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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.

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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Retail Events: Navigating The Speed Of Risk

For retailers, the story is usually one of the same: surviving the busy season. With increased customer demand, staffing requirements and dependencies on supply chains, the busy season has long stood as the greatest risk facing retailers. But today’s market is showing an increase shift when it comes to risk. As retail has emerged as an “always on” industry, savvy retailers are noticing that risks aren’t just coming from their busy season, but are instead present in everyday retail events. From weather-related supply chain issues to food-borne illnesses, theft and even security breaches, today’s retail environment is fraught with everyday risks.

Millennials Tap Video Chat, Messaging Apps And Social Media On Shopper Journeys

Retailers must understand how the buyer journey is being re-routed if they want to build long-term relationships with their most connected shoppers. A new survey indicates that Millennials are much more likely than baby boomers to use the following channels to buy products online: Video chat (3.1X more than boomers); Messaging apps (2.7X); and Social media (2.4X).

Innovators Point The Way To The Store Of The Future

The so-called “retail apocalypse” may have been debunked, but there’s still no question that the industry is in the midst of profound change. Retailers aren’t just looking for ways to tweak the shopping experience; many seek to reimagine every aspect of how they will interact with consumers. Pano Anthos, Founder and Managing Director, XRC Labs, brings a perspective that is both future-oriented and grounded in today’s retailing requirements. He has identified five key themes that are reshaping store-based retail:

Lowe’s Seeks Macro Impact With Instagram ‘Microvideos’

Lowe’s launched an Instagram Stories campaign showing DIYers how to redecorate a vertical room through the confines of a mobile-friendly, full-screen video. On Sept. 7, the retailer unveiled the first “story” of the campaign, which includes 64 microvideos that total a combined 35 seconds. Lowe’s partnered with the ad agency BBDO New York to create the Instagram campaign. The campaign was born out of the annual Facebook Creative Hackathon, and is designed to take an engaging, light-hearted approach to project videos, while showing how consumers can quickly change a small space into a more functional area.
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