AAFES Adds Task Management App From Reflexis

The Army and Air Force Exchange (AAFES), which operates more than 3,150 retail facilities for U.S. military service members, retirees, and their families in more than 35 countries and all 50 states, has implemented Reflexis Task Manager. Given the challenge of rolling out new products, promotions and planograms in remote locations throughout the world, AAFEES is expected to use the Reflexis Task Manager tool to automate communication of administrative tasks to its store employees.

“The mission of AAFES is to provide quality merchandise and services to military service members and their families at competitively low prices while providing a dividend to contribute to morale, welfare, and recreation programs for our armed services,” said Darrick Smeby, Senior Project Manager for AAFES. “Streamlining operations and improving efficiencies are critical in allowing us to meet both aspects of this dual mission.”

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Shopper Attitude Analysis Helps Shape Retailers’ Sales, Marketing Strategies


TJMaxx shoppers were more confident than Gap shoppers during the difficult economic times in late 2008, giving TJMaxx an edge in bringing in sales, according to ForecastIQ, a service of Prosper Technologies that is a forecast of same store sales based on consumer purchase intentions and behavior.

TJMaxx shoppers also proved to be more confident about the economy than Gap shoppers in 2009, resulting in positive comp store sales for TJX and negative numbers for Gap. In July of 2009 TJX comp store sales were 4.0% compared to -9.0% for Gap North America.

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Tips to Optimize User Experience for the eCommerce Store Front


Peter_NuefeldWhat makes an eCommerce Web site a success? Obviously you must have a differentiated, quality product or service to sell and a marketing strategy to sell it. The performance of your site’s technology is critical as well. Bounce rates climb when sites load slowly and the customer won’t return to a store that doesn’t work.

But as you may have guessed from the title of this post, the eCommerce user experience shouldn’t be overlooked and incorporates your offering, marketing strategy, and technology. Your user experience, for example, has a major influence on your conversion rates and cart sizes. The easier your site makes it for your customer to understand, find and buy your products and services, the more they will buy and the more often they will return when you reach out to them with a new offer on Twitter, Facebook, or through your email newsletter campaign.

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Research Shows Providing Price Comparisons Wins Shopper Loyalty


etail_chart_2Consumers are more loyal to retailers who provide information on competitors’ prices, according to the e-tailing group report “Comparison Shopping is a Way of Life,” published in September of 2009. As many as 78% of consumers surveyed said they would be likely to return to a retailer that shows competitors’ prices on their website; and 36% would be much more loyal.

In fact, offering competitive pricing may keep customers from leaving a site. More than half of survey respondents (53%) said they would no longer feel compelled to comparison shop elsewhere and 52% said they find on-site competitive pricing credible.

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Leading Salon Streamlines Inventory & Interactions From Walk-in To POS


ratner2While some retailers are struggling to win customers over in a recession, the service retail sector is thriving. Knowing that people still need haircuts, the key objective at Ratner Companies is characterized by high-touch customer interaction.

Ratner Companies, the largest family-owned and operated chain of hair salons in the country, operates 900 salons under seven salon brands, all of which carry retail products in-store.

Determined to streamline inventory and customer management, the team at Ratner replaced their outdated POS system with the Tomax Retail.net solution in 2001. The company coupled Tomax’s POS standard system and merchandising system with a custom-developed system to manage the workflow process in hair salons.

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IKEA Execs Discuss Launch Of US Loyalty, Use Of Mobile Medium


ikea_2Well known for its innovative approach customer relationship management, home furnishings retailer IKEA has been giving customers all over the world something to talk about. Focused on providing consumers with the ultimate in function, design and price, Founder Ingvar Kamprad believed in saving in every way possible—except on ideas and quality. Store traffic has steadily increased, with nearly 650 million visitors in 2008 alone.

Largely attributed to the company’s commitment to customer service, IKEA continues on inspiration and innovation. Retail TouchPoints recently caught up with IKEA US execs Tracey Kelly (Communications Manager) and Marty McGuire (Direct Marketing Manager) to discuss the company’s approach to loyalty and the upcoming holiday shopping season, as well as new plans to tap into the new media goldmine that is, the mobile phone.

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New Survey Shows Retailers Converting POS Into Marketing Tool


aberdeen_cap_2Traditionally viewed as a black box limited to processing sales transactions, many progressive retailers are now view their point of sale (POS) system as an additional opportunistic touchpoint. A new report from Aberdeen Research shared key strategies on how Best in Class (BIC) retailers are employing to tap the POS as an additional marketing channel.

Aberdeen surveyed 132 retailers between May and June 2009 to reveal that 73% of retailers rate themselves below, or at best sub-par, on their current point of service or point of sale (POS) capabilities.

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JCPenney’s NY Flagship Store Speeds Checkout With Electronic Queuing


Lawrence_JCP_Photos_001_2Store associates are now freed up to help customers following the implementation of electronic queuing at two JCPenney stores in the U.S. Lawrence Metal Electronic Call Forward (ECF) queuing system was first tested in a Texas-based JCPenney store before it was installed in the company’s new New York City flagship store.

“We were very happy with the results in our Fort Worth, TX store,” says John Wise, VP & Director of Store Planning/Design for JCPenney. “In our customer surveys the grade on speed of checkout was up 12 points in less than two weeks” following the installation of electronic queuing, he notes.

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Chico’s Adds Live Help Options to Its Web Stores Via Click To Chat App

Chico’s FAS Inc. has committed to implementing an integrated live help strategy across its Web channel through the recent launch of ATG’s eStara Click to Chat solution.

Currently running on the ATG Commerce Platform, the Chico’s Web team last year adopted a streamlined customer experience strategy with easy navigation for all three of its retail brands (www.Chicos.com, www.Soma.com and www.WhiteHouseBlackMarket.com). Part of a continued investment in optimizing its customer experience offerings, Chico’s turned to ATG to execute a live help strategy powered by ATG’s eStara Click to Call and eStara Click to Chat.

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The Underestimated TouchPoint: Conversions From The Fitting Room


Never mind the rush to sell in this current economy—retailers have always been focused on harvesting any and every opportunity to up-sell and cross-sell. While analysts and retailers alike have been on a strategy scavenger hunt looking for the best ways to do it, one of the most important touchpoints is right under their noses in the fitting room.

At a mall-based Metro Park store, this golden opportunity came to life for me full throttle. The LA-based specialty chain is focused on “transcending the traditional retail experience.” The merchandise is reflective of its target customer: trendy, detailed and artistic. The in-store ambiance is reminiscent of an underground club and store associates are like the well-dressed partygoers, young and full of life. Continue reading “The Underestimated TouchPoint: Conversions From The Fitting Room”