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Study: Best Buy, Sears and Target tops in cross-channel customer experience

BY Marianne Wilson

Santa Clara, Calif. — Best Buy, Sears and Target ranked as the top three cross-channel performers in a study by CrossView, a provider of cross-channel commerce solutions. The study, which examined the cross-channel capabilities of 25 top retailers, found that a majority of retailers are providing an unsatisfactory cross-channel experience.

Highlights of the study, which is due to be released Aug. 30, include:

  • Only 12% of studied retailers could access a customer’s pending web order in store;
  • 60% had inconsistency across in-store and online promotions;
  • 88% of retailers provide sharing tools (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) on their website;
  • 56% of retailers displayed ratings and reviews on the website;
  • Only 52% use collaborative filtering, which provides tailored recommendations to customers;
  • 100% of retailers offer a mobile website; however, only 12% offer a mobile app; and
  • A majority of retailers — 64% — fail to provide estimated shipping charges, increasing chances of cart abandonment.

“The study shows that providing a satisfying cross channel retail experience is still a daunting task both operationally and technologically,” said Jason Goldberg, VP strategy & customer experience, CrossView. “Some retailers are even ‘faking’ the cross-channel experience by creating workarounds to the systems that are currently in place. We still have a long way to go before a true cross-channel platform is industry standard.”

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PacSun deploys Global Bay in-store iPad retailing app

BY Katherine Boccaccio

South Plainfield, N.J. — Global Bay Mobile Technologies, a provider of mobile retail software, announced the deployment of its iPad Retailing solution in 300 Pacific Sunwear stores nationwide. The chain plans to implement the solution in an additional 100 stores by yearend.

Global Bay’s iPad Retailing App offers configurable features to meet a retailer’s specific needs, and is designed to improve the interaction between store associate and shoppers, help sales associates complete transactions through the PacSun mobile site in the event of out of stock inventory, and enhance the overall in-store selling experience.

“Clearly retailing is undergoing a fundamental change and the appropriate adoption of new technologies can be a critical piece in building relevance with today’s consumers,” said PacSun CEO Gary Schoenfeld. “Customers and store associates are finding the iPad to be a welcome surprise at Pac Sun and are giving us very positive feedback for being an early adopter.”

Some of the key features of the Global Bay iPad Retail solution deployed by PacSun include:

Personalized selling to increase sales: PacSun store associates leverage the iPad as a personalized selling tool for one-on-one assisted customer selling. Through the iPad Retail App’s Look Book functionality and rich-media content, PacSun store associates are able to walk customers through different outfit combinations and suggest products based on the customer’s purchasing preferences.

Assisted selling to eliminate lost sales: To eliminate missed sales due to out of stock items in the store, PacSun store associates use the iPad to place orders for customers via e-commerce on the spot. In addition, providing sales associates with product information and inventory through the iPad ensures that items are never out of stock and orders can be fulfilled across any channel.

QR code integration to support promotions: PacSun has integrated QR codes into the app to deliver exclusive content directly to the smartphones of consumers who scan QR codes on the screen of the iPad.

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Former Duane Reade CEO Tony Cuti gets three years in prison for fraud

BY Antoinette Alexander

New York City — Former Duane Reade CEO Tony Cuti was sentenced on Monday to three years in prison in connection with accounting fraud at the New York-based drug store chain.

Cuti, who is to report to prison on Jan. 31, 2012, also must pay a $5 million fine.

In sentencing Cuti, U.S. District Court Judge Deborah Batts in Manhattan called him a "gifted, arrogant, driven and entitled individual" who "bullied people into committing fraudulent acts to make the company look better than it actual was," according to published reports.

In June 2010, Cuti was found guilty of conspiracy, securities fraud and making false statements. Former Duane Reade CFO William Tennant was found guilty of securities fraud.

Tennant’s sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 29.

From November 2000 through June 2005, Cuti and Tennant reported inflated income from fraudulent real estate transactions and reduced company expenses through fictitious credits from vendors, prosecutors said.

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