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Survey: Mobile tops retailers’ priority lists

BY Marianne Wilson

Washington, D.C. — Retailers overwhelmingly agree mobile must be the number one priority for their digital business in 2014, according to the 2014 Shop.org/Forrester Research Inc. State of Retailing Online survey. More than half (53%) marked mobile efforts as a top priority, identifying responsive design, mobile site optimization, and tablet redesign among key focus areas.

“Retailers grew their digital business with impressive strength in 2013, reflecting their laser focus on improving the customer experience across all of their channels, striving for a ‘mobile first’ mindset that will be a key driver in all business decisions,” said Shop.org executive director Vicki Cantrell. “In 2014, they will continue investing to further their relationships with customers, exploring everything from personalization and site usability to all things mobile.”

On average, retailers’ total 2013 smartphone revenue grew 113% over 2012, and tablet revenue grew 86% over the same period. The survey also found that 21% of retailers’ web revenue derived from either a smartphone or tablet in 2013.

In other survey findings:

• More than one-third (36%) of retailers surveyed are prioritizing improved marketing efforts as they continue to focus on both retaining and acquiring new customers. In fact, repeat customers in 2014 will grow in importance: the survey found that half (51%) of web revenues are being driven by these shoppers and nearly two-thirds (63%) note that repeat customers drove more web sales in 2013 than in 2012.

• Four-in-10 (46%) retailers surveyed planning to engage in some site overhaul. Efforts will focus on site personalization and usability enhancements, or the reconfiguration of the core site experience to positively affect conversion rates. As retailers report average conversion rates of approximately 2.7%, even small gains can bring meaningful revenue growth.

With 82% of retailers surveyed reporting sales growth in 2013, online retailers must begin to look at new areas of opportunity for continued growth in the coming year.

“Online retailers have proven themselves to be resourceful, resilient, and tenacious, — thriving in spite of fluctuations in the economy,” said Forrester research VP and principal analyst Sucharita Mulpuru. “But to continue building on this story of growth, retailers should begin to focus on new areas of opportunity in 2014, such as improving mobile conversion rates and taking an omnichannel-centric business approach.”

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A.Comi says:
Feb-03-2014 10:37 am

Maximum people now own a smart phone and do most of their internet related work through their phone. Hence it is obvious that mobile would be the easiest way to reach out to maximum people.

R.Mcclure says:
Jan-30-2014 01:55 pm

Excellent story. The latest I've found is software-driven in- store mobile technology which eliminates capital expenditures on installing beacons or other in-store hardware. -Rick M. [email protected]

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Target doesn’t labor in commitment to Canada

BY CSA STAFF

Target plans to carry on its Canadian expansion this year with nine additional stores, the majority of which will open in Ontario, although the retailer plans to open single stores in Quebec, Manitoba, Alberta and B.C.

"The past year marked a major milestone for Target as we delivered on the unprecedented goal of opening 124 Target stores across ten provinces in 2013," said Tony Fisher, president, Target Canada. "As we head into 2014, we will continue to enhance the guest experience at all stores, while continuing to expand our presence in new Canadian neighbourhoods."

In spring, Target will open stores at The Stockyards in Toronto, Ontario; Kingsway Mall in Edmonton, Alberta; and Hillside Centre in Victoria, British Columbia. In summer, Canadian customers can expect store openings at Erin Mills Town Centre in Mississauga, Ontario; Park Place in Barrie, Ontario; and Carrefour Candiac, Candiac, Quebec. Target wraps up the new store openings in fall with locations at St. Laurent in Ottawa, Ontario; Sheridan Centre in Mississauga, Ontario; and Polo Park in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Each store will carry an extensive range of Target-owned and exclusive brands, including C9 by Champion, Circo, Cherokee, Merona, Mossimo Supply Co., Mossimo Black, Xhiliration, Thershold, Room Essentials, Pixi, Archer Farms, Market Pantry and up & up; exclusive, limited time collaborations and ongoing collaborations such as the Nate Berkus Collection, the Sonia Kashuk Collection, Liz Lange Maternity for Target and Giada De Laurentiis for Target. Target also offers local products specific to each market, including the Aliments du Quebec product offering in Quebec.

Target Canada employs an average of 150 team members at each of its Canadian locations, including the nine additional stores announced today. Not counting the nine new locations, it operates 124 stores in all 10 provinces.

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Modell’s CEO Mitchell Modell goes virtual for Super Bowl

BY CSA STAFF

Modell’s CEO Mitchell Modell will be extending a personal welcome to Super Bowl fans who visit the flagship store in Times Square, N.Y., via the Tensator Virtual Assistant. The company has invested in the interactive digital signage to personalize its brand and reach out to customers in more than 10 languages.

The “Virtual Mitchell Modell” provides suggestions on Super Bowl gear; shares information on apparel, footwear, sporting goods and licensed team products; informs customers about the store’s loyalty program and how to sign up; and even gives directions to where certain items are.

He also invites shoppers to provide their email addresses upon checkout so they can get up-to-date information on sales and be invited to special events, including celebrity appearances.

In the course of seven different scripts, customers are thanked often, asked to email Mitchell directly to share their in-store experience and reminded of Modell’s tagline “You Gotta Go to Mo’s!” Tensator’s Virtual Assistant interactive panel lets customers elect to hear the information they need in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

“The Tensator Virtual Assistant takes digital signage to a whole new, personalized level,” said Lynn LaRocca, SVP, marketing, Modell’s. “Our Time Square store is regularly really busy — and with the added Super Bowl traffic, we needed a real attention grabber. It’s fantastic to be able to capture the personality of Mitchell and have him be the one to guide, inform and connect with shoppers from all over the world as the face of the company and its brand.”

“We are pleased to partner with the team at Modell’s and are happy that they have turned to Tensator to improve their customer in store experience. Having the ‘Virtual Mitchell Modell’ welcome, thank, inform and engage international shoppers will provide a positive in store experience for the Modell’s guest,” said Bill Vetter, SVP and GM, Tensator. “Through our wide-ranging retail solutions, our aim is to further support Modell’s business objectives by helping drive customer efficiencies, in store messaging and in turn, drive additional sales and guest satisfaction levels. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with our friends at Modell’s.”

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