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Shopper Experience

Shopper Engagement delves into the latest trends and strategies retailers are using to cultivate long-term relationships with shoppers. Social media, mobile technology, in-store tablets and more are covered in this section. Subscribe to the feed and stay in touch with the latest retail happenings.

Oregon State Beaver Store Optimizes Checkout Experience With Motorola

The checkout line is the last touch point for consumers who are purchasing a product in a store. That means even the process of waiting in line needs to be seamless and enjoyable. Often, the optimal experience involves quick and accurate service, even if lines are longer than usual.

To upgrade its POS scanners and provide this experience to college students and other consumers, The Oregon State University (OSU) Beaver Store rolled out the DS4800 series handheld barcode scanning imager from Motorola Solutions. These scanners are designed to quickly process thousands of transactions at the store’s 22 cash registers during a typical college football game day rush, when a higher concentration of students and alumni visit the store to purchase merchandise.

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Best Buy Rolls Out Virtual Reality Audio Displays In 987 Stores

BestBuyTurtleBeachBest Buy has partnered with Turtle Beach Corporation, an audio technology provider, to craft compelling retail displays throughout 987 store locations in North America.

Using the HyperSound virtual reality audio solution from Turtle Beach Corporation, Best Buy is promoting the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare video game, representing the largest implementation of the technology in a retail setting. The displays were installed in Best Buy locations during the last two weeks of October.

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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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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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Zing Register Brings POS To Tablet Devices

SS site only Zing ImageFor the most part, small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) lack the resources and budget to implement the latest, cutting-edge technology. As a result, they’re hindered from successfully keeping pace with their larger counterparts.

To help SMBs create a more compelling customer experience, Zing has released Register, a cloud-based iPad app. The solution is designed to help retailers manage multiple POS functions in one, including account management, payment processing and real-time data analysis. Retailers can install Register into their local system and integrate it with existing POS solutions. Updates, upgrades and backups become Zing's responsibility, freeing up merchants to focus on their core business drivers instead of handling maintenance and operations.

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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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Deliv Expands Services To Four New Metropolitan Areas

delivDeliv has expanded its same-day delivery service, adding four new geographies, including Seattle, Houston, Northern New Jersey and Washington, D.C., to its roster in time for the holiday season.

The expansion is “fueled by both strong consumer demand and retailer interest,” according to a company statement. Previously, Deliv provided same-day delivery services in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Jose.

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Menasha Packaging And Shelfbucks Partner On New Smart Display Technology

shelfbucks menashaMenasha Packaging and Shelfbucks have collaborated to launch point-of-purchase (POP) displays incorporating iBeacon technology that enables brands to measure in-store shopper behavior more effectively. Menasha and Shelfbucks expect to launch the first in-store Smart Displays in early 2015. 

Shoppers can interact with Smart Displays by using their smartphones to access product content, promotional offers, ratings and reviews in real time. With the displays in place, brands and retailers can track deployment of in-store POP displays and determine the effectiveness of specific in-store promotions by gathering data on shopper engagement and store-level merchandising performance.

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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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Has Social Media Helped Democratize The Fashion Industry?

FEAT Fashion Week imageThis year, magazine editors, tastemakers, bloggers and even designers figuratively ripped down the velvet ropes and gave consumers an inside look at Fashion Week festivities.

Typically known as the most exclusive event of the year, Fashion Week has evolved into a highly digitized and social event. More attendees are turning to Instagram, Twitter and other social networks to share behind-the-scenes footage of shows from coveted designers, such as BCBG Max Azria, Marc Jacobs and Oscar de la Renta.

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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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Artifi Simplifies Product Customization For Online Retailers

SS site only Artifi imageRetailers are striving to differentiate their brands by allowing customers to personalize product designs, colors and styles.

Artifi is helping retailers provide more relevant online shopping experiences with its cloud-based, mobile-friendly customization engine. The solution is designed to replace personalization configurators and make product customization more cost-efficient and less time consuming for e-Commerce businesses.

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Starbucks Introduces Mobile Order, New Store Formats, Contest For Holiday Campaign

Starbucks-reserveStarbucks will roll out a Mobile Order and Pay feature across all U.S. stores in 2015. Initially, the technology will be implemented in cafés in the Portland, Ore., area before the end of 2014. 
 
The service is integrated with the Starbucks mobile app and is designed to enable customers to place orders in advance of their visit. Customers who use the service will have their order ready for them once they arrive at their selected Starbucks location. 
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Adore Me Puts A Gamified Twist On Charitable Giving

adoreme-press-3Adore Me, an online-only lingerie retailer, has launched a branded online gaming platform designed to reward consumers and their favorite charities.

The Adore Me Play For Good(s) online game is designed to allow shoppers to play games while winning prizes and contributing to a charitable cause. The first game release is based on the well-known game 2048, in which players need to slide numbered tiles on a grid and combine them to create a tile with the number 2048. More games will be released in the near future.

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