JC Penney tweaks pricing strategy again

by Deepak Sharma on Friday, July 27, 2012

JC Penney tweaks pricing strategy again

J.C. Penney is changing its pricing - again.

Just six months after the mid-priced department store chain got rid of the hundreds of sales it offered each year in favor of everyday lower pricing, it is reversing course.

Penney on Feb. 1 began using a three-tier pricing approach that called for consistently lower daily prices, month-long sales and periodic discounts on merchandise throughout the year. But starting Aug. 1, Penney will eliminate one of the monthly sales and bring back the word "clearance." Penney also plans to tweak its advertising to better communicate the pricing plan to customers.

Retail Roundup, July 21, 2012

by Deepak Sharma on Saturday, July 21, 2012

Retail Partnerships

The luxury retail chain Neiman Marcus has partnered with discounter Target to  offer a limited collection of items from 24 American designers ranging from fashion houses including Diane Von Furstenberg, Derek Lam, Rodarte and Tory Burch and which will retail at $7.99 to $499.99 and average $60. Wharton marketing professors analyzes the deal in detail.

QR Codes

A new eMarketer report, “QR Codes: Marketers Keep Hitting 'Go,' but Consumer Adoption Still Slow” shows that QR Codes have not fulfilled their promise and connected with large audiences. The explosive growth of smartphone users in the US means that there will continue to be new consumers who try scanning a barcode at least once, “but ‘one and done’ users do not create a mass audience.”

Advanced Workforce Management

In a world where showrooming threatens the future of stores, retailers have a renewed sense of urgency to increase customer service and deliver a better shopping experience. The best way to achieve this is by incorporating data sources that measure customer satisfaction in optimization recommendations and KPIs used in BI dashboards. A new study by RISNews shows that retailers are taking an increasingly customer-centric approach to workforce management (WFM) tools in the battle to win the showrooming war.

Digital Shopper Relevancy

In a new report, titled “Digital Shopper Relevancy,” Capgemini surveyed 16,000 digital shoppers across 16 developing and mature markets about their use of different channels and devices for shopping. The study demonstrated that shoppers are not loyal to one channel but expect a seamless integration across online, social media, mobile and physical stores.

60% of respondents declared they expect the convergence of retail channels to be the norm by 2014. However, achieving this will be a challenge, as more than half of shoppers said that most retailers currently are not consistent in the way they present themselves across channels.

Retail Roundup, July 17 2012

by Deepak Sharma on Tuesday, July 17, 2012

PSFK Future of Retail

The PSFK Future of Retail Report is out which captures and contextualizes early stages of a seismic shift that is changing the face of the retail landscape. Big box retailers like Best Buy and Walmart are beginning to feel the heat as sales decline in the face of stiffer competition from e-commerce giants like Amazon. ‘Showrooming’ is the new reality. Shoppers are more educated than ever before and the ability to check prices on the fly has resulted in increased commoditization and a rethinking of how brands and retailers go about providing a differentiated offering. The pressures that companies like Amazon and Alice.com are exerting on the marketplace have forced traditional retailers to contemplate a multi-channel approach to online, mobile, and bricks-and-mortar sales. A hallmark of this changing retail environment is the savvier shopper who takes advantage of technology, is prepared to offer their personal data for a better experience, and has come to expect contextually relevant recommendations. They are actively engaged, want a say in what products get made, will evangelize offerings to get a better price for themselves and their friends, and want to be rewarded for sharing their knowledge and expertise.

Big Data

Great examples of how Big Data implementations are being used by Savvy retailers for collecting and analyzing unstructured data types like the web logs that show the movements of every customer though an internet storefront and then applying the same principles for offline customers in stores as well.

Data Deluge

Oracle announced the results of its “From Overload to Impact: An Industry Scorecard on Big Data Business Challenges” report, which surveyed 333 U.S. and Canadian C-level executives from retail and 10 other industries to determine the pain points they face regarding managing the deluge of data coming into their organizations and how well they are using that information to drive profit and growth. These 94% of C-level executives say their organization is collecting and managing more business information today than two years ago, by an average of 86% more but 29% of executives give their organization a “D” or “F” in preparedness to manage the data deluge. 93% of executives believe their organization is losing revenue –  10% annually, and, on average, $50.5 million per year  – as a result of not being able to fully leverage the information they collect.

Mobile Point-of-Sale Adoption

23% of retailers had already deployed mobile point-of-sale or point-of-payment technology. And even more retailers were gearing up for such a program: More than one in 10 were in the midst of a pilot or trial program, and one-quarter of respondents planned to implement a mobile POS or POP program within a year.