The retail industry has seen its fair share of challenges in recent years with decreased foot traffic through stores as consumers move online to purchase products. Regardless of where consumers purchase goods, returns are an issue with the NRF estimating the amount of merchandise returned in 2013 totaling $267.3 billion.
Consumer confidence is 10 points higher than this time last year. Spring weather forecasts show April will be warmer than average for many areas. So, how can retailers optimize sales during this season? Learning from last year’s data and trends is a great place to start.
The rise of multichannel shopping has forced retailers to begin implementing strategic omni-channel initiatives across their organizations in an effort to satisfy increasing customer demands. These initiatives are ushering in even higher customer service expectations from shoppers who have no patience for disconnected experiences that fail to match the omni-channel marketing promise.
The changing nature of retail combined with an ever-greater reliance on data is forcing retailers to adjust their workforce and employee skill sets accordingly. From a customer experience standpoint, most retailers are transitioning to a brick-and-click model that aims to ensure customers have a seamless shopping experience regardless of which channel they use.
Beacons provide retailers with an opportunity to increase engagement and help direct the in-store experience, and they indicate a shift in many brands’ digital and in-store marketing and merchandising strategies.
Synergy seemed to be the common thread at this year’s NRF Big Show. While the customer experience was definitely at the forefront, it was interesting to note how many vendors were demonstrating tools to help business units work in concert to drive sales, develop customer loyalty, improve service levels and even coordinate brick-and-mortar and online shopping.
With the latest attacks at big name retailers, the pressure is on for businesses of all sizes to demonstrate that they’re doing whatever it takes to keep their customers’ confidential information safe and out of the hands of the bad guys. But with headlines changing every day on what actually happened and how, many retailers are unsure of where to begin making changes.
Omni-channel is one of the most discussed (and debated) topics in the retail industry. Some proclaim that it is a total game changer, while others say it is simply the rebranding of a multi-channel strategy. I would argue the omni-channel concept is going to redefine the future of retail business intelligence.
With the holiday shopping season behind us, retailers are celebrating the joyous bounty of this year’s shopping season. Consumers continued to show their digital prowess and appetite for online shopping as online sales soared across the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
As 2013 comes to an end, the retail/CPG industry is bracing itself for even greater compliance requirements, increased regulatory scrutiny, and more risks resulting from social media, global operations, and multi-tiered supply chains.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday represent two of the year’s biggest sales days, generating billions in revenue. Chain stores, shopping centers and even partners need to be prepared for the onslaught of consumer demand.
As more and more consumers prefer to shop from the comfort of their homes or even on-the-go with their mobile devices, brick-and-mortar retailers are struggling to lure shoppers into their stores and to get them to purchase.
As retailers continue their quest for deepening customer engagement, they’ll often turn to a loyalty program. Yet high membership numbers are deceiving because engagement levels are actually stagnant. This poses the question, are loyalty programs right for every brand?
During the last decade, RFID has been pronounced dead several times. It’s been mocked and criticized. It’s been shelved and tabled. Yet, there has been no substitute technology offering the same unparalleled benefits.