Retailers Push Loyalty Programs to Compete With Amazon

Last month, Amazon earmarked $800 million to guarantee one-day delivery for its Prime members. That’s another blow for U.S. department stores struggling to find ways to retain their customers against the Amazon onslaught. One important way they’ve done this is to focus on loyalty programs. According to market intelligence company Beroe, the U.S. loyalty program sector was worth between $27 billion and $55 billion in 2018 and is expected to continue to grow by 2 percent to 4 percent between then and 2020. Continue reading Retailers Push Loyalty Programs to Compete With Amazon

HPA 2018: Real Networks Explores the Future of T-Commerce

T-Commerce, which allows consumers to buy items they see on TV shows directly from their set, is not new. Predicted since the 1980s, it’s appeared as Enhanced TV, T-Commerce and Shopification. The idea that a viewer could simply click on a sweater worn by her favorite sitcom character and purchase it is heady, but the difficulty of making items clickable frame-by-frame was (and is) a massive stumbling block. At the HPA Tech Retreat, RealNetworks described its T-Commerce solution, powered by computer vision. Continue reading HPA 2018: Real Networks Explores the Future of T-Commerce

Insiders Say Amazon Close to Launching its Own Sportswear

Amazon is reportedly getting ready to enter the private-label sportswear business, through initial deals with Taiwanese vendors including Makalot Industrial Co. and Eclat Textile Co., say people familiar with the matter. Makalot produces clothing for popular retailers such as The Gap, Kohl’s and Uniqlo, while Eclat makes apparel for Lululemon Athletica, Nike and Under Armour. Insiders suggest that no long-term contracts have been signed yet, since the project is so new and the manufacturers have thus far only produced small amounts as part of a trial.

Continue reading Insiders Say Amazon Close to Launching its Own Sportswear

Mall Owners Reinvent Their Properties in Online Shopping Era

As a number of retailers go bankrupt due to the consumer migration to online shopping, mall owners are adjusting strategies to make their real estate and facilities more appealing. These changes have included turning malls into destinations, with everything from rock-climbing gyms and mini-golf courses to restaurants and bars. The major remodels will mean higher rents for new tenants but, even so, say the experts, it’s uncertain that the mall owners are taking into account the increased expenses of running large customized spaces. Continue reading Mall Owners Reinvent Their Properties in Online Shopping Era

Pinterest Develops Image-Discovery App for Mobile Shopping

San Francisco-based Pinterest plans to unveil an image-discovery app aimed at jumpstarting a new kind of consumer shopping. The user points his smartphone camera at anything, taps dots over the object for recommendations of similar items, and the app searches 75 billion images for a visual match. Currently, Pinterest, valued at $11 billion, makes its revenue from advertising. With the image-discovery app, Pinterest could transform the company by encouraging consumers to embrace mobile shopping. Continue reading Pinterest Develops Image-Discovery App for Mobile Shopping

Amazon, Microsoft Lead Boom in Cloud Services for Enterprise

As big companies such as General Electric and Netflix close down their data centers and move operations to the cloud, Amazon and Microsoft are enjoying rising revenues in their cloud operations — and increasing competition between each other. In the process, they’re also gaining dominance over rivals including Google and IBM. Recently, GE has reported whittling down its reliance on data centers from 34 to four. Netflix closed its last data center at the end of last summer. Continue reading Amazon, Microsoft Lead Boom in Cloud Services for Enterprise

Picking Up Online Orders at Stores a Hassle for Customers

The “click-and-collect” method of shopping is not as easy as it sounds. This type of shopping allows customers to place orders online and pick up their purchases at a physical store just a few hours later. However, one study found that 60 percent of these orders were not completed correctly on Cyber Monday. Some stores made customers wait for more than an hour, gave customers the wrong item, or simply had to cancel orders because the store ran out of stock. Continue reading Picking Up Online Orders at Stores a Hassle for Customers

Wanelo: Like a Digital Mall That Makes Online Shopping Social

Deena Varshavskaya launched Wanelo, a platform for both online shopping and social networking, in 2012. Two years later, the site has 11 million users and access to 12 million products and 300,000 stores worldwide, from big brand names to small boutiques. The image-intensive site allows users to browse, share, and purchase products immediately. Wanelo does not stock the products itself, but rather, every product is linked to a store’s online site. Continue reading Wanelo: Like a Digital Mall That Makes Online Shopping Social

Marketing Cloud: Oracle to Acquire Responsys for $1.5 Billion

Oracle announced on Friday that it will purchase marketing software company Responsys for about $1.5 billion ($27 per share). Responsys software will be integrated in the Oracle Marketing Cloud. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has spent about $50 billion in acquisitions over the past decade, as part of the company’s push toward cloud computing and away from software stored on personal computers and servers. The proposed transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2014. Continue reading Marketing Cloud: Oracle to Acquire Responsys for $1.5 Billion

Big Data: Retailers Experiment Tracking Shoppers In-Store

Nordstrom recently tested new technology in their stores in order to learn more about their customers. The system tracked customers’ movements by following their smartphone Wi-Fi signals while in the store. Nordstrom’s system is similar to what online retailers do to track customers’ online movements. Nordstrom is one of many retailers that are using in-store tracking and monitoring technologies, yet there are concerns of privacy. Continue reading Big Data: Retailers Experiment Tracking Shoppers In-Store

Retailers Need Social Media Strategies to Drive Engagement

A recent marketing study by research firm Vision Critical questions whether companies are using social tools such as Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest to effectively connect with customers. The study suggests that companies may not be fully utilizing the Big Data available to them. Vision Critical suggests that different social media platforms should be approached in different ways, based on the purchasing behavior of consumers and how social media influences their decisions. Continue reading Retailers Need Social Media Strategies to Drive Engagement

Retail: Pinterest Coming Soon to a Nordstrom Store Near You

Department store chain Nordstrom is bringing Pinterest into its locations with a trial program in order to better engage with its customers both online and in the physical space. The retailer has a significant presence on the social networking site, more than its closest competitors combined. Nordstrom is integrating its products posted on Pinterest with the same products at its retail locations. It is also using Pinterest for its inventory management system. Continue reading Retail: Pinterest Coming Soon to a Nordstrom Store Near You