MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Study: Retailers lag in omnichannel capabilities

BY Dan Berthiaume

Austin, Texas – Retailers have barely reached the halfway mark in their journey to omnichannel maturity. According to the results of a new report from Starmount and Retail Systems Research (RSR) that asked retailers to rate themselves on six dimensions of omnichannel maturity, the lowest overall rankings (an average score of 2.7 on a six-point scale) were in omnichannel order and fulfillment capabilities.

In addition, 67% of retailers were “inefficient” or worse at integrating in-store and digital experiences. Other findings include:

• 71% of retailers are unable to successfully measure omnichannel customer engagement. Moreover, only 34% of retailers reported customer data collection capabilities at the “performing” or “differentiator” levels. Overall, customer engagement is not measured, and only basic statistics that are relevant to marketing are tracked at all.

• Half of all respondents were inefficient or worse at responsibility and ownership of omnichannel inventory. Moreover, 60% said they were inefficient or worse at maintaining inventory visibility across channels, and a disappointing 44% of respondents report “no capability” when it comes to measuring inventory performance.

“Part of the challenge in navigating omni-channel change is understanding how much change is really necessary,” said Nikki Baird, managing partner at RSR and an author of the report. “Up until now, I think a lot of retailers have tried to protect their businesses from change, rather than embrace it.”

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Overstock.com offers free loyalty program membership to first responders

BY CSA STAFF

Overstock.com is offering free Club O loyalty program memberships to active police officers, full-time firefighters, paramedics and certified emergency medical technicians.

Club O members receive free shipping and Club O Rewards equal to at least 5% of all purchases. In the Extra Rewards Store, customers can earn up to 25% in Club O Rewards. The Exclusives page offers weekly deals where Club O members can earn up to 40% in Club O Rewards. Members can accumulate these rewards and use them on future purchases. Those who qualify for the program can enroll by visiting the first-responders signup section on Overstock.

"First responders risk their lives to protect us," said Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne. "As a company, we are showing our gratitude by offering free memberships in Club O, the most generous loyalty program in online shopping."

First responders can have their identity verified through ID.me and relayed to Overstock to receive their free Club O membership. Once individuals sign up, they only need to enter a user name and password to receive benefits.

For customers who are not members, shipping is free on orders of at least $50. For orders less than $50, shipping is $2.95, regardless of how many items are in each individual order.

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OPERATIONS

Report: Rite Aid settles California consumer protection suit

BY Dan Berthiaume

Camp Hill, Pa. – Rite Aid has reportedly settled a consumer protection suit filed by the district attorneys of San Diego, Riverside and Alameda counties for about $500,000. According to the Associated Press, the suit alleged that Rite Aid pharmacists failed to consult with customers who were filling new prescriptions or changing the doses of existing prescriptions, as required by California state law.

The suit followed an undercover investigation. As part of the settlement, Rite Aid denied wrongdoing. The retailer also said it fully cooperated with district attorneys and is providing counseling to its pharmacists. CVS settled a similar suit in California in 2013 for about $650,000.

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