The 2012 Store Operations Superstar Awards

Store operators are faced with numerous challenges, from employee hiring to product merchandising. As competition continues to heat up, along with pressure to hold the line on expenses, store operations executives are faced with an uphill battle.

Additionally, advances in mobile and tablet technology have created the opportunity to hire, train and retain employees more efficiently.

In its first Store Operations Superstar Awards, Retail TouchPoints will recognize companies that have implemented the most innovative, successful store operations strategies related to:

  • Employee hiring, training and retention
  • Product merchandising and inventory management
  • The HQ-store connection

To nominate a retailer for award consideration, please complete the form below. The nomination deadline is Wednesday, July 25, 2012.  If requested, nominations can remain anonymous. For any questions, please contact Debbie Hauss at debbie@retailtouchpoints.com.

L’Oreal USA Quadruples User-Generated Content With Social Q&A

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L'Oreal_Article_6_29_12Today’s shoppers are turning to their peers across social networks to learn more about potential purchases. As a result, retailers are seeking more efficient ways to garner customer feedback and encourage peer-to-peer interaction in a centralized location. For example, luxury cosmetic retailer L’Oreal USA tapped into the Social Q&A solution from TurnTo Networks, a provider of social commerce solutions, to boost consumer-to-consumer conversations on its e-Commerce sites.

Since implementing the TurnTo solution on two brand sites — Kiehls.com and YSLBeautyUS.com — L’Oreal USA successfully generated two- to four-times more user-generated content than standard ratings and reviews, according to Adrian Burke, Director of Interactive Marketing Services for L’Oreal USA.

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New Study Spotlights Growth Potential For Pinterest-Savvy Retailers

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PinterestArticleImage6_12_copyToday’s consumers are utilizing more interactive and visual channels to learn about brands, items and trends. Pinterest, for example, is impacting how shoppers sift through inventory and how quickly they complete a purchase.

In fact, 32% of online shoppers indicated that they have purchased a product online as a result of seeing a photo on an image sharing community, according to new research from Bizrate Insights, a customer listening and web site rating solution provider.

Findings from Bizrate Insights’ two-part series, titled: Image Sharing and Online Shopping Series, spotlighted the browsing and buying behaviors of consumers that utilize Pinterest, Polyvore and other image sharing sites. Results for part one of the series were gathered from approximately 4,000 online customers during March 22-26, 2012, via a series of surveys on the Bizrate Insights survey platform.

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The Mobile POS Tipping Point

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7-12calendar_templateRetailers are beginning to realize the importance and relevance of Mobile POS. While early adopters already have implemented the technology, most retailers are still in the research, planning or development phases. In this on-demand webinar titled: The Mobile POS Tipping Point, Ken Morris from Boston Retail Partners shares recent research from the 13th Annual POS Benchmarking Survey and discuss real-world retailer examples in order to help guide retailers toward Mobile POS success.

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Home Depot Creates Better Store Experiences With Mobile Technology, In-Store WiFi

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Home-Depot

Delivering an engaging in-store experience relies on a retailer’s ability to leverage the technology that empowers associates and creates more compelling brand experiences, according to new research from Motorola Solutions. The majority (74%) of retailers surveyed for Motorola’s 2012 Future of Retail study reported that creating this more engaging experience will be business-critical over the next five years. Moreover, half of respondents indicated that integrating their online and in-store experiences also will be crucial within the same period. However, best-in-class retailers, such as Home Depot, already have tackled both strategies by implementing mobile technology and offering complimentary WiFi in stores.

During a panel session at Motorola Solutions’ recent Media Day Event, Jennifer Smith, Senior Director of Store Operations for Home Depot, discussed how the retailer is improving shopper-to-associate communication, decreasing wait times and stock-outs, and maximizing customer satisfaction with its Motorola MC75 Enterprise Digital Assistant (EDA) devices — which Home Depot has renamed its “First Phones.” 

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The Checkout Game: Tricks That Online Retailers Play [Infographic]

Every day, more consumers are relying on e-Commerce sites to make purchases. To attract the consumers’ attention online, e-Tailers must provide new creative ways such as product videos and free trials that drive customer engagement.

Daily deal sites such as Groupon and Living Social utilize short deal windows to intrigue shoppers to make online purchases. Tickmaster.com, for instance, uses a very dramatic “two minute” timer to lock in purchases. This infographic highlights current online retail marketing trends, as well as the pros and cons to each trend.

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2012 Holiday Outlook Guide

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Cross-Channel Consistency, Mobile Integration Are Keys To Success

2012_Holiday_Outlook_Print_coverThe holidays may be months away, but smart retailers are strategizing today, according to the Retail TouchPoints 2012 Holiday Outlook Guide. The buzzwords for the holidays are similar to what retailers are hearing year-round in today’s marketplace: customer service, cloud, cross-channel, social and mobile. But how these tactics are implemented as part of holiday strategies can make or break the season for many merchants.

A number of top industry analysts and retail executives shared their insights for this year’s Holiday Outlook Guide, including Paula Rosenblum from Retail Systems Research (RSR), Greg Buzek from IHL Group and Gary Schwartz from Impact Mobile. Some of the topics covered in the Guide include: mobile technology, social media cross-channel merchandising, retail in an election year, and retailers to watch.

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Re-Evaluate Your Commerce Strategy In 2012 To Meet Consumer Demands

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RobG1The speed of technical innovation in recent years is forcing retail brands to re-evaluate — and re-invent — their digital commerce strategies in 2012.

To keep pace with new devices and touch points — and consumers’ evolving and highly-technical expectation — merchants must re-examine two strategic areas of their businesses:

  1. The kinds of brand experiences they’re delivering to their unique set of consumers
  2. How their digital commerce infrastructure helps them deliver those experiences in a seamless and personalized manner.

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Beyond The ‘Batch And Blast’

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Ross_Kramer_-_Listrak_-_Headshot_3in
I recently heard someone say “batch and blast is dead” — which made me think, is it really?  I’ll go out on a limb and say that every retailer is doing some blasting; and I have proof given all the “batch” emails currently in my personal inbox from a multitude of retailers telling me about deals, new products, and special offers. And there’s one reason why too- they still work and continue to impact revenue for retailers. 

What has changed is that batch emails are becoming a smaller percentage of total email volume.  Email marketing continues to evolve as technology becomes more and more advanced and marketers have more data than before.  Marketers are also finding new ways to leverage email to their advantage, allowing them to go beyond the traditional batch emails, to create unique experiences that build relationships with their customers and deliver ROI.

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iQmetrix Connects Online, Mobile Experiences To Physical Store

iQmetrix

iQmetrixE-Commerce technology has revolutionized consumer convenience and ushered in today’s more interactive, engaging shopping experiences. It offers online shoppers access to information through a variety of tools and channels, enabling them to make more informed purchase decisions. While the e-Commerce store has changed the game in many positive ways, there’s been a significant void in retailers’ ability to apply these revolutionary shopping elements to the brick-and-mortar store.

iQmetrix, a provider of retail management software, recently launched a suite of retail solutions focused on bringing elements of the online shopping experience into the physical store.

The solutions are designed to enable retailers to cater to today’s empowered consumers by providing an omni-channel experience: one that offers the information, convenience and user interface that consumers expect from online and mobile channels – all within the store.

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