Why Attend?


The Retail TouchPoints Customer Lifecycle Conference is an online event designed to present turnkey strategies and tactics that will help companies tap into emerging media deliver a coordinated customer-centric approach to retail.

In a convenient, format for retail executives, the event will feature presentations from leading industry executives, allowing attendees to learn how to implement and execute best-in-class strategies throughout the customer lifecycle to successfully engage and move customers through the shopping process. The event will offer answers to the most urgent customer-facing questions, including:

  • How do I successfully leverage smart phone technology for better customer service?
  • What do I need to know in order to implement a successful social commerce strategy?
  • What are the best ways to communicate with today’s connected consumers?

With no cost or travel necessary, the virtual event will feature live keynote presentations that hone in on hot topics, innovative approaches and best practice insight.


Online Sales Spike 45% For Jeweler Following Digital Marketing Initiative


MichaelCFinaLuxury jewelry retailer Michael C. Fina reported a 45% increase in online sales through Q4 2010, following an online marketing campaign conducted by Elite SEM, a boutique digital agency. The marketing program consisted of targeted paid search campaign designed to boost web traffic to the brand’s web site and generate both online and offline sales.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) has proven valuable for many companies in recent years. In 2009 the SEM industry was worth $14.6 billion, up from $13.5 billion in 2008, according to the 2010 State of Search Engine Marketing Report, completed by SEMPO and Econsultancy. For 2010, the group estimated a 14% increase, reaching $16.6 billion by year-end.

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Survey: RFID Pricing Remains Primary Concern For Majority Of Retailers


report_iconRFID implementation remains a point of debate within the retail industry. Although the benefits have been proven, the price is still an insurmountable barrier for most retail organizations.

While many retailers see the potential of RFID for item-, pallet- and case-level tagging, most remain reticent about the technology because of the price tag. In a recent survey conducted by Retail TouchPoints, 30% of respondents agreed that “as soon as the price is more reasonable, it (RFID) will become an integral component of retail operations.”

Another 16.7% believe RFID already is becoming an integral part of retail operations.

While approximately two thirds of retail respondents still have no plan to add RFID, one third plan to add RFID functionality or currently are using it for item-, pallet-, case-level and promotional display tagging.

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Monetate Helps Retailers Optimize E-Commerce Performance With Testing And Targeting

Monetate is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) technology platform designed to help retailers boost online sales by optimizing the user web site experience with more compelling, personal and engaging offers and messaging. Retailers have long known the potential of agile, focused, one-to-one marketing on the Internet, but IT challenges have made it difficult to bring this concept to life. Consumers have grown frustrated with a one-size-fits-all online shopping experience, and they are tired of searching for hours to find the right products and prices, suffering through clunky checkout procedures, chasing missing coupon codes and interacting with out of date e-Commerce sites.

Headquartered in Philadelphia, Monetate was founded by entrepreneurs David Brussin and David Bookspan in 2008. Brussin, founder and CEO, previously started three successful technology companies, while Bookspan, founder and Chairman, created both a successful technology company and an early-stage venture fund.  

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Social Location Marketing Author Talks Gaming, Loyalty and shopkick


SimonSalt_capFoursquare, Gowalla and shopkick brought the “check-in” concept to life, and the growing interest around location-based applications is prompting retailers to reevaluate marketing strategy, integrating these new technologies. Retail TouchPoints recently had the opportunity to speak with Simon Salt, author of the new book, Social Location Marketing, to uncover how retailers can drive sales with gaming, what retailers are doing to integrate location-based applications into loyalty programs, and the future implications of shopkick for the retail environment. 

Retail TouchPoints (RTP): What are some of the misconceptions about how location-based marketing can drive retail revenue?

Simon Salt: Like many aspects of social media, some people believe that social location marketing is a “quick fix” to more endemic problems. Social location marketing can’t fix a bad customer experience.

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Bulletin Board: Week of 3-28-2011

Usablenet, MyBuys, Moovweb Recognized
In Mobile Commerce Vendor Matrix Ranking

Usablenet has been ranked at the top of the latest Non-NFC Mobile Commerce Vendor Matrix released by ABI Research. MyBuys, Inc. and Moovweb claimed the second and third spots in the company’s newest evaluation of worldwide mobile commerce solution vendors.

The Vendor Matrix is an analytical tool developed by ABI Research to provide a clear understanding of vendors’ positions in specific markets. Vendors are assessed on the important parameters of “innovation” and “implementation” across several criteria unique to each vendor matrix.

“Usablenet rated first because not only does it have a proven track record with a significant customer base; it also has the most complete offering of any vendor we reviewed, offering mobile web, apps and text messaging capabilities,” said Mark Beccue, Senior Analyst with ABI Research. “Second-place MyBuys garnered the highest innovation rating in our matrix due to its ability to deliver customized mobile web on the fly, a critical innovation for mobile online shopping. Third-place Moovweb combined performance (it has served more than 3.6 billion mobile web pages for clients to date) with the best feature functionality for a mobile web offering. Its mobile web capabilities include scalability for feature phone users, location services and social network integration, to name just a few.”


GXS Acquires RollStream; Deepens
Commitment To The Social Supply Chain

GXS recently announced that it has acquired RollStream, a Software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider of enterprise community management. This acquisition accelerates GXS’s strategy to speed and simplify the integration of global business communities. By combining the RollStream solution with GXS Trading Grid, GXS expects to enhance the performance of global business and supply chain operations for its customers. The acquisition deepens GXS’s long-term commitment to the Social Supply Chain, a vision that brings together information flows and information workers to break down barriers hampering supply chain efficiency.

“Our customers realize they need a balance of people, process and technology to compete on a global scale, and they know that the human side of BtoB integration matters,” said Bob Segert, CEO, GXS. “RollStream is one of the more innovative startups to enter the BtoB integration market in recent years. At GXS, we are firm believers that integration belongs in the cloud and the RollStream acquisition enables us to accelerate this vision.”


Speculation Surrounds eBay-GSI Commerce Acquisition



With the $2.4 billion eBay acquisition of GSI Commerce just announced, it’s impossible to know how the melding of the two companies will affect the two companies in the long run, never mind the retail industry as a whole. But retail and business analysts are poised to speculate.

Generally, analysts are focused on the acquisition as an attempt by eBay to offer more services similar to Amazon. In fact, the acquisition does just that. GSI will provide eBay the ability to create and maintain third-party e-commerce web sites; and handle orders, shipments and returns for third-party sellers through distribution centers ― both functions now performed by Amazon.com. Prior to the acquisition, eBay already was a marketplace for third-party merchants and through Paypal has been able to accept online payments.

Additionally, the GSI acquisition provides eBay the ability to offer marketing services for retailers and supply eBay classified ads as well as Craigslist ads — two services not currently offered by Amazon.com.

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Gigya Launches Social Commerce Integration With ATG, Demandware And Magento


The meaning of “social commerce” — a popular buzz phrase recently — is causing the retail industry to reconsider how socially-driven technologies are changing the way people shop. Shoppers are increasingly seeking ways to interact with friends while shopping on their platform or channel of choice, and retailers are challenged to keep up with the near-constant evolution of social technologies.

The value of social commerce is undisputed, but the need for education around related technologies is growing. A January 2011 survey conducted by Retail Systems Research (RSR) found that 98% of retailers view investing in social commerce as valuable, but an increasing number are “stymied” by their existing technologies.

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Oracle Survey Reveals 48% Of Shoppers Use Mobile Devices For Research and Browsing

While it’s impressive that 48% of shoppers are now using mobile devices to research and browse products, the growth of that percentage is even more significant, according to research conducted during the past 15 months by Oracle and Art Technology Group, Inc. (ATG), a company acquired by Oracle in November 2010. The number of shoppers using mobile devices for research and browsing jumped 37% in the previous 5 months.

By the definition of “mobile” the next logical conclusion is that consumers are conducting their research in various locations – at home, at work and in-store. In fact, 16% of consumers are comparing brands and prices while in one store versus competitors’ brands, according to the Oracle/ATG report titled: “Mobile Trends: Consumer Views of Mobile Shopping.” To compile the study, the companies polled more than 1,000 consumers.

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SAP In-Memory Analytics Speeds Information Access

Store managers can receive real-time information on sales and make immediate decisions regarding inventory, merchandising and promotions using SAP’s High-Performance Analytic Appliance (HANA) software running In-Memory Analytics. The first in a series of installments of In-Memory Analytics — Business Warehouse (BW) — features reporting capabilities for functions including sales analytics, promotional analytics, supplier analysis and clustering analysis.

With HANA, retailers no longer have to rely on hardware, traditional databases and data warehouses, or be constrained by the speed of the database, according to SAP. “You can now reduce the time to run a report from a week down to seconds,” said Barry Adam, SAP Retail In-Memory Expert. “We are focusing on getting data off the disc into memory and enabling applications to get at data any way they need to.”

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