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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.

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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Retailers And Suppliers Optimize Merchandise Planning With Market6 Vantage Suite

SS Vantage image3Retailers and suppliers need to consistently collaborate and share information to drive customer satisfaction, loyalty and sales.

Retail analytics provider Market6 has released Market6 Vantage, a suite of applications designed to automate and simplify joint business planning and retail-supplier collaboration. The suite automates the development and maintenance of joint merchandising plans and enables retailers and suppliers to share information more seamlessly and standardize planning processes.

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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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Content Marketing Strategies Boost Customer Loyalty

FEAT ContentCommerce imageIn an industry where many companies rely on selling products that are the same or similar to competitors’ offerings, retailers are embracing content marketing as a means to stand out from the crowd and provide value to the customer.

Leading retailers such as Pet360, boohoo, BeachMint, Blinds.com and Duane Reade understand that content marketing strategies can only turn into revenue if the content makes the brand relatable to the consumer.

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Rue21 Partners With A Glimmer Of Hope To Promote Breast Cancer Awareness

rue 21
Specialty apparel retailer rue 21 has launched its annual breast cancer awareness campaign, called "Big or Small, Let's Save Them All!"

As part of the campaign, rue21 will sell breast cancer awareness merchandise and host a social media contest to support those affected by the disease. Through the end of October, rue21 will donate a percentage of profits from the merchandise sold to the Glimmer of Hope Foundation, a Pittsburgh-based non-profit organization that is funding a premenopausal breast cancer research study in the U.S. 

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Zendesk Insights Measures Customer Service Effectiveness

SS site only Zendesk ImagePreserving a successful and profitable customer-retailer relationship depends significantly on the level and quality of service provided by the retailer. However, some retailers might think they are doing a better job at connecting with their consumers than they actually are.

To alleviate this issue, customer service software provider Zendesk crafted Insights, an analytics tool for organizations that want to measure and visualize the impact of their customer service interactions.

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34% Of Consumers Plan To Spend More This Holiday Season

Holiday ShoppingThe holiday season will officially kick off in a few short weeks, however some shoppers already are developing their shopping strategies and plan to start buying earlier than ever.

In fact, 34% of consumers said they plan to start shopping in October, according to new estimates from HookLogic. The same amount (34%) of consumers said they plan to spend more than they did during the 2013 holiday season. However, because there are more days between Thanksgiving and Christmas in 2014 than there were in 2013, HookLogic predicts that buying will span beyond the usual Black Friday and Cyber Monday bulk spending.

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Derek Jeter And The Sports Superstar’s Effect On Retail

Glenn head shotAnyone who has followed the sports world recently (and many who haven’t) know about the retirement of baseball star Derek Jeter. Jeter arguably is the most popular player in the sport, appearing in seemingly endless ads for Nike, Gatorade, Gillette and Ford among other top-shelf brands.

Jeter is the perfect example of how a singular athlete can become just as big, if not bigger, than the brands that sponsor him. In fact, summer sales revenue for Jeter-related items increased 1,114.57% year-over-year for one national sporting goods retailer, according to data from e-Commerce order management provider Shopatron. Orders had a similar increase of 1,077.77%.

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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.

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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.

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