Last week while traveling I found myself in line at a Starbucks. The woman behind the counter knew just about every customer's name and, amazingly, what they wanted. For example, she would say, "Hi Stacy! An extra-hot caramel macchiato with soy?" I made that up, but you get the idea; she knew her customers and their preferences. People like that barista are worth their weight in gold in the retail world.
Timed for the holidays, Amazon.com has begun letting users send each other Amazon Prime memberships as gifts. Amazon Prime is a $79 service sold by the Seattle online retailer that gives members a number of benefits, including free shipping on purchases. With Amazon Prime, users get free two-day shipping on 15 million of the items sold on Amazon. Users can also stream 41,000 movies and shows, much like they can with Netflix. Users also get access to "borrow" books from the Kindle Owners' Lending Library's catalog of 350,000 e-books.
Promotional cards offer the same benefits of other redeemable cards, yet with no stored value and the flexibility to set expiration dates and usage limitations. With the right strategies, it's possible to capitalize on complimentary cards to increase sales. Here are four top promotional card campaigns to incorporate into your redeemable card program:
Burberry is known worldwide for its luxury retail experience, but now the brand ups the ante with an iPad deployment to include loyalty, clienteling and a personalized in-store experience. The retailer has fully embraced and invested in digital, both online and offline, a point of differentiation from many of its peers. iPads continue to encourage results in-store, which now comprise almost 30 percent of the online business. The new clienteling tool is live in more than 300 stores. Customers can also choose to buy a product online and collect it in-store at more than 80 locations globally.
Americans will be hankering to live more like the Jetsons, snatching up everyday consumer products that talk back and tell users what they need to know (or what they think they need to know). At the same time, retailers will operate more and more like Big Brother, sending shoppers more targeted emails that reflect stores’ increasingly sophisticated monitoring of buying patterns and behavior. Those are two of the five major digital trends that will drive the holiday shopping experience this year, said Kyle Lacy, senior manager of content marketing and research for ExactTarget, a provider of digital marketing software solutions.
Consumer expectations have changed significantly in recent years; the advent of mobile, online and social channels have seen to that. Rakuten has grown from a niche e-commerce player to a global online marketplace in just 16 years. In that time we've learned a few things about how to ensure online success for retailers in an ever-competitive climate. Consider the following five steps:
For omnichannel retailer QVC, social shopping isn't so much about the platform consumers are using (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.), it's about consumers talking with each other about shopping via word-of-mouth. For example, "I like that shirt, where did you get it?" That's social shopping, according to Alex Miller, the vice president of e-commerce at QVC. Miller was a keynote speaker yesterday at the eTail East conference in Philadelphia.
With the onset of internet shopping and the subsequent pressure on physical stores to compete, the retail industry has seen a number of long-term trends emerge from this dichotomy. One trend that's more hotly contested and trailblazing than others is the power of brands, and the pressure these brands are putting on retail developers to ensure that their interests are being represented.