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Social means so much more than a Facebook page or a Tweet these days. Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest — to name a few — are making their mark on the retail marketplace. But are they short-term trends or do they have the staying power to become long-term solutions? What are the best approaches for retailers? What does the future hold? These and other key questions are asked and answered in this section.

Influencer Marketing Playbook: Micro Influencers, Multi-Tier Campaigns & New Instagram Features

In September 2017, super influencer Arielle Charnas of Something Navy was said to rack up more than $1 million in sales for Nordstrom in less than 24 hours with her debut clothing collection, Something Navy x Treasure Bond. This is just one example of the incredible impact that influencer marketing can wield for retailers and brands.  Research on influencer marketing demonstrates its value for creating awareness, increasing brand value and boosting sales. Results from the 2017 State of Influencer Marketing report by Launchmetrics revealed:  88% of influencer marketing tactics were effective at raising awareness about the company or its products;  65% claimed that it was effective for increasing customer loyalty; and 53% claimed that it was effective at driving sales.  This feature hits on the latest trends, best practices and case studies in influencer marketing, including:  The value of micro influencers;  The benefits of a multi-tier, long-term influencer strategy; New Instagram features gaining momentum among influencers; and Case studies from international retailers such as Bodyguard Apotheke, Feelunique and Matsuya. “Brands are starting to experiment a little more with influencer marketing itself,” said Michael Froggatt, Director of Intelligence at Gartner L2 in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. They are making these moves in part…

Shoptalk 2018 Secures Its Spot As A Must-Attend Retail Event

The impressive marketing and branding efforts have catapulted Shoptalk to the top of the events-on-your-radar list for retailers and brands, but the 2018 speaker lineup and massive 1:1 meeting setup has cemented the conference as one of the top “big” retail events-to-attend. As press attendees, it honestly was difficult to decide which sessions to cover and which meetings to schedule. Here’s a wrap-up of our key takeaways, in addition to the Quick Quotes article we shared last week:

Adidas, Glossier Take Mobile Marketing To New Heights With Personalization, Shoppable Video

As if further proof of the importance of a mobile-first strategy was needed, holiday 2017 demonstrated the influence of mobile as both a shopping and customer engagement channel. On Black Friday 2017, mobile generated 54.3% of visits and 36.9% of revenue, while mobile accounted for 37% of orders and 56% of visits on Cyber Monday, according to Adobe Digital Insights. These figures are fairly convincing arguments for the case that today’s digitally savvy consumers now rely on the small screen as a critically important stop in their shopping journeys.

Zulily Pampers Millennial Pet Parents, Sees Sales Soar 33%

Millennials own more than one-third of pets (35%) in the U.S., more than any other generation, and they are leading the “humanization of pets” trend, according to the American Pet Products Association. In a recent survey, e-retailer zulily found that Millennial pet owners view their pets more like their children than previous generations, and almost all of them (92%) purchase gifts such as toys, clothing and treats for pets. More than half of Millennial men (55%) purchase gifts for their pets once a month or more, as do 47% of women. Millennials who buy their pets gifts on a monthly basis do so four times a month on average.

Salesforce Offers Customizable Communities For Creative Teams

Salesforce has implemented more advanced features into Community Cloud that are designed to simplify a brand’s ability to create online communities. The system’s Lightning Community Builder features a drag-and-drop WYSIWYG interface designed for “no-code development” that can be performed without the assistance of the IT department or trained developers. Once created, users can view the online community in real time with live previews.

NRF 2018: Retail Personalization Reaches A Crossroads

The National Retail Federation Big Show jammed the Javits Center with people, technology and excitement from January 14 to 16, and Retail TouchPoints was there in force. In addition to conducting video interviews, our team of editors met with retailers, analysts and solution providers to get a line on the biggest trends that will be shaping retail in 2018. Visit the #NRF2018 hub for our complete coverage.

Manhattan Associates Launches Customer Engagement Solution With Social Listening

  • Published in News Briefs
Manhattan Associates, Inc. has unveiled a new Customer Engagement solution designed to deliver personalized shopping experiences. Part of the Manhattan Active Omni platform, the product is designed to connect customer conversations on social media with real-time order information, to give associates a full picture of each customer’s buying journey.
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Exclusive CDO Q&A: The 24/7 Innovation Culture At 7-Eleven

While “innovation” may not the first word that comes to mind when you think about a convenience store, it’s always top of mind at 7-Eleven. In fact, Chief Digital Officer Gurmeet Singh believes that a retailer with the size and scope of 7-Eleven needs to be at the forefront of innovation, particularly when it comes to the customer experience. The C-store behemoth serves a lot of customers: 55 million per day at its 63,000 stores around the world, totaling 20 billion transactions per year. In this exclusive interview with Retail TouchPoints, Singh, the company’s first Chief Digital Officer who also recently added Senior Vice President, Chief Information Officer to his title, provides insights into the company’s culture of innovation, including:

StitcherAds Integrates POS Data With Facebook Offline API

StitcherAds, a global Facebook and Instagram Marketing Partner, has unveiled a new feature to its unified commerce solution that integrates retail POS data with Facebook’s offline API and new ad formats for driving in-store purchases. The new feature is designed to give retail marketers access to accurate, identity-based data on how Facebook and Instagram ads impact in-store revenue, allowing them to target offline purchases online.

Are Amazon’s Calvin Klein Exclusives Good For The Brands?

Calvin Klein is offering Amazon customers exclusive styles in the two CALVIN KLEIN X Amazon Fashion pop-up stores, as well as online at Amazon.com/mycalvins. The stores, open until Dec. 31, also are showcasing the latest Amazon technologies, including: • Fitting rooms with Amazon Echo devices, allowing shoppers to ask Alexa questions about Calvin Klein products and control the lighting and music;• Content creation stations to encourage shoppers to create shareable media clips; and• Lounges with video calling to connect the bi-coastal stores in New York City’s SoHo and Santa Monica, Calif.

Amazon-Calvin Klein Pop-Ups Showcase Fashion Using Technology

A pair of holiday pop-up shops, located in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood and Santa Monica, Calif., are linking experiential retail to fashion using innovative technologies. The CALVIN KLEIN X Amazon Fashion shops, open until Dec. 31, 2017, offer: • Fitting rooms containing Amazon Echo devices, allowing shoppers to ask Alexa questions about the Calvin Klein products and experience, control lighting features, and play their choice of music;• Content creation stations that encourage shoppers to create unique, shareable media clips;• Lounge areas allowing video calling to connect the bi-coastal shops via Amazon Echo Show; and• Customization stations where shoppers can personalize Calvin Klein underwear purchases with embroidery.

46% Of Shoppers Have ‘Called Out’ Brands On Social Media

  • Published in Social
Social media has raised the stakes of retail customer service: 81% of shoppers say social media has increased accountability for brands, and only 8% would stay silent if they saw inappropriate behavior from a brand, according to Sprout Social. As many as 46% of consumers have used social to "call out" brands. Naturally, Millennials are leading the pack here — there’s a 43% greater likelihood that Millennials will call out a brand on social, compared to other generations.

Shopify Rolls Out Instagram Shopping Ahead Of Holiday Season

  • Published in News Briefs
Shopify has unveiled a “Shopping on Instagram” capability to select merchants leading up the holiday season. In this rollout, participants will be able to tag product posts within Instagram to showcase them to the social platform’s 800+ million monthly active users. Retailers have sought to optimize social selling tactics for…
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