Facebook Storefronts Evolving With New Consumer-Centric Apps

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Facebook continues to demonstrate value for the retail environment. Building on the propensity to drive engagement and viral impact among consumers, social commerce is making its way to the mainstream scene. E-commerce platform Payvment is making noise on the social sphere, delivering the capability for retailers to streamline a Facebook storefront for free.

Launched in November, the platform has enabled small to mid-sized retailers to download a storefront and set up shop to give Facebook users something to shop about. Indicated a promising concept for the industry, there have been over 125,000 products up for sale on the popular social networking site, while 500,000 Facebook users (out of nearly 500 million total) have shopped with the app.

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Context Optional Announces Social Marketing Solution for Retailers

Social marketing software provider Context Optional recently announced the launch of a new set of tools designed specifically for retailers as part of the company’s Social Marketing Suite, an integrated software as a service (SaaS) solution for building, monitoring and managing brand presence on Facebook.

Working with leading retail brands, Context Optional created a solutio designed to offer integrated publishing and application creation tools to help clients engage with customers through multiple touch points. The tools are designed to enable retailers to showcase and promote products, distribute special discounts, target customers by location and publish applications to both brand Pages and the News Feed.

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Overstock Enhances Club O

Overstock.com is striving to offer its club members enhanced benefits, including:

  • Earn 5% in Rewards – In lieu of a 5% discount on limited items, members will earn 5% in Club O Rewards Dollars on every eligible purchase (including Books, Media, Music, and Games). The 5% will go into their Club O Rewards account, and can be used on future purchases.
  • Combine Offers to Maximize Savings – Members will be able to maximize savings by combining their Club O Rewards Dollars with other Overstock.com promotional coupon offers.
  • Free Shipping – Members will keep all former Club O free shipping benefits and receive free shipping on orders over $25 made up exclusively of books, media, movies, and games.
  • Exclusive Shopping Events – Members will receive member-only invitations to product previews, sales, and shopping events exclusive to Club O Members.
  • Priority Customer Service – Members willl have access to the exclusive Club O Rewards Customer Care Team. When members contact Customer Care, the best of the best of our award-winning team will quickly and professionally answer and resolve any questions.

When the new program is rolled out, all current Club O Members will automatically be transitioned into it. Current members will also receive a free 6-month membership extension.

Context Optional Announces Social Marketing Solution for Retailers

Social marketing software provider Context Optional recently announced the launch of a new set of tools designed specifically for retailers as part of the company’s Social Marketing Suite, an integrated software as a service (SaaS) solution for building, monitoring and managing brand presence on Facebook.

Working with leading retail brands, Context Optional created a solution designed to offer integrated publishing and application creation tools to help clients engage with customers through multiple touch points. The tools are designed to enable retailers to showcase and promote products, distribute special discounts, target customers by location and publish applications to both brand Pages and the News Feed.

The Social Marketing Suite retail offerings includes multiple applications that are designed to create dynamic coupons, polls, sweepstakes and product catalogs to publish on a Facebook Page an in the stream. The solutions are designed to give users the power to print coupons from the news feed and send them to their mobile phones.

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5 Proven Tips for Winning Shoppers in New Categories

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By Brian Ross, President, Precima

b_rossA bigger basket. All retailers want it, and almost all of them have become adept at persuading shoppers to buy a particular item — whether it’s a new brand of pet food or a line-extension in cereal. But, turning those one-off item purchases into long-term incremental behavior is an all-together different challenge. It takes a deft understanding of shopper needs, brand loyalty and price and promotional responsiveness to win the bigger basket again and again.

Most retailers now know that this insight is attainable through analysis of shopper purchasing data, but putting it into practice is quite another matter. Retailers that analyze consumer shopping behavior can identify their most profitable shoppers, learn what motivates them and then get them to buy products they had not even considered. The key to long-term profitable behavior is to complement the understanding of what is most important to shoppers with relevant marketing and merchandising tactics that resonate and increase sales and profits.

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Steve Madden Puts Mobile Marketing to Work at Storefront

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ve_small_capMobile madness
has struck the retail industry full force in the last year. The potential to lend yet another channel to the customer offers a supplement to the customer experience, both in-store and online.

As part of the April 21st Retail 3.0 Virtual Conference & Expo, Andrew Koven, President of E-Commerce & Customer Experience at Steve Madden, shared a case study example of how the shoe & apparel retailer is putting mobile to work.

“We believe mobile provides for that unique informational device wherever, whenever and however,” Koven said during his session titled “Engaging the Mobile Consumer: Strategies to Optimize Customer Acquisition, Conversion and Retention.” “We’re supporting the purchase and the confidence building for the consumer to make that investment in our product.”

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New Application Taps iPad For In-Store Experience Optimization

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escalate_ipad_appThe latest consumer buzz has been centered on Apple’s iPad, which surpassed 1 million units sold just under a month after its release. And while the excitement is still in full-force nearly two months since it was unveiled, one retail solution provider is already preparing to empower retailers with the tools to bring the iPad’s buzz into their stores.

Escalate Retail recently announced the availability of its Clienteling solution on the iPad. The new application is designed to bring the potential of the iPad to life for the retail environment, as the device is well suited for in-store customer interactions fueled by Clienteling applications.

“[Imagine an in-store shopping trip where] your salesperson has access to the entire assortment — not only what they sell across the chain — but access to inventory, product information, reviews and details, all the things that today’s consumer really wants to know, and frankly, expects,” said David Bruno, Director of Marketing, Escalate Retail. “The Internet now makes that available in the store in a nice-sized device that’s easy for your salespeople to carry around. It really translates the richness of experience that consumers are used to online and puts it in every salesperson’s hands on a very highly interactive device, the iPad.”

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New Report Spotlights How Retailers Handle Social Brand Bashing

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eMarketer_reportWhile the social sphere is highly regarded as prime real estate to strengthen customer interactions and engagement, a new report warns retailers of bad buzz, which can test their abilities to market in the dynamic, fragmented and real-time environment of social networks.

The new eMarketer report “How Retailers Handle Negative Buzz on Social Media Sites,” found that although many retailers have developed a large marketing presence on Facebook, Twitter and other social sites, disgruntled consumers are increasingly using them as forums to complain about these companies and their mishaps. As such, retailers cannot afford to take negative buzz lightly when it can adversely affect their reputation and sales, according to the report.

“Once a retailer is criticized on Facebook or a similar social venue, it has three basic options for dealing with the situation: respond to the criticism, stay silent (perhaps to allow loyal customers to come to its defense) or remove the negative comments when possible,” said Jeffrey Grau, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the report. Continue reading “New Report Spotlights How Retailers Handle Social Brand Bashing”

Improving Marketing ROI with Media Channel Optimization

Improving Marketing ROI with
Media Channel Optimization

For retail marketing executives, effective direct marketing is the lifeblood of the business. Companies spend millions on direct mail, email, telemarketing and other outreach to drive sales — but irrelevant offers and redundant communications reduce profitability and can alienate customers.

Many marketers collect rich customer information, purchase history data and detailed campaign history from multiple marketing channels. However, much of this data is stored in different data silos or is managed by different business groups. This makes it difficult to determine which marketing channels are the most cost-effective. Without the ability to optimize the communications mix, budgets are wasted on expensive channels that have a low conversion.

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