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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.

47% Of Gen Zers Use Smartphones While Shopping In Stores

Gen Z, the generation born between 1997 and 2015, has never known life before the World Wide Web. Yet across the globe, 98% make purchases in a physical store some or most of the time. Two-thirds of this cohort shop at brick-and-mortar retail (67%) most of the time, while 22% shop online most of the time. Mobile phones or smartphones are the most important device for three-quarters of the Gen Z population worldwide. While less than half (48%) have used a mobile app to shop, one-quarter have used mobile phones to pay for purchases. These are among the findings of What Do Gen Z Shoppers Really Want?, a report based on a survey of 15,600 individuals between the ages of 13 and 21 in 16 countries, conducted by the IBM Institute for Business Value in collaboration with the National Retail Federation (NRF). This is the third of three reports NRF and IBM have produced based on a year-long study of the Gen Z consumer.

Microsoft Enters Cashier-Less Tech Race: Will Checkout Lanes Become Relics?

The news that technology powerhouse Microsoft is working on cashier-less technology that could help retailers compete with Amazon Go signals a major advance in this area. Still, questions remain about exactly what kind of solution will best solve shoppers’ checkout pain points. While some consumers may welcome a cashier-free environment, others might want more cashiers on duty to provide assistance if needed. Tech-savvy retailers are still trying to figure out the optimal way forward. Kroger has made major investments in its Scan, Bag, Go technology, which allows shoppers to scan products either with a device provided by the store or with their smartphones. The retailer is in the process of expanding the program to 400 stores, and Kroger CIO Chris Hjelm identified the technology as one of his proudest achievements of the past few years.

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.

How To Optimize Both Ends Of The Customer Experience

“Who here is afraid of Amazon eating up their business?” the keynote speaker asked. Most of the merchants in the room raised their hands. You see, I was in the ballroom of the Hyatt Regency, La Jolla, attending MivaCon for the first time. Throughout the conference, Amazon’s dominance in the e-Commerce space was a persistent theme.

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.

59% Of Shoppers Won’t Buy Items With ‘Arbitrary’ Prices

When shoppers perceive that an item’s price is unfair or arbitrary, a majority (59%) will refuse to buy the product. However, they will accept price increases or decreases that remain within a “fair” range, particularly if the changes are based on data science, according to a Forrester Consulting study that examined consumer attitudes toward pricing and promotions. An original survey in May 2017 queried 1,250 shoppers in the U.S., UK, France, Germany and Brazil and Forrester followed up with additional research in April 2018. Key findings included:

#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.…

How A Digital Storefront Enhances The Physical Experience At Mizuno

Designed to “capture the new digital savvy customer and showcase Mizuno product cross-sport,” the digital solutions in place at Mizuno flagship stores are driving global customer engagement and loyalty. Mizuno operates one flagship store in the U.S., as well as others in key markets worldwide. The digital display merchandising solution, provided by Perch, features self-serve technology that brings the digital online experience into the brick-and-mortar store. This technology is a key focus of the Mizuno Experience Center, located in The Battery, the U.S. flagship store in Atlanta. Here, shoppers can immerse themselves in digital experiences to book custom fittings for golf clubs or running shoes, assess their baseball swing, get gloves steamed and more.

Sportsman’s Warehouse Boosts Sales, Customer Acquisition With ‘Back In Stock’ Emails

Out-of-stocks (OOS) cost North American retailers roughly $130 billion each year, according to the IHL Group. To combat this problem, Sportsman’s Warehouse, an omnichannel sporting goods and outdoor products retailer, has deployed a solution that allows shoppers to sign up for an email alert that lets them know when the item they’re seeking is back in stock. Sportsman’s Warehouse went live with the MyAlerts solution in November 2017. Since then, the company has seen a “significant lift” in sales, with high open rates for the back-in-stock emails. “This demonstrates our consumers are very engaged and excited to know when our merchandise is available,” said Mike Van Orden, CTO of Sportsman's Warehouse in an interview with Retail TouchPoints.

How To Elevate The In-Store Customer Experience In The Me-Commerce Era

In the age of e-Commerce, most consumers are used to the notion of instant gratification. With the growing acceptance of ‘on-demand’ options, they’ve become accustomed to quick and easy access to items and services with just the click of a button. For some small, local businesses, this leaves them shaking in their boots at the thought of this “me-commerce” era that’s become entirely dependent on digital strategies. However, it is possible for brick-and-mortars to survive and — even better — thrive. A recent BrightLocal survey found that 97% of consumers looked online for local businesses in 2017, with 12% looking for a local business online every day.
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