My Macy's Retail Localization strategy

My Macy’s continues to localize store offerings.

The earnings report for Macy’s fourth quarter of 2012 came in better than expected. According to an article on Biz Journals, Macy’s Chief Financial Officer, Karen Hoguet, attributes part of their success with their localization efforts via My Macy’s.

My Macy's Retail Localization strategy

From the article:

“Last year, Macy’s simplified some of the processes for My Macy’s, a localization initiative that started as a pilot program in spring 2008. Hoguet said the company continues to find new ways to increase localization of product offerings. “This is so critical, and frankly, cannot be emulated by the competition,” Hoguet said on the earnings call.”

PwC research, Microsoft store, shopper marketing

STUDY: Debunking the Myths Surrounding Multichannel Consumer Behavior

PwC’s second annual global survey report of online shoppers exposes 10 myths surrounding the retail industry, pertaining specifically to multichannel consumer behavior. The survey polled 11,000 respondents in eleven countries spanning four continents to help PwC separate fact from fiction.

Below is a summary of their findings:

Myth 1: Social media will become an indispensable retail channel

Fact: Social media is not going to become an important retail sales channel anytime soon. Only 1 out of 10 respondents say they use social media sites to stay connected their favorite brands rather than shop.
RBM Technologies, PwC, Multichannel research, shopper marketing

Myth 2: In the future, stores will become predominantly showrooms

Fact: 1 out of 4 respondents believe brick and mortar stores play a dominant role in their path to purchase. Many multichannel customers surveyed say they research items online but prefer buying them in a physical store.
RBM Technologies, PwC, Multichannel research, shopper marketing

Myth 3: The tablet will overtake the PC as the preferred online shopping device

Fact: Roughly 70% of respondents never use a mobile device to shop compared to the 90% who have used a PC. While the adoption of tablets is growing, they are not likely going to catch up with PCs anytime soon.
RBM Technologies, PwC, Multichannel research, shopper marketing

Myth 4: As the world gets smaller, global consumers are becoming more homogenous

Fact: Think globally, act locally. This year’s data suggests that consumers in different countries are more different than they are alike. Understanding consumer preferences at the local level translates to increased sales. In fact, Oreo saw a 60% growth in annual sales when tailoring cookie favors to local tastes.
RBM Technologies, PwC, Multichannel research, shopper marketing

Myth 5: China is the future model for online retail

Fact: China is ahead of the digital curve in shopping, however, research shows China’s multichannel and online infrastructure is unique and cannot be scaled to other markets.
RBM Technologies, PwC, Multichannel research, shopper marketing

Myth 6: Domestic retailers will always enjoy a ‘home field’ advantage over global retailers

Fact: This year, there was an exponential jump in the number of global brands represented in each country’s top ten retailers. Global retailers are able to offer product assortments that meet local tastes, gaining the trust of local consumers in the process.
RBM Technologies, PwC, Multichannel research, shopper marketing

Myth 7: Global online pure players like Amazon will always enjoy a scale advantage over domestic online pure players

Fact: Global online retailers struggle in penetrating local markets due to little local market knowledge and lack a physical store for customers to interact with their products. Domestic online retailers are able to build brand recognition and customer loyalty making it harder for global players to compete.
RBM Technologies, PwC, Multichannel research, shopper marketing

Myth 8: Retailers are inherently better positioned than brands, as they are closest to the consumer

Fact: 52% of U.S. shoppers buy directly from manufactures and no longer distinguish between retailers and their brands. Brands such as Microsoft are opening their own retail locations to form stronger connections with their customers.
RBM Technologies, PwC, Multichannel research, shopper marketing

Myth 9: Online retail is cannibalizing sales in other channels

Fact: Multichannel shoppers spend roughly 25% more at retail locations than their single channel counterparts, debunking the myth that online stores take sales away from brick-and-mortar. Multichannel customers can expect their online and physical presences to grow in parallel.
RBM Technologies, PwC, Multichannel research, shopper marketing

Myth 10: Lowest price is the main driver of customer spend at their favorite retailers

Fact: The report noted a 10% increase in customer spending when retailers provide innovative marketing, fast and reliable delivery, innovative products and exclusive access to products to their customers. Customers value quality and innovative brands over price when shopping at their favorite multichannel retailers.
RBM Technologies, PwC, Multichannel research, shopper marketing

The right multichannel strategy is crucial for retailers to engage their customers. Those that can effectively capitalize on their multichannel approach will be well-suited to engage their consumers every step along their path to purchase, increasing sales and brand loyalty in the process.

decline of mobile payments, shopper marketing

Mobile Marketing’s Big Influence on Store Transactions

While mobile marketing has become more commonplace over the past few years, mobile payments have failed to grow as fast. A recent blog post by Gartner notes some findings from a recent survey they conducted that sheds some light on just why.

decline of mobile payments, shopper marketing

The respondents were asked to list the top uses for their smartphone for retail over a six month period and their top responses are as follows:

  1. Find store location;
  2. Check to see if the product is in stock;
  3. Check competitive prices before going to/and while in the store;
  4. Browse a retailer’s website;
  5. Check product reviews.

From the article:

“What is apparent each year this study is done is that paying for things using a mobile phone is actually pretty low on their priority list. Only 18% (ranked 15 out of 19 activities) indicated that they would use their mobile phones to conduct or make a payment in a physical store.

However, Digital marketers take note. These five activities they want to do on a smartphone before and after the transaction will significantly influence and lead to a transaction itself: the goal of marketing.

What our survey indicates to me is that retail store purchases can involve the mobile marketing in multiple decision making activities leading the consumer to a purchase even though the actual transaction step is not the priority.”

RBM Technologies, SAP, Mobile World Congress

What is the SAP Mobile App Partner Program?

RBM Technologies CEO Randy Greene sits down with host Christian Baader, VP of strategy & marcom platform ecosystems and echannels at SAP to discuss the SAP Mobile App Partner Program.

“For [RBM] it has been a very natural evolution as the business has changed.” said Greene on RBM’s partnership with SAP. “Strategic partners for us have been crucial, anyone that’s trying to find their way up the hill and grow their business in this day and age needs to find a good partner like SAP.”

You can watch the interview in its entirety below.

From the SAP website:

Many partners are looking for true end-to-end support for mobile application development, a collaborative developer community, and the opportunity to showcase and market solutions in an online app store. Hear from Christian Baader, VP at SAP, about the SAP Mobile App Partner program and how to take advantage of a $7.7 billion market opportunity – and reach over 200,000 SAP customers – by joining the SAP Mobile Apps Partner Program.

Wendy's new design, visual merchandising

Wendy’s Looks to Upgrade 200 Stores to their new Modern Design

By the end of February Wendy’s will roll-out their new logo and design aesthetic to 200 locations. The new design will be applied in advertising, on product packaging, crew uniforms, new restaurant signage, menuboards and digital assets, according to Chain Store Age.

Wendy's new design, visual merchandising

From the article:

“The updated logo is in sync with the company’s new “Image Activation” restaurant environment, whose bold, sleek, ultra-modern look is designed to enhance the customer experience. Features include lounge seating with fireplaces, flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi and digital menuboards.

The goal is to remodel 50% of company restaurants in North America by the end of 2015. Average sales volumes for Image Activation restaurants have increased more than 25% over the prior year, according to the company.”

Office Depot and OfficeMax merger, retail localization

Office Depot and OfficeMax Merge to Create $18B Company

It did not take long for the news of an Office Depot/OfficeMax merger to turn into a reality. The Board of Directors for both companies have agreed to an all-stock merger.

Office Depot and OfficeMax merger, retail localization

According to an article on RIS News, the merger will help them compete with industry heavyweight Staples, as well as offer their current customers enhanced offerings across multiple distribution channels.

From the article:

“The merger will combine companies with revenue of approximately $18 billion, compared with Staples’ more than $24 billion in sales last year. The merger is a bid to revive a retailer that has been losing sales to online rivals and Staples, the largest U.S. office-supplies chain.

Under the agreement, OfficeMax stockholders will receive 2.69 Office Depot common shares for each share of OfficeMax common stock. The company’s new board will include an equal number of directors designated by Office Depot and OfficeMax, the companies said. The board will conduct a search for a CEO, both incumbent CEOs, Neil Austrian of Office Depot and Ravi Saligram of OfficeMax will be considered.”

Walmart iPhone self-service checkout, denver, shopper marketing

Walmart Increases iPhone Self-Checkout to 40 Stores in Denver

Walmart’s “Scan & Go” app allows shoppers to scan items as they shop, when they are finished they simply checkout through their iPhone.

Walmart iPhone self-service checkout, denver, shopper marketing

According to an RIS News article, the initial pilot began at one store in September 2012 and has now expanded to 40 within the Denver area.

From the article:

“Mobile device-based payment solutions have proliferated in recent years, with players including PayPal, the ISIS mobile wallet that is backed by three major telecommunications companies and the Google Wallet. Some of the nation’s leading retailers, including Walmart, have also staked their claim in the mobile payments space with last year’s formation of the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), although no announcement of a specific MCX app technology has yet surfaced.

The Scan & Go app, however, is one of the few that combines product scanning and simple customer-directed interactions with a self-checkout POS device. One other is the QThru self-checkout app, which underwent a six-month pilot at a Seattle-area supermarket before Myers Group, which operates a dozen retail stores in the Pacific Northwest, expanded its use to other supermarkets and hardware stores the company operates in July 2012.”

Google Chrome Pop-up retail store

Could Google Open their own Retail Store by Year’s End?

According to an article on 9-to-5 Google, the search giant is planning just that. The goal is to have at least a few flagship stores open by the holiday season.

Google Chrome Pop-up retail store

From the article:

“The mission of the stores is to get new Google Nexus, Chrome, and especially upcoming products into the hands of prospective customers. Google feels right now that many potential customers need to get hands-on experience with its products before they are willing to purchase. Google competitors Apple and Microsoft both have retail outlets where customers can try before they buy. Google’s retail move won’t be an entirely new area, however.

Google currently has Chrome Store-within-a-store models in hundreds of Best Buys in the U.S. and 50 PCWorld/Dixon’s in the U.K. These stores have Google trained employees who demonstrate the value of Chromebooks and can answer the multitude of questions people have before making a purchase. Our source told us the new Google Stores would be a much broader play. The Chrome SIS employees don’t have sales targets, and they are there mostly for educating. Best Buy and Dixen’s also handle product and monetary transactions, not Google.”

showrooming-retail-store-SAP-infographic

Showrooming’s Effect on the Retail Industry [INFOGRAPHIC]

Showrooming, the term brick-and-mortar retailers either embrace or resist. The reality of the fact is that showrooming can either help or hurt the retail store.

In an article on SAP’s Business Innovation blog, Brent Cohler introduces an infographic outlining the good and the bad sides to showrooming.

From the article:

“Depending on the data source, mobile devices now play a part in approximately 60-80% of all purchases. It’s led to the term “showrooming,” defined by the Wall Street Journal as, “when shoppers come into a store to see a product in person, only to buy it from a rival online, frequently at a lower price.”

It usually involves the shopper using her smartphone to do the research while still in the store, and it’s taken the retail industry by storm. Some retailers are trying to match the lower prices, but this is a risky proposition as the online-only players have significantly lower cost structures than those with a brick and mortar presence.

Want to learn more about the showrooming phenomenon? Curious how innovative retailers can combat this trend, boosting their sales and increasing customer loyalty? Click on our latest infographic below, “The Changing Retail Experience,” and see how SAP unites big data, analytics and mobile to deliver a premium experience for the modern consumer.”

Showrooming and its effect on retail practices in brick-and-mortar stores
Showrooming and its effect on retail practices in brick-and-mortar stores
Tesco Cisco, StyleMe Mirror, In-store media

Tesco digital pilot brings online experience to in-store shopping

With the drive towards a fully-integrated omni-channel experience, retailers are test driving any number of digital solutions to bridge the online and in-store experience. The trick is to find the right combination of technologies to keep the shopper engaged without oversaturating their experience.

Tesco Cisco, StyleMe Mirror, In-store media

The fortunate news for retailers just setting out is that countless hours of research have already been logged in this endeavor. According to an article on Retail Customer Experience, Tesco has teamed up with Cisco to implement their newest solution to meet shoppers’ demands.

From the article:

“Tesco is trialing an array of interactive technologies at three store locations across the U.K. The new customer-facing upgrades include a digital signage display that advertises clothing available through its F&F line, and a self-service touchscreen kiosk developed by Retec Interface where customers can peruse online items, use barcode scanners for product ratings, reviews and suggested accessories, and make purchases using chip-and-pin.

The move to couple the kiosk and digital signage was intentional, explained Retec CEO Graeme Derby.

‘The kiosk is there to sell a broader array than what they have in the store, and it allows people to order sizes that are out of stock,” Derby said. “The 46-inch Samsung screen then acts as an attraction to direct people to the kiosk, which is linked to the POS.’

In addition to the kiosk and digital signage, Tesco also is trialing the Kids StyleMe Mirror, a creation by C In-Store that uses augmented reality in hopes of engaging even the most uninterested shopper. In this case, a PrimeSense camera captures a child’s image and overlays it with pictures of clothing selected through a gesture-based interface.”