Urban Decay freshens e-commerce approach
Specialty cosmetics retailer Urban Decay is taking a lively approach to online customer engagement.
Urban Decay plans to launch a new content-driven website later this fall using the FirstSpirit content management system. The new “UD All Access” site will complement Urban Decay’s existing Demandware-based e-commerce site with the intention of delivering a richer, more immersive and interactive experience
“We have the commerce side and that’s going strong,” said John Perasco, assistant VP of digital at Urban Decay. “Now we’re building out the content side and making a visually relevant, beautiful, and interesting Urban Decay-branded portion of our site. It’s like whispering to our best beauty junkies to come take a peek behind the curtain and come back stage with us. People are looking for all kinds of content whether it’s editorial content, videos, product information or other users’ content.”
Urban Decay is in the midst of global expansion and needed a way to keep its brand presence consistent in every country. It also needed a way to maintain consistency across its Demandware site and the content side.
These needs first led Urban Decay to pursue a content management system. After considering a range of options, the company’s IT and marketing teams settled on FirstSpirit in part for its certified Demandware integration, ease-of-use for content creators and global content management functionality. By moving to a central system for managing and publishing content, Urban Decay is in effect creating a corporate content cloud for managing its brand globally.
The “UD All Access” site is scheduled to go live in late October and will be accessible as a menu item on the current e-commerce site. The site will let consumers explore content at their own pace without active promotions. Urban Decay also plans to integrate consumer interactions on Instagram and Facebook with the new site.
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What’s in Store for the Customer Experience?
“I’ll try the red.” It’s a phrase heard in bars and restaurants across the globe. But in Nordstrom, at their tapas bar? It’s wine in a department store one week, and perhaps a pint or a flight at Bar Lamar in Whole Foods the next, because who could say no to a nice aperitif while picking up the weekly groceries?
Shoppers today are asking more and more frequently, “Is that a clothing store, or a coffee shop? A launderette, or a live music venue?” Category convergence is the defining trend of 21st century retail, and the lines between fashion, technology, art, hospitality and music are blurring more every day. Leading retailers have a new game plan for customer engagement: where you spend your time is where you spend your money.
Discounts, coupons, points and omnichannel are no longer impactful differentiators; they are basic customer expectations. Retailers are proving that memorable, shareable, face-to-face activities are the customer experiences that will win the hearts, minds and wallets of customers in a new era of shopping.
Outdoor-lovers can book a group fly-fishing trip at Orvis’ travel site, or gear up for an REI cycling class or hiking adventure. Bing’s Surf Shop in Encinitas is making waves with its See a Movie Night and Art Show, and Bass Pro Shops one-ups them with an in-store archery range, Dutch oven cooking classes and bowling alleys, where full-size bowling eyeballs are returned through gagging shark and alligator mouths.
Retailers need to embody an ever-changing, fresh, and maybe a touch newsworthy approach to in-store innovation. Just as H&M and Zara found success from quickly changing inventory, retailers will be looking for the same victories by changing their inventory of selfie-worthy calendar stuffers.
In recent quarters, malls are rebounding as shoppers scout meccas of entertainment, including fashion shows, celebrity appearances and hackathons. What we are seeing is a return to the ancient Greek Agora concept. Shopping districts are transforming into hubs of leisure, connection, food and fun.
Consumers, drowning in out-of-context e-commerce worlds of headless models silhouetted on white backgrounds and self-service, thirst for experiences over things (true customer experience). The new face of loyalty is human connection. A Proper Insights and Analytics study found that face-to-face communication is now the leading trigger of online searches (45%).
On a Friday afternoon in San Francisco’s packed Capital One 360 Café, techies collaborate on how to digitally transform customer experience from products, promotions, packing, and paying – to people.
They start with a sea of Post-Its on what people like to do when they’re together, when they’re not shopping. “Merchantainment.” “Retailtainment.” “Convergence.” It’s baaaaack. This time it’s here to stay.
Babs Ryan is global strategic product innovation consultant at ThoughtWorks. Dan Pallozz is global retail content strategist at ThoughtWorks.
Vanishing the Checkout lines
As an innovation, rather than discovering approaches reducing the checkout time, its right time to analyze and invent approaches vanishing the checkout time - "FILL and Collect" concept. "FILL and Collect" is a "NEED" and transforms to "NECESSITY". "FILL and Collect" offers shopper's who wished WHEN they would be free from rushing shopping time just to save miniscule lead time to checkout quickly, and have an extended shopping time with family/friends spending delightful time within the store planning for their future shopping trips by visiting and experiencing merchandise from other departments, or outside the store at the QSR, parlor, shopping in neighboring stores, filling GAS, visiting a Bank or Dining while completely forgetting the hassle and worries faced during the checkouts. Let me explain - Shoppers shopping at the brick and Mortar stores would fill items to their shopping carts/baskets while shopping and would then release the filled shopping cart/basket in the hands of the store associates to take care of "Scanning" from their existing POS systems. Cashier - After scanning all items/coupons/loyalty cards etc. present in the shopping cart/basket, POS system posts the transaction to the store server indicating the transaction is ready for accepting payment. Shopper will then complete the transaction on his mobile phone after reviewing his transaction details with his Credit/Debit/Net Banking Account information/etc payment tenders. After successful completion of payment, the shopper will receive an alert to pick up the shopping cart with items bagged from the store front. There you go!!! The concept promises shoppers of happy shopping trips.
Stark Enterprises announces retail property acquisition
Pickerington, Ohio — Stark Enterprises acquires The Shoppes at Stonecreek in Pickerington, Ohio. The 45,000-sq.-ft. retail center is located east of Columbus and is currently 100% occupied. Featured tenants include Lifetime Fitness, Petland, Advanced Vapor, Lomonico’s and Roosters.
“This acquisition further expands our footprint outside of Northeast Ohio and is a prime opportunity for us to prove the transformational impact we have on our properties,” said Ezra Stark, COO for Stark Enterprises.
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