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Omnichannel / Cross-Channel Strategies

Cross-Channel Strategies offers readers an inside look at the successful cross-channel promotions, campaigns and programs employed by industry leaders. Retailers across industry segments and regions are adopting unique and innovative approaches to reaching today’s cross-channel consumers. Subscribe to the feed and stay in touch with the latest retail happenings.

Amazon And The NYC MTA Roll Out Interactive Subway Kiosks

Amazon and the NYC Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) are striving to make holiday shopping easier for commuters by rolling out digital kiosks in subway stations.

The “On the Go” kiosks, built by Control Group, will present commuters with interactive digital ads featuring curated products from the Amazon Consumer Electronics Holiday Gift Guide. Brands featured in the guide include Belkin, Bose, Intel, Microsoft, Samsung, SONOS, and Sony. Relevant content and tips from the MTA also will be delivered via the kiosks.

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Hhgregg Survey: Millennials Plan To Finish Most Holiday Shopping Thanksgiving Weekend

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Appliance, electronics and furniture retailer hhgregg has commissioned a survey of 3,500 consumers to better understand key shopping patterns and habits for the 2014 holiday season. The survey, including insights from 3,500 respondents, was conducted by Edelman Berland in November 2014.

Results indicated that Millennials are more likely to visit stores on Black Friday than Boomers (63% vs. 40%). In fact, Millennials plan to finish 65% of their holiday shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

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CVS Health Accelerates Innovation With New Lab In Boston

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By establishing in-house innovation labs, retailers like Nordstrom, Walmart and Zappos are focusing on testing new tools, technologies business concepts. 

CVS Health is the latest retailer to join the innovation lab fray. This week, the retailer signed a lease to open a new Digital Innovation Lab on Huntington Ave. in Boston, Mass. The 15,130-square-feet location will serve as a hub for the CVS Health Digital team, which will remain headquartered in Woonsocket, R.I. Recently, CVS Health also opened a new Digital Experience Center at the company’s headquarters, and is actively recruiting new talent for both locations.

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Keeping An Eye On Returns This Holiday Season

Kevon Hill head shotFrom free shipping promotions to hiring an army of seasonal employees, it seems like every day a retailer announces a new competitive initiative to guarantee a painless holiday shopping experience — hoping that customers come back long after the tree has come down. But for e-Commerce, now more than ever, it’s not only how the holiday rush is handled, but also what happens after the gifts are opened, that most resonates with shoppers and moves the needle in establishing customer loyalty year-round.

Yes, I’m talking about returns and I’m making the case that investing in returns throughout the holidays and beyond is investing in long-term customer loyalty. No business likes putting money back in the hands of its customers, but simplifying the return of an unwanted, over-sized cat sweater is an indirect yet impactful way to promote customer loyalty.

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Why I Can’t Stop Thinking About Rebecca Minkoff’s Connected Store

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I can’t seem to contain my excitement after seeing the new Rebecca Minkoff flagship in SoHo, New York City yesterday. 

For those of you who or are unfamiliar with the New York City area, Greene Street — where the Rebecca Minkoff store is located — is basically the Mecca of fashion. Luxury names, such as Jill Stuart, Jack Spade, Tiffany & Co. and Stella McCartney are dispersed along the block. Startup darlings, including Warby Parker and Piperlime also have flagships nearby. 

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Rebecca Minkoff Unveils Connected Store Of The Future

Flagship stores have become fertile testing grounds for brands and retailers eager to create more seamless and enjoyable shopping experiences. 

Rebecca Minkoff is the latest designer to unveil her omnichannel vision through a partnership with eBay Inc. The new connected store in SoHo, New York City, has a thriving ecosystem consisting  of a large touchscreen display, RFID tags, interactive fitting rooms and mobile apps.

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American Express OPEN And Etsy Partner On Small Business Saturday Campaign

More than two thirds (68%) of consumers plan to shop local during the holiday season to support their local economy and find more unique gifts, according to Deloitte research.

American Express OPEN and Etsy are collaborating to connect these shoppers to small, independent brands and retailers on Small Business Saturday, which is taking place on Nov. 29. Together, the companies will encourage boutiques to support local Etsy sellers by hosting a series of trunk shows.

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Smashburger Hires Chief Marketing Officer

johnkerncmo-smashburger1National fast food chain Smashburger has appointed a new Chief Marketing Officer to drive the strategic direction of the brand. In his position, Josh Kern will lead the marketing team and support the company’s planned growth across the U.S. 

Prior to joining Smashburger, Kern was CMO of Consumer Capital Partners, which owns the Smashburger chain. In that position, he helped launch and maintain the marketing strategy for the entire umbrella of Consumer Capital Partners brands, which includes Live Basil Pizza and Tom's Urban. During his career, Kern also served as Executive Vice President of Commercial Sales for The Comex Group, and Vice President of Marketing at American Blue Ribbon Holdings, formerly Vicorp Restaurants. Earlier in his career, he acted as Vice President of Marketing at Quiznos where he drove decision-making in marketing, positioning, strategy and communications.

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Putting Mobile At The Center Of The Omnichannel Journey

FEAT Mobile imageFollowing is Part 1 of the feature, titled: Mobile Technology: From The Kitchen Table To The POS, which will outline the role mobile plays in the customer experience, from initial browsing and product comparison, to shopper engagement and eventually, conversion.

It is apparent that mobile is playing a more central role in the browsing and buying journey, and consumers see their smartphones and tablets as their personal shopping companions, whether they’re at home or in a physical store.

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Most “Empty-Nesters” Consult The Web, Browse And Buy Via Mobile

RR InfluenceCentral ImageAs many as 82% of “Empty-Nester Boomers” spend more time browsing for products online than in-store, according to a report from Influence Central and Vibrant Nation. Empty-Nester Boomers are characterized as shoppers born between the years 1946 and 1964 who do not have children living at home.

The Influence Central Consumer Insights Group conducted, programmed and analyzed the report, titled: Redefining Empty-Nesters: How The Power Generation Takes Control Of Consumer Purchasing. Influence Central and Vibrant Nation surveyed more than 600 American women 45 years and older via an online survey.

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Retailers Improve Customer Retention And Merchandising With BI Tools

FEAT BI imageIn today’s retail climate, merchants are encouraged to gather as much data as they possibly can to understand the internal and external strengths and weaknesses of their company. Retail organizations face the high-pressure challenges of optimizing supply chain and inventory management, all while attempting to be more customer-centric and drive shopper loyalty.

By leveraging business intelligence (BI) solutions, retailers such as Coach, Diamond Candles, Groupe Dynamite and Oberweis Dairy can analyze a variety of data points and convert them into actionable insights that improve decision-making processes and performance across all channels.

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Rethinking Omnichannel and Brand Identity: Connecting the Physical with Digital

VP  site only TCS head shotOne thing that’s on the top of every retailer's mind these days is how to deliver differentiated experiences that create brand value and build sustainable competitive advantage in a world where customers move seamlessly between their digital and physical worlds.

Let me set the stage for you with a recent personal experience that underscores the need to fully integrate a company’s online presence with their physical presence.

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IDC Releases Retail IT Predictions For 2015

IDCRetailRetailers must continually implement new technologies designed to provide the best experience for both shoppers and company employees. To help merchants down that road, IDC Retail Insights shared its Top 10 Decision Imperatives for 2015 and beyond. Each imperative includes four parts and correspond with predictions for the several years as outlined by Greg Girard, Program Director at IDC Retail Insights during a web conference:

  1. The imperative itself, or the action to be taken to achieve a desired business outcome;
  2. IT impacts, actions and consequences;
  3. Specific practical advice provided by IDC technology experts; and
  4. Drivers and external factors that bring attention to the decision.
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Positive Economic Outlook Drives 13% Boost In Holiday Spending

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The ongoing drop in fuel prices, coupled with the ever-improving job market has encouraged a jump in consumer confidence. In October 2014, the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index score reached 94.5, the highest since October 2007.

Positive outlook is expected to continue through the holiday season, with total spending expected to increase by 13% to $1,299 per household, according to Deloitte’s annual holiday spending survey. This tally includes spending on gifts, socializing away from home, entertaining at home, non-gift clothing, home and holiday furnishings, and other holiday-related spending. Spending on gifts also is expected to increase by 9% to $458 per household, from $421 in 2013.

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