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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.

Exclusive Q&A: How Farmstead Leverages AI To Deliver Fresh Local Groceries In One Hour Or Less

Online grocery is a market that’s flooded with both traditional grocers and young startups, but all share a common challenge: figuring out how to control delivery costs, delivery times and (perhaps most important to the consumer) freshness of food. Founded in 2016, San Francisco-based Farmstead sought to solve these problems by accurately predicting supply and demand of locally-sourced goods. Leveraging proprietary machine learning, inventory and logistics platforms, Farmstead guarantees delivery within 60 minutes throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Shoppers pay a $4.99 fee for one-hour delivery, and $3.99 for three-hour delivery.

Accenture Study: 47% Of Consumers Will Leave Brands That Lack A Purpose

Consumers around the world are expressing a strong preference for brands with a purpose (that is, beyond selling products and making money). Commitments to environmental sustainability, treating their own employees well, ethical sourcing, and an active charity profile have moved up dramatically in shoppers’ decision calculus, according to a new survey of nearly 30,000 consumers from Accenture Strategy. Nearly two thirds (63%) of respondents prefer to buy goods from companies that stand for a shared purpose that reflects their personal values and beliefs. Having a purpose is much more than just a nice-to-have bonus, however. Brands that don’t have (or don’t communicate) a higher purpose run a significant risk of customer defection.

Getting Physical: Three Tips For Bridging Online And Offline Experiences In The New Year

Recently Wayfair and Casper joined the likes of fellow e-Commerce brands Amazon, Everlane, Glossier and many others that are all experimenting with, or opening permanent, brick-and-mortar stores. However, with many traditional retail stores closing shop in the last year, it's even more imperative to integrate offline and online channels to provide a consistent experience across all touch points. These digitally-born businesses are in a battle with Amazon to retain customers by offering a great in-store experience at a reasonable cost, all while avoiding the mishaps Build-a-Bear and others recently encountered. In fact, while 87% of consumers say they expect an omnichannel experience, only 7% of retailers actually provide the ability to shop seamlessly across all channels.

Three Best Practices For Digital Customer Experience Success

Product, placement, price and promotion may have been the holy grail of marketing, but in the digital era, customer experience now tops the list. It is critical for all types of businesses, retail especially, to provide a positive, meaningful and engaging digital experience to its customers and prospects or else they will take their business elsewhere. In fact, a recent Salesforce survey found that 76% of consumers felt it’s easier now more than ever to take their business to a brand that better matches their expectations. Before e-Commerce, sales associates provided in-store service (and still do) to ensure customers are having a positive shopping experience. They would do so by visually understanding customers’ reactions — be it engaged with a product or frustrated they can’t find their size — and catering the customer service as needed. Store associates can easily alleviate confusion or frustration by visually observing body language — both on an individual level and for the broader audience. They can help someone find the right shoe size after watching them sift through several pairs, or offer a dressing room if their hands look full. Taking a macro perspective, if the arrangement of the clothing racks leads to people…

Exclusive CEO Q&A: How Touch Of Modern Uses Customer Feedback To Drive Merchandising

Touch of Modern, an e-Commerce retailer focused on selling lifestyle products, fashion and accessories for men, has always strived to introduce merchandise that shoppers can’t find anywhere else, even dabbling in wine sales. After six years in business, that mantra has clearly paid dividends; the retailer now generates $120 million in annual revenue and is profitable going into 2019. So how does Touch of Modern consistently deliver the right goods to its target audience? The retailer uses a strategic combination of customer feedback and merchandising analytics to determine its most loyal shoppers’ preferred products and buying patterns.   In an exclusive conversation with Retail TouchPoints, Touch of Modern CEO and Co-Founder Jerry Hum reveals: The company’s recently developed national television ad campaign; Curating new merchandise that’s in line with the Touch of Modern brand; How the company balances customer retention and customer acquisition efforts by educating the shopper on the product’s value; Video’s role in educating shoppers on the Touch of Modern brand and products; and Potential partnerships with more direct-to-consumer brands going into 2019.

Thriving In The New World Of Grocery: Five Keys For Brands

Much has been made of the challenges facing retailers in today’s grocery marketplace. However, their manufacturing trading partners are contending with equally pervasive disruption and the effects have been significant, with most of the top 100 brands continuing to lose market share to smaller competitors. The issues impacting large CPGs are many — and they’re growing. For one, shoppers are increasingly brand agnostic. They’re looking to manufacturers to address a need state and, if they have confidence that the product can meet their  need(s), it matters not the brand.

Nike Debuts App-Enabled Experiential Store In NYC

Nike has opened the Nike House of Innovation on Fifth Avenue in New York City, combining experiential retail with the power of the Nike App. The 68,000-square-foot space spans six levels, each devoted to a separate product line or experience. The store extensively incorporates mobile devices to minimize friction across the shopper journey. The ground-floor level will feature the Nike Speed Shop, a curated selection of seasonal items and products that are currently popular among New York City shoppers. The space also will house the Nike Sneaker Bar, where shoppers can check out the latest footwear, and Speed Shop digital lockers, where customers who reserve items on the Nike App can pick them up later. Other ways that the Nike App will empower shoppers include: Shop the Look: Instantly shopping the products featured at in-store displays; Instant Checkout: Paying for items directly from a mobile device; and Scan to Try: Remotely requesting an opportunity to try out items throughout the store. Another in-store innovation: the Nike Expert studio on the fifth floor, which will be dedicated to offering personal service for NikePlus members. Customers can book personal sessions with experts, while the Nike By You Studio will offer exclusive products,…

One Poor Post-Purchase Experience Drives 36% Of Online Shoppers To Other Retailers

While retailers always prioritize driving sales, what happens after the sale can be the ultimate customer retention driver — or it can drive customers away. In response to a bad post-purchase experience, up to 90% of U.S. online shoppers will take some type of action that can hurt a retailer’s brand. More than one-third (36%) say they would shop somewhere else after just one poor experience, according to the 2018 Pitney Bowes Global Ecommerce Study. Among Millennials, 30% will go public about their poor experience by complaining in an online review or social media post, potentially affecting the buying decisions of their entire social networks. Retailers have left themselves vulnerable to these criticisms — 56% of consumers felt let down during the 2017 holiday season due to a post-purchase issue. Specific problems included: The shipment arriving late (15%); Shipping is too expensive (12%); Wrong address/lost in the mail (7%); Shipping tracking is inaccurate (6%); The wrong item was shipped (6%); Unclear return policies (4%); and Poorly packaged gift items (4%).

50% Of Millennials Put Luxury Spending Ahead Of A Solid Health Care Plan

Higher costs of living and shrinking disposable incomes have put 46% of Millennials into credit card debt, according to a study from NBC News and GenForward. Even so, half of Millennials are unafraid to spend on luxury: 50.9% prefer to use their disposable income for luxury products, entertainment, meals and high-end experiences rather than a better health care plan, according to a report from The Pearl Source. The survey took a peek into Millennial luxury spending habits, revealing that even though luxury retail had struggled prior to 2017, high-end brands still may have a lot to look forward to: 36.5% said they'd forego paying down credit card debt for more disposable income for luxury products and experiences; 49.9% are spending up to $500 per month on luxury items; and 50.2% admitted that they were buying those items knowing they were not able to afford them.

Self-Service App Deepens Customer Connections At Fairway Market

Some retailers worry that adopting a self-checkout solution will deprive them of a key point of contact with their customers. Fairway Market, a New York City metro area chain of 15 supermarkets and four wine and spirit stores, wanted to be absolutely sure that wouldn’t happen when it deployed a self-checkout app, because the retailer prides itself on a family atmosphere and a close relationship with shoppers. The retailer is in the process of rolling out its first self-checkout app and will be seeking results that include:

CVS Will Pilot ‘Health Hub’ Concept Stores In 2019

  • Published in News Briefs
Following the completion of its $69 billion acquisition of health insurer Aetna, CVS plans to open concept stores focused on providing disease management while reducing medical costs. The retailer expects the Aetna deal to be finalized by Thanksgiving 2018, and the medically focused pilot stores will be “up and running…
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Yes, Customer Experience Still Matters For Retail

The pace of change, rising consumer expectations and emerging technologies give retailers a lot to consider as they try to create a just-right customer experience. People are spending more time online as screens become larger and web connections faster, but according to Mary Meeker’s 2018 Internet trends report, with more people now owning smartphones, growth is harder to come by and there are fewer new people left to connect. With so many online businesses vying for a customer’s attention, brands need to focus more than ever on making meaningful connections to stand out.
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