Enhancing The Mobile Experience Beyond Cyber Monday

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The holiday shopping season is in full force, making optimized online, mobile and in-store customer experiences a priority for retailers.

Since shoppers will be browsing and buying via mobile more than ever before, factors such as loading speed, site organization and relevant features are vital to mobile engagement and overall purchase rates.

Joshua Bixby, President of Strangeloop, a mobile and web site optimization solution provider, shared key findings from company research and best practices for retailers eager to drive mobile purchases beyond the initial surge of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

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Mobilizing The Store: Game-Changing Trends for 2012

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calendar_12-15This webinar previews exclusive new data gathered from a Retail TouchPoints survey of retail executives, which focused on the current status of mobile deployments supporting both e-commerce and in-store initiatives, as well as plans for future roll-outs. The survey results will reveal how cutting edge retailers are using mobile for scanning, digital receipts, cross channel transactions, self-checkout, price look ups and deal of the day offers.

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Retailers Largely Ignoring Customers on Facebook

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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 panel of retail industry experts.

Some of the largest retailers in the U.S. are ignoring consumer complaints on Facebook, according to research by Conversocial, a company that helps businesses improve interactions with consumers on social media sites. In fact, during a five-day period in September, nearly two-thirds of consumer issues raised on Facebook went unaddressed.

Costco, Kmart and Kroger failed to respond to a single consumer inquiry on Facebook during the period. Others failed to respond in varying degrees, including: Walmart, which did not respond to 41% of inquiries; Macy’s (35%); Dillards (25%); Bloomingdale’s (20%); Nordstrom (20%); Sears (11%); and Safeway (5%).

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Revionics Partners With RivalWatch To Add Competitive Intelligence To Pricing


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has entered a strategic partnership with RivalWatch, a provider of Internet-based competitive intelligence services. The partnership will blend Revionics’ Life Cycle Price Optimization Solutions with RivalWatch’s suite of Competitive Intelligence Services. According to Retail System Research’s (RSR) 2011 Benchmark Report “Optimizing Price in a Transparent World”, retailers are very aware of ― and need to respond to ― the impact consumer price transparency is having on their retail businesses. According to the report, retailers are looking for price optimization and management solutions that will help them drive top line sales, improve promotion profitability and enhance their price image in this world of price transparency. 

“With consumers increasingly becoming more omni-channel in how they research and purchase products, retailers require pricing insights that accurately predict and quickly adapt to consumer buying behavior and motivators,” stated Marc Hafner, Revionics’ President and CEO. “The Revionics and RivalWatch integrated solution will provide retailers with the pricing insights and strategies necessary to stay a step ahead of their competitors.”

“Retailers must be able to predict and react to market indicators and competitive pricing behavior in the hyper-sensitive, fast-moving retail market,” added Marty Hodgett, President and CEO of RivalWatch. “This partnership helps retailers price more competitively while identifying opportunities to maximize margins across channels and categories.” 

The Smarter Consumer

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drc_ebook_ibm-verticalToday’s smarter consumer is instrumented, interconnected and intelligent – and retailers need to respond to all three qualities in order to have a positive impact. The online channel is key to retail success today. In 2009 11% of all retail spend was online; in 2020 it is predicted to rise to 21.4%. But retailers need to be present in all relevant channels are provide consistent messaging throughout.

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Meeting The Demands Of The Smarter Consumer

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wp_drc_ibm-demandsIn a recent survey of 30,000 consumers in 6 countries, the IBM Institute for Business found that today’s smarter consumers expect retailers to meet their needs and respond to their suggestions. In fact, 61% of survey respondents will spend more money with retailers that implement their suggestions. Additionally, Gen Y shoppers (aged 20-30) are using multiple channels to research, purchase and share product information. Retailers also must be aware of regional differences. For example, consumers living in growth markets are almost twice as willing to use multiple technologies for shopping and purchasing as those in mature markets.

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Digital Gift Card Services Increase Loyalty, Create Seamless Exchange And Redemption Process

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Gift card purchases are expected to reach $100 billion in sales by 2012, according to research firm TowerGroup in its analysis titled “CARD Act Impact: New Regulations Set to Wipe Out Gift Card Junk Fees and Reposition Market.” With the increased adoption of mobile commerce, digital gift cards are a new, abundant and low-hanging fruit for retailers.

Digital gift cards are a new tactic to drive in-store traffic and loyalty without focusing on discounting strategies such as coupons and daily deals.  In turn, start-up companies such as Wrapp are establishing themselves in the e-gift card space.

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ShopText Launches ScanTxt To Leverage Offline Mobile Campaigns

ShopText, a mobile marketing and loyalty solutions provider, recently launched ScanTxt, a web-based mobile marketing solution which combines QR codes and text messaging keywords. The self-service solution offers retailers the ability to create an integrated QR code and text message call-to-action for offline ads. Additionally, codes can connect prospects and customers to any selected digital content such as web sites and social networks. The new solution provides real-time reporting of scans, texts and clicks by day and time of day from a single dashboard. ScanTxt leverages the partnership between ShopText and Helferich Patent Licensing (HPL) and is the only HPL authorized mobile marketing platform approved to offer “text to shortcode programs” on behalf of third parties, according to a press release. ShopText CEO Steve Roberts noted that more than half (70%) of the U.S. population uses SMS text messaging; as this trend continues to increase, consumers are more likely to scan a QR code. ShopText will be offering users a 25% discount on the first three months of any plan purchased with promocode by December 12, 2011.

Books-A-Million Partners With Checkpoint Systems To Enhance Customer Experience Through EAS Solution

Books-A-Million has teamed with Checkpoint Systems to reduce shrink and enhance the in-store customer experience through Checkpoint’s electronic article surveillance (EAS) solution. With more than 250 stores in 31 states and the District of Columbia, Books-A-Million selected Checkpoint’s EAS because of its superior plug-and-play solution and dedicated in-house experts, according to Chad Tice, VP of Loss Prevention at Books-A-Million. “We are excited to partner with Books-A-Million and delighted that it has already begun realizing immediate benefits in shrink reduction,” said Farrokh Abadi, President of Shrink Management Solutions for Checkpoint Systems. “In addition, we admire Books-A-Million’s forward-looking strategy of source tagging, which now can be deployed to reduce tagging costs, provide a less intrusive protection method and better shopping experience for its valued customers.” Books-A-Million is implementing the EAS antennas in approximately 90 stores. It plans to begin a second phase of an additional 50 stores in the first quarter of 2012.

New Study Reveals Email Messaging Can Offset Shopping Cart Abandonment Rates

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shutterstock_51638779Retailers are developing better messaging that discourages online shopping cart abandonment, a major concern in e-Commerce, and entices online shoppers to process their orders. The average abandonment rate jumped from 71% to 75% during the first six months of 2011 as more consumers utilized online carts to compare prices before making a purchasing decision, according to a recent cart abandonment study from Listrak, an email marketing solutions firm. Online shoppers also abandon their carts due to high or unexpected shipping costs and simple interruptions, among other factors, the study said.

Entitled “Shopping Cart Abandonment Practices of the Internet Retailer 1000 Companies,” the October 2011 study was created by Listrak to help retailers implement cart abandonment campaigns to improve order completion rates and identify trends as well as best practices. Listrak tapped the abandonment habits of the Top 1000 Internet Retailers then examined the point in the checkout process in which retailers request shoppers’ email addresses. It also looked at whether or not the payment information is located on the same page as the email option.

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