Automating Hospitality

Hospitality Technology – The use of robotics is experiencing exponential growth with global robotics market revenues forecasted to grow from $28 billion in 2015 to $151 billion a year by 2020.

Amazon’s “style assistant” offers guidance, product suggestions

Luxury Daily – Online retail giant Amazon is looking to become a key source of fashion inspiration and advice through the nationwide roll out of its style-centric Echo Look device.

Retailers Want Your Data: Here’s How They Get It

PC Mag – If you’re a business owner, knowing your audience is key. But how best to collect data on customers? According to Boston Retail Partners, 37 percent of retailers use more personalized service as an incentive to have consumers identify themselves, while another 37 percent offer no incentives at all.

Despite Anchor Store Closures, Malls Can Secure Success With Dining, Experiences, Entertainment

Retail TouchPoints – As many as 30% of malls will need to close due to the oversaturation of shopping centers in the U.S., estimates Coresight Research.

Unified Commerce is Here: The Customer Experience of the Future

MarTech Series – According to a Latest Report, 73% of Customers Want Order Tracking Across all Touchpoints but only 7% of Retailers Currently Offer “Start Anywhere, Finish Anywhere” Order Capabilities.

73% of shoppers want to start, end shopping anywhere

FierceRetail – As many as 73% of consumers want the ability to start and end their shopping journey on any platform they see fit, yet only 7% of retailers currently offer a completely unified commerce experience.

The Retail Firmament: Email And The Customer Experience

MediaPost – Retailers are crawling toward delivering a holistic customer experience. And they have a long way to go, according to The Customer Experience/Unified Commerce Benchmark Survey, a report by BRP.

Study: ‘Seamless shopping’ is still a pipe dream

Chain Store Age – Retailers know it is critical for shopping experiences to be seamless and frictionless, yet these experiences are still few and far between.

Most Retailers Haven’t Mastered Personalization Yet

eMarketer – Much has been written about value exchange and the push-pull of consumers’ willingness to give up personal info for personalization, offers or other supposed special treatment.

RETAILER OF THE YEAR: Albertsons

Frozen and Refrigerated Buyer – Will an upcoming merger with Rite Aid be enough to turn things around at the nation’s second-largest supermarket chain? Industry observers aren’t so sure.

PayPal Adds In-Store Solutions With iZettle Acquisition

Retail TouchPoints – PayPal will acquire iZettle, a small business commerce platform operating in Europe and Latin America, for $2.2 billion. The deal will combine iZettle’s in-store solutions with PayPal’s global scale and mobile and online payment systems.

Social Commerce Best Practices: Optimize Mobile, Match Products To Platform Strengths

Retail TouchPoints – Social media is no longer just a place for building brand awareness or loyalty: it’s another potential storefront, a frontier where the customer journey can take on fresh new forms.

Selfridges invests in art via contemporary commissions

Luxury Daily – British department store chain Selfridges is turning part of its flagship location into a permanent gallery, mixing shopping and the arts.

Kennedy: ‘Lab’ developing ‘socially responsible algorithms’

Daily Gazette – I don’t mind that Netflix has me pegged as liking British police dramas or preferring series with strong female leads. But would I want my supermarket loyalty program to text me personalized product recommendations after I was “recognized” walking into the store?

Retailers Take Stock of the Winners & Losers Post Bon-Ton

Sourcing Journal – Though the press has had a lot of fun with the retail apocalypse storyline, former Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren said the reality is a lot less dramatic.