February 26, 2015

With the Affordable Care Act, employers’ new reality is here, right now — and contrasts starkly with the past: Retailers that run payroll, time and attendance, scheduling, and benefits administration the way they used to will probably run afoul of the Employer Mandate, also known as “Play or Pay.”

February 23, 2015

Mobile was all the rage during the 2014 holiday buying season. But the mobile buzz of late hasn’t just been about mobile purchasing. More consumers are now retail deal-hunting by mobile than in previous years – creating an entirely new paradigm for handheld devices as it relates to information gathering and comparative shopping, versus the act of completing an actual purchase.

February 22, 2015

If it hasn't done so already, the consumer experience will undoubtedly include omnichannel shopping, mobile, and social media as part of what consumers do naturally. Based on this inevitable evolution of how customers engage with retailers, here are seven retail “megatrends” which will become reality by 2020.

February 18, 2015

The words “raising rates” are enough to elicit a face-in-palms reaction from any online retailer – especially when it comes to small parcel shipping. Yet, a different reaction may be in order as the United States Postal Service announces its intent to raise rates later this year.

February 17, 2015

First the bad news: The chronic congestion tying the West Coast ports in knots is on track to cost U.S. retailers some $7 billion this year, and losses could total nearly $37 billion by the end of 2016.

February 17, 2015

Most readers would agree that Internet brand retailing is all about maximizing traffic to a given site, converting site visits to sales and getting buyers to come back and buy more. That’s one of the paybacks on the hefty investments they make in online marketing.

February 13, 2015

How do you mold a large workforce with a significant part-time segment into experts in home improvement so customers get the answers they need every time they walk in the doors of The Home Depot?

February 12, 2015

Here are five retail trends to expect in 2015 — and the opportunity each trend presents — from the folks at T1Visions, a provider of interactive touch-screen technology.

February 12, 2015

Apple’s new mobile wallet solution, Apple Pay, was introduced to great fanfare as shoppers headed into the 2014 holiday shopping season armed with the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus. Apple was quick to proclaim its success with one million activations in the first 72 hours – instantly vaulting it to the top, according to Tim Cook.

February 10, 2015

The 2014 NFL season is over and teams have shifted focus from the Super Bowl to what’s next. This assessment requires a detailed examination of their rosters, where money was spent and what investments produced the desired outcome. It’s this same exercise that advertisers must do right now, especially those that dropped $4.5 million for a 30-second spot during the big game.

February 9, 2015

Today in the U.S., e-commerce businesses are “more equal” than their brick-and-mortar peers. The Internet remains a tax-free zone, and the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA) remains shelved in the House of Representatives.

February 4, 2015

The office supply stores industry already exhibits a high level of market concentration, with the two largest companies (Office Depot Inc. and Staples) accounting for the vast majority of industry revenue. This merger would bring 73.6% of the total market share under the control of the newly formed entity.

February 3, 2015

In the 1990s, when the Internet and e-commerce created a tangible link between modes of shopping that had previously been isolated (stores and catalogs), retailers struggled with how to understand, measure, and connect with shoppers in multiple ways.

January 29, 2015

Top of mind for retailers wanting to better engage with shoppers in their brick-and-mortar locations this season are in-location technologies (e.g. beacons) and the personalization tactics they make possible.

January 28, 2015

Retail seems to have a faster moving cycle of jargony imperatives than many other industries: idioms du jour went from ‘online’ to ‘multichannel’ to ‘omnichannel’ in a few short years, closely followed by ‘mobile’ and ‘social.’

January 27, 2015

Retailers need to quickly build world-class IT capabilities for omnichannel retailing — a seamless, integrated shopping experience, whether the customers are in the store or online.

January 26, 2015

Rapid omnichannel growth from retailers with an adapting supply chain environment are among the driving forces of change in 2015.

January 23, 2015

The growth of mobile has made round-the-clock connectivity to the internet possible, allowing consumers to shop anywhere at any time. To cater for 24-hour convenience and on-the-go shopping, retailers are turning to innovative technology.

January 22, 2015

If you’re going to create an agenda, it may as well be an ambitious one. And the “Greatness Agenda” being pursued by Kohl’s Corp. is certainly ambitious.

January 22, 2015

To stay competitive in today’s marketplace, consumer goods companies are reaching across the globe to seek new customers in new markets. In order to cater to these new customer segments, brand owners are now providing a dizzying array of local product variations through a complex network of outsourced manufacturing partners.

January 20, 2015

Consumers continue to engage more deeply with their smartphone … because they value what apps can do for them. They have downloaded more than 75 billion in the seven short years since the first app made its appearance on a smartphone.

January 13, 2015

That well-known business guru Rod Stewart once sang, “… every picture tells a story don't it.” We’re not sure about Rod’s pictures — or his grammar for that matter — but in today’s “omnichannel” retail world, every channel tells a story or, more correctly stated, every channel offers a different opportunity to tell the same story.

January 9, 2015

From Valentine’s Day to Christmas, the year is filled with big moments for retailers – but a retailer’s strategy should be much more than a numbers game during these times.

January 8, 2015

Have you read any 2015 retail trend forecasts lately? Let’s face it, many so-called trends for the year ahead — the need to focus on things like mobile payment, customization, foodservice, smaller formats or millennial shoppers, to name a few — are at this point just the cost of doing business.