Posts tagged with Retail

swoon for monsoon

A swoop through Swoon, a boon for Monsoon

Monsoon has launched Swoon, a shoppable monthly magazine for tablets (but also working well on desktop). It's full of products and rich content and was built by Rockabox Studios on the Ceros design platform.

With the prices of Monsoon apparel comparable with Cos – middle to upper high street pricing - and the more artisan pieces pricier still, at more than £300, this feels like a good move.

The image of Monsoon has perhaps slipped in recent years and lost some of its chic or urbanity. I can see this campaign of shoppable magazines as a step towards bringing this firmly back to the brand, which needs to highlight the quality of its clothing, including its hand-embellished pieces.

The launch of a shoppable magazine is in line with many other brands seeking to bring more editorial and clustering to their offerings. Net-A-Porter has launched a mag, M&S has mixed up its website with plenty of content and trailblazers ASOS and TopShop have been doing this for a while.

Let’s take a more detailed look at Swoon.

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happy store associates

Five retailers using NFC and RFID to enhance shopping: but do they work?

Let's take a look at who is using this technology in retail.

I'm not looking at payment here, which NFC has been mired in, merely how the shopping experience can be enhanced.

I'll get a few things off my chest about what works and what doesn't. First, a super quick differentiation between the two technologies.

Near field communication (NFC) is capable of two way communication, so payment (a debit and credit) for example, or even in medicine (a tag in your skin could send vital signs to your smartphone), and it works only at short distances. NFC can be used more basically, to simply transmit set information to a phone or tablet.

Radio frequency identification (RFID) has been around for yonks, the tags only transmit information, to an RFID reader (an NFC enabled phone or tablet such as an Android can be used as a reader, but for an iPhone a separate reader is required). These tags have been traditionally used in stock control.

There's bluetooth low energy (e.g. iBeacons) in the mix, too. However, many of the uses of beacons have been for push messaging to customers.

In this piece I'm not going to be talking about geofencing which can be done with RFID, GPS or low energy bluetooth (iBeacons). I'll be focusing on active rather than passive engagement, though I'll discuss iBeacons in my conclusion (as they're rapidly taking hold in many of the same scenarios).

Right, now that's taken care of, let's dive in...

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kitkat store japan

Concept stores: what do they mean for customer experience?

After the demise of HMV, many were quick to plan the future of retail.

Econsultancy got in on the act, too, suggesting ways in which the internet could save the high street.

The consensus seemed to be that experiences on the high street would be more important than mere commerce. Why go into a store if the journey of finding a product and taking it to the till to pay is as boring as it is online?

Over the past three years or so, I think we have seen the resurgence of the concept store. In fact, I think retail has woken up to the value of service, great product display, interactivity, digital technology and a great shopping experience.

Here, I've taken a look at some of the concept stores out there, and what they mean for customer experience.

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target app

Target and Argos: Is the multichannel catalogue taking off?

There are many retailers that have trialled image recognition technology in their catalogues.

The tech allows the retailer's app users to scan and shop or access additional content. So far, it seems to have been a test-and-learn activity from brands such as Net-A-Porter (as part of their magazine, Porter) and IKEA (which has focused on additional content rather than commerce).

Target is new to shoppable catalogues this month and Argos has further enhanced its now Aurasma-powered offering. Both of these huge retailers I think have found good use cases.

Let's take a look.

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hubba logo

Start Me Up! Hubba: the free product information network

Hubba is about keeping all that product information in one place, where everyone can access it and where the data is fit for use in marketing and commerce.

I asked the team about their future. Here's what they had to say...

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tom cruise in minority report

48 quotes from the Future of Digital Marketing

What does the future hold for digital marketing, ecommerce and retail?

That's the question the speakers at Econsultancy's Future of Digital Marketing conference try to answer every year.

Here are 48 quotes from 2014's event, ranging from wearables to China, digital transformation to user interfaces, retail to the smart home.

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Five ways ecommerce sites can boost profits

Profit margins determine whether businesses sink or swim and this is especially true in the hypercompetitive ecommerce industry.

So what can retailers do to improve profit margins?

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shop

How does Google influence the retail customer journey?

Google has a big impact on the retail shopping journey, both online and off. 

I’ve previously written about the smartphone customer journey, but given increases in Android market share, retail sales, the proportion of retail sales online, and mobile sales, I thought I should take another look.

So, how does the customer interact with Google services in the course of her journey to purchase?

Be prepared for a stat-fest, from search to mobile, YouTube to in-store.

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Window shopping has gone virtual. Are you ready?

36% of the top 100 brand sites in the UK have not been optimised for mobile and yet we’re seeing window shopping going virtual.

So if your mobile site isn’t ready, you’re missing out on the first stage of the buying process.

Even if shoppers don’t trust their touch-screen devices enough to make the final purchase via a mobile connection, they are definitely using it to browse, share and fill up their baskets.

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Grocery retailers need to catch up to consumer expectations on mobile: stats

Adapting grocery retail for the mobile customer does present a number of challenges. 

As shopping habits change in line with the availability of better technology, faster connectivity, improved usability and the proliferation of responsive web design, the standard for what consumers consider a satisfying ecommerce experience on mobile is becoming a high one to match.

Savvy Marketing has recently published a report on the digital shopper landscape in which it surveys 1,000 consumers on their ecommerce habits.

It reveals the technology and functionality that shoppers expect retailers and brands to provide currently or in the very near future.

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pier 1 imports store

How Pier 1 Imports prioritized customer experience online and in store

If you don't live in the US and need some background on Pier 1, the company was founded in 1962 and did $1.8bn revenue in 2013.

There are more than 1,000 stores in the US, with the brand importing goods from more than 30 countries.

The company has been on a steep learning curve in its ecommerce business and has come a long way in the last two years. Now in-store and online are increasingly integrated, with Pier 1 committed at all levels of the organisation to providing a consistent customer experience.

I was at Demandware's Xchange 2014 conference, where I listened to Andy Laudato, CIO at Pier 1 imports, as he discussed the company's journey from having to close a poor performing ecommerce website in 2007, to efficiently joining up online and offline business today.

Andy gave some context for the current state of retail and then shared some really interesting stats from Pier 1's work. Take a look.

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Four things to avoid when creating a tablet experience for customers

Nothing frustrates the mobile consumer more than forcing them to view your desktop site on mobile.

Today’s consumers are educated and nimble on mobile and their expectations are significantly heightened when engaging a brand on tablet.

With 43% of tablet users spending more time on tablet than on desktop, companies are increasingly optimizing tablet browsing and shopping to make it easier for consumers who want a seamless experience across all channels.

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