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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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Einstein Noah Restaurant Group selects Service Management Group to drive sales and increase loyalty

BY CSA STAFF

Kansas City, Mo. — Einstein Noah Restaurant Group announces partnership with Service Management Group, a leading customer analytics agency focused on loyalty and service improvement, to increase customer loyalty and drive same-store sales.

Through this partnership Service Management will identify new business opportunities through customer analyses that integrate guest experience metrics with transaction data and Einstein restaurant attributes.

“After a thorough review of the customer experience category, we selected SMG. We are excited to utilize their analysis and insights to drive business forward,” said Brian Unger, executive VP operations, Einstein Noah Restaurant Group.

Einstein owns and operates Einstein Bros. Bagels, Noah’s Bagels and primarily franchises locations under the Manhattan Bagel brand.

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