Are Amazon, Apple Soon Expanding To Saudi Arabia?

Apple and Amazon are in licensing discussions to enter Saudi Arabia, according to a report from Reuters. While both companies already sell products in Saudi Arabia via third parties, neither has a direct sales channel in the country.

The Middle East is still a largely untapped market for U.S.-based retailers, with even its biggest brands having only a small presence. E-Commerce is expected to represent only 2.2% of total retail sales in the Middle East by 2021, so any online player must think strategically when expanding into this market.

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Why I Love Self-Service (And Could Learn To Love Chatbots)

1blairIt’s ironic that I write about technology because in many ways I am the quintessential late adopter. Friends and family have long mocked me for my belated embrace of the latest gadgets, gizmos and services throughout the years. (Confession: I still listen to music on CDs.)

However, years of using ATMs, self-checkouts at supermarkets and self-service ticket machines at airports have won me over, or worn me down. Now chatbots are the latest wave in self-service, and they are gaining ground. A recent survey indicated that 55% of American consumers are becoming more accepting of chatbots in mobile and online customer service. The use of chatbots by the Mall of America seems like a strong indicator that they are going mainstream (though it’s nice to note that there are human concierges to serve as backup for the bots).

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As GDPR Deadline Looms, Retailers Must Secure Consent To Access Personal Data

Consumer data has always been a key part of retailers’ marketing toolkits. However, with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules going into effect on May 25, 2018, companies are at risk of losing access to portions of this consumer data, forcing them to pivot the way they market to customers.

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Vitamin Shoppe Adds Multichannel Options To Auto Delivery Service

Vitamin Shoppe is providing greater convenience for its SPARK Auto Delivery subscribers —and an additional relationship-building tool for store associates — by enabling enrollment and management of the service through the POS system in the chain’s 775 stores, the VShoppe mobile application and SMS messaging. Since the service launched in August 2017, enrollment, purchasing and program management have been available at

Vitamin Shoppe is using the OrderGroove platform to expand subscriber access to SPARK across channels. “OrderGroove is helping us activate valuable customer data in our CRM, e-Commerce and POS platforms to create increased loyalty and engagement through customers enrolled in the SPARK program,” said John Hnanicek, Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Innovation & Technology Officer at The Vitamin Shoppe in a statement. “OrderGroove also offers unique expertise and data-driven insights on how to drive habitual customer buying behavior through innovative customer experiences.”

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B2B Commerce Best Practices Book

Win B2B Buyers: Best Practices In Digital Commerce

The digital revolution has created a significant opportunity for B2B businesses, and this report will show you how to win more B2B sales.

The guide is broken into four distinct sections that will make you a H.E.R.O. by:

  • Influencing buying habits;
  • Reducing expenses;
  • Growing revenue; and
  • Creating opportunities.

Navigate your own digital transformation with this comprehensive Best Practices book.

3 Competitive Pressures Driving Digital Commerce Strategy

Crush Obstacles To E-Commerce Growth

Agile processes, customer-centric strategies and integrated solutions are critical to uncovering more opportunities to win in e-Commerce. This report delivers insights you can use to evaluate and improve your competitive readiness, including:

  • Employing business intelligence tools that provide customizable dashboards and KPIs to analyze disparate data sources and provide one unified view;
  • Evaluating cloud-hosted software programs; and
  • Exploring growth opportunities in B2B e-Commerce and global expansion

Access this free statistics-filled report as you prepare to win in e-Commerce in 2018 and beyond.

Second Texas DC Supports Dollar General’s Growth

Dollar General is supporting its aggressive store growth strategy with the addition of its 17th distribution center in Longview, Texas. Construction of the new facility, which will span nearly one million square feet, is expected to begin in early 2018.

The new DC will serve more than 1,000 stores operating in Texas and the Southeast and will employ approximately 400 people when it reaches full capacity.

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Kroger Expands ‘Scan, Bag, Go’ Cashierless Checkout To 400 Stores

Photo from Business Insider

Photo from Business Insider

While the “big two,” Amazon and Walmart, have jumped into their own tests of cashierless technology, the nation’s largest pure supermarket chain isn’t just standing by. Kroger plans to expand its “Scan, Bag, Go” technology to 400 stores in 2018, enabling shoppers to scan products with a provided handheld scanner or with a smartphone app, according to a report from Business Insider.

The technology isn’t as sophisticated as the cashierless tests at Amazon Go and Walmart, which are designed to eliminate the concept of checkout entirely. But while Kroger shoppers still will have to visit a self-checkout register to pay for their orders, eventually shoppers will able to pay directly via the app.

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Mobovida Boosts Revenue-Per-Email-Send 33% With Personalized Messaging

Mobovida, an online retailer of mobile accessories and handbags, is meeting the challenge of selling highly commoditized products with a two-pronged approach: providing fashion-forward products, and personalizing its messaging to strengthen shopper connections.

With the help of CRM platform provider Zaius, Mobovida has increased revenue-per-email-send 33%, and also has been able to:

  • Segment customers more intelligently to increase relevancy of its messages;
  • Personalize campaigns based on the history of each individual customer’s browsing and purchase behaviors; and
  • Coordinate customer communications and reduce unsubscribe rates.

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