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Survey: Customer preference top concern for retailers

BY Michael Johnsen

Miami — While out-of-stock items and inventory performance remain top-of-mind, retailers’ concerns about understanding customer preferences — along with their own ability to respond to those preferences with new ideas about pricing and promotions — have become top business challenges, according to a survey of 96 retailers published Wednesday by Retail Systems Research.

According to the survey, 34% of all respondents plan to optimize their assortments against new key customer segments in the coming year. Another 24% plan to include initial price optimization in their processes in 2013, and 22% will incorporate promotion optimization.

The report is part of RSR Research’s ongoing efforts to provide market intelligence on retail technology trends and can be downloaded here.

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Intermix and Shopatron team on order management solution

BY Staff Writer

San Luis Obispo, Calif. — Shopatron said Wednesday that women’s specialty retailer Intermix is using Shopatron’s order management solution to integrate its retail locations into the company’s e-commerce sales strategy.

Using Shopatron’s distributed order management system, Intermix can now fulfill online orders with available inventory from either a distribution center or a retail store.

Upon receiving a web order, Intermix assigns the orders to a location based on available inventory, proximity to the consumer, and other inventory turn logic. Sourcing the order closer to the customer optimizes the shipment for both the company and the customer, providing shorter shipping times.

"We chose Shopatron as our e-commerce solution because it easily integrated with our online store and helped us streamline order processing," said Jeremy Levine, Intermix’s VP of e-commerce. "With Shopatron’s in-store interface, our sales associates are led step-by-step through the process of picking, packing and sending out an online order, making them more efficient and accurate. It also allows customers to choose the most convenient method for returning items; they can walk into any of our stores or ship it back to our distribution center."

Shopatron’s full-service order management solution, called Shopatron Retailer, also provides Intermix with payment processing, consumer support, complete fraud protection and management of returns.

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Gap expands e-commerce service to Japan

BY CSA STAFF

SANFRANCISCO — Gap Inc. is expanding its e-commerce service to Japan. Japaese customers can now shop Gap and Banana Republic products online through its new Japanese e-commerce sites (gap.co.jp and bananarepublic.co.jp). The sites offer Gap, GapKids, babyGap and Banana Republic products.

“We’re excited to continue Gap Inc.’s global online expansion and extend our exceptional online experience to our customers in Japan,” says Robert Frank, managing director for Japan. “The launch of this e-commerce site reaffirms our commitment to provide our signature American style to people in the most convenient ways possible.”

The e-commerce sites will feature Gap Inc.’s innovative “universality” platform, which brings the Gap and Banana Republic brands together on one, easy to navigate e-commerce platform. Customers can seamlessly shop Gap, GapKids, babyGap and Banana Republic with one shopping basket and one checkout.

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