Designed to enable retailers to offer customers real time individualized pricing incentives online, Runa announced today the release of “Conversion Marketing.” The solution is aimed at picking up where SEO and SEM stop, to focus on converting Web traffic into sales.
While traditional price optimization solutions have been rule-based tools, using data analysis from historical patterns Runa Co-Founder & CEO Ashok Narasimhan pointed out that conversion marketing-focused solutions, are goal-based and designed to allow real-time data to be combined with underlying data such as cost of goods. Rather than simply setting a price and establishing a corresponding markdown and promotion strategy, Narasimhan said conversion marketing tools are intelligent and learn over time.
The meltdown of the economy last fall threw luxury retailers such as Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue into a panicked frenzy. Stuck with high priced inventory, both stores responded by drastically slashing prices. New merchandise was automatically marked down 40% BEFORE it even hit the floor. In an effort to boost traffic during the holiday selling season, Saks Fifth Avenue’s New York store marked every designer bag to $200. And in January, Saks discounted most of its merchandise by as much as 90%. Women were boasting of securing $1,200 items for as little as $200.
U.S. retailers have long trained its shoppers to buy on sale. Now, not only are U.S. shoppers expecting a sale, they are expecting deep deep discounts. And the trend continues. Saks and Bloomingdales offer frequent 20%-25% “Friends & Family” discounts for their online businesses. And I was recently in Saks Fifth Avenue and asked for and was given a 40% discount off a full price Missoni dress. So what’s a retailer to do?
At General Motors, a social media team of six employees patrols the Web, tweeting, updating Facebook, and sometimes commenting on personal blogs to combat negative comments on their company. GM, along with other companies, is also meeting with bloggers to diffuse issues. Some are encouraging brand fans to write positive blogs.
“Badvocates,” or critics who regularly trash corporate reputations, represent 20% of the world’s adult population online and each one reaches an estimated 14 people with their opinions, according to public relations firm Weber Shandwick.
At GM, one scathing post on WebInkNow.com by David Meerman Scott, former VP of Marketing for Knight-Ridder, drew over 20 comments from other GM bashers. GM wound up inviting Scott, who has 29,000 Twitter followers, to Detroit and encouraged him to log the details of the trip and post video clips of interviews with CEO Fritz Henderson and other executives. It’s part of a plan to assure influential bloggers have accurate information about the carmaker.
CrossView clients Moosejaw and David’s Bridal were among 15 winners of Retail Touch Point’s Channel Integration Awards. Judges chose the two cross-channel innovators after considering a number of criteria, including sales gains within emerging channels, convenience of shopping options, cross-channel marketing, customer recognition across channels, and integration of systems, including order management and sales history.
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There may be some holiday cheer after all this season, as some retailers and analysts have seen some signs of life at the checkout. Pulling out all the stops, large retailers are upping the ante with aggressive cross-channel marketing and promotion strategies, offering online add-ons and price collections, in an effort to grab sales and market share during the critical stretch run.
After slumping a bit in the early part of the year e-commerce sales are expected to be a big driver during the holidays, and many major retailers are stepping up their e-marketing as a result. According to the latest projections from Forrester Research, US online sales are expected to rise 8% this holiday season, with mass market retailers who can offer discounts expected to perform best. The research firm said on Monday it expects online retail sales in November and December to reach $44.7 billion this year, up from $41.4 billion a year ago, providing a bright spot to a retail industry.
Concept: Aisle411 is a comprehensive mobile marketing solution designed to allow consumers to use their cell phones to locate products within a retail store. It’s an “audio store map” designed to direct shoppers to the items they are looking for, down to the aisle and bay location. The service can also provide shoppers with mobile coupons, marketing messages or offers specifically related to the items they requested to offer timely and relevant mobile marketing opportunities.
Team: While shopping a big box hardware store, Aisle411 Founder & CEO Nathan Pettyjohn was having difficulty finding a desired item. After two store associates were unable to help find the item, and 20 wasted minutes later, Pettyjohn left the store without the desired item. As he left the store, Pettyjohn encountered another frustrated customer who was also leaving the retailer frustrated and empty-handed. This frustration prevents a seamless shopping experience and can ultimately detrimental to retailers and CPG manufacturers who count on the retailers for distribution. Continue reading “Solution Spotlight: Aisle411 Gives Shoppers Power to Navigate In-Store”
With another baseball season coming to a close, Retail TouchPoints (RTP) is taking a look at the cross-channel retailers who have “hit it out of the park” with efforts to integrate across channels. With the launch of the Channel Integration Awards (CIA), RTP is honoring the leaders in different verticals, based on their innovative approach to coordinating their cross-channel efforts. To bring this cross-section of cross-channel industry leaders together, Retail TouchPoints has collected and reviewed nominations and information from a variety of retail industry experts and executives.
As part of a corporate initiative to improve customer service by replacing legacy systems, Urban Outfitters, Inc. has selected Sterling Order Management and Sterling Managed File Transfer (MFT) from Sterling Commerce.
Urban Outfitters, which owns brands including Anthropologie, Free People and Terrain, has chosen Sterling Commerce to create a seamless cross-channel shopping experience for its customers across all its channels and brands.
The company will deploy Sterling Order Management and Sterling Managed File Transfer as part of a new CRM implementation. The solutions are designed to enable the company to create a seamless shopping experience across all its channels and brands, which include Urban Outfitters as well as Anthropologie, Free People, and Terrain.