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Executive ViewPoints

The retail industry is fortunate to include numerous executives with extensive experience — and they are willing to share their insights in the Retail TouchPoints ViewPoints section. These byline pieces focus on industry trends and do not include solution provider sales pitches. Many of the byline pieces receive the greatest number of clicks on the RTP site each year.

Mastering The Data-Driven Customer Experience

AVP TimeTrade ImageDelivering superior customer service has been a focus for retailers since the dawn of modern shopping. We’ve all heard the phrase, “the customer is always right,” an indicator of the importance retailers put on delivering an excellent shopping experience. After all, a happy customer means a loyal customer, which in turn, means more sales.

That said, what constitutes a great shopping experience has dramatically changed over the years. With the rise of e-Commerce, more and more consumers are researching their purchases at home before they ever visit a store. The ability to investigate and compare products from the comfort of your home — or even from a mobile device — minimizes time spent visiting stores and gives consumers the freedom to browse at their convenience.

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6 Steps To Getting Started As An Amazon Seller

AVP site only Appeagle headshotBecoming an Amazon seller comes with many factors to consider. Everything from how to sell, to what to sell, to where to sell — not to mention all the rules and regulations involved — can make the setup process intimidating for aspiring sellers. Not to worry! The following points are designed to make getting started easier.

1. Decide What Kind Of Seller You Will Be: One of your most crucial decisions will be whether or not you ship using Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA), Merchant Fulfilled Network (MFN), or both. The best way to decide which method will work most effectively for you is to carefully account for your needs and make sure you are choosing the most congruent method for your business.

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The Top 5 Obstacles To Omnichannel Retail Success

a VP site only Cayan
Omnichannel is the ultimate buzzword in retail today. And, like many buzzwords, it suffers from a halo of hype and a dearth of substance.

 What is it, again? A recent AdWeek article explains: “An omnichannel strategy is one that puts the customer in focus, drives engagement through personalization and provides a unified view of the ROI delivered.”

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The Merchant In The Machine

VP site only Predictix headshotThe retail trade has been around for thousands of years. For most of that time, local merchants brought in products to meet the needs and wants of their town’s population.

The face of retail has changed unrecognizably since those days, for better and worse.  Consumers have more choices than ever before, and a shopping experience their forebears would marvel at. But something precious has been lost in the process. With so many locations, so many options, and so many factors affecting consumer preferences and demand, today’s merchants are simply overwhelmed. Retailers all too often miss the mark, as evidenced by unacceptably high levels of out-of-stocks, markdowns, abandoned shopping carts and many other disconnects between retailers and their customers.

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The Parcel Shipping Issues Keeping You Awake At Night

VP BirdDog headshotParcel shippers are facing a triple whammy in price increases this year against the backdrop of heady market growth. Industry innovators like Amazon continue to change the playing field while consumers enjoy more power than ever in a buying cycle that now operates around-the-clock.  

What does all this mean for parcel shipping? Simply put, getting packages to your customers in 2015 is more challenging than ever. Following are some issues that may keep you awake at night, but also included are some ideas on mitigating the impact to help you experience a more peaceful slumber.

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4 Social Media Tips For Back-To-School Marketing Campaigns

VP site only HelloWorld headshotPicture this: It’s mid-June and eager students sit in a stuffy classroom, counting silently until the school bell rings. No sooner does the clock strike three, they bolt from their seats, through school doors and into the sweet release of summer vacation. But while students can put English, math and science on the back burner, brands are already plotting back-to-school campaigns.

For many marketers, planning full-scale campaigns begins in early spring, before school even lets out. For others, solutions aren’t so simple. After all, the first day of school varies by county and certain audiences, like college students, hit the books before others. In some situations, back-to-school may fall to the bottom of the priority list, causing brands to scramble to create impactful campaigns. So what’s a brand to do? For those with tight time restraints, there is an array of quick-to-market social campaigns capable of engaging audiences with modest lead time. Here are four of our favorites:

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The Internet Of Things: Driving Results In Retail With Connected Solutions

VP WincorNixdorf headshotDid you know we’ve been talking about the “Internet of Things” (IoT) since 1999? Talk of IoT creates a lot of buzz in our technology-driven world and while the possibilities seem exciting, too often the practical applications come across as vague or disconnected. So what does it all mean?

IoT is much more than connecting a network of “things”; it is an ecosystem of technologies working together. The value of IoT is created by connecting what can seem like unrelated devices, applications and data, to create a cognitive system where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

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Localizing Product Mix

VP site only Aparna Sundar head shotThe word “local” has been so overused in the business of retail that it has become nearly meaningless. It refers to a method of shopping, sourcing products and food, or unique, one-of-a-kind retailers. For the past decade, the retail industry has trended more and more local in the way it approaches its customers.

“Local food” choices and “shopping local” have become buzzwords pitched at consumers to encourage them to make environmentally healthful and economically sustainable choices when purchasing food or products from local purveyors and small businesses. But there is another form of “local” being embraced by large retailers outside the specialized niche of locally owned businesses: The localized product mix.

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8 Ways To Drive Traffic To Your Store Through Instagram

VP Bindo headshotInstagram has 300 million active users visiting the site each month, making it a valuable social network for brands and retailers.

If you’re new to Instagram, start with the basics: Create a username that closely matches your business. In cases where your name is already taken, get creative, but also don’t make yourself too hard to find. For example, we had to pivot a little with @shopBindo. Then, select a password that is easy to remember.

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3 Ways To Achieve 1-To-1 Customer Engagement Through Product Promotion

VP site only Unata headshotReady to improve your customer experience? It’s a surefire way to make your customers happy and help you sell more. Luckily, we’re going to show you three incredibly simple ways to achieve 1-to-1 customer engagement through product promotion. All of these use cases can be personalized to individual customers in a way that increases your customers’ satisfaction and their cart size.

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Three Omnichannel Trends Retailers Should Keep An Eye On

VP site only Eversight headshotFor years the industry watched, wondering how the rise in e-Commerce would impact traditional brick-and-mortar retailers. Would consumers still make the physical trip to the store when similar goods could be purchased at a click from the comfort of their homes? These days, consumer goods manufacturers and retailers in many industries know with relative certainty that the answer is yes. As of 2014, less than 2% of the $600 billion a year in groceries sales occurred online. Today, 75% of retail decisions were still made in store. Consumers clearly still value live, in-person retail experiences.      

To the contrary, the rise of omnichannel represents much more of an opportunity than a threat for brick-and-mortar retailers. Online enables traditional (primarily offline) retailers to reach, target, engage, and learn about their consumers in ways previously thought impossible — cost-effectively and at scale. In particular, the rise of digital is underpinning three key trends in retail: online coupons, digital offer testing, and context-aware promotions.

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