TECHNOLOGY

Gifting goes digital at Kenneth Cole

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

A fashion and shoe retailer is giving its consumers a new way to purchase gifts online, just in time for the holiday season’s kick-off.

Through a partnership with Loop Commerce, Kenneth Cole is integrating a digital-gifting platform that supports a full set of digital gifting options. This includes the company’s GiftNow service that enables consumers to purchase and instantly deliver any product online, as well as the ability to share digital gift cards and corporate gifting options.

Through GiftNow, shoppers can select, purchase and send an item right through product pages and at the retailer’s checkout page. When shoppers gift a product, they choose how the recipient is notified — via email, text or social media. Once the recipient receives their gift, they can configure the gift to suit his or her preferences, whether it is size, style or color, or even exchange it prior to shipping. The physical gift is then shipped to the address the recipient chooses.

For shoppers that share Kenneth Cole digital gift cards, recipients instantly receive notification that their gift card has arrived, and can start shopping immediately on the Kenneth Cole site. Similarly, Kenneth Cole corporate customers can seamlessly send clients, partners, vendors and employees specific gifts (any product can be selected and given) or digital gift cards in bulk from the retailer.

“At Kenneth Cole, it is imperative that we continue to innovate in the digital space in order to provide our customers with the best possible shopping experience,” said T.J. Papp, VP of consumer direct, Kenneth Cole.

“By enabling a full set of digital gifting options, we’re ensuring that shoppers’ every need is met in a stress and risk-free, yet thoughtful and exciting way,” Papp added. “We are proud to be providing the kind of innovative, seamless digital shopping experience that our customers expect from us, just in time for the gift-giving season.”

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TECHNOLOGY

H&M uses ‘chat app’ to connect employees company-wide

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

A fast-fashion retailer is making it easier for its associates to share information.

H&M has added the Retail Social Collaboration Platform from Convo, technology that supports secure, real-time, two-way communication and collaboration between more than 15,000 employees across over 500 locations in the United States. The platform, which provides task management and chat apps, eliminates corporate email for non-desk employees — a large majority of H&M’s workforce.

The solution encourages in-depth discussions through context-aware threads and visual feedback, and all conversions are accessible to all employees, regardless of the device they use. Teams are able to use posts and comments to communicate store updates, including styles per store and seasonal sales; store interior designs, merchandise displays, and ideas for customer-first competitions. Meanwhile, corporate employees can use the solution to poll employees, launch campaigns, recognize top performers and provide updates on employee benefits.

The solution resonates with H&M’s young workers who grew up on social media, operate on instant information, and rely on their mobile phones, according to the company.

“With a geographically dispersed workforce that is 80% mobile, it’s crucial for us to connect in one place,” said Luca Michelangeli, marketing manager for H&M USA, a division of H&M.

“Convo provides a simple way to do that,” Michelangeli added. “Its user interface and real-time feed are very familiar and similar to other commonly used social platforms. When we rolled this out to our employees, they knew how to use it immediately.”

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TECHNOLOGY

Untuckit invests in physical store network

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

After establishing its brand online, Untuckit is now working to enhance the store experience at its growing brick-and-mortar portfolio.

The fast-growing brand, whose signature shirts are made to be worn untucked, is adding a platform that will help its stores adopt more scalable omnichannel capabilities. Using NewStore’s omnichannel-as-a-service architecture, Untuckit can support clienteling, endless aisle, mobile checkout, and omnichannel fulfillment.

The platform enables store associates to connect meaningfully with customers through mobility, and offer inventory visibility for real-time access. The platform also provides customers with an array of modern fulfillment options, such as buy online pick up in store (BOPIS) and buy online return in store (BORIS). NewStore also supports endless aisle functionality, and the company’s new mobile POS, an iPad-based system that enables associates to process in-store transactions, as well as place online orders for customers.

The platform has been rolled out in 41 Untuckit stores — 40 locations in the United States and one in Canada.

“As we experience rapid growth, especially continuing our international expansion, we’re in a transitional period where our business will greatly benefit from an omnichannel approach,” said Aaron Sanandres, co-founder and CEO, Untuckit, which was one of the winners of Chain Store Age’s Breakout Retailers Awards in 2018. “What NewStore has built makes our store associates more productive and our stores more profitable. This partnership will help us scale rapidly, while providing an exceptional experience our customers expect and deserve.”

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