Macy’s CFO Blames Millennials, Netflix and Lipstick Haters on Shifting Retail Landscape
March 25, 2015

You lipstick-hating, tech-savvy millennials are killing Macy's mojo. On Tuesday, Macy's CFO Karen Hoguet blamed Netflix, millennials and women who like to shop without wearing makeup on weaknesses in the luxury retail market. "We did some consumer research, and the customers said she likes going to the off-price retailers because she doesn't have to put lipstick on," Hoguet said at an industry conference. "I've walked through a lot of malls. I'm not sure." Macy's reported a 1.8 percent increase in revenue last quarter to $9.36 billion that fell short of analyst expectations.

2015 Retail Predictions
January 20, 2015

With 2015 upon us, it's time to evaluate your marketing strategy for the new year. Here are four areas that you want to pay particular attention to:

3 Cultural Shifts Molding the Retail Model of the Future
December 5, 2014

The traditional brick-and-mortar or e-commerce store of today won't exist in the next five years in their current form. Tremendous mobility and e-commerce technological advancements are supporting cultural shifts that change the way consumers shop and what they expect from retail stores. And, reciprocally, these consumer expectations are driving technological innovations that ultimately shape the way retailers choose to sell and deliver their products and services to consumers.

7 Easy Fixes for E-Commerce Personalization
November 19, 2014

An overwhelming majority of e-commerce website managers accept the grim reality that over 97 percent of visitors will abandon their site without ever making a purchase. The increasing minority that's challenging this status quo is looking to the innovators., still the biggest e-tailer on the planet, consistently reports conversion rates of 30 percent or more. While a strong brand contributes to these staggering figures, consumer trust can never account for such overwhelming repeat purchases. The growing realization in the e-commerce community is that smart, multipronged personalization is at the core of Amazon's track record.

Amazon to Buy Live-Stream Gaming Site Twitch for $970M
August 26, 2014, in its efforts to increase its video-streaming offerings, plans to buy live-streaming video game site Twitch for about $970 million in cash, the two companies announced Monday. The deal, the largest cash buy in the e-tailer's history, helps Amazon expand its video-streaming service, as it pits its fledgling Amazon Prime Instant Video streaming service against streaming giant Netflix. CEO Jeff Bezos has made it clear that Amazon is committed to growing its video offerings, including the development of original content. Twitch is a video platform that streams content geared toward gamers, including live gaming footage, commentary, and online shows. 

2014 Retail Predictions
February 14, 2014

In 2014, retailers will finally have a "it's not who you are in the inside, it's what you do that counts" moment regarding buzzy phrases like "omnichannel," "showrooming" and "big data." That is, retailers will intensively focus on how consumers interact with their brand in every way possible. As such, customer experience management (CXM) will move front and center in 2014, replacing omnichannel as the main driver for retailers. Expect customer-rich experiences anchoring retail goals throughout 2014.

Blockbuster to Close U.S. Retail Stores, Mail DVD Operation
November 7, 2013

It's the last picture show for Blockbuster. The retail company that introduced millions of Americans to stay-home movie nights said Wednesday it will close its 300 remaining U.S. stores by early January next year. Its DVD-by-mail business, introduced as a competitor to Netflix, also will be shut down by mid-December. "This isn't an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment," said Joseph Clayton, CEO of Dish Network, Blockbuster's parent company. 

We Cut Cable: What This Means to Retailers
August 19, 2013

Our cable bill doubled. Apparently we had an introductory rate — which lasted more than five years. We had nearly 500 channels, and nothing ever seemed to be on, so we cut cable. Cold turkey. Even returned the cable company's DVR full of unwatched episodes of nothing in particular.

The Netflix of Fashion: Will Rent the Runway Revolutionize Retail?
June 21, 2013

With summertime comes weddings, proms and parties that demand you look your best. For many women that means spending hundreds, even thousands of dollars on new dresses for each event, or wearing the dress, hiding the tags and returning it to the store the next day. But Rent the Runway gives women another option — renting dresses that are in season, capture the hottest fashions, and doesn't require bending the rules. "We're actually legalizing a behavior that women have been doing kind of on the DL [down low] for many years," says co-founder & CEO Jennifer Hyman.

Retailer Web Performance Report Card: Nike and Blockbuster
April 30, 2013

In this month's edition of SmartBear Software's Retailer Web Performance Report Card, the website performances of Nike and Blockbuster are examined. The idea behind this column is to help retailers deliver a great online user experience for the purpose of positively impacting business performance. I hope that retailers are continuously monitoring quality in terms of website availability, performance and user experience. With the help of SmartBear's AlertSite, I've looked at website response times and availability percentages from April 1 to April 16. For better or worse, Nike and Blockbuster are our featured retailers this month.