Saks Off 5th launches e-commerce site on Demandware platform
New York — Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th has launched its first e-commerce site, saksoff5th.com, on the Demandware platform. The new site is a significant milestone in the company’s omni-channel strategy, which will also include mobile and tablet commerce and digital integration with stores.
The new site features a sleek design and online shoppers have access to Saks Off 5th loyalty programs, email promotions and in store and online events, as well as a customer care team 24 hours a day. Consumers are able to connect to the retailer through social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
“The off-price business is an important part of our overall strategy. With Demandware, we quickly opened up Saks OffF 5th online, providing customers with new ways to engage and shop with us,” said Michael Burgess, president of Saks Direct. “Now, consumers have the same sophisticated shopping experience online that they are used to in-store. We plan to continually enhance the experience with new features, such as buy online and pick up in store, look online and find in-store, as well as the option to shop through mobile and tablet devices.”
Saks Off 5th worked with Demandware Link solution partner, SapientNitro, a division of Sapient, for site implementation and services.
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Dallas retailers pilot mobile checkout app
Dallas – Fifteen Dallas-area retailers are pilot testing Cartwheel Register, a free mobile checkout app that provides an intuitive and secure store system while creating a next-generation shopping experience for customers. Retailers in the pilot include gift shops, cafes, clothing boutiques, bakeries, caterers, food trucks and salons throughout the city and surrounding areas. Each business will use Cartwheel Register to perform credit, debit, cash and Skip Wallet transactions.
Cartwheel Register combines a next-generation store system, full-stack payments and a powerful social good marketing message to customers. With Tantrum Street’s patent-pending number recognition technology, the app uses a smartphone or tablet’s camera to instantly read a consumer’s credit card number. It then encrypts, tokenizes and transmits that information directly to the appropriate payment processors. Cartwheel Register never takes a picture of the card, and no card or primary account number information is ever stored on the device.
Cartwheel Register provides automatic PCI Compliance. Tantrum Street secures all data and transactions with encryption and “triple tokenization” methods and is certified PCI DSS 2.0 Level 1 compliant. Cartwheel Register will initially be available only for iOS devices, with availability on Android and other mobile platforms in the first half of 2014
“We chose Dallas for our beta not only because it’s our home, but also because it provides a unique retail environment and diverse consumer base,” said William Cervin, co-founder and CEO of Tantrum Street. “Cartwheel Register gives merchants true checkout freedom through a beautifully simple interface and cutting-edge mobile technology. All they need are their smartphones and our free app to accept transactions anywhere in their store, no card swipers or dongles required.”
Study: Options convert online shoppers
Coral Gables, Fla. — The likelihood that shoppers will make a purchase online is directly related to the number of product options that are displayed and to how the product information is displayed, either visually or with text. Research from the University of Miami School of Business Administration found when larger assortments of products (i.e. many options) are displayed with images rather than text, shoppers are less likely to purchase a product.
When it comes to a smaller selection of products displayed (e.g. four types of crackers or eight different nail polishes), it makes no difference in the likelihood of purchase whether or not visuals or text are used to share the information. The study found that even though consumers prefer to see products visually, when the choice set is large, and presented visually, shoppers spend less time examining each individual option as well as the entire choice set. They also become more haphazard and less systematic in their examination compared to when words are used to describe the choices. With this "choice overload," consumers are less likely to make a choice, which means no purchase.
Across five studies, the researchers had participants perform various tasks with product assortments similar to what a consumer might encounter online. In some studies participants were asked to choose whether they wanted to view product assortments presented visually in pictures or verbally in words. Across various product categories (crackers, nail polishes, mutual funds) there was a consistent preference for visual presentation. In other studies, participants were shown an assortment of products that was either small (four or eight options) or large (14 or 24) and was presented either visually or verbally. They were asked to: a) rate the variety and complexity of product choice sets; b) to make a choice from the choice sets; or c) to perform a surprise recall task where they had to identify the options previously presented. The researchers used eye-tracking technology to examine exactly how consumers analyzed individual items as well as the overall choice set.
"There is a tendency for mobile app designers to use graphics almost exclusively," said Claudia Townsend, assistant professor of marketing at the University of Miami School of Business Administration, and the lead author. "This study shows that although images are attractive and fun, when a large product set is shown with images only, there is a tendency among consumers to gloss over them rather than make a purchase," said Townsend, who conducted the research with Barbara Kahn of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
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