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.

VTech Recovers $63,000 In Revenue With Targeted Email Campaign

Shopping cart abandonment is a top pain point retailers across verticals face daily. In fact, approximately 80% of all online transactions are discarded before transaction, according to research from Rejoiner, an email retargeting solution provider. To stand out among competitors and bring shoppers back to the e-Commerce site, retailers are implementing compelling and relevant marketing strategies. VTech Electronics, a provider of electronic learning toys, has partnered with Rejoiner to develop personalized retargeting emails that engage consumers and recover lost online sales. The relationship kicked off with a campaign during the 2012 holiday season that recouped $63,000 in revenues by encouraging targeted shoppers to finalize uncompleted transactions. The initiative also encouraged a 32% aggregate open rate, as well as an 11% click-through rate. Within the first few weeks of implementing the Rejoiner platform, VTech recovered “a significant portion of our holiday revenue,” according to Mike Reall, Director of E-Commerce at VTech. “The conversion rate of Rejoiner traffic was 8.9%, and average order value was 10% higher than other orders.” 

Biltmore House Ties Card-Linked Offers To Long-Term Sales And Loyalty

Many merchants are leveraging card-linked offers to connect with potential and existing customers, boost brand awareness and increase sales in target markets. The Biltmore, an estate, hotel and spa based in Asheville, N.C., is driving new business through the OfferLink Local program from Cartera, a card-linked offer advertising network. Since March 2012, the Biltmore has generated more than $2 million in sales via the program and rewarded thousands of consumers nationwide, according to Donna Nickerson, National Sales Manager at the Biltmore. “By participating in the Cartera OfferLink Local program, we’re able to reach some of the top spenders in our market,” Nickerson said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “The targeting capability allows us to reach card members in top loyalty programs along the east coast and surrounding nine states.”

Walmart And MillerCoors Embrace Digital Customer Engagement

The Shopper Marketing Summit, a retail networking event hosted in April 2013 by the Path to Purchase Institute, focused on collaboration, in-store activation, digital and omnichannel strategies, shopper engagement and more. “Today's shoppers are better-informed and less brand loyal than their predecessors,” said Peter Hoyt, Executive Director and CEO of the Path to Purchase Institute, in an interview with Supermarket News. “They have greater access to, and more control over, the information they need to make purchase decisions, and this self-learning now extends into the shopping trip itself via mobile devices. Marketers can no longer be content that their mass media advertising has done the job of effectively building brand awareness, so it has become more important than ever to 'close the sale' in the retail environment.”

Donna Karan Exec Shares Social Media Best Practices

The luxury industry is on an upswing: 25% of affluent consumers purchased at least one high-end product a month in 2012, versus only 10% in 2011, according to research from Ipsos MediaCT. In response, luxury brands and retailers are turning to digital tools and channels, including social and mobile, to engage and communicate with consumers, and in turn, generate more sales. During the Luxury Roundtable: State Of Luxury 2013 conference in New York City, a Donna Karan New York (DKNY) executive discussed how the brand leverages social media to drive brand evangelism and loyalty. “It’s called social media for a reason,” explained Aliza Licht, SVP of Global Communications at Donna Karan International. “It’s not called ‘push media’ or ‘message board media.’ You’re meant to engage. In the luxury industry, the whole concept of engaging can be scary. Brands think that in doing so, they’re giving away their ‘secret sauce’ or what makes them coveted, but that’s not the case.”

Caché Boosts Conversions By 88% With Advanced Search Tools

Ease of site navigation is a key differentiator among retailers in the highly competitive e-Commerce space. Best-in-class eTailers are making the browsing and buying journey easier by perfecting keyword search, according a research report, titled: 12th Annual Merchant Survey Report, from the e-tailing group. The study indicated that 98% of retailers believe keyword search is a top priority, due to customer demand for efficiency in site navigation. Caché, a nationwide specialty retailer of women’s clothing and accessories, has improved sales substantially since implementing the SLI Systems full-service Learning Search solution, which includes an auto complete tool. The retailer has seen an increase of 88% in conversion rates among site search users and a 42% lift in site search usage.

Eataly Partners With Dotcom To Fulfill e-Commerce Orders

As part of an expansion of its two-year-old e-Commerce site, Eataly has partnered with Dotcom Distribution to fulfill orders and provide upscale product packaging. The Eataly enterprise includes 12 brick-and-mortar stores in the U.S. and abroad, and an e-Commerce site that delivers products within the U.S. Currently, the only U.S. store is located in New York City, but the company is expanding to Chicago in 2013. “To meet the high expectations and brand promises that we’ve set with our brick-and-mortar stores, we needed a fulfillment partner that would scale to fit our business and deliver products on time, while still going the extra mile to make premium gift packaging a priority,” said Alex Saper, CFO of Eataly in a press release. “Dotcom Distribution is a trusted partner that will grow with us without sacrificing the brand standards our customers expect.”

How Duane Reade, Whole Foods And Nike Tap Into Gamification

Following is Part 2 of the Retail TouchPoints series focused on Retail Wins In Gamification. This article will spotlight forward-thinking retailers that leverage game mechanics and strategies to enhance employee and consumer engagement. Part 3 of the feature will publish in the April 9 newsletter. Click here to view Part 1. Progressive retailers are investigating how gamification can play a role in their employee training processes and customer engagement strategies across channels. Among them, Duane Reade, Whole Foods, Nike and Sneakpeeq are tapping into different gamification strategies to boost loyalty, efficiency and the bottom line. Duane Reade Builds Brand Awareness With Ingress Duane Reade recently integrated with mobile application Ingress, which was developed by NianticLabs@Google. Ingress itself is a unique example of gamification in the realm of retail business. The app offers a storyline involving two factions, The Enlightened and Resistance, which are battling each other to control a recently discovered resource called Exotic Matter. Players choose a faction to join and compete against one another in teams to “control” territory.

REVOLVE Clothing Boosts Conversions With Digital Personalization

Progressive retailers are personalizing their e-Commerce sites to better attract, engage and communicate with hyper-connected omnichannel consumers who are demanding more relevant offers and messages across channels. Product recommendations that drive cross- and up-sells have been identified as effective personalization methods. According to research from the e-tailing group, approximately 91% of retailers that executed these tactics believed they were effective from an ROI perspective. REVOLVE Clothing, for example, harnesses e-Commerce personalization as a key way to drive education and engagement, as well as promote thought leadership. Touting more than 600 designers, 20,000 products and 60,000 SKUs, the fashion eTailer partnered with Monetate to provide millions of unique visitors with relevant products and offers more seamlessly, according to Kobie Fuller, CMO of REVOLVE Clothing.

Rent The Runway Amps Up Social Conversations With LoopIt

Approximately 43% of consumers purchase apparel online, then discuss their new items on social network sites, according to ROI Research. As a result, consumers are demanding more interactive and engaging experiences while they shop online, such as having the ability to share and verify potential purchases with social connections without ever leaving the e-Commerce site. Progressive retailers such as Rent the Runway are making social sharing and verification easier by integrating new tools and applications within their e-Commerce sites. This eTailer, which allows women to rent luxury apparel and accessories for 10% to 15% of full retail price, has implemented LoopIt, a one-to-one conversation engine that empowers consumers to ask social connections about potential purchases. 

Gamification: Consumer Loyalty And Employee Engagement For The Internet Generation

  Following is Part 1 of the Retail TouchPoints series focused on Retail Wins In Gamification. In this article, thought leaders and experts in the gaming space discuss the current state of gamification, and the impact it may have on consumer and employee engagement. Click here to read part 2. Gamification is now a key strategy for companies across markets to educate and engage consumers as well as employees. By applying game mechanics in non-game contexts, organizations can engage users by encouraging them solve problems and achieve goals over a broad range of challenges. As the popularity of gamification quickly rises, retailers should take note. The gamification market was worth approximately $100 million in 2012, and was projected to reach $2.8 billion by 2016, according to a study conducted by M2 research, reported in a 2012 Retail TouchPoints article.

Johnny Cupcakes Launches New Site, Focuses On Content And Community

Johnny Cupcakes, an independent fashion merchant that sells apparel and accessories for men, women and children, has re-launched its e-Commerce site to better educate new consumers about the brand and create a community for loyal shoppers. The site was developed in partnership with Growth Spark, a design, development and marketing services company.  Through the new web experience, consumers now have access to all Johnny Cupcakes social networking accounts, inventory, limited-time collections, a company blog, and a calendar to track festivals and other events. Compelling content, videos and other resources featured on the site are designed to empower shoppers to “get a better understanding of what the Johnny Cupcakes brand is, and what we represent,” according to Lucas Dunn, Business Director for the company. The overall design concept for the Johnny Cupcakes e-Commerce site was based on “years of listening and talking with our customers,” Dunn said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “The feedback and research we gathered in stores and online really was summed up by one key question: ‘What is Johnny Cupcakes?’”

Serena & Lily Increases Average Order Value By 88% With Online Customization

Cutting-edge retailers are integrating new tools and features into their e-Commerce sites to make the online shopping experience more interactive and enjoyable. Customization solutions, for example, empower shoppers to create their own products, mix-and-match inventory, and produce one-of-a-kind collections that suit their personal tastes and styles. Serena & Lily has increased e-Commerce engagement, site dwell time and average order value (AOV) substantially since implementing shopping customization solutions on the online store. The home décor retailer utilizes Product Configurator, a product customization platform from Fluid Retail, a supplier of on-demand visual merchandising systems. A Make Your Bed tool implemented for the adult and children bedding products sections initiated the journey to online customization for Serena & Lily during 2012. As of March 2013, approximately 10% of all e-Commerce site visitors use the interact with the resource, according to Melissa Richardson, Director of e-Commerce and Online Marketing at Serena & Lily. In addition, these shoppers have 88% higher AOV and spend 115% more time on the web site compared to consumers not utilizing the feature.

Retailers Deploy Microsoft Enterprise Solutions For Customer Engagement, Workforce Management

With the variety of options available to consumers on how and when to shop, retailers must stay competitive by putting the customer at the heart of their business and seek new ways to boost revenue and loyalty. To help retailers succeed in this competitive marketplace, Microsoft has announced new capabilities for its Microsoft Dynamics for Retail solution, designed to deliver end-to-end, search-based e-Commerce, next-generation point of sale (POS) and an advanced omnichannel commerce engine, according to a Microsoft press release. “There is a huge push to replace aging ‘merchandise’ systems with what are effectively retail ERP applications to deliver consistency of its master data,” explained George Lawrie, VP and Principal Analyst serving Application Development and Delivery Professionals at Forrester Research, “and consistency of supplier and customer data too.”

TUMI Taps iPad Application As Customer Service Tool

Customers of TUMI, known for its premium travel products and accessories, expect a high level of service when they shop in the store. To augment the knowledge of the sales staff, the operator of an independent TUMI store has deployed an iPad-based application from Kokley that can help customers and associates narrow the selection of styles and colors of luggage, briefcases and other items. The retailer is using two stationary iPads — one at the POS and another at the front of the store — to allow shoppers to find the right match from more than 600 products; perform registration services; and send email gift hints and reminders. TUMI also can use the system to glean data on buyer behavior.

Redner’s Markets Doubles Online Traffic With Grocery Shopping Network

Placing the customers’ needs at the center of the overall business strategy is critical for success in the retail industry today. Satisfied customers are more likely to return to a brand’s web site and store, and often are willing to share their positive experiences with family, friends and peers. Redner’s Marketshas found success by focusing on improving the online customer experience. Within the past year, in a partnership with Grocery Shopping Network (GSN), a provider of digital shopper planning and marketing tools, Redner’s Markets has doubled its online user base. Redner’s Markets is an employee-owned grocery retailer operating 42 warehouse markets and 17 convenience stores throughout eastern Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
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