retail news

Weekly Digest #5: Check Out All the Stuff Before Christmas Begins

A big Thanksgiving blockbuster ended and retailers can get something of a respite, so we can call this week: “Relax, check all the stuff and focus on Christmas campaign”. Retailers and experts draw conclusions, in particular, how to turn online traffic into in-store traffic.

But everyone knows that Christmas is waiting for us just around the corner. That’s why some retailers continue to introduce their holiday plans step by step, while others launch new app features and test different tech to acquire more loyal customers.

How’s it working out? Let’s see.

What about Christmas campaign

Checklist: A Last-Minute Checklist for a Successful Christmas Campaign
Swee Huang Hustedt-Teo from Ingenious Technologies offers some advice for retailers. Check out and compare with your own checklist:

  • A friendly and competent sales person in the stores.
  • Tracking all events (viewing of banner ads, clicks) to get data.
  • Unified consistent marketing campaign.
  • Customer-friendly website.

Read more details in the article by the link.

Retail Tech

Study: In-store Experiences Lag due to Poor IT Infrastructure
Only 27% of 308 U.S. and U.K. retail decision-makers from a recent survey by Zynstra described their IT infrastructures as fully able to support plans to improve the in-store customer experience.

The other 20% said they had to delay or reject rolling out their new in-store applications as a result of IT limitations, costs or concerns.

98% of retailers said they would roll out new applications and services if it was easier to do so.

In addition, 35% of retailers said they found delivering consistency of in-store versus online experience difficult because of It challenges, while 35% also identified the lack of local store IT skills as an issue, according to the survey results.

Mobile: Swarovski Launches AR App Experience at Holiday Pop-Up
Swarovski creates holiday-themed smartphone filters that use augmented reality (AR), which overlays digital images on a real background through a smartphone camera. Perfect’s app lets mobile users see how they look wearing crystal jewelry and holiday-inspired makeup.

The collection of filters will be available exclusively at the #CrystalsfromSwarovski holiday pop-up event in New York, which runs December 4-10. After that, the styles will be released for all users on Perfect’s free YouCam Makeup and YouCam Fun apps, which are available in the App Store and Google Play.

In-store tech: HoloLens Experience Provides Unique Look at One of Ford’s Most Iconic Cars
Michael Bodell, deputy director of the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, was looking to tell the story of the Ford GT40 in a fresh way. When he learned about Microsoft HoloLens, the first self-contained holographic computer, Bodell knew he’d found the right technology to create a rich, immersive experience.

“We wanted to design an exhibition around the device because people want to touch cars,” Bodell says. “They want to interact with them. They want to hear the engine. And unfortunately, because these cars are really priceless pieces of art, kinetic art, they can’t. But through a device like HoloLens, they can.”

The experience was created by Zengalt, a mixed-reality application developer based in Bellevue, Washington, in collaboration with the museum, Ford Performance group, and Microsoft. Working with Ford archival files and real objects, the Zengalt team used museum floor plans and photos to recreate the exhibit space in holographic form. Spatial mapping, which makes holograms look integrated with the surrounding environment, and spatial sound, which simulates 3D sound, create a realistic effect.

Mobile: Target Launches Wallet in the Target App
As Target describes, Wallet is a new smart way for guests to pay and save at the chain’s stores. With Wallet, guests can pay using their Target REDcard and save with Cartwheel — all in a single scan of their phones at checkout.

According to Target’s press release, Wallet’s main benefit is faster in-store checkout — up to four times faster than other payment types. Also, Wallet combines digital savings — Cartwheel offers and Weekly Ad coupons — with the 5 percent REDcard discount. With the future updates guests will be able to store and redeem Target GiftCards with Wallet.


Starbucks Shanghai Reserve Roastery Features AR, Innovative Design
Starbucks has opened its first fully immersive coffee experience in Shanghai. The company’s new Reserve Roastery is similar to its inaugural Seattle Roastery, which opened in the U.S. in 2014, and will feature a multi-sensory coffee experience for Chinese consumers.

Key features of the 30,000-square-foot location include:

  • Small-batch roastings of rare and exotic coffees;
  • An augmented reality experience in partnership with Alibaba;
  • Three coffee experience bars for customers to watch their coffee brew;
  • A unique menu just for the location, including Teavana tea infused with nitrogen;
  • China’s first Teavana Bar made out of 3D printed, recycled materials;
  • A Princi bakery operated by more than 30 Chinese bakers and chefs.

Turn Website Traffic Into Foot Traffic: How to Get More Customers in Your Store
According to the IDC study, customers who purchase both online and in-store have a 30% higher lifetime customer value. So, retailers need to focus on providing good customer experience across all the channel.

There some advice from the article:

  1. Check out your website. It’s necessary to have:
    1. Mobile Responsiveness
    2. Contact and Location information
    3. Reviews and Testimonials
  2. Synergy On and Offline
  3. Promoting Your Website
  4. Pushing Customers from Online to Offline
  5. Tracking Your Efforts
  6. Moving Forward With A Multichannel Ecommerce Site

Read more details in the article.

Customer Trends

Study: Poor Personalization Cost Businesses $756B Last Year
About 44% of consumers are frustrated when retailers fail to deliver personalized shopping experiences, but 49% are concerned about their personal data privacy as they subscribe to intelligent services designed to anticipate their needs.

Accenture’s research also found that poor personalization efforts and lack of trust cost U.S. organizations $756 billion last year, as 41% of consumers switched companies.

The 13th annual Accenture Strategy Global Consumer Pulse Research study surveyed more than 25,000 consumers from around the world — 2,000 of them in the U.S. from June to July 2017.

Trend: The Phone Is The New Millennial Wallet
Shep Hyken explores studies about young customers’ habits to show how the customer experience can be facilitated and simplified. Here are some facts from the article:

  • A majority (61.8%) customers would rather leave their wallet at home than their phone.
  • Nearly 69.45% would choose the messaging app
  • Almost 75% of Millennials will give up within 10 minutes if they don’t get the answer they need.
  • Younger consumers are beginning to expect simple automated tasks, such as checking into a hotel or a flight (55.7%), making a dinner reservation (65.8%), ordering room service (55.9%).

What does this mean to business? Shep Hyken gives his answer: “If the younger consumer is your customer base, you must have a digital strategy. They want to do business with you on their terms. If you’re not offering these options, you’ll be eating the dust of your competitors, and missing out on the future”.


We’ve found two interesting opinions about future of brick-and-mortar. Christopher Walton, for example, thinks that the store of the future won’t be Amazon. It, probably, will be a mix of different stores. He also said that technology would be important, but it would be so commonplace that it would be practically invisible, what means that technology adoption is necessary now.

While Doug Stephanes think that the future of retail is a community. He explained: “As the world becomes more and more virtual, people increasingly crave physical experiences. As a result, the store won’t die. But in order to survive, they must change. Stores can’t be just about distributing products. They need to be about distributing experiences — less stores, more stories”.

Read the articles and share your thought about it.

See you next week!