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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.

Philanthropy, Local Connections Create Event Marketing Success For Kendra Scott

Experiential retail has become a popular buzzword in the industry, as retailers seek to deliver memorable experiences in stores, both to build relationships with customers and grow sales. For brands like jewelry retailer Kendra Scott, there’s no better way to do that than with in-store events. At each of its 94 stores, the brand hosts 12 to 20 events per month. During a pre-NRF 2019 event hosted by the jewelry brand alongside event marketing solution provider Splash, Kendra Scott Director of Retail Marketing Amy Young sat down for a fireside chat with Splash Co-Founder and CEO Ben Hindman to discuss the brand’s unique event strategies and what drives their success. Q: How do you leverage events as part of Kendra Scott’s go-to-market strategy? Amy Young: Events are a huge revenue driver for us. We task our stores with hosting an insane number of events on a weekly basis, and a lot of times we have our influencer events, local media events and shopping parties. We have what we call Kendra Gives Back (KGB), which is where we tap into the local community — local charities and local causes — and host events where a percentage of proceeds from that event…

How Can Retailers Turn Disgruntled Customers Into Happy Ones?

Retailers have tried for decades to improve customer satisfaction, yet recent Customer Rage surveys indicate that complaint satisfaction is lower today than it was in the late 1970s. Reasons such as the explosion of social networks mean that every unhappy customer reaches an average of 280 others every time they post on social media. Retailers have invested in technology and staff training, yet clearly we need to try harder if we are to convert these customers into loyal ones who recommend rather than criticize our products or services. As noted by the MIT Sloan Management Review, businesses should be encouraging customers to complain, and they should be ready and willing to resolve complaints before word-of-mouth criticism does significant damage.

NRF2019: How STORY, B8ta And Marxent Fortify Macy’s Experiential Arsenal

Macy’s had an eventful 2018 as it sought to transform its customer experience across all channels, acquiring New York City concept shop STORY, investing in b8ta, which labels itself as a “retail-as-a-service” concept and even deploying in-store VR experiences with Marxent. At the NRF Big Show, CEO Macy’s Jeff Gennette let the companies’ CEOs reveal how each enterprise is encouraging experiential retail at every touch point. The panel included: b8ta CEO Vibhu Norby; STORY CEO Rachel Shechtman; and Marxent CEO Beck Besecker.

NRF19: 36% Of Shoppers Want Better Personalization, But Hesitate To Share Personal Info

Personalization will continue to be a hot-button investment item for retailers in 2019, but they will have to struggle with consumers’ cognitive dissonance to implement it effectively, according to Sucharita Kodali, VP and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research. Kodali spoke during the State of Retail Innovation 2019 session on Sunday, Jan. 13 at the NRF Big Show. Up to 36% of shoppers say retailers need to do more to offer more personalized experiences, with this percentage reaching 43% for households that earn more than $100,000 annually, according to data from Forrester Research. Yet despite the evident desire for personalization, shoppers are still hesitant to share the personal information that can steer retailers in the right direction, and are overall distrustful of the concept.

Macy’s And Kohl’s Disappoint During Holiday, But Target Finishes Strong

Department stores came into the holiday season with high hopes, particularly as initial online Thanksgiving weekend numbers indicated that sales would be plentiful. However, recent holiday sales reports from Macy’s and Kohl’s reveal that though their expectations were great, the reality was anything but. However, one major retailer, Target, actually surpassed expectations. Macy’s saw shares drop as much as 19% on Jan. 10, after the retailer unveiled November-to-December same-store sales only increased 1.1%, with a lull occurring in the mid-December period. CEO Jeff Gennette said holiday sales disappointed in sportswear, sleepwear, jewelry and cosmetics, and Macy’s now expects no net sales growth for fiscal 2018, scaling back initial projections of 0.3% to 0.7% growth. The company also dialed back its earnings per share range, from $4.10 to $4.30 to $3.95 to $4.00.

CES 2019: Chinese Retailers JD.com, Suning Give New Meaning To ‘Smart’ Retail

With more than 180,000 attendees, 4,500 exhibitors and 3,000 product launches, CES (formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show) brings out the best technology retailers can look forward to experimenting with in the coming year. But this year, two China-based retailers stood out for their innovations displayed throughout the event.…
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Kroger Pilots Two ‘Connected’ Stores With Microsoft Partnership

In its latest push to drive forward its Restock Kroger initiative, the retailer is partnering with Microsoft to pilot a connected store experience and jointly market a commercial retail-as-a-service (RaaS) offering to other retailers. The two pilot stores are located in Kroger’s home city, Cincinnati, Ohio, and the Redmond, Wash. headquarters of Microsoft. Results of the pilot will guide expansion plans in 2019 and beyond, according to a joint statement. To provide a guided, personalized shopping experience, the stores will leverage the Microsoft Azure cloud technology and connected IoT sensors to bridge Kroger’s proprietary EDGE (Enhanced Display for Grocery Environment) shelf-edge screen technology with its Scan, Bag, Go mobile checkout feature. Customers using Kroger’s self-checkout app will be guided through the store to items on their shopping list, and will encounter personalized icons on digital shelves that are below the next relevant product on their list.

Hannaford Tests Smart Shelves At Redesigned Concept Store

Hannaford has launched a tech-focused pilot store in Portland, Maine, featuring digital shelves that promote certain product categories and make shopping more convenient, according to Central Maine. The 181-store supermarket retailer wants to see whether the solutions will lead to increased sales and a better customer experience before rolling out the concept at other locations.

JOANN Unveils 3D Laser Tech For In-Store Product Customization

JOANN is rolling out 3D laser printer/cutter technology in select stores as part of its investment in 3D printing startup Glowforge. Terms of the investment were not disclosed. The fabric and crafts retailer currently offers 3D laser cutting and engraving in the JOANN Custom Shop in the Natick Mall outside of Boston; the in-mall kiosk offers custom framing in addition to laser cutting and engraving.

Podcast: Are Retailers Finally Getting Holiday Experience Right?

The 2018 holiday season has unearthed a number of new trends and has reaffirmed the importance of others. But how will these new rules and realities impact retailers’ plans for 2019? Bryan Gildenberg, Chief Knowledge Officer of Kantar Consulting, provides his commentary on what’s happened during the holiday season and how retailers can take these developments to create better experiences in 2019.

57% Of Shoppers Abandon Customer Feedback Surveys Because They’re Too Long

Retailers always need to properly analyze customer feedback if they want to evolve their business to meet shopper needs. But when collecting that feedback, they better make it quick for the shopper. As many as 44% percent of shoppers have abandoned a customer feedback survey without completing it, with 57% of those citing length as the primary reason for doing so, according to a survey from Medallia. Beyond the length of the survey, these characteristics have caused consumers to abandon customer feedback surveys: Too personal/asked for sensitive information (23%); No resolution (22%); Too impersonal/generic (20%); Unclear purpose (20%); Not mobile friendly (14%); and Survey fatigue (14%).

Exclusive Q&A: How Farmstead Leverages AI To Deliver Fresh Local Groceries In One Hour Or Less

Online grocery is a market that’s flooded with both traditional grocers and young startups, but all share a common challenge: figuring out how to control delivery costs, delivery times and (perhaps most important to the consumer) freshness of food. Founded in 2016, San Francisco-based Farmstead sought to solve these problems by accurately predicting supply and demand of locally-sourced goods. Leveraging proprietary machine learning, inventory and logistics platforms, Farmstead guarantees delivery within 60 minutes throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Shoppers pay a $4.99 fee for one-hour delivery, and $3.99 for three-hour delivery.

Accenture Study: 47% Of Consumers Will Leave Brands That Lack A Purpose

Consumers around the world are expressing a strong preference for brands with a purpose (that is, beyond selling products and making money). Commitments to environmental sustainability, treating their own employees well, ethical sourcing, and an active charity profile have moved up dramatically in shoppers’ decision calculus, according to a new survey of nearly 30,000 consumers from Accenture Strategy. Nearly two thirds (63%) of respondents prefer to buy goods from companies that stand for a shared purpose that reflects their personal values and beliefs. Having a purpose is much more than just a nice-to-have bonus, however. Brands that don’t have (or don’t communicate) a higher purpose run a significant risk of customer defection.

Getting Physical: Three Tips For Bridging Online And Offline Experiences In The New Year

Recently Wayfair and Casper joined the likes of fellow e-Commerce brands Amazon, Everlane, Glossier and many others that are all experimenting with, or opening permanent, brick-and-mortar stores. However, with many traditional retail stores closing shop in the last year, it's even more imperative to integrate offline and online channels to provide a consistent experience across all touch points. These digitally-born businesses are in a battle with Amazon to retain customers by offering a great in-store experience at a reasonable cost, all while avoiding the mishaps Build-a-Bear and others recently encountered. In fact, while 87% of consumers say they expect an omnichannel experience, only 7% of retailers actually provide the ability to shop seamlessly across all channels.
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