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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.

Wal-Mart’s Aggressive Pricing Strategy Puts More Pressure On Margins For Holiday Season

The gloves came off last week and the pricing wars of 2009 are underway. When Wal-Mart began selling hotly anticipated books on Walmart.com for $10, it was a clear signal that retail giant is planning to grab even more market share coming out of the recession. The response from competitors to that move was also a signal that other retailers are going to have manage pricing and markdowns in near real-time this holiday season in order to stay competitive. When Amazon.com Inc. matched the $10 prices, Wal-Mart lowered its prices to $9. Then Target jumped into the fight and started offering the same titles at $8.99. Wal-Mart then threw a smiley in their face by dropping down to $8.98. Of course, this blood bath of dropping well below list prices on hot new items was bad news to Borders, Barnes & Noble and other independent booksellers (the American Booksellers Association has already asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the price war to determine if it constitutes illegal predatory pricing), but it was also a wake-up call to retailers in other verticals as well.

Omniture Research Spotlights Tactics to Optimize Online Conversions Via Targeting

Retailers continue to struggle to increase engagement and conversion online. New research found that retailers are missing the boat on some of the key strategies to optimize content online. Nearly half (47%) of respondents are not optimizing their onsite experience, according to the 2009 Omniture OnlineConversion Benchmark Survey. The survey, which ran from June to mid-August, compiled responses from just over a thousand online and interactive marketers. About 60% of the respondents are BtoC organizations, half of which are ecommerce in nature.

Mobile Channel Expanding As Macy’s, JC Penney Launch Sales Initiatives

The mobile phone is quickly emerging as a new sales channel, with mainstream department stores JC Penney and Macy’s adopting new mobile initiatives with high expectations. Other consumer brands are enjoying strong opt-in rates among customers, reaffirming the industry assumptions that mobile is the next big channel to infiltrate consumers. JC Penney’s new mobile trial, a first for the industry, is designed to enable shoppers to redeem coupon savings via the mobile device with a 2D bar code coupon program, directly from the screen at the point of sale. The retail giant tapped Cellfire to deploy the technology at registers in 16 JC Penney stores in the Houston metro area.

Mobile Marketing Strategies Yield Greater ROMI than Traditional Media

For the best-in-class companies that have taken the leap into mobile marketing, 65% are satisfied with their average Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI) compared to 40% satisfaction with ROMI for traditional media (TV, radio and print), according to Aberdeen’s August 2009 Mobile Marketing study. Companies that have invested in mobile strategies also report impressive results for increased customer acquisition and customer profitability. As many as 76% of best-in-class organizations are satisfied with their customer profitability and 57% are happy with their customer acquisition rates.

Research Shows Providing Price Comparisons Wins Shopper Loyalty

Consumers are more loyal to retailers who provide information on competitors’ prices, according to the e-tailing group report “Comparison Shopping is a Way of Life,” published in September of 2009. As many as 78% of consumers surveyed said they would be likely to return to a retailer that shows competitors’ prices on their website; and 36% would be much more loyal. In fact, offering competitive pricing may keep customers from leaving a site. More than half of survey respondents (53%) said they would no longer feel compelled to comparison shop elsewhere and 52% said they find on-site competitive pricing credible.

New Study Shows Mobilility Becoming A Differentiator For Customer Interactions

As more retailers strive to build a long-term relationship with their customers, a recent study showed that mobility and wireless wireless technologies are key drivers to improving customer service and gaining customer intelligence. The Motorola Enterprise Mobility Solutions Hospitality Barometer found that 82% of respondents reported an increasing importance of mobility within their organization in 2009 to help drive revenue and improve the customer experience. And more than 60% of hospitality decision makers believe these technologies are providing consistent service and competitive advantage.

Cross-Channel Retail: What are Online Customers Doing Today?

There has been a lot written recently about cross-channel retail in terms of the value to the retailer and importance to consumers. Aside from survey results, few hard facts have been published. Possibly this is because it’s hard to gather data and measure it, let alone do this for multiple retailers to make an apples to apples comparison. Even the definition is not immediately obvious to many industry folks, some often think of cross-channel as being synonymous with the term “multi-channel” but it is far more involved than simply having multiple channels.

Mobile Retailing Dissected At NRFtech Panel Discussion

A diverse panel of industry executives gathered to discuss the short- and long-term potential for mobile retailing at the NRFtech Annual CIO Summit in La Jolla, California this week. Sahir Anand, Research Director, Retail Practice from The Aberdeen Group led the discussion. The four panel members included Delaney Bellinger, CIO of Yum! Brands, Richard Crone, Principal of Crone Consulting, Jorge Fernandes, CEO of Mobibucks and Richard Mader, Executive Director of the Association for Retail Technology Standards (ARTS). The group presented to approximately 100 of the industry’s top CIOs at the invitation-only event presented by the National Retail Federation (NRF).

Quantivo Extends Reach Of Analytics Tools By Hosting On Amazon’s Cloud Environment

Quantivo, a leader in on-demand Behavioral Analytics, announced this week that its SaaS service is now hosted on the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, Amazon EC2.While the utilization of deep customer analytics had traditionally been limited to larger organizations due to cost, computing power and time constraints, Quantivo’s CEO Brian Kelly pointed out that this new partnership will dramatically extend the reach of these tools.“By combining Quantivo’s unique Affinity Analytics technology with SaaS built upon Amazon EC2, companies can act on the latest customer behavioral patterns for as little as $5,000 per month,” Kelly said. “This enables us to get customers up and running very quickly—in a matter of five or ten days for a very large scale analytic application.”

1-800-Flowers Digs Into Mobile Commerce With Multiple App Storefronts

Long before mobile commerce emerged as a new channel, multichannel visionary 1-800-Flowers.com saw the potential market and launched a mobile Web site in early 2006, and tapped mobile software provider Digby in early 2007 to develop a complete mobile channel offering.In the three years since the mobile launch, 1-800-Flowers.com has continued to evolve their mobile program, and now offers their customers a wide variety of mobile shopping options. Customers can access the 1-800-Flowers Mobile Gift Center using a mobile optimized commerce site as well, with rich, on-device application storefronts for Blackberry and iPhone.

Sears & Days Inn Execs Share Dos and Don’ts of Mobile Commerce

Editor’s Note: This article is an excerpt from one of Mobile Marketer’s recent online postings. Mobile Marketer’s daily newsletter provides news on mobile marketing, media and commerce. Sears would have gone with a different product mix when it first launched it mobile site. And Days Inn would not have launched its mobile campaign before the mobile site was up. Thus confessed senior executives from Sears and Wyndham's Days Inn Hotel brand at last week's Mobile Commerce Spotlight Conference organized by Mobile Marketer in conjunction with the Direct Marketing Association. In a session moderated by Mobile Marketer's Mickey Alam Khan, panelists offered the audience of marketers and retailers a list of dos and don'ts for mobile commerce.

Sears Exec Shares Insights Into Mobile Strategy, Impact On Purchases At DMA Event

One of the few major retailers making strides in mobile commerce, Sears has enabled consumers to buy on the mobile phone and pick up in store with its Sears2Go service, launched before the 2008 holiday shopping season. Tom Emmons, Team Leader of Mobile Innovation, shared key insight into Sears’ mobile strategy at today’s Mobile Commerce Spotlight Event, sponsored by Mobile Marketer and DMA Mobile Marketing Council. “There are a ton of ways to think about retail in mobile,” Emmons started. “Sears is moving toward changing the way purchasing works.” The Sears2go service for mobile has sold appliances, automotive parts, apparel, computers and electronics and tools, among other items. Emmons said last Sunday the retailer sold a $3,000 lawnmower on the mobile device, framing the demand for big-ticket items.

6 New Strategies For Mobile Commerce Aim To Drive Sales, Loyalty & Intelligence

 While mobile marketing has been established as a new way to advertise and engage consumers, the ability to purchase on the mobile phone is offering consumers a new channel on which to shop. The emergence of iPhone applications and mobile-configured Web sites are bringing convenience and usability to consumers on the go. Mobile Internet access, through either traditional browsers or installed applications, will see significant gains over the next five years, reaching 134.3 million mobile Internet users in 2013, according to projections from eMarketer. With this growth in mind and an appetite for new paths to acquire customers, industry insiders say they are seeing a big spike in roll outs of new mobile commerce sites designed to drive loyalty and increase sales.

Eileen Fisher Selects Escalate Retail’s Buy Anywhere, Fulfill Anywhere Commerce Solution

Escalate Retail recently announced that EILEEN FISHER, a clothing company with 44 retail stores and accounts at all major department stores, has selected the company’s Buy Anywhere, Fulfill Anywhere Commerce solution, which is designed to enable an end-to-end cross channel customer shopping experience. As part of the Buy Anywhere, Fulfill Anywhere Commerce platform, EILEEN FISHER will implement Escalate Retail’s e-Commerce, Contact Center, Order Manager, and Fulfillment Manager modules, designed to enhance the customer experience and drive additional revenue. Escalate Retail’s consulting partner, Acquity Group, will provide the retailer with front-end implementation and hosting services.

Ebates Cash-Back Shopping Site Scores Double-Digit Sales Growth for Retailers

Macy’s, Kohl’s, 1800Flowers and Sephora are just a selection of retailers who are investing in cash-back shopping to boost online sales. The average year-over-year growth for retailers who participate in the cash-back program on Ebates.com is approximately 20%, according to Kevin Johnson, president and CEO. Prior to the recession, Johnson adds, year-over-year growth was consistently at approximately 50%.”When the economy recovers we expect to see this type of growth again.”To date, more than 1,100 retailers have signed on with Ebates.com to reach more than eight million shoppers enrolled in the program.
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