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2018 Trends: Predictions From E-Commerce Marketing Experts
December 15, 2017 at 3:35 pm

In our annual trends report, we ask experts from the industry, the media and our own team what marketers should look for in the coming year. We asked them about the role of artificial intelligence, how techniques like user-generated content and mining unstructured data will develop, and how retailers can leverage these options in their online programs and physical stores. They shared some great ideas, but the overarching theme was that there will be increased pressure to build a deeper relationship with the customer. That's the only chance retailers have of fending off competition from companies like Amazon.com.

Wal-Mart to Give Workers Early Access to Paychecks
December 15, 2017 at 12:21 pm

Wal-Mart is instituting a more flexible pay schedule for its employees. Bloomberg reports the big-box retailer is working with two financial technology startups to enable its 1.5 million-strong U.S. workforce to draw on their salary ahead of payday or save some of it away for a rainy day. Employees will receive eight free uses a…

Gander Mountain Returns With New Name
December 15, 2017 at 12:16 pm

This week, Gander Mountain emerged from bankruptcy protection and reopened stores with a new name: Gander Outdoors. The outdoor apparel and product company was purchased by Camping World Holdings, an Illinois-based network of RV-centric retail locations, in April. Now under new ownership, the newly minted Gander Outdoors is on track to open 55 to 65…

Using Weather Data to Boost Holiday Retail Prep
December 15, 2017 at 8:13 am

The holiday shopping season can be the bow on your retail year … or the coal in your stocking if you fail to plan properly for consumer demand. Weather affects everything in your retail operation, from shipping to buyer behavior, and understanding how to manage these effects is key to your seasonal success. Shelves of…

Is Your Brand Ready for This Year's Holiday Retail Trends?
December 15, 2017 at 7:37 am

No industry has been more impacted by digital transformation than retail. In fact, it’s frighteningly easy to identify which retailers have embraced change and which remain mired in technologic antiquity. There’s no better time to commit to a digital revolution than during retailing prime time: the holiday shopping season. While many big-box retailers have lost…

Retail's Great Equalizer in 2018? Big Data
December 15, 2017 at 7:16 am

Imagine a store where many of the customers are invisible. Sounds like an episode of the "Twilight Zone" or a Stephen King novel. Yet the scene is a good analogy for what many traditional retailers and brands experience with their digital platforms — they have limited to no visibility as to who their customers are. The…

How to Take a Page From Sephora’s Subscription PLAY! Book
December 15, 2017 at 6:29 am

More and more brick-and-mortar retailers are jumping onto the subscription bandwagon. Take Sephora, for example. When the makeup retailer launched its subscription box, PLAY! by Sephora, customers felt like they were pushing “play” on a customized mix from someone who knew all their favorite songs. Each box includes five deluxe cosmetic products, from old favorites to…

Forter/MRC Fraud Attack Index Q1-Q3 2017
December 14, 2017 at 3:40 pm

Online fraud is an ongoing battle between criminals and retailers. While some recent trends should reassure merchants, others are more worrying. Forter’s Q1-Q3 2017 Fraud Attack Index looks at which industries fraudsters are attacking, how criminals have changed their tactics, and why ordinary customers are becoming a concern.

How Data Breaches and Tech Trends Are Influencing Holiday Shoppers
December 14, 2017 at 2:32 pm

The holiday shopping season is often a chaotic frenzy with consumers frantically searching for the perfect gifts for their loved ones. Due to wider adoption and the abundance of mobile shopping apps, as well as recent breaches in secure data, holiday shopping today isn’t the same as it used to be. To help retailers prepare…

Preparing Retail Apps for the Holiday Shopping Season
December 14, 2017 at 2:13 pm

Retailers around the world have been working hard to make sure they have a successful holiday shopping season. From new storefronts to early promotions, retailers put in months of preparation to ensure they meet sales projections and outperform competitors. Now that shoppers are more likely to reach for their smartphones and tablets than log on…

Early Data From NRF Predicts Promising Holiday Season
December 14, 2017 at 2:05 pm

Tis’ the season for retail sales. Today the National Retail Federation (NRF) reported retail sales in November increased 0.9 percent over October on a seasonally adjusted basis and were up 6 percent year-over-year unadjusted, according to calculations. Online and other nonstore sales grew 10.5 percent year-over-year, reflecting the growth of online shopping. The numbers exclude automobiles, gas…

Get in Sync With Customers to Capture Holiday Sales
December 14, 2017 at 1:35 pm

The holiday selling season is shaping up to be all about convenience and control for consumers. Successful retailers will deliver on this wish list by using the right strategies to capture holiday sales and win over consumers. Based on our work with many of the world’s most recognized brands, Alliance Data recently looked at how…

Why 2018 Will Be the Year of Brick-and-Mortar Retail
December 14, 2017 at 1:24 pm

Technology is already everywhere and is becoming a bigger part of our lives every day. More than 93 percent of American adults under 50 use the internet, and 77 percent of Americans own a smartphone. It’s no wonder that consumers believe online shopping is the future of retail, with 52 percent of global consumers shopping…

Kroger Adds Mobile Payments Option
December 14, 2017 at 1:21 pm

Kroger announced this week it will begin offering mobile payments next year through a partnership with JPMorgan Chase & Co. The Cincinnati Business Courier reports the retail chain will offer a service known as Chase Pay at select stores and e-commerce programs next year. “Technology is transforming our customers’ experiences and greatly influencing how we're re-imagining…

eBay Launches New Image-Based Search Tools for its Apps
December 14, 2017 at 12:40 pm

Earlier this fall, eBay announced that it had launched two new image-based search tools — Image Search, Find It On eBay — for its mobile apps. The artificial intelligence (AI)-powered features enable shoppers to use pictures instead of words to search eBay’s catalog of 1.1 billion items. In this interview with Giri Iyengar, head of…

Holiday Shopping & Consumer Expectations: How Same-Day Delivery Drives Purchase Intent and Brand Loyalty
December 14, 2017 at 9:44 am

This record-breaking shopping season comes at a time when consumers have higher expectations than ever for faster delivery — one outcome of what some refer to as the “Amazon Effect.” In Dropoff's 2017 Holiday Survey of U.S. consumers, you will see what effect same-day delivery has on purchase intent and brand loyalty. The report also looks at who consumers blame for poor delivery experiences — or reward for good ones. 

Retailers Face Radical Change ... And So Should Their Boards of Directors, Part 1
December 13, 2017 at 9:23 pm

Of the many industries being turned inside out by digital transformation, retailing may face the most radical change. However, it's also the industry with the greatest number of breathtaking new opportunities for success. In this two-part article, I survey the new digital and market forces facing the retail industry, and then detail why fresh leadership…

Private Brands Spur Product Innovation
December 13, 2017 at 6:11 pm

Today, 80 percent of consumers say private-label products meet expectations. And we can all guess why, right? Value prices for quality products are all the rage. But while it’s great that people are onboard the private brand gravy train, the truth is that this transition has been especially beneficial for shoppers on the hunt for…

Deborah Yeh, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Brand, Sephora
December 13, 2017 at 5:58 pm

“We have a huge penetration of omnichannel clients who use [e-commerce and brick-and-mortar] harmoniously. People want to experience things both ways — the conversation is less about splitting the channels and more about leveraging the trend.”

Managing Corporate Culture and Responsibility in an Era of ‘Explosive’ Messaging, Part 1
December 13, 2017 at 5:53 pm

We're living in an interesting age where “assaulting” ones sensibilities in the political and public realm is somehow being normalized as the role of social media evolves and as behavioral and communication standards seem to erode daily. The impact this change has had on all aspects of personal and corporate behavior and standards is still…