TECHNOLOGY

Report: Discount giant raising some online prices

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Walmart is reportedly testing a new pricing strategy to drive customers into its stores.

The discount giant is reportedly boosting the prices on some of its online merchandise, with the increases are being applied to some food and household items, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Walmart has tripled its online assortments for the holiday season, and has also expanding its in-store assortment, for the holidays by adding more exclusive products and brands. The lower in-store prices is Walmart’s latest move to get shoppers back inside of the store. In addition to an in-store pickup option, the discounter, in April, announced a ship -to-store discount to shoppers that are willing to have out-of-stock merchandise shipped to a store for pickup, instead of their homes. It is also a move that enables the discounter to leverage its fleet of 4,700 stores — an advantage it has over its online rival, Amazon.

 

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TECHNOLOGY

Footwear brand steps up with new global planning solution

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Clarks is making sure it has the right product available at the right time — regardless of the market or channel its customers are shopping in.

In line with its global business transformation, the footwear brand is adding the JDA Retail Planning and Intelligent Fulfillment solutions. The technology will help the company create a global planning process that aligns the company’s central and far-reaching regional operations.

For example, Clarks manages an archive of more than 22,000 styles, and has over 23,000 distribution points stretched across retail, joint venture, franchise, wholesale and digital channels — a foundation that helps the company sell in excess of 50 million pairs of shoes each year. However, this vast network is complex to manage.

By adding JDA Retail Planning, Clarks is positioned to become a more agile business and ensure customers receive the right product, in the right quantity and at the right time across any channel. The solution will help Clarks build localized assortments for stores and targeted assortments for key accounts and regions that align with corporate objectives.

Meanwhile, by deploying the JDA Intelligent Fulfillment solution, Clarks will gain advanced allocation and distribution processes. Specifically, the company will better anticipate the omnichannel demand, and secure high and profitable availability of stock, across all channels.

The two solutions will work in tandem to increase efficiency, drive sales and increase consumer satisfaction across all channels, the company said.

“Being able to forecast, plan, source and fulfill orders in a much more intelligent manner will enable us to increase customer satisfaction and further our growth, ensuring that we remain at the forefront of shoemaking,” Mike Shearwood, CEO at Clarks. “JDA’s strong heritage in retail and wholesale, along with its best-in-class technology, gives us huge confidence in achieving this goal and will help us become a more agile and efficient business.”

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TECHNOLOGY

Study: Digital strategies top retailers’ holiday wish lists

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Savvy retailers will use digital marketing strategies to drive traffic to both their e-commerce and physical locations this holiday season.

For example, almost 60% of retailers confirmed that their websites are optimized for mobile — a crucial step to keep digital customers engaged as they search for gifts and make purchase decisions both at home and in-store. Optimization is a must, according to Google, since 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site with which they struggled, and 40% will opt for a competitor’s site following a bad experience.

This was according to the “2017 Small Business Holiday Trends Report,” from Netsertive. The report surveyed more than 500 small and local businesses across the United States.

It’s important for businesses to meet their customers on the channels where they spend the most time and social media definitely meets this criteria. That said, over 55% of retailers plan to use social media as part of their sales strategy this holiday season. Hoping to tap their share of more than 2 billion Facebook users, more than 50% of small and local retailers plan to use Facebook advertising to get buyers in the door.

“With 90% of retail sales still taking place in stores, local businesses have a huge opportunity to drive online customers to brick-and-mortar locations this holiday season,” said Brendan Morrissey, CEO and co-founder of Netsertive. “Shoppers are using the web to figure out what gifts to buy, choose brands and decide where to make a purchase.”

Smaller retailers expect digital strategies will help them compete this holiday season, including digital giants like Amazon. While they don’t have the breadth of Amazon, almost 70% don’t believe that the online giant will impact their holiday sales. Retailers are learning to co-exist with e-commerce players, and even partner with them for a variety of services, including advertising, selling and fulfillment.

Despite these partnerships, especially on the marketing side of the house, 60% of small and local retailers are not using marketing assets from their brand partners — which means they are missing out on an opportunity to win business with their brand’s content and promotions. Most brands set aside co-op marketing dollars in their marketing budgets to support local retailer efforts, yet more than $14 billion of these funds remain unused each year.

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