In retail, the “last mile” is becoming more crowded, more rushed, more expensive and an ever-more-critical contributor to a positive customer experience. Over the past 18 months, there has been a 50% increase in last mile services, with most of the demand coming from B2C e-Commerce. In addition to the growth of online sales, consumer demands are adding fuel to the competitive fire:
- 65% of consumers want greater flexibility for deliveries;
- 61% want faster deliveries; and
- 51% want real-time visibility into the status of their orders
This inaugural Retail TouchPoints Last Mile Benchmark Report provides a snapshot of the challenges retailers face in managing the last mile, and the innovative solutions they are using to keep pace with rising consumer expectations.
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How Lululemon, Zara And Walmart Leverage Personalized Messaging To Drive Customers To Stores And Online
Most retailers know that they must create tailored and memorable experiences across all channels in order to drive sales. However, understanding increasingly complex shopper journeys and effectively personalizing multiple interactions across a range of touch points still remains a challenge.
This special report will highlight how retailers such as lululemon, Zara, Walmart and more are taking new approaches to delivering seamless omnichannel experiences and converting traffic from online to brick-and-mortar and vice versa, including:
- Connecting all customer data points to deliver individual personalization at the local store level;
- Creating mobile apps to drive traffic to the store, and vice versa;
- Enhancing the buy online, pick up in-store experience, as well as the buy online, return in-store and buy online, ship from store experiences; and
- Using advanced analytics and technology to understand conversion problems within the store.
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The successful 2017 holiday season reaffirmed that retail is not enduring an apocalypse; it is undergoing a transformation. Moving forward into 2018, retailers need to strategize around the six major trends impacting retail success, including:
AI and machine learning;
Voice search/conversational commerce;
Retail IoT and smart devices; and
Mixed reality/augmented reality/virtual reality.
Access this special report to learn more about these key trends and technology developments dissected by the 34 contributors to the 2018 Technology Preview and 2018 Outlook Guide from Retail TouchPoints.
It’s been debated and confirmed: brick-and-mortar stores are not disappearing from the retail landscape. But the design, layout, technology, and even the basic purpose of stores are changing — in some cases quite rapidly. As retailers wrestle with redefining stores, this report outlines some of the key emerging trends:
- Stronger links between online and offline shopper experiences;
- A range of store formats designed for different parts of the shopper journey;
- More empowered store employees; and
- The next generation of experiential retail.
This Special Report includes interviews and data from A.T. Kearney, IHL Group and Forrester, along with retailer success stories from IKEA, Nike, Sephora, Guess and Best Buy.
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Are you more focused on retaining or acquiring customers? More than 60% of retailers consider customer acquisition to be their most important challenge for 2018, according to data from IgnitionOne. But the cost of acquiring customers is a major hurdle: Attracting a new customer costs a retail business 6X to 7X more than retaining an existing one, according to Bain & Co.
Finding the right balance between retention and acquisition can be a struggle for retailers. But when they find their “sweet spot,” they can maximize customer engagement and improve marketing ROI.
This special report will explore key trends around customer acquisition and retention, including:
- How retailers can identify the right customers worth acquiring and retaining;
- How brand excitement has become the new driver of customer loyalty;
- Why stores are taking on marketing roles;
- Why Prime Day is the modern example of customer acquisition and retention success; and
- Why traditional retailers such as Macy’s are abandoning transaction-based loyalty program formats.
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3 Steps To Conquering The $4.5 Trillion Global Commerce Market
Global e-Commerce spending reached an estimated $2.29 trillion in 2017, a 23.2% increase over 2016, according to eMarketer. This total is expected to nearly double to $4.48 trillion by 2021.
Cross-border commerce will play a significant role in this growth. In 2015, the online cross-border market represented 15% of global e-Commerce sales, according to DHL, but will rise to 22% by 2020.
Download this Retail TouchPoints special report to discover the top considerations for global investments, including:
- Translation and localization are vital to delivering contextual content, for retailers such as Shinola;
- Marketplaces can provide a gateway for retailers to enter new markets, even large companies like Aldi; and
- Mobile is the preferred method of shopping in major emerging markets such as China, Indonesia, Nigeria and India.
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Headlines screamed about a “Retail Apocalypse” in 2017, but what was really happening was a highly accelerated period of retail transformation. The 17 retail industry experts contributing to the Retail TouchPoints 2018 Outlook Guide paint a collective portrait of an industry undergoing seismic shifts in multiple areas:
- Stores are emphatically not dead
- Voice could radically alter the existing product search paradigm, giving a huge first mention advantage to the top result;
- Mobile devices for store associates will become the new must-have business accessory;
- Technologies including AI, IoT, bots, AR and even connected cars will start to prove their worth; and
- Customer engagement, via advanced analytics and what one contributor called “right-sized personalization,” will continue to be the ultimate competitive battleground.
Contributors include leading experts from Forrester, IHL Group, Fung Global Retail & Technology, PlanetRetail RNG, IDC Retail Insights, BRP and RSR Research. All 17 contributors combine high-level insights with practical advice and real-world examples.
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Master This Year’s Tech Trends: Advice From 17 Experts
Retail TouchPoints asked 17 leading retail/technology experts to share their insights on what to expect from new technologies and trends in 2018. Each executive responded to: Which technology trend will impact the retail industry most significantly in 2018 (and why)?
Their responses clustered around 6 categories, including:
- Data/Analytics: As retail data grows exponentially, AI and advanced analytics will enable companies to make smarter, more agile and more customer-centric business decisions;
- Digital Innovation: Unified commerce goes beyond omnichannel experiences to omni-device strategies that empower consumers to resolve shopping issues; and
- Store Experience: Retailers are implementing an integrated approach to personalization across all engagement channels.
Drill down into the tech trends that will define successful retail businesses in 2018 and beyond.
10 Retailers Win 2018 Customer Engagement Awards
Retailers are stepping up to embrace digital innovation and technology disruption. They are finding new ways to engage customers across channels, leading to long-term loyalty and increased revenue.
Retail TouchPoints recognizes 10 retail companies that are reaching these lofty goals using a variety of technologies and strategies. These retailers are taking chances with Artificial Intelligence, influencer tactics, chatbot-focused initiatives and updated approaches to personalization and fulfillment. Through a nomination process, the winners were selected based on, but not limited to, these four criteria:
- Unique shopping/promotional offerings
- Customer engagement strategies
- Customer analysis
- Technology innovation
This year’s winners include large and small retail companies in a variety of industry segments, from sporting goods and specialty apparel to healthcare and big box.
This year’s winners are (in alphabetical order):
TechStyle Fashion Group
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Retail TouchPoints’ top stories of the year spotlight a variety of trending topics that were top-of-mind for retailers in 2017, including the power of social media engagement, off-price retail’s resilience, effective digital strategies and Gen Z’s current and potential buying power.
Continue reading “Top 10 Stories Of 2017: Debunking The Retail Apocalypse Myth”