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.

On Heels Of June Swoon, Some Retailers Roll Out Holiday Sales Early This Year

Although retailers continued to slash prices on seasonal merchandise, June sales were once again a disappointment for retailers, decreasing 3.8% unadjusted over the last year, according to the National Retail Federation. Forecasts for back to school are not looking good either. The average family with students in grades K-12 is expected to spend $548.72 on school merchandise, a decline of 7.7 percent from $594.24 in 2008, according to the National Retail Federation’s 2009 Back to School Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch. “Back to school is always a pretty good barometer for retail health and for what the fall is going to look like, and this year I don’t think it’s going to be any different,” says George Whalin, Founder, Retail Management Consultants. “I think parents are going to be very cautious on what they spend money on. They’re going to buy the least expensive things they can get away with, but people are always going to spend more on their children than they do on themselves.” The survey found that over half (56.2%) of respondents are hunting for sales more often, while 40% plan to increase their coupon usage.

Social Scorecard: Retailers Stepping Up Networking Efforts

Considering the explosive growth of social media, retailers are quickly expanding their social strategies. According to, a leading Web analytics firm, Facebook had over one million unique visitors in April, and the Twitter craze is driving huge growth for tracking sites. Fast movers in April included (up 338% to 1.68 Million Unique Visitors), (up 69% to 915,000 UVs), (up 56% to 100,000 UVs), (up 37% to 3.33 Million UVs), and (up 53% to 1.81 Million UVs), according to Compete.Several retailers are cultivating a strong presence on social networks to communicate and engage with their customers. With its 820,900 followers, Whole Foods Market ranks number 36 overall in number of followers as of June 7, according to Twitter tracker Twitterholic.

New Marketing Mix Model Uses Virtual Platform To Predict Shopping Behavior

Marketing mix modeling has proven to be an important practice in driving bottom line performance among leading retail and consumer goods companies. However, the complex technique of using regression-based models to calculate marketing’s impact on sales is often too time consuming and costly for some companies.Recently, MillerCoors, CitrixOnline and about a dozen other companies have applied a new simulation technology designed to quickly forecast how different marketing plans would likely impact sales of their products. Using ThinkVine’s Emerging Marketplace, companies use a three-hour simulation test to find out whether print is a better decision than television advertising, or how much of their budget should be focused on new media opportunities.

Bronto Connects Web 2.0 Channels With Efficiency of Email At Internet Retailer Conference

Web 2.0 tools continue to weave their way into the marketing toolbox for retailers at this week’s Internet Retailer Conference in Boston, as several innovation solutions debuted providing merchants with a path to combine the power of social media, personalization and user generated content with popular channels such as email marketing.

Dairy Queen Tests RFID-Powered Loyalty Program

Editor’s Note: This article is an excerpt from one of RetailWire’s recent online discussions. Each business morning on, retail industry execs get plugged in to the latest news and issues with key insights from a "BrainTrust" panel of retail industry experts. A Dairy Queen in the Indianapolis area is testing a loyalty program that uses stickers to attach radio frequency identification (RFID) tags to phone handsets delivering savings coupons to consumers. If successful, Dairy Queen intends to expand the test and eventually take the program national.

Motorola Names Global Bay 2008 ISV Partner of the Year

Global Bay Mobile Technologies was recently selected by Motorola’s Enterprise Mobility Solutions division as 2008 North American/Latin American (NALA) Independent Software Vendor (ISV) of the Year. Global Bay was chosen as the ISV of the Year based on its ability to rapidly deploy mobility solutions on Motorola hardware. Taps Online Community as a Supplement to Loyalty Program

Capitalizing on the power of word of mouth and new media, is emphasizing its loyalty program, The District O Private Lounge as a new channel for customer intelligence. Known for offering brand-name merchandise at discount prices, recently revitalized its Club O loyalty program by utilizing rich customer feedback. Featuring 300+ active members, the Private Lounge is designed to enable customers to play significant roles in keeping the online retailer fresh and its customers loyal. In its first year, the community has helped the retailer refine its popular television advertising, reinstate some of its customers’ most-missed Web features and reinvigorate’s holiday shopping sales.

RetailWire:Target Revives Dropped Price-Matching Program

Target dropped its price-matching program in 2002. That, as they say, was then because now it looks as though the retailer may be on the verge of bringing it back. Target has tested the program in two markets since March 15 and began a third in its own Minneapolis backyard on May 1.

Economists Suggest Discounting Likely To Continue, Need For New Messaging

Talk about a tough hand to play. Trying to read the straight flush or straight bluff of consumers is still proving to be difficult for retailers as they do their best with a decidedly mixed collection of cards. Placing the right bets on pricing, ad strategies and overall market positioning hangs in the balance.“There are some signs that consumer spending may increase and some overall indicators are showing stability,” says Lars Pinder, Professor of Economics at the University of Southern California. “But there are some things on the horizon that could slow a fourth quarter recovery and perpetuate the current strategy of deep discounting.”

New Coupon Applications Emerging As User Base, Delivery Options Increase

Once relegated to housewives in their mid forties with children, the demographic targets for coupons are quickly shifting as new mediums emerge, according to analysts and presenters at this week’s ACP Coupon Conference. “Our data shows the e-coupon user trends a little bit younger and wealthier in line with the demographics of the online adult (versus offline only),” says Lisa Bradner, Analyst with Forrester Research.

Re-Courting Customers For Winback Strategies Requires Right Access To Data

One of the toughest areas of retailing to define is customer value. The reason is because recency and frequency can change radically within a short period of time. When is a customer simply out of the market for your product? When are they in danger of going to a competitor? And when do they need to be reactivated aggressively or “won back?” With new customers tough to come by, many retailers are finding strategies to define and execute these winbacks.

Professor Tom Davenport Advises Retailers To Cultivate Potential Benefits of Analytics

Industry experts and retailers themselves agree that most retail companies have not yet realized the full potential of the breadth of analytics available to them today. Economic climate aside, retailers must strategize for long-term success, and using analytics effectively can go a long way to creating security for businesses on the other side of the economic recovery.
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