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.

Bon-Ton And Goodwill Drive $233 Million In Nonprofit Revenue With Annual Sale

IMG 1859 600x600An increasing number of retailers are developing organization-wide strategies focused on social good and corporate responsibility.

Over the past 20 years, department store retailer Bon-Ton Stores has built a successful relationship with Goodwill Industries. As part of a semi-annual campaign, Bon-Ton Stores encourages customers bring clothing they no longer wear to their local department store to donate to Goodwill.  In return, consumers receive discounts on new items they buy, and proceeds from donations go toward local community programs. To date, the collaboration has generated approximately $233 million in nonprofit revenue.


UNIQLO “Selfless Selfie Project” Inspires Holiday Giving

Apparel retailer UNIQLO is focused on creating cheer this holiday season. To celebrate its ongoing expansion across the U.S., the retailer has launched the UNIQLO Selfless Selfie Project, an interactive global campaign created to inspire good deeds during the holidays. 

Consumers are encouraged to take a selfie that promotes giving back. For example, they can publish images of themselves working with their local community or sharing a pledge about a friend or family member. Participants can upload their images to social media using the #3DSelfie hash tag. A full-body 3D replica of their image in UNIQLO holiday clothing will then be created.


Simon Introduces Investment Competition For Retail Startups

Retail real estate company Simon has unveiled Simon Launch — a new competition to discover, invest in and accelerate startups within the retail industry. Simon will invest in competition winners through its new venture capital arm, called Simon Venture Group. The contest was established in partnership with Plug and Play, a global investor firm specializing in tech startups. 

“New technologies and the growth of omnichannel retailing are creating exciting opportunities for innovation,” said J. Skyler Fernandes, Managing Director of Simon Venture Group. “It is important for us to identify and work with companies that will help drive the evolution of the retail industry.”


The Paper Store Doubles Revenue With Epicor Retail Suite

Agility and scalability are both paramount to success in today’s ever-changing retail climate. As consumer demand and preferences shift, retailers’ tasks, strategies and investments also change.

The Paper Store, a specialty gift chain headquartered in Massachusetts, was tasked with the challenge of managing a legacy system that fragmented sales and financial information. The retailer implemented Epicor to align SKU data and prevent any significant losses from product mismanagement. The retailer has since achieved more accurate receiving, leading to a savings of $275,000 in the first year after implementation. The retailer also doubled revenue to $114 million between 2009 and 2013.


Retailers Must Tap Social Advocacy To Shape Omnichannel Strategies

RTP RT032 FEAT Advocacy imageMany retailers may believe they’re already doing a fine job of listening to their customers. After all, they see shoppers in their stores; track their online and mobile shopping patterns and eventual purchases; and in some cases, leverage loyalty and customer relationship management programs to paint detailed portraits of who their customers are, as well as the value they represent to the retail organization.

Useful as all these research tools are, they simply aren’t capable of keeping up with the newly energized, highly empowered customer. Today’s consumer is increasingly aware not only of what she wants but when she wants it, how she wants it delivered and even how much she wants to pay for it. Her expectations around product availability, depth of information, and delivery options have risen sharply, fueled by the immediacy of search engines, smart devices and a crowd of competitors ready to meet the most specialized request.


6 Signs Your Personalized Marketing Efforts Aren’t That Personalized

VP emnos head shot 1It’s no secret that when it comes to marketing, retailers are increasingly shifting more and more of their resources toward delivering a personalized experience for their customers. However, most retailers will tell you that their communications are truly one-to-one, when in reality, many still have a very long way to go.

Here are six signs that your personalization efforts may have room for improvement:


3 Secrets To Drive Customer Engagement On Your Web Site

VP site only Adage head shotOnline engagement is quickly becoming the number one performance indicator of an effective web site. Through successful customer engagement, companies are able to fulfill customers’ needs, while building loyalty and increasing each customer’s lifetime value. However, companies can’t achieve customer engagement just by establishing a social media presence or providing useful resources and information on their web site, but rather, it’s about leveraging these tools, as well as the interactive nature of the Internet to create meaningful interactions with customers time and time again.

Sounds easy enough, right? Not so much. Sure, marketers know trends like mobile and social, but there’s still a real disconnect between implementing these tools and using them to drive engagement and build long-term relationships. By following the three tips outlined below, you’ll be able to foster ongoing and valuable conversations with customers online.

1. Listen to your customers

Customers are constantly providing you with valuable feedback on their needs, wants, and uses for your web site and other digital assets. Today’s customers know what they’re looking for, and are not hesitant to tell you whether it’s through an email to your customer service team, a comment left on a blog post or a post on one of your social media profiles. You can also turn to your web analytics. Looking at your site’s analytics provides you with key insight into where customers are spending their time on your web site and where they are avoiding.

Despite customers voluntarily providing such useful information, few companies actually take the time to analyze this information and use it to improve their digital presence. Taking this approach and ignoring what your customers have to say is a surefire way to lose valuable customers.

2. Customize your customers’ experience

The most successful conversations with customers occur when they’re relevant, intriguing, and most importantly, unique to their own needs. There are countless connections that exist between you and your customers; it’s just about finding them. This can easily be done through web personalization and by presenting unique content to different individuals based on your previous interactions with them. By using personalized content that’s driven by your existing customer data allows you to make a lasting impression and create a value-added experience for both them and your organization.

Because of your CRM system, say you know about 15 percent of your customers reside in Chicago. You have a big sale going on in your Chicago stores this month to help boost those locations’ revenues. Because of your integrated platform, your web site has direct access to your CRM system, which knows exactly which of your web site’s visitors live in or near Chicago. Using your web site, you can take this information and serve Chicago customers a customized web experience that highlights the upcoming sale in your Chicago locations. This is almost guaranteed to drive both online engagement and in-store engagement, as your providing them with content that not only pertains to them, but also interests them.

3. Measure your success

As with any business decision, measuring your success is key. Without taking the time to evaluate the success of the changes you’ve made to your web site and digital presence, you’ll have little insight into whether or not customer engagement has really increased.

Look to your social media, web analytics and CRM system for guidance. These platforms can help you track and see how customer engagement has improved. For instance, social media allows you to see who is responding and commenting on what posts. Google analytics provides insight into which Facebook or Twitter posts are driving quality traffic to your web site, as well as if your web content personalization strategy is leading to longer time spent on your site and more conversions being made. Your CRM system will then help you identify high-value, individual customers and see what activity they’re participating in on your web site, what products or services they’re purchasing and what content they’re engaging with most.

Measuring your success will not only provide you with great insight into how your tactics so far have impacted customer engagement, but will also provide useful information on what steps you should take next to further enhance the customer’s online experience.

Success on your web site comes from making connection points with your customers and demonstrating your value to them. By enhancing your customers experience through personalization and ease of use, you can achieve your goal of increasing customer acquisition and retention.

Roy Chomko co-founded Adage Technologies in 2001, combining a passion for technology and the desire to build a company focused on driving business value through web technology. As President, Roy's energy and customer centric approach have helped to grow Adage to a well-respected web and software development firm. Roy has over 20 years of experience in technology sales, consulting, and development. 


Macy’s Invests In New Omnichannel Strategies

Macy’s, Inc. has unveiled new developments in its omnichannel strategies and technology investments as the retailer focuses on innovatively engaging and serving customers. Implementations at both Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores include Apple Pay, shopBeacon, same-day delivery and smart fitting rooms.

Among the series of initiatives is Apple Pay, which will be implemented in all Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores. The new payment offering, which will be available via iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus mobile devices, is expected to help simplify the payment process for shoppers. In addition, Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s both have introduced new mobile wallets, which are designed to allow shoppers to easily store and access coupons and offers for the Macy’s Star Rewards and Bloomingale’s Loyallist programs. The wallets will be included in both mobile apps beginning November 2014.


Emma For Shopify Extends Real-Time Targeting To Email Marketers

SS site only Shopify imageAs consumers continue to demand more personalized offers, messages and incentives, retailers must put more effort into understanding their browsing and buying habits, as well as their overall preferences. In doing so, retailers will be able to efficiently deploy more targeted messages and campaigns.

Emma for Shopify is an email marketing solution designed to allow retailers to organize customer sales data into segments based on purchasing history, enabling real-time customer targeting. All data is updated in real time as behaviors change. The solution can track purchases that result from clicked links within an email so retailers can instantly see the ROI achieved from an email marketing campaign.


Schwan’s Becomes Go-To Source For Tailgating Needs With HelloWorld

SchwansWith the college football season underway, many consumers like to spend their weekends watching games and eating their favorite foods. During this time, food brands and consumer packaged goods companies strive to stand out and engage customers across all channels to drive in-store sales.

Schwan’s Consumer Brands launched its college football web site to promote its pizza brands: Freschetta, Red Baron and Tony’s. Digital and mobile marketing agency HelloWorld launched the mobile-optimized site, which is designed to offer consumers an online destination for all their home tailgating needs. The site includes sweepstakes, recipes, tailgate hosting tips, contests, trivia, an interactive “Football Blitz” game and a scavenger hunt. The promotion went live on Aug. 1, 2014, and will run until Jan. 10, 2015.


Chico’s Exec Discusses The Next Generation Of Personalization

Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 9.05.16 AMRetailers today are striving to create unique and memorable experiences across all channels. 

The combination of customer data, e-Commerce, mobile technology, social engagement and even interactive digital signage, can help create a compelling brand experience, and in turn, stronger relationships between a brand and its consumers.

Chico’s FAS is one retailer taking this customer-centric, omnichannel approach to marketing and commerce.


Whole Foods Market Launches One-Hour Delivery In 15 U.S. Cities

Instacart infographic hiresWhole Foods Market has formed a new partnership with Instacart to provide one-hour delivery to customers in select cities. Soon, shoppers also will have the ability to place orders through Instacart and then pick up their orders at participating stores.

Customers can order from Whole Foods Market by visiting or using the Instacart mobile app.  After selecting their ZIP code, customers add items to their virtual carts, select a delivery window and complete their transactions.


Realigning The Retail Organization For A Better Omnichannel Experience

VP Starmount head shotRetailers have not fully reorganized for the omnichannel era. It’s a point that’s underscored in a recent study from Retail Systems Research and Starmount, which found that retailers have barely reached the halfway mark on their journey to omnichannel maturity.

Shoppers expect a completely integrated experience that seamlessly bridges the physical and digital retail worlds, but retailers face challenges in delivering on that expectation. In light of widespread omnichannel solution deployment, retailers have overlooked the personnel and processes that can bar them from realizing the full potential of their technology investments. How prevalent is this mindset? Another study found that less than half of retailers have dedicated omnichannel teams working across all their business functions.


The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Sees Summer Success With Cross-Channel Campaign

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf had a joyous summer due to the success of its “Keep Cool and Summer On” campaign, which was crafted to promote the merchant’s line of iced beverages.

Noted as the “most significant and comprehensive” advertising campaign in the brand’s history, “Keep Cool and Summer On” initiative targeted Millennial consumers across multiple channels, including radio, more than 100 billboards and bus shelter advertisements, digital video and banner ads, according to Diane Kuyoomjian, VP of Marketing for The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

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