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A Look Into the Future
March 28, 2017 at 11:22 am

To help you prepare for what figures to be another volatile year, Total Retail sent its editorial advisory board a series of questions about what they expect to be the biggest trends, technologies and disruptors that will impact retail businesses in 2017. In addition, our board members offer their advice on how to make 2017…

Third-Party Services: The Ultimate E-Commerce Friend or Foe?
March 28, 2017 at 9:24 am

External third-party services can be a tremendous asset for online retailers. They allow sites to quickly and easily incorporate critical core functionalities — e.g., reviews, payments, site search, analytics — as well as “nice to haves” that help sites stand out — e.g., A/B testing, social plug-ins, product tours. Brands can implement these functionalities with…

Kohl's CEO on Future of Stores, Amazon and More
March 22, 2017 at 1:33 pm

In an interview yesterday with Sucharita Mulpuru at Shoptalk in Las Vegas, Kohl's Chairman, CEO and President Kevin Mansell discussed the future of the struggling retailer, including the role of brick-and-mortar, how the department store will leverage technology, how it views Amazon.com, and the potential impact of the proposed border adjustment tax

Wal-Mart Announces New Investment Arm
March 22, 2017 at 11:59 am

Wal-Mart has launched a new internal venture — Store No. 8 — meant to create new online business. Store No. 8 will help Wal-Mart build new startups within the company, fostering relationships with entrepreneurs, particularly those in the fields of artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles and other emerging technologies. This will, in turn, help the retailer…

4 Keys to Rebecca Minkoff's Millennial Success
March 21, 2017 at 11:57 am

Rebecca Minkoff is a millennial-owned brand focused on attracting millennial customers. Uri Minkoff, co-founder and CEO of Rebecca Minkoff, spoke about his plans to “future proof” the company during the session “Future-proof: Building a Fashion Brand for the Millennial Consumer” at Shoptalk yesterday. Minkoff gave four key ways he sees this happening within the Rebecca…

Wal-Mart Granted Drone Patent
March 20, 2017 at 11:33 am

Wal-Mart was granted a patent this week for a system in which drones would shuttle products between different departments inside its stores. This scenario would free customers from having to walk across its stores to find what they want and from having to wait while employees return from far-away storerooms. Ultimately, Wal-Mart believes that drones “can…

How Retailers Can Leverage Predictive Marketing to Drive Connected Customer Experiences
March 17, 2017 at 10:45 am

As retailers become more skilled at harnessing big data to build predictive intelligence capabilities, they will learn to create more personalized customer experiences and drive operational efficiencies throughout their organization. Savvy retailers already employ artificial intelligence (AI) to create distinctive and transformative shopping experiences. For example, the Amazon Echo, a hands-free, voice-controlled digital assistant, lets…

Foolproof Hacks for Small Marketing Teams, Part 2
March 17, 2017 at 10:30 am

Aside from working an unsustainable 70-hour work week and hiring expensive contractors, there are few additional — somewhat more complex — things managers can do to get the work done, run an efficient department and foster a sane work environment for all.

The Great Digital Divide Between Consumers and Store Associates
March 16, 2017 at 9:50 am

In today’s hypercompetitive retail environment, there’s mounting pressure for retailers to leverage their brick-and-mortar presence as a competitive advantage. This reality arguably makes the store associate the most important asset retailers have. Associates can provide the personal service that differentiates their shopping experience from their competitors, including online pure-play retailers. In fact, store associates that…

Under Armour Appoints Former GM Exec as Chief Innovation Officer
March 14, 2017 at 5:10 pm

Under Armour announced this week that Clay Dean will be joining the company as chief innovation officer. Dean will be responsible for the athletic retailer’s global strategy and collaboration between design, marketing, product and category management teams. Dean joins Under Armour from General Motors, where he spent more than 20 years and most recently led…

New Social Trends and Digital Technologies Have Raised the Stakes for Customer Experience
March 8, 2017 at 10:49 am

New technologies powered by “always on” Wi-Fi connections, social networking platforms and the Internet of Things have given consumers the power to dictate the terms of their relationships with retailers. Their behaviors, preferences and, most importantly, shopping habits are changing rapidly as they access a seemingly ever-expanding array of channels to connect with their peers,…

E-Commerce and the Evolving Customer Experience
March 8, 2017 at 9:14 am

Although it might not seem obvious at first, one of the most overlooked, yet essential, marketing tools in your arsenal is an effective e-commerce portal. Think about it: many other marketing and branding opportunities rely on your organization’s representatives to put their best foot forward. An email can be fantastically written, an advertisement can (and…

Virginia First State to Pass Law Allowing Robots for Delivery
March 6, 2017 at 12:41 pm

Virginia is the first state to pass legislation allowing delivery robots to function on sidewalks and crosswalks across the state, according to Recode. Ron Villanueva and Bill DeSteph, the two Virginia lawmakers who sponsored the bill, worked with robotics company Starship Technologies, a ground delivery robotics company, to draft the legislation. Under the new law,…

AWS Outage Affects Internet Retailers ... Except Amazon
March 2, 2017 at 10:59 am

Amazon.com announced Wednesday its Web Services platform (AWS) is back to normal. However, the company has yet to offer an explanation as to why its S3 service went down. Business Insider reports that during the four-hour disruption, 54 of the internet's top 100 retailers had a decrease of 20 percent or greater in site performance, and…

Digital Transformation Top Investment Priority for Retail CEOs, Survey Finds
March 1, 2017 at 2:55 pm

A survey of more than 350 global retail CEOs found that a digital transformation strategy is their No. 1 priority in 2017; 69 percent said they plan to increase their investment in digital transformation over the next year. These findings were highlighted in a new report, CEO Viewpoint 2017: The Transformation of Retail, prepared for JDA Software Group,…

Are Luxury Retailers Giving Online Customers a Thrift Store Experience?
February 27, 2017 at 9:39 am

What separates luxury retailers from the pack? Is it the products they sell? The quality of the materials? Careful, elegant design? The clientele? The in-store experience? The customer service? Chances are, you're nodding along with all of those options. That's because a luxury brand is about far more than just its products. A nice, pithy…

Lucky Shoes Safeguards its Business With AlienVault
February 23, 2017 at 9:43 am

Lucky Shoes is a retailer with a long history. The company has been in business for almost 100 years, and started with one store. Lucky Shoes now operates four stores in its native Ohio, as well as selling its products at eight New Balance stores and two Stride Rite stores. As Lucky Shoes grew, so…

Advancing Digital Commerce by Empowering Internal Teams
February 23, 2017 at 8:50 am

As brands close hundreds of stores, retailers are investing in the digital experience and digital commerce to win customers over more than ever. However, it doesn’t come easy; a winning digital strategy must have the right combination of technology, content and features, all of which require an investment of time and resources. Those resources must…

How Gender Impacts Salary
February 22, 2017 at 12:05 pm

Our coverage of Total Retail’s first annual Salary Benchmark Report continues this week as we take a look at how gender affects salary within the retail industry. The Salary Benchmark Report was produced based upon the responses to an online survey that was sent to Total Retail’s audience over a two-week period last summer. Survey questions asked respondents about their salaries,…

Focusing on Individualization to Satisfy Today’s Digital Consumer
February 22, 2017 at 9:25 am

Today’s digital consumer no longer differentiates between channels. They expect a cohesive blend of online and in-store experiences, and will easily gravitate from one retailer to the next to satisfy their purchasing demands. The consumer now holds all of the cards in the shopping journey, leaving many retailers and branded manufacturers to ask the question…