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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.

Prime Day Drives Reported 89% Sales Boost In First 12 Hours Despite Early Site Crash

A web site outage has been the biggest news out of Prime Day thus far, but Amazon is reportedly still riding the event to record sales. While social media was flooded with photos of the various “dogs of Amazon” displayed on error pages and reactions from disgruntled consumers,shoppers spent 54% more in the first three hours of this year’s event — 3 pm to 6 pm EST on July 16 — than in the first three hours of Prime Day 2017, when the shopping bonanza started at 9 pm, according to Feedvisor. The 2018 increase has since skyrocketed up to 89% through the first 12 hours of Prime Day, while the number of orders increased 69% in the same period, the software company said.

Designer Shoe Trading Club Takes First Steps

Luxury Shoe Club, a membership club designed for buying and selling pre-owned designer shoes via an iPhone app, kicked off operations July 17. The app uses an algorithm to assign a fair market dollar value to each pair, and women listing their new-in-box and gently worn designer shoes can earn points good for purchasing others’ shoes. Members earn half the point value when they list the shoes and get the other half when they are sold; members can also “buy” points. Luxury Shoe Club collects a fee on each transaction. The U.S. luxury shoe market accounts for $8.6 billion annually, and the average price for a pair of women’s designer shoes has climbed to $770. Sales of pre-owned designer shoes have reached $800 million annually, and Luxury Shoe Club estimates that there is $1 billion of new-in-box luxury shoes sitting idle in women’s closets.

Perch Raises $1.7 Million With New Funding

Perch has raised more than $1.7 million in seed funding, led by follow-on investments from TVC, Corigin Ventures and other leading angel investors. The company also has added former Sephora CEO Howard Meitner to its board of advisors. The Perch interactive retail marketing platform — which can detect the specific products shoppers are interacting with in-store and respond with dynamic digital content — has been deployed by companies including Neiman Marcus, Sunglass Hut, Sephora, Kate Spade and Pernod Ricard.

Carter’s Decision Support Solution Cuts 8 Days’ Inventory Out Of System

Inventory carrying costs remain retailers’ biggest capital expense, but companies are generally cautious about reducing inventory levels as a way to cut costs. That’s because lowering inventory levels can create delays and out-of-stock situations that play havoc with the retailer’s service levels. Carter’s Inc., however, leveraged a decision support solution that helped the retailer trim eight days of inventory from its system, while actually raising service levels for its 800 retail stores and e-Commerce business. For the first seasonal “buy” following the September 2016 implementation of the Anaplan Connected Planning solution, the children’s apparel retailer “shrunk our inventory carrying costs and increased our cash flow by $25 million in working capital, with no impact to our customers,” said Peter Smith, EVP Global Supply Chain at Carter’s. “We got improved service, match levels and fulfillment levels while simultaneously reducing inventory costs.”

The Death Of The Store? How Digital Technology Can Breathe New Life Into Physical Retail

While retail stores are closing at an alarming rate, the demise of physical retail is exaggerated. In fact, America’s top retail chains reported a net increase of 4,000 new store openings in 2017 and are projecting a further net increase of more than 5,500 new stores in 2018. Over the past two years, retail growth in the U.S. exceeded that of GDP by nearly a full percentage point and is expected to continue to outperform GDP for at least the next two to three years. U.S. retail is a $4.8 trillion market with specialty, discount and grocery stores leading current growth. However, general merchandise stores, especially department stores, are struggling to compete with players like Amazon and Walmart that offer a wide range of products, lower prices and the convenience of easy, online transactions. Fortunately, while a significant segment of consumers prefer shopping online, a comparable segment enjoy the in-store shopping experience. This presents an opportunity for retailers to create unique, personalized experiences that inspire buyers at the point of discovery and decision as well as the end transaction.

For Top Retailers On Prime Day, Expect High Revenues But Thin Margins

Amazon’s fourth annual Prime Day, starting July 16 at 3 pm Eastern, will drive an estimated $3.4 billion in global revenue for the e-Commerce giant, but its popularity has forced other retailers to take action if they want a piece of the pie. Retail’s biggest players, including Walmart, Target, eBay, Best Buy and Macy’s have implemented sales of their own to align with the event, with Kohl’s holding the “It’s A Big Deal” promotion on July 10. The decision by these retailers to capitalize on a “Black Friday in July” promotion makes sense when looking at last year’s sales totals. The biggest beneficiaries of these campaigns will be large retailers with more than $1 billion in annual sales and niche retailers with less than $5 million in revenue, according to research from Adobe Digital Insights. In 2017, the $1 billion+ retailers saw a 34.9% sales lift on Prime Day, whereas the niche retailers reeled in 17% more than usual. However, everyone in between $5 million and $1 billion in annual sales actually experienced a sales loss of 0.5%.

Fashion Week Store Tours Launch This Fall In NYC

Stores that combine creativity and the latest technologies to create unique shopper experiences will be showcased during New York City’s Fashion Week on September 5, 2018. Fashion Week Store Tours (FWST) and Fashion Mingle  will feature two-hour tours in some of the city’s hottest shopping districts: Soho, Madison Avenue, the…
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TAYLRD Tours The U.S. With Airstream Pop-Up Experience

TAYLRD Clothing, an e-Commerce site that allows shoppers to buy from a selection of more than 90 size and fit variants per color of pants, has less than a year of operation under its belt. But youth isn’t stopping the men’s fashion retailer from testing the waters of physical retailing in a unique way — via a 28-foot pop-up Airstream trailer. The TAYLRDStream mobile pop-up shop experience is designed to showcase the TAYLRD brand and its products throughout the U.S. The trailer includes two fitting rooms as well as a lounging area to browse through the merchandise equipped with music, a TV and a stocked bar.

Kroger Debuts Dip Private Label Apparel Line

  • Published in News Briefs
Aiming to provide simple, affordable yet stylish apparel to a wide range of customers, Kroger will introduce the Dip clothing lines this fall in more than 300 Fred Meyer and Kroger Marketplace stores. The Dip brand will replace more than a dozen Kroger private label brands, including Indigo by Great Northwest, GNW, Kids Korner and Curfew, according to Supermarket News. Kroger has partnered…
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Amazon Hints At Location For Second Seattle Go Store

  • Published in News Briefs
Amazon has reportedly chosen a location for a second Amazon Go cashierless store in its home town of Seattle. According to a statement provided to GeekWire, the new store, in downtown Seattle’s Madison Centre office tower, will open in fall 2018. The 36-story office tower, which opened last year, is…
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Forrester Study: Only 26% Of Companies Are B2B E-Commerce ‘Masters’

Strong, mature B2B e-Commerce capabilities bring numerous benefits to organizations. These companies can maximize the potential of digital channels and add self-service capabilities; use merchandising features to frame their products and solutions in a better light; and create multiple selling sites dedicated to specific geographies, customer segments, product lines and channels. But while the benefits of B2B e-Commerce maturity are clear, the road to achieving it is a long one. A June 2018 Forrester study, titled: What It Takes To Be A Leader In B2B eCommerce, reveals that no more than 50% of companies surveyed have any one of the following five best practices for B2B e-Commerce:

Walmart Enhances Home Shopping With Virtual Reality Tools

Walmart has started testing a virtual shopping technology that lets customers browse a curated apartment featuring 70 branded and private label products. The virtual reality (VR) interface allows shoppers to click on anything that interests them to get more information. The 3D tour will be enhanced with a “Buy the Room” option, which will initially include five curated collections of up to 20 items designed to complete a dorm room or apartment. While both concepts will launch with small living spaces in mind, they could be implemented more broadly on Walmart’s web site in the future. The virtual shopping updates are the latest development in an overhaul of Walmart’s specialty home shopping experience that began in February. The initiative launched with a dedicated Home destination page offering nine shop-by-style options, as well as content and design tips to educate shoppers and help them create a uniform look. Walmart has made other investments in VR: its technology incubator Store No. 8 acquired VR specialist Spatialand in February 2018. The startup specializes in turning existing content into VR experiences. The retail giant’s interest in VR is not surprising: use of the technology in retail and marketing is expected to generate $1.8 billion…

Study: Amazon And Walmart Top Retail Loyalty List

A new customer loyalty study defines consumers as three types: Loyalists, Roamers and Neutrals. Loyalists (35%) find a go-to retailer for their needs and stick with them; Roamers (35%) always tend to shop around prior to making a purchase; and Neutrals (30%) have some go-to retailers for particular purchases but also shop around, according to the 2018 consumer survey conducted by customer.com, a division of Customer Communications Group. To maximize customer loyalty, retailers need first to understand what elements of their current shopper experience appeals to each group. Beyond the convenience that is valued by all shopper types, Loyalists are more motivated by “Passion Factors” such as trust, fair treatment and a caring staff. In contrast, Roamers can be convinced to consolidate their purchases with a single retailer by stressing more practical elements, such as ease of purchase and returns, customer service and incentive offers. Additionally, all retailers should involve the entire enterprise in their customer loyalty efforts.

Venmo Debit Card Expands App’s Reach To Brick-And-Mortar Retail

  • Published in News Briefs
Peer-to-peer payment service Venmo has launched a Mastercard debit card, allowing users to pay for items in retail stores without having to transfer funds to their bank accounts. The card rollout follows Venmo’s October 2017 move to allow app payments at more than two million online retailers, according to Reuters. Venmo,…
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Exclusive Q&A: Brian Solis Reveals Five Keys To Real Retail Innovation

As a digital analyst, anthropologist and futurist, Brian Solis strives to get to the heart of not just how the art of doing business has changed, but more importantly, why. In his latest report, titled: Leading Trends In Retail Innovation: Insights from Some of the Most Progressive Retailers Changing The Game, Solis, a Principal Analyst at Altimeter, a Prophet Company, investigates how the “Retail Armageddon” and other headline-dominating trends are changing the industry as we know it. The report was “shaped based on my experience in innovation and transformation,” Solis explained. “When I’m interviewing people responsible for retail innovation, I’m often surprised, even disappointed, in how very little innovation is taking place. There is no sense of urgency around the topic. So, I put myself in the shoes of someone in this role. If I’m tasked with finding ways to better compete in the digital economy, who would I want to talk to? Who would inspire me to think differently?”
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