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.

Sneakpeeq Increases Conversions 18% With Gamification

Many retailers value the customer-facing benefits of utilizing game mechanics and game-like thinking in cross-channel marketing and engagement strategies. In fact, the gamification market is worth approximately $100 million and is expected to reach nearly $2.8 billion by 2016, according to projections from M2 Research. By integrating points, badges and offers into online shopping experiences, retailers can reward consumers for their engagement and loyalty to a brand. The competitive nature of gamification helps encourage customers to visit and interact with e-Commerce sites more frequently, often resulting in increased purchase rates. For example, Sneakpeeq has grown from five to 45 user engagements per minute by incorporating gamification strategies and tools developed in partnership with Badgeville. The discount eTailer also has seen a 3,000% lift in total number of click-to-buys and an 18% month-over-month boost in conversions.

Best Practices For Harnessing The Power Of Video Marketing

As cutting-edge retailers consider various strategies for educating and engaging online shoppers, they are recognizing the success of video streaming sites such as YouTube, and have begun integrating product videos into their e-Commerce storefronts. In fact, consumers are gravitating to YouTube and other video-focused platforms, according to comScore research: As many as 85% of U.S. consumers viewed an online video in April 2012, with the average person watching 21.8 hours of content per month. Underscoring these trends, Invodo, a provider of video merchandising solutions, released a series of white papers that highlight current trends and best practices in video marketing. For example, in the white paper, titled: Watch This! The Online Retailer’s Guide to Video Merchandising Success, the company analyzed how retailers leveraged Invodo videos to educate and engage shoppers throughout the online shopping experience.

Garnet Hill, Lord & Taylor And Stride-Rite Drive Charitable Donations For K.I.D.S.

More retailers are spreading awareness, via cross-channel campaigns and transitory sales, of the charitable causes they support. In doing so, they hope to boost donations, humanize their brands and connect with consumers in a more personal way. To drive back-to-school purchases and promote the mission of Kids in Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.), Garnet Hill, Lord & Taylor and Stride-Rite have released limited-time sales and specials and are donating a percentage of profits to the global charity. K.I.D.S. was developed to bring aid and necessary goods to more than four million children in need worldwide. As part of its mission, the charity “strives to minimize the impact of poverty and tragedy on the well-being of children and teens by building their self-esteem and dignity through the agency partner distribution of new kid-essentials made possible by the donation of product and funds from companies, foundations and individuals,” according the charity web site.

Secrets For Turning Social Media Into Sales

Retailers continue to embrace social media as a vehicle to connect with consumers, increase sales and showcase products. In a study conducted by Booz & Company in 2011, the firm anticipated the social commerce market to grow six-fold to $30 billion worldwide by 2015, with $14 billion coming from the U.S. alone. During a recent webinar, titled: “Social Commerce: Secrets For Turning Social Media Into Social Sales,” presenters Paul Marsden, a consumer psychologist and market researcher, and Paul Chaney, Internet marketing consultant, offered best practices for retail investments in social commerce. The webcast was presented by Awareness, a social media software provider.

Bonobos Drives User-Generated Content With #Pantsformation Contest

Forward-thinking retailers are immersed in social media to drive engagement and communication among target consumers. Bonobos, a notable leader in optimizing social’s more interactive features to initiate conversations with shoppers, emphasizes the use of contests that encourage social feedback on Bonobos fashions. As a result, the men’s apparel retailer has established itself as a relatable brand and in turn, increased word-of-mouth and garnered long-term loyalty from consumers. In August 2012, Bonobos launched its latest social media contest: #Pantsformation. The sweepstakes encourages consumers to photograph themselves then upload those images onto Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, along with the hash tag #Pantsformation. Contestants also must provide a brief explanation of “why they should be ‘pantsformed’ by Bonobos,” David Fudge, Director of Consumer Engagement and Innovation for Bonobos, told Retail TouchPoints. Two weeks following the Oct. 5, 2012 contest deadline for uploading images, entrants must promote the contest on their social media accounts and encourage their families and friends to vote for their photos. This strategy not only increases awareness of the brand, but also allows consumers to control the result of the campaign and “feel they have a voice in determining who wins,” Fudge explained. The grand-prize winner will receive a $1,500…

Cutting-Edge Retailers Lead The Pack In Localization And Personalization

The payoff of Social, Local and Mobile (SoLoMo) is persuading retailers to rethink their strategies for winning and maintaining customer loyalty. As consumers become more hyper-connected and informed via social and mobile behaviors, merchants increasingly are tapping localized and personalized marketing tactics to create more pertinent marketing messages, offers and merchandising. Consumers’ push for personally relevant retail communications is growing more powerful, further elevating the importance of “Local” in a SoLoMo strategy. Localization not only allows brands to leverage the unique wants and needs of consumers, but also allows them to identify those needs across very specific geographic areas. In fact, of the more than 5,000 smartphone and tablet users recently polled by Keynote Competitive Research, 88% sought out local information on their devices. More consumers also are location-tagging their posts on social networking sites, according to research from JiWire, a location-based mobile advertising company.

Retailers Update In-Store Technology To Offer Real-Time Customer Engagement

Consumer demand for instant access to product information is driving developments around in-store technology. Ben & Jerry’s, 4food, The Home Depot and Motorola are a selection of companies introducing innovative new customer-facing retail strategies in the areas of: mobile POS, coupons and specials; smartphone check-out capabilities; personalized promotions; digital signage linked to Twitter feeds; improved in-store communications; cloud-based POS solutions; and other real-time strategies. “The point of sale is not just located at the checkout: customers want to be able to shop from multiple touch points, whether it is online, a mobile POS or their own smartphones, and retailers need to be able to accommodate this new, technology-savvy customer,” said Ken Morris, Principal of Boston Retail Partners. “As we talk to retailers about their technology plans, it is refreshing to see the shift as they realize that to succeed they need to think about POS differently.”

Webinar Highlights How To Succeed With Customer Loyalty Programs And Overcome SoMoLo Challenges

Many of today’s marketers rely on loyalty programs to improve customer relationships and experiences. In fact, a majority of loyalty program marketers use this tool to manage customer retention and increase revenue, according to a survey conducted by Kobie Marketing. During a recent Loyalty 360 webinar titled: “Omnichannel Loyalty: Maximizing Your Customers Experience,” industry professionals discussed survey results, trends impacting loyalty programs, and best practices in overcoming challenges from the social, mobile and local (SoMoLo) revolution. In a Kobie Marketing white paper, titled: “Omnichannel Loyalty: Designing The Ultimate Customer Experience” ― which was based on survey results ― more than half (58%) of loyalty program marketers stated that customer retention drives their loyalty efforts. Approximately 48% of respondents pointed to revenue as a key consideration. “Not surprisingly, in a continually down or recovering economy, marketers focus on loyalty as a retention strategy,” said Emily Murphy, Customer Intelligence Analyst at Forrester Research. “This directly drives profitability and revenue, and improves engagement.”

Godiva Improves Average Order Value 15% With Product Image Testing

Best-in-class retailers are testing and applying new strategies to better engage online consumers. The e-Commerce site in particular presents retailers with an opportunity to customize messaging and offers based on visitors’ browsing and buying histories, as well as geographic locations. Godiva Chocolatier optimized e-Commerce personalization with the Agility Suite from Monetate, designed to allow retailers to test personalized content, images and offers more quickly and seamlessly. The retailer is recognizing an array of benefits, including a 15% boost in Average Order Value (AOV) and an 18% increase in conversion rates as a result of leveraging multiple images on product pages. Because Godiva is such a sensory brand, photography is critical to creating a compelling experience for shoppers, Mahender Nathan, VP of Direct for Godiva told Retail TouchPoints. To ensure the best investment, the internal team for the brand conducted A/B testing through Monetate to determine the overall value of providing alternate images on inventory pages.

Nine Steps To Really Knowing Your Customers

As customer shopping patterns and the devices used to research and make purchases continue to transform, the retailer’s ability to segment shoppers and deliver relevant and engaging experiences has never been more important ― nor more possible. Accessible shopper and customer data is key to segmentation, but many consumers are not willing to share it, making today’s essential personalized shopping experience challenging to create. New insights revealed by Lauren Freedman, president of the e-tailing group, helped unpack this box of challenges. In a recent webinar and white paper, both titled “Nine Steps To Really Knowing Your Customers,” sponsored by MyBuys, Freedman shed light on various approaches to a cohesive CRM strategy. An online survey of more than 1,000 consumers regarding personalization and data sharing, and a subsequent questionnaire with a cross-section of merchants across the retail industry, brought the insights to the forefront.

Macy’s Adopts Shopkick Mobile Rewards In All 800 Locations

As mobile and localization become even more vital pieces to the shopper marketing puzzle, retailers are utilizing strategies to reach and communicate with consumers in more relevant ways. Macy’s is striving for personal and interactive experiences with its recent nationwide rollout of shopkick, a mobile, location-based rewards shopping app, to approximately 800 Macy’s locations. Through the shopkick rewards tool, consumers receive “kicks,” which act as shopkick's currency, simply for walking into a Macy’s location. The more consumers use their smartphones to scan item barcodes in brick-and-mortar locations and complete specific challenges, the more "kick" points they earn. All “kicks” are redeemable for tangible items, such as discounts and free goods, allowing Macy’s to create a “gamified” experience as well as boost impulse purchases.

Grocery Retailer Increases Multi-Channel Customer Engagement With CEM And Social CRM Solutions

Customer Experience Management (CEM) solutions allow organizations to take a more consistent and tactical approach to customer feedback and Voice of the Customer (VoC) initiatives. Best-in-class retailers utilize these tools to track and analyze shopper insights across channels, from web-based and printed surveys to mobile, social media and call centers. Grocery Outlet - Bargain Market — a U.S.-based discount grocer — successfully capitalized on customer feedback, including comments via social media, by partnering with Agility Metrics, a provider of CEM and CRM solutions. As a result, the merchant has increased overall engagement across multiple channels, including its 150-plus brick-and-mortar locations. Feedback is tracked and distributed to all team members, including executives, store managers and front-line associates such as customer service operators.

South Moon Under Drives 24% Conversion Rate With Shopping Cart Abandonment Email Campaign

Despite the rise of mobile and social marketing strategies, email has remained a powerful tool for retailers to educate consumers on their brand, recommend items and most importantly, recover lost sales. Due to consumers’ growing focus on finding the best deals across digital and physical channels, shopping cart abandonment continues to be a threat to retailers’ online success. In fact, 89% of consumers have indicated that they have abandoned at least one shopping cart, according to Forrester Research. To win the eyes and dollars of its shoppers, South Moon Under — a luxury retailer for men and women — partnered with Listrak, an email solution provider, to adopt a strategy to tackle cart abandonment. As of July 2012, the retailer has achieved a 23.52% conversion rate through the abandonment campaign.

New Research Spotlights Opportunities For Big Box Retailers

Big box retailers such as Kmart, Target and Walmart strive to provide a “one-stop shop” for today’s time-starved and deal-oriented consumers. With these retailers selling groceries, toiletries, home goods, and clothing for men, women, and children, as well as electronics and entertainment, they are poised for continuous sales growth. However, big box retailers that are not focusing on the customer experience may be missing an opportunity to improve customer loyalty, according to recent research from Empathica.

Serena & Lily Boosts Online Purchases With Real-Time Customization Tool

The Internet offers consumers an array of resources for accessing information, browsing inventory and purchasing items from the convenience of their homes or with mobile devices. However, many shoppers still value the rich, interactive experiences that take place within brick-and-mortar stores. These omni-channel consumer behaviors present an opportunity for retailers to integrate digital and physical channels and engagement tactics for more compelling shopping experiences. To create more seamless browsing and buying processes that are customized to shoppers’ personal styles, Serena & Lily — a linens and homewares retailer — leverages a product configuration solution from Fluid, a digital commerce agency and merchandising solution provider.
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