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.

How To Reach Your Customers In The Voice Search Era

Twenty-five years ago, people searched for purchases by flipping through a catalog. Fifteen years ago, they typed keywords into Google to find sale items and track trends. Now they are using voice assistants like Amazon Alexa to guide them through the purchase journey. According to a new report from Juniper Research, smart devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home will be installed in a majority — 55% — of U.S. households by 2022. Retailers need to come to terms with the new reality: In five years, most consumers will rely on voice-based product searches to buy everything from basic grocery items to fashion splurges and even large household appliances. Think about that: You will search for almost everything by asking a small speaker for help.

Forrester Study: Only 26% Of Companies Are B2B E-Commerce ‘Masters’

Strong, mature B2B e-Commerce capabilities bring numerous benefits to organizations. These companies can maximize the potential of digital channels and add self-service capabilities; use merchandising features to frame their products and solutions in a better light; and create multiple selling sites dedicated to specific geographies, customer segments, product lines and channels. But while the benefits of B2B e-Commerce maturity are clear, the road to achieving it is a long one. A June 2018 Forrester study, titled: What It Takes To Be A Leader In B2B eCommerce, reveals that no more than 50% of companies surveyed have any one of the following five best practices for B2B e-Commerce:

Study: Amazon And Walmart Top Retail Loyalty List

A new customer loyalty study defines consumers as three types: Loyalists, Roamers and Neutrals. Loyalists (35%) find a go-to retailer for their needs and stick with them; Roamers (35%) always tend to shop around prior to making a purchase; and Neutrals (30%) have some go-to retailers for particular purchases but also shop around, according to the 2018 consumer survey conducted by, a division of Customer Communications Group. To maximize customer loyalty, retailers need first to understand what elements of their current shopper experience appeals to each group. Beyond the convenience that is valued by all shopper types, Loyalists are more motivated by “Passion Factors” such as trust, fair treatment and a caring staff. In contrast, Roamers can be convinced to consolidate their purchases with a single retailer by stressing more practical elements, such as ease of purchase and returns, customer service and incentive offers. Additionally, all retailers should involve the entire enterprise in their customer loyalty efforts.

For Retailers Battling With E-Commerce Goliaths: Human-Empowering Tech Is A Slingshot

Another day, another industry disrupted by the e-Commerce giants. One thumb-scroll down we read the closure of yet another retailer — most recently seen with the news of Toys ‘R’ Us and Bon-Ton. As these stories become the day-to-day reality of retail in the digital age, legacy brick-and-mortar retailers must make a choice when it comes to differentiation. In a world where store location doesn’t hold a candle to two-day shipping in the battle for convenience, and price wars favor big box giants like Walmart and Target, niche retailers must carve out their own space in the market. To survive in this climate, retailers have looked for ways to create operationalized value, cutting costs by tracking units with shelf monitors, cheapening marketing collateral and lessening the number of sales associates. But no one ever wins when looking to enter a race to the bottom — the race to have the lowest price has driven retailer after retailer into the ground. While technology can be invaluable in creating efficiency, it’s not able to replace the personal touch that humans in a store provide.

Peet’s Coffee Takes The Guesswork Out Of Promotions With New Loyalty Solution

Peet’s Coffee was looking to expand its Peetnik Rewards loyalty program to all 240 stores following a beta test period, but needed a more reliable platform. By partnering with Paytronix, the chain got a more stable platform, along with a bonus: detailed data about program members’ activity, which has translated into valuable marketing insights and measurable benefits. The chain moved its loyalty and stored value program to a SaaS platform from Paytronix. Within six months after a July 2017 chainwide rollout, Peet’s had achieved:

Using Digital To Drive Footfall: The Power Of Getting The Basics Right

In a world where people use their phones for almost everything, retailers need to be visible where their customers are. But even in 2018, many brick-and-mortar retailers are still falling down on some very basic issues around online visibility. Consumers consult their phones for information dozens of times per day. Some of this activity is e-Commerce related, but huge numbers of consumers are also looking for information about local businesses. Google reported a 900% increase in searches for products and services “near me” between 2015 and 2017. Many retailers are still failing to take full advantage of this behavior.

4 Retail Execs Share Data Strategy Tactics: Salesforce Connections Recap

In photo: Bret Taylor, President and Chief Product Officer, Salesforce   During the recent Salesforce Connections event in Chicago, industry experts shared top takeaways and strategies around unlocking customer data to optimize the entire e-Commerce site experience. In this recap, uncover quick quotes and tips from retailers including Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurants, Milk Makeup, Ticketmaster and Melissa & Doug, as well as several Salesforce executives: “80% of consumers are saying they’ll switch brands not based on products or necessarily even services, but based on experience. How will you use data to create experience for someone who’s traversing across all those different channels?” — Shelley Bransten, SVP of Retail and Consumer Goods Industry Solutions, Salesforce

Quick Quotes From Retail Execs At IRCE And CRMC

The educational programs at IRCE and CRMC, both held in Chicago the first week of June, provided insights that went far beyond just the shows’ overarching topics of e-Commerce and customer relationship management (CRM). Industry leaders from retail companies including Lovesac, Warby Parker, Oriental Trading, Shoe Carnival, Jack Grace and Hilton Hotels shared tips and tactics covering global commerce, personalization, the move from online to offline retailing, selecting the right solution provider partners, and ways to make returns a strategic part of the business. Following are quick quotes from some of the retail industry experts who spoke at the two events.

Exclusive Q&A: Can Fitness Centers Become The New Mall Anchor Store?

As department stores exert less consumer drawing power, U.S. malls are seeking new types of anchors to build foot traffic. Many malls have been trying to add tenants that, by their nature, require consumers to be physically present, such as restaurants, theaters and fitness centers. One of the most successful gym chains is Crunch, with more than one million members visiting 250 locations across 24 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, Australia and Spain. In February, Crunch was named Best in Category in the fitness sector by Franchise Business Review’s annual list of the top franchises for 2018.

Exclusive Q&A: ‘Experience Is The Way Forward In Retail Stores’

You won’t find two more passionate advocates for experiential retail than Laura Davis-Taylor and Ed King, the co-founders of The HighStreet Collective. “Experience is the way forward in retail stores, and that’s no longer a theory — it’s absolutely mandatory,” said Davis-Taylor, the Collective’s Principal Consultant for Retail Experience Strategy. “My hope is that it doesn’t become a cliché term rather than an active strategy for retailers.” Davis-Taylor and King, who is Principal Consultant for Retail Customer Experience at HighStreet Collective, discussed just how crucial experience is to the future of stores in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. This was also a key theme of the Digital Experience Forum they co-hosted in conjunction with the Digital Signage Expo in March, and their presentation at the 2018 Retail Innovation Conference.

#RIC18: Marketing/Customer Engagement, Retail Innovation And Customer Experience Sessions Coverage

The 2018 Retail Innovation Conference featured more than 20 breakout sessions, organized into six tracks: Digital Strategies Omnichannel Commerce Operations Marketing/Customer Engagement Retail Innovation Customer Experience These small-group sessions allowed attendees to dive deeply into hot topics and hear in-depth case studies from retail executives, as well as analysis and best practices from consultants and industry experts. Here’s a quick recap of the sessions from the Marketing/Customer Engagement, Retail Innovation and Customer Experience tracks, with live links to videos for a more detailed look. Recaps of the remaining three tracks were published on May 29.

Despite Anchor Store Closures, Malls Can Secure Success With Dining, Experiences, Entertainment

As many as 30% of malls will need to close due to the oversaturation of shopping centers in the U.S., estimates Coresight Research. But the need to reduce significant square footage isn’t all bad news. While more than 1,100 department stores are set to close between 2018 and 2023, mall operators can secure future success by: Focusing on potential “anchor” replacements, but not in the form of large format stores; Prioritizing high-end dining and experiences to cater to future generations of shoppers; and Embracing the concepts of “destination centers” and “retaildential” complexes.

#RIC18: Digital Strategies, Omnichannel Commerce And Operations Track Coverage

The 2018 Retail Innovation Conference featured more than 20 breakout sessions, organized into six tracks: Digital Strategies Omnichannel Commerce Operations Marketing/Customer Engagement Retail Innovation Customer Experience These small-group sessions allowed attendees to dive deeply into hot topics and hear in-depth case studies from retail executives, as well as analysis and best practices from consultants and industry experts. Here’s a quick recap of the sessions from the Digital Strategies, Omnichannel Commerce and Operations tracks, with live links to videos for a more detailed look. Recaps of the other three tracks will be published on June 1. DIGITAL STRATEGIES: Use Storytelling To Attract And Delight Today’s ‘Spoiled’ Shopper How To Infuse Storytelling And Personalization Into Your Digital Merchandising Strategy             Jennifer Fisher, Sr. Director of e-Commerce Americas for Crocs, addressed how she and her team built a first-class digital merchandising strategy that focused on buying/planning, storytelling and personalization. Crocs’ challenge was stagnant and flat sales YoY. “It was coming along but it wasn’t really growing,” said Fisher, adding that the company tackled the problem through three different viewpoints: the order structure; a go-to-market strategy focused on storytelling and personalization; and the process to create a cross-functional team.…
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