Consumer Spending Reaches Seven-Year High, But Where’s The Money Going?

National consumer spending posted its largest one-month jump since 2009, with personal spending totals increasing 1.0% in April, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. The jump aligns with the Department’s earlier disclosure, that the retail sector also increased sales by 1.3% during this period.

However, these positive results clash with the disappointing Q1 filings of many of retail’s household names, suggesting that while shoppers are spending, they’re just not doing so in traditional outlets.

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Attention C-Level Execs: Own The Customer Experience To Drive Digital Success

Glenn head shotWhile every retailer desires a digital transformation that sets them apart from peers in today’s omnichannel environment, becoming one of these success stories requires more than a simple understanding of the technologies that top players are harnessing. It also requires a rethinking of internal structures, including the naming of C-level executives who have the power to take full responsibility for the digital customer experience.

Retailers that have succeeded in this new era — including companies as diverse as Alex and AniDick’s Sporting GoodsGameStop and Touch of Modern — have done so by adapting a new set of skills that brings a companywide focus to ownership of the digital customer experience (CX).

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11 Retailers Honored As Social Media Mavens

The past year has been an interesting one for social media users and marketers. Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest have unveiled new advertising offers and capabilities, while networks like Snapchat have established successful partnerships with brands and publishers.

The 11 winners of this year’s Social Media Maven Awards include the brands and retailers on the bleeding edge of new moves and innovations, constantly testing the limits with their engagement, marketing and service strategies. Brands spotlighted span retail categories, from quick-serve restaurants to convenience stores, jewelry brands and even mattress companies, and they vary in employee count, business structure and annual revenue.

Regardless of their size and stature, we believe the 2016 Social Media Maven Award winners will offer some great inspiration as you continue to refine your social media strategies.

This year’s winners are (in alphabetical order):

  • Adore Me
  • BaubleBar
  • Casper
  • Craftsman Tools
  • Dogeared
  • eBags
  • Kum & Go
  • Lovesac
  • REVOLVEclothing
  • Sperry
  • Taco Bell

Complete the form to access the 2016 Social Media Maven Awards!


How To Better Understand The Bot Ecosystem

1akamaiBots get a bad rap. They’re paralyzing web sites, scraping unique content, and taking over the Internet, right? It’s true, bad bots can do a lot of damage, but what about the good ones? We’re often talking about how to avoid bots, deter them, and block them. But much opportunity lies in figuring out how to distinguish between good and bad bots, and understanding how the distinctions change across applications and environments.

Nearly all online businesses can be impacted by various types of bot traffic. This traffic may include scrapers that grab content or price information, automated “clicks” that fraudulently increase ad revenues and “transactional” bots that can be used to purchase limited availability goods and services, making them unavailable to legitimate customers.

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5 Steps To Secure Customer Loyalty Today

1sparkpostThanks to powerful mobile devices, the whole world is a consumer’s marketplace. It’s easy to compare features and prices, read reviews and buy online or at the point-of-sale. This ready access to information can tempt consumers to feel less loyal towards their favorite brands, but retailers have more power to stem this tide than they may realize.

That ability is in the experience they give their customers throughout their interactions. That’s why email remains one of the most effective marketing tools for engaging with your fickle customers — when done right. However, it can’t be solved with yesterday’s “batch and blast” approach to bulk email marketing. It simply doesn’t work anymore, in no small part because of the poor experience it presents to a customer. Instead, a retailer must be ready to engage on a one-on-one basis with each of its customers at the moment they’re ready to buy. 

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How To Choose A Training Solution For Your Retail Organization

1axonifyYou know that much of your retail success lies in the hands of your associates. You also know effective education is the key to providing a superior customer experience.

Many retailers have implemented Learning Management System (LMS) solutions to deliver online training courses, believing they would improve the ease and effectiveness of their associate education. Unfortunately, these systems haven’t helped. Associates aren’t learning more, let alone retaining the information they need to know to do their jobs well. And because that knowledge isn’t ingrained, they can’t apply it in their roles. The result is often inadequate customer service, which not only hurts the retail brand, but the company’s bottom line.

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Graph Unveils Trace Scanner To Monitor Consumer Traffic Outside The Store

1SS Trace ImageGraph, a designer of in-store smart displays, has released Trace, a WiFi and Bluetooth scanner designed to track mobile signals in order to identify how many people are in a certain area.

With the scanner, retailers can measure traffic outside of their stores to help identify key turning points in business traffic flow. With this traffic data, retailers can operate their brick-and-mortar store as a “physical web site,” in which every data point collected is similar to a click recorded online.

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