JC Penney, Forever 21 “Haul” In User-Generated Videos For Back to School Promos

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haul_screen-capIn an age where consumer-generated content reigns, tech-savvy consumers have found a new way to support their shopping habits — by broadcasting their latest finds on YouTube for the social sphere to see.

The videos, known as “hauls,” have made an impressive impact on YouTube, as more than 159,000 have been posted to the user-generated site. Retailers have taken notice, and several are now integrating the concept into their overall marketing strategy.

JC Penney, Forever 21 and American Eagle have all tapped hauls to get a bigger bite of market share, as the National Retail Federation predicts back to school shopping for grades K-12 to reach $21.35 billion. JC Penny recently announced plans to give gift cards to teens who create haul videos after shopping at the store.

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Retail Minute: Episode 1

In our first ever episode of the Retail Minute, Amanda Ferrante (@Amanda_Ferrante) goes over this weeks retail news including these bits:
  • Walmart
  • Office Depot
  • Amazon
  • A&P
  • Gap

New Research Reaffirms More Consumers Starting Their Shopping Path Online

In an effort to track how shoppers are using retail web sites and define premium position within site search results new research found that 94% of shoppers click between one and 10 products, and from there, they look for price, product features and preferred brands as key differentiators.

Searchandise Commerce yesterday announced the results of an in-depth research study titled “The Value of Retail Search and Position,” which was conducted by comScore and co-sponsored by iProspect.

The study revealed that two-thirds of consumers begin the shopping process online, and that half convert offline. The path to purchase, in most cases, starts with a combination of search engine and site search on retail web sites for price, brand and feature information, as shoppers surveyed consult an average of 4.1 information sources during the process.  The study further highlights that rankings matter in site search much like they do in search engine marketing: shoppers associate relevance and quality with products on the first page of search results.

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6 Ways to Boost Conversions Via A/B Testing of Product Videos

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By Tal Rubenczyk, CEO, Treepodia

tal10It will come as no surprise to you when I say that retailers everywhere are incorporating product videos on their e-commerce sites to boost sales and conversions. Research shows that when product videos are featured, visitors are 85% more likely to convert. That’s a pretty compelling argument.

But did you also know that there are ways to enhance your videos to boost their conversion value even more? Things like adding appropriate background music, voice-overs, and text can all generate more clicks to purchase among visitors to your web site. The key to knowing what’s appropriate and what enhancements perform the best is to A/B test.

For example, you can create two different versions of the same product video and have them rotate on your site so they’re viewed in random fashion by your customers. One version might be just the video itself with no enhancements – the other version can include the addition of background music and text. After just a couple of days, you can see which version gets clicked on the most and the conversions they each generate, to determine which will be most impactful. Continue reading “6 Ways to Boost Conversions Via A/B Testing of Product Videos”

Murphy’s Test New Location-Based Rewards Program

Murphy’s USA is testing a new rewards program with Whrrl, a location-based service designed to enable consumers to earn points leading to a wide variety of prizes, including a digital coupon for $50 in free gas, when they check in at the chain’s roughly 1,100 stations. Whrrl is a social loyalty program designed to close the gap between a brand’s online social media presence and real-world physical presence. Whrrl Society Rewards is the first program to tie together word-of-mouth influence and real world visits, rewarding people for motivating others to visit a business.

“Traditional loyalty programs can create the wrong expectations with customers, because discounts based on transactions don’t always lead to a deeper relationship,” Casey Petersen, Murphy USA’s Social Media Marketing Manager, said in a press release. “We love our customers not only for their business, but positive word-of-mouth and influence on others to try Murphy USA gas. Whrrl’s Society Rewards program is the perfect way to reward them for their loyalty.”

Sears and Kmart Enhances Customer Rewards Programs

Sears Holdings recently announces enhancements to the Sears  and Kmart loyalty programs. A new consumer survey, commissioned by Sears and Kmart, revealed that a majority (81%) of Americans remain generous at heart and admit that if they received a large sum of money, such as a prize or gift, they’d likely donate a portion of the funds to a charity, non-profit or other aid organization.

To celebrate the upcoming first anniversary of Shop Your Way Rewards, Sears and Kmart have announced the Shop Your Way Rewards ‘What Would You Do with One Billion Points?’ contest, to give one lucky, loyal customer the chance to win up to one billion Shop Your Way Rewards points — half to keep and the other half to donate to charity.

The contest, which started July 14, offers Shop Your Way Rewards members the chance to enter by submitting a 45-second personal video message describing what they would do with One Billion Points. All videos will be posted online at http://www.billionpoints.com, where America will vote to determine the winner. Continue reading “Sears and Kmart Enhances Customer Rewards Programs”

Sterling Commerce Expands Mobile App Portfolio with BtoB Integration App

Sterling Commerce recently announced the launch of Sterling InFlight Data Management Mobile, a BtoB integration as-a-Service visibility offering for mobile devices.  The application is designed to broaden the company’s mobile application portfolio, which includes Sterling Integrator Mobile and Sterling Control Center Mobile, which were announced in February.

Sterling InFlight Data Management Mobile is designed to provide business users with up-to-the-minute visibility into their BtoB transactions.  It is also designed to enable customers of Sterling BtoB integration solutions delivered as-a-Service to better manage the electronic document exchange supporting business-critical processes such as purchase orders, remittances and other supply chain operations.  Specifically, the application is meant to enable customers to determine the status of a transaction; monitor and take action on errant transactions; and review the actions that trading partners have taken.

According to a 2010 Vanson Bourne OmniBoss Survey on strategies for BtoB integration, 67% of U.S. companies say they predict effectiveness and productivity enhancements as a result of mobile devices increasing visibility of their BtoB data.  For companies that look to third-party support for management of their critical BtoB data, such as Sterling BtoB integration as-a-Service customers, Sterling InFlight Data Management Mobile is designed to provide the visibility to ensure smooth operations from anywhere, anytime.

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RedPrairie Enhances WFM Solution with Mobility Features


RedPrairie Corporation
, recently announced new capabilities for Site Manager™, the enhanced user interface for its Workforce Management solution. The new capabilities, including mobility features, are designed help retail managers to spend more time on the floor coaching sales associates and serving customers.

“By getting store managers out of the back room managing disparate software applications and onto the floor managing customer interactions in person, retailers are finding they can increase their sales conversions significantly,” said Noel Goggin, VP of Retail Strategy, RedPrairie. “At one location, we found that the store was generating five to six more sales conversions for every additional hour that the manager was able to spend on the floor. That has a huge impact on the bottom line in today’s challenging retail environment.”

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Pay-Per-Click Advertising: 3 Strategies to Up the Urgency & Boost Sales

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By Matt Lawson, VP of Marketing, Marin Software

Lawson_Matt_001_smallEvery retailer knows that urgency sells. The “one-day sale” or “20% off this week only” promotions are a mainstay of retail marketing — enticing shoppers to take advantage of limited-time offers. But while these messages work well in email, print, and TV campaigns, retailers have struggled to incorporate these “urgency messages” into their online advertising. With search marketing, in particular, managing urgency campaigns has proven very difficult, especially when a retailer’s search program spans millions of keywords.

As a retail marketer, how can you incorporate urgency messages into your paid search advertising programs? What language works to drive the highest level of “buy now” activity? And, most importantly, how can you effectively manage the use of limited-time urgency messages in paid search programs that span millions of keywords?

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New M-Commerce Guide Suggests Strategies To Leverage Smartphones For Conversion

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MEF_Guides_M-Commerce_capAs the growth of smartphone adoption continues to impact the way consumers find and buy products, a new guide from the Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF) was released yesterday to offer strategies to help retailers assimilate to the new mobile commerce landscape.

The M-Commerce Guide is the first output of MEF’s M-Commerce initiative led by an expert committee of members and written through consultation with leading industry players to engage, educate and evolve the potential of mobile. The guide was designed to help retailers better understand how to leverage the mobile device to drive customer acquisition, retention and most importantly, conversion.

As the mobile device increasingly becomes a tool to facilitate m-commerce, the ways to engage consumers with discovery tools also increases, the report said. But it requires more than just translating existing channels of communication, such as trying to replicate the Internet storefront on the mobile deice — it requires a dedicated and well thought out strategy to maximize the potential of m-commerce.

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