What Target Should Have Done Amid Massive Register Failures

RIS News – For two days in a row this weekend, Target experienced separate incidents which impacted registers and lines at the national retail chain.
“For a retailer the size of Target, with the volume of transactions they conduct on the weekends, this was quite a significant outage with both short-term financial implications and longer-term customer service concerns,” BRP’s SVP and practice lead Ryan Grogman tells RIS.

On Saturday, an outage was the result of an “internal technology issue that lasted for approximately two hours,” Target said in a statement the same day.

“Communication is always key when it comes to customer service during a crisis or issue: let customers know there is an issue, explain what that issue means, and provide them updates on when the issue will be resolved,” Grogman advises. “There were reports from some Target stores that associates handed out snacks and drinks to customers who were waiting out the outage, which is a terrific example of trying to own the narrative. All shoppers deal with technology issues in their own life, so the more that Target can own up to the issues and work with customers as opposed to creating a divide, the better.”

“Another example that Target could have followed would be to offer the in-store customers with coupon codes for a percent off their next transaction, as a gesture for the inconvenience as well as a way to entice them to return and refill their shopping carts. Finally, because it seemed that Target’s buy-online-pickup-in-store functionality was not impacted, Target could have taken advantage of a tremendous opportunity to work with customers on their devices or via in-store computers to create online accounts and walk them through the omni-transaction in person.”

Read Full Article: What Target Should Have Done Amid Massive Register Failures

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

Survey: In-store shoppers want…

Chain Store Age – Almost all consumers consider one factor important when selecting a brick-and-mortar store to shop. According to “Special Report: The State of Store Technology” from BRP, retail consulting firm, 96% of consumers indicate they look for ease of in-store checkout and payment. Sixty-eight percent are likely to choose a store offering buy anywhere, ship anywhere service over one that doesn’t. And more than 55% indicate that in-store technology like self-checkout, product locator, inventory lookup, and endless aisle are important factors when choosing where to shop.

In good news for brick-and-mortar retailers, 79% of consumers say they purchase merchandise in a store frequently. In addition, 75% of brick-and-mortar retailers will have implemented a cloud-based POS system in the next three years, including 23% who have one that works well and 52% who will replace or install one.

Looking at how many retailers are using cloud-based store systems, the study finds business intelligence/enterprise reporting (40%) and CRM (35%) systems are most commonly delivered via cloud application or service, followed by inventory (27%) and order management (24%).

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.

Read Full Report: Survey: In-store shoppers want…

Selfridges brings art to the masses in multichannel campaign

Luxury Daily – British department store chain Selfridges is embracing the intersection of art and fashion with a creative campaign that spans stores and digital channels. The newly announced “State of The Arts” initiative is influencing everything from Selfridges’ window displays and product offerings to podcast episodes. Retailers continue to seek ways to differentiate their in-store and online experiences from competitors’.

“Associating Selfridges and its fashions with art is a great way to elevate the brand and inspire customers to visit the store more frequently during the art campaign to see the latest artwork and experience workshops,” said David Naumann, vice president of marketing at Boston Retail Partners, retail consulting firm.

“Tapping into consumers’ multiple senses and incorporating art throughout the store make this campaign very interactive and unique,” he said. “Shoppers can listen to artist podcasts, see art in street windows and in the store, attend workshops, meet artists in-person and shop for art.” Mr. Naumann is not affiliated with Selfridges, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Read full article: Selfridges brings art to the masses in multichannel campaign

Why are Integrated Planning Processes Imperative?

As customer shopping journeys continue to span across channels, it is imperative for retail planning processes, systems and organizations to be streamlined and integrated to meet increased customer expectations. Current disparate solutions must be transformed into one cohesive environment with the ability to offer customers a seamless shopping environment and the capability to deliver the right merchandise immediately – wherever it is needed. BRP published the 2018 Integrated Planning and Inventory Management Survey to offer insights on the key challenges and benefits of integrating planning processes and systems and identify where retailers are on this path to providing a holistic shopping experience.

“Today’s customer journey requires retailers to use an integrated set of solutions, processes and organization to create and deliver the shopping experience consumers expect,” said Gene Bornac, senior vice president and practice lead, BRP. “The good news is that many retailers realize their systems and processes need improvement and are planning to replace more than 50% of their planning systems within the next three years. Retailers are also focused on improving the integration of actionable customer data into their planning activities, as customer demand is a critical variable in today’s customer-led demand planning.”

To achieve an integrated retail planning model, retailers need to:

Align the organization

  • 40% of retailer currently have an integrated planning organization across channels and 73% of those indicate it needs improvement
  • Within three years, 87% of retailers plan to have an integrated planning organization across channels

Integrate planning processes

  • 43% of retailer currently have an integrated planning business processes across channels and 84% of those indicate it needs improvement
  • Within three years, 93% of retailers plan to have integrated planning business processes across channels

Implement technology

  • 39% of retailer currently have an integrated planning systems across channels and 82% of those indicate it needs improvement
  • Within three years, 89% of retailers will have integrated planning systems across channels

Prioritize customer data

  • 54% of retailers are focused on better integration of actionable customer data into their planning activities
  • 44% of retailers utilize customer feedback in real-time to impact in-season planning

A special thanks goes to the sponsors of this survey:  platinum sponsors are Aptos and Mi9, gold sponsors are Celect and Retalon, and silver sponsors are ANT USA and enVista.

To download the 2018 Integrated Planning and Inventory Management Survey, visit:


As always, I welcome your thoughts on this topic. Please share your opinions and feedback below.


Fashion’s infatuation with AR continues, but only certain use cases inspire consumer engagement

Glossy – As fashion brands are embracing augmented reality, the question remains of whether there is an actual appetite for such tools or if brands are pushing them in spite of apathy from consumers.

Over the past few years, augmented reality has become a powerfully appealing idea among Silicon Valley elites and marketing teams across industries, and some reports put the AR market at $83 billion by 2021. What’s more, a number of new AR-powered initiatives from brands in streetwear, luxury and mass fashion show that the fashion industry has confidence in the technology, but how much of that enthusiasm is reciprocated by consumers?

“The retail categories that are best suited for augmented reality are those with products that are very visual, like apparel and cosmetics, and those that are expensive to display in multiple assortments of style and color, such as furniture and décor items,” said Jeffrey Neville, svp and practice lead at BRP Consulting Firm. “Since approximately 50 percent of consumers say they are more likely to shop at retailers that offer augmented reality, it is something retailers should be evaluating.”

Read full article: Fashion’s infatuation with AR continues, but only certain use cases inspire consumer engagement

Tod’s taps WeChat’s ecommerce capabilities to launch influencer collection

Luxury Daily – Italian fashion label Tod’s is partnering with Chinese social network WeChat and influencer Mr. Bags for a new digital pop-up shop.

The pop-up combines editorial content with shopping, allowing customers to learn more about the products and their creation before making the purchase directly through WeChat. The collaboration emphasizes not only the importance of ecommerce but also the continued crossover between European luxury and China.

“Digital pop-up shops are following in the footsteps of physical pop-up shops that are currently a hot retail trend,” said Jeffrey Neville, senior vice president and practice lead at Boston Retail Partners, Boston. “Pop-ups appeal to consumers because they offer access to limited-run merchandise that continually changes.

“From a brand perspective, digital pop-ups expose customers that don’t normally shop a brand to their product, create a sense of urgency to ‘buy before it’s gone’ and present an opportunity for retailers to move slow-moving or over-inventoried products.”

“Retailers need to move beyond worrying about Amazon to finding creative ways to leverage platforms and/or partnerships that quickly expose their products to more customers while creating brand loyalty to drive incremental revenues,” Boston Retail Partners’ Mr. Neville said. “Tod’s use of WeChat’s Mini Program is a smart strategy to extend the reach of the limited-time, exclusive pop-up shop and make the purchase frictionless with WeChat Pay.

“The WeChat Mini Program is a logical extension to WeChat’s globally dominant platform, with more than 1 billion active users, that combines chat, social media and payments.”

“Consumers expect personalized shopping experiences and curated assortments,” Mr. Neville said. “Pop-up shops help consumers identify with brands that resonate with them.

“Luxury brands that offer curated products in online pop-up shops that are promoted to individuals based on customer context will have the greatest success,” he said.

Read Full Article: Tod’s taps WeChat’s ecommerce capabilities to launch influencer collection

Walmart; Valentine’s Day; Hispanic Consumers

eMarketer -Plus and Minus: Walmart said it will raise starting wages for all hourly employees in the the US to $11. The move follows a similar increase announced by Target in late September. Meanwhile, Walmart plans to shutter about 10% of its Sam’s Club locations.

War of the Sexes: Valentine’s Day preferences for dining out vary sharply. Men are much more likely to want to dine out for the romantic day, whereas women prefer to have a meal at home. An AYTM Market Research survey found that 59% of men wanted to go out, compared with 41% of women.

Hispanic Consumer Confidence: Hispanic consumers are more optimistic about their financial situation than they were in early 2017, according to a national poll from Florida Atlantic University. Its latest Hispanic Consumer Sentiment Index, taken from October through December 2017, stands at 93.5—up 1.5 points from Q3 2017, and up 3.6 points from Q1.

Going Mobile: Some 62% of retailers plan to increase their use of mobile devices as the point of sale this year, according to the 2018 POS/Customer Engagement Benchmarking Survey from BRP (Boston Retail Partners). And 42% say they will use customer-owned mobile devices as the point of sale within three years.

Read Full Article: Walmart; Valentine’s Day; Hispanic Consumers