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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.

Secrets To Building Successful Mobile In-Store Experiences

AVP Hughes headshotDo you have a mobile in-store experience strategy? Many articles and studies tell us mobile is the greatest technology disrupter in retail since the barcode. At three Retail TouchPoints executive breakfasts in New York City, Dallas and Minneapolis earlier this year, mobile was the hottest topic of discussion. So hot that at one event the presenter never made it past the third slide when mobile strategy was brought up for discussion! The question for retailers remains deceptively simple: How do you build a successful mobile in-store experience that leads to higher conversion rates and larger basket sizes?

A successful mobile experience starts with a well-defined strategy, beginning with a basic choice between mobile app and mobile web. This may lead to questions concerning user interface or device type — are you designing for an iPhone experience or Android? Is it a customer facing or associate driven experience? What features are needed across channels and should they all be delivered at once or over time? Will push notifications be implemented? Keep in mind 86% of mobile users’ time is spent in apps vs. mobile web since April 2014 according to a Flurry Analytics, comScore and NetMarketShare study.

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Neiman Marcus Expands Visual Search Across Product Categories

After the successful limited rollout of a visual product search solution, Neiman Marcus has expanded the offering across all product categories. The upscale department store retailer initially launched the visual search solution powered by Slyce in October 2014, just for shoes and handbags.

"Our customers are excited to have such an innovative new way of finding items instantly without the hurdle of finding the right words to describe an item," said Wanda Gierhart, CMO of Neiman Marcus Group, in an exclusive interview with Retail TouchPoints. The program now includes women's apparel, jewelry, home furnishings, children's, pets and men's fashion.

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88% Of U.S. Consumers Want A Faster Checkout Experience

AR Digimarc ImageThe overwhelming majority (88%) of U.S. adults want their in-store checkout experience to be faster, according to a study from Harris Poll and Digimarc.

Further supporting this point, half of shoppers cited slow checkout speeds and long lines as their top two grievances. Consumers also desire more human interaction at the checkout, evidenced by the 61% of consumers who agree that clerks focus most on scanning items and less on finding out if shoppers are satisfied. At least 30% actually say they feel like a burden to the clerk and other customers when they have a full cart.

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More Than 90% Of Consumers Use Smartphones While Shopping In Stores

Consumers are relying more on their mobile devices to communicate, research products and acquire information. As a result, retailers need to prioritize mobile as a key communication and engagement channel.

After all, more than 90% of consumers use their smartphones while shopping in retail stores, according to a survey from SessionM. While more than approximately 54% of consumers use their devices to compare prices, others search for product information (48.4%) and reviews (42%).

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ModCloth Expands To Brick-And-Mortar With New Fit Shop

Community has been at the heart of the ModCloth brand since its inception in 2002. Through its e-Commerce site, consumers are encouraged to post pictures of themselves wearing ModCloth apparel and accessories, and then comment on overall size, fit and quality. The retailer then uses these insights to inform future assortment and merchandising decisions. 

Now, ModCloth is bringing its thriving digital community to brick-and-mortar with the launch of its San Francisco Fit Shop. Although some may be quick to label it as a pop-up shop or makeshift store, Nicole Haase, Sr. Director of Merchandising at ModCloth, calls it a “community party.”

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5 Marketing Realities To Maximize Customer Lifetime Value

1 cassie web
In June I attended Retail TouchPoints’ Retail Innovation Conference (RIC) here in New York, and with a stated theme of “reimagining the customer experience,” I could not have felt more at home. I admittedly attended the conference with my own agenda — to persuade an audience on the power of personalization in driving customer lifetime value — but was thrilled to see many of the day’s sessions round out this thesis.

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Sephora Unveils Subscription Box Service In 3 U.S. Markets

7SephoraboxSephora is the next in line to launch a subscription box service, following the footsteps of companies such as Birchbox and Glossybox. As part of the service, Sephora will deliver a box filled with five products focused on a common theme for a subscription fee of $10 per month.

The cosmetics brand will launch the service, called “Play! By Sephora,” in Boston; Columbus, Ohio; and Cincinnati, Ohio in September. Sephora plans to extend the service to additional cities in 2016.

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Warby Parker Sets Up ‘Pop-In’ Shops At Select Nordstrom Locations

1Nordstrom1WarbyFor the first time, Warby Parker will sell its eyewear through another national retailer, partnering with Nordstrom as part of the retailer’s Pop-In@Nordstrom series of “pop-in” shops.

The six pop-in shops, which have been home to Warby Parker products since August 7, are located at the following Nordstrom stores, as well as online: Bellevue, Wash., Seattle, Wash., Los Angeles, Calif., Dallas, Texas, San Francisco, Calif. and McLean, Va.

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Engaging Millennials Through Proximity Marketing

AVP iSignMedia headshotAs the Millennial generation moves out of budget-constrained youth into their higher earning years, their buying prominence will change, but not at the expense of how they interact with the market. This is a culturally savvy demographic that is not as easily motivated as prior generations. Today, traditional marketing is being replaced by newer, more relevant methods, and companies that want to stay ahead of the curve will need to change with the times.

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Pop-Up Stores Become More Than Just A Trend

The pop-up store has become a go-to marketing strategy for retailers looking to extend the brand and introduce new products. The pop-up industry has grown to approximately $10 billion in sales, according to PopUp Republic.

Pop-up shops are being developed in a variety of shapes and sizes, as well as locations. They can be found in a traditional brick-and-mortar store — as a store-within-a-store — as a standalone kiosk or even via a motorized vehicle, taking the lead from the food truck craze.

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How To Create In-Store Experiences That Keep Shoppers Coming Back

AVP site only Vend headshotFinding ways to lure people into stores isn’t as big of a challenge as some retailers may think. After all, there isn’t a shortage of ways to drive in-store traffic. There are plenty of tactics — including the use of loss leaders and PR stunts — that can lure customers into stores.

But these things, while effective, aren’t always sustainable. And this is where the real challenge lies. Any retailer struggling with improving in-store sales should go beyond gimmicks and short-term gains, and instead focus on strategies that can not only bring people in, but also get them to stay and come back.

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Mastering The Data-Driven Customer Experience

AVP TimeTrade ImageDelivering superior customer service has been a focus for retailers since the dawn of modern shopping. We’ve all heard the phrase, “the customer is always right,” an indicator of the importance retailers put on delivering an excellent shopping experience. After all, a happy customer means a loyal customer, which in turn, means more sales.

That said, what constitutes a great shopping experience has dramatically changed over the years. With the rise of e-Commerce, more and more consumers are researching their purchases at home before they ever visit a store. The ability to investigate and compare products from the comfort of your home — or even from a mobile device — minimizes time spent visiting stores and gives consumers the freedom to browse at their convenience.

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Lyft Rewards Drivers, Riders With My Starbucks Rewards

a starbucks
As part of a new, multi-year deal, transportation network Lyft and Starbucks are collaborating to reward loyal drivers and riders.

Lyft drivers now have the opportunity to become My Starbucks Rewards loyalty program gold status members, and both drivers and riders can earn Starbucks loyalty stars, which are redeemable for food and beverages. Additionally, Lyft drivers can receive Starbucks eGifts from customers using the Lyft app. This gives users an opportunity to thank their Lyft drivers in a different, more personal way.

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