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Williams-Sonoma Acquires AR 3-D Imaging Startup
November 17, 2017 at 12:09 pm

Furniture and kitchenware giant Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (WSI) is acquiring augmented reality (AR) startup Outward in an all-cash deal for $112 million. The furniture brand, which operates stores including Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, West Elm and others, will be using the startup’s 3-D imaging tech to “enhance and extend its high-touch customer service platform,” the company says. Outward, founded…

Q&A With Mark Friedman, President of E-Commerce, Steve Madden
November 15, 2017 at 4:15 pm

I had a great time talking with Mark Friedman, president of e-commerce at Steve Madden. I was particularly interested in hearing his perspective on how retail is satisfying consumer needs while keeping up with the ever-changing world of digital.

Getting Mobile: The New Omnichannel Retail Experience
November 7, 2017 at 10:25 am

The way we shop is changing, so it’s only natural that retailers would change their approach to fit consumer demands. According to Worldpay, omnichannel shoppers spend between 50 percent to 300 percent more than single-channel shoppers. However, the tactics online retailers are adopting are surprisingly similar. In fact, they’re starting to act a little more…

A Chat With Mike Halula, Retail Analytics Practice Lead for the Americas, Teradata
November 1, 2017 at 2:11 pm

In an interview at the Teradata Partners Conference in Anaheim, Calif., last week, Mike Halula, retail analytics practice lead for the Americas, Teradata, touched on a variety of topics regarding the current and future state of the retail industry: On Marketing to Millennials "Marketers are trying to figure out how customers want to be connected…

Target Launches In-Store Checkout App
November 1, 2017 at 11:54 am

Target is making moves to become more omnichannel before the 2017 holiday season. Yesterday, the big-box retailer announced a new app called "myCheckout" for its in-store staff that will allow them to process online transactions on the customer's behalf, including taking payments from the store floor when merchandise is unavailable. TechCrunch reports the myCheckout app…

Enhancing the Mobile Experience a Priority for Retailers
October 27, 2017 at 10:37 am

Two years ago, Oracle + Bronto published a research report that showed 38 percent of consumers were shopping from their phones. The nearsighted among us scratched their heads, but we knew the trend was here to stay and began offering advice on how to adapt to the era of smartphone shopping. Our newly released report,…

Newest iPhone Offers Glimpse Into the Future of Retailing
October 23, 2017 at 4:19 pm

It’s been 10 years since a man in a black turtle neck, jeans and sneakers showcased what was then an odd-looking, white, mobile device — the first iPhone. Since then, the mobile landscape has changed more than consumers and retailers could have ever imagined. The question today is whether the most advanced iPhones to date,…

How Poor Website and App Performance Create “Digital Desertion”
October 20, 2017 at 1:02 pm

Every second counts in today's online world. Today’s online shoppers expect a greater level of website and app performance than they did three years ago. Slow rendering time and digital disappointment will often drive consumers to a competitor’s offerings. Consumer expectations have become more demanding and patience with poor performance has diminished. Apica conducted a…

PayPal Rolls Out Venmo Payments to its US Retailers
October 19, 2017 at 10:34 am

Venmo, a PayPal owned money transfer service, announced this week that the service can now be used to make payments on more than 2 million U.S. retailers’ mobile websites. Some of the retailers that will begin to accept Venmo payments include Wal-Mart, Target, lululemon athletica, and Forever 21. The new feature isn't available for desktop…

Tommy Bahama's CEO Talks Experiential Retail
October 18, 2017 at 1:24 pm

Tommy Bahama is winning over today’s distracted consumers by focusing on unique, unconventional retail experiences for them, according to Doug Wood, CEO of the Seattle-based manufacturer and retailer of casual men's and women's sportswear and activewear, who spoke at the 2017 SAP Retail Executive Forum in New York City yesterday. Case in point: Wood discussed…

Editor's Note: Introducing Total Retail's 2017 Retail Technology Report
October 18, 2017 at 1:04 pm

Technology is top of mind for most retailers today, no matter their size, product category or any other variables. As such, Total Retail surveyed its audience with the goal of finding out what types of retail technology retailers are interested in (as well as investing in), what retail trends and digital trends they’re tracking, and their…

50 Best Tips of 2017
October 16, 2017 at 3:59 pm

A collection of the top tips featured in Total Retail’s magazine and e-newsletters this year, from content marketing to inventory management to merchandising, and much more.

Retailers Using Mobile to Make BFFs
October 16, 2017 at 3:00 pm

Now that we’re well into the second half of the year, many retailers are beginning to formulate their marketing plans for 2018. In particular, I’ve observed two approaches take shape that I think retailers can immediately act on that will have a major impact in retail marketing next year. First, in a time of stagnating app usage, it’s critical that retailers implement more of a cross-channel mobile marketing approach to engage customers. Second, the ability to use big data to improve customer experiences is finally close to becoming reality. However, brands must achieve the right balance in what data they request from customers and the enriched experiences they offer in return.

5 E-Commerce Trends to Push You Ahead of the Pack
October 13, 2017 at 10:23 am

Every industry deserves a boost from disruption, and e-commerce is no exception. Online sales soared in 2016, flirting with $400 billion. More than 13 percent of retail consumption happened through virtual transactions, and the curve is trending upward. Retailers have already taken notice and upped their games, but breaking ahead of the pack requires a deeper understanding of…

Connected Devices: The New Route to Personalization
October 12, 2017 at 12:20 pm

The future of retail? Personalizing the customer experience. It may seem obvious, but not all retailers are as tech savvy as they need to be to catch the attention of today’s millennial and Gen Z shoppers. For many retailers, the smartphone strategy was first. The industry advice was that retailers had to be at the…

Wal-Mart Aims to Handle Online Returns in 35 Seconds or Less
October 9, 2017 at 11:32 am

In its ongoing effort to compete with Amazon.com, Wal-Mart announced a new way of handling in-store returns of online purchases that it claims could shrink the processing time to 35 seconds. Starting next month, Mobile Express Returns will enable consumers to begin a return process on Wal-Mart’s app before bringing the item in question to any…

Don’t Let Fraudulent Payments Be a Deterrent to E-Commerce Success
October 9, 2017 at 8:46 am

Is payment fraud getting you down? If so, it's easy to see why: 73 percent of companies were targets of payment fraud in 2015. Simply put, it's no longer a question of “if” your business will get targeted, but when and how hard. You can protect your business, prevent chargebacks and avoid the loss of…

Creating Cohesive Omnichannel Experiences for Your Customer
October 5, 2017 at 6:01 pm

Forrester predicts that mobile commerce will increase by 184 percent before 2019, eventually reaching $142 billion in the U.S. As tablet and smartphone transactions continue to rise, it's becoming increasingly apparent that modern consumers are using mobile technology during every step of the purchase journey — product research, in-store interactions and, ultimately transactions. What's the…

Mobile Chat: What CEOs Need to Know About This Growing Trend
October 4, 2017 at 2:51 pm

Mobile chat apps have completely taken over the app ecosystem. WhatsApp reports that it delivers 55 billion messages every day. The top five apps in the world in terms of frequency of use are all messaging apps. We’re more addicted to messaging than to Facebook or Instagram. How did we get here, and what does this…

Speed (or a Lack Thereof) Kills: Why App Performance is a Priority for Target
October 3, 2017 at 1:20 pm

In a session last week at the Shop.org conference in Los Angeles, Grace Glenny, director of site merchandising at Target, discussed how the big-box chain is ensuring its mobile app is primed for performance — without sacrificing functionality — to give its customers the instantaneous shopping experiences they’ve come to expect. Target has recently shifted…