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Four Steps to Successful Automated Customer Service
June 18, 2018 at 2:30 pm

At a time when it’s routine for millions of consumers to ask digital assistants--such as Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri--to tell them a good joke or ask if they need an umbrella, it’s surprising most businesses are still in the early stages of implementing intelligent automation technologies for customer communication. Even fewer have made critical…

Vintage Capital to Buy Rent-A-Center for $1.37 Billion
June 18, 2018 at 2:26 pm

Rent-A-Center, a company that rents out furniture and electronics and also allows customers the ability to own the products through a lease program, said today that it will be acquired by an affiliate of buyout firm Vintage Capital Management in a deal valued at $1.37 billion, including debt. The affiliate, Vintage Rodeo Parent, will buy the company…

Uncover 5 Emerging Trends in eCommerce Fraud
June 18, 2018 at 12:17 pm

eCommerce contributed nearly 42% of U.S. retail sales growth in 2016. While that’s good news for retailers, what’s not is the resulting surge in online fraud. Download the Radial Fraud Index Report and Infographic identifying five major fraud trends impacting your bottom line and insights to outsmart fraudsters.

'Think Inside the Box’ + 3 Other Ways to Improve Customers' Brand Experience
June 17, 2018 at 9:02 pm

Brand experience can make or break a business, but most companies are too focused on other priorities -- like financial planning, partnerships and expansion -- to get to the root of whether their brand experience is really a positive one for its customers. A survey from global consulting firm Bain & Company shows that 80 percent…

Report: Microsoft Working on Technology to Eliminate Cashiers, Checkout Lines in Stores
June 15, 2018 at 11:34 am

Microsoft is reportedly working on technology that would eliminate cashiers and checkout lines from stores, six people familiar with the matter told Reuters this week. More specifically, the software giant is developing a system that tracks what shoppers add to their carts. Reportedly, Microsoft has shown sample technology to several global retailers and has had talks…

Father's Day Spending Trends to Be Aware Of
June 15, 2018 at 10:58 am

In this week's episode of Retail Right Now, Total Retail's Caitlin Sullivan and Joe Keenan discuss consumer spending for Father's Day. Topics addressed in this video include the product categories forecast to see the biggest boost in sales from Father's Day, the important role gift cards will play, consumers increasing preference for purchasing experiences rather…

The Death of Retail or a Retail Renaissance?
June 15, 2018 at 10:38 am

Both property companies and retailers are reporting a crisis and the death of retail. Stores are being shut down or shrinking their footprints, and the traditional retail format with merchandise lined up on shelves is a dying breed. Yet at the same time there's a renaissance going on in retail, and we're seeing examples of…

How Blockchain Can Boost Retail Loyalty
June 15, 2018 at 10:02 am

Loyalty programs are extremely prevalent these days; it seems everywhere you might make any kind of purchase offers you a rewards card. While some retailers do loyalty better than others, consumer opinions of these kinds of programs are varied. Accenture found that 23 percent of global consumers demonstrate a negative or non-existent reaction to loyalty…

Lands' End to Shutter More Sears Stores, Open Standalone Ones
June 14, 2018 at 12:36 pm

Lands’ End is distancing itself from struggling Sears Holdings Co. by shuttering more of its in-store shops and instead opening more smaller standalone locations. Since the apparel company split from Sears in 2014, it has been phasing out its sites in the department store chain.It's planning to decrease its number of Sears shops to 132…

All Dad Wants for Father’s Day is a Good Deal
June 14, 2018 at 10:05 am

With a heavy focus on shopping for Father’s Day, let’s take a look at how dads themselves shop and how marketers can cater to their preferences. According to new research, dads are an influential market segment for retailers, as they're looking to shop and save across both physical and digital channels. An overwhelming 96 percent of…

The Benefits of Cloud-Based POS Systems
June 14, 2018 at 9:47 am

Whether you want to admit it or not, we all live in a digital world where many things become obsolete really fast. Today, it’s all about the cloud. The idea that your data is available 24/7 while being stored off-site at a safe and secure physical location is enticing to business owners, prompting many to…

A Crash Course in Marketing to 3 Generations of Consumers
June 14, 2018 at 9:26 am

According to HubSpot's 2018 State of Inbound study, 63 percent of respondents called traffic and lead generation their top marketing challenges. Every marketer wants to procure high-quality leads, but only those who properly identify their target audiences succeed. Modern consumers demand increasingly personal experiences, so understanding what an audience wants is critical. In the beauty space…

AI and Robotics Automation In Consumer-Driven Supply Chains
June 13, 2018 at 5:42 pm

The linear models of many consumer goods supply chains are now shifting towards consumer-led, data-driven, highly complex supply networks. The consumer increasingly drives innovation from the heart of the network, demanding mass product customization, more accurate synchronization, and faster multichannel retail responsiveness. Going far beyond the abilities of the typical workforce and infrastructure, these shifts require instant visibility, quick decision making and increased flexibility. Artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics automation have the potential to overcome these challenges and revolutionize consumer goods supply chains. For organizations willing to embrace this inevitable evolution, AI and robotics automation will enable innovation, ensure optimum service levels, and deliver growth at low cost. It will become a major source of competitive advantage.

Fast and Flawless - Are You Meeting Your Customer’s High Demands?
June 13, 2018 at 2:57 pm

Address errors make it extremely difficult to meet your customer’s high expectations for fast checkout and error-free delivery. Join our web seminar, July 10 at 2 p.m. EST, to hear companies share their stories of success. We’ll discuss how address autocompletion enables quicker conversions, decreased cart abandonment, and a single view of the customer.

Top Women in Retail Share Their Leadership Tips
June 13, 2018 at 1:17 pm

In the video below, a trio of this year's Top Women in Retail honorees — Carrie Ask, executive vice president and president, global retail, Levi Strauss & Co.; Paula Bennett, former CEO of J.Jill; and Shea Jensen, senior vice president, customer experience, Nordstrom — share their advice on leadership and the top trends in retail at the fifth annual Women in Retail Leadership Summit this past April in Miami. If you're a WIRLC member, you can check out all of this year's inspiring keynotes here.

Where Direct Mail Fits in Your Omnichannel Marketing Strategy
June 13, 2018 at 12:53 pm

While many marketers recognize the value of direct mail in this increasingly online world, it can be difficult to figure out where it fits in their omnichannel marketing strategies. According to performance marketing agency Merkle, marketing campaigns that used direct mail and one or more digital media experienced a 118 percent lift in response rate…

How Retailers Can Keep Up With Amazon
June 13, 2018 at 12:32 pm

When we look back in 10 years time, it’s clear that 2018 will be seen as a pivotal year for retail, and especially for the convenience sector. Amazon.com's pincer movement strategy of buying Whole Foods and launching Amazon Go has the potential to fundamentally change the industry. It sets the two retail imperatives as customer…

Macy’s Acquires Minority Stake in Tech Retailer b8ta
June 13, 2018 at 12:09 pm

Macy’s has partnered with b8ta, the retail-as-a-service startup that originally started as a way to let people try out new tech products before deciding whether to purchase them. Macy’s has acquired a minority stake in b8ta and will use the startup to enhance The Market, the department store chain's experiential-based retail concept. By partnering with…