Cycling retailer centralizes omnichannel experience
As omnichannel retailing becomes mission-critical, Performance Bicycle is making bold moves to merge its physical and digital experiences.
A company that operates 106 locations across 21 states, Performance Bicycle struggled to manage siloed data and operations — not an easy task in today’s omnichannel, always-on world. Armed with a platform from Aptos, Performance Bicycle now has a centralized commerce architecture that integrates every part of the enterprise — a move that fosters a seamless customer experience no matter where, when or how customers shop.
For example, the solution enables associates to create orders — including bike customizations — in-store, and have them fulfilled to the customer’s specifications. The platform also centralizes enterprise inventory so associates can fulfill catalog and e-commerce orders at store-level. Currently 87 stores enables shoppers to place online orders.
The new integrated operation also enables Performance Bicycle to pull store-level merchandise for online orders to avoid out-of-stocks. This process also provides a more efficient and profitable method to clear end-of-season products from stores, a company statement said.
“We’ve completely revamped our merchandise fulfillment while improving the customer experience for omnichannel success,” said Mike Starkey, senior VP of information systems at Performance Bicycle. “The singular commerce platform gives our customers the ability to purchase and view items in multiple channels, and choose how they want to receive those items, while giving us the visibility for efficient and profitable inventory management.”
Since implementing the platform, Performance Bicycle has seen daily comparative store sales improvements between 3% and more than 10%, while simultaneously achieving a 96.5% reduction in call center volume, the statement said.
Study: Augmented reality revamps shopping experience
Digital disruptors continue to impact the shopping experience, and augmented reality (AR) is no exception.
Specifically, 61% of customers reported that augmented reality has influenced where they decide to shop, according to “The Impact of Augmented Reality in Retail,” a report from Interactions, an experiential marketing firm and division on Daymon. The report, which is based on responses from more than 1,000 Americans, examines how AR has become a part of consumers’ shopping experiences.
For example, 61% of respondents said they prefer to shop at stores that offer AR over ones that don’t, and 68% said they’d spend more time at a retailer if they could shop with the technology, the study said.
AR is also altering consumers’ purchasing intent, as 40% of respondents said they would be willing to pay more for a product if they could experience it through the technology. Meanwhile, 72% of shoppers said they had purchased items they had not planned on because of AR, data revealed.
While AR is still evolving in retail, the technology is becoming a complementary shopping tool for shoppers and retailers, alike. For example, 55% of respondents said that AR makes shopping fun, and 45% reported that it saves them time. Internally, the report revealed that AR presents an opportunity for retailers to provide more information for shoppers. Specifically, 77% of surveyed shoppers want to use AR to see product differences, like a change in color or style, and 41% use it to find out about special promotions and deals.
“AR is reshaping the way shoppers experience and engage with retailers,” said Bharat Rupani, president of Interactions. “We are seeing even the most traditional brands starting to include this experiential element in stores, largely driven by customer interest.”
Rue La La goes global
Rue La La is embarking on a cross-border journey.
Pure-play retailer Rue La La is going international.
The retailer is expanding its reach to members in 219 countries and territories.
By utilizing the Borderfree Retail Platform from Pitney Bowes, the brand can now support a seamless shopping experience internationally, from leveraging local currency to accessing available local shipping services, regardless of where the member is located.
Overall, the new platform enables the company to provide cross-border e-commerce to more new members across the globe, according to a company statement.