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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.

Read Full Article: How luxury retail can leverage live streaming for consumer engagement

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.”

Read Full Article: Influentials: Top Movers and Shakers in Retail 2019

Consumers want a shared cart across channels

In BRP’s Consumer Study, 56% of consumers indicated that they were more likely to shop at a retailer that allowed them to have a shared cart across channels instead of a retailer that does not offer this service. Yet only 7% of retailers currently offer this shared cart concept – that’s a huge gap that retailers are struggling to bridge.

According to BRP’s SPECIAL REPORT: Real-Time Retail, customers want access to a single cart to shop across channels and be able to reach their cart via phone, computer, or even in the store – they want to “start anywhere and finish anywhere.”

As consumer expectations continue to rise, we have seen the importance of real-time visibility and access to product and customer information across channels grow significantly. With real-time inventory visibility and access across the enterprise, retailers can reduce or eliminate safety stock, which is a significant cost savings. Knowing where your products are in real-time also increases sales and minimizes markdowns.

Today’s retail model has to venture beyond omni-channel 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.

As consumers expect a seamless experience in the store, on the Web and via their mobile device – ‘real-time retail’ becomes the new industry imperative. In my experience, many retailers can check inventory in real-time but the data they are accessing is actually from yesterday, as the data is not really updated in real-time. This is ‘faux real-time retail’ based on the traditional store and forward architecture of legacy POS and e-commerce systems. As retailers move to unified commerce, full access to enterprise-wide data in real-time becomes more common as it is a necessity to survive.

This is ‘faux real-time retail’ based on the traditional legacy POS and e-commerce architecture where copies of master files are maintained at the store and updated on the headquarters’ system each night via transaction logs (TLOG). The enterprise master data records are essentially a day behind actual data.

Your customers are telling you what they want, are you listening?

I encourage you to download the full report to better understand the necessity of real-time retail to ensure you are meeting your customers’ expectations.

Ken

Unification Nation – Unified commerce transforming the retail customer experience

Canadian Retailer – Picture this: A customer walks through a retailer’s front door. They’ve come for a click-and-collect item they purchased on their laptop 24 hours earlier. Before they leave the store, they spend a few minutes browsing (simultaneously comparing prices on the ever-ubiquitous Amazon), and as they pass relevant items, the store’s smartphone app displays in-store deals that correspond to both their location, and their buying habits. They pick up a few more products—some of which they purchase, some they leave behind. At the checkout, they seamlessly combine a physical purchase with a digital purchase. As they make their way to the parking lot, their social media feed shows an ad for one of the items they left behind, along with a coupon for 15 per cent off, which, when clicked, allows them to purchase the item in the store’s mobile app—alongside other related items—and have these delivered to their home.

Quotes from Brian Brunk (pages 10-13):

“Customer expectations in retail are increasing, regardless of a retailer’s size,” adds Brian Bunk, Principal at BRP, retail consulting firm, “and to compete, winning retailers are adopting a unified commerce strategy. The benefits are numerous: improved customer experience, increasing expectations, simplified and agile technology, cross-channel inventory visibility and availability, flexible ordering and delivery options, personalization… And most of these benefits are becoming table stakes in today’s competitive retail market.”

It’s a lot to manage at once, Bunk admits—but it’s a feat made possible through the use of an accessible, cloud-based commerce platform. “The idea of a common, cloud-based, real-time commerce platform for all customer engagement points is a key tenet of unified commerce,” he says. “A unified commerce platform combines POS, mobile, web, order management, call centre and clienteling into one common integrated platform, which enables a holistic and seamless customer experience no matter how, when or where they shop with a retailer.”

And, Bunk adds, having the right technology in place can transform the customer experience even behind the scenes, through providing up-to-the moment inventory management, targeted recommendations based on data, and allowing for more nimble supply chains. “Unified commerce not only offers a unified view of customer and inventory data, but also offers retailers the ability to provide ‘endless aisle’ capabilities and the ability to ‘save the sale’ by selling merchandise from – or to – any channels,” he says. “Cross-channel inventory availability can reduce inventory management costs and enhance customer service by giving customers further purchasing options.”

And, as both Bunk and Hetu point out, a cohesive unified commerce strategy isn’t just for the big retailers. Not only will the large-scale changes required be simpler for small and mid-size businesses, but those same businesses could also run the greatest risk of being left behind. With consumer expectations constantly evolving, and retailers competing for ever-more elaborate ways of enhancing the customer experience, Bunk argues that the time for unified commerce is now.

“The store of the future will require a personal, mobile, relevant, ubiquitous and secure environment to meet rising customer expectations,” he explains. “Retailers need to operate in real-time, with customer and product information accessible across the enterprise—this necessitates cloud-based applications and a reliable, responsive network. Defining what you want your customer experience to be is key. Having the journey defined allows a retailer to deliver components of the journey based on business value and impact. Developing these components using modern technology and with a holistic view will allow the successful retailer of tomorrow to adapt as consumer expectations continue to evolve.”

Read Full Article: Unification Nation – Unified commerce transforming the retail customer experience

Consumers Want A Single Shopping Cart For All Channels: Study

Media Post – Here’s a finding that could complicate the job of sending cart abandonment emails: Consumers now want access to a single cart across channels. That means they want to “start anywhere and finish anywhere,” from websites to stores, according to Real-Time Retail, a report by BRP, retail consulting firm.

Of the consumers polled, 56% are more likely to shop at a retailer that offers an omnichannel cart experience. But only 7% of retailers provide this. The question is pertinent because 82% of consumers have reviewed products online and purchased in a store. By contrast, 56% have shopped in-store and purchased online or via mobile.

But consumers may be challenged in doing so. Only 34% of retailers have implemented enterprise pricing/promotion features, and feel they are working well. Another 27% say they have them but see the need for improvement. And a mere 25% are upbeat about their cross-channel transaction history capabilities.

Read Full Article: Consumers Want A Single Shopping Cart For All Channels: Study

Customers Want Personalized Experience, One Cart Across Channels

Convenience Store Decisions – Customers want retailers to provide a personalized experience and a shared cart across all channels. Customers want access to a single cart to shop across channels and be able to reach their cart via phone, computer — and in-store. They want to be able to “start anywhere and finish anywhere.”

In a consumer study, BRP, a retail management consulting firm, found that 56% of consumer said they’re likely to choose a retailer who can offer a shared cart across channels. Only 7% of retailers have this function.

BRP also found that 87% of customers want a personalized and consistent experience across all shopping channels. But only 53% of retailers indicate that personalization of the customer experience is a top priority.

“Consumers expect a seamless experience in the store, on the Web and via their mobile device – which makes ‘real-time retail’ the new industry imperative,” said BRP Principal Ken Morris. “In our experience, many retailers can check inventory in real-time, but the data they are accessing is actually from yesterday, as the data is not really updated in real-time – it is faux real-time retail based on the store and forward architecture of legacy POS and e-commerce systems.”

Read Full Article: Customers Want Personalized Experience, One Cart Across Channels

Study: 56% of consumers more likely to choose a retailer who offers shared cart across channels

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods – Real-time retail is the ability to deliver a seamless and personalized experience to the customer whenever, wherever and however he/she chooses to shop. Customers want access to a single cart to shop across channels and be able to reach their cart via phone, computer or even in the store, according to the report published by BRP, retail consulting firm.

The study, “SPECIAL REPORT: Real-Time Retail,” reveals that 56% of consumers surveyed indicated that they were likely to shop at a retailer that allowed them to have a shared cart across channels instead of a retailer that does not offer this service, yet only 7% of retailers offer this shared cart concept.

“Consumers expect a seamless experience in the store, on the web and via their mobile device, which makes ‘real-time retail’ the new industry imperative,” says Ken Morris, principal. “In our experience, many retailers can check inventory in real-time, but the data they are accessing is actually from yesterday, as the data is not really updated in real-time; it is faux real-time retail based on the store and forward architecture of legacy point-of-sale and e-commerce systems. As retailers move to unified commerce, full access to enterprise-wide data in real-time will become more common as it is a necessity to survive.”

Read Full Article: Study: 56% of consumers more likely to choose a retailer who offers shared cart across channels

56% of Consumers are Likely to Choose a Retailer who Offers a Shared Cart Across Channels, According to New BRP Report

Only 7% of retailers are able to provide a shared cart across channels

Boston, MA – March 12, 2019 – According to BRP’s SPECIAL REPORT: Real-Time Retail, customers want access to a single cart to shop across channels and be able to reach their cart via phone, computer, or even in the store – they want to “start anywhere and finish anywhere.” In BRP’s Consumer Study, 56% indicated that they were likely to shop at a retailer that allowed them to have a shared cart across channels instead of a retailer that does not offer this service, yet only 7% of retailers offer this shared cart concept.

The importance of real-time visibility and access to product and customer information across channels has grown significantly over the past few years as consumers’ expectations continue to rise. Today’s retail model has to venture beyond omni-channel 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.

Real-time retail is the ability to deliver this seamless and personalized experience to the customer whenever, wherever and however she chooses to shop. It enables retailers to identify the customer and gather, analyze and disseminate customer, product, pricing and inventory data across all channels – instantly.

“Consumers expect a seamless experience in the store, on the Web and via their mobile device – which makes ‘real-time retail’ the new industry imperative,” said Ken Morris, principal, BRP. “In our experience, many retailers can check inventory in real-time but the data they are accessing is actually from yesterday, as the data is not really updated in real-time – it is faux real-time retail based on the store and forward architecture of legacy POS and e-commerce systems. As retailers move to unified commerce, full access to enterprise-wide data in real-time will become more common as it is a necessity to survive.”

BRP’s SPECIAL REPORT: Real-Time Retailis based on findings from the BRP Consumer Study and the 2019 POS/Customer Engagement Surveyand offers insights into how real-time access to inventory and customer data is imperative to deliver a seamless, personalized customer experience.

The SPECIAL REPORT: Real-Time Retail highlights:

SEAMLESS EXPERIENCE:

  • Customer expectations:56% are likely to shop at a retailer that offers a shared cart across channels
  • Retailer capabilities:7% offer the ability for customers to have a shared cart across channels

PERSONALIZATION:

  • Customer expectations:87% want a personalized and consistent experience across all shopping channels
  • Retailer capabilities:53% indicate that personalization of the customer experience is a top priority

To download BRP’s SPECIAL REPORT: Real-Time Retail, visit:

https://brpconsulting.com/download/2019-special-report-real-time-retail

The special report platinum sponsor is TSYS, the gold sponsors are Aptos,Diebold Nixdorf, ECRSand Fujitsu, and the silver sponsor is STORIS.

About BRP

BRP is an innovative retail management consulting firm dedicated to providing superior service and enduring value to our clients. BRP combines its consultants’ deep retail business knowledge and cross-functional capabilities to deliver superior design and implementation of strategy, technology, and process solutions. The firm’s unique combination of industry focus, knowledge-based approach, and rapid, end-to-end solution deployment helps clients to achieve their business potential. BRP’s consulting services include:

Strategy | Business Intelligence | Business Process Optimization | Point of Sale (POS)
Mobile POS | Payment Security | E-Commerce | Store Systems and Operations | CRM
Unified Commerce | Customer Experience | Order Management | Networks
Merchandise Management | Supply Chain | Private Equity

For more information on BRP, visit http://www.brpconsulting.com.

Consumers Choose Retailers that Offer a Personalized Experience

Offering a personalized service requires identification of customers as soon as they walk in the store, but only 37% of retailers are able to identify their customers before checkout.

Customers want to shop wherever and whenever they want with the benefits of both the digital and physical retail environments. As consumers “check-in” on retailers’ e-commerce and mobile sites, they automatically receive personalized offers and recommendations based on their purchase and browsing history. However, most shoppers are still anonymous when shopping in a physical store so they don’t get the same level of personalized service.

We recently conducted our 20thAnnual POS/Customer Engagement Survey and compared our findings on retailer capabilities with consumer expectations from the BRP Consumer Study (report coming soon!) to identify gaps between customer expectations and retailers’ capabilities. BRP’s SPECIAL REPORT: Personalization gives you a closer look at what consumers expect from their shopping experience and what retailers can currently offer.

Our study found that 79% of consumers indicated that personalized service from a sales associate was an important factor in determining at which store they choose to shop. Consumers understand that receiving personalized service requires retailers to identify them. While this has been the normal standard online or via mobile, identifying the customer in the store is a little more difficult and not as common.

Most retailers who identify customers in the store use the customers’ mobile phone as the identification tool paired with a combination of beacons, WiFi, MAC address, etc. While 64% of consumers are comfortable with retailers identifying them via their mobile phone when they enter a store, as long as it means they are offered a personalized experience, only 37% of retailers are able to identify their customers prior to checkout.

Customer identification is a requirement for any type of personalization of the shopping experience and if a retailer can’t identify the customer until she is at the checkout then it’s too late to empower the associate to influence the current purchase decision. Without early identification of the customer, retailers miss critical engagement opportunities to deliver a personalized customer experience and increase sales. And in today’s crowded and highly competitive market, personalization is a critical component for optimizing the customer’s shopping experience.

The customer has spoken and she wants a personalized shopping experience in the store, how are you going to provide her that experience? Download the report now to understand how retailers are measuring up to consumer expectations.

I appreciate your opinions on this topic.  Please share your thoughts and comments below.

Ken

Survey: Personalized Engagement Tops Retailers’ Must-Do List

HFN – Engaging customers with personalized and relevant messages are the keys to customer loyalty, according to the BRP 20th annual POS/Customer Engagement Benchmark Survey.

“As customer expectations for an increasingly customized experience increase and evolve, retailers are adopting new ways to identify customers and personalize their shopping journey,” said Perry Kramer, senior vice president and practice lead at BRP, a retail consulting firm.

“Retailers continue to offer more mobile services from a consumer-facing and associate-facing perspective that include personalized recommendations, loyalty rewards, coupons, discounts and promotions,” said Kramer, who noted that 63 percent of retailers plan to implement the ability for customers to use their own mobile device as a POS device within three years.

Read Full Article: Survey: Personalized Engagement Tops Retailers’ Must-Do List