Retail Weekly Roundup – 6

by Deepak Sharma on Saturday, December 06, 2008

With so many things to write about and not enough time, I am restarting the Retail Weekly Roundup posts. The posts will provide a view on how Retailers are using technology today.

How Retailers Can Benefit From Social Media

Shopping is an inherently social activity. Why, for instance, do people go to the mall? To buy things, of course. But also to walk around, meet friends, people-watch and socialize.
By contrast, shopping on the Internet has been a lonely and solitary experience, which may explain why the average e-commerce site has a paltry 3-percent conversion rate. That means 97 percent of people who go to an online retailer in search of a product never buy what they're looking for.
However, for some retailers, social media is proving to be a valuable tool for engaging consumers, driving sales and building customer loyalty like never before. By adding social media content and capabilities to their sites -- including ratings, reviews, recommendations, blogs, photo galleries and forums -- retailers are transforming their Web properties into online destinations with vibrant communities.

Willard Bishop: The Re-emergence of Service Pricing

The single most important challenge facing companies today is finding a path towards greater value creation. Historically, value resided in the products themselves. Manufacturers developed and marketed products, and there was little focus on services or high-end customer solutions. Today, a large component of value has migrated from the product itself to how the product is moved through to the consumer.

With a challenging economy and increasing supply costs, there is a reemerging interest by Walmart and other retailers to find ways to leverage the value chain to put even more distance between themselves and less efficient competitors. How companies are structured to extract profit from the value chain is becoming more important and is leading to a renewed interest in cost-to-serve and Service Pricing programs.

Stores Retail Deals – Some key ones below, click on link to read more.

Tomax and Revionics have entered into a strategic partnership to provide workforce optimization and price optimization solutions to grocery retailers.

Several online retailers, including Lands' End, ProFlowers, PacSun, RedEnvelope and BuyCostumes, have selected CitizenHawk as their digital brand management solutions provider.
New York-based wine retailer California Wine Merchants has launched its lower Manhattan retail store and e-commerce website, built and managed with CORESense’s Multi-Channel Retail Management Software solution.

Sherwin-Williams will be standardizing on SUSE Linux Enterprise point of service as the operating system for its retail store multi-function desktop/registers and in-store servers.

Personal Shopping Devices Preparing For Tipping Point In Adoption In 2009 [via Microsoft Retail & Hospitality Communique]

Personal shopping devices for consumers are reaching their “tipping point”. With Stop & Shop, a strong regional supermarket chain, signaling success with an initial test of its personal shopping device, experts say 2009 could be the beginning of the handheld era for grocery, warehouse clubs and pharmacies. Stop & Shop recently added to its new logo, color palette and employee uniforms, a handheld device, called Easyshop, which allows shoppers to scan, track and bag their groceries while they shop. The goal is larger basket size for grocery retailers, higher purchase goals for time-pressed shoppers, more total trips to the store, and higher coupon redemption rates. While the universe for consumer-facing handhelds for retail is still small, employee facing handhelds and consumer facing devices are ranked number two and three on the list of opportunities for improving the in-store experience.

10 Superstars of Retailing Beat the Downturn

As shoppers cut back on all but the most vital purchases in the economic downturn, some retailers have beat the odds and have discovered the winning formula for success. Ten retailers including BJ's, Walgreens and Hot Topic continue to post higher than expected financial results, announce store expansion plans and remain poised for future success as we enter 2009. RIS News highlights 10 surprisingly successful retailers that are surviving and thriving in one of the toughest economic climate in years.

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