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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.

UPS Study: U.S. Consumers Shopping Across Borders Climbs To 47%

It’s an increasingly small world in e-Commerce: Almost half of U.S. online shoppers, and a majority of online shoppers outside the U.S., choose e-Tailers that are based outside their own countries. Around the globe, consumers are embracing mobile commerce, online marketplaces and diverse shipping options, although adoption rates and satisfaction vary (in some cases dramatically), according to the latest UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper report. Based on a comScore survey of more than 18,000 consumers, the study captured the differing behaviors and preferences of online shoppers in the U.S., Asia, Europe, Canada, Mexico and Brazil.

Exclusive Q&A With Gartner L2’s Amazon Guru: Watch Out For Total Vertical Integration

Jeff Bezos’ ambitions for Amazon go well beyond becoming the world’s number-one retailer, according to Cooper Smith, Director of Amazon Research at Gartner L2. “That’s a means to an end,” said Smith in an exclusive interview with Retail TouchPoints. “I believe his vision is for Amazon to be the ultimate purveyor in the marketing, selling and transportation of goods.” Smith revealed key insights into both the omnichannel retailer’s latest moves and its long-term plans, including: • The likeliest targets for Amazon’s next brick-and-mortar acquisition after purchasing Whole Foods;• How these acquisitions will help Amazon crack higher-end markets, particularly in apparel;|• The likelihood that Amazon will introduce Amazon Go-style cashierless technology in its brick-and-mortar stores;• Which “strange bedfellow” combinations may be needed to challenge Amazon; and• The potential location of Amazon’s HQ2.

Reframing Retail — Getting Underneath The Headlines And Hype

There isn’t an industry today devoid of technology. It has completely revolutionized the ways in which business gets done — from improving personalized customer knowledge through data, to reducing costs and increasing accuracy in supply chains, to using chatbots and other artificial intelligence (AI) to improve customer service. For the consumer, tech has leveled the playing field — most immediately, from a customer service perspective. Treated unfairly on a flight? Tweet about it. Experience a product fail? Take pictures and email them to customer service. But the extent of retailers’ technological support cannot just emerge when things go wrong. Tech in the retail space must be about making experiences seamless throughout the journey. Perhaps when that happens, we’ll see less volatility in the industry.

Answering The Question: Why Change Now?

At the recent Oracle Industry Connect event, I had the opportunity to learn about the digital transformation of Casey’s General Stores — the fourth-largest convenience chain in the U.S., with 2,000 stores across 15 states. It’s a small-town retailer based in Iowa: many of the stores serve towns with fewer than 5,000 residents. The Casey’s case study is a good example of a traditional retailer completing a digital transformation while maintaining its focus on company culture. Casey’s is a company with longstanding values focused on employees: “The company doesn’t lay off people, and offers its own child care,” noted Thomas McElroy, Principal, Deloitte Consulting, who worked hand-in-hand with Casey’s during the transformation. It was not a culture focused on change and disruption.

Pumping Up The Balloon: How To Grow Retail Customer Counts

Why is everybody talking about customer counts — the number of customers coming into the database, buying for the first time, buying again, fading away and leaving — these days? Digital advertising metrics say that our campaigns are working. Our metrics suggest the same is true for our direct marketing efforts. Yet, the company reports a flat or shrinking top line. This dilemma has retail CEOs and marketers rethinking how they let profit and loss (P&L) statements guide their marketing and their customer relationships. It’s a dated, inflexible approach that is costing many retailers dearly at a time when they can least afford it. Think of a brand’s portfolio of customers as an expandable balloon. The goal is to grow the size of active customers in the balloon making purchases and contributing revenue. What is an active customer? Most brands say it’s anyone who has purchased in the last 12 months, a benchmark they use to report progress to stakeholders and shareholders every year. But the balloon isn’t getting bigger as they continue pumping it with new customers; in many cases, it is shrinking.

Exclusive Q&A With KIDBOX CEO Miki Berardelli

At KIDBOX, Miki Berardelli has managed to combine innovative leadership, social consciousness, youth empowerment and fun into a successful children’s apparel shopping platform. In 2018, KIDBOX is embracing private label and will be introducing its own exclusive private brands. Learn Berardelli’s secrets to success in this exclusive Q&A. You can also hear from her at the upcoming Retail Innovation Conference, April 30-May 2, where she'll part of a panel discussing best practices for building a private brand in the digital era.  Retail TouchPoints (RTP): What are your proudest accomplishments at KIDBOX?

The Missing Link In Personalization: Only 13% Of Retailers Identify Most Profitable Shoppers

While as many as 77% of retailers say they have an established process to identify their most loyal customers, only 13% say they can accurately identify those that are most profitable, according to the BRP 2018 Customer Loyalty Special Report. Up to 39% of retailersdo have processes in place to identify profitable customers, but admit that their efforts still need improvement. Another 27% project that they will be able to identify these shoppers within three years. Retailers that want to maximize customer profitability as well as loyalty are leveraging personalization efforts across a number of different areas:

Want To Reach Gen Z? Learn To Speak ‘Phygital’

Q&A with Ken Hughes, Shopper Behaviouralist and Keynote Speaker In this Q&A, Shopper Behaviouralist Ken Hughes shares his unique insights on the future of retail and the importance of embracing the next generation of shoppers and members of the workforce. Hughes will be delivering Keynote and Creativity sessions during the Retail Innovation Conference, April 30-May 2 in New York City.

The 4 Steps Needed To ‘Save Our Stores’

Although more than 3,200 U.S. stores are set to close in 2018, a majority of shoppers still want to go to the store when they can: 73% of consumers still go to stores to touch and feel products, according to a report from Astound Commerce. But consumers are demanding more from the store experience. The “Save Our Stores” report revealed four keys to keeping a brick-and-mortar store viable: Stores must be inspiring and build on customer loyalty;  Stores should offer valuable promotions and exclusive products to drive traffic; Customer service is a critical differentiator, with 64% of consumers reporting poor customer service as the top reason to leave a physical store; and Retailers need to stress the efficiency of store shopping, particularly in speeding up purchase and returns processes. 

Kibo Hires Vista Exec As CEO

Kibo has appointed David Post as its new CEO. He brings two decades of experience in the high tech and software space to the cloud-based omnichannel commerce platform.

Shoptalk 2018 Secures Its Spot As A Must-Attend Retail Event

The impressive marketing and branding efforts have catapulted Shoptalk to the top of the events-on-your-radar list for retailers and brands, but the 2018 speaker lineup and massive 1:1 meeting setup has cemented the conference as one of the top “big” retail events-to-attend. As press attendees, it honestly was difficult to decide which sessions to cover and which meetings to schedule. Here’s a wrap-up of our key takeaways, in addition to the Quick Quotes article we shared last week:

BevMo! Tests Curbside Pickup In Two Locations

BevMo!, an alcoholic beverage retailer, has introduced its curbside pickup pilot program in two of its Bay Area stores. The retailer designated parking spots for the program at its Walnut Creek store and at one of its San Francisco locations. The program is designed to provide customers with free curbside…
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Project Repat Boosts Brand Profile With First Brick-And-Mortar Store

When Ross Lohr and Nathan Rothstein founded Project Repat in February 2012, they wanted to prevent retailers and consumers alike from sending used T-shirts to landfills to go to waste. Six years later, the company that repurposes old T-shirts into quilts is bringing its service into physical retail, opening its first brick-and-mortar store to in Newton, Mass. In 2017, Project Repat crafted 65,000 custom T-shirt quilts for U.S. consumers, saving more than 1.2 million T-shirts from landfills, but the founders have an even bigger goal for 2018 — to sell 100,000 custom quilts. Rothstein and Lohr estimate they have saved as many as five million T-shirts since the company’s launch.
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