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.
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.
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.
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.”
The evolution of shopping based on the consumer mindset that is reflective of the past and targeted for the future can be described as a “Digital Ecosystem.” Much like the proverbial iceberg, this ecosystem has most of the system existing before the consumer “waterline.” Above this waterline exist the elements for which we are most accepting; such as mobile and tablet interface, kiosks across applications ranging from the ATM, to the calling of an Uber cab street side.
If there was ever any doubt of mobile’s essential role to retail success, the most recent holiday shopping season should put that to bed. Last year, more than 40% of all Cyber Monday sales came from mobile devices. In fact, Amazon stated that almost 60% of its customers shopped via mobile during the 2014 holiday season, with total U.S. sales from its app doubling from 2013.
At this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, established players such as IBM and Qualcomm and nimble startups including Imersivo and Compass.to showed off innovations in augmented reality, mobile payments, clienteling, and more, offering tools for employee empowerment, data-driven decision-making, true omnichanneling retailing, and beyond.
Last week, Oracle hosted its second annual Oracle Industry Connect conference in Washington, D.C. This seat of world power was an appropriate setting for a two-day summit explaining how retailers can use technology to obtain better control of every aspect of their enterprises.
We are or should be familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act’s (“ADA”) requirements for accommodating the physically disabled. Wheelchair ramps, handicap stalls, handicap parking, lifts, and other items designed to assist the physically disabled are commonplace. However, the ADA is much broader than this, and the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the courts are focusing on making the internet more accessible for the visually impaired.
An overwhelming majority (70%) of consumers around the globe say that the best way retailers can add value to their shopping experience is to provide easy access to information about their products and services, both online and in stores.
In my 20-plus year career working with retailers, when sales do not meet forecasted expectations, gas prices and the weather are always the factors retailers point to for explanation. Oil prices are low and are expected to remain so for the next two quarters, so why haven’t we seen robust spending?
For retailers, it’s now no longer a matter of “if” you will be compromised by a cyberattack, but “when” you will be. But they can mitigate the impact of attacks now and in the future by preparing a response plan with policy-based automation.
While California’s verdant Central Valley is the fastest growing area in the state, the entire population of the 22,500-square-mile region is a comparatively modest 6.5 million people — Los Angeles County alone boasts over 50% more residents. However, this single region, which is responsible for producing 25% of all of the food consumed in the United States, is expected to absorb many of the 10 million people the state is projected to grow by over the next few decades. It is also home to one of the most ambitious and distinctive new developments in modern American history: Quay Valley.
As most retailers can attest, perceived inconsistencies between the online and offline worlds can lead to customer dissatisfaction and ultimately lost sales. Consumers believe it’s not possible to receive the same promotion or rebate in-store as online.
These days, retailers spend a lot of time obsessing over letters, specifically CAC and CLV. Most know these terms as shorthand for customer acquisition cost and customer lifetime value. Both are key concepts and incredibly important metrics if you operate a retail business.
For the past two months, New England has been dealing with an historically snowy, cold winter. As a lifelong resident of the region, I have had time to reflect on a few technology-related lessons retailers can take from my experience as a snowbound consumer.
The onset of 2015 marked a huge change in shipping costs, and as a result retailers are struggling to find ways to maintain their bottom lines. As of Jan. 1, packages are now being evaluated by their “dimensional weight,” or volume, instead of determining price by weight alone. Experts say that the when combined with other annual rate hikes and surcharges, the resulting average rate increases will be as high as 30% or more.
You’ve undoubtedly heard about the Internet of Things (IoT) and you might think that it’s all about wearables and energy savings. You might conclude that it doesn’t have much to do with your retail business.
We are in the midst of a retail boom in Brooklyn and it is only going to get bigger. Over the past two years, retail has grown significantly in Brooklyn, the fourth largest “city” in the U.S., with the number of corridors (streets with a notable retail presence and average rents of at least $35 per square foot) nearly doubling since 2013. According to CPEX’s 2015 Brooklyn Retail Report, the number of active retail corridors grew from 67 in 2013 to 121 in 2015, an increase of over 80%.
Shopping cart abandonment is a problem that costs retailers nearly $20 billion each year, according to a study by SurePayroll. If you’re putting effort into attracting customers and enticing them with products they’d like to buy, only to have them stop short of the finish line, you’re leaving money and opportunities for repeat business on the table.
Well-stocked shelves and falling sales is a dilemma faced by many retailers today. New technology advancements such as mobile discount apps are the latest threat to grocery retail sales. Many people simply complete their grocery shopping from the convenience of their own home.