OPERATIONS

Aeropostale launches store for Facebook fans

BY Staff Writer

New York City — Aeropostale has launched a fully integrated Facebook Store, powered by Usablenet’s technology platform, that combines shopping and social media and extends full e-commerce functionality to the Aeropostale Facebook community.

In addition to being able to purchase from Aeropostale’s entire online inventory, the integrated Facebook e-commerce store allows users to easily ‘Like’ and share items and purchases with their Facebook network – leveraging the viral nature of Facebook’s news feed.

"Aeropostale has 5 million Facebook fans that are engaged and connected to our brand," says Scott Birnbaum, senior VP marketing and e-commerce. "The next logical step is to give them the opportunity to shop while in this environment."

Developed by Aeropostale in partnership with mobile technology company Usablenet, consumers can use the Aeropostale Facebook store to search through a ‘shop’ tab, ‘like’ and ‘share’ with their friends, review products and complete transactions all while staying on Facebook.

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OPERATIONS

PeopleMatter’s talent-management solution selected for 78 Applebee’s stores

BY Staff Writer

Charleston, S.C. — PeopleMatter, a talent management solution provider for the service industry, said that Apple Sauce, LLC, a major franchisee in the Applebee’s system, has selected the the PeopleMatter Platform for talent management to find, develop and manage talent. The solution will be used for more than 78 Applebee’s locations in Indiana, Ohio, Illinois and Florida.

“In today’s rapidly changing world, we see how PeopleMatter’s suite of solutions will help us hire the right people, train them and communicate with them more effectively,” said Ron Long, COO, Apple Sauce.

By using PeopleMatter HIRE, PeopleMatter Learn, and PeopleMatter Engage, managers in the Applebee’s locations will save time with automated human resources tools that eliminate the need for paper and duplicate data entry, as well as motivate and engage their employees with integrated social-mobile tools. In addition, the solution’s integrated hiring assessments will pre-screen and identify candidates with a service-industry mindset so managers can optimize their interviewing time.

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News

Room for online improvement in BTS

BY CSA STAFF

Costco isn’t a retailer that comes to mind for most people when it comes to back-to-school shopping, so it was peculiar to see the company’s name atop a list of the best one-stop shopping destinations.

Nothing against Costco, they sell some awesome stuff, but the company can’t be confused with such true one-stop shopping destinations as Target, Walmart or even office supply stores. Costco topped the list due to a flawed survey conducted by STELLAService, a company that provides customer service ratings for online retailers.

For the report, STELLAService evaluated what it determined to be 15 of the Internet’s leading one-stop shops, such as Amazon, Costco, Walmart, Buy.com, and Overstock.com and looked at best practices in the areas of shipping, returns, and payment options. According to the firm, Costco.com offers the most hassle-free shopping features and far outpaces its competitors when it comes to shipping, clocking an average of 1.5 days for shipping, compared with Walmart, QVC.com, and Belk.com whose packages took an average of 5.5 days to arrive. Only four retailers – Costco.com, Amazon, Overstock, and Buy.com – boasted average shipping times of three days or less.

Costco.com also boasts several key features essential for fast and easy back-to-school shopping, including providing an estimated date of delivery once orders are placed, a streamlined return process that does not require shoppers to get a return merchandise authorization number and a wide choice of payment options.

“With shoppers pressed for time and often focused on squeezing the most out of summer before preparing for the new school year, this study should help guide them to the best one-stop shops where they can potentially get all of their shopping done in just one visit,” said Jordy Leiser, co-founder and CEO of STELLAService. “While all of the stores we evaluated offer competitive pricing and wide selection, Costco.com stood out by providing the quickest, easiest, and most convenient shopping experience.”

Costco is a fine retailer, but they don’t offer the breadth of assortment that allows shoppers to satisfy all their needs in a single visit. There was nary a mention of Target except to note a few things viewed as shortcomings.

For example, Target was among a group of six companies – Amazon, Belk, Buy.com, Meijer.com, Target and Walmart – regarded as making the return process difficult for consumers because they require a return merchandise authorization number.

Leiser said, “Permission slips are for field trips, not returns” and encourages retailers to end the practice.

Target also got dinged for not offering such payment choices as Paypal, bill me later, layaway or Google checkout.

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