FINANCE

Bebe taps Qubit to drive online sales with a personal touch

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Women’s apparel retailer Bebe has selected digital experience management platform provider Qubit to provide a wide reaching and bespoke A/B testing, website optimization and personalization program designed to increase conversion rates.

While Bebe retains a strong physical store presence in prime locations globally, the retailer is now looking to establish itself as an ecommerce market leader by honing its online and mobile strategy — a plan that will kick off with the launch of a new responsive mobile site in the coming weeks.

"With the importance of this move, we wanted a vendor that could give us a groundbreaking testing and personalization program," said Erik Lautier, executive VP and chief digital officer at Bebe. "We required a real partnership that could help us visualize and execute our goals. We are delighted to appoint Qubit which built its offer to us around incredible technology, a very clear strategic roadmap and the sort of premium account management we were looking for."

Lautier said Bebe chose Qubit over some of the larger, more established companies because the retailer "was so blown away by the product and team and felt it was a far stronger offering than what the traditional ‘name brand’ testing and personalization vendors offered."

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REAL ESTATE

Shipping containers recycled as retail spaces at new Assembly Row center, in Boston area

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Boxman Studios, a leader in shipping container modification, have created a one-of-a-kind dining and retail venue from shipping containers to anchor Assembly Row, a new mixed-use development in Somerville, Massachusetts, which is just outside of Boston.

Four modified 20-ft. shipping containers make up SombBlox, an homage to Somerville’s historically industrial past. The four containers create three distinct spaces that are all ADA accessible and include electrical and lighting.

Two containers are designed for retail spaces with easy-to-open 8-ft. hinged storefront windows and steel doors to quickly adapt to weather conditions. Two containers have been outfitted with kitchen equipment and plumbing and will house retail and food prep areas for Somerville Brewing Company’s American Fresh Taproom, which will feature a 60-seat, open-air beer garden.

The unique container courtyard is scheduled to open Aug. 2.

“We wanted to highlight Somerville’s artistic community and its heritage, and Somblox will be the perfect blend of the two,” said Russ Joyner, VP and general manager, Federal Realty, which is developing Assembly Row. “Locals will feel right at home, entrepreneurs and growing businesses can test drive their concepts, and visitors will be introduced to a slice of local flavor.”

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News

Sellpoints slays alleged patent troll & acquires 360° tech patent

BY CSA STAFF

Sellpoints, a pre-marketing platform that touts itself for help brands generate sales online, has acquired the 360° technology patent for videos and photos. 360° technology is used in e-commerce to give in-depth product tours and educate consumers about product benefits online.

According to Sellpoints, the previous patent owner sued multiple big brands to prevent them from using this technology on their websites. Sellpoints reportedly worked for five months to obtain the patent and open up its use to the e-commerce industry.

360° images and videos play an integral role in Sellpoints’ digital marketing platform.

“Rich media content delivers the most engaging online shopping experience, and industry studies show that 120 seconds of engagement shifts a consumer’s mindset from browsing to buying,” said VP of analytics Benny Blum. “One of our customers previously licensed this patent, and when we ran a product tour analysis, we found that 360 technology is the single most engaging piece of rich media. Average engagement starts at 42 seconds. It increased by 4 seconds for each interactive asset, 8 seconds for each document, 21 seconds for an interactive product tour, 17 seconds for a video and 28 seconds for a 360°.”

Sellpoints’ platform builds custom audiences from its network of 251 retailers, and reaches out to 130 million unique consumers each month.

“We wanted to take risk off the table for retailers and brands leveraging 360° technology,” said CEO Brian O’Keefe. “It’s been a long road to slaying the patent troll, but we’re excited to add this technology to our product offering and help our customers deliver the most robust consumer experience.”

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