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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.

ETailers Open Stores To Improve One-To-One Relationships With Shoppers

FEAT ETail image“Omnichannel” continues to be one of the most-used buzzwords in the retail industry today. While all retailers strive to create seamless, compelling and personalized interactions across channels, a number of pure-play e-Commerce retailers are jumping into brick-and-mortar by putting their own, unique spin on the in-store experience.

Nearly half (49%) of consumers believe the best action retailers can take to improve the shopping experience is to better integrate in-store, online and mobile shopping channels, according to Accenture. Although many online-only retailers have been successful in a single-channel environment, they are not able to capitalize on the most dominant sales channel — the store. As much as 95% of all retail sales in 2013 were captured by businesses that have some form of brick-and-mortar presence, according to the A.T. Kearney Omnichannel Shopping Preferences Study.

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BrandVerity Monitors Product Listing Ad Performance

SS BrandVerity ImageRetailers use Product Listing Ads (PLAs) to display specific items at the top of a search engine pages. Managing these ads can be a hefty task, especially if the retailer has no way to monitor the success of each one.

BrandVerity has launched an extension to its Paid Search Monitoring service that is designed to monitor and provide users with visibility into PLA performance. Users can track top sellers that appear with a set of keywords, evaluate competition on specific products and monitor searches to see which PLAs are displayed most frequently.

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The Retail Internet Of Things (IOT): Turning Your Store Into An App

VP Schwartz head shotRetailers are an innovative bunch. We adopt and trial new technologies at a more nimble rate that other verticals. In a world where shopper marketing, field marketing and consumer insights have all been merged into an unending list of “mobile path-to-purchase” solutions, the retailer gets an A for effort.

Before we celebrate our successes, let’s look at another vertical: Cities. Like stores, their consumers are changing, their services need to adapt. IBM invested approximately $350 million in smart city technology and marketing trying to reinvent the metropolitan centers globally and have perhaps made 10 % return on this effort. But 557,000 cities spend $4.5 trillion per year, 10% of the global GDP.

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Think You Need An Independent Consultant To Optimize Your Retail Operation? Consider These Four Questions

Ceridian
As a retailer, your technological needs run the gamut. Many pertain to human capital management — payroll, time and attendance, workforce management, employment law compliance and more. Additionally, there’s employee engagement, turnover and other concerns. 

In the processes of evaluating and deciding on which solution to purchase, the temptation is to seek an independent consultant. Often, that’s the right move. But independent consultants’ effectiveness varies widely. Their expertise and experience can provide a retailer with valuable insight, yes, but just as often consultants’ involvement causes more problems than it solves. Why? Some consultants are more aptly described as third-party sellers. They promote generic processes and cookie-cutter approaches. Communication might be command-and-control, keeping vendors from interacting directly with you. It’s all designed to bring about outcomes that benefit their bottom line — at the expense of clients.

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Blimpie Integrates Digital And Physical Marketing With Anniversary Campaign

Blimpie
Many retailers are improving collaboration between their brick-and-mortar, e-Commerce and marketing departments to create more seamless and consistent experiences across all channels. For some organizations, however, integrating departments can be a challenging process, making successful cross-channel campaigns difficult to achieve. 

Blimpie tackled this integration challenge and saw success with campaigns designed to celebrate the sandwich chain’s 50th anniversary. For the FANmercial and Golden Giveaway initiatives, customers were encouraged to stay engaged with the franchise through social media, email and when visiting the restaurants. To ensure success, different departments within Kahala, the parent company of Blimpie, converged.

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Is Amazon Breaking Into Brick-And-Mortar?

Amazon has been recognized as an innovator and retail industry game-changer, helping to make online shopping the norm for consumers worldwide. But will the online giant be putting a new spin on brick-and-mortar?

Representatives have confirmed that Amazon will open pop-up kiosks in San Francisco and Sacramento, Calif., next week that will remain open through the end of the holiday season. The locations will sell Amazon-branded hardware, including Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets and Fire Phones.

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Chico’s Embraces Social Media To Raise $25,000 For Breast Health Awareness

LBBC
Chico’s FAS
and its family of brands — Chico’s, White House Black Market, Soma and Boston Proper — have developed a set of core values and principles supporting a commitment to giving back.

Over the past 10 years, Chico’s FAS has developed a strong relationship with Living Beyond Breast Cancer, an organization dedicated to connecting people with trusted breast cancer information with a community of support. To date, Chico’s FAS has donated more than $2.1 million to the organization.

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Office Depot Implements Supplier Collaboration Solution From HighJump Software

Office Depot
Office Depot
has selected the Atlas Products network-based supplier collaboration platform from HighJump Software to better manage its European trading operations. 

A global provider of products, services and solutions for the workplace, Office Depot currently serves consumers through its more than 2,000 retail locations, e-Commerce web sites and a business-to-business sales channel.

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How To Get To Omnichannel…Fast

VP Shopvisible head shotAs consumers, we’ve been experiencing omnichannel retail in our everyday lives.  Retailers know that today’s shopper uses all channels available to them, including multiple channels for a single purchase.  Consumers want to go online and quickly serve themselves, gleaning pricing, availability and delivery times from a retail website. Based on that information, they’ll place orders and choose how they want to receive them, with options such as direct shipping or in-store pickup.  With time and convenience being critical factors to customer satisfaction. 

To provide one personal real-world omnichannel example, I’ll share the experience of walking into Nordstrom’s. An associate there had the ability to look instantly to see whether a shirt I wanted was available in my size in the store, online or in another store. Then, upon finding the desired shirt, that associate placed an order to have the item shipped right to a Nordstrom’s of my choice, or even more conveniently, to my doorstep. We only need to have this experience once to realize, this is the way it is supposed to be. And each day our newest omnichannel experiences raises the bar higher.

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Turning Showrooming Into A Retail Advantage

VP site only Pop-Up Artists head shotBrick-and-mortar retailers are howling about “showrooming.”  Someone comes into the store to see, touch and experience the product, only to return home to the Internet to compare prices and buy it elsewhere. But what if retailers could turn “showrooming” into their advantage?

The good news is retailers can! By displaying samples of e-Commerce brands, taking orders through the existing e-Commerce brand web site and getting a cut of the action. Savvy retailers can even charge a base rent, calculated on sales per square-foot, the model that Bloomingdale’s uses for shop-in-shops. 

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Differentiation Will Keep Offline Customers From Going Online

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Let’s be honest. It’s far more convenient to shop from your couch than drive to the store, find what you need, load it in the car, and then unload it when you get home. Isn’t it easier to have everything delivered to your doorstep?

With recent large-scale closings by Staples and RadioShack, it seems like retail is on the verge of oblivion. But brick-and-mortar retail isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

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Sport Chalet Relaunches E-Commerce Site With MarketLive

SportChaletImageRetailers looking to build an effective experience across all platforms usually start with the e-Commerce site. The functionality and appearance of this channel can have a large impact on how potential customers perceive the brand as a whole.

Action sporting goods retailer Sport Chalet is no exception and relaunched its e-Commerce site in August 2014 with the help of the MarketLive Total Commerce technology platform in an effort to grow the company brand and foster further in-store engagement. The relaunch included a complete renovation of the site, as well as the incorporation of features such as Find in Store and gift cards.

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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.

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UNIQLO “Selfless Selfie Project” Inspires Holiday Giving

Uniqlo
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.

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