SMB Report: In-Store Technology, Daily Deals and Social Media Drive Growth For Smaller Retailers

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smb-clothing-storeToday’s small-to-medium business (SMB) retailers are challenged by key operational issues such as budgeting, limited resources and customer acquisition as they compete in a consumer-driven marketplace.

The web has become prime consumer real estate due to the breadth of product assortments, convenience and customization of online shopping. This paradigm shift in buying behavior, coupled with technological advancements and economic implications, drastically has affected how retailers large and small alike are operating today.

To compete effectively, progressive retailers are employing cost-effective technologies and tactics such as social media and loyalty programs to address their acquisition and retention challenges. They also are utilizing these channels to garner customer feedback that can be leveraged to implement processes for repeatable success.  

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The Root Of 2012 Trends For Retailers

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Patti_Renner_High_ResNow that Q1 2012 is just about behind us, I’d like to review where I see marketers evolving their direct digital marketing strategies during the remainder of this year to make the most of the opportunities that are opening up.

The Customer As Royalty

Step aside, Kate: The customer is the new royalty, at least as far as marketers should be concerned.  A cataclysmic shift is taking place, one that puts the customer (not the brand) at the core of the messaging and strategic approach. This moves the idea of “How do we reach the customer?” to “How do we serve ― and honor ― the customer?” From our lowly station as mere marketers, we must ask: How do we best serve our queen? How do we best anticipate her every desire before she asks? How do we become both steady companion and an essential part of her court?

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PinSync Streamlines Venue Optimization To Boost Store Engagement

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PinSync_Map_Image_2Progressive retailers seize customer engagement opportunities to initiate positive shopper experiences and cultivate a role in spreading brand awareness. This approach ultimately helps retailers impact consumer mindshare, as well as their bottom lines.

Retailers with multiple brick-and-mortar locations face specific customer engagement challenges, particularly streamlining and clarifying venue location data on Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter.  Within these networks, customer-facing inaccuracies, omissions, duplications and other inconsistencies regarding venue locations undermine search, discovery and overall in-store performance.

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Mobile Device Retailers Improve Operations, Profitability With iQmetrix/Envysion Joint Venture

Envysion, a Managed Video as a Service (MVaaS) provider, has completed integration to the RQ4 integrated business intelligence platform from iQmetrix, a provider of Retail Management solutions for the wireless industry. The partnership gives mobile device retailers an average of 10% to 15% improvement in profitability from better visibility into the customer experience; promotions and sales effectiveness; and areas of loss, according to a press release.

Envysion’s assimilation with RQ4 “gives our wireless retail customers a better understanding of what is occurring in the store and enables them to improve decision making and drive profit improvement,” said Matt Steinfort, President and CEO of Envysion.

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Zmags Launches Digital Catalog Tools For iPad, Facebook And Pinterest

Zmags, a mobile and social marketing platform provider, announced a new app for the iPad and new social capabilities for Facebook and Pinterest. The offerings enable brands and retailers to more effectively engage consumers on their favorite mobile and social platforms – connecting with them wherever/however they choose to browse and shop – without having to re-invent brand content for each digital channel.

The Zmags App for iPad lets companies quickly pull their digital catalogs or other curated content directly into an iPad app. iPad users can shop and purchase directly within the app, as well as browse and add items to their shopping carts offline. This provides a fast and efficient avenue for brands and retailers to present their branded content in an app, while also providing a pleasing experience for customers who prefer shopping via branded apps.

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Goodwill To Implement Epicor Solutions

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goodwillThe largest Goodwill operation in the world, Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin has selected the Epicor suite of retail solutions to support its growing retail operations. This Goodwill division employs more than 5,000 Goodwill employees in 70 locations throughout 23 counties in southeastern Wisconsin and metropolitan Chicago. The retailer will implement Epicor CRM, Epicor Retail Store and Epicor Retail Audit and Operations Management.

Epicor Retail Store will support more streamlined point of sale transactions for improved customer experience at checkout. It also will provide Goodwill donors with electronic records, eliminating the need for donors to store paper receipts for tax purposes. “Donors are the lifeblood of our business; we want to make it as convenient and hassle-free for them as possible,” said Pat Boelter, Vice President of Marketing, Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin. “We’ll be able to sign donors up right on the spot at the drop off location. We’ll scan their card and they will receive an electronic receipt for their donation.” 

Charming Shoppes Selects Oracle To Establish Cross-Channel Platform

Lane-Bryant-Store-2

Lane-Bryant-Store-2Seeking to provide better customer service through improved business processes, Charming Shoppes has selected Oracle Retail solutions. Charming Shoppers is the parent company of Lane Bryant, Lane Bryant Outlet, Fashion Bug and Catherines Plus Sizes.

The plus-size retail company will be implementing a number of Oracle solutions: Oracle Merchandise Operations Management, Oracle Retail Stores, Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle E-Business Suite and Oracle Database.

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Study Points To Significant Need For Increased Employee Engagement

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store_associates
Store associates are vital assets to memorable and successful brick-and-mortar experiences: They help stock shelves, check out consumers that are completing transactions and most importantly, guide visitors along the shopping journey by offering assistance and item suggestions.

However, a recent study from the Kenexa High Performance Institute (KHPI) indicates that employee engagement with their retail organizations is deficient, leading to poor customer experiences. In addition, lack of senior leader effectiveness was the primary reason for employee turnover in the retail space.

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Special Connected Consumer Series 2013

 

 
 
 
 

Overview

 

Retail Industry leaders and experts are converging online December 9-12, 2013 for an in-depth webinar series covering the most pressing topics on the minds of retailers as they finalize plans for 2013 and strategize for 2014. Retail TouchPoints is hosting this exclusive four-part series, designed to provide retail executives with the tools and strategies they need to succeed.

Attendees can register for one webinar and attend all four. Presenters will offer their industry-leading perspectives and exclusive research statistics and reports, as well as real-world case study examples to reinforce the strategies they support.

 

FEATURED SESSIONS:

 

FEATURED SPEAKERS:

 
  • Mobile Innovations That Move
    Shoppers To Buy
  • Customer Experience Transformation: 5 Research Findings And 12 Action Items
  • The ABC’s Of Delivering
    Superior Customer Experience
  • Coming Full-Circle: The Store As The Center Of The Omnichannel Shopping Journey
  • Delivering Omnichannel: From The Back-End To The Front-End and Beyond

Brian Kilcourse,
Retail Systems Research

Ernan Roman,
Ernan Roman Direct Marketing

Ken Morris,
Boston Retail Partners

Pam Goodfellow,
Prosper Insights

Larry Freed,
ForeSee

 
 

Register Now »

Special Connected Consumer Series 2013

 

 
 
 
 

Overview

 

Retail Industry leaders and experts are converging online December 9-12, 2013 for an in-depth webinar series covering the most pressing topics on the minds of retailers as they finalize plans for 2013 and strategize for 2014. Retail TouchPoints is hosting this exclusive four-part series, designed to provide retail executives with the tools and strategies they need to succeed.

Attendees can register for one webinar and attend all four. Presenters will offer their industry-leading perspectives and exclusive research statistics and reports, as well as real-world case study examples to reinforce the strategies they support.

 

FEATURED SESSIONS:

 

FEATURED SPEAKERS:

 
  • Mobile Innovations That Move
    Shoppers To Buy
  • Customer Experience Transformation: 5 Research Findings And 12 Action Items
  • The ABC’s Of Delivering
    Superior Customer Experience
  • Coming Full-Circle: The Store As The Center Of The Omnichannel Shopping Journey
  • Delivering Omnichannel: From The Back-End To The Front-End and Beyond

Brian Kilcourse,
Retail Systems Research

Ernan Roman,
Ernan Roman Direct Marketing

Ken Morris,
Boston Retail Partners

Pam Goodfellow,
Prosper Insights

Larry Freed,
ForeSee

 
 

Register Now »