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.

RTP Unveils 2015 E-Commerce Outlook Guide

Shadow RTP RT0063 GD E-Commerce-Outlook Sep 2015 FINALIn its annual Outlook Guide, Retail TouchPoints asks top retail industry experts and analysts to share their predictions for the year ahead.

The retail industry is changing so rapidly, with new trends and technologies constantly emerging. As a result, we have decided to develop a dedicated Outlook Guide specifically for e-Commerce.

In the 2015 E-Commerce Outlook Guide, some of the top thought leaders in the space share insights into how they think the e-Commerce realm will continue to evolve through the end of 2015 and beyond. Additionally, executives from some of the most cutting-edge brands discuss how their businesses are embracing digital tools and tactics to innovate and better reach customers.


Pop-Up Stores Become More Than Just A Trend

The pop-up store has become a go-to marketing strategy for retailers looking to extend the brand and introduce new products. The pop-up industry has grown to approximately $10 billion in sales, according to PopUp Republic.

Pop-up shops are being developed in a variety of shapes and sizes, as well as locations. They can be found in a traditional brick-and-mortar store — as a store-within-a-store — as a standalone kiosk or even via a motorized vehicle, taking the lead from the food truck craze.


Has Social Commerce Reached A Tipping Point?

shadow RTP RT050 SURV Social Commerce Jul 2015For nearly a decade, retailers have been trying to crack the social code. During the first few years, it all seemed so simple: more Facebook “likes” equaled more engaged customers.

However, merchants soon realized that Facebook “likes” didn’t always lead to customer love and loyalty, and the number of Twitter followers didn’t necessarily improve bottom-line results. Evidently back to square one, the retail industry has spent the last few years trying to determine how content can engage shoppers and drive them to e-Commerce sites as well as brick-and-mortar stores.


Progressive Retailers Tailor Customer Loyalty Programs To All Channels, Individuals

Shadow RTP RT060 SR OmnichannelLoyalty July 2015Traditionally, customer loyalty programs have been the backbone for retailers striving to attract new customers and boost retention rates. While consumers continue to join programs and pack more loyalty cards into their wallets (both physical and virtual), they now crave an experience that extends across channels and devices, and is more relevant to their unique wants and needs.


Embracing Content And Community To Drive Social Sales

In the U.S., 180 million consumers use social media, according to eMarketer. By the end of 2016, that number will grow to 185.4 million.

Even with a large, thriving and engaged community at their disposal, retailers have struggled to crack the social code. Back in 2011, retailers thought Facebook storefronts would be the solution to their social woes. After many retailers quickly started and stopped Facebook initiatives, the industry as a whole was back to square one.

But today, the retail industry is witnessing a social media revival. New tools, tactics and consumer behaviors are driving a new era of social selling where content, feedback and community create tangible results for retailers across verticals.


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%.


#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.


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.”


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.


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.


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 While mobile and social advertising have undoubtedly come into focus, email remains at the core of successful digital acquisition, retention and loyalty strategies.


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.


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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