Walmart Sinks in American Customer Satisfaction Index

Posted by Dale Buss on February 18, 2015 04:52 PM

Walmart everyday low price store

US consumers are less and less enamored of brick-and-mortar physical retailers but gaining satisfaction with online retailers such as Amazon, according to the new retail report by the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

The news from the survey of 70,000 US customers is especially bad for Walmart, which was named America's "most-hated" retail brand in the report, and a handful of other stalwart traditional-retail brands. But it's especially good for Nordstrom.

The researchers noted that "with the exception of internet retail, all retail categories show weakening or flat customer satisfaction" for its latest retail temperature check. Factors cited include higher prices, especially by discounters, while department stores and specialty retailers were relatively unscathed.Continue reading...

detroit auto show

NAIAS 2015: Ford Futurist Sheryl Connelly on Why Generation Z Matters

Posted by Dale Buss on January 13, 2015 05:07 PM

Ford 2015 trends report NAIAS Sheryl Connelly

Ford is the only auto company with a resident futurist on staff, and Sheryl Connelly's crystal ball certainly gets a fierce workout as her company tries to figure out how to invest billions of dollars a year in big bets on technology, features and services to better connect with consumers—and stand out in an industry that arguably has more moving pieces, and is more affected by trends, than any other.

And as she continues to advise colleagues and annually publish a trends-to-watch outlook of her considered prognostications for the year ahead, Connelly's renown outside the industry is growing. She recently brainstormed with the World Economic Forum for topics and themes for the agenda at WEF's upcoming annual meeting in Davos.

Ford looks to Connelly not only to help shape its own priorities and investments, such as the mobility vision outlined last week at CES 2015, but to share insights into trends with the industry at large.Continue reading...

tech style

eBay Brings Digital Chic, Bespoke Big Data to Rebecca Minkoff's New Stores

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 12, 2014 03:06 PM

eBay is partnering with tech-savvy fashion brand Rebecca Minkoff to bring immersive digital technology to the designer's foray into brick-and-mortar stores.

The first of four high-tech boutiques will open on Saturday in New York's Soho area, followed by a San Francisco store (in the Pacific Heights neighborhood) that will open shortly thereafter and stores in Los Angeles (on Melrose Avenue) and Tokyo next year.

While the stores are permanent, eBay has signed on for a one-year (minimum) partnership to bring its e-commerce prowess to Minkoff's first stores, powering touch screen interactive displays and digital fitting rooms designed with her customers—omnichannel-savvy, sophisticated and fashion-forward shoppers—in mind.Continue reading...

mobile commerce

Target Snaps Up Mobile Shopping Innovation with Image Recognition App

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 23, 2014 01:49 PM

Whoever tries to hack into Target’s data next is going to have a lot more to dig through. The retailer's new app, In a Snap, aims at improving its foothold in the mobile shopping space by allowing users to take pictures of Target products in print (magazines, catalogs and newspapers) and then simply click to buy.

The free app, which uses advanced image recognition technology, allows consumers to have their product shipped or held for them at a local store—all part of Target's big push to ramp up e-commerce and click-and-collect efforts as it continues to feel the pressure from Amazon, Walmart, and fast-fashion retailers. In a Snap joins Target's other app, Cartwheel, which serves as a coupon-serving shopping companion. 

“It’s a single-purpose app that will appeal to Millennials and college students or anyone not averse to downloading an app,” Target spokesman Eddie Baeb told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

The app's launch is timed to Target advertising running in Real Simple and Domino magazines, part of the brand's back to school campaign for college-aged consumers with a new registry and web video series, Best Year Ever, that features YouTube stars helping students with dorm room makeovers.Continue reading...


In Your Face: A Post-Selfie Selfridges Charts the Future of Beauty

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 5, 2014 11:14 AM

Mirror, mirror on Selfridges’ wall, you are the fairest of them all! The so-iconic-there's-a-TV-show-about-its-founder British retailer Selfridges is known for upending tradition. Case in point: its groundbreaking (if headscratching to some) unbranded "No Noise" shopping experiment last year.

Fast forward to 2014, and the cheeky retailer is at it again. Its flagship store on London's famed Oxford Street—the second biggest store in the U.K. after Harrods—is trouncing traditional mores about how to define beauty in this era of selfies with The Beauty Project, its biggest campaign this year, and one that seeks to redefine how we define—or if we should forget defining and just celebrate—beauty. Given its socially-savvy approach, consider this a Selfieridges campaign and an effort to challenge consumers to open their minds. It's another radical approach from the brand, considering that most retailers just want consumers to open their wallets.

The massive in-store and marketing effort puts the spotlight on diversity and features curated “talks, interactive debates and immersive beauty experiences” inside-and-out, across digital, out of home, social media, and in local events. Launched May 1 and running through June 12, it’s Selfridges’s largest marketing investment of the year, and bears attention from other brands for its savvy use of social media—in particular, video and Google+.Continue reading...


Will Mondelez's 'Smart Shelves' Change Retail or Just Add to Privacy Woes?

Posted by Barry Silverstein on October 16, 2013 03:02 PM

In little more than a year, some retail shelves may actually be able to identify consumers who are most likely to purchase certain snacks, thanks to Mondelez International. The $35 billion global foods giant, which spun off from Kraft Foods just over a year ago with a name intended to evoke "delicious world," markets such snack brands as Cadbury, Certs, Oreo, and Trident.

In 2015, the company plans to introduce "smart shelves" with sensors designed to detect the age and sex of consumers. Then, advanced analytics will associate the right type of snack product with each consumer, and a video display will target consumers with appropriate ads and promotions. 

Mondelez wants to place its smart shelves as close as possible to the point of sale—right near the checkout aisles to track and possibly encourage last-minute impulse buys. Mark Dajani, the CIO of Mondelez, told the Wall Street Journal, "When people walk by, it's a missed opportunity. We must know how the consumer behaves in the store. ...Knowing that a consumer is showing interest in the product gives us the opportunity to engage with them in real-time."Continue reading...

tech innovation

Grocery Chains Get Much-Needed Update Thanks to Tech Innovations in the Aisle

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 9, 2013 06:45 PM

Checking out with the scan of a finger? Having farm fresh produce delivered to your doorstep? These are no longer futuristic ideas but real tech being applied to life's most mundane task: grocery shopping. 

The latest in-aisle innovations include digital price signs, real-time promotions based on the time of day, smart shopping carts and bar code scanners on mobile devices, many of which are already being utilized by some of the world's biggest retailers like Walmart, Target and Tesco. 

"You have an industry that's been kind of stuck in time," Scott Mushkin, an analyst at Wolfe Research, told the Los Angeles Times. "Grocers have to invest. Their business models have been under so much pressure, they're fighting for their lives."

And investing they are. The $518 billion grocery industry has essentially been the last retail sector to take advantage of technological innovations that have come along with the surge of mobile usage. With smarter and more informed customers, grocers are constantly being pushed to be a step ahead, offering more intuitive service and better values.Continue reading...

shopper insights

Collective Bias Turns Bloggers into Brand Ambassadors

Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 16, 2013 10:47 AM

Social Shopper pioneer Collective Bias has iterated marketing messaging to new heights with a community of 1,400 influencers doing the heavy-lifting for brands.

“We believe that social shopper marketing is the evolution of shopper media, and supplants tired traditional media like FSI’s, retail circulars and digital display advertising,” said John Andrews, co-founder and CEO of Collective Bias. The company, founded in 2009 and headquartered in Arkansas, just received $10.5 million in funding led by Updata Partners to grow its platform where brands such as Tyson, Nestle and Smart & Final pay for their products to be covered by relevant bloggers who push that content across social media. 

Named one of America's Most Promising Companies in 2013 by Forbes, their proprietary Social Fabric community of shopping-centric influencers has an aggregate reach of over 50 million, as the company claims its bloggers have an average reach of 40,000.Continue reading...

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