Cover Story: The Top Women in Cross-Channel Retailing
The cross-channel retail industry is at a crossroads. For starters, due to the economic downturn, the past couple of years have been difficult for the retail sector. But that's changing. Retailers are starting to see signs of life and are breathing a sigh of relief. At press time, for example, it was announced that February retail sales increased 0.6 percent over January and 4.2 percent year-over-year, according to the National Retail Federation.
But it's not only economics that are changing the industry. Consumers are changing, and the industry is changing in kind. Thanks to the information and convenience e-commerce offers, for instance, consumers are more in control than they've ever been before. They demand information when and where they want it, be it in-store, online, on Facebook or on a mobile device. As a result, retailers have been forced to change their business models. They're integrating local, personalized services with online convenience; offering mobile apps to meet the needs of anytime, anywhere consumers; and making sure they have an active presence on Facebook.
Simply put, retailers must adapt to survive. And survive and even thrive is what the women featured here in our first annual Top Women in Cross-Channel Retail issue have done. This cover story highlights senior-level women who have helped their companies survive and grow despite the evolving industry and economic hardships they've faced.
In the pages that follow, you'll meet the top women in cross-channel retail as chosen by the Retail Online Integration staff and editorial advisory board. There are marketing professionals, e-commerce professionals, chief operating officers, chief executive officers and more. All of these women are currently employed at a cross-channel retailer, and were chosen based on their position or scope of responsibility, accomplishments and achievements within their companies, and their involvement in the retail industry.
You'll learn about their career paths and achievements, and each woman has shared her best tip for succeeding in cross-channel retail.
- Christine Aguilera