Retailer Survey: Customer Satisfaction Remains Top Priority

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customer_exp_survey_coverFor many retailers, supply chain optimization and employing efficient in-store strategies are key in developing a streamlined purchasing process. Although optimizing the shopping experience is important, companies are focused on engaging shoppers and converting them into loyal brand customers. In a recent Customer Engagement survey conducted by Retail TouchPoints, 64% of respondents agreed that customer engagement and satisfaction is a higher priority than other company concerns including cost reductions, supply chain optimization, domestic expansion and brand recognition.

Some other key survey findings include:

  • A majority of survey respondents (64%) reaffirmed the importance of employing a customer engagement strategy to retain existing customers, over acquiring new customers (44%).
  • Increasing brand loyalty also was a key topic of interest to 44% of retailers.
  • To maximize brand awareness, most retailers (64%) have employed a social media strategy to engage new and existing customers, and find it important to analyze platform conversions and respond to customer questions or complaints.
  • Retailers surveyed track and measure all CEM initiatives through customer analytics (66%) and social media monitoring (40%).
  • Overall, retailers found social media (50%), mobile technology (44%), and email marketing (50%) to be imperative engagement channels, while deploying in-store kiosks was least relevant (34%) related to current retail strategies. Continue reading “Retailer Survey: Customer Satisfaction Remains Top Priority”

Doctors Foster and Smith Increases ROI by 30% By Implementing Marin Search Solution

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Drs_foster_and_smithKeyword use and search results are effective tactics used by many online retailers to jumpstart brand exposure and sales. Pet supply retailer Doctors Foster and Smith relies on search to drive ROI, since a majority of its transactions occur online.

The retailer sought to find a solution that provided optimal exposure in search, because its previous search management technology was outdated and unresponsive to market changes and developments, the company reported. With the outdated technology in place, the company’s marketing team was unable to explore new strategies; instead it was focused on continual monitoring of existing campaign management. Doctors Foster and Smith chose search solution provider Marin Software to help improve its marketing efforts.

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E-Commerce Strategy Transcends Channels

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KellyONeillOnline commerce connects the digital and physical worlds. Understanding and implementing the right technology tools and strategies builds customer loyalty and drives sales across all channels. The future belongs to the retailers that are best able to provide a seamless cross channel experience to their customers.

More than 200 retail executives gathered recently at Oracle Retail CrossTalk to compare notes on vital retail topics, from merchandising and planning to global expansion. It quickly became clear that the issue most retailers are focused on right now is enabling better cross-channel experiences.

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Bulletin Board: Week of 6-27-2011


Grocery Shopping Network Teams Up With Sunflower Farmers Market

Sunflower Farmers Market has selected Grocery Shopping Network (GSN) to launch a new mobile application program that provides shoppers with access to features from the retailer’s web site, including an integrated mobile circular with built-in search capabilities, department and brand filtering, and sharing capabilities. The mobile shopping solution, available for iPhone and Android smartphones, is designed to allow shoppers to streamline the shopping process while maintaining their busy schedules, said Steve Black, VP of Marketing and IT, Sunflower Farmers Market in a press release.

The Phoenix, Arizona-based company operates 34 retail locations in seven states including Colorado, California and Texas and recently teamed up with GSN to revamp the retailer’s consumer web site.



Monoprix Renews DemandTec Subscription

French supermarket chain Monoprix recently renewed its subscription for DemandTec’s Everyday Price Optimization and Everyday Price Management software services. Everyday Price Optimization is designed to create and evaluate multiple scenarios and view predicted results while Everyday Price Management simplifies and streamlines the pricing process by enabling team members to quickly review, approve and deliver pricing downstream in response to manufacturer cost changes and new item introductions. “DemandTec’s services utilize proven optimization science enabling us to gain insight into shopper demand and set prices that benefit our shoppers,” said Hubert Hemard, Chief Marketing and Merchandising Officer at Monoprix. The retail company, owned by Groupe Galleries Lafayette and Groupe Casino, operates approximately 400 retail stores and owns five grocery brands.

Belk President Keynotes At Oracle Retail User Conference

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Oracle_Retail_TaglineClose to 220 retail executives gathered in Washington DC last week for Oracle Retail’s annual Crosstalk event, which was the largest attendance in the history of the conference, according to Rose Spicer, Senior Director, Retail Marketing for Oracle Retail. A total of 97 retail companies were represented, Spicer said. In addition to its annual user group meeting, which drew approximately 100 attendees, Crosstalk offered 39 retailer-led presentations throughout the three-day event, up from 29 the previous year.

The opening keynote was presented by Johnny Belk, President and COO of Belk, the southern U.S. department store chain operating 305 stores in 16 states. In 2011, Belk sales grew 5% to $3.5 billion. During the next three years the company is investing $150 million to repair and rebuild its core information systems and technology, including merchandising applications, a new data warehouse, new POS and a new eCommerce platform.

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21% Of Shoppers Plan To Spend More On The Web In 2011

The key to maximizing online holiday returns this year is — not surprisingly — to leverage the social and mobile channels to present a unified channel experience, and more importantly, cater to the “omni-channel consumer,” who is pressed for time and expects access to desired information on her terms, according to IBM Coremetrics in its recently released Fourth Annual Online Retail Holiday Readiness Report, an analysis of key trends in online shopping and usage based on data from more than 500 U.S. retailers.

With the holiday shopping season approaching, retailers are challenged to map out a blueprint for effective customer-facing strategies to win at every touch point. Focused on providing best-practice insight, the report uncovers the trends driving a customer-centric approach to e-Commerce for the most critical shopping period of the year.  

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Engaging Shoppers and Building Loyalty With Social Clienteling

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calendar_7-20Facebook has reached close to 600 million members, many of whom sign on to the social network before brushing their teeth in the morning. More shoppers consult their social media peers and social reviews before deciding to purchase a product or service.

Businesses that have embraced these trends are making great strides in today’s customer-driven marketplace. In fact 62% of business executives surveyed by McKinsey stated that the use of Web 2.0 technologies – collaborative social channels – integrated into the enterprise have increased the effectiveness of their marketing efforts to achieve higher levels of awareness, consideration and conversion and all-important loyalty.

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Pricing Success in an Inflationary Economy

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scale_62163061The recent recession has taken its toll on the economy. Commodities and gasoline prices are on the rise, while housing has taken a hit and unemployment has not rebounded. Retailers need to effectively manage pricing without having a negative effect on consumer perception and brand loyalty.

Successful retailers are using Price Optimization to face these challenges. Price optimization solutions analyzes consumer demand, recommends prices, and, measures the impact (sales, margins, profits) of different strategies, allowing retailers to make the most informed pricing decisions. Typical price optimization ROI is between $10 and $20 for every $1 invested.

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Abe’s Of Maine Increases Site Search And Reviews By 20%

Harnessing the power of word-of-mouth, online camera and electronics retailer Abe’s of Maine has integrated new site search capability that has increased e-Commerce site usability via customer feedback and user reviews. As a result of these enhancements, Abe’s of Maine reported that 20% of site search users are now choosing to browse user reviews; and that number is growing.

Not only are today’s shoppers more selective when searching topics and products of interest, but they want access to the product and service reviews and ratings submitted by other shoppers. In an effort to enhance the company-to-consumer relationship, more retailers are enabling customer feedback on their sites.

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Mcommerce Grows 25% In Six Months, Becomes Fastest-Growing Mobile Channel

Despite the fact that mCommerce has grown 25% in the last six months, 43% of online retailers still have not defined a mobile strategy, and 71% of eCommerce managers claim they have average or below average mobile expertise, according to Peter Sheldon, Senior Analyst, Forrester Research. Sheldon shared these and other mCommerce insights in a recent webinar titled: What Retailers Need To Know When Selecting and Implementing An M-Commerce Offering.

Other industry research confirms Forrester’s findings. Only 29% of online retailers have optimized the mobile platform by implementing a complete strategy that has been implemented and refined, according to the Shop.orgState of Retailing Online Report. Based on consumers’ growing dependence on mobile, many retailers are altering their budgets to develop an mCommerce plan. The Q2 Global eBusiness and Channel Strategy Professional Online Survey determined that 69% of retailers plan to increase mobile investment during 2011, and 12% anticipate doubling their budget.

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