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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.

Study: 33% Of In-Store Purchases Start Online — And 25% Of Online Purchases Start In-Store

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that online activity influences consumers’ brick-and-mortar purchases, but the traffic isn’t all one-way. While one in three in-store purchases start online, one in four online purchases start in-store, according to the Month in the Life of a Shopper 2019 report from The Hershey Company. Additionally, the average shopper makes a combined 60 online and offline trips per month across 17 retailers — so capturing a larger share of these trips means maximizing the value proposition in both channels. “First and foremost, it's important to evaluate how you're performing across the core tenets of what we've defined as the shopper value equation: spend, time and experience,” said Tony Mardegain, Director, Retail Snacking Experience Team (ReSET) at Hershey in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “What is your unique place in shoppers' lives? What are the areas where you're already doing well? Can you lean in further?” ReSET advises against a one-size-fits all approach, but the start of every retailer’s journey is recognizing that overall, 87% of all purchases start online — an environment where shoppers will quickly abandon a retailer if they can’t find what they’re looking for. “Navigation helps consumers browse the digital and physical shelf,” said…

Exclusive Q&A With Scott Emmons: ‘Open Innovation’ Requires Collaboration And Cross-Pollination

Upon leaving his position as Director of the Neiman Marcus iLab, which he founded, to become CTO of retail innovation consultancy Current Global, Scott Emmons noted that the culture of legacy organizations can often hold back the progress of retailers’ internal innovation labs. “For fashion and retail brands to succeed, they need to shift from an internally driven culture to one focused on open innovation with the world’s top technology and talent,” Emmons said in a statement. At Retail TouchPoints Live!, June 25-26 in Chicago, Emmons will expand on the reasons why retailers must focus on “open innovation,” and what makes an agile, nimble retail innovation strategy.

100+ Goodwill Stores Take Merchandise Mobile

More than 100 Goodwill locations across the U.S. will upload secondhand merchandise such as clothing, jewelry and furniture to OfferUp, a mobile marketplace for local buyers and sellers. Via OfferUp, mobile shoppers now can browse their local Goodwill store’s inventory in the app alongside other sellers’ products. 
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Exclusive Q&A: Why Digital Success Depends On A Physical Retail Presence

More than half (56%) of digital shoppers say that when buying online, it’s important for the retailer to also have a physical store presence near their home or job, according to Stephanie Cegielski, Vice President, Public Relations at the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). This is just one of many statistics indicating that the combination of e-Commerce with brick-and-mortar offers a host of benefits for both retailers and shoppers alike. The convergence of digital and physical will be the focus of The Halo Effect: The Convergence of Clicks and Bricks at Retail TouchPoints LIVE! @ RetailX, June 25-26 in Chicago. In this exclusive Q&A, Cegielski offers a sneak peek at her session as well as insights into the interrelationship between the brick-and-mortar and e-Commerce channels, including the surprising support for physical retail among Millennial and Gen Z consumers. RTP: What are some ways that the physical side of retail supports online efforts? And how can online best support a retailer’s brick-and-mortar operations? Stephanie Cegielski: We found in our Halo Effect study that when a retailer opens a store in a market, the web traffic for that market increases by 37%. [The store] creates brand awareness and it creates that convenience — it's…

67% Of Retailers Report Higher Revenue After Launching Subscription Services

By design, subscription services are primarily tools for customer retention, but new research indicates they deliver other benefits as well: encouraging shoppers to try additional channels and new product categories, and increasing the spend levels of already valuable customers. These benefits are derived from the way subscription services build relationships between shoppers and retailers, a process Amazon encourages across its offerings. "Everybody talks about Amazon Prime and Subscribe to Save, they talk about Alexa and Dash, and the media speaks about these very disparately and disconnected,” said Greg Alvo, Founder & CEO of Ordergroove in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “What I think we're seeing is they're all part of the same macro trend and strategy, which is about creating recurring customers, developing relationships with them and making it all about driving frictionless experiences and recurring revenue.”

The Future Of Social Commerce Is Mobile: Instagram, Peer-To-Peer Marketplaces, Chat Lead The Way

While retailers have tried to solve the puzzle of “social commerce” for years now, it appears the missing piece has been staring them in the face all along: the social shopper is becoming increasingly mobile-exclusive. As of March 2019, there were 105.8 million “mobile only” social network users in the U.S., comprising 51.7% of all social network users, according to eMarketer. In fact, the overwhelming majority (70.5%) of social referrals to e-Commerce sites come from smartphones, according to data from Adobe Digital Insights. Organizations are quickly becoming aware of the move to mobile-centricity: 57% are planning to deploy mobile-first content within their social strategy, according to Hootsuite.

Engaging Shoppers With Relevant, Personalized Messaging Across Multiple Channels

In surveys across the board, marketers say that personalization is a top priority. When done right, it increases engagement, builds loyalty, and drives sales by delivering messages that align with — and anticipate — what each customer wants. Leaders in martech have leveraged technology to reach new heights in delivering highly-personalized, relevant and immediate messaging that’s cohesive across multiple channels. By identifying online shoppers and capturing their associated shopping data to automate content, they’ve drastically raised expectations to the point that most consumers today expect individualized interaction — not just personalized, individualized — that shows them what they want, when they want it, while also saving them time and money. And it’s easier than ever for them to take their business elsewhere if they don’t get what they expect.

Two Paths To Innovation: Kroger Debuts Investment Firm For Brands; Lowe’s Acquires Analytics Tech

Two of the biggest traditional players in U.S. retail, Lowe’s and Kroger, have each made major pushes in the past year to ensure they are keeping up with major industry innovators. But this week these retailers made even bigger splashes, with Kroger launching an accelerator fund for consumer brands and Lowe’s acquiring retail analytics technology from Boomerang Commerce. Kroger has partnered with Lindsay Goldberg, a private equity firm, to form PearlRock Partners, a platform designed to identify, invest in and help grow emerging consumer product brands.

Online CPG Sales Rose 30% Last Year: BOPIS Can Tap That Growth

With Walmart and Amazon both offering next-day delivery, buy online/pick up in-store (BOPIS) options are becoming critical for retailers trying to compete. These services are particularly important for retailers that specialize in CPG goods —two-thirds of regular e-Commerce customers already purchase these goods online, and the added convenience of in-store pickup could help brick-and-mortar retailers capture a larger market share, according to Nielsen data powered by Rakuten Intelligence. The popularity of BOPIS is on the rise, growing from from 4% of all e-Commerce orders in 2017 to 11% in 2019 and continuing to expand, according to estimates by Nielsen. Along with this increase, statistics point to an expanding market for digital sales of CPG products: Online CPG sales have increased by more than 30% year-over-year; 60% of shoppers have browsed and ordered for CPG items online; 28% of shoppers have purchased CPG products online several times per month. “In just the past two years, 29 million new people purchased CPG products online, so there's a lot of energy around in the space right now,” said Justin Belgiano, VP, U.S. E-Commerce Practice at Nielsen in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. Despite this growth, there’s still a large potential market for CPG retailers, Belgiano noted:…

CEO Q&A: How Flont Crafted A ‘Jewelry As A Service’ Experience Via Exclusive Partnerships

The rise of “try-before-you buy” and subscription-based business models has hit just about every corner of retail, including a once-unlikely category: jewelry. One company, Flont, is seeking to bring high-end jewelry to online shoppers for a cheaper price, all while taking away the risks of buying expensive merchandise outside the store. Flont members can keep and swap jewelry as often as they like, or simply rent pieces for three days at a time. Memberships start at $59 per month, enabling shoppers to borrow up to $1,500 in jewelry at all times, and go all the way up to $379 per month to borrow as much as $8,000.

Want To Survive And Thrive In Retail’s New Shopping Battlefield? Capitalize On These 10 Winning Trends

Almost no one can argue that the retail ecosystem isn’t changing at an accelerated pace. But a school of thought around the shift misses the mark pretty badly. Specifically, there are a lot of doomsayers out there who look at store closings (Sears, Lowe’s, JCPenney, Macy’s, etc.) as the harbingers of worse to come for retail, but the truth is that retail is just changing and sales are growing. It’s about where, when and how consumers buy goods that is shifting. That said, there’s a grain of truth to what the doomsayers think: For those retailers, marketers and brand owners that can’t capitalize on the morphing landscape and prepare themselves for and take advantage of disruption, the prognosis is pretty poor as far as their company’s survival goes. Thankfully, as winners and losers emerge on the way to retail’s jagged future, some clear trends for success are emerging. Retail and brand leaders should hop onto them fast if they want to flourish. Here are some of the biggest retail trends, and what brands can do about them:

Localized Omnichannel Should Be A Part Of Your Expansion Strategy

Companies often localize their web sites to generate awareness, engagement and sales in new domestic and global markets. But they often overlook a big opportunity to serve customers in other important channels. With worldwide retail e-Commerce sales expected to grow from $3.5 trillion in 2019 to $4.9 trillion by 2021, retailers should localize their omnichannel contentto increase in-market discoverability and revenue. International customers are more likely to discover a brand’s image, voice and messaging through non-web site channels such as social media posts, localized pay per click (PPC) or promotions and much more.
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