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Shopper Experience

Shopper Engagement delves into the latest trends and strategies retailers are using to cultivate long-term relationships with shoppers. Social media, mobile technology, in-store tablets and more are covered in this section. Subscribe to the feed and stay in touch with the latest retail happenings.

Store Tour: Pandora Jewelry Unveils New Immersive Store Concept

Pandora Jewelry has reimagined the brand experience with a new store concept, but that doesn’t mean it’s straying from its core mission. The jewelry retailer’s heritage lies in “giving a voice to people’s loves,” according to Sid Keswani, Pandora Jewelry’s President of the Americas. “People think of their loves in terms of people, places and passions. It’s so [personal] so we want to bring that individuality to life through the experience.” After conducting an extensive consumer survey in key markets — including the U.S., Asia and Brazil — Pandora Jewelry went through a brand relaunch focusing primarily on elevating the store experience. The new store concept was officially unveiled at the Garden State Plaza in Paramus, N.J., where Keswani took the Retail TouchPoints team through a guided tour of all its elements. Because 80% of Pandora Jewelry shoppers begin their buying journey online and 80% ultimately buy in-store, it was “critical” for the retailer to create a consistent experience that was also engaging and interactive. The new store concept is designed to be just that, allowing shoppers to easily build their own bracelets, browse the latest charm collections and see top-selling designs in a curated display case. Shoppers can even…

Tommy Hilfiger Commits To 3D For Apparel Design

Premium clothing retailer Tommy Hilfiger is implementing 3D design technology into all global apparel design teams at its headquarters in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The commitment builds on the retailer’s goal of digitizing its end-to-end value chain. Leveraging 3D design solutions can help the retailer uncover the potential for sample reductions, time and cost savings and greater sustainability.

La-Z-Boy Delivers 3D Product Customization And Room Planning, Launches VR For Associates

La-Z-Boy has adopted augmented reality (AR), 3D product configuration and 3D room planning solutions for its brick-and-mortar and online stores, in partnership with Marxent. Additionally, the furniture retailer has just installed virtual reality (VR) solutions for its store associates and professional designers. Marxent 3D Cloud powers the La-Z-Boy 360 Product Viewer with 3D Product Configurator, which is designed to allow consumers to customize and explore products with 360 Product Spins. The shoppers can use the viewer to visit the product page of the chair style that they prefer, then add or change upholstery selections and details in real time before adding the final configured product to the cart.

Breaking Down The Barrier: A Changing Luxury Market Makes Room For Cannabis

Luxury retailing is undergoing a seismic shift, as seen in the decline of well-established brands and the rapid rise of new competitors, and this tumultuous landscape is a perfect match for retailers in the up-and-coming CBD and cannabis markets. Changing customer demands and the destigmatization of marijuana are creating opportunities to redefine what luxury means, and panelists discussed their strategies during the opening session of the 2019 Luxury Meets Cannabis Conference. The word “luxury” itself has become a pet peeve for Scott Campbell, Co-Founder of Beboe, a flagship brand carried by Barneys New York's The High End cannabis shop in Beverly Hills, Calif. The word has become diluted by becoming a marketing buzzword, and modern brands seeking to carry the torch need to differentiate themselves with more than a famous brand name and a hefty price tag. “People self-reference themselves as ‘luxury,’ but you’re not allowed to do that. Never trust anyone who says ‘Trust me,’” said Campbell. “Consumers are smarter, and unsubstantiated luxury doesn’t work anymore. You can’t just make it look pretty and sparkly and charge more and have that be a category. People spend politically, and people spend for a passion. So when I say ‘unsubstantiated,’ I mean not substantiated…

Sobeys Pilots ‘Intelligent’ Grocery Shopping Carts In Ontario Store

Sobeys is bringing an “intelligent” shopping cart to its Canadian grocery stores with the launch of the Sobeys Smart Cart, a technology-enhanced shopping cart designed to improve in-store checkout lineups. The Sobeys location in Oakville, Ontario will roll out 10 of the new smart carts as part of a pilot project, with plans for the carts to be more readily available in mid-November following a staff training period.

Storytelling, Not Marketing: How The Innisfree NYC Store Immerses Shoppers Into The Brand

Placing its second New York City store next to Sephora and right across from Bloomingdale’s on Lexington Avenue might seem like a tall order for a retailer still trying to break into the U.S. market, but South Korean beauty brand Innisfree is unafraid to compete with big name retailers to drive traffic from Millennial and Gen Z audiences. Why does the brand feel so confident? It comes down to the company’s ability to tell authentic stories based on its unique origins, create a digitally driven store with powerful visuals and rally around sustainability-related causes, all without relying on traditional marketing campaigns. The South Korean beauty brand doesn’t have promotional signage on its shelves, instead focusing on the simplicity of the products, their skincare functionality and the story behind them. Overall, the retailer sells 900 different skincare and beauty products that include naturally derived ingredients such as green tea, volcanic clusters, tangerine, orchid and bija tree.

Casper Leads Digital Brands In Store Traffic Share, But ‘Halo Effect’ Hasn’t Met Expectations

Retail’s “halo effect” — the idea that a purchase in one channel directly impacts purchases in another — has inspired many digital natives to open brick-and-mortar stores as a way to boost sales across all channels. But top digital natives that have opened permanent retail locations are likely seeing less foot traffic than they anticipated, according to a study from global location data technology company Blis. Out of seven companies studied from May to July 2019, Casper captured 56% of in-store shoppers, well ahead of Amazon (22% of shoppers), Warby Parker (10%) and Bonobos (9%). Allbirds, Away and Rent the Runway each got a 1% share. Casper came out well ahead of the remaining retail stores in “footfall efficiency,” the term Blis uses to describe the number of unique visitors per each geofenced store location.

The Vitamin Shoppe Debuts Innovation Store Offering Tech-Enhanced Personalization

The Vitamin Shoppe has opened an innovation store in Edgewater, N.J. that incorporates on-demand digital product guides, enhanced mobile POS checkout and the new Only Me personalized health assessment and subscription service, among other features. The retailer plans to open five additional similar-format stores through January 2020. The shop was created inside an existing 3,185-square-foot store that was redesigned for this purpose. It combines retail and education through technology such as a complimentary body composition analysis station and a supplement sampling machine. Shoppers also can receive free nutritionist consultations through the retailer’s loyalty program, and browse specialized sections like CBD Central and Keto HQ.

Exclusive Q&A: Former Trader Joe’s Exec Brings A ‘Customer-First’ Touch To Cannabis Retailing

The retail cannabis market is still young — making it the perfect place for a retail veteran to use lessons learned from an established brand to create a whole new kind of experience. Glenn Backus, President of Mission Dispensaries, is a former Topco and Trader Joe’s executive who is drawing on the latter’s laid-back, quirky image as he blazes a wholly original trail through this up-and-coming industry. “The idea of a fun, laid-back relationship with a customer, which Trader Joe's does well, is powerful, but it's really about the emotional connection being made,” said Backus in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “If you can't have fun and connect with people in the cannabis world, you're definitely doing something wrong. So while we wouldn't do anything similar to what Trader Joe's would do, creating our own voice is really interesting and there's a little bit of a sense of humor to it.” One of the innovations Backus is bringing to the industry is the product card, which gives shoppers a physical, hands-on experience in an industry where the product isn’t found on the store floor. Additionally, the cards’ blend of information and humor is a key part of the shopping experience…

Tesco Signs Agreement To Add Cashierless Checkout

(Editor's Note: This story has been updated with new information) Tesco is entered a commercial agreement with computer vision startup Trigo to introduce cashierless checkout technology in its stores. The technology detects when a customer picks up an item and automatically handles payments, letting shoppers who have entered their payment information into the app travel through the store and leave without needing to scan anything. Additionally, the system doesn’t require purpose-built stores so it can be retrofitted into existing locations. Tesco has also made an equity investment in Trigo, which adds to earlier funding raised by the solution provider. Trigo’s computer vision technology also can help supermarkets track inventory in real time and prevent shoplifting.

Kohl’s CEO Reveals Strategies Behind Facebook, Amazon Partnerships

While the ninth annual Consensus Great Brands Show enabled some of the best and brightest young consumer brands to pitch their companies to an audience rich with private equity/venture capital, the appearance of one of the biggest names in traditional retail was the top seat-filler. Michelle Gass, CEO of Kohl’s, shared insights into the department store’s vision, particularly in working with emerging brands through its Facebook partnership and the company’s relationship with Amazon. Launching Oct. 10 in 50 Kohl’s stores in Chicago and Philadelphia and Kohls.com, “Curated by Kohl’s” will feature the retailer’s first selection of items from brands with popular social media followings. Facebook, using data related to shopper interests, will work with Kohl's to identify trendy brands on Instagram and Facebook that have never appeared in Kohl's stores or on its web site. Kohl’s will take a “test and learn” approach to understanding which brands are a fit in the Kohl’s locations, and expand the program to more stores based on those tests.

Ahold Delhaize, Pro Baseball Team Pilot Cashierless Stores

Cashierless stores are spreading as the technology begins to mature, with both traditional and non-traditional retailers taking notice. Ahold Delhaize is piloting a portable, cashier-free Albert Heijn convenience store in front of its Zaandam, Netherlands support office, while the Worcester (Massachusetts) Red Sox will open a cashier-optional souvenir shop inside its stadium. The Albert Heijn store, which was opened in partnership with AiFi, is a compact 150 square feet that allows shoppers to make purchases without any need for checkout. Instead, shoppers scan a debit or credit card to get in; then, cameras determine the customer’s position while in-store sensors determine which products are taken off or put back on shelves. Customers are automatically billed for their purchase when they exit the store, with no need to register an account or download an app. “This latest concept not only makes shopping very easy; due to its autonomous nature, this ‘plug and play’ store can be placed at locations where there is a (temporary) need for a small store, from offices or university campuses to residential areas under construction that do not yet have shopping facilities,” said Marit van Egmond, Brand President at Albert Heijn in a statement. “A second advantage…

Office Depot Lets Customer Virtually ‘Save A Spot’ In Line

Office Depot has partnered with QLess, a wait management and mobile check-in solution provider, to let shoppers remotely “save” a spot in line for print and copy services through the Office Depot app. Customers also can receive status updates and reminders regarding their expected wait time, request additional time or exit the line. The capability will be available at 600 Office Depot and OfficeMax locations in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami and other markets. Shoppers who want to join the line but don’t have the app can “text to join” or ask an in-store associate for help.

Walgreens, FedEx Will Launch On-Demand Drone Delivery Pilot

Walgreens will partner with Wing, a drone technology subsidiary of Google, to launch a trial delivery program in Christiansburg, Va. Local retailer Sugar Magnolia also will take part in the pilot, and FedEx Express customers who live within designated areas will be able to receive some packages in a special box that can be dropped off via drone. Walgreens will offer over-the-counter medicine and other health and wellness items on-demand, while Sugar Magnolia will send cards and small gifts. Drones are expected to fulfill the orders in minutes, demonstrating how this form of delivery can improve access to health care products, create new avenues of growth for businesses and enhance the efficiency of last mile delivery service.

Exclusive Coddle CEO Q&A: How Tapping Into Lifestyle Trends Built A ‘Smart Furniture’ Brand

Many brands are exploring direct-to-consumer (DTC) retail models as a way to get closer to what consumers really want and need. Furniture company Coddle saw its opportunity to solve ordinary shoppers’ real-world challenges, including small-space living and multitasking throughout their workday. With a vertically integrated supply chain, Coddle launched in 2018 with the introduction of its flagship “smart couch,” and has already achieved the feat of operating at a more than 60% gross margin. In an interview with Retail TouchPoints, Sean Pathiratne, Founder and CEO of Coddle, shared insights into: How the Coddle brand was developed to capitalize on two major consumer focuses: space and body; The infrastructure of the DTC brand, and how it leverages the supply chain of existing B2B furniture company Lifestyle Solutions to cut down supply chain costs; The company’s profitability formula, which includes keeping operating costs down to 10% of total revenue; and The iteration process behind building the flagship Coddle convertible couch, which transforms into 16 positions and includes two built-in USB ports.
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