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The Sky Isn’t Falling, Retail’s Renaissance is Just a Little Scary
June 28, 2017 at 11:29 am

The retail industry is undergoing major changes. This year, many retailers have filed for bankruptcy or shuttered their locations outright, leaving the future of businesses like PayLess Shoes and The Limited uncertain. But while some industry observers will see this difficult period as the end of days, savvy retailers will see it for what it…

How to Turn Consumers Into Shoppers
June 27, 2017 at 10:55 am

Imagine you’re at a store with harsh, unflattering lighting — and you’re waiting a long time for the store associate to give you a hand. When she finally comes over, she’s rude and abrupt. Weeks later when you recall this event, you remember vividly that all the clothes looked terrible on you. But were the…

Estée Lauder Introduces AR Try-On Experience
June 22, 2017 at 11:15 am

Shopping online for beauty products can be difficult for consumers. Products look different on each person’s skin tone and face shape. So when it comes to beauty, consumers are, naturally, more likely to move forward with a purchase after seeing a realistic preview of the product on their own face and skin. That’s where ModiFace’s…

Kellogg Adds Former Wal-Mart Exec to Board
June 21, 2017 at 12:51 pm

Kellogg Company recently announced the election of Carter Cast to its board of directors. As Kellogg continues to grow its presence online, Cast brings extensive experience in the digital arena. He previously helped build and then lead Walmart.com as its CEO. Cast also was the CEO of online retail company Hayneedle, Inc.; led the launch of the…

IRCE 2017 Was an Education in Our World of Internet Retailing
June 21, 2017 at 10:04 am

This year’s IRCE had everything — the big picture overview of where the industry is evolving, specific strategies and tactics for the Q4 selling season, and a wealth of marketing and operational opportunities in an exhibit hall filled with vendors detailing how their products can build your business. The big picture story from this year’s…

How Cloud-Based MDM is Driving Digital Transformation and Customer Engagement
June 21, 2017 at 9:54 am

Digital tools are disrupting today’s business environment and require significant changes in operations, communications and selling. The growing number of sales channels, the abundance of product options and the emergence of mass personalization have increased consumers’ expectations and price sensitivity, leading to less brand loyalty than in the past — and it’s about to get…

Amazon Granted Patent to Prevent Online Price-Checking In-Store
June 19, 2017 at 11:49 am

Amazon.com has been granted a patent for a system that stops brick-and-mortar customers from comparing in-store prices to competitors’ online offerings. The patent, called "Physical store online shopping control," will enable the retailer to intercept network requests like URLs and search terms that happen on its in-store Wi-Fi. The patent details in great length how…

How Artificial Intelligence is Transforming Retail
June 16, 2017 at 8:59 am

Artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged over the past three years as a key component of digital transformation. As a result, this technology is fundamentally changing the retail industry. The ability to analyze, understand, recommend and predict based on statistics and data-driven processes promises to change how retail workers perform their jobs, how consumers buy products,…

Experience the Joy of In-Store Shopping
June 15, 2017 at 10:57 am

I hear two main culprits from senior retail executives when it comes to their companies’ troubles: getting the merchandising right (i.e., matching supply and demand), and the burgeoning growth of e-commerce. Stores are often left with either too much or not enough inventory — suffering in either circumstance. While it seems as if it’s raining…

Key Takeaways From IRCE 2017
June 15, 2017 at 10:04 am

While digital commerce is rapidly shifting, it’s nice to know there's a constant in the retail industry. The Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition (IRCE) delivers a great event every year packed with cutting-edge content, thoughtful conversations, and predictions about the ever-changing future of online retailing. In fact, in his opening presentation, IRCE’s Kurt Peters spoke…

TechStyle Implements Chatbots for Improved Customer Service
June 15, 2017 at 9:51 am

Retailers are slowly but surely beginning to implement chatbot technology into their e-commerce sites. With new technology partners popping up — and Facebook adding chatbot tech to its Messenger app — retailers are able to offer consumers a higher quality customer experience and cut costs in the process. Both these benefits should attract brands to…

The Business Triangle: People, Process and Technology
June 14, 2017 at 4:41 pm

This century has seen more technology disruption for retailers than ever before. From online shopping to self-serve ordering kiosks, the process by which shoppers interact with their retail vendors is constantly changing. Last century, location was everything and employees providing excellent customer service was next. Now online presence and easy-to-use interfaces are all the rage.…

Retailers Can’t Afford to Ignore Chatbots
June 14, 2017 at 10:12 am

There’s no doubt about it , chatbots are changing the e-commerce landscape. They’re shaking up expectations around customer engagement with use cases spanning concierge-like customer care, the post-purchase experience, brand marketing and product discovery. While it may still be early days for this technology, the chatbot landscape is already valued at $4 billion and annual global revenue…

Best Buy to Test Try-Before-You-Buy Option
June 13, 2017 at 9:37 am

Later this month, Best Buy will start advertising try-before-you-buy rentals on its website for cameras, audio equipment and fitness trackers, the company recently told Recode. Best Buy is partnering with a San Francisco-based startup called Lumoid on the trial. The electronics retailer will feature the try-before-you-buy option on BestBuy.com and then send interested customers to Lumoid’s…

Changing Tech Attitudes in the Convenience Store
June 12, 2017 at 4:15 pm

Today’s convenience store market is one that’s evolving quickly and looks very different to just a few years ago. More and more stores are elevating themselves and their product lines from the traditional Gas-N-Sip to a more comprehensive offering that adds value to customers and revenue to the bottom line. The main challenge in fulfilling…

Monro Repairs its Customer Engagement With Data Management Tool
June 12, 2017 at 2:05 pm

In an interview last week at CRMC 2017 in Chicago, Tom Tracy, senior vice president of marketing at Monro, an automotive services retail chain, discussed how the company is leveraging a new data management solution to help it better engage customers. About a year ago, Monro went through an RFP process to find a CRM…

How J.C. Penney Built its Best-in-Class Loyalty Program
June 9, 2017 at 11:57 am

The steps J.C. Penney took to update its current Rewards program were spelled out by Sherina Smith, vice president of loyalty, CRM and multicultural marketing at the 2017 CRMC (Customer Relationship Management Conference) in Chicago yesterday. During her presentation, Smith explained that J. C. Penney Rewards has been in operation since 2008, and has evolved over…

Ulta's Strategy for Winning Customers’ Loyalty
June 8, 2017 at 11:14 am

In a session yesterday at the CRM Conference (CRMC) in Chicago, Eric Messerschmidt, senior vice president, strategic marketing, CRM and loyalty at Ulta, discussed the beauty retailer's approach to customer retention. Ulta has a very active loyalty program, Ultamate Rewards, with more than 24 million members. Those customers have helped Ulta become a leader in…

Macy's Promotes From Within to Strengthen Technology Department
June 7, 2017 at 1:28 pm

Yasir Anwar has been promoted to the role of executive vice president and chief technology officer by Macy’s Inc. In this new role, Anwar will oversee all technology functions for Macy’s. Anwar will drive the alignment of Macy’s technology efforts with the company’s strategy. He will be responsible for the teams that build the end-to-end…

Disruption is the Mother of Invention … Again
June 7, 2017 at 8:39 am

America has too many stores, too much inventory and too few shoppers. Macy’s, J.C. Penney, Sears, J.Crew and other retailers have announced that they will be closing stores because they can’t justify the return on these expensive fixed assets — and because consumers no longer choose to spend their money there. The internet’s influence on…