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Tag: Omni-channel

Prepping for Generation Z

The big furor over the past couple of years has been all about Millennials, and even though Millennials occupy the largest demographic of any generation, it’s getting to be old news. Retailers need to get ready for the new generation of consumers: Generation Z. This is the group that was born between 1996 and 2010. The Wharton School Of Business calls them “Millennials on Steroids.” Millennials prefer to spend money that’s focused on experiences rather than ...

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Etailers Get Physical

Once again, the physical element of the brick-and-mortar format can’t be ignored. ModCloth, an online only retailer for 13 years, opened its first physical store toward the end of 2015. Soon after, it learned the benefits of having a physical presence and ways to improve upon the winning online formula it had. CEO Mike Kansas said customers immediately indicated what they loved, like pockets and linings in dresses and skirts. ModCloth is just one example of online companies moving to...

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Who Uses Coupons Anymore?

A common misconception is that coupons are used by the elderly or low-income groups, when in fact, that’s not the case. According to Creditcards.com, 85% of Americans still use coupons. Paper coupons are often used in place of smartphones, which some people use to buy items in stores without even using a physical credit card. But while paper coupon usage decreases with income and increases with age, 18- to 24-year-olds are using paper coupons about twice as much...

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You Don’t Have to Be Costco to Innovate Like Them

There’s a view in some economics circles that the biggest change in retailing over the last several years is not the rise of internet selling, but, according to a 2012 article in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, the growth of warehouse clubs and supercenters. Take warehouse clubs Costco and Sam’s Club, and grocery-department store formats like Wal-Mart Supercenters. This segment of the retail sector is huge. Its four largest companies accounted for almost 8% of retail sales in 2012....

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The Retail Mantra for 2016

While retailers have measured growth by their store’s square footage of their footprint, e-commerce requires no physical space, so the thinking needs to be realigned. What’s happened is that stores have expanded in search of growth that was fairly non-existent and now that’s coming back to haunt them. Healey Cypher, CEO of Oak Labs and former leader of the Retail Innovation team at eBay, says, “The U.S. is the most over-retailed country...

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Don’t Write Off Bricks and Mortar Yet!

This isn’t a pep talk on why stores shouldn’t despair. It’s true that online shopping is growing by leaps and bounds, and if stores can’t adapt to changing times, they will suffer the consequences. But this is a call to action. Stores have an opportunity to really sell their wares and tell a story to the shopper. One of the ways to expedite this is right at the shelf. A panel hosted...

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What’s In Store for 2016

Many companies are issuing year-end predictions on what they think will be the retail trends for 2016. Vend, a company that designs POS systems, inventory, customer management, and inventory software, sees an increase in mobile POS usage. They note that 2015 year-over-year growth rate of mobile POS software installs in North America is an impressive 41%. While traditional POS systems still exist, it’s predicted that almost all systems will be mobile by the end of 2016 because of several factors: mobile POS...

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Go Digital!

Digital merchandising and signage are becoming the cornerstones for viable retail operations. And in 2015, digital representation became more and more prevalent. “In human DNA, we are engineered to react to motion,” says Kevin Goldsmith, communication director at Ping HD, a company that provides digital strategies for industries ranging from sports and entertainment to retail and health care. “So to move from a static printed poster to something digital with movement is going to capture people’s...

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What Customers Want

RIS/Cognizant’s Shopper Experience Study conducts research every year on what the retail customer wants and what happens when they don’t get it. This year over 5,000 shoppers were surveyed. Why do we spend so much time talking about shopper experience? Because it’s what makes the current retail scene tick, and if the physical store is to survive, retailers need to not only know, but also need to implement these things—from...

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New Store Openings: Brick-and-Mortar Gets Creative

Brick-and-mortar retail is not standing still in the face of online challenges. Canadian sports equipment giant Bauer will be opening eight to 10 stores in North America. Known for its hockey gear, the company saw the opportunity to boost flagging hockey enrollment by offering a new retail concept into the mix. Customers will be able to test the merchandise on an indoor hockey rink. Bauer sees this as a chance to diversify its business and lure more people to the sport,...

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Why you Need Wi-Fi in Your Store

One of the challenges facing retailers is attracting customers. Often, shoppers are accompanied by friends or partners who have little or no interest in your brand. Having access to Wi-Fi means these folks are likely to linger longer in your store while their friends shop. This means that shoppers are more likely to stay in your store for extended periods of time, increasing the chances that they’ll buy something. A recent study by IHL Group indicates how much...

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Snapchat – An App Worth Retailers’ Attention

With social media being an essential part of the retail branding and marketing repertoire, here’s one more app for stores to consider using: Snapchat, the social media hit of 2014. Snapchat has morphed from a small business to a global brand in three years. Their 100 million+ active users are sending over 700 million photos and videos each day and the company was recently valued at $10 billion. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a pretty simple,...

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Mobile and Multicultural Top the Holiday Charts

There are a lot of articles and blogs devoted to holiday trends and tips… with good reason. With online sales poised to grow exponentially this holiday season, brick-and-mortar stores need to step up their game. Mobile devices will be used by consumers more than ever—from buying, to researching products, to comparing prices. Retailers need to make sure they have a user-friendly mobile experience or risk losing big sales revenue over the holidays. More and more mobile users...

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Amazon Goes Rogue

In a big departure from its online monopoly of sales, Amazon is setting up shop in Manhattan on 34th Street, across from the Empire State Building, just in time for the holidays. The 12-story building was once home to Orbach’s Department store and now has Mango and Express stores at street level. That, and the two loading docks at the back of the building give Amazon some serious clout. Maybe it’s pure ego for Amazon CEO...

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Competing Against the Online Behemoths

A customer service report conducted by Echo Research indicated that customer service is the primary factor in garnering consumer trust. 75% of consumers say they have spent more with a company because of a history of positive customer service experiences. Main Street retailers can use these strategies to their advantage to combat the price advantages at Amazon. The analysis broke down this way: * 45% of reviews are about customer service. * About 60% of people surveyed cited their online service experience as negative. * Positive...

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Oracle’s Study on “The New Retail Democracy”

If you think the democratization of retail is far-fetched, think again. Oracle surveyed 4,500 adult consumers worldwide and found that having input in the retail process from sourcing to shipping is becoming a primary goal for the majority of people questioned. The consumer wants to initiate decisions concerning the supply chain—where to buy, ship, pick up and return orders; they want to determine merchandising operations—ethical sourcing, price, delivery times and item availability; being able to sell their...

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The Final Frontier: Location-Based Marketing

Of all the big data components, the most dominant this year will probably be location-based marketing, or “geo-targeting.” On the positive side for retailers, this GPS technology can help cater more specifically to their needs, promote their brand and specific products, and tailor promotions to prospective customers who are within proximity to their store (also known as geo-fencing). Among the many apps that deliver this valuable consumer data are Ban.jo, Path and Foursquare. But trend reports show...

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Update: Tracking the ‘Showrooming’ Effect

A couple of years ago, showrooming was considered the death knell for brick-and-mortar retailers. … But not anymore. Even with the increased use of mobile gadgets and apps while shopping, showrooming has not increased. In fact, a recent IBM study showed that in 2013 only about 30% of online purchases resulted from showrooming—a drop from nearly 50% in 2012! Since we last covered this topic, retailers have found new and innovative ways to deal with showroomers. Studying big data gives retailers the...

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Innovative and Smart: J. Crew Does it Right

Preppy with an edge: that’s the J. Crew style. But style alone doesn’t equal success. Just ask Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle and Aeropostale, whose sales and profits are plummeting. J. Crew has over 330 stores and revenues of over $2.4 billion. At the end of fiscal 2013, J. Crew had 257 J. Crew stores, 8 Crewcut stores (for kids in sizes 2 to 14) and 65 Madewell stores, which sell well-made, well-fitting jeans in various styles and washes. Denim devotees are big fans...

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Women: The Shopping Magnates

Different consumer and buying preferences are clearly reflected in the diverse generations of the Millennials and Baby Boomers. But while retailers assimilate data and information to determine how best to market to these distinct groups, there are other factors at play that are even more basic: how retailers and brands market to men and women. An article by Bridget Brennan in Forbes suggests that because women throughout the ages have been primary caregivers, they make purchases on behalf of everyone...

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Adapting Curated Commerce to the Store

Online retailers have mastered “curated commerce.” This is where distinctive product lines are created, which provide shoppers unique collections that are exclusive to that site. With consumers seeing the endless possibilities and product lines that the online shopping sites offer, they are becoming more discerning and demanding for personalization, which is the driving force behind curated retail. Retailers often rely on email marketing and sophisticated websites to show a selection of curated products to customers based on their...

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The New Art of H2H – Really?

We’ve all heard the saying, “What goes around comes around.” Good or bad, things have a tendency to come back into favor (like bell bottoms or old rock-n-roll). And now, in the business world, H2H is back. Really? For quite a few years we’ve discussed B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer). All retail stores, of course, do B2C. But, shouldn’t retail always be H2H ...

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Thanksgiving Weekend Shopping Spree—What We Learned

After slicing and dicing the numbers, here are some telling statistics from this multi-day holiday shopping excursion: ShopperTrak estimated that brick-and-mortar traffic and sales were both up 2.3% on Thanksgiving and Black Friday relative to last year. Total spending over the four-day shopping extravaganza amounted to $2.2 billion—just a hair over last year’s total of $2 billion. According to ShopperTrak, while Thanksgiving Day accounted for 10% of the four-day weekend’s retail traffic, shoppers apparently paced themselves and began...

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The Challenges of the Omni-Channel Rollercoaster

Main Street stores still account for 90% of all retail sales, but it’s not one medium or the other. Most online sales and offline sales are intertwined. Social, Location based, and Mobile marketing (SoLoMo) are converging and continue to blur the lines between online and offline marketing. Brick-and-mortar stores benefit from brands’ co-marketing programs. Promotions that center on SoLoMo can create the reason, the “deal,” and the location for prompting a purchase from a physical store....

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