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Special Reports

Retail TouchPoints Special Reports provide a comprehensive, detailed look at a specific industry trend or topic. Each article features industry insights, statistics, expert quotes and case study examples. Topics include Omnichannel Customer Service, Social Media, Retail Payment, Next-Gen Technologies and much more.

Economic Optimism Sets The Stage For A Profitable Holiday Season

shadow RTP RT057 GD Holiday Guide June 2015As we move further and further away from the 2008 recession, retailers can be confidently optimistic in their overall outlook for the 2015 holiday season.

Confirming this optimism, the National Retail Federation (NRF) predicted a boost in sales growth for 2015 over 2014. Retail industry sales will increase approximately 4.1% in 2015, up from 3.5% growth in 2014, according to NRF in its February 2015 economic forecast report. That boost would be the biggest annual growth since 2011, when retail sales for the year increased 5.1%. Additionally, NRF predicts non-store sales will grow between 7% and 10%.

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#RIC15 Brings Innovation And Disruption To The Forefront

supp RTP RT058 SR RIA Recap June 2015We’re in the midst of a retail revolution. Shoppers today have access to a wealth of tools and information that empower them to make the best buying decisions. As a result, retailers are focused on creating experiences that educate and engage consumers, and also help them differentiate from competitors. 

More than 120 retail executives converged to discuss the latest trends and technologies disrupting the overall industry during Retail TouchPoints’ inaugural Retail Innovation Conference (#RIC15), which was held June 16-17, 2015 in New York City.

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Improving Customer Experiences And Business Processes With IoT

Devices are becoming more intelligent and interconnected, creating a thriving network of data and technology. Often called the Internet of Things (IoT), this phenomenon speaks to the fact that people — and businesses — are becoming more digitally empowered. 

And as the years pass, this network is poised to become more complex. Cisco predicts that there will be more than 50 billion connected devices by 2020. While the definition of IoT typically encompasses technology, Cisco also spotlights the Internet of Everything (IoE), which it defines as “the orchestration of people, process, data and things to unlock new business value.”

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Video Marketing Inches Retailers Closer To Creating Unified Brand Experiences

Shadow RTP RT050 SR VideoMarketing May 2015While content is helping retailers attract and engage online shoppers, video is helping to create a truly immersive brand experience that drives bottom-line results.

Online shoppers who view videos during their browsing and researching processes are 1.6 times more likely to buy than shoppers who do not view videos, according to the 2014 Invodo Video Commerce Benchmarks Report. Additionally, 80% of consumers say that a video showing how a product or service works is important when learning about a company, according to the 2015 Animoto Online and Mobile Video Study.With that in mind, it is clear that the visual medium has an enduring effect on customer decision-making.

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Aligning Email With The Omnichannel Customer Journey

The top goal for any email marketer is to capture consumers’ attention and incent them to click to the e-Commerce site or visit a store. Tried-and-true tactics, such as offering discounts, sales and offers, have helped them achieve this.

Up to 45% of consumers say they’re more likely to open and read an email if the subject line mentions a discount or special offer, according research firm L2. So it’s easy to see why retailers have stayed in a discounting frame of mind.

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How To Win Attention And Dollars Through The Email Inbox

FEAT EmailMarketing imageWe’re living in a more connected and technology-powered world. It is no surprise, then, that brands and retailers are increasing spend on digital marketing tactics and campaigns.

In fact, 38% of marketers plan to shift spending from traditional advertising to ads on digital channels, according to the 2015 State Of Marketing Survey from Salesforce.com. While mobile and social advertising have undoubtedly come into focus, email remains at the core of successful digital acquisition, retention and loyalty strategies.

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Mobile Wallets Grab The Payment Spotlight

shadow RTP RT054 SR Payment Apr 2015Cyber criminals want your customers' payment information, and the retailers that do not adequately protect customer data are at risk for long-term damage. For example, more than half (54%) of U.S. consumers said they would never, or would be very unlikely to, purchase from a retailer that had experienced a data breach where financial data was stolen, according to research from SafeNet.

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Increasing Security To Combat Data Breaches

For as long as customers have paid for goods and services, criminals have attempted to get their hands on shoppers' hard-earned money. As payment methods evolved from simple cash exchanges to credit and debit payments, the tactics criminals employed became more sophisticated.

These days, shoppers and retail brands need to worry less about physical robberies and more about cybercrime. Instead of armed robberies, today's crooks use digital blunt force attacks, point-of-sale (POS) attacks and card skimming techniques to pull sensitive data that can include customer credit or debit card numbers.

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Retailers Close The Personalization Gap With Content Campaigns

If retailers want to capture the attention of savvy consumers, they need to provide personalized experiences across channels. However, providing these experiences remains a key challenge for businesses of all sizes and across categories.

For the most part, retailers understand the role of personalization in the buying process. In fact, as many as 83% of retail marketers think they do a satisfactory job in personalizing experiences for consumers, according to research from Adobe. Customers do not necessarily agree, and there is a wide personalization gap between both sides. In fact, the same survey indicates that only 29% of consumers feel retailers effectively offer them personalized content or offers.

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Retailers Embrace Personalization To Ramp Up Content Investments

As shoppers become more empowered and educated, retailers are tasked with the challenge of ensuring each consumer has a satisfying and memorable experience. Today's consumers have different shopping goals and preferences, and they now expect their browsing and buying journeys to align directly with their wants and needs.

To meet and exceed the expectations of choosy consumers, best-in-class retailers aim to display content that personalizes the shopping experience and helps build long-term relationships with shoppers. After all, 71% of retail consumers report that they like receiving personalized offers as they shop, according to the Adobe Retail Personalization Survey.

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Delivering Innovation Through Better Change Management

New technologies and shopping options have empowered consumers, who now expect immersive experiences that align with their personal needs. To meet these expectations, best-in-class retailers are restructuring their organizations to support collaboration and innovation across departments.

To succeed in adopting new technologies and strategies, retailers must embrace effective change management. The ability to evolve with speed and agility is now a top priority. But this has proven difficult for some retailers.

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13 Retailers Recognized As Social Media Mavens

shadow RTP RT053 AWD SocialMediaMavenAwards Mar 2015Nearly a decade ago, social media was a small fraction of retailers’ marketing mix. Most of the time, businesses were focused on building up their social profiles and pushing out messages and coupons to their followers.

But now, the rules of social engagement have changed: Best-in-class retailers understand that ongoing communication, information sharing and engagement drive successful social initiatives.

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Industry Players Converge To Improve Associate Engagement

Retailers rely on in-store employees to represent their brands, engage with consumers and, of course, sell merchandise. Potentially more than any industry in the global economy, retail hinges significantly on workforce management optimization to acquire, retain and engage employees.

But the reality is: all organizations are fighting a daunting engagement problem.

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Reimagining Customer Service Operations

Shadow RTP RT049 SR Omnichannel Service Feb 2015Consumers have a variety of information sources at their disposal, and technology is empowering them to connect with brands and retailers at any point during their browsing and buying journeys.

The increasing variety of service channels available undoubtedly provides shoppers with more ways to interact with brand representatives. But for the most part, quantity does not equal quality: Just 5% said companies exceed their expectations, according to the 2014 Global Customer Service Barometer from American Express. 

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