How Seeing More Increases eCommerce Engagement

At the mall shoppers have the opportunity to take only a few steps into a store to gain a visual representation of what items are available prior to committing to viewing the stores range in greater detail. That all important first scan of the store can be critical.

On the other hand, eCommerce traditionally does not provide shoppers with a comparative experience online.

ecommerce store display

Online Retail Display

Online stores have only limited screen space in the first view to wow customers and keep them on their site and looking for more. Ten to twelve flat images in a standard grid as a first impression for customers makes grabbing their attention difficult.

The customers who do commit to exploring more typically have to scroll through pages and pages of products to find images worthy of continuing their shopping experience on that site. This situation can lead to buyer’s fatigue, where shoppers have browsed so many pages of items that they simply lose interest and leave the site.

An online presence should excite visitors enough so that they not only return but they tell others about the experience they had.

So how can online retailers overcome this?

It’s simple. By helping your site visitors find items of interest to them quicker and allow them to feel in control by providing an interactive experience.

Research shows that images are the most important factor in the online shopping experience, more important even than price. When we shop we scan many items and allow one to catch our eye, tracking subtle factors such as colour, shape and position.

What does this mean to you, the online retailer, seeking new points of difference as online shopping matures? It means that existing online image galleries are counter-intuitive to the way people shop in real life. A static, flat 2D grid does not meet the needs of customers to visually scan and interact with products.

Interactive Display – Show more. See more. Sell more.

With interactive display by Show. See. Sold. shoppers can view an entire collection in an engaging and immersive way that triggers the eye/brain connection promoting discovery and a genuine connection to the products displayed.. It is based on how we as humans find things in everyday life, which had yet to be translated to online retail product display.

Shoppers can swipe, zoom, spin and filter a product range then click through and buy. Seamless integration means images and copy are always up to date and site owners can easily control what is displayed. Show. See. Sold is all about user experience and engagement across all devices from desktop to mobile.

The end result of this process is a material uplift in time on site, conversion and basket size, all achieved with a little help from neuroscience which goes to show there is more to increasing your online sales than meets the eye.

Lands' End spins off of Sears

Sears Officially Spinning Off Lands’ End in April

One of the more profitable arms of Sears Holdings is soon to be its own entity, according to the Chicago Tribune. Beginning April 6, Lands’ End will become its own brand, completely separate from its creator, Sears.

Lands' End spins off of Sears

From the article:

On March 24, stakeholders in Sears will receive about .3 shares of Lands’ End common stock, according to the filing. Lands’ End intends to be listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbol “LE” and will begin trading on April 7.

Wisconsin-based Lands’ End will pay Sears a cash dividend of $500 million before the spinoff, financed by a new term loan. Lands’ End may also borrow up to $175 million for working capital, according to the filing.

Hoffman Estates-based Sears has seen its sales decline since billionaire hedge fund manager Edward Lampert combined Sears and Kmart in an $11 billion deal in 2005. In recent years, Sears has spun off Orchard Supply Hardware and Sears Hometown and Outlet stores, among other assets.

Started in Chicago in 1963 as a sailboat equipment catalog, Lands’ End evolved into an upscale casual clothing retailer. Sears purchased the company for $1.9 billion in 2002.


Google planning first brick-and-mortar in SoHo

Google might be the quintessential “Internet” company, but even they can’t resist the draw to physical retail, spurred by their foray into computers, devices, and wearables.


What better place to plant your first retail stake in the ground than New York City, SoHo to be specific, according to reports from Bloomberg.

From the article:

About 8,200 square feet (760 square meters) of store space is available to rent at 131 Greene, according to real estate website Propertyshark. Greene Street has attracted such luxury retailers as Tiffany & Co. and Louis Vuitton in a neighborhood that has seen steady growth in upscale shopping, Consolo said.

“Google has a downtown vibe anyway, but wherever they go it would be exciting,” she said. “I believe if they went to the middle of the river, people would go there, but why not be in the center of everything?”

Soho ground-floor retail rents increased 41 percent to an average of $762 a square foot in the 12 months through September, according to a report late last year by the Real Estate Board of New York. That was the highest of any shopping district south of Midtown.


Bitcoin’s new home … retail?

It was probably inevitable that a digital currency made its way to the world of retail, but is it going to stick?


According to a recent STORES article, BitPay, the service that allows customers to pay electronically with Bitcoins, has found a home in online purchases, and has even begun creeping into brick-and-mortar operations.

From the article:

Family-owned online retailer Bees Brothers began selling honey at local farmers’ markets and expanded its sales to include e-commerce. Owner Craig Huntzinger says PayPal was the only online payment option at first, but his teenage sons heard about Bitcoin and suggested that the family add it. The site began accepting Bitcoin in January 2012; Huntzinger estimates about 60 percent of business now comes via Bitcoin., started in 2005 by an MIT engineer to provide a site where people could learn about and design electronic products, also sells tools and equipment used in high-tech design. Within the first few weeks of accepting Bitcoin, the site hit more than $100,000 in Bitcoin transactions, according to founder Limor Fried. The site also accepts PayPal and credit cards via Google Wallet.

Sales involving Bitcoin are typically for larger transactions — averaging about $200, Fried says. “Usually people are not excited by the form of payment they are using,” she says. “But with Bitcoin, it’s not only a currency, it’s a community.”

While merchants accepting Bitcoin are impressed by the lower fees and lack of chargebacks, consumers like not having to provide any information to the retailer other than what is required to ship the goods. International shoppers like not having to deal with currency conversions.

But that anonymity — and its potential abuse by criminals — is one of the reasons federal regulators and law enforcement authorities have looked closely at Bitcoin. The FBI last year seized 26,000 coins worth $3.6 million when it shut down Silk Road, a website accused of dealing in illegal drugs. The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network told a Senate committee in November it is working to keep digital currencies like Bitcoin from being used for illegal activities.

Bitcoin itself is anonymous, founded by an individual or group using the name Satoshi Nakamoto.


Walmart Tweaks Strategy with new Hybrid Stores

According to a recent MediaPost article, Walmart U.S. CEO Bill Simon recently described their new hybrid stores as “the digital thinking of physical retail.” The goal being to provide customers with the best of both worlds, the extensive inventory offered through e-commerce and the convenience and accessibility of a brick-and-mortar store.


From the article:

It’s not that Walmart Supercenters are going away. “We expect the supercenter to remain vital. It’s a powerful beast. And they perform really well on the weekly stock-up occasion, and we have the ability to flex prototypes.” Those stock-up trips, which account for about 60% of U.S. grocery spending, are a $585 billion market, where Walmart has about 25% market share.

But the problem is that Walmart has fallen behind on fill-in shopping trips, as many smaller competitors, including dollar, drug and convenience stores, have proliferated. “Our growth has been interrupted by the rapid growth in these smaller stores.” Walmart has a roughly 10% share of that $415 billion market.

With the expansion of Neighborhood Markets, first launched in 1999, and the newer Walmart Express, “we now have an opportunity to really make an impact in this area.”

These stores are hybrids, he says, “designed to not only compete in grocery but also across a much broader space, including fresh foods, fuel and pharmacy.” Nor do they seem to cannibalize sales from larger Walmarts. “Data shows we are capturing new sales, new dollars and new trips when we put these stores in.”

But what makes the concept powerful, he says, is combining the smaller stores with the power of its e-commerce capabilities.


Macy’s Put Stores Front and Center in Omnichannel

While Macy’s develops new strategies and processes to better market to Millennials and the changing tastes of their key demographics, one thing remains true for them, stores will always drive their omnichannel efforts.


According to a recent Forbes article, Macy’s is developing teams of specialists to continue to change the retail experience to not only adapt to their customers’ tastes, but help predict and anticipate those shifts.

From the article:

Macy’s localization program is an important and effective in attracting a variety of customers. As part of this program, merchandise managers analyze the customer mix in each and every store and then ships goods tailored specifically in terms of style and sizing to each store. For example, Asian customers wear smaller sizes; Hispanic customers favor flamboyant colors; and the working woman favors black and white clothing. Localized merchandise programs can make sure each customer type finds the goods they like.

For internet shoppers, stores are still important and hold appeal for young customers who often shop the stores and then order on the web. Using omnichannel fulfillment that approach has been enhanced. Customers can now order on the Internet and have the option to pick up their orders in stores. A test late last year confirmed the viability of this initiative and it is now being rolled out to most stores.

Stores are, and will remain, important for creating a fashion image in the future. They are the anchor for serving the customer well via visible, attentive and enthusiastic associates. When this is the case, it makes shopping a pleasurable experience.