May 18, 2015

The U.S. dollar has risen by more than 20% against the other major currencies over the last year, buoyed by a respectable if not torrid economic recovery and sinking oil prices, among other factors. That could be a breath of fresh air for U.S. shoppers with a taste for imported goods. For global mega-brands like PVH, Microsoft and Coach, however, the implications are closer to a gathering storm.

May 18, 2015

The shift towards an omnichannel retail environment is no longer a theory; it’s a reality that customers are expecting higher levels of customer experience and savvy retailers are responding to as fast as they can. As the lines between brick-and-mortar, online and mobile shopping continue to blur, retailers must deliver an exceptional customer experience across all channels.

May 15, 2015

The success or failure of any business in this crowded and complex marketplace comes down to whether business goals are met – maintaining customer loyalty is chief among them. However, many retailers are beginning to confuse loyalty with promotions, loyalty cards and awards, undermining brand equity rather than building stronger ties with their customers.

May 14, 2015

Sally Beauty Holdings Inc. has confirmed that there was an “illegal intrusion” into the company’s payment card systems. It is the retailer’s second data breach in a little over the year. Here are insights on the breach from four security experts:

May 12, 2015

Cost versus customer experience: As retailers compete on customer experience throughout the omni-channel supply chain process, the type of real estate and where it is located is playing a major role. In fact, according to JLL research, seven out of 10 retailers are still shaping their omnichannel product offering and customer service commitments.

May 11, 2015

The ever-accelerating pace of change in retail puts pressure on everyone within the retail enterprise, but perhaps no one feels it more acutely than the CIO.

May 11, 2015

The theme of SAP’s annual Sapphire conference, in Orlando, Florida, was “Run Simple.” SAP focused on how its HANA business intelligence platform and growing number of HANA-powered applications can assist companies with the complicated task of creating simple enterprises that run on real-time data.

May 11, 2015

While empty, decaying malls make for inspired photo shoots, most of America’s shopping malls are actually doing well. In fact, according to new data from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries, shopping center occupancy rates were 92.7% at the end of 2014 – the highest level in six years! Occupancy was even higher for malls (both super-regional and regional malls) at 94.2%, the highest since 1987. 

May 8, 2015

The EMV liability shift occurs Oct 2015 and the United States expects six million to eight million EMV cards to be deployed by the end of the year.

May 7, 2015

EMV compliance is coming and when it hits, it will change the way payments happen across America.

May 4, 2015

1. Keep Your Options — And Doors — Open: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is designed to prohibit discrimination and ensure equal opportunity for people with disabilities. In effect since 1991, it has undergone updates, affecting most commercial real estate in some fashion. In fact, all commercial spaces used by the public – as well as many employee-use areas – are required by law to comply with ADA regulations.

May 4, 2015

For the second time in a year, Sally Beauty Holdings, which owns U.S. Sally Beauty stores, is currently investigating reports of unusual activity involving payment cards used at some of their stores.

May 1, 2015

It’s official – 2015 is the year of beacons. From supermarkets to museums, airports to retail shops, brands across industries are trying their hand at Bluetooth Low Energy technology to better connect with consumers and pass along timely information. Beacons are beneficial to brands, allowing them a more intimate connection to consumers, but to successfully implement, brands must embrace best practices for addressing audiences, making sure they’re adopting messaging strategy and cadence correspondent to shopper needs.

April 30, 2015

2015 is seeing enormous growth in the number of product SKUs listed online, and e-commerce and content managers will be tasked with the rapid onboarding of those SKUs. However, adding SKUs alone won’t be enough; they also need to have the right assortment and the right price and deliver a better shopper experience.

April 29, 2015

Now that the smoke has cleared from the initial release of the Apple Watch, retailers can take a more objective look at how this latest innovation in wearable technology might disrupt customer engagement and the overall customer experience. Here are three thoughts on how Apple Watch could shift the retail landscape.

April 28, 2015

When Target announced their collaboration with Lilly Pulitzer last fall, the response was mixed. Many couldn’t wait to get their hands on the Lilly for Target collection, while others felt the collaboration would hurt the Lilly Pulitzer brand. In the end, Target’s website crashed and the collection sold out within the first half-hour in all Target brick-and-mortar stores.

April 27, 2015

The U.S. is migrating to EMV chip technology to reduce counterfeit card fraud and promote global interoperability. And though the transition is more than three years in, many small and midsized merchants, VARs, ISOs and ISVs are only starting to learn about the EMV standard and beginning implementation project plans.

April 24, 2015

In theory, the launch of a limited-time, 250-piece Lilly Pulitzer designer collection on Sunday, April 19 should have been a major coup for Target. Instead, it was a major disaster in marketing, CRM, and operations. By now, the story of how consumer demand for Lilly Pulitzer overwhelmed Target’s website and stores has been told many times. Let’s look at three lessons retailers (including Target) can learn from this experience.

April 24, 2015

Promotions, discounts, and coupons, oh my! It’s easy to have a love/hate relationship with them. On the one hand, they’re proven to bring in business and boost conversions. On the other, they can cut into margins.

April 21, 2015

The rise of online shopping – and specifically the rise of smartphone use and mobile shopping – is transforming the retail landscape and requiring retailers to adapt to new shopper expectations.

April 17, 2015

The quest to offer greater levels of customer convenience has seen a growing number of U.S. retailers experiment with flexible fulfilment methods, including click and collect, which offers shoppers the opportunity to pick up online orders from a store.

April 13, 2015

According to the U.S. Commerce Department, retail e-commerce sales totaled over $304 billion in 2014, up 15.4% from the prior year. Also, eMarketer predicts that U.S. retail e-commerce sales will total approximately $350 billion in 2015.

April 8, 2015

The rapid adoption of e-commerce in the digital age has fundamentally changed the way people shop. The online shopping experience today is not only richer and more engaging than in-store, but it is also personalized to each individual consumer, offering outfit pairings and special discounts based on a consumer’s profile.

April 7, 2015

In a column I wrote between Black Friday and Christmas last year, I talked about how “apparel sales have been languishing”, and I mentioned that the “industry buzz is all about the struggles in apparel, where retailers just can’t seem to discount clothing enough to get things to pick up.”