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.

Retailers As Media Companies

Back in the day, retailers were retailers and media companies were media companies. Then came the Amazon Media Group and over the past several years, their development — and similar ones by other retailers — have redefined what it means to be a media company. It’s a reality other retailers need to recognize and replicate if they hope to survive in a world where retail dominance and media might are tightly entwined. Retailers too stubborn, short-sighted or just plain too foolish to follow Amazon’s media path will put themselves firmly on the road to financial decay.

EBay, Cosabella, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM Lead The Next Wave Of AI Implementation

Retailers are beginning to share more about both the benefits and the limits of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Major benefits often include higher customer satisfaction, increased conversions and higher revenues. At NRF 2018, Deborah Weinswig, Managing Director of Fung Global Retail and Technology, hosted a panel featuring three success stories from eBay, Cosabella and 1-800-FLOWERS.COM that showcased how and where AI can help retailers bolster the customer experience. 1-800-FLOWERS.COM ‘Human-Nurtured’ Approach To AI Deployment Chris McCann, CEO of 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, pointed out that his company’s GWYN (Gifts When You Need) AI-powered gift concierge, still needs a human touch in order to function correctly. The technology, powered by IBM Watson, enables shoppers to enter a conversation with a bot that adapts and learns human language with every interaction. “We often say automation for automation’s sake would clearly deliver the wrong message,” McCann said during the session. “To some degree, we take a human-nurtured augmented intelligence approach. How do you get that balance to make sure that the technology is making the right decision? It’s a learning process, and it’s what we’re going through with GWYN. We need to show that GWYN is understanding what to look for, what attributes need to be put into…

NRF 2018 Recap: Positive Economic Forecast, The ROI Of AI, China’s Fast Growth

The National Retail Federation Big Show 2018 is in the rear-view mirror now, but the insights that were shared will make their mark throughout the coming year. The good news is that, judging by the crowds and overall excitement at New York City’s Javits Center, the retail industry is definitely not in an apocalyptic — or even a post-apocalyptic — phase. In fact, a roundtable of economists pointed to strong holiday sales, high consumer confidence levels and the recent tax cuts as reasons for optimism in the coming year. The Retail TouchPointseditorial team shares some of the major headlines from the show, which was held January 14-16, including:

Terry Lundgren, Retail CEOs All Agree: Personalization Is Paramount For 2018

The fourth annual NRF Foundation Gala took place in New York City on Jan. 14, featuring an awards program and formal dinner that included both silent and live auctions. The event raised more than $2.8 million to support the Foundation’s programs, including educational and inspirational initiatives and student scholarships — and it also showcased a preview of things to come in 2018. Terry Lundgren, the former CEO of Macy’s, as well as CEOs from major retailers including Neiman Marcus, Petco, and BJ’s Wholesale Club, shared their insights on the coming year from the event’s exclusive red carpet. One common theme emanated from the execs: Personalization initiatives will determine the success of retail customer experiences going forward.

Walmart CEO McMillon Champions Employee Training And Business Transparency

The headlines last week focused on Walmart raising its starting minimum wage to $11 per hour, adding benefits and offering a one-time bonus to employees. But the most important long-term investment in its people is the retailer’s commitment to training, according to President and CEO Doug McMillon. “We know what every retailer knows — that this is a people business,” said McMillon, who was interviewed by National Retail Federation President Matthew Shay on Jan. 14 at the NRF Big Show in New York City. “What customers feel when they leave our stores determines how many times they will come back.”

NRF Big Show Preview: Editors Pick The ‘Hot’ Sessions

When people call the National Retail Federation’s annual gathering at New York City’s Javits Center the Big Show, they are not exaggerating. From Jan. 14-16, a total of 35,000 attendees from 95 countries will tour the booths of 600+ exhibitors, and more than 3,500 retail companies will be represented by 18,000 retailers. Beyond the Expo floor, there are hundreds of educational sessions to choose from, with speakers ranging from keynoter Arianna Huffington to retail’s own gallery of movers and shakers. A very partial list includes Macy’s Terry Lundgren, Marvin Ellison of JCPenney, Tommy Hilfiger, Hubert Joly of Best Buy, Karen Katz of Neiman Marcus and Lee McCabe of Alibaba Group.

Omnichannel POS Solution Bridges Online-Offline Service Gap

  • Published in News Briefs
The new “Shopping” omnichannel point-of-sale solution from Cegid is designed to unlock actionable intelligence for retail associates about a customer’s online journey prior to their visit. With this information, staff members can offer a range of omnichannel services to shoppers while they are in the store. “Shopping” allows store personnel…

Step #1 Of Circuit City Comeback: Experiential Web Site

  • Published in News Briefs
Circuit City closed the doors of its last brick-and-mortar location in 2009, but apparently the brand was only playing dead. Fast forward nine years and plans for a comeback kick off Feb. 15, 2018 with the launch of an experiential web site featuring AI-powered personalization, search-by-photo functionality, augmented reality and…

5 Things Multi-Location Retailers Need To Know For Effective Review Management

Do you know the business impact of your bad reviews on social media and other online outlets? The truth is, negative reviews cost more than you think. Research has suggested that just one bad review can cost you up to 30 new customers. No matter your industry — and especially in an industry as fickle as retail — these reviews can add up to millions in lost revenue.

Grocers Have Lost 29% Of Their Market Share Since 1991

With societal changes driving consumers from cooking at home to preferring takeout food, fast casual dining, restaurants and other eateries, grocers and other food retailers have lost 29% of their total market share since 1991, according to a survey from IDC. The report reveals that only 35% of food spending takes place in food stores. The fragmentation of shopper spending continues to complicate matters for grocers. While 25% of consumers today prefer shopping at multiple stores to satisfy their grocery needs, this figure is projected to grow to 32% within just two years. As many as 75% are looking for better prices, while 60% are searching for specific products.

Theatro Teams With Curbside To Streamline BOPIS

  • Published in News Briefs
Theatro, an intelligent assistant and voice-controlled mobile app platform provider, has partnered with Curbside, an in-store fulfillment solution provider, to improve ‘click and collect’ offerings. The partnership aims to help retailers boost the efficiency of in-store pickups from online orders with hands-free, real-time communication and insights for associates.

Google Unites Payment Offerings As Google Pay

  • Published in News Briefs
Google is rebranding all its multiple payment methods — which include Android Pay, Google Wallet and the auto fill-in functionality on the Chrome web browser — under a single name, Google Pay. “With Google Pay, it’ll be easier for you to use the payment information saved to your Google Account,…

New Kantar Consulting Firm Encompasses Retail, Brand And Marketing

Kantar has launched an integrated retail, sales and marketing consultancy, Kantar Consulting, by merging its four founding brands: Kantar Retail, Kantar Added Value, Kantar Futures and Kantar Vermeer. The new firm employs more than 1,000 analysts, thought leaders, software developers and expert consultants. Kantar Consulting will provide a range of…

Is Voice The Next Advertising Frontier For Amazon?

Amazon has reportedly been talking with major CPG companies, including Procter & Gamble and Clorox, about introducing digital ads to its Alexa voice platform, according to CNBC. Early discussions have focused on whether companies would pay for higher placement when a consumer searches for a product on their Echo device — similar to the way paid searches put sponsored results higher up in Google search results. Both voice and digital advertising are becoming major forces in the retail and CPG industries. Amazon claims that millions of Prime members used Amazon Alexa to shop by voice for gifts during the 2017 holiday season, and that the Echo Dot was the number-one selling Amazon Device during this period. Amazon Echo had 70.6% of voice assistant user share in May 2017, more than triple the 23.8% of Google Home, according to eMarketer. Overall, eMarketer forecasted that 35.6 million Americans would use a voice-activated assistant at least once a month in 2017, a 129% increase over the previous year.
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