Vitamin Shoppe profit flat in Q1; 60 stores on tap
North Bergen, N.J. — Vitamin Shoppe reported flat net income for the first quarter, at $20.5 million. Sales during the period grew 10.3% to $307.8 million, boosted by e-commerce strength, and same-store sales increased 3.6%.
“We are continuing to make investments in our omni-channel initiative to further enhance our customers overall experience," said Tony Truesdale, CEO.
The company opened nine stores in the quarter, including one in Canada. It said it plans to open 60 new stores in 2014.
Zachys taps SLI Systems for e-commerce search and shopping improvements
San Jose, Calif. — Software as a service search provider SLI Systems said that retailer Scarsdale, N.Y.-based Zachys Wine & Liquor has put in place SLI’s cloud services and has seen online conversions and per-visit value nearly double that of the site average.
According to SLI, Zachys saw use of its search box by visitors increase one third and is now looking to expand its use of SLI’s learning-based services to include site navigation pages as a revenue-boosting strategy.
Zachys operates one brick-and-mortar wine shop in Scarsdale, N.Y., and has created a nationwide wine and liquor retailing business through its e-commerce site. "We specialize in high-end and hard-to-find wine," said Victor Castro, director of e-commerce at Zachys. "[Customers] know what brands they like, so they don’t browse when they come to our website – they search."
Zachys chose SLI Systems’ Learning Search, Site Champion and Rich Auto Complete e-commerce acceleration services to replace the limited search functionality previously available on its e-commerce site.
Motorola’s new mobile marketing platform uses Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology
New York — Motorola Solutions has launched a new unified indoor locationing platform designed to help retailers boost customer engagement. The company’s MPact Platform for Mobile Marketing breaks new ground by using both WI-FI and Bluetooth Smart technology to engage with shoppers in store aisles by offering them customized offers and sales assistance.
“A majority of consumers are already using their smart phones for shopping-related activities,” said Girish Rishi, senior VP, Enterprise Solutions, Motorola Solutions MPact helps retailers interact with shoppers in-store, adding valuable engagement through technology. The solution can help shoppers request in-store assistance and receive customized offers to their mobile devices at the right time, potentially increasing total sales and providing an optimized shopping experience.”
Motorola is collaborating with four technology vendors to help make MPact an end-to-end locationing solution:
• Aisle411, which allows users to find products with inventory searchable indoor maps while receiving special offers based on their location in the aisle;
• Digby, whose Localpoint location marketing platform allows retailers to engage shoppers and measure performance throughout the customer journey;
• Phunware, which provides turn-key, multi-screen solutions integrated with the MPact platform that engage, manage and monetize users; and
• Swirl, whose beacon marketing platform allows retailers to deliver highly relevant mobile content and experiences to customers while they shop.
“We’re making customer engagement real and possible with this platform and our lineup of partners,” said Gary Singh, head of product solutions and marketing for Motorola Solutions.
MPact enables shoppers that opt-in to receive customized offers and personal assistance via a Bluetooth Smart-triggered loyalty app and access Wi-Fi to locate products in store, read reviews, compare prices and look up information. The solution offers three levels of location services: Presence, Zone and Position using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Smart to pinpoint the exact location of customer devices in relation to the merchandise they are looking at. The combination of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Smart technology gives insight and visibility to a shopper’s journey in the store while eliminating the need for retailers to deploy, integrate and manage two separate technologies.
MPact’s c-suite of components include:
• Bluetooth Smart beacons, which transmit radio signals to smart phones/tablets, can operate in various modes including Apple’s iBeacon;
• Apple iOS and Android client software development kits for integration into loyalty applications for shopper smartphones/tablets; and
An installation application and cloud-based server software with floor plan views, shopper traffic flow insight with analytics and Bluetooth Smart beacon management capabilities.