Engaging The “Screen-Connected Consumer”



The mobile channel has allowed today’s consumers to instantly access a seemingly endless amount of information and share it through social media, email and short messaging service (SMS). In the recent webinar titled Beyond Transaction: Using SMS For Engaging Commerce, Gary Schwartz, President and CEO of Impact Mobile, and Kevin Skurski, Director of Marketing Communications for Bronto Software, suggested tactics for retailers looking to leverage SMS as the jumping-off point to a seamless and engaging multi-channel customer experience.

Schwartz emphasized the importance of the mobile channel as a primary means for retailers to form lasting relationships with customers. To maintain shopper attention during the mobile experience, however, the transfer across touch points must be fluid, frictionless and consistent. This is the key to unlocking revenue in a long-term strategy, he noted.

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Industry Experts Share Exclusive Insights In 2011 RTP Holiday Outlook Report


HOLIDAY_OUTLOOK_PREVIEWWith the holiday shopping season quickly approaching, industry experts surveyed by the Retail TouchPoints editorial staff point to the continually growing trend of the omni-channel consumer as a key driver for successful retail strategies. This new breed of shopper is constantly connected to multiple platforms and searches, browses and buys through the mobile web and emerging social media channels, such as Facebook storefronts.

In the upcoming Retail TouchPoints (RTP) annual Holiday Outlook report, industry experts will share in-depth insight on the expectations and shopping behaviors of the omni-channel consumer, and how retailers can best deliver on experience to optimize sales and loyalty during the 2011 holiday season. The report also will detail the potential of near field communication (NFC) technology and mobile payments, as well as the anticipated growth of tablet adoption for both customer-facing touch points and streamlining backend operations. The report’s roster of experts emphasizes the need to cater to these new consumer-facing trends to develop customer-centric strategies and maximize holiday sales.

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The New Realities Of Managing Store Investments



In light of the growing capabilities of today’s tech-savvy consumers, retailers are opening new stores and revamping older locations to breeze past the competition and boost sales. Retailers are further responding to this tense environment and opting for survival by searching for new ways to create innovative, yet cost-friendly, store formats. They are considering a number of options such as: hardware acquisition/procurement, managing rollouts/refreshes, addressing shorter product lifecycles/changing maintenance needs, and optimizing store support.

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Reengage Your Customers, Revitalize Your ROI

Online marketers are aware of how powerful shopping-cart abandonment tools are, but the reality is that solutions addressing shopping-cart abandonment alone are missing a significant amount of potential sales that are lost before a shopper can add a product to a shopping cart.  

Finding a way to positively reengage these visitors and monetize their visits would allow the eMarketer to receive that unrealized income…as well as provide a valuable service to customers.

Companies need to identify and pursue those opted-in consumers who show interest in the eCommerce web site yet don’t place items in a shopping cart. It’s also a necessary component of a robust CRM program. When companies communicate with the opted-in customer based on the exact content that person is viewing, random messaging is eliminated and the company shows consideration to that customer in terms of both time and relevancy.

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IT at the Speed of Business: Why Spreadsheets No Longer Cut It



Spreadsheets lack the consistency, standardization and workflow capabilities required to set goals and to report results clearly and consistently across the organization.

To share the business benefits of specific projects, many IT organizations are implementing Project Portfolio Management (PPM). PPM is helping IT executives by providing current, consistent, business-focused metrics on project costs and benefits. But for PPM to work, IT organizations must move beyond the use of spreadsheets. To learn more about the role of PPM and why traditional tools do not adequately support these efforts. Complete the form below to download the whitepaper: “IT at the Speed of Business: Why Spreadsheets No Longer Cut It.”

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Travelocity Founder To Deliver Keynote at NRFtech 2011


nrf_techTerry Jones, Founder of Travelocity.com and Chairman of Kayak.com, will deliver the keynote address at the National Retail Federation (NRF) 2011 IT Leadership Summit in Lake Tahoe. Additionally, Andy Laudato, CIO of Pier 1 Imports,will serve as the event’s official emcee.

Targeting senior-level IT executives, the conference is sponsored by Cisco, Oracle, salesforce.com among others and will feature turnkey insights delivered by executives from retail companies including: Abercombie & Fitch, Petco, Michael’s and Pizza Hut.

 2011 NRFtech sessions will focus on IT retail topics, including:

Bulletin Board: Week of 7-25-11

We&Co Tracks Customer Service Rather Than Check-Ins

A new iPhone application from We&Co is designed to help businesses create meaningful relationships with patrons via employees’ services. The free app allows users to search and thank their favorite service professional, combining real human relationship with location-awareness.  “We&Co creates a culture of recognition and empowers employees to grow the business,” said Marc Mathieu, Co-founder of We&Co, in a press release. Additionally, retailers can movebeyond “likes” and check-ins to focus on the interaction between staff members and guests, while promoting the brand and services.

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HauteLook Implements RightNow To Empower Shoppers In Multi-Channel Buying Experience



Retailers need to keep up with the multi-channel needs of today’s shoppers by providing personalized and engaging experiences. Flash sale retailer HauteLook has partnered with RightNow to amp up its customer experience by implementing the cloud-based RightNow CX suite.

Since its inception in 2007, HauteLook has been a provider of clothing and accessories for men, women, and children, as well as beauty supplies and home goods through a 48-hour sale event format. Recently, the retailer also launched a monthly shoe membership site, Sole Society. Through the flash sale model, HauteLook offers shoppers up to 75% discounts on designer products and high-end travel packages.

“By providing exceptional support and shopping experiences, HauteLook will increase loyalty, which ultimately increases sales,” Suzy Meriwether, Retail Marketing Director for RightNow, told Retail TouchPoints. “RightNow will continue to grow with this hot flash-retail brand. Because the solution is delivered via the cloud, HauteLook can easily scale its use of RightNow, without additional IT infrastructure costs, to meet the demands of popular sales events or the holiday shopping season.”

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RetailNOW Session: Transforming Kiosks Into Mobile Marketing Tools

Shoppers are becoming increasinglytech-savvy and retailers need to respond with applications, solutions and services that appeal to those consumers.  To that end, merchants must embrace consumer use of smartphones and tablets, and incorporate the devices’ abilities into marketing strategies.

“Many people think smartphones are mainly used for surfing the Internet,” noted Bruce Slywka, SVP of Sales and Marketing for IdentityMine during a RetailNOW event session titled Yesterday’s Kiosk Is Now In The Palm Of Your Hand. “Actually, more folks per day are using them for applications…Applications are becoming very prevalent and this is an important point of reference when we talk about the solution for the modern kiosk.”

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Walmart’s Decision To Share Data Stirs Industry Discussion


Editor’s Note:
This article is an excerpt from one of RetailWire’s recent online discussions. Each business morning on RetailWire.com, retail industry execs get plugged in to the latest news and issues with key insights from a “BrainTrust” panel of retail industry experts.

Walmart recently announced that it has reversed its position and agreed to share its scan data with outside research firms in an effort to better understand its customers. That’s why the company already has reached a deal with Nielsen and is reported to be very close on a similar deal with Symphony IRI.

Since Walmart first decided not to share its data, its suppliers have been able to see how well their products sold, but not their competitors’. This additional information is viewed by many industry experts as critical for retail companies to fully understand the marketplace.

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