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Omnichannel / Cross-Channel Strategies

Cross-Channel Strategies offers readers an inside look at the successful cross-channel promotions, campaigns and programs employed by industry leaders. Retailers across industry segments and regions are adopting unique and innovative approaches to reaching today’s cross-channel consumers. Subscribe to the feed and stay in touch with the latest retail happenings.

Mass Merchandisers Poised To Thrive During The Final Stretch Of Back-To-School

Prime Day and e-Commerce may have defined the start of the back-to-school (BTS) season, but brick-and-mortar retailers — particularly omnichannel mass merchandisers — are poised to grab their fair share as the start of school approaches. Parents are expected to spend $14.5 billion in the weeks following Aug. 1, according to data from Deloitte; that’s more than half of the $27.8 billion in spending predicted for the entire season. Shoppers plan to spend approximately 56% of their total BTS budgets in-store, a total of $15.7 billion across the entire season, according to a survey by Deloitte. In comparison, 29% of the average budget will be spent online, accounting for $8.1 billion. The remaining $4 billion is undecided and will be split between both channels, with online expected to hold an edge.

Exclusive Q&A With Shopify Plus VP: Why DTC Isn’t Slowing Down Any Time Soon

Shopify has been one of the biggest growth stories within e-Commerce in recent years, with the company’s stock skyrocketing 130% year-to-date and a reported 48% revenue surge of $362 million in Q2. While the company is known primarily for helping small businesses set up online stores and sell products directly to consumers, Shopify recently introduced its own fulfillment network. The company also extends its services beyond SMB clients — Shopify Plus has 5,300+ enterprise-level merchant customers (defined as driving $1 million to $500 million and above in revenue per year). In an exclusive Q&A, Shopify Plus VP and General Manager Loren Padelford shared his thoughts on: The continued growth of brands going direct-to-consumer (DTC) and Shopify’s role in facilitating that growth; How brands such as Fashion Nova, Staples Canada and Gymshark have thrived through their own DTC strategies; and Best practices for retailers seeking to expand into new markets.

ICSC Study: ‘Halo Effect’ Shows Physical Stores Boost Online Sales…And Vice Versa

A single online or in-store transaction is rarely an isolated occurrence. Usually, it stems from, and leads to, a series of transactions, emphasizing the role of the “halo effect” — how a purchase in one channel directly impacts the purchases in another. Retailers must take this halo effect seriously when planning future stores or even reducing store counts, according to a survey from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). The study, titled The Halo Effect II: Quantifying the Impact of Omnichannel, revealed: Shoppers that spend $100 in store and then buy online at the same retailer within a 15-day period average a net spend of $267; and Shoppers that spend $100 online and then buy in-store at the same retailer within a 15-day period average a net spend of $231. ICSC analyzed more than $31 billion in consumer spending with consumer insights firm 1010data during 2016, 2017 and 2018 at retailers across several categories, including apparel, beauty, discount and traditional department stores, home goods and emerging digital native retailers.

Sink Or Swim: Retailers Have A Decision to Make

In this digital age, retailers must be more vigilant of the latest industry trends than ever before. Technology advancements are reshaping customer expectations as well as the overall communication between retailers and customers. Adapting to these new retail trends — including a consistent omnichannel presence, free and same-day delivery and app-exclusive offers — is becoming more of a must for retailers than a luxury. The decision to choose complacency instead of adaptation in many cases can lead to an organization sinking amid the sea of competitors. So how are customer expectations shifting, and how can you stay abreast of the latest retail trends? In this article, I’ll unpack three of the top trends to implement in your retail organization.

How A New Approach To Customer Segmentation Can Reduce Returns And Boost Profitability Up To 30%

Customer returns are reaching pandemic proportions. Increasingly, shoppers are being conditioned to return unwanted items, ‘nearly unworn’ or over-ordered clothes in a sector with already tight margins. Through a new approach to predictive customer segmentation, now retailers can very quickly and cost-effectively identify those customers most likely to erode profitability. By using this insight and adapting communication strategies accordingly, it is possible to significantly reduce the cost of returns on the P&L — and maybe help a bit on CO2 emissions too!

Wakefern Launches Automated Micro-Fulfillment Center For Online ShopRite Consumers

Wakefern Food Corp., the grocery cooperative that operates 353 supermarkets in the Northeast under banners including ShopRite, The Fresh Grocer, Price Rite Marketplace and Dearborn Market, has launched its first automated fulfillment center in Clifton, N.J. The new center will serve select ShopRite stores operated by Wakefern member Inserra Supermarkets in North Jersey and New York. Takeoff Technologies partnered with Wakefern to build the hyperlocal fulfillment center, which is designed to increase speed and lower costs for retailers while improving the overall online grocery shopping customer experience. In particular, the fulfillment center will augment the ShopRite from Home online grocery program, which currently offers shoppers pickup and home delivery services across most ShopRite store locations.

How Vuori Balances DTC, Wholesale And Brick-And-Mortar Amid Triple-Digit Growth

Retailers that find major mainstream success in their early years face a challenge: how do you harness growth that can reach the triple digits without sacrificing your quality or identity? Expanding inventory, adding new product lines and keeping up with orders can all become a delicate balancing act. Activewear retailer Vuori is experiencing this kind of transformational growth. In 2015, the company started with two employees; it has 52 today. Vuori also has expanded its product portfolio, from a small selection of men’s shorts to a wide variety of clothing and accessories, including a recently launched women’s business.

The New Rules Of Retail: Digital Strategies To Serve Today’s ‘Connected Consumer’

The world of retail is changing. But the reason isn’t as obvious as it may seem. While online shopping has impacted retail, 90% of revenue still comes from physical stores, and 85% of consumers say they prefer buying things in person.1 Most people still want to sample, try on, see and engage with the item they’re interested in. The store, dismissed by some as a relic from a bygone era, is still relevant.

Brooklinen Goes From Pure-Play DTC To Pop-Up Retailer In Four Weeks

Generally, when a brand decides it wants to open a pop-up store, team members have months to plan and some idea of how to carry it out. But with the lofty goal of opening a 2,000-square-foot pop-up shop in under four weeks, the Brooklinen operations team had to move quickly. Before opening the pop-up in New York’s SoHo neighborhood in November 2018, the Brooklinen team managed both to find the ideal location and centralize its merchandising efforts to deliver the right products to its shoppers. Brooklinen, a direct-to-consumer brand selling luxury bed sheets, pillows, comforters and blankets, had been an online-only seller since its inception in late 2014. Co-founders/husband-and-wife duo Rich and Vicki Fulop launched the company on Kickstarter, and within two years grew it to $25 million in revenue. But in late 2018, the retailer found a “great real estate opportunity that we couldn’t ignore and we had to jump on it,” and decided that it was a necessary move to get a minimum number of viable products in front of its audience.

How Shippers Can Improve Their Relationship With Carriers

Healthy carrier relationships are vital for a reliable carrier network.  Developing a positive relationship plays a significant role in the carrier services provided. Any issues that arise should be addressed to avoid any misunderstanding. Any strain on the relationship could result in delays in the delivery of the shipment and put added stress on customer relations. 

RTP Live! Session: Retailers Not As BOPIS-Capable As They Say They Are

As many as 80% of retailers say they are “omnichannel ready” and frequently point to their buy online/pick up in-store (BOPIS), buy online/return in-store (BORIS) and ship-from-store capabilities as proof. But retailers tend to overstate how efficient these fulfillment strategies are, according to Bill Hardgrave, Provost and SVP of Auburn…
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Why Retail Marketers Turn To Behavioral Economics

With the amount of messaging that inundates individuals on a daily basis, it can be frustrating for retailers to make their mark. Here is the problem: retailers spend a majority of their time and resources thinking about what to sell, not necessarily how to sell it. Well, the social science known as “behavioral economics” shows us that how a product is presented to consumers is often the most powerful driver in a purchase decision. Behavioral economics is no longer just taught in college lecture halls; it is now learned by marketers all over the world to help drive growth and increase revenue. Research by Gallup shows that companies that apply the principles of behavioral economics to their overall marketing strategy outperform their peers by 85% in sales growth and more than 25% in gross margin.

RTP Live! Keynote: BJ’s Digital Transformation Goal Was ‘Circle Of Convenience’ For Members

With 217 warehouse clubs and more than 5.5 million members, BJ’s Wholesale Club is best known for its massive brick-and-mortar presence. But when the company brought technology veteran Rafeh Masood on as Chief Digital Officer in June 2017, it was clear that BJ’s wasn’t just looking for an e-Commerce upgrade, it was looking for a chainwide transformation — executed at a rapid pace. During a keynote session at Retail TouchPoints Live! @ RetailX, Masood explained that while his primary goal was “to convince you to shop at BJs.com,” making that happen involved more than simply connecting BJ’s digital and physical channels. More ambitiously, Masood aimed to create a circle of convenience that connected the club’s members to the products, and also to store associates, through an upgraded mobile experience.

Why 2019 Is The Year Of The Retail Renaissance

The first half of 2019 confirmed that the retail apocalypse many industry experts once predicted is not on the horizon. Instead, we’re in the midst of the next phase of a “retail renaissance,” where customer experience reigns supreme. This shift is evidenced by the creation of innovative store experiences, retailers teaming up with direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands, even better buy online/pick up in-store (BOPIS) incentives and one-day or same-day delivery. Retailers want to make the most of their brick-and-mortar presence while creating unique and memorable customer experiences. For example, Nordstrom recently announced plans to expand Local, its service-centered stores that offer amenities such as online order pickup, tailoring and manicures to drive foot traffic and enrich the in-store customer experience. This strategic concept will likely continue to be leveraged by retailers as the year goes on.

Lowe’s Picks Charlotte, N.C. Location For Global Tech Center

Lowe’s is putting its money where its mouth is as it continues to invest in technology. The retailer will occupy a 357,000-square-foot global technology center in Charlotte, N.C. dedicated to employing 2,000 of the company’s tech professionals. The home improvement retailer is investing $153 million in the project and will occupy 15 of the 23 floors within the tower, which will serve as the “epicenter for the team Lowe’s is hiring to help modernize its IT systems and build future retail experiences,” according to a statement. The tech center will create 1,600 new jobs, with 400 employees relocating from the company headquarters in Mooresville, N.C.
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