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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.

Progressive Retailers Differentiate With Content Marketing

shadow RTP RT034 SR ContentandCommerce Oct 2014 1With more competition throughout the industry than ever before, retailers are identifying new opportunities to stand out from the crowd by turning to content marketing.

While content marketing is a practice that has primarily been used in the B2B space, merchants now see the e-Commerce site, social media and branded publications as outlets to provide consumers with compelling information that may lead to a purchase.

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New Retail Roles Focus On Innovation, Transformation

Shadow RTP RT033 SURV ChangingRoles FinalNew retail roles are popping up across industry segments, designed to help organization improve the customer relationship through a focus on transformation, innovation and omnichannel.

The most-tapped new retail title is Chief Customer Officer, chosen by 14% of retailers responding to a recent survey conducted by Retail TouchPoints. The Changing Roles In Retail survey also found that an equal number of retail organizations (11%) are implementing titles featuring the terms Strategy, Transformation and Innovation.

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Leveraging VoC Into Advanced Customer Experience Management

shadow RTP RT032 FEAT Advocacy Sept 2014As many individuals, businesses and organizations have discovered, the Voice of the Customer (VoC) is coming through loud and clear today. Consumers have never had more platforms, or handier tools, for amplifying their delight — or their disgust — with products, services, campaigns and causes.

It’s essential that retailers tune in to these multiple “broadcasts.” Even more important is tying what they learn to specific actions, letting shoppers know that they are indeed being heard and heeded. The rewards from well-executed Social Customer Experience Management (CEM) are larger measures of loyalty from customers than ever before.

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Omnichannel Leaders Reaffirm The Value Of RFID

shadow RTP RT037 FEAT InventoryPt.2 Zebra Sept 2014Best-in-class retailers are generating long-term loyalty by providing shoppers with a variety of options to order and pick up products, or have items delivered to them. Whether retailers decide to implement buy online/pick up in-store, buy online/ return to store, buy in-store/ship to home or other strategies, it is imperative that they establish a 360-degree view of inventory availability.

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14 Retailers Win 2014 Store Operations Superstar Awards

shadow RTP RT025 AWD StoreOpSuperstars Aug 2014Successful store operations improve the customer experience and ultimately, the bottom line. But today’s store operators are constantly juggling numerous challenges, from managing mobile technology to motivating employees.

As competition continues to heat up, along with pressure to hold the line on expenses, store operations executives are faced with an uphill battle.

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Exclusive Survey: Keeping Up With The Next Generation Of Store Operations

Shadow RTP RT022 SURV StoreOps DESIGN FinalDespite the ongoing rise of e-Commerce and m-Commerce, the store still plays a critical role in consumers’ everyday lives.

To boost store performance, managers are tasked to create an exemplary customer experience. However, as consumer demands have heightened, managers’ to-do lists have evolved and expanded to include: Hiring and empowering employees; testing and rolling out new technology; and keeping tabs on omnichannel ordering and pickup operations.

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Retailers Take Control Of The Path To Purchase With New Technologies

The shopper journey can vary from consumer to consumer depending on multiple factors, including the first point of retailer contact, initial purchasing desires and point-of-purchase. Since consumers have so many options at their disposal, retailers need to think outside of the box in order to motivate a purchase.

Retailers such as Cole Haan, La-Z-Boy, Fred Meyer, Nordstrom and The Container Store have sought out and successfully implemented new technologies designed to successfully reach and engage customers during every facet of the shopper journey.

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Innovative Technologies Revolutionize The Shopper Journey

FEAT Technologies imageThe retail industry is undergoing a revolution, with groundbreaking technologies guiding both the consumer and the merchant throughout the customer journey. Whether the shopper is at home using a PC, searching for a product on a mobile device, walking nearby a store, or browsing the aisles in the store, retailers have access to a number of new technologies to enhance the experience at every touch point.

In 2014, retailers are tapping a variety of new technologies covered in this report:

  • Personalization solutions;
  • Wearable technology;
  • Visual search; and
  • Augmented reality.
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Back-To-School Spend Trends: Sales, Social Media And Starting Early

BTSgraphicAs the summer season nears the end, families will venture home from their vacations and head straight to the stores for their annual back-to-school shopping spree.

In 2014, families are expected to spend more on school supplies compared to last year. The average family with children in grades K-12 will spend $669.28 on apparel, shoes, supplies and electronics, up 5% from 2013, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).

The NRF 2014 Back-To-School Survey, which was conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, indicated that total spending for back-to-school and back-to-college shoppers will reach $74.9 billion this year.

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GameStop And Hard Rock Take Omnichannel Approach To Loyalty

Shadow RTP RT023 SR CustomerLoyalty Final

Today’s savvy consumers are demanding more relevant and seamless brand experiences.

Although discounting strategies, such as points programs, coupons and punch cards, may help acquire new customers, it takes far more to retain customers and turn them into loyal brand advocates. In fact, consumers today are seeking a healthy mix of personalized messages and offers, as well as VIP access to products and events.

Retailers across verticals, including GameStop, Hard Rock and Ace Hardware, are taking an omnichannel approach to their loyalty programs, and are offering a broader mix of incentives and unique experiences to not only acquire customers, but also engender long-term loyalty.

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Relationships, Not Rewards, Are Key To Successful Loyalty Programs

FEAT Customer Loyalty imageConsumers' overall engagement in traditional loyalty programs has declined consistently over the past four years and retailers are looking to refocus their loyalty initiatives to compete more effectively.

While total loyalty program subscriptions peaked at 2.65 billion in 2012, the overall percentage of active memberships slipped from 46% in 2010 to 44% in 2012, according to COLLOQUY research. The average U.S. household participates in 21.9 loyalty programs, but less than half, or only 9.5 of those memberships, are active, COLLOQUY reported.

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Top 10 Mid-Year Articles: Social, Mobile And Wearable Tech Are Hot Topics

FEAT Midyear imageThe retail industry is currently undergoing a transformation, as merchants leverage new channels to engage consumers, including mobile technology and social media. 

Mobile and social have empowered consumers to shop wherever and whenever they want, and provide real-time access to reviews, recommendations and information before completing a purchase. As a result, retailers are under more pressure to keep pace with the wants and needs of tech-savvy omnichannel consumers.

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Holiday Planning Heats Up As Summer Sets In

2014-holiday-outlook guide animatedThe retail industry is gearing up for another competitive holiday season in 2014, facing another compressed calendar and data breaches fresh on everyone’s minds.

To help kick off holiday planning as the summer heats up, Retail TouchPoints has compiled a 12-part Holiday Guide designed to provide insights and direction for all retailers. The guide includes comprehensive topic-specific articles, real-world retail examples, and insights from leading industry experts. It’s a must-read for merchants looking to construct successful holiday strategies.

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