News

Survey: Majority of e-business pros see mobile experience as priority

BY Katherine Boccaccio

San Francisco — Survey results released by online customer experience management software provider Tealeaf and mobile feedback solution-provider OpinionLab found that the majority of e-business and customer experience professionals feel that the mobile experience is as important as that of a fixed website.

In the survey conducted at the Forrester Customer Experience Forum, recently held in New York City, 84% of respondents said that putting a mobile customer experience strategy in place is just as or more important than customer experience for fixed websites.

“With the unprecedented adoption of mobile devices, it’s becoming an increasing priority to optimize the customer experience on that rapidly growing channel,” said Geoff Galat, VP worldwide marketing at Tealeaf.

According to the survey, 87% of participants believe that online customer experience management is more important now than ever before. In fact, 50% view their online customer experience management strategy as a top priority.

In terms of adoption, half of the survey participants are already actively engaged in this discipline — implementing, executing or measuring a comprehensive online customer experience strategy. The remaining 50% report they are still in the planning and adoption phases.

The top objectives companies have for adopting a CEM strategy this year is to increase customer satisfaction (28%) and to attract new customers (19%). Other priorities include gaining a competitive advantage, increasing sales, retaining customers and gaining insight into customer struggle.

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FINANCE

Talbots adopts poison pill on word of looming buyout

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York City — The Talbots said on Tuesday that its board of directors has adopted a shareholder rights plan — or a poison pill — to protect its stockholders after a private equity firm disclosed it had acquired a sizeable stake in the company.

On Monday, Sycamore Partners LP revealed it had acquired a 9.9% stake in Talbots and said it planned to attempt to talk with the retailer about strategy and operations.

Reports put Talbots’ market value at $288 million, and suggest a buyout would exceed $400 million.

In its move to protect shareholder value, Talbots adopted the poison pill, which is triggered if an investor acquires 10% or more of the common shares. Oppenheimer Funds, as Talbots’ largest current shareholder with a 10.3% stake, would be excluded from the plan.

Sycamore Partners, now the retailer’s second-largest shareholder, focuses on retail and consumer companies. It was formed by retail investor Stefan Kaluzny, who is chairman of Express and was a managing director of Golden Gate Capital before founding Sycamore Partners. He is also a director at several other companies, including Zale Corp., Eddie Bauer, and J. Jill.

In the filing that disclosed the Talbots stake acquisition, Sycamore said that the retailer’s stock is "undervalued and is an attractive investment," and that it plans to "engage in discussions with management, the board, other stockholders" regarding future plans for the company.

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News

Kroger to implement Oracle’s PLM solution

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK — Kroger has selected Oracle’s Agile Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) for Process to establish a platform for continually improving the customer experience. The supermarket operator will use the solution to integrate and streamline all aspects of product development, including managing specifications, suppliers, formulations, packaging and labeling, compliance, and quality.

Oracle’s Agile PLM is designed to help companies to shorten cycle times, increase sales and reduce risks associated with innovating new products. Kroger is implementing the solution as part of its “Customer 1” strategic initiative mission by which the company is transforming business operations to improve the customer experience and deliver the highest quality products and services.

“At Kroger we are continuously searching for ways to better serve our customers and believe that Oracle’s Agile PLM for Process will enable our organization to deliver even more on our Customer 1st mission,” said Payton Pruett, VP corporate food technology for Kroger.

Kroger selected the Oracle solution based on deep functionality for grocery operations, including the ability to support all of the different types of food and non-food products offered within their stores. The chain also required a solution provider that offered a complete end-to-end suite of integrated applications and that demonstrated the ability to continue to innovate and enhance grocery solutions.

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