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CSA survey details retailers’ business intelligence capabilities

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Clarity and ease of use are sticky points for retailers when it comes to implementing business intelligence, according to a recent survey on BI in retail by Chain Store Age.

In other findings, customer segment analysis, customer loyalty analysis and market basket analysis are among the top priorities for retail business intelligence opportunities. To read the full report, which includes analysis by business intelligence specialists from Deloitte and Oracle, click here.

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Forrester survey: 91% of retailers have mobile strategy in place or in development

BY CSA STAFF

Washington, D.C. — More and more retailers are experimenting with mobile and social initiatives. According to “The State Of Retailing Online 2011: Marketing, Social, and Mobile” report conducted by Forrester Research. for Shop.org, 91% percent of retailers currently have a mobile strategy in place or in development (up from 74% a year ago), and 72% say they will increase their spending on social networks this year over last.

However, the overall amount of mobile traffic and revenue has not increased dramatically, suggesting that investment levels in site optimization may still be inadequate. For example, 48% of retailers report having a mobile-optimized website; 35% have deployed an iPhone app; and 15% offer an Android app and an iPad app, respectively. Challenges for retailers include differentiating the consumer experience on a tablet versus a smartphone and figuring out features and functionality in dueling app/mobile Web ecosystems.

Compared with past years, social networks surfaced higher as an investment area among retailers. Social networks ranked fourth on the list of successful customer acquisition sources, up significantly from last year. Yet the ROI associated with social is muddy: 62% of retailers said the returns on social marketing strategies are unclear, and nearly the same percentage said the primary ROI from social marketing is listening to — and gaining a better understanding of — customers.

“The data indicates that significant investments in social and mobile tactics will be in place this year,” said Sucharita Mulpuru, VP principal analyst, Forrester Research. “Retail executives should have modest expectations for the benefits of social commerce.”

With regard to mobile, Mulpuru said retailers should be working to increasingly integrate features and functionality into the physical store experience.

“While consumers may not be extensively exploring product information yet, basic store information, transparent pricing, and easy checkout capabilities are likely to be the most pressing opportunities for most sites in the near term,” she said.

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OfficeMax recognized by JDA Software Group for demand management

BY CSA STAFF

Naperville, Ill. — OfficeMax has been recognized as a JDA Software Group 2011 Real Results Winner for Best in Demand Management.

Now in its sixth year, the Real Results Awards recognize companies that have demonstrated business-process excellence and achieved quantifiable benefits through the adoption of industry best practices and use of JDA’s industry-leading solutions and services. OfficeMax was honored at Focus 2011, JDA’s annual user conference in Orlando, Florida, May 1-4, 2011.

Leveraging both JDA solutions and services, OfficeMax has used greater forecast accuracy to reduce inventory while improving customer service levels.

"As an early adopter of JDA Software, we were one of the first retailers to launch a large scale implementation to create a world class demand management and replenishment system down to the retail store level, giving us greater forecast accuracy and improved customer service levels,” said Dov Shenkman, senior VP of replenishment and inventory management for OfficeMax. “The technology has served as a catalyst to organization and process changes that continue to pay dividends as we experience increased efficiencies in both demand and replenishment."

As the winner for Best in Demand Management, OfficeMax is being recognized for demonstrating the best use of JDA solutions and services to address business challenges related to inventory requirements, customer service, forecast accuracy, demand planning, performance management, demand shaping and/or price and promotions management activities.

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