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What Amazon’s Private Label Business Means for Retailers
January 29, 2018 at 8:22 am

Amazon.com has more customer search and purchase data than any e-commerce business. It can build a private-label brand in six months using these data. Amazon’s private-label products have access to the best merchandising and targeting on the marketplace. And the brand doesn’t even need to be profitable. How do national brands compete with this? According…

Gift Cards Are Changing the Shopping Experience
January 26, 2018 at 10:28 am

Gift cards may not be new in the world of retail, but the ways shoppers and retailers are putting them to use is rapidly evolving, according to First Data’s 2017 Prepaid Consumer Insights Study. Customers and retailers alike are finding creative new ways to jump on the “branded currency” wagon. For shoppers, gift cards offer…

Why Product Returns Aren’t the Enemy
January 23, 2018 at 11:18 am

Retail is unique in that the scope of a business’s success (or failure) is never entirely certain. While a store may have “out of this world” sales numbers in November and December, there’s nothing stopping those numbers from crashing down come the post-holiday return season. To create a level of predictability, some retailers have adopted…

Why Responsive Merchandising is Retailers’ Key to Meeting Customer Needs
January 17, 2018 at 12:21 pm

Picture yourself as an associate in a retail store. You just finished straightening up the rack when a potential customer walks in. At that moment, a dynamic relationship begins. You’re assuming and inferring, and forming a mosaic from the minutiae of details. The customer is surveying the signage to decide where to go and making…

Avoiding the ‘Nike Problem’ of Excess Inventory
January 14, 2018 at 10:31 am

For independent retailers, it can sometimes be helpful to look at how big-name brands and companies are doing in the marketplace to better gauge where your brand stands. Don’t worry, independent retailers can’t really compare themselves to these big players, but they can use them as a litmus test of how the market is shifting…

5 Tips to Manage the Rush of Post-Holiday Product Returns
January 11, 2018 at 12:20 pm

With the holiday buying fervor behind us, the avalanche of product returns begins. Given that U.S. retail holiday sales are on track to rise 4 percent to 4.5 percent this year — and, according to Deloitte forecasts, e-commerce sales are expected to hit between $111 to $114 billion during the 2017 holiday season — the…

Digital Coupons: Must Be More Than Discount Flyers
January 8, 2018 at 11:05 am

A recent study on the impact of coupons concluded that they're still very popular with shoppers and can help drive loyalty, footfall and increased customer spend. The study also found that there were 6 percent fewer coupon redemptions in 2017 than the year prior. Ironically, this is good news for retailers and marketers. How is…

These Retailers Have the Best Return Policies
January 2, 2018 at 2:20 pm

Tis the season for returns! The two weeks after Christmas and New Year's is usually considered the busiest time of year for returns. ABC Action News and ConsumerWorld.org have researched which retailers have the easiest return policies and which ones have the toughest. Nordstrom and Macy's top the list of easiest return policies. Customers of…

How Small E-Tailers Can Thrive in the Age of Retail Consolidation
December 22, 2017 at 9:46 am

Do small and new online retailers have a chance to succeed anymore? Industry analysts say that 2017's parade of acquisitions by major retailers — Whole Foods by Amazon.com, Kate Spade by Coach, HSN by QVC, among others — are making it harder for smaller retailers to survive. How can SMB sellers compete with these players’ same-day…

Seasonal Offers Are the Ideal Time to Test New Tactics
December 18, 2017 at 1:24 pm

’Tis the season of limited-time offers. As holiday shopping escalates, it's hard to escape all of the limited-time offers (LTOs), which fill our inboxes, mobile apps and brick-and-mortar retail spaces. Consumer product groups have long used LTOs as a way to introduce new consumers to their products and bump sales at key times in the…

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…

Calypso St. Barth to Shutter All US Stores, Liquidate Inventory
December 13, 2017 at 1:29 pm

Luxury apparel and accessories retail chain Calypso St. Barth is shuttering all of it U.S. stores and liquidating its remaining inventory. Asset firms Tiger Group and Great American Group are supervising the going-out-of-business sales at the retailer’s 16 stores in New York, Georgia, Massachusetts, Colorado, California, Florida, Arizona, Maryland and South Carolina. The inventory is…

Creating a Product Development Strategy to Delight Customers
December 13, 2017 at 9:22 am

When developing new products, businesses typically ask their customers a single question. They provide a long list of features and ask, “For this product, which of these features do you most prefer?” This seems like a straightforward question. Many product development teams would take these results and immediately begin developing whatever features were selected most…

Nearly Every Shopper Will Look for Deals This Holiday Season — And Not Out of Necessity
November 30, 2017 at 10:04 am

Shopping isn’t what it used to be … it’s better. Smartphones and instant access to deals via thumb swipes and mouse clicks have perpetuated deal-seeking behavior and have turned everyone (including millennials) into professional shoppers and deal seekers. Consumers now have an emotional and habitual propensity to stretch their dollars and maximize purchase value —…

Why Monitor Product Content if You Can’t Fix it?
November 29, 2017 at 1:24 pm

There’s no doubt 2017 was a pivotal year in retail. The number of distressed U.S. retailers is nearing Great Recession levels, tripling in the past six years. As a result, in the last year alone, we’ve bid farewell to more than 20 major brands and retailers that were once thriving staples for consumers. And as…

Zappos Launches New Retail Experience
November 20, 2017 at 1:07 pm

Zappos announced last week the launch of The_ONES, a new retail experience that celebrates classic sneakers. The experience includes a new online hub (FindTheOnes.com), shoppable Instagram page (@The_ONES), and limited-time “pop-ins” in premium boutiques. The first pop-in, called BEYOND, was launched in New York City on Nov. 15 in partnership with Tarek Hassan, the owner…

Top Performing Brands in the Eyes of a Mystery Shopper
November 20, 2017 at 12:51 pm

To really understand the customer journey, you’ve got to take it yourself. That’s why we stepped in consumers’ shoes for our Global Mystery Shopping Study. We walked through eight different shopping scenarios with 50 global brands to learn where they're succeeding and where they’re falling short. As mystery shoppers, our team simulated purchasing products, researched…

Influencers Prove Their Value in a New Way: Product Development
November 17, 2017 at 11:09 am

Over the past year, countless brands have hopped on the influencer marketing bandwagon, leveraging the loyal followings of influencers and their content creation skills to tactfully promote a brand’s products or services. As their value to marketing teams increases, many influencers are becoming self-aware of just how much their dedicated follower bases and keen understanding…

Alibaba, Retailers Gearing Up for Successful Singles Day
November 10, 2017 at 10:34 am

This Saturday, Nov. 11, the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba will hold its annual Singles Day event, which last year grossed $17.8 billion (USD) in sales, up from $14.3 billion in 2015, according to a report from Fung Global Retail & Technology (FGRT). The 24-hour phenomenon has quickly become the world's largest shopping day, consistently surpassing…

Amazon Launches Two Private-Label Furniture Brands
November 9, 2017 at 11:05 am

Amazon.com has launched a pair of private-label furniture brands. The Seattle Times reports the online retailer unveiled the furniture brands — Rivet and Stone & Beam — this week. The brands will be sold exclusively on Amazon.com. This announcement represents the company's latest expansion into private-label brands. Amazon describes Rivet as “stylish and versatile mid-century modern furniture and…