TECHNOLOGY

Target expands popular pickup service

BY Marianne Wilson

Target Corp. is rolling out curbside pickup to two new markets.

The discounter has expanded its “Drive Up” service to California and Colorado as part of its ongoing effort to make the service available nationwide. The service lets customers place orders in the Target app, then have their items brought out to their car by a store associate.

Target debuted Drive Up in October, and it is now in place at the chain’s stores in dozens of states. The retailer said it is on track to offer the service at nearly 1,000 stores by the holiday season.

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Fleet Feet
TECHNOLOGY

Athletic footwear retailer gets more personal with store shoppers

BY Marianne Wilson

Fleet Feet is making its in-store shopping experience more customized.

The retailer is launching two new proprietary programs to further enhance and personalize the customer experience — “Fit Engine” and “User Profiles.”

The programs work in conjunction with Fleet Feet’s 3D foot-scanning technology (“fit id”) which it launched nationwide in 2017. The technology outputs measurements that store associates use to better personalize solutions for customers based on their individual needs.

Using the data collected from fit id, Fit Engine reflects the most commonly selected shoe size and width based on the purchase decisions of other customers with similar foot shapes and measurements. The purchase decisions display on a bell curve, so the store associate can showcase and display the full range of outcomes from most to least common for customers based on their foot size and shape.

“There’s power in data, which Fit Engine provides to our store outfitters to help the customer make an informed choice,” says Victor Ornelas, director of brand management and the project manager for fit id for Fleet Feet. “Coupled with the new User Profiles feature, which both tracks how a customer’s feet evolve and records answers pertaining to their running habits and goals, these additions allow for more personalized product recommendations from the store outfitter to best equip customers on their individual running journeys.”

With customers now able to receive personalized data to their email within seconds, the innovations further showcase Fleet Feet’s focus on the digitally connected consumer, and are projected to propel the company’s growth considerably, according to the retailer. So far in 2018, the brand has shown positive increases in year-to-date same-store sales, ticket count, and overall growth.

Fleet Feet has plans to take customization to the next level by working with vendor partners to offer 3D-printed products, such as insoles and footwear. It is also preparing for customized product lines based on fit id data and feedback from the company’s franchisees and customers. The Ikoni, launching exclusively at Fleet Feet in September from the Finnish running brand Karhu, features a shoe last informed by the foot measurements of over 100,000 customers scanned with fit id.

Founded in 1976, Fleet Feet is the largest franchisor of locally-owned and operated running stores with 177 locations in 37 states and a national headquarters in Carrboro, North Carolina.

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TECHNOLOGY

Six digital trends to stay on top of

BY Marianne Wilson

Mobile ad spending, smart speaker adoption, and augmented reality are among six digital trends on a watch list compiled by eMarketer.

Here is eMarketer’s take on six trends that retailers need to understand now:

1. Mobile Eats the World
Mobile, at $75 billion, will capture 33.9% of total US media ad spending this year, surpassing TV for the first time. By 2022, mobile’s share will climb to 47.9%.

TV will capture 31.6% of total U.S. media ad spending in 2018. TV ad spending will drop 0.5% to $69.87 billion. By 2022, TV’s share will slip to 24.8%. Nearly 70% of digital advertising will go to mobile formats.

2. Alexa, Are Voice Assistants the Next Big Thing?
Stronger-than-expected adoption of smart speakers this year means the number of U.S. adult smart speaker users, 61.1 million, will surpass that of wearable users, 50.1 million, for the first time.

Additionally, smart speakers are changing how consumers find and buy products — 17.2 million consumers, which is 28.2% of smart speaker users, will purchase a product through voice this year, nearly two times the 8.6 million in 2017.

3. Digital Video’s Ad Share Is Accelerating
The growth rate of U.S. digital video ad spending is faster than previously anticipated, reaching $29.61 billion in 2022. Traditional (linear) TV ad spending will follow a downward trend after 2020, dipping to $68.13 billion in 2022.

4. Augmented Reality Breaks Out
The global AR market will be worth more than $165 billion in 2024. And 58.8 million people in the U.S. will use AR by 2019. That’s 17.7% of the population.

5. The Promise of Personalization
Marketers are striving for greater, more sophisticated personalization through consumer experiences and messaging. Why? Deeper connection. Greater relevance. Stronger loyalty. But only a third of senior decision makers believe their companies are successful at personalizing customer experiences.

6. Trust in Digital, Brand Safety at a Crossroad
Consumers are quick to say they don’t trust the institutions that marketers depend on to get their messages out — media and entertainment companies and social media platforms — and they really don’t believe that marketing and advertising is trustworthy.

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