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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 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…

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…

Target Buying Delivery Platform Shipt for $550M
December 13, 2017 at 1:44 pm

Target announced today it has agreed to acquire Shipt, Inc., an online same-day delivery platform, for $550 million in cash. The retail chain said it will use its network of stores and Shipt’s proprietary technology platform and network of more than 20,000 members to bring same-day delivery to customers across the country. Shipt differs from other…

How AI Transforms Online Shoppers Into In-Store Shoppers
December 13, 2017 at 10:29 am

What motivates a consumer to walk into a store to make a purchase rather than shop online? Instant gratification? The inspiration that only comes from touch and smell? With 67 percent of the Gen Zs surveyed by IBM and the National Retail Federation preferring to shop in-store vs. 22 percent who favor online, there are tangible…

Creating a Buy, Not Browse, In-Store Shopping Environment
December 12, 2017 at 12:06 pm

When it comes to in-store shopping during the holiday season, opinions tend to be mixed. PwC's “Retailers and the Age of Disruption” survey found that while 68 percent of respondents intentionally browse products in-store before purchasing them online, 73 percent said they browse online and then purchase the products in-store. Consumers can’t decide which channel to…

How Retailers Are Turning Big Data Into Better Decisions
December 12, 2017 at 11:45 am

In today’s competitive market, retail executives often find themselves suffering from one of the most perplexing questions of the digital age: “What do we do with all this data?” With the amount of information generated, gleaning meaningful, actionable insights is a challenge. This mountain of data gives way to “analysis paralysis” in many organizations as…

Can AI Turn Grocery Retailers Into E-Commerce Giants?
December 11, 2017 at 9:42 am

According to the 2018 Activate Outlook Report, grocery is the next battleground for e-commerce. Interestingly, the report makes a case that brick-and-mortar stores are an enabler of online growth, beckoning a future less interested in the extinction of physical stores, but rather a harmonization of physical and e-commerce retail experiences. Central to that harmonization is…

The Right POS System Builds Business Brainpower for Retailers
December 7, 2017 at 12:29 pm

It's a nightmare scenario repeated so often that it has become a staple of reality television: an entrepreneur puts her heart and soul into a business with tremendous potential, only to be overwhelmed by the details of running a successful operation. There's not a ton of glamor in running the business side of a business.…

Digital Transformation is Key to Many Retailers Survival
December 7, 2017 at 11:20 am

It’s the 21st Century and we've entered a digital era where businesses across every sector are reaping the rewards that connectivity and digital transformation brings them. Operating faster than ever before, industries are harnessing next-generation technologies like the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and the cloud to accelerate the delivery of digital services to customers.…

How Chatbots Can Improve Holiday Shoppers’ Experiences
December 7, 2017 at 10:48 am

The way customers interact with organizations is changing. When consumers use certain social channels and platforms in their everyday lives, they expect companies to interact with them on their terms and on their channels. Historically, while many consumers used to, and still do, use the phone to reach a company if they have a problem,…

How Retail is Becoming the New Digital Playground
December 6, 2017 at 11:11 am

Augmented reality (AR) isn’t necessarily a new concept, but the recent rollout of Apple’s ARKit and the upcoming launch of Google’s ARCore has taken this technology to the next level, making it substantially more mainstream for every consumer and business across all industries. Similar to virtual reality’s (VR) impact on gaming/entertainment, AR’s use cases are…

The Connected Consumer: IoT and Automation in Everyday Life
December 5, 2017 at 11:15 am

Consumers are eager to embrace connected devices and automation; however, they remain wary of the Internet of Things (IoT), security breaches and their long-term effects. People want the ease and accessibility that automation can provide but want assurance that there are protocols and security measures in place before they fully adopt these practices. Optimistic for…

Blockchain is Here: Retail Needs to Get Aboard … or Sink
December 4, 2017 at 11:34 am

Consumer loyalty reward programs across every facet of retail are antiquated and ineffective. Seventy-seven percent of adults in the United States participate in loyalty programs, however, more than $100 billion in loyalty points have gone unclaimed as trust in loyalty program benefits plummets. These rewards points go unused because consumers either don’t know how to claim…

There Can Be No Denying: Chatbots Are Now Marketers
December 4, 2017 at 9:44 am

With the rise of “conversational experiences,” just about every business function — from marketing to commerce to support — must be redesigned to be conversational. The greatest impact felt due to conversational marketing is that businesses interact with far more consumer prospects than they do with paying customers. Each one of us will soon be…

How AI is Changing the Way Brand Marketers Reach New Customers
December 4, 2017 at 9:16 am

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the mother of all marketing buzzwords these days. Defined as the theory and development of computer systems to be able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, the broader applications of AI are much bigger than using a machine to order your food vs. having a waitress come to your…

How to Maximize Online Data for Offline Sales This Holiday Season
December 1, 2017 at 12:19 pm

Now that we’re in the holiday season, brands and retailers need to ensure they maximize digital marketing strategies to help increase traditional brick-and-mortar sales. Research shows that sales via mobile devices are expected to reach $20.1 billion, a 45.2 percent growth, with mobile visits accounting for 49 percent of holiday brick-and-mortar store visits. What does…

How to Establish Consumer Confidence Throughout the Online Sales Cycle
November 29, 2017 at 4:37 pm

There's nothing more important than building up confidence for your brand. However, it won’t happen fast and it won’t happen easily. It will likely take some incremental investments, but it doesn’t need to break the bank. Here a few ways that will help: Authenticity One of the most important elements of building confidence is authenticity.…