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.

Wegmans Combines Mobile App, Human Assistance To Guide Visually Impaired Shoppers

Wegmans, a supermarket chain based in the Northeast, has implemented a combination of technology and human assistance for blind and low-vision shoppers, to make their shopping experience easier across all its 97 stores. All Wegmans stores are now Aira Access Locations, giving any member of the blind and low-vision community free access to Aira’s service while in Wegmans stores.

Exclusive Q&A With Starboard Cruises CEO: Experiences, Entertainment, Education Drive Retail Strategies At Sea

Retail on the high seas has its own unique requirements, but that doesn’t mean landlubbers can’t learn a trick or two from one of the most successful ocean-based retail companies. Celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2018, Starboard Cruise Services partners with cruise lines including Norwegian, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea, priding itself on delivering a “prestige retail” experience to cruise guests based on entertainment, storytelling and creating memories. Already operating on more than 90 cruise ships worldwide, Starboard has added four new ships within the past year and is expected to add a fleet of four more in 2019. These additional ships add significant growth as modern mega-ships can offer 2X to 3X the amount of retail space, allowing Starboard to bring on top brands, according to Beth Neumann, CEO of Starboard Cruise Services.

In-Store Shopping Can Drive Holiday Spending Sprees

The upcoming holiday season looks promising: 18.7% of shoppers plan to budget more for holiday gifts this year, and most plan to spend approximately $100 to $500 more than in 2017, according to the 2018 Holiday Shopping Outlook study by Blis. The numbers were determined through a survey by AYTM, an online market research solution, which reached out to 2,000 U.S. consumers across socio-economic levels. This extra spending is in line with year-long growth predictions from the NRF, which were revised in August to at least 4.5% over 2017, up from the 3.8% to 4.4% reported at the beginning of the year. The improved outlook is due to a combination of higher wages, gains in disposable income, a strong job market and record-high household net worth. E-Commerce will be vital to capturing this increased spending in Q4: more than half (57.5%) of shoppers plan to do the majority of their holiday shopping online, while brick-and-mortar retailers will be the top destination for 39.1%.However, in-store shoppers are a particularly valuable audience for retailers: 64.7% of customers are willing to ignore their budgets if the store they’re shopping in is offering a sale. Some of these consumers are willing to go significantly…

What Retailers Can Learn From Disney

The lines can be long. The weather can be hot. And the cost — let’s not get into it. So why do we visit Disney in droves? And what can retailers learn from the entertainment behemoth as they face increased competition, changing demographics and rapid technological evolution? We should view Disney World as an omnichannel 2.0 pioneer, using the IoT and AR/VR to amplify a visit’s magic and ease its pain. The park’s first IoT-based customer experience began in 2013 with an experiment integrating Bluetooth-enabled devices in its physical spaces. Coupled with the introduction of the MagicBand — a device initially conceived to help parents find lost children, now evolved to a “master key” for unlocking your own personalized experience — Disney created a frictionless journey for its visitors. The Most Magical Place on Earth keeps parents calm by providing technology-enabled convenience.

Kohl’s Debuts Private Label Plus-Size Brand

  • Published in News Briefs
For spring 2019, Kohl’s will launch its EVRI private label plus-size women’s apparel brand. The introduction of EVRI, which stands for Easy, Versatile, Real (Value) and Inspiring, is part of a planned transformation of Kohl’s plus-size shopping experience both in-store and online. The EVRI brand will include tops in sizes 0X-4X…

Macy’s, Cosmopolitan Bring Makeup Try-On Experience From Print To Digital

Macy’s has partnered with Cosmopolitan magazine and Perfect Corp., the creator of the YouCam AR-powered makeup app, to deliver a virtual try-on feature through an eight-page native content package. The pages will showcase select Juicy Couture products. Using a smart device, readers can snap a photo of a special QR code, which will bring them to a destination on where they’ll be able to choose a try-on experience, test out the look using YouCam Makeup facial mapping technology and shop the products directly from the page.

RSP Series: How Retail Leaders Improve Customer Acquisition And Retention

Any retailer’s long-term health requires finding the right balance between acquiring and retaining customers — particularly the loyal and big-spending types of shoppers. But rapid changes in both consumer expectations and the competitive landscape have rewritten many of the established rules for customer acquisition and retention. The 2018 Retail Strategy and Planning (RSP) webinar series, hosted by Retail TouchPoints, uncovered several new strategies for tackling these timeless challenges. Following are brief recaps of six webinars in the #RSP18 series, now available on-demand. [Read a recap of the Holiday Predictions webinar, sponsored by Salesforce, here.]

The Death Of Retail Or A Retail Renaissance — Which Is It?

Both property companies and retailers are reporting a crisis and the death of retail. Stores are being shut down or shrinking their footprints, and the traditional retail format with merchandise lined up on shelves is a dying breed. Yet at the same time there is a renaissance going on in retail, and we are seeing examples of brands and retailers that are able to reinvent their businesses and adapt to a new market and new consumer behaviors — allowing them to increase customer loyalty in the bargain.

Brick-And-Mortar Clothing Retailers: Replace Mannequins With In-Store Tech

Once you’ve worked in the mannequin business, you become judgmental of others — other mannequins, that is. And I mean really judgy. You might not consider mannequins terribly significant, but they are: Brands that “get it” make hefty investments to design custom mannequins in an effort to illustrate their brand stories. Brands each have a unique fit, attitude and persona, and mannequins are a way to personify the brand and bring designs to life through well-crafted and thoughtful aesthetics. Consider Nike: It pushes the creative envelope time and again with custom mannequin collections, featuring poses from static to full-on active (like its NFL collection from 2012, for example, created through design firm Fusion). Not only was this mannequin line aspirational, but it also brought a brand story to life, fusing Nike’s activewear with America’s love for football.

Exclusive CEO Insights: Three Strategies For The Retail Industry To Employ By 2020

The National Retail Federation raised its outlook for 2018 retail sales to climb 4.5% compared to the prior forecast range of 3.8% to 4.4%. With tax reforms and other positive economic indicators like higher wages, the uncertainty around a trade war with China hasn’t impacted retail sales for the first half of the year. In terms of e-Commerce, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, a decade ago it accounted for roughly 3.5% of total retail sales — a proportion that surged to 9.5% by the first quarter of this year. With the continuing growth of massive online retailers (as well as the rising demand for online shopping options across the board), e-Commerce will comprise an even greater share of retail transactions in the coming years. Like the rest of the retail world, the home goods and services industry is experiencing substantial digital growth. While the vast majority of consumers still want to be able to see and touch furniture and other home items before making a purchase, high-quality online shopping experiences are becoming more and more essential. According to a recent eMarketer report, e-Commerce sales of “furniture and home furnishings” increased by 14.7%, 15.6% and 16.4% in 2015, 2016 and 2017, respectively. With this fact in mind, there are three goals that home retailers should pursue to ensure…

Interacting With In-Store Technology Boosts Brand Confidence For 46% Of Shoppers

Technology has made brick-and-mortar retail more convenient than ever, but it can also be a point of friction for shoppers: more than 80% of consumers have encountered technical issues at stores and restaurants, and 60% have had multiple encounters with technical problems, according to The Digital Forward Customer Experience report by Boomtown. However, the advantages of tech outweigh the downsides, and even pure play e-Commerce retailers are embracing an omnichannel approach.

Want To Reinvent The Customer Experience? Start With Assortment Planning

Every retailer knows that if it wants to be successful and profitable, it must strategically align its product selection to meet customer needs. Creating compelling, curated collections requires more capable assortment planning. However, assortment planning can be a major pain point for retailers, due to the number of people involved and the complexity of the details required to be effective. Traditionally, the process includes a slew of meetings, the never-ending consolidation of spreadsheets, and cobbling together information from dozens of systems to get it all done. Retailers are perpetually racing against the clock, yet at the end still often find themselves saying, “We could have done this a lot better, but we ran out of time...”

Exclusive Q&A: Which Retail Jobs Are Safe From A Robot Takeover?

Retail, hospitality and other service-oriented industries have been seen as relatively immune to the job-killing effects of robotics, automation and AI. But as these technologies grow more sophisticated, retail’s resistance is weakening. Futurist Martin Ford, author of Rise Of The Robots: Technology And The Threat Of A Jobless Future, notes that robots are already reducing (or eliminating) the number of humans needed to do many jobs, including: • Warehouse work;• Checking in-store inventory;• Providing customer service; and• Staffing points of sale. In an exclusive interview with Retail TouchPoints, Ford identifies the advances in robotics and AI that are accelerating the fastest. He also identifies a selection of job categories that are safe from the march of automation — at least for now.
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