Richemont’s costly e-commerce investments lead to a tenuous boost

Glossy – In 2018, French luxury group Richemont made some major investments into the e-commerce space, acquiring Yoox Net-a-Porter and pre-owned watch seller Watchfinder, and now there’s some indication as to how those investments are paying off. On Friday, Richemont released its annual earnings report for fiscal 2019, showing what acquiring these two companies had done for Richemont as a whole.

The short version is that Net-a-Porter and Watchfinder, which Richemont chairman Johann Rupert referred to as “our online distributors,” have been significant boosts to the company’s overall earnings, but have only begun to justify the massive costs associated with acquiring and operating them.

“It is rare to find retailers that are exclusively physical or online, as consumers expect both,” said David Naumann, vp of marketing at Boston Retail Partners. “Richemont’s investment in luxury e-commerce companies has been a great way to diversify its portfolio from brand, product category and channel perspectives.”

Read Full Article: Richemont’s costly e-commerce investments lead to a tenuous boost 

BRP Report: Consumers Want Personalized, Consistent Experience Across Channels

Convenience Store Decisions – Consumers want a personalized and consistent experience across channels, but according to BRP’s (retail consulting firm) 2019 Unified Commerce Survey of top North American retailers, only 28% of retailers offer a shared cart across channels. Consumers now start and stop their shopping journey in different channels, including online marketplaces and social media, and frequently shop for the same product across different retailers, both online and in the store.

Consumers expect a frictionless shopping experience across an entire brand and they don’t want disruptions as they cross individual channels or locations. In fact, according to the recent BRP Consumer Study, 87% of consumers are interested in a personalized and consistent experience across channels. Today’s consumers expect their experience to be seamless as their “shopping cart” and browsing history follows them throughout their journey.

“The growth of online and mobile is driving the demand for increased digital capabilities bundled with personalization across all channels,” said Perry Kramer, senior vice president and practice lead at BRP. “To succeed in this demanding environment, retailers must undergo a transformation as they move to a true unified commerce approach to deliver the convergence of the digital and physical shopping experiences and create a holistic customer shopping experience.”

Read full article: BRP Report: Consumers Want Personalized, Consistent Experience Across Channels

Things to consider when looking for a new POS System

US Foods – The meteoric rise in mobile orders and payment options has made time more precious than ever. If your point of sale system can’t keep up, you’ll feel it in your bottom line. A POS that keeps things moving, by contrast, will pay for itself.

The POS system at Odd Duck in Austin, Texas, for example, has helped reduce drink wait times and overall turn times on tables, says general manager Jason James. The efficiency of the Toast POS allowed Odd Duck to add a new section, including five tables, that generate $250,000 to $500,000 in annual sales. Before making any changes, however, be sure to ask plenty of questions, including the following ones.

“(Diners) want ease of ordering,” says Scott Langdoc, who heads the restaurant and hospitality practice at Boston-based BRP, restaurant consulting firm, “including ordering via self-service kiosks, the restaurant’s mobile app or via a third-party delivery services.”

BRP’s Langdoc suggests adding or building extensions to existing core POS platforms so diners can order food via voice assistant technologies, including Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri.

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Kering hopes to push industry towards sustainability with new standards

Luxury Daily – As traditional luxury brands strive to become more transparent about their sustainability practices, French luxury conglomerate Kering is the latest to introduce new standards regarding animal welfare.

Today’s shoppers, including the highly coveted millennials and Gen Zers, are becoming more vocal about their preference for sustainable brands, and many high-end brands are emerging to fill this consumer need. Meanwhile, groups of heritage labels such as Kering need to balance their identity as luxury businesses while moving in more eco-conscious directions.

While Kering hopes to lead by example regarding sustainability in luxury, other players in the industry have also revealed more stringent sourcing guidelines.

“Consumers are reading labels to learn about the source of the materials in products and often make purchasing decisions based on the sustainability standards of the product,” said David Naumann, vice president of marketing at BRP, retail consulting firm. “Transparency in material sourcing is a becoming a new customer expectation and retailers are realizing the importance of aligning with higher standards for the source of materials and the environments for the animals that are used in products.”

“Ideally, there should be an independent organization that monitors and certifies farmers and manufacturing plants for ethical and sustainable practices to make it easy for consumer to know if a brand or product is in accordance with consistent standards,” Mr. Naumann said. “Brands that truly ‘walk the talk’ on these environmental issues will foster more brand loyalty among environmentally conscious consumers.”

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How to Use Email Marketing Segmentation to Grow Your Business

Business 2 Community – If you asked customers what’s the one thing they want more of from retailers, they’d say personalized customer experiences. Customers don’t want to be seen as nameless faces in a sea of people; they want to be treated as individuals.

Ken Morris, Principal at Boston Retail Partners, explains personalization this way, “Effective customer engagement requires retailers to offer a personalized, relevant, compelling and consistent experience across channels.” He continues, “In today’s crowded and highly competitive market, personalization is a critical component for optimizing the customer’s shopping experience.”
Read Full Article: How to Use Email Marketing Segmentation to Grow Your Business

How luxury retail can leverage live streaming for consumer engagement

Luxury Daily – As live streaming becomes an increasingly popular practice in China, Western labels and retailers are catching on to the tactic as a means of driving real-time interactions with consumers.

Acting as a digital, influencer-driven version of home shopping television networks, live streaming enables brands to showcase products and stores through personalities. As more luxury shopping moves online, live video offers a way to connect the physical and the digital, enabling shoppers to get feedback and make more confident decisions.

“Live streaming in retail is essentially the intersection of QVC and HSN TV experiences with live events that are delivered via online and mobile devices,” said David Naumann, vice president of marketing at BRP, retail consulting firm.

“Many consumers have a desire to be the first to have the latest fashion or product, and this passion for immediate gratification makes live events and live streaming appealing for consumers and hence retailers,” he said. “Live streaming is real-time retail in spades.”

“Live streaming creates a sense of urgency that helps stimulate impulse buying, especially if the products are only available for a limited number of minutes or there is a countdown on the number of items available,” Mr. Naumann said. “The limited availability of products is a great way to enhance a brand’s exclusive image.

“For brands that are looking to create a buzz and increase the engagement of their customers, live streaming may be worth testing,” he said.

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Survey: Retailers lag meeting key omnichannel expectations

Chain Store Age – A new survey from BRP, retail consulting firm, reveals that retailers are behind in adopting several critical omnichannel capabilities. According to BRP’s 2019 Unified Commerce Survey, 87% of consumers are interested in a personalized and consistent experience across channels. However, only 71% of retailers plan to offer the ability to “start the sale anywhere, finish the sale anywhere” to their customers.

Similarly, while 68% of consumers would choose a store that offers personalized promotions/discounts over a store that doesn’t offer them, a matching 68% of retailers need to improve their ability to utilize customer insight to meet their customers’ expectations.

About two-thirds (64%) of consumers choose a store based on product information availability via their mobile device. But only 41% of retailers plan to improve the mobile experience to ensure they are meeting their customers’ expectations.

“The growth of online and mobile is driving the demand for increased digital capabilities bundled with personalization across all channels,” said Perry Kramer, senior VP and practice lead at BRP. “To succeed in this demanding environment, retailers must undergo a transformation as they move to a true unified commerce approach to deliver the convergence of the digital and physical shopping experiences and create a holistic customer shopping experience.”

Read full article: Survey: Retailers lag meeting key omnichannel expectations

Ease of Checkout, Payment Top Consumers’ Shopping List

Convenience Store Decisions – Retailers are adding to POS capabilities now while planning eventual move to cloud-based commerce platforms. According to a new report released last week by Boston-based retail consultant BRP, brick-and-mortar stores are standing up to the seemingly massive shift to online commerce. The key, the report suggests, is in the ease of the shopping and purchasing experience.

According to the report, “SPECIAL REPORT: The State of Store Technology,” the store is still a major part of the customer journey with 79% of consumers indicating they frequently purchase merchandise in a store. With an increased focus on customer engagement and the convergence of physical and digital, the point of sale or commerce platform plays a critical role in shaping the customer shopping experience. The right technology foundation is essential to support the best in-store customer experience.

“Stores remain center stage in the shopping experience, and that experience is an ever-increasing factor in where consumers choose to shop,” said Brian Brunk, principal at BRP (retail consulting firm). “Retailers understand the importance of keeping up with customer expectations; in fact, 75% are considering cloud-based platforms as part of their in-store technology plans over the next several years.”

BRP’s “SPECIAL REPORT: The State of Store Technology” is based on findings from the BRP Consumer Study and the “2019 POS/Customer Engagement Survey” and offers insights into the state of retailers’ current store technology and their future plans.

Read Full Article: Ease of Checkout, Payment Top Consumers’ Shopping List

Influentials: Top Movers and Shakers in Retail 2019

RIS News – The retail industry touches the lives of everyone on a daily basis. Filled with innovative technology in a rapidly changing landscape, retail is constantly on the move ― and its success is impossible without knowledgeable leaders working hard to evolve the industry and steer the ship into the future.

RIS’ third annual “Influentials: Top Movers and Shakers in Retail” highlights the retail executives, analysts and solution providers that are shaping the retail landscape and developing and deploying cutting-edge technology.

The executives featured below were chosen for their contribution to the retail industry and their respected companies. Whether they are launching a new retail venture, innovating cutting-edge technology, or helping set the retail agenda, these exceptional leaders are pioneering the entire industry forward. To compile this list, RIS interviewed each executive to uncover the keys to their success and the technological innovations they have helped bring to the market.
Read on to find out more of what makes each of these leaders a retail tech influencer and one of RIS’ Top Movers and Shakers.

KEN MORRIS, PRINCIPAL, BRP
Throughout his four decade career in retail technology, Ken Morris has held IT leadership positions at leading retail companies and his consulting expertise has helped hundreds of retailers solve business and IT problems.

Prior to founding BRP (retail consulting firm), this industry thought leader was CEO and president of LakeWest Group and founder of CFT Consulting and CFT Systems, a retail software company. Earlier in his career, he held retail information technology executive positions at Lord & Taylor, Filene’s (Macy’s), Talbots, Stop & Shop Supermarket Company, and Sears.

Morris said his biggest accomplishment has been that he designed, built and owned the largest lost prevention solution, XBR, before selling it to Micros/Oracle. He also founded and built best-in -class retail management teams – BRP and CFT Consulting.

BRP is working with several retail clients that are implementing augmented reality at stores with visual products, like furniture, making this innovative technology a game changer in the retail customer experience. He’s also working on real-time retail.

“Today’s retail model is moving beyond omnichannel by breaking down the walls between internal channel silos and leveraging a common commerce platform with a single order management system to deliver a holistic, real-time, personal, seamless experience,” Morris notes. “The importance of real-time visibility and access to product and customer information across channels has grown significantly over the past few years as it drives significant benefits to retailers and consumers.”

Morris says if he could change one thing in retail, it would be to get retailers to invest in infrastructure.
“Retailers have notoriously been reluctant to invest in infrastructure, because they are too focused on quarterly results,” he notes. “Where would we be as a country if we didn’t invest in railroads and highways? Retailers should apply the same long-term approach to their technology strategy.”

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Digital vs. Traditional Consumers: How Generational Gaps Define Shopping Tendencies

eMarketer – Younger, digitally engaged consumers love to use almost any technology that might make their buying process more self-sufficient, whereas traditional consumers are driven more by cost and ease of use.

According to a December 2018 report from BRP, retail consulting firm, “digital consumers” (defined as those ages 18 to 37) look for the availability of self-checkout, mobile payments or same-day delivery when choosing retailers. In comparison, “traditional consumers” (ages 38 and older) care less about technological offerings, with most being driven to retailers by free delivery. (It should be noted that per BRP, the only defining factor of digital vs. traditional consumers was age.)

After they’ve made a purchase, 61% of digital consumers are likely to share an exceptional shopping experience on social media, vs. just 29% of traditional consumers who said the same, according to BRP. This trend holds true for unsatisfactory experiences: Fifty-six percent of digital consumers said they’d post on social about a poor experience, compared with 27% of traditional consumers.

Survey respondents were not asked about sharing experiences via word-of-mouth—something that digital and traditional shoppers likely do. But there is one thing both cohorts agree on: Following an unsatisfactory shopping experience, nearly two-thirds of all digital and traditional consumers would not return to that retailer.

Above all, marketers must recognize core consumers and meet their needs accordingly. But as digital and traditional consumers often shop at the same stores, retailers should be prepared to offer a wide range of simple and value-driven experiences—as well as those that are more technologically cutting-edge.

Read Full Article: Digital vs. Traditional Consumers: How Generational Gaps Define Shopping Tendencies