AWS Thrusts Amazon Past Expectations As Q4 Revenue Hits $35 Billion

Amazon may be known as the face of e-Commerce, but the retailer’s Q1 results once again show that cloud services remain its true golden goose.

Revenues from the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform amounted to a whopping $3.66 billion, powering the online giant’s $724 million net income and $1.01 billion operating income.

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Crocs Steps Up Its Store-Level Intelligence

Footwear manufacturer and retailer Crocs has deployed the AccuStore solution to improve its store-level brand execution, identify market trends and monitor compliance. In preparation for the implementation, the AccuStore team completed onsite surveys at all 190 Crocs U.S. store locations, collecting data to provide insight into as many real-time sources as possible.

“We will use the AccuStore app to automate field and store-level tasks,” said Phil Michael, Crocs Senior Director of Operations in a statement. “Mobile functionality will help us simplify store visits and move our organization away from static business reporting.”

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Why Are JCPenney-Sephora Stores-Within-Stores Successful?

Store-within-a-store partnerships are designed to be a “win-win” for both brands, but they can be tricky to execute well in the real world of retailing. If the host retailer’s foot traffic dwindles, the shops miss the chance to show their wares to a sufficient number of consumers. If the “mini-stores” are too successful, the host retailer may feel like its own sales are being stolen.

The numerous possible pitfalls in such relationships makes the success of the JCPenney-Sephora partnership, which began in 2006, all the more remarkable. After opening 60 shops in 2016, the department store retailer recently announced it would add 70 more Sephora shops this year and expand another 32. By the end of 2017, nearly 650 Sephora shops will be operating inside JCPenney stores.

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Barnes & Noble Promotes COO To Top Spot

Demos Parneros BarnesNobleFor the fifth time in four years, beleaguered bookseller Barnes & Noble has turned to a new leader, promoting COO Demos Parneros to the position of CEO. Company founder Leonard Riggio, who has been serving as CEO since the August 2016 departure of Ron Boire, will remain Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Parneros has been COO only since November 2016, but he brings 30 years of industry experience to his new role. Prior to joining Barnes & Noble he was President, North American Stores and Online at Staples. Parneros joined the office supplies retailer in 1987 and worked his way up through multiple management positions.

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CVS, Apple Accelerate Store Redesigns

Although CVS Pharmacy and Apple could scarcely be more different retailers, similar pressures — primarily declining foot traffic — are prompting both companies to redesign their stores.

After seeing non-pharmacy comparable store sales fall 2.9% in Q4, CVS Health is transforming its stores to focus on front-store sales. Adding healthier food and more beauty assortments are key elements of the next phase of the CVS growth strategy. The brand first introduced the strategy in 2015; there are already 800+ CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide with this redesigned format and assortment, as well as 3,400+ with expanded food and beauty offerings. The redesigned locations experienced an average sales increase of 2.5%.

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TechStyle CEO Adam Goldenberg: Technology Is One Of Our Products

As its name implies, TechStyle represents a marriage of technology and fashion. It’s the parent company of successful, fast-growing brands including Fabletics, JustFab, ShoeDazzle and FabKids. TechStyle uses proprietary technology, personalization and vertical integration to create a winning combination of subscription e-Commerce with brick-and-mortar retail.

The emphasis on technology comes naturally to Co-CEO and Co-Founder Adam Goldenberg, who has been a serial tech entrepreneur since the age of 15. At 17 he sold his Gamer’s Alliance web site to Intermix; he was then offered a full-time position there, becoming COO at the age of 20. In this exclusive Q&A, Goldenberg reveals what makes TechStyle unique, including a heavy reliance on data, an emphasis on speed, and fruitful collaborations between data scientists and fashion merchandisers.

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Title Nine Upgrades E-Commerce Site Experience

Women’s outdoor and athletic apparel retailer Title Nine has upgraded its e-Commerce site with omnichannel commerce platform Kibo. The result has been higher conversion rates and an improved checkout flow through all channels.

Title Nine wanted to reinvigorate its site by elevating the brand experience to better connect with customers who are shopping via desktop, mobile and tablet. With as many as 60% of consumers saying they’d be less likely to purchase from a smaller business if they got a bad impression of its web site, it makes sense for a retailer with only 22 physical stores to optimize its e-Commerce experience.

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