ECOMMERCE

Study: Retailers triple same-day delivery offerings

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Eager to get merchandise into shoppers’ hands the same day they place an order, 65% of retailers will offer same-day delivery within two years.

This was according to the “2017 Digital Commerce Benchmark Survey,” from Boston Retail Partners (BRP).

Currently, 51% of retailers indicate they offer same-day delivery, up from 16% last year, and within two years, 65% plan to offer this service. Delivery via a third party service, such as Uber or Lyft has also increased from 20% last year to 32% this year. The reason for the increase: retailers want to provide different options that enable customers to shop, purchase and receive their goods on their own terms.

Looking ahead, same-day delivery services will be even more innovative, as retailers explore autonomous fulfillment. Brands will also pursue self-driving vehicles and “helper robots,” the study said.

“With Amazon offering same day delivery in some markets, the push is on for retailers to get items delivered to customers as soon as possible,” said Jeffrey Neville, VP at BRP. “Autonomous delivery and distribution are the next step with self-driving vehicles soon a reality and a few food delivery start-ups already testing the concept.”

These developments are pre-requisites if retailers want to adapt to the new customer journey, and accommodate the blurred lines of retail and innovative methods of shopping driven by mobile technology, artificial intelligence and rapidly changing fulfillment methods. To succeed, retailers may need to reinvent themselves to create an effective blend of the physical and digital worlds to maintain customer loyalty, the report explained.

To prepare for the future of retail, the study outlines three key customer imperatives:

Personal: Combining behavioral, historical and customer profile data empowers retailers to deliver tailored and relevant content to meet customers’ individual needs. In fact, 38% of retailers indicate that improving personalization is a top digital customer experience priority.

Ubiquitous: Customer expectations for a personalized, seamless experience require retailers to follow customers’ journeys as they research and shop from anywhere. That’s why 49% of retailers will offer customers the ability to ‘start anywhere, finish anywhere’ within five years.

Unified: Retailers’ technology, processes and organization need to be unified and aligned across channels to offer a seamless and consistent customer experience. Thus, 54% of retailers indicate that creating a consistent brand experience across channels is a top priority.

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BREAKING NEWS

Dollar Tree names new CEO

BY Marianne Wilson

There's been a changing of the guard at Dollar Tree as the man who grew the chain into a $22 billion retail powerhouse moves on to a new role.

The discounter has appointed Gary Philbin, enterprise president, as CEO, effective immediately. He succeeds Bob Sasser, who will become executive chairman of Dollar Tree's board.

Philbin, 60, joined Dollar Tree in 2001 as senior VP of stores, and was promoted to COO in 2007. He assumed the role of president and COO of Family Dollar upon its acquisition by Dollar Tree. In January 2017, Philbin was promoted to enterprise president with responsibilities for both Dollar Tree and Family Dollar banners.

"Bob (Sasser) has led Dollar Tree to industry-leading returns for shareholders and success for all of our stakeholders,” stated Philbin. “Our retail business model can operate successfully in tough times and good times, as we have demonstrated under Bob’s leadership as CEO.”

Sasser, 65, oversaw Dollar Tree's $9.1 billion acquisition of Family Dollar in 2015. He joined Dollar Tree in 1999 as COO. He was promoted to president and COO in 2001, and to president and CEO in 2004.

During Sasser’s tenure, Dollar Tree grew from a company with fewer than 1,200 stores in 33 states; four distribution centers; and less than $1 billion in annual sales to a company with more than 14,500 retail stores; and an international supply chain with 24 distribution centers across North America. For 2017, revenues are projected to exceed $22 billion. The company completed six acquisitions during Sasser’s tenure.

"Working with our board of directors, I have been planning leadership succession for some time and we are confident this will be a seamless transition, both inside and outside of the company," Philbin stated. "Our board of directors and leadership team have complete confidence in Gary’s ability to lead Dollar Tree through its next phases of growth.”

Dollar Tree operates stores under the brands of Dollar Tree, Family Dollar and Dollar Tree Canada.

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ECOMMERCE

Marie Claire dresses up first-ever pop-up store with technology innovations

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

An 80-year-old fashion magazine is using technology to bring the fashion, beauty and entertainment featured on its glossy pages to life.

Marie Claire is launching a pop-up store called “The Next Big Thing Concept Shop.” The store, which is located in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood, is organized by the magazine’s three main sections: @Play, which focuses on recreation; @Peak, a section based on wellness, and @Work, which is focused on career. Neiman Marcus stylists will provide advice and tips on the latest selection all designer fashions available at the store.

The iconic magazine is integrating different technology innovations, supported by MasterCard technology, to engage shoppers throughout their store visit. For example, dressing rooms feature interactive mirrors from Oak Labs that recommend accessories for outfits, and Clarins beauty counters display Sensor Mirror Pro virtual skincare mirrors, which were developed by MemoMi.

The store also features an integrated mobile app that enables visitors to make seamless cashless transactions — supported by MasterCard — from anywhere within the store, including the fitting room mirrors. Customers can also use the app to book one-on-one appointments with Neiman Marcus fashion stylists, and sign up for a variety of in-store events and activities.

“Since its inception, Marie Claire has led influential and important women on the path to discovery, proving that curiosity is the best currency,” said Marie Claire VP/publisher Nancy Berger. “We’re excited to share what’s new and what’s next, while offering New Yorkers to experience the future of shopping with our partners at Mastercard.”

The store will be open between Sept. 21 and Oct. 12.

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