Holiday Sales Checklist: The Top 5 Ways to Convert More Sales in the Store During the Peak Selling Season

In the current economic climate, the margin between success and failure is slim, and pulling a few key levers could easily mean the difference between comp stores swinging from positive to negative. With only a few weeks before Black Friday, retailers are urged to register for this webinar to tune up their cross-channel strategies to drive more store traffic and convert more sales. The webinar will offer insights into the follow 5 areas:
  1. Cross Channel Buy, Pickup  In-store: Whether it is from the online channel, the mobile web or a catalog, consumers now expect the convenience of picking up that item at their local store location.
  2. In-Store Save the Sale: Using in-store kiosks and mobile apps connected to the e-commerce engine, retailers are avoiding out of stocks and enabling self-service scenarios.
  3. Increasing the Relevance of Associate Engagement: By providing access to wish lists, buying history and recommendations, retailers are bringing service functions traditionally found online into the store.
  4. Expanding Endless Aisle Capabilities at the Store Level: The ability to capture orders for an expanded assortment of products, without having to stock the inventory in every store, is emerging as a key competitive differentiator.
  5. Global Inventory Availability: Providing the ability to check inventory availability across other local stores and account for dynamic changes across systems and locations.

Continue reading “Holiday Sales Checklist: The Top 5 Ways to Convert More Sales in the Store During the Peak Selling Season”

Strategies To Drive Growth, Offset Price Wars Presented At Kantar Retail’s Strategic Outlook

While physical expansion opportunities may seem obsolete for many retailers, the need to drive growth and revenue continues to pressure the increasingly competitive marketplace. As part of its Strategic Outlook Conference series, Kantar Retail brought several turnkey presentations to New York City this week, offering retailers tactical measurements that are central to driving growth.

While consumer insights have long been a key piece of the retail pie, the Kantar Retail analysts presented a breadth of information that retailers must consider as part of their overall marketing strategies. Senior Economist Frank Badillo opened the conference with his presentation, “Finding the Levers for Retail Growth: An Economic Approach.” In 2009, Kantar Retail forecasted a recovery that would build quarter-by-quarter in 2010, and sales recovered even stronger than anticipated. This, Badillo said, was driven by “stronger-than-expected economic stimulus and pent-up demand” for various retail products.

“There are sufficient signs that the job market is on the road to recovery, but sales growth will be hurt by price comparison in the market,” Badillo said.

Competitive differentiation is a growing necessity. While the holiday forecast puts annual 2010 growth slightly above the initial 3.3% initial forecast, Kantar Retail’s preliminary forecast is that 2011 growth will be in the 2.5% to 3% range.

Continue reading “Strategies To Drive Growth, Offset Price Wars Presented At Kantar Retail’s Strategic Outlook”

SAP Unveils New Mobile Solutions During Customer Retail Forum


sap_app_capMobile technology as the centerpiece, SAP introduced seven different “innovations” during the October Retail Forum in Las Vegas. While a number of the technologies have launched and are in use by retail customers, others are still in the research and testing stage.

Robert McFarland, SVP & General Manager, SAP for Retail, welcomed attendees to the event themed Mobilizing Your Business. Mark Ledbetter, National Vice President, SAP for Retail discussed SAP Retail future direction, to include more prepackaged offerings that can go live in 4-6 weeks; and a sustainability application released in July 2010. Kevin Nix, SVP, Mobility, SAP Labs, discussed SAP’s two-part mobile strategy: 1.0 = Extend the Enterprise and 2.0 = Transform the Enterprise.

The seven areas presented during in the Innovation Pods are as follows:

  1. The Future is Here – The Mobile Power Shopper and Always in Stock

This area featured a preview of SAP’s Sales Analytics for retail using the iPad. Fossil and Walgreens are two retailers testing this product.

Continue reading “SAP Unveils New Mobile Solutions During Customer Retail Forum”

5 Tips To Optimize Your E-Commerce Site To Maximize Holiday Sales


By Paul Alfieri, VP Corporate Marketing and Communications, Limelight Networks, Inc.

alfieri_paul_headshot_2010It’s hard to believe, but the holiday shopping season is upon us. And while Internet traffic peaks are still weeks away, early shoppers have their credit cards at the ready and are hunting the best steals and deals online. There’s no better time than now to make sure your business is prepared to attract and convert buyers on the web this holiday season. Here are 5 tips to get you started.

1. Show Your Best Side.
Static web sites are so 1995. Research shows that rich media is important not only for attracting attention, but for converting potential customers into buyers. Dynamic Logic found that video increases consumer purchase intent more than any other online format. In one example, Overstock has said it plans to have videos for every product on its site by year’s end. And rich media doesn’t stop with video. Interactive apps allow consumers to customize product photos, 360-degree views and virtual tours are proliferating, and even virtual fitting rooms have started to appear. All of these features engage consumers in ways that weren’t possible just a few short years ago. Use them to your advantage.

Continue reading “5 Tips To Optimize Your E-Commerce Site To Maximize Holiday Sales”

Socialization Of Data, Relationships Explored At Teradata Conference


terradata_01_capThe massive expansion of channels and devices, coupled with the explosion of social media, has presented new paths to connect and engage with consumers, but these trends have also created a “raging tsunami of information” for retailers to manage. These new opportunities and challenges were central themes during the 25th annual Teradata Partners User Group Conference and Expo held in San Diego this week.

Darryl McDonald, Executive VP of Business Development and Marketing at Teradata encouraged companies to create value from this wave by “socializing the data” – combining it with what they already know about their customers, supply chain, financial performance and partners. “Organizations that can figure out how to use this information to differentiate themselves will create a clear competitive advantage,” McDonald said. “By opening up access to the entire corporate ecosystem – and incorporating big data from the Internet, social networks, and unstructured data from emails and call centers – enterprises can generate a supercharged view for both business and technical users, expanding the frontiers of insight and innovation.”

McDonald pointed to companies such as InterContinental Hotels Group, which has driven $2.5 million per month in sales from mobile bookings – a 400% increase in the last year, by introducing an Apple iPhone app allowing hotel guests can make reservations.

Continue reading “Socialization Of Data, Relationships Explored At Teradata Conference”

The Ten Commandments of Customer-Centric Retailing


Raymark-logo-red_300pxIn recent years, customer-centricity has truly become a focal point of retail. Customers exhibit a strong, positive response to retailers who make an effort to understand them and tailor their merchandising, marketing and promotions accordingly.

Know Thy Customer:
Throughout this webinar, “The Ten Commandments of Customer-Centric Retailing”, you will learn approaches for adopting customer-centric retailing across every area of your business, helping you create a consistent and effective multi-channel experience for your customers and generating loyalty and buzz along the way.

Continue reading “The Ten Commandments of Customer-Centric Retailing”

New Holiday Outlook Provides Insights Into Attracting ‘Value-Driven Shoppers’


holiday_outlook_guide_drcWith Black Friday only weeks away, retailers are preparing last-minute strategies to attract and engage the new “value-driven consumer,” who will be searching for the best deals, and using new media tools to save at checkout. According to Citigroup analyst Deborah Weinswig, this new category of shopper spans demographics and economic standings.

Following the “Consumer Hourglass Theory,” Weinswig said consumer spending will primarily be at the top and bottom of the hourglass as high-income consumers recover and low-income consumers remain challenged. “This should benefit retailers that cater to high-income consumers (such as Saks and Nordstrom) as well as value-oriented retailers (such as the dollar stores).”

The new 2010 Holiday Outlook, available as a complimentary report from Retail TouchPoints, addresses the trends and strategies driven by value-driven shoppers. The Outlook also provides insight on current shopper-driven technologies, new applications designed to empower the shopper and tactical ideas on how retailers can utilize mobile commerce opportunities to heighten functionality and convenience for shoppers.

Continue reading “New Holiday Outlook Provides Insights Into Attracting ‘Value-Driven Shoppers’”

NCR’s Mobiqa Acquisition Could Boost Convergence Of Mobile/Kiosk Channels


MobiqaThe announcement this week that NCR Corp., a leader in assisted- and self-service solutions, had acquired mobile content company Mobiqa, signaled not only a merger of the two companies but also the two worlds of fixed and mobile self-service devices.

Now armed with a platform to converge the two companies’ self-serving solutions and principles, NCR is positioned to extend their offerings across more industries, including entertainment, event and retail sectors. The contents of the deal were not disclosed.

“This strategic acquisition signals NCR’s commitment to building out our mobile platform to support the delivery of our seamless multichannel strategy,” said John Bruno, executive vice president for NCR, in a company statement. “We are dedicated to making consumers’ experience of interacting with businesses easier by giving them the ability to move seamlessly between self-service mobile, online and kiosk channels.”

Continue reading “NCR’s Mobiqa Acquisition Could Boost Convergence Of Mobile/Kiosk Channels”

A Prescriptive Guide To Including Mobile & Social In Cross Channel Marketing


By Gib Bassett, Director of Marketing, Signal

Gib-Bassett_cropThe end game to reaping the benefits of cross channel marketing is to obtain a 360- degree view of customer channel preferences and permissions. In the process, marketers identify and grow the base of customers who desire a fully cross channel relationship with their business — across mobile, email and social media. As a segment, this is a highly engaged audience that represents a business’ most valuable customers.

To call these customers to action most effectively, marketers must develop, orchestrate and measure marketing efforts that span channels. Doing so recognizes that various digital channels serve different customer needs as part of the business/customer relationship lifecycle. Cross channel marketing is a rather breakthrough idea, because it takes this notion a step beyond the mutually exclusive targeting of customers within channels. Cross channel marketing instead seeks to utilize each channel’s strength in unison to create a better outcome more efficiently than could otherwise be possible using multiple, disconnected applications and databases.

Continue reading “A Prescriptive Guide To Including Mobile & Social In Cross Channel Marketing”

Social Media Search Key Trend for Holiday Shopping


holidays-socialmedia_smallThe social sphere continues to demonstrate how word of mouth can positively and negatively serve retail brands, but its potential for search and gift guiding is coming to life in the months moving toward holiday. Online shoppers have indicated that they’re increasingly tapping social networks for gift ideas, as 27% of holiday shoppers last year used social networks for clues on what gifts to buy friends and family, according to eMarketer. Even more online shoppers are expected to tap social networks like Facebook for gift-giving ideas.

“A great way to drive gift purchases this holiday is to use Facebook and Twitter to launch ‘gift guides’ tied to promotions,” said Clay McDaniel, Principal and Co-Founder of Spring Creek Group, a Seattle-based social media strategy and marketing services agency.

McDaniel encourages retailers to use social networks as a forum to publish offers with verbiage that includes calls to action for particular gift purchases, like “Save 10% on Best Gifts for Grandma,” or “Find Dad’s Gift – and Save 20%.”

Continue reading “Social Media Search Key Trend for Holiday Shopping”