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.

Whole Foods Halts Rewards Program; Will Amazon Prime Replace It?

  • Published in News Briefs
There’s been another step in the “Amazon-ification” of Whole Foods Markets. The retailer will end its 365 Rewards program and digital coupons by May 1. An email to members of the loyalty program indicates that it will soon be folded into the Amazon Prime program, according to MarketWatch. In February, Amazon…

Exclusive Q&A With Gartner L2’s Amazon Guru: Watch Out For Total Vertical Integration

Jeff Bezos’ ambitions for Amazon go well beyond becoming the world’s number-one retailer, according to Cooper Smith, Director of Amazon Research at Gartner L2. “That’s a means to an end,” said Smith in an exclusive interview with Retail TouchPoints. “I believe his vision is for Amazon to be the ultimate purveyor in the marketing, selling and transportation of goods.” Smith revealed key insights into both the omnichannel retailer’s latest moves and its long-term plans, including: • The likeliest targets for Amazon’s next brick-and-mortar acquisition after purchasing Whole Foods;• How these acquisitions will help Amazon crack higher-end markets, particularly in apparel;|• The likelihood that Amazon will introduce Amazon Go-style cashierless technology in its brick-and-mortar stores;• Which “strange bedfellow” combinations may be needed to challenge Amazon; and• The potential location of Amazon’s HQ2.

Teahouse Brews Up Growth With Streamlined Management And Loyalty Solution

The Teahouse, a chain of traditional Taiwanese cream teahouses in the Houston area, faced a problem familiar to many growing retailers. Keeping tabs on multiple locations that differed slightly from each other in menu setup, layout and prices was becoming an operational challenge. Additionally, Teahouse wanted a more organized way of managing its Teahouse Rewards loyalty program, which offers customers a free drink for every $40 they spend. The retailer, which currently operates 10 locations, deployed a POS and store management solution from Revel Systems in late 2015, and then added the Spendgo customer engagement solution in January 2017. The combination has provided Teahouse with multiple benefits, including:

Study Reveals Why 96% Of Shoppers Leave Stores Empty-Handed

With as many as 96% of global shoppers having left a store without making a purchase on at least one occasion, it’s up to retailers to understand exactly what prevents consumers from buying. It’s not simply that these shoppers couldn’t find the products they sought, though that is a key reason. The 2018 Global Path to Purchase Survey recommends that retailers organize the store shelves and diversify their merchandise if they want to prevent consumers from leaving empty-handed. Shoppers leave stores without buying for a number of reasons, including: They couldn’t find the product they needed (67.3%); The store didn’t have the items they wanted (66.3%); Lines were too long (51.3%); and Poor customer service (39.1%).

Call Center Data Optimization Boosts Profits At Mason Cos.

Mason Companies, a catalog-oriented retailer with 11 brands encompassing footwear, apparel, gifting and food, knows the importance of providing contact center agents with all the information they need to handle a query and complete a sale. By adopting a centralized master data management (MDM) solution that pulls together all customer contact information — from social networks, web contacts and other media — the retailer is seeking to improve the productivity of agent-customer interactions. “We need to bring all the customer information together from marketing and sales channels and show it to our contact center agents, so they can leverage it from a marketing perspective,” said Adam Stavn, CIO of Mason Companies in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “During the busy seasons for our different products, we may have well over 1,000 contact center agents working in different locations throughout the U.S. These agents need a full, clear picture of the customer that’s calling, to ensure that the one interaction they have with us during the season will be profitable.”

Exclusive Q&A With KIDBOX CEO Miki Berardelli

At KIDBOX, Miki Berardelli has managed to combine innovative leadership, social consciousness, youth empowerment and fun into a successful children’s apparel shopping platform. In 2018, KIDBOX is embracing private label and will be introducing its own exclusive private brands. Learn Berardelli’s secrets to success in this exclusive Q&A. You can also hear from her at the upcoming Retail Innovation Conference, April 30-May 2, where she'll part of a panel discussing best practices for building a private brand in the digital era.  Retail TouchPoints (RTP): What are your proudest accomplishments at KIDBOX?

Gen X Leads In Grocery Spending, But Millennial Families Are Catching Up

Although Millennials are making the shift into marriage and child-bearing later in life than the generations that preceded them, they are increasing their grocery spending significantly as they form families. Millennial parents report spending an average of $360 per month on groceries, 47% more than Millennials without children, who spend an average of $245 monthly. These are some of the findings from the 14th Edition of The Why? Behind The Buy, an annual report on the buying patterns and behaviors of grocery shoppers from CPG-focused sales and marketing firm Acosta.

The Missing Link In Personalization: Only 13% Of Retailers Identify Most Profitable Shoppers

While as many as 77% of retailers say they have an established process to identify their most loyal customers, only 13% say they can accurately identify those that are most profitable, according to the BRP 2018 Customer Loyalty Special Report. Up to 39% of retailersdo have processes in place to identify profitable customers, but admit that their efforts still need improvement. Another 27% project that they will be able to identify these shoppers within three years. Retailers that want to maximize customer profitability as well as loyalty are leveraging personalization efforts across a number of different areas:

Want To Reach Gen Z? Learn To Speak ‘Phygital’

Q&A with Ken Hughes, Shopper Behaviouralist and Keynote Speaker In this Q&A, Shopper Behaviouralist Ken Hughes shares his unique insights on the future of retail and the importance of embracing the next generation of shoppers and members of the workforce. Hughes will be delivering Keynote and Creativity sessions during the Retail Innovation Conference, April 30-May 2 in New York City.

Lowe’s, Home Depot Deploy New Apple Business Chat

With the recent release of the iOS 11.3 update, Apple device owners can now use the beta version of Apple Business Chat to directly access customer service from a small group of companies that include Lowe’s, Home Depot, Newegg, 1-800-Flowers and Apple as well as Marriott, Hilton, Discover, TD Ameritrade and Wells Fargo. “More and more, customers are showing that they prefer the convenience of messaging customer service versus making phone calls,” said Gihad Jawhar, Lowe's VP Digital Development in a statement. “As a leader in service, Lowe's is committed to meeting customer needs on their terms and through their communication preferences. Our support for Apple Business Chat makes messaging exponentially more powerful for our customers and our customer service agents.”

CCSeries Webinars: Perfecting Every Point Of Contact

Even as points of customer contact multiply, retailers are tasked with making the most of every interaction along the shopper journey. The 2018 Connected Consumer webinar series from Retail TouchPoints highlighted innovative solutions and strategies for maximizing each contact point with a retailers’ customer target groups. Following are brief recaps of the seven webinars in the #CCSeries, which are now available on-demand. 4 Email Marketing Strategies That Create Relevant Experiences Greg Zakowicz, Senior Commerce Marketing Analyst at Oracle + Bronto, kicked off the Connected Consumer series with the webinar, titled: Increased Expectations Means Better Email Marketing: Are You Prepared?

The Race Is On: 43% Of Consumers Expect ‘Much Faster’ Deliveries In 2018

As retailers race to speed up deliveries of online orders, consumers’ expectations also are increasing rapidly. An even bigger concern: consumers’ negative experiences with e-Commerce deliveries have shot up this year, and they are not receiving same-day delivery options in many of the categories where they would most like to…

The New Rules For Retail Credit: What Younger Shoppers Really Want In 2018

The stereotype is widespread: Younger consumers are spooked by parents’ debt misadventures, stressed by college loan repayments and leery of buying on credit, even as they endlessly document their purchases on Instagram and splurge on trend-based products and experiences. This vision is understandably distressing for retailers. After all, Millennials and Generation Z, whose ages range from teens through the mid-30s, together comprise 50% of the U.S. population. If such a large segment of consumers are disinterested in traditional bank or store credit options, big-ticket purchases may slow. (Why own a car when you can Lyft?) Furthermore, shoppers who spend hours a day on social media may perceive little need for physical stores, except as pickup locations for items sourced online.
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