I remember my first purchase at Abercrombie & Fitch. I was in sixth grade and needed a new outfit for class pictures. My mom took me to the mall to find the perfect ensemble: a long-sleeve Abercrombie & Fitch top with the logo emblazoned on the chest, with a pair of cool grey swishy pants (also from A&F). What’s crazy is that the store hasn’t really changed since then — until now.
As time went on, Abercrombie was what all the cool kids (now called Millennials) wore. But while we were growing up, Abercrombie & Fitch didn’t mature along with us — until the retailer announced plans for a major rebranding.
WorkJam, a digital workplace platform for hourly workers, has raised $12 million in funding from Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Blumberg Capital, Founder Collective, NovelTMT and WorkJam’s management team. This strategic investment will enable the company to enhance its mobile platform and accelerate global expansion.
Barnes & Noble Education (BNED), one of the nation’s largest contract operators of higher education bookstores, has acquired MBS Textbook Exchange for $174.2 million in cash. The combined company will operate more than 1,490 physical and virtual bookstores serving more than six million students.
MBS, itself a contract operator of virtual bookstores, also is one of the largest used textbook wholesalers in the U.S. Through its MBS Direct business, the company services more than 700 virtual bookstores with a comprehensive e-Commerce experience. MBS also sources and sells new and used textbooks to more than 3,700 physical college bookstores, including BNED’s 770 campus locations, and provides inventory management, hardware and POS software to approximately 485 college bookstores.
Traditional analytics tools that look at activities on a device-by-device basis provide an incomplete view of customers’ multi-device journey. In fact, without cross-device measurement tools, nearly one-third of online transactions may be misattributed.
Conversion rates using cross-device analytics are up to 40% higher than with a per-device view;
Cross-device measurement reveals that buyer journeys are 41% longer than partial-view models indicate;
Nearly one-third of all cross-device transactions begin with a smartphone; and
Cross-device buyers are fairly evenly represented across the three primary purchase devices: smartphone (28%), tablet (36%) and desktop (31%).
Cross-device measurement is becoming a more valuable part of marketing analytics due to the increasing roles of smartphones and tablets: 36% of all online purchases in the U.S. were completed on mobile in the second half of 2016, a year-over-year increase of 20%. In that time, top U.S. retailers grew sales from smartphone transactions to 25% of all online retail sales, representing a year-over-year increase of 41%.
Businesses seeing better-than-expected returns from their initial Internet of Things (IoT) investments will lead to a boom in the technology by 2019, according to a global study of 3,100 IT and business decision makers across 20 countries. In the retail sector specifically, while just under half (49%) of respondents are currently using IoT technology, 81% of them report improved customer experiences.
The study, titled: The Internet of Things: Today and Tomorrow, published by Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, revealed that 85% of businesses plan to implement IoT by 2019. Strong results from early implementations continue to fuel interest: for example, while only 16% of business leaders projected a large profit gain from the IoT investment, 32% realized profit increases after adoption. Only 29% of executives expected business efficiency improvements, but the real-world results showed that 46% experienced efficiency gains.
While third-party e-Commerce applications are often essential for exceptional online retail experiences, they also can negatively affect site performance, potentially lowering conversion rates. As many as 80% of retail web sites have more than 1,200 “violations” from third-party apps every hour, according to a study from Yottaa.
These violations occur when applications take an extended time to load, are very large in size, fail to load or block an entire page from loading completely. The biggest impact is slower site performance, as these statistics reveal:
E-Commerce merchants are all trying to compete for consumers’ attention with a variety of promotions such as free shipping, in-store pickups or same day deliveries. But how well are these tactics working? Which should you consider offering? Which are just wasted efforts?
Retailers and manufacturers are inextricably dependent on each other for success.
Ultimately, they share the common challenge of adapting to changing shopper habits and expectations, which is putting stress on traditional routes to growth, like sales and promotional tactics. It’s also forcing organizations on both sides to completely rethink how they serve shoppers and engage their partners.
Retail has undergone some of the fastest and most profound changes of any business sector this past year. 2017 has already brought plenty of new milestones and developments driven by changing consumer behavior, mobile, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and other trends. The key factor in all of this is the impact technology is having on the retail experience.
Here are four trends we’re sure to see develop more in 2017:
Heymarket has released a text messaging app designed for retailers to use as a CRM tool. Retail employees using Heymarket can:
Reach multiple customers at once;
Set up appointments;
Set reminders to follow up;
Reuse messages with templates; and
Share customer chats with co-workers.
Users can also organize contacts into lists and send personalized messages so that each private recipient can reply directly to the sender. Customers will only see the sender’s number and the users have full control over which messages coworkers can see. Users can even keep track of those who viewed photos in a message.