The hyperconnected economy is having a profound effect on how consumers engage with retailers. The buying process is becoming more technology-driven than retailers imagined even a few years ago. Underpinning these new engagement models is a slew of software that must work as quickly and precisely as hyperconnected consumers can buy. The retailers that can keep up with the pace of change will be the ones that win.
Though digital retail began taking shape in the 90s, the experience has transformed dramatically since the advent of personal technology. The 21st century brought the rapid adoption of mobile devices, compelling retailers to maintain both traditional and mobile-friendly sites. The evolution to mobile and consumers increasing comfort with online shopping across all platforms has created a number of challenges for enterprise businesses. Here are three challenges that retailers need to address in order to meet the changing needs and demands of their customers:
There's a new network effect taking place. From inventory management to point-of-sale systems to on-site Wi-Fi networks, retailers now rely on network connections to support traditional brick-and-mortar operations and extend new services to in-store customers. While connectivity is crucial, however, many in the retail industry underestimate how much it's reshaping the IT landscape. The online and in-store domains are converging, and retailers need a strong infrastructure foundation to ensure business operations continue to run smoothly.
With the holiday shopping season approaching, you can expect many shoppers to do last-minute online gift buying, require immediate deliveries, and, of course, there are all those pesky post-holiday returns and exchanges. Will your website be able to deal with this annual shopping frenzy? By putting a little effort in planning ahead of the frenzy and by following a few e-commerce pre-holiday tips highlighted below, you can ensure that your customer's experience is both positive and cheerful for the holiday buying season.
Always-connected, digital omnivores present brands with the opportunity to build richer and stronger relationships with customers, but competition for their attention is fierce. In order to connect with digital omnivores and meet their expectations, retailers must provide consistent, tailored and content-rich experiences as consumers jump between tablets, phones and desktops. Here are five simple tips to help retailers engage digital omnivores across any online touchpoint:
Until now, larger, resource-rich retailers have had the upper hand over their smaller counterparts due to the millions of dollars they invest in people and the latest technologies to improve the shopping experience for consumers. After decades of limited access to critical tools and techniques, several new classes of technology have emerged, offering smaller retailers an opportunity to level the playing field against the Amazon.com's of the world.
The impact that mobile will have on holiday shopping this year will be unlike anything we've ever seen. According to comScore, more than 234 million Americans own mobile devices. Even more staggering is Cisco's prediction that the number of internet-connected mobile devices on the planet will outnumber humans in 2012. Smartphones and tablets offer a level of accessibility and user engagement that can't be matched by any other platform, which is why brands and merchants need to make mobile their priority.
No doubt about it, the job recovery has all but hit a standstill. Job growth has slowed to a trickle (only 57,000 private sector jobs in June) and to make matters worse, the summer seemed to bring a flurry of layoff announcements from some of the country's largest companies.
Approaching $8 billion in total sales and $559 million in profit for its most recent fiscal year, CDW’s roots are in cataloging in case you forgot. The Vernon Hills, Ill.-based provider of technology products and services for business, government and education was, and still is, a B-to-B cataloger, but a far cry from a mom-and-pop startup. For the past decade, CDW (which stands for the company’s original moniker, Computer Discount Warehouse) recognized growth opportunities within the tech industry and sought a multichannel approach to reaching its customers. Using vehicles such as television, radio, Internet, in-house magazine publications, webinars, seminars, sponsorship events and catalogs,