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.

Only 16% Of Organizations Say They Have Highly Effective Loyalty Programs

Customer loyaltyOnly 16% of businesses believe they have a highly effective loyalty program, according to a recent survey conducted by the International Institute for Analytics (IIA) and commissioned by SAS.

More than half (56%) of respondents said they use a customer retention rate metric to measure loyalty program success, while 27% calculate customer lifetime value. Only 54% of organizations said they could calculate the revenue impact of their customer loyalty programs.


Is Your Online Business Prepared To Meet The Holiday Customer Service Rush?

VP Volusion head shotThe 2014 holiday season will be one of the shortest on record, with only 26 shopping days existing between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. This number is just one more than the 2013 season, and a whopping five days shorter than in 2012. Because of this tight window, holiday shoppers will be more hurried and frantic, which means that your online business will likely encounter an influx of customer service inquiries.

As we approach what’s projected to be the most lucrative holiday season in ecommerce history, it’s imperative that you equip and prepare your small shop to deliver exceptional customer service. The good news is that it takes just a little bit of planning and elbow grease – to help out, take a look at these areas of focus to spread that holiday cheer.


Only 25% Of Affluent Consumers Prefer To Shop In Stores

shutterstock 166177688During an ideal brick-and-mortar experience, store associates play an important role in engaging with customers and generating sales. Offering advice, feedback and recommendations, these salespeople are meant to be first-hand representations of a brand.

However, 70% of wealthy and affluent customers feel that most sales and service staff do not make positive connections with customers, and as a result, they prefer to bypass sales personnel altogether by shopping online, according to research from Time Inc. and YouGov.


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.


The Pearl Source Increases Click-Through Rates By 38% With Trustpilot

Although it is imperative that retailers have a consistent marketing strategy that extends across all channels, more consumers are relying on peer feedback, ratings and reviews to make their buying decisions.

The Pearl Source, an online retailer specializing in pearl jewelry, struggled to provide customers with an outlet where they could share their thoughts and opinions about products and their overall brand experiences. The company partnered with Trustpilot to develop a dedicated location for customers to share reviews. Within 30 days of implementing the solution, The Pearl Source witnessed a 38% increase in click-through rates and a 5% decrease in cart abandonment.


“Everyday Earners” Prefer High-Frequency Loyalty Programs

RR Pointscom imageMore loyalty program members (83%) earn points and miles on everyday purchases than through any other rewards-collecting method, according to research data from Points. As many as 81% of loyalty members seek out bonus point offers, while 69% make big purchases on reward-earning credit cards.

Retailers that implement loyalty programs have the opportunity to provide customers with extra value and show their appreciation for their ongoing purchases. The loyalty industry currently is valued at $48 billion, according to COLLOQUY, and includes 2.65 billion U.S. loyalty membership accounts.


Whole Foods Launches Wine Delivery Service

wineclubOn the heels of the announcement of one-hour grocery delivery, Whole Foods Market has partnered with to launch Wine Club, a subscription-based wine delivery service.

 “We were the first national grocer to open wine bars in our stores and the first to serve wines from kegs in order to preserve freshness and encourage sustainability,” said Doug Bell, Global Beverage Buyer. “The Wine Club by Whole Foods Market marks another first for the company, and we see it as the next evolution to satisfy and delight our very passionate wine shoppers.”


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.


90% Of U.S. Shoppers Received A Gift Card Over The Past Year

RR Giftcard image 1Up to 77% of U.S. consumers have given a friend or family member a gift card in the past year, while even more consumers (90%) have received one or some gift cards over the same period of time, according to the Retail Gift Card Association.

In the spring of 2014, the Retail Gift Card Association surveyed more than 1,100 U.S. consumers on their use of gift cards, their preferences for giving and spending the cards, and their overall willingness to embrace new gifting options.


ZinMobi Targets Consumers With Personalized Mobile Messaging

SS site only ZinMobi imageConsumers are becoming more tech-savvy and are expecting more personalized shopping experiences. As a result, retailers need to find ways to cater to these evolving preferences by creating more relevant campaigns and messages across all touch points.

Mobile marketing technology provider ZinMobi has built a platform designed to deliver targeted coupons and messages directly to consumers’ mobile phones. Using a personal targeting algorithm based on an individual consumer’s transaction history, the solution can tailor mobile message content effectively. Coupons can be delivered through text, email or an app, and are aimed to help boost coupon redemption rates and overall sales.

Read more... Boosts Revenue By 92% With Liveclicker

BlindsTo differentiate from the competition, online retailers are focused on creating more visually compelling experiences for consumers. Some retailers are embracing video to help create this more memorable experience, as it helps add more context and detail to product images already available on the site. is an online retailer with more than 200 “how-to” and product-related videos in its library to help guide consumers throughout the browsing and buying experience. After enlisting video commerce solution provider Liveclicker, the retailer was able to build up its video arsenal and increase revenue by 92% between Q1 2013 and Q1 2014.


Genesco Taps EarthLink To Improve In-Store Experiences

Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 11.53.51 AMSpecialty retailer Genesco has upgraded its EarthLink-powered network as part of its plans to further improve the brick-and-mortar experience. The technology will be applied to several brands under the Genesco umbrella, including: Johnston & Murphy, Journeys, Journeys Kidz, Underground by Journeys and Shi by Journeys.

Genesco relies on a private EarthLink MPLS network to run in-store POS, inventory management and employee communications in its stores


Highmark Educates Consumers On Health Care Through Branded Storefronts

The Affordable Care Act has caused a stir among consumers, and they’re seeking education and resources to help them understand how the new law will impact their lives.

Highmark engages with customers face-to-face through its storefronts, which are called Highmark Direct locations. These stores are marketed across channels with help from HackerAgency, a digital marketing agency.


Kohl’s And Target Get A’s In Back-To-School Advertising

target-give-supplies-small-8Kohl’s and Target received the highest scores on their back-to-school ads, according television and video analytics solution provider Ace Metrix

While Target received the highest single score (673) for its “Supplies They Need” ad and a 571 for its general “Back To School” spot, Kohl’s received the highest average score for all 14 of its back-to-school ads (552). Walmart, JCPenney and Staples received the next highest scores for all ad creative.

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