When To Strike: How To Time Your Promotions This Holiday Season


11-8_calendar_template_Explore the email volume trends during the key shopping periods of the 2011 holiday season including Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the days leading up to Christmas. An hour-by-hour analysis of which promotions were used and when volume spiked or flatlined will help you time your messages and promotions to stand out from the pack during the 2012 holiday season.  Promotions like countdowns and “Days of Deals” are popular every year. Learn how to avoid common pitfalls of these promotions and understand the best time to launch them.

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Facebook Unveils New Gifting Capabilities To Keep Pace With E-Commerce


Facebook yesterday launched Facebook Gifts, a new feature on the social network that allows users to purchase and share gifts with friends and family.

“Every day, millions of people share special moments with their friends on Facebook by saying ‘Happy Birthday,’ ‘Congratulations,’ or simply, ‘I’m thinking of you,’” according to a Facebook announcement. “Now there is another way to celebrate those moments. Starting today, you can give real gifts to your friends on Facebook using Gifts.”

Facebook Gifts provides a variety of products from merchants including Magnolia Bakery, Starbucks and Warby Parker. Users can select, purchase and share gifts with friends and family either by clicking on a birthday reminder on the Facebook home page, or by clicking a “Gifts” tab on a user’s wall. Payment information can be entered before or after a gift is received.


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All Retailers Can Succeed In The Tech Titan Era


GoogleFacebookFight_2Just a few years ago, Amazon only sold books, Apple sold computers, eBay connected buyers and sellers of used goods, Facebook didn’t exist, and Google was a search engine. Today these five Tech Titans ― with a combined market cap of more than one trillion dollars as of mid-August 2012 (see chart below) ― are competing head-to-head for the same customers and, in the process, are fueling thousands of new companies. As they continue to reshape the retail landscape, it’s no longer business as usual even for the industry’s most influential merchants.

Cognizant of this major inflection point, solution providers are developing powerful technology suites that can help all types of merchants compete more effectively in this new era of the tech titans.

A webinar conducted during August 2012, titled:  Retailing in the Tech Titans Era: What’s Next from Amazon, Apple, eBay, Facebook, and Google,explored the influence of today’s tech titans on the retail arena. The session ― conducted by Lori Schafer, Executive Adviser for SAS Institute’s Retail Practice, and hosted by SkuLoop, a retail systems supplier ― looked at the growth strategies within the five companies, and how retailers can and are competing.

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Goal Zero Boosts High-Tech Product Sales With Multimedia Training Platform


Store associates are vital contributors to shoppers’ brick-and-mortar browsing and buying experiences. Stellar in-store employees act as first-hand brand ambassadors that educate customers on specific products, offer item recommendations and generally enhance the overall shopping experience ― and basket size. However, to ensure workers are engaged and knowledgeable of store inventory, quality training programs and processes must be established.

Thorough training especially is critical for retailers of high-tech products such as those from Goal Zero, a provider of portable solar power systems for mobile phones, laptops and other devices. The manufacturer relies on an extensive network of retail partners — including Cabela’s and The Sports Authority — to sell its systems and accessories. To optimize education and increase engagement among retail sales associates, Goal Zero leverages the 3point5.com retail training solution from eXperticity.

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Fox Head Launches Mobile Site Targeting Youth Market


As the 2012 holiday shopping season approaches, many retailers are executing smartphone and tablet commerce strategies to drive increased engagement and awareness. In fact, mobile will play a starring role this year, with consumers expected to spend more than $10 billion on mobile commerce ― and more than $31 billion by 2016 ― according to a Forrester Research report, titled: Mobile Mandate For eBusiness Professionals,

To keep pace with the continued explosion of m-Commerce, Fox Head, an international youth sports retailer, has released a simplified mobile-optimized site to create a streamlined brand experience specifically for consumers under 18 years old.

The site features in-depth search functionality, large, high-definition images and a seamless layout, “offering a relatively easy shopping experience,” John Hazen, VP of Global E-Commerce at Fox Head, told Retail TouchPoints. “This effort is about highlighting our products, not features.”

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TouchPoints TV: Michael Benadiba, OrderDynamics


Greg Flynn, SVP of Products, Brainshark

Larger retailers successfully are keeping a constant pulse on the wants and needs of their customers. However, smaller retailers are struggling to keep pace, according to Michael Benadiba, CEO of OrderDynamics. In this episode TouchPoints TV, Benadiba discusses how retailers can successfully implement omni-channel engagement and commerce strategies, and what organizations can learn from cutting-edge companies such as Moosejaw.

Episode Notes:

Advanced Traffic Analysis Yields Profitable Workforce Insights

To succeed in today’s competitive marketplace, merchants must optimize every aspect of operations. Using video intelligence, retailers can improve conversions and enhance performance in every square foot of store space.

This webinar will shed light on how retailers are collecting, analyzing and creating actionable intelligence from in-store video data. The link between the customer and the workforce has never been more important to store performance.

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Help Wanted: The Impact Your Employees Have On Your Business [Infographic]

Employees are critical to the in-store shopping experience. In fact, new research from Axsium Group and Empathica highlight the impact store associates have on retaining and pleasing shoppers.

More than half of North American shoppers do not feel that employees appear to be genuinely interested in serving them.

This infographic highlights shoppers’ feedback on engaging with store associates as well as tips for hiring the right employee.

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TouchPoints TV: Mike Ouellette, OwnerIQ


Mike Ouellette, OwnerIQ

Retailers are striving to better understand the browsing and buying behaviors of today’s digitally-savvy consumers. OwnerIQ helps retailers get an in-depth look at their customers online, and connects them with relevant media channels to better reach target audiences. During this episode of TouchPoints TV, Mike Oullette, VP of Audience Development for OwnerIQ, shares insights into how retailers are navigating the digital space, and the role data collection and analysis is playing in retailer’s future marketing investments.

Episode Notes:

Improving Inventory Efficiencies With RFID


This is Part 2 of the Retail TouchPoints Inventory Strategies Report, a two-part feature highlighting best practices and technologies that help retailers improve their inventory management processes. This section will spotlight how best-in-class retailers such as J. C. Penney and Macy’s are leveraging RFID technology. In addition, retail industry experts and analysts will comment on the potential growth of RFID.

Inventory_ManagementThe rise of omnichannel retail has put consumers at the center of most all retail strategies, especially as merchants focus more on improving inventory position. With shoppers demanding instant access to products and prices, as well as flexible purchasing and delivery options across channels, retailers must ensure complete inventory visibility both online and in stores.

Radio frequency identification (RFID) has been spotlighted as a leading enabler for more efficient inventory tracking and management. Through RFID technology, a microchip transmits product information, such as item type, manufacturer and serial number, to a scanner or other data collection device, giving store associates a better understanding of what products, colors and sizes are available in specific locations. Continue reading “Improving Inventory Efficiencies With RFID”