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.

#RIC18: 17 Quick Quotes Provide Taste From Smorgasbord Of Retail Topics

The 2018 Retail Innovation Conference featured more than 50 retail industry executives and experts speaking on a wide range of the hot topics — from the sometimes-difficult move from online to brick-and-mortar to optimal use cases for AI, voice and personalization. These 17 quick quotes provide a “tasting menu” for those that couldn’t make the conference, which was held April 30-May 2 in New York City. “If you want the rewards of creativity and innovation, you have to take the risk. Comfort zones are great, but nothing actually grows there. They’re deserts.” — Ken Hughes, Award-Winning Shopper BehaviouralistCreativity can’t be cultivated by simply creating the right environment — you have to work personally to generate fresh ideas and innovations. Trendy accoutrements like beanbag chairs or coffee bars are what Hughes calls “lipstick on a gorilla” — they’re superficially attractive, but don’t actually improve the creative process, which is ultimately a personal responsibility.

#RIC18: Unlocking The Secrets Of Gen Z Shoppers

Retailers are engaged in a “race for relevance” as they try to meet the needs not only of Millennials but the generations following them, Gen Z and Gen Alpha. According to Shopper Behaviouralist Ken Hughes, these current and future consumers are motivated by a set of values based on growing up as true digital natives. “For them, a [print] magazine is a broken iPad,” said Hughes, showing a video of an infant trying, in vain, to activate the pages of a print magazine. “In retail, one of our challenges is not to be a magazine.”

#RIC18: Walmart CIO Embraces People-Led, Tech-Powered Strategy

The 2018 Retail Innovation Conference, April 30 to May 2, began with Store Tours on Monday, and then the content section kicked off Tuesday morning with an informative “fireside chat” with Walmart CIO Clay Johnson and Retail TouchPoints Editor In Chief Debbie Hauss. Additional reporting on the sessions, the event’s Top Tweets and a sponsor roundup will be appearing in the coming days.

Forrester Analyst: Retailers Are Still Catching Up To Customer Expectations

On the second morning of Aptos Engage 2018, held April 16-19 in Las Vegas, Brendan Witcher, VP, Principal Analyst at Forrester, took the stage to deliver his keynote and kicked off the presentation with two scary statements for retailers: You’re not behind your competitors; you’re behind your customers — behind their expectations. Your products don’t matter anymore. Those are shocking statements to make, but Witcher made a great point. Experiences such as Netflix and Uber have reset consumer expectations to new levels. “We are in the state of hyper-adoption and hyper-abandonment,” he said. “Retailers are missing the mark on getting customer expectations right.

Canadian Sneaker Brand Launches Universal VR Sneaker Store

Six Hundred Four, a Canadian sneaker brand that creates shoes based on commissioned art pieces, has launched a VR sneaker store that merges VR and e-Commerce. The VR experience allows consumers to virtually stroll around the brand’s flagship store to view original art pieces and add shoes to their shopping cart, without needing a headset.

Ahold Delhaize Joins New AI Research Partnership

The first partnership for the new Innovation Center for Artificial Intelligence (ICAI) will be with supermarket giant Ahold Delhaize. At the AI For Retail Lab (AIRLab), seven PhDs will conduct research into socially responsible algorithms that can be used to make consumer recommendations and more efficiently manage the flow of…

Helzberg Diamonds, Suppliers Form First Jewelry Industry Blockchain

Helzberg Diamonds, along with three jewelry industry suppliers and third-party administrator UL, are collaborating to launch the TrustChain Initiative. The initiative will use blockchain technology to track and authenticate diamonds and precious metals through every stage of the supply chain, up to the sale of finished jewelry to the customer. The…

Amazon’s Next Delivery Destination: Your Car

After revealing that its Prime program had amassed 100 million subscribers, Amazon added a groundbreaking delivery option to its hefty list of membership benefits with the rollout of Amazon Key In-Car. Building on the combination of security and convenience offered with Amazon Key, a service that allows a courier to…

Magento, NetSuite Conferences Illustrate What B2C Can Teach B2B

While the Retail TouchPoints team is gearing up for next week’s 2018 Retail Innovation Conference in New York City, I had the opportunity to attend two user conferences this week in Las Vegas — Magento Imagine and NetSuite SuiteWorld. While we’ve discussed the concept of a “retail transformation” ad nauseum over the past year, wholesale also is undergoing its own transformation. Although RTP focuses on how retailers can bolster their customers’ experience, I noticed a number of sessions and in-person meetings at the two conferences that actually touched on the world of a somewhat different audience: B2B buyers. But the crossover felt very relevant, especially since it appears B2B wholesalers can learn a thing or two from their retail counterparts. In some cases, companies that function as both retailers and wholesalers, and that seek to excel in both areas, can leverage practices on the retail side to benefit their B2B operations.

Exclusive Q&A With Mastercard Exec: Expanding Payment To Wearables, VR And Smart Home Devices

Payments are the unglamorous but absolutely necessary piece of any consumer purchase. As retail touch points have multiplied and become more technologically complex, encompassing mobile devices, wearables, and now voice, AR and VR applications, payment providers have had to keep pace. One indication of the breadth of this challenge is in Kiki Del Valle’s title: she is SVP of Commerce for Every Device at Mastercard. Del Valle, who will be presenting the session, titled Transforming How People Pay: Commerce For Every Device at next week’s Retail Innovation Conference, April 30-May 2 in New York City, revealed why payment providers need to balance innovation, consumer convenience and data security within a rapidly shifting customer journey.

Staples Will Add TSA Pre Service At 50 Stores

Staples customers will be able to sign up for TSA Pre, the program that allows qualified travelers to pay for faster check-ins at airport security, at 50 stores this summer. The IdentoGO centers also will offer Staples customers passport photos and certified birth certificates. Staples is one of the first…

UPS Study: U.S. Consumers Shopping Across Borders Climbs To 47%

It’s an increasingly small world in e-Commerce: Almost half of U.S. online shoppers, and a majority of online shoppers outside the U.S., choose e-Tailers that are based outside their own countries. Around the globe, consumers are embracing mobile commerce, online marketplaces and diverse shipping options, although adoption rates and satisfaction vary (in some cases dramatically), according to the latest UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper report. Based on a comScore survey of more than 18,000 consumers, the study captured the differing behaviors and preferences of online shoppers in the U.S., Asia, Europe, Canada, Mexico and Brazil.
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