to boost holiday sales.   The holiday season can represent as much as 30% of annual sales, according to the National Retail Federation. For online retail brands, understanding changing consumer behavior, technology and timing is critical to having a make or break year.

Search Beyond the Box: 4 Ways To Use Advanced Search Technology To Improve Conversion Rates

Search is a way businesses can connect with their users — to understand what they are looking for, anticipate needs and deliver a great shopping experience. However, search is not simply about helping the customer find what they are looking for; today’s consumers come to your web site for a relevant, personalized experience. When a shopper can discover something new or feel inspired to browse through recommendations, you’re turning a one-off buyer into a loyal returning customer. At its core, a powerful search experience harnesses the consumer’s intent and connects it to the product that the user wants to find. Innovative retailers use search technology as a strategic weapon — driving metrics that impact their business like conversation rates, “stickiness,” engagement and increased basket size. We’ll take a look at strategies in which search and discovery can help you understand your users and move your KPIs forward.

Instacart Expands Click-And-Collect Service Nationwide

Instacart is expanding its Instacart Pickup click-and-collect service nationwide, enabling shoppers to order groceries through the service online and pick them up in select retail stores. The online grocery service will work with existing and new retail partners to add Instacart Pickup at participating partner stores across the U.S. over…
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NYDJ Boosts Traffic 11%, Revenue 33% After Relaunching Personalized E-Commerce Site

Telling brand stories and personalizing the customer experience are vital parts of e-Commerce success, but neither will be effective if a retailer’s site isn’t up to speed. When NYDJ, a California-based women's denim and apparel brand, sought to deliver the perfect fit for its customers by relaunching its e-Commerce site, the retailer saw: An 11% increase in organic traffic; A 33% boost in year-over-year organic revenue; Total conversion rates climbing 22%; and A mobile conversion rate boost of 31%.

Richemont, Alibaba Partner To Target Chinese Luxury Consumers

  • Published in News Briefs
Richemont and Alibaba have formed a joint venture to bring luxury goods from Yoox Net-a-Porter (YNAP) to Chinese consumers. The partnership will launch Net-a-Porter and Mr Porter online stores on Alibaba’s Tmall Luxury Pavilion platform, as well as create Chinese mobile apps for each brand. Alibaba will provide technology infrastructure,…
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The Snuggle Bugz Baby Formula: Abundant Content Builds New Parents’ Confidence

There’s no shortage of advice for parents, particularly first-timers. In fact, it’s all too common for new moms and dads to suffer from a bad case of information overload. Retailers in this space want (and need) to be perceived by shoppers as trusted advisors, so it makes sense that the corporate mission of Canadian baby retailer Snuggle Bugz is to give confidence to customers navigating parenthood. Fulfilling that mission means providing plenty of solid content, both about the products it offers and other parenting issues. Unfortunately, the retailer’s old e-Commerce platform was causing a confidence gap between its in-store and online customer experiences. “Our stores are beautiful, and people can get all the information they need there,” said Sharron Vanderbeek, Director of E-Commerce at Snuggle Bugz, noting that the average employee spends more than 100 hours in product knowledge training each year.

Beginner’s Guide To Building A Successful E-Commerce Web Site

Over the past decade, the volume of businesses that have established an online presence is astounding. It’s estimated that in the U.S. and Canada alone, there are approximately 1.3 million e-Commerce sites. Given this explosion of online stores, how is someone with little-to-no experience supposed to create an impactful web site that cuts through clutter, drives sales and fosters customer loyalty? Having observed many small businesses go from blank landing page to a three million dollar-a-year business, the Weebly team has taken notice of the best practices that help your online store drive business and repeat, happy customers.

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.

The Deal Makers And Breakers Of Online Retail

Competition brings out the best in us. But in the present landscape of online retail, the competition is so fierce that if you are not constantly evolving your customer experience to meet — and exceed — the expectations of today’s shoppers, the same competitive fire that typically brings out your best may very well put you out of business. Through advances in technology, increased mobile acceptance and the well-documented demise of brick-and-mortar shopping, today’s virtual consumer has limitless options in where they buy, and the next purchase opportunity is as accessible as a click of the mouse. So what exactly makes an online sale, and what breaks one? If there was a universally accepted answer to that question, every last retailer’s online experience would look exactly the same, but that is far from the case. In order to shed some light on the answer to this all-important question, let’s examine responses from more than 1,300 online shoppers in a recent consumer behavior survey revealing up-to-date habits and preferences. Let’s begin with some deal makers.

Murad Cuts Costs, Speeds Up Operations With Move To Cloud

Murad, a skincare retailer, is in the process of migrating its operations to the Oracle Cloud infrastructure to help improve both performance and the customer experience. The shift has already reduced the time it takes to handle a number of operational processes. While Murad has partnered with Oracle for nearly 20 years, the retailer previously hosted its databases at a data center. Over time the costs of this model rose too high and processing times increased, which necessitated the switch to a cloud-based solution. “What we found was the same set of solutions with the latest technology are working much faster,” said Rishabh Sinha, Senior Director of Enterprise Applications at Murad in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “What used to take five hours before the cloud now takes two hours. That definitely helped with overall performance and the user experience.” Moving to the cloud makes the shopping experience more seamless by speeding up Murad’s order processing. It also simplifies web site changes, which reduces costs for the retailer. “From an e-Commerce point-of-view it just gives us more flexibility,” said Sinha. “Our website is on AWS, and we can easily set up a connection from AWS to Oracle Cloud. Earlier, when we…

Hitachi Solutions America Launches Accelerated Retail Implementation Program

Hitachi Solutions America, a provider of Microsoft Cloud-powered business solutions, has launched its Fast-Tracked Retail Implementation, a pre-configured program designed to give retailers faster time-to-market of Microsoft Dynamics 365 and other products related to ERP, CRM, field service and IoT. From beginning to end, retail solutions can be deployed within 16 weeks.  Fast-Tracked Retail Implementation is designed to enable retailers to adapt to the reality of connected consumers and their changing demands. Additionally, the technology enables large retail organizations to perform proof-of-value testing, to get a thorough understanding of the solution and learn how to develop a comprehensive implementation plan.

The 7 Ways Strong Product Content Can Improve SEO

What makes for better SEO is constantly changing. In fact, Google changes its search algorithm 500 to 600 times each year. With this in mind, how can brands make sure their customers can easily find their products online and beat out their competitors? The answer lies in how brands position their online product content. For example, if a pair of shoes being sold online has only one photo, a short description and no reviews, it’s far from likely that they’ll ever have a high enough search ranking for customers to find them. On the other hand, a pair of shoes from a competitor’s page that has a detailed description, unique content and lots of customer reviews will organically earn higher SEO value, no matter which iteration of Google’s algorithm is live.

Tops Supermarket Debuts Curbside Pickup, Adds Organic Options Online

  • Published in News Briefs
Grocery delivery and curbside pickup have become the latest competitive arenas in supermarket retail, and regional player Tops Friendly Markets has joined the fray. The 169-store chain, with locations in New York, Vermont and northern Pennsylvania, built on its existing relationship with Instacart to offer curbside pickup at three locations…
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KIDBOX Launches Exclusive Personality-Based Private Label Brands

KIDBOX has delivered a more personal touch to its shopping experience with the launch of three private label brands. The new lines are designed to be curated based on the personalities of children wearing the company’s apparel. The brand lines — Miki B., Kid’s Club and Baby Basics — complement the more than 130 premier brand partners in the KIDBOX portfolio and speak to the four style personality types that KIDBOX has found children identify with most — City Cool, Sporty Athletic, Modern Casual, and Classic Preppy (Kid’s Club). The new brands launched in August 2018, just six months after initial product design was completed. The three new brand lines represent between 15% and 20% of the retailer’s total assortment, according to Miki Berardelli, CEO.
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