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How is retail being changed by digital?
What better way to find out than by looking at six icons of retail, three from the US (Macy's, Walmart, Walgreens) and three from the UK (John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, and Boots).
Here are their digital transformation journeys, as they fight to compete with online and agile competitors.
You may all be thinking about going on your hollibobs, but there's never a dull week in digital.
This week's news is a rattlebag of Facebook updates, ecommerce buyouts, ad spend revelations, and....cats.
In 2012, Jerry Storch, then the CEO of Toys R Us, told attendees at the Shop.org conference that stores will never die thanks to omni-channel retail.
Since that time, many traditional retailers have invested heavily in omni-channel initiatives that seem wise, at least on the surface.
But are retailers' omni-channel hopes really delusions?
Many retailers resort to sales and discounts to boost sales.
However, smarter retailers have demonstrated there's more to it than that.
Earlier this month, Google announced that it was giving mobile users the ability to order food directly from its search results, signaling the possibility that the next phase of search's evolution will be transactionalization.
As I wrote at the time, "it's not hard to imagine Google applying transactional functionality to other types of search," and product search seemed like one of the most obvious search categories ripe for transactional features.
Valentine’s Day is on Saturday but most retailers have been gearing up to it for several weeks.
I received my first Valentine’s promotional email on January 19, close to a month before the day itself.
Black Friday has come and gone, leaving my inbox full to the brim with tempting offers and discounts.
Thanksgiving sales have been big business in the US for many years but they’re now starting to catch on among UK retailers as well.
One of the biggest barriers for customers about to use a checkout is forcing them to register their details first.
Presenting them with page after page of forms in which they need to fill out the most unnecessary of personal details is a quick way to send your customers to the exit, leaving many abandoned baskets and lowering your conversion.
Earlier today I looked at 30 UK retailers and which ones force their customers to register, now it's time to turn our attention to the USA.
Email is a versatile marketing channel. For example, it can be used to deliver a content strategy, to maintain customer relationships, or to promote new products.
However over at Macy’s, email is really only used for one thing – offering discounts and money off.
In fact I’ve noticed that for the past few months the only marketing messages I’ve received from Macy’s are those that promote a seasonal sale or special offer.
Email is a very effective sales tool, with respondents in Econsultancy’s Email Marketing Census stating that it delivers the best ROI of any digital marketing channel.
Discounts or offers are a common tactic and can drive high volumes of sales, however Macy’s approach is overkill.
I have to go back three weeks to 25 August to find a subject line that didn’t mention some kind of sale or discount, but since then I’ve received 12 other sales emails.
Mobile marketing is still a developing industry and one that does suffer something of an image problem.
Taken purely in terms of clickthroughs and conversions mobile ads don’t always deliver the best returns, so it’s up to the mobile networks to continue improving ad units while also convincing marketers that it’s not all about clicks.
To assist in this endeavour, I’ve rounded up eight case studies of mobile marketing campaigns that proved to be a success.
For more in-depth case studies, head over to our Case Study Database which is available to Econsultancy subscribers.
And for more on this topic download the Econsultancy Mobile Marketing and Commerce Report or read my post looking at eight great examples of mobile marketing from Southeast Asia.
Over the past few weeks online retailers have begun unveiling tools aimed at inspiring shoppers as they search for Christmas gift ideas.
I’m unconvinced as to whether these features have any impact on sales as they often appear a bit gimmicky, but judging by their popularity among retailers they presumably achieve some kind of ROI.
I’ve already reviewed Argos’ rather quirky Gift Finder which offers a unique browsing experience at the expense of usability, so in the interest of fairness thought it would be interesting to take a look at how other brands are catering to Christmas shoppers.
Here’s what I came up with...
Research shows that stories, anecdotes and metaphors are more memorable than data.
At Searchlove last week, business consultant and author Danny Scheinmann discussed why stories work, the hidden structures behind them and how they can help your business to communicate effectively.