BofA debuts mobile banking capabilities

Bank of America has introduced a new feature that enables customers to move easily between the Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Merrill Edge and U.S. Trust mobile apps without having to re-authenticate. The new feature is part of a broader...

Walmart, PayPal team up on cash service

Walmart customers who are also PayPal customers can deposit or get cash in a Walmart location as long as they’re good with a $3 service fee. Customers of PayPal and users of the PayPal Cash Mastercard will also be able...

Square targets retail consumer finance with Square Installments

Square is launching Square Installments, a new payment method merchants can offer customers to pay for a large purchase by splitting it into fixed monthly payments, according to a press release. The company said the product offering is another way...

Amazon launches a mattress brand

Amazon is offering a line of bed-in-box foam mattresses within its AmazonBasics product line.

Walmart apps aim to boost associate, consumer experience

Walmart has deployed a suite of custom-made apps for store associates that lets associates manage a variety of work tasks via a mobile store device. The apps, according to a Walmart blog post, give associates new visibility to make faster...

Boscov's taps Checkpoint System tech to boost sales, decrease shrink

Retailer Boscov's is using CableLok, a retail security system from Checkpoint, to drive sales while also reducing shrink in a number of its retail locations. The largest family owned department store is aiming to discourage shoplifting while not impacting the...

New York boutique offers a luxury experience for men buying activewear

Preview is a men's activewear retailer offering a luxurious fashion take on work out gear with a quest to mesh online lifestyle and wellness brands with brick-and-mortar shoppers. The store in Soho, New York, rotates new brand offerings every three...

Amazon expands Whole Foods Market delivery once again

Amazon Prime members in Charlotte, Las Vegas, Memphis, New Orleans, Phoenix, Raleigh, Seattle, Tucson, Nashville and Oklahoma City now can tap the Whole Foods Market delivery service. The additional delivery areas brings Whole Foods Market Delivery to 38 cities, according...

Barnes & Noble food and drink strategy not doing well

A plan hatched two years ago to lure and engage with book lovers via food and drink isn't faring as expected for Barnes & Noble. The bookseller, according to a QZ report, reports that its restaurant strategy is tanking and...

Cashierless store dealing with a few glitches

A cashierless store in San Francisco is working out a few glitches as it strives to best Amazon's Amazon Go. The Standard Market, according to a New York Times report, lets shoppers grab items and take leave, without even having...

Mobile payments for cannabis dispensaries in the works

Virtual Crypto Technologies Inc. has announced plans to develop a cryptocurrency payment product for cannabis dispensaries.

Amazon Fashion debuts J.Crew merch

Amazon has a new brand on its virtual fashion shelves as J.Crew Mercantile items are available at Amazon.com. The fall collection includes everything from J.Crew favorites and statement pieces, according to a press release. "From seasonal trends to everyday essentials...

First Hawaiian Bank debuts Alexa voice banking

Fiserv has helped First Hawaiian Bank develop a skill for Amazon Alexa. The new voice capabilities are a first for a financial institution based in the state, the companies said in a press release. First Hawaiian is using the voice...

Survey: Personalization, seamless shopping is more critical than ever

Seamless, ubiquitous shopping is viewed by nearly every retail leader (94 percent) as a transformative strategy and change moment for the retail industry. That's a key finding from the new Accenture and Retail Industry Leaders Association research report polling 3,000...

Amazon expanding van delivery strategy

Amazon’s three-month-old van delivery service is growing by 20,000 more vans to be built at a South Carolina facility. The service is the latest strategy by the omnichannel mega retailer to give customers as many delivery options as possible.

L'Occitane debuts experiential concept store

Natural cosmetics maker and retailer L'Occitane has opened an Provence concept store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. The 1,870-square-foot store offers an unique immersive destination that will communicate the brand's signature pillars through a range of interactive customer...

University of Missouri – Kansas City deploys smart kiosks

The University of Missouri — Kansas City has installed smart kiosks on its campus, making it the first U.S. campus to have the same kind of kiosks that can be found at transit stops and in urban areas, according to University News.

Amazon expands Whole Foods delivery once again

Amazon Prime members in 28 cities can now tap quick delivery from their Whole Foods Market. Amazon has expanded delivery to more New York City communities as well as Columbus, Dayton, Greater Washington D.C. and Portland, according to a press...

Human connection still tops with shoppers, retailers

Retail shoppers prefer real-person interaction over chatbots when it comes to customer service and 66 percent of consumers view customer service as important as product quality and product price. One big reason for the human interaction preference, according to the...

UK courier pilots self-serve kiosks for sending parcels

Customers at three U.K. depots will be able to pay for parcel shipment at Parcelforce Worldwide self-serve kiosks during a trial that will run from today through Sept.

Trouble buying kid footwear? There's an app for that

Finding and determining a good shoe wear fit for kids isn't easy. But a new app from Jenzy hopes to eliminate all the pain points when it comes to online purchase of young child footwear and foster a more rewarding...

Retailers see a rosy online revenue path ahead

An e-commerce performance report reveals 91 percent of retailers expect online revenue growth this year and will be doubling down on the mobile and personalized customer experience. The H1 2018 E-commerce Performance Indicators and Confidence Report also reveals that, globally,...

Love Ellen? So does Walmart

Walmart will launch a women's fashion line in partnership with talk show maven Ellen DeGeneres. The strategy comes as fashion and general retailers face increasing competition due to Amazon’s recently launched fashion and accessories line. The DeGeneres collection (called EV1)...

Australia footwear chain offers same-day delivery

Accent Group, which operates 350 Australian-based footwear stores, is deploying same-day delivery. The service is now available at 12 stores with the goal to have it at all stores within the next two months, according to a Sydney Morning Herald...

Amazon, Walmart not making strong emotional connection with consumers

A report listing out the top 50 U.S. brands ranked by emotional connection reveals no leading retailer in the top five or even the top 10. The Motista data, which assessed over 250,000 U.S.

Going to the mall? Prime parking may cost you

One of the most irritating aspects of shopping at the mall may soon be eliminated, but there will be a price to pay. Malls and outlet centers are partnering with the MyPark app that lets user reserve best parking spots...

Guess? delivers Alipay mobile payments to retail stores

Guess? Inc., a global lifestyle brand and retailer, is partnering with Alipay to enable Chinese travelers visiting the U.S. to pay with the Alipay app when making purchases at more than 50 Guess? stores in popular destinations including New York,...

Mvix debuts digital signage network at Western Michigan University

Western Michigan University, based in Kalamazoo, Michigan, selected Mvix to deploy a digital signage network at the school. The network consists of 30 displays at 15 campus facilities in Michigan and Florida, according to a press release. Each campus facility previously had to use their own messaging tools, which led to inconsistent branding.

Georgia county deploys water, sewer bill payment kiosk

North Fulton, Georgia, residents can now pay county water and sewer bills at a payment kiosk and walk-up window at the Fulton County Customer Service Center at 11575 Maxwell Rd. in Alpharetta, Georgia, according to the Alpharetta Patch. The kiosk is open from 7:30 a.m.

North Dakota launches self-serve vehicle registration renewal kiosk

Drivers in Williston, North Dakota can renew vehicle registrations and license plate tabs at a self-serve kiosk installed by the North Dakota Department of Transportation, according to KFYR-TV.

Consumers still wary about security with mobile banking, payments

Nearly 6 in 10 consumers pay bills on line, but half of this group have concerns about the security of doing so, according to Expectations & Experiences: Consumer Payments, a new consumer survey from Fiserv Inc. Further, consumers are interested...

Walmart mulling streaming service, claims report

Walmart may be looking to get into the streaming service realm and mulling a subscription program of $8 a month. Such a price would undercut current leading streaming plans provided by Amazon and Netflix, according to a New York Post report.

UPS mulling hefty package delivery service option

The United Parcel Service is reportedly in talks with a trucking outfit regarding an at-home delivery option for big, bulky products. Currently UPS, as well as FedEx, limit parcel weight to a maximum of 150 pounds and leaves items at...

Target prepping faster delivery for New York customers

New York-based Target consumers will soon have faster delivery options as the retailer is expected to offer same-day delivery on thousands of items by the end of July. The retailer already offers such service in several states, including Texas and...

Standard Cognition raises $11.2M to develop autonomous checkout

Standard Cognition, developer of an autonomous checkout system for retailers, has raised an additional $5.5 million in seed funding from CRV, bringing the company's total funding raised to date to $11.2 million. The company will use the funding to accelerate...

No more Blockbusters in Alaska come the fall

Just one Blockbuster will be open in the U.S. now that two of the three remaining in the U.S.

Walmart's Jet.com debuts same-day New York delivery

Walmart is using internal resources, specifically its e-commerce Jet.com division, for same-day delivery in New York City. The news comes as retailers are trying to provide delivery every which way for the consumer, from locker pickups to car trunk delivery....

Macy's alerts customers to credit card data breach

A small number of Macy's.com and Bloomingdales.com customer data was breached between late April and mid June. Customers were informed of the data breach via a letter, according to USA Today. The retailer did not specify how many customers were...

Gap expanding physidigital strategy across Old Navy stores

Old Navy stores across the U.S. are now reflecting parent company Gap's customer experience strategy to blend the physical with the digital. Customers can now checkout anywhere in a store, via mobile devices, and buy online and pick up at...

Walmart taps ex-AMEX leader as chief customer officer

Walmart has created a new role, chief customer officer, and hired on a former American Express executive. Janey Whiteside will oversee Walmart stores and ecommerce in the newly minted job which is focused on boosting shopping traffic and customer service,...

BJ's debuts PayPal checkout services

BJ's Wholesale Club announced an integration on BJs.com with PayPal, PayPal Credit and PayPal One Touch, according to a press release. "We're committed to making shopping easier and more convenient for our members, which is why we're excited to partner...

Target launches curbside pickup to 200 more stores in Midwest

Amazon isn't the only retailer boosting its delivery channels.

Walmart debuts 3D virtual shopping tour, ‘buy the room’ features

Walmart is launching two new ways for customers to shop, discover and be inspired by its home décor offerings. One is a 3D virtual shopping tour and the second is a feature called "buy the room," which allows shoppers to...

CVS Health expanding delivery service

CVS Health will offer nationwide prescription delivery, as well as one and two-day home delivery for some specific items for a cost of $4.99. The expanding options, according to a New York Post report, will bring a higher-fee in some...

Amazon creates a special Alexa for the hospitality industry

There is now a special Amazon Alexa coming to hotels and motels that will help guests order anything from food to more towels and even make dining reservations. The hospitality-focused Amazon Echo, according to a New York Post report, will...

Under Armour taps flexReceipts to boost customer engagement after the sale

Global athletic performance retailer Under Armour is deploying flexReceipts across its locations in North America to boost the post-sale engagement opportunity. The technology will deliver content and product suggestions customized to each customer, according to a press release. The flexReceipts...

Consumers love dynamic pricing, reveals report

A good majority of shoppers, 65 percent, are embracing dynamic pricing in the retail store, especially if it saves money and reduces waste, according to a new report from Displaydata and Planet Retail RNG. Dynamic pricing is when retailers change...

Staples to be home to TSA PreCheck centers

Consumers needing to enroll in the TSA PreCheck program will soon be able to do it at Staples locations as the retailer expects to open 50 service enrollment centers this summer. TSA PreCheck services is a prescreening programs for travelers.

Amazon expands Prime benefit at 10 more Whole Foods locations

Amazon Prime members across 10 more states now have access to exclusive Whole Foods Market discounts and offers. Amazon is expanding the Prime benefits to stores in Arizona, Georgia, Alabama, Kansas, Oklahoma, Idaho, Hawaii, Oregon, North Carolina and Washington, according...

Microsoft building cashierless check-out tech

Microsoft is reportedly aiming to take on Amazon when it comes to cashierless retail by developing its own platform and in talks with Walmart on the initiative. The news, according to a Reuters report, comes within months of Amazon opening...

Biggest mobile shopping gripe: ads

Today's shoppers using a mobile device are frustrated due to too many ads and retailers need to make some changes to avoid losing loyal customers. That's the big takeaway from a new Usabilla study regarding online consumer experiences, according to...

Study: Consumers want more payment choices at unattended terminals

Some 70 percent of consumers want unattended terminals to accept both card and cash payments and a significant number are willing to use wearable devices or digital wallets at these locations, according to a survey of U.S., U.K. and Australian...

Gigi's Cupcakes delivers to doorsteps across US

Gigi's Cupcakes are now available through nationwide shipping, according to a press release. By using Gigi's website, users are able to order from the brands menu and have their treats delivered fresh within as little as 24 hours. "This exciting...

Amazon delivery man takes loyalty to the mat

Amazon strives to provide top customer service and a Texas delivery person is clearly on board. A Haslet woman found that out when a delivery person dropping off an Amazon purchase read her doormat and followed the instructions perfectly.

Pita Pit teams up with LevelUp, Olo for mobile, delivery

Pita Pit is partnering with LevelUp and Olo to introduce a completely revamped guest loyalty program, third-party delivery and a redesigned app for order ahead, according to a press release. "We decided to join forces with LevelUp and Olo in...

Survey: Lots of consumers would rather clean toilets than deal with customer support

When it comes to calling a retailer's support or customer service number a good number of Americans (44 percent) would rather spend the time scrubbing out the toilet. That's the findings of a survey from Helpshift on what consumers dislike...

Club Monaco going pop-up in a big way

The Ralph Lauren brand Club Monaco is going pop up in a big way, with three events at its New York city flagship store since late 2017. The pop-up events, according to a Digiday report, are open for several months...

Sephora melds physical, digital retail divisions

In an effort to boost customer experience and service Sephora has meshed its internal digital and physical retail units into one division. It's also updated the title of Mary Beth Laughton, formerly senior vice president of digital for the past...

Gap tapping digital policies to boost customer experience, associate scheduling

Gap is launching new digital policies aimed at helping sale associate scheduling as well as gaining deeper insight on consumer activity via its sales data. The retailer is debuting a mobile app aimed at improving employee scheduling as a study...

Walmart testing new check-out service

Walmart is piloting a new "Check Out With Me" service in lawn and garden centers at more than 350 store locations nationwide. The service, according to a press release, is aimed at helping customers save time by having associates use...

Meeting customer needs driving retail investment, reveals survey

Retailers are spending in a quest to keep up with customer expectations, according to a JDA Software and KPMG survey conducted by Incisiv. "As Amazon extends from retail into manufacturing and logistics, these industries recognize that the status quo for...

Verizon installs free Wi-Fi kiosks in upstate NY

New Rochelle, New York, is the first city in the country to have Verizon's Digital Kiosks, according to The Journal News. The kiosks provide free internet access, allow charging mobile devices, and give weather and city navigation information. Users can...

Rewards.com users now earning, redeeming Dash digital currency at retailers

Dash, a company that frames itself as an alternative to bitcoin, has announced a partnership with Rewards.com, a loyalty rewards website incentivizing purchases through its unique cashback program. The partnership means Dash will be the first digital currency payments method...

Target makes beauty shopping a bit easier

Target is focused on making beauty shopping easier given it offers more than 1,000 beauty brands. It's taking a three-pronged approach to make product exploration and discovery easy that blends physical and digital to drive shopping convenience, according to a...

Target ups men's grooming strategy with new store experience, products

Target is debuting in-store improvements in its men's grooming departments and "doubling down" on offerings and elevating the experience for the male consumer. "Guys are more style savvy and selective than ever and they spend a considerable amount of time...

Nuggets testing blockchain e-commerce mobile app

Nuggets, an e-commerce payments and ID platform, has opened up its mobile app Alpha to iOS users. Nuggets uses blockchain technology to enable consumers to make e-commerce payments, log in to services, and verify their identities without having to share...

Wirecard powering contactless payments in Garmin smartwatches

Wirecard is partnering with Garmin to provide Garmin smartwatch owners a digital payment experience through Wirecard's flagship product, boon, according to a press release. As of now, Garmin smartwatch users in France, Italy, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, and the U.K. will...

Amazon's Whole Foods grocery delivery service hits a few more markets

Denver, Sacramento and San Diego Amazon Prime members can now enjoy free two-hour delivery, on orders more than $35, from Whole Foods Market. The new delivery areas, announced by Amazon in a press release, brings Whole Foods Market service delivery...

DoorDash delivery partnership pays off for Chipotle

The national delivery partnership between Chipotle Mexican Grill and DoorDash is proving to be a winning, and lucrative, strategy. The restaurant has seen a 667 percent spike in weekly delivery orders since debuting the new delivery option which makes deliveries...

Walmart shutters Scan&Go due to consumer disinterest

There's no more Scan&Go happening at Walmart as the top retailer has shuttered the cashierless checkout app. The reason, according to a Business Insider report, was due to little shopper interest and participation. Walmart’s decision comes as its top competitor,...

Panera rolls out nationwide delivery

Panera Bread has expanded delivery across the United States with the service now available in 897 cities and 43 states. The service — which is entirely digital via the Panera app or website — meets pent-up consumer demand for clean options, Blaine Hurst, Panera CEO, said in a press release. "Panera delivery isn't a pilot program.

Walmart, DoorDash team up on grocery delivery

Walmart and DoorDash are teaming up to expand Walmart's online grocery delivery service, beginning with the Atlanta metro market. The collaboration, according to a press release, is the beginning of a strategy that will extend the service to reach more...

Kmart: Bring your Toys R Us gift cards to us

As Toys R Us continues to move forward in its reorganization and bankruptcy process, fellow retail competitor Kmart is offering to help consumers who may be holding Toys R Us gift cards. Kmart, according to a Newsday report, will accept the cards in exchange for its FREECASH reward program.

Electrify America prepping EV stations for Walmart, Target

Electrify America will install "ultrafast" electric vehicle chargers at more than 100 retail, convenience and refueling locations across the U.S., including Target and Walmart, boosting convenience for consumers who drive an electric vehicle or are considering the purchase of one....

Amazon Prime members now have car trunk delivery option

Amazon Prime members owning a technology compatible vehicle can now have deliveries dropped in the car trunk via Amazon's Key app and either GM's OnStar account or Volvo’s On Call account. The Key In-Car service, according to CNN Money, is available in 37 U.S. cities.

Amazon shuttering Whole Food's reward program

Fulfilling a statement made early on following its acquisition of Whole Foods, Amazon is closing down the grocer's less than one-year old rewards program and customers have until May 2 to use points and mobile coupons. In its place, according to Loyalty360, Amazon will offer rewards to Whole Foods customers who are also Amazon Prime members.

Meijer hops on scan-and-pay bandwagon

Meijer is the latest supermarket chain to jump on the shop-and-scan bandwagon and will roll out the technology to all its stores by the end of the summer, according to a press release. Meijer's program, called Shop & Scan, enables...

Walmart building, remodeling and tapping interactive displays

Walmart is building 20 new stores and remodeling hundreds of existing locations, mostly in Florida and Texas, with new designs on everything from aisle layout to shelving and deploying interactive displays in revamped electronics departments. The new store/redesign strategy, according...

Amazon offering in-home gadget service

On the heels of announcing a partnership with Best Buy to sell its Fire-enabled televisions, Amazon is reportedly also setting up its own 'Geek Squad' initiative much like Best Buy's technology support service. The move, according to a Recode report,...

Amazon partners with Best Buy on Amazon Fire TV strategy

Amazon is partnering with Best Buy in an exclusive agreement to sell its Amazon Fire smart televisions sold via Best Buy's Insignia brand and Toshiba. The strategy, which will kick off this summer, is to expand Amazon’s Fire TV brand within the brick-and-mortar landscape, according to a USA Today report.

TGI Fridays focused on personal, genuine customer interaction

TGI Fridays is partnering with SessionM, a customer data and engagement platform, to enhance its omnichannel strategy and drive stronger connection with customers. The restaurant is aiming to tap data from all guest touchpoints to enhance its customer relationships and...

Walmart prepping hundreds of high-tech pickup towers

In the quest to provide consumers fast and easily product pick up, Walmart plans to expand its 'high-tech' pickup towers at stores. In the past year Walmart has established the towers in nearly 200 locations, according to a company blog...

Amazon expands Key access nationwide

Amazon's Key smart entry technology is now available nationwide and the in-home Key delivery program is available to Prime members in 37 specific cities. Amazon Key, which is a keyless entry, remote local and unlock technology, also now boasts a...

Macy expanding off-price outlet strategy

Macy's, in a bid to lure price-conscious consumers, plans to open 100 Backstage location across the nation this year. The off-price outlets, which will be housed within existing stores, according to a Newsday report, offer name-brand items from clothing to...

Nordstrom launches men's store in Manhattan

History is being made this week as Nordstrom's launches its first-ever Manhattan, New York store. The men's only store, taking up three floors at 57th and Broadway, illustrates that the brick-and-mortar strategy remains a compelling approach. The product and clothing...

Boxed debuts membership program

Boxed customers wanting lower shipping fees and bigger price breaks are going to have to pay as the e-commerce grocery site is deploying an annual membership program. The strategy, called Boxed Up, according to a New York Post report, is...

Walmart mulling PillPack delivery service acquisition, claim reports

In yet another move to expand way beyond typical retailing Walmart is reportedly mulling the acquisition of medication delivery player PillPack. Discussion on the purchase, estimated by CNBC as under $1 billion, have been going on for months, according to...

ShopKeep expands payment processing options to include TSYS' ProPay

ShopKeep and ProPay, a TSYS company, have announced a new partnership in which ProPay will manage payment processing via its Payment Facilitator service for the segment of ShopKeep's merchants who opt to self-serve onto ShopKeep's platform, according to a press...

Octopus extends merchant acceptance via NFC-enabled mPOS app

Octopus Cards Limited has launched a new feature to enhance the Octopus App for Business, enabling merchants to accept Octopus card payment through their NFC mobile devices, according to a press release. Users of all Octopus cards and products (including...

Sears, Kmart, Delta customer data hit in cyber attack on software provider

The payment data of Sears, Kmart and Delta Air Lines customers may have been compromised in a cybersecurity attack on a software service provider. The breach, which happened in late September 2017 at [24]7.ai, was resolved on October 12 the...

Newegg offers bitcoin payments to Canadian shoppers

Newegg has announced Canadian consumers now have the option of paying with bitcoin on its site, according to a press release.  The company first offered a bitcoin payment option to its U.S. customers in August 2014 as one of the first major retailers to do so.

Walmart now eyeing move into healthcare

Walmart is pondering a merger with healthcare provider Humana, according to a Bloomberg report published on Fortune. The rumored partnership would provide home healthcare services.

Amazon prepping Whole Foods pick-up service, claims report

Amazon is reportedly getting a product pick-up service strategy in place for its Whole Foods Market locations, according to a Motley Fool report. The news comes as retailers and grocers are scrambling to lure shoppers with a myriad of delivery...

Survey: Very few consumers report excellent customer service

Businesses may have an inflated view of customer service levels given a new survey that reveals just a minor number of consumers have experience excellent customer service. An Arvato survey, polling 500 consumers and business leaders, reveals just 9 percent...

Amazon prepping responsive drone technology, claims report

Amazon's drone strategy may include developing drones that respond to a customer's call or wave. The gesture-based technology, according to a New York Post report, are laid out in a patent and include shouting, fast arm waving and a thumbs-up...

Walmart expanding CarSaver car-selling kiosks

Walmart is increasing the number of store locations featuring a CarSaver car-selling kiosk, according to Adweek. In an email to the publication, a Walmart rep wrote that CarSaver locations will open in Georgia, Illinois, Indiana and Virginia in the near term.

Nordstrom readying men's store in New York City

In just about three weeks Nordstrom will open a mega men’s store in Manhattan featuring personal shoppers, a clubhouse and even a coffee bar. The store, selling merchandise just for men, will open April 12, according to a New York...

Target expanding loyalty program strategy

Target is reportedly testing a new loyalty rewards approach with a pilot taking place in the Dallas-Fort Worth region. The new strategy, called "Target Red," according to a Star Tribune report, is not linked to a payment card and comes...

The try-before-you-buy trend spurring a returns tsunami, claims study

Retailers offering a try-before-you-buy strategy are experiencing a surge of intentional returns that may undermine profits, according to a new Brightpearl study. Companies including Amazon and its new Prime Wardrobe, Stitch Fix, Warby Parker and Trunk Club have led the...

Payments Canada launches new credit risk model

Payments Canada, a financial market infrastructure for payments, is deploying a new credit risk model to boost safety and the soundness of existing systems.It's the first major enhancement on the organization's multiyear payments modernization strategy, according to a press release....

Arizona hospital deploys self-serve prescription kiosk

Bayless Integrated Health Center in Phoenix is now using a self-serve pharmacy kiosk that allows patients to fill a prescription immediately after being treated at the hospital, skipping a separate trip to a pharmacy, according to ABC 15. The kiosk...

Walmart expanding grocery delivery across the country

In the latest shot fired in the battle to provide greater delivery options, Walmart plans to expand its online grocery delivery to more than 40 percent of the U.S. by 2019. Right now, the service is available in six markets...

Amazon extends Prime discount to Medicaid consumers

Amazon is offering Medicaid consumers its Prime membership for $5.99 a month, a big discount from its monthly $12.99 cost. The move is a discount program expansion, according to the New York Times, as Amazon first offered the same discount...

Indian airport tests check-in kiosk on buses

The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation, in collaboration with the Bengaluru International Airport in Bangalore, India, has installed an automated check-in kiosk in a Vayu Vajra bus on the Electronics City-KIA route. So far, 160 passengers have checked in from the...

Amazon may be going into banking business, claims report

Amazon, J.P. Morgan and Capital One Financial are reportedly teaming up on a checking account initiative to attract the younger consumer. A Fortune report, citing the Wall Street Journal, claims the three companies are mulling the banking service, but it would not mean Amazon would be opening a banking division.

Amazon expands Whole Foods delivery to San Francisco, Atlanta

Amazon Prime members in six more cities now have access to free, 2-hour delivery on Whole Foods Market orders. Amazon, the omnichannel giant which bought Whole Foods Market in 2017, is extending the fast delivery option to Atlanta and San...

Amazon tracking deliveries with a click of a camera

Apparently Amazon delivery drivers have been snapping photos of packages they've left on doorsteps, and Amazon is now offering the tracking option to consumers. The Amazon Logistics Photo on Delivery, according to PC Magazine, is now available to shoppers who...

Hopdoddy Burger Bar taps T3 to revamp web, mobile experience

Hopdoddy Burger Bar is revamping its web and mobile experience with the help of innovation agency T3. The Austin, Texas-based burger and beer joint aims to boost the online ordering into an exceptional customer experience and foster the fun vibe...

Survey: Data, top tier buy-in are key to successful customer experience

Retailers aiming to shore up the customer experience, and return on investment with CX technology, need to focus on getting executive support and ensuring good data integration. Those are the findings of a new Confirmit survey highlighting critcal areas that...

Amazon launching Whole Foods Market delivery service

Amazon Prime members living near a Whole Foods Market will be able to tap free 2-hour delivery as long as they're buying $35 in goods from the supermarket chain that Amazon bought in 2017. The service starts today in a...

Panera Bread debuting home, office delivery

Panera Bread will begin rolling out home and office delivery this month on Long Island for a $3 fee. Starting next week, the fast casual chain will offer the service to some customers in Nassau and Suffolk counties, according to...

Target going a bit small on Long Island with new store

Long Island, New York, will get another small-store Target location come this fall. It will be the fourth small-store format for Long Island and will land in Selden, according to a Newsday report, and it marks Target's 26th store on...

Amazon pulls some children’s products after slogan backlash

A range of products featuring the slogan, "Slavery gets sh&t done," are now off the virtual shelves at Amazon following a backlash from anti-slavery organizations and consumers. The products included shirts, mugs and bags from third-party sellers, according to a...

Walmart partners with Japan e-commerce player Rakuten

Walmart is teaming up with Rakuten, Japan’s biggest ecommerce retailer, on an online grocery effort in Japan, according to an NPR report. The U.S. retailer will provide a channel for Rakuten to sell digital books and audiobooks in the U.S.,...

Starbucks goes cashless at downtown Seattle store

Starbucks has gone cashless at one location in downtown Seattle as the coffee giant experiments with a growing trend among fast casual chains in the U.S. The Seattle Times first made the discovery and reported that Starbucks is testing the concept at only one store.

Amazon Prime membership gets more expensive for some

Amazon is increasing the cost of its monthly Prime subscription service, from $10.99 to $12.99, which represents an increase of 18 percent. The increase, according to Recode, totals an extra $156 over 12 months.

American Airlines going cashless at Miami airport

Travelers flying out of Miami International Airport on American Airlines won't be taking cash for checking bags and overweight bag fees. The airline is going cashless, according to a New York Post report, and will only accept debit or credit...

Amazon Go store now open to the public

Amazon is opening its cashierless Amazon Go store to consumers in Seattle today, following a 14-month trial with company employees, according to The Seattle Times. Upon entering, customers scan a smartphone app that registers them into the store. After grabbing...

Banks now testing Visa biometric EMV card

Visa has initiated pilots with Mountain America Credit Union and Bank of Cyprus of a new EMV dual-interface payment card, making these the first commercial pilots to test an on-card biometric for contactless payments, according to a press release. "The...

Arizona hospital prescribes self-serve kiosk for prescriptions

A self-serve kiosk at Bayless Integrated Healthcare's Dobson Ranch in Mesa, Arizona, enables patients to receive prescriptions and over-the-counter medications immediately following an appointment, according to the East Valley Tribune. The APM Pharmacy kiosk verifies patients using their IDs and...

Electronic parking kiosks in Pennsylvania draw complaints

The new electronic parking kiosks in New Hope, Pennsylvania are drawing complaints from businesses who say customers are confused about how to use them, according to the New Hope Free Press. Many motorists are also unsure how to even find the kiosks. The borough replaced traditional parking meters on Dec.

Aldi reaches out to vegan, vegetarian consumers

Aldi, a German-based grocery chain, is aiming to offer up a line of vegan and vegetarian items in U.S.

Theatro, Curbside partner on click and collect customer experience

Theatro is partnering with Curbside in a quest to improve the 'click and collect' customer experience when it comes to in-store pickup of online orders in the retail segment. The collaboration will provide retailers great efficiency and empower retail associates...

Pepper the robot now an airport restaurant greeter

Travelers can expect to see more of the 4-foot tall humanoid, Pepper the robot, at select HMSHost North American airport restaurants, according to a press release. Pepper greets and engages traveling guests, provides menu details and even offers menu recommendations....

Sprouts extends home delivery with Instacart partnership

Healthy grocer Sprouts Farmers Market will soon be providing home delivery in all of its major markets via a partnership with Instacart. The expansion will begin with its stores in Arizona, according to a press release. Customers can order via...

Kroger advancing self-checkout strategy

Supermarket chain Kroger is set to expand its self-checkout service to 400 stores in 2018, according to a report from the Cincinnati Business Courier. Kroger's Scan, Bag, Go service is similar to Walmart's effort in that it enables shoppers to...

Walmart testing new personal shopping experience

Walmart is reportedly tapping text to provide a new personalized shopping experience for the wealthy busy mom. The mega retailer, according to a Recode report, is beta testing a new service that will give shoppers item recommendations and allow purchase...

NYC Amtrak boosts travel experience

Amtrak is focused on helping consumers and travelers find their way around New York City's Penn Station more easily with a new "FindYourWay" app, according to a Newsday report. The app provides mobile device users information on gates, trains, exits,...

Target buys Shipt to shore up delivery strategy

Target is buying Shipt, a same-day delivery platform, for $550 million in cash in its strategy to boost fulfillment efforts. The news comes as retailers race to meet customer expectations now that they value speedy delivery over price, as Retail...

Chat customer experience not so great in UK, claims study

Consumers in the U.K. want to use chat when it comes to customer service, with nearly a third embracing the technology, but satisfaction isn't very high at this point, according to the Eptica 2017 UK Chat Study. It found that...

Starbucks launches AR experience in Shanghai

Starbucks launches AR experience in Shanghai

The Shanghai Roastery is the first Starbucks in the world to offer an augmented reality experience to customers. Customers, who download the app, get a whole new experience as they point their phones at key features around the roastery.

Gift pickup kiosks debut in Arkansas

Gift pickup kiosks have been introduced to Central Arkansas just in time for the Christmas holiday season, according to arkansasmatters.com. The Anytime Valet kiosks are available at six locations in Sherwood, Little Rock and North Little Rock. Once an item...

Personalization pays off big time, claims new study

Retailers who personalize are likely seeing big benefits such as increased profits, according to Monetate's second annual Personalization Development Study. The report, developed with WBR Insights, includes insight from more than 500 markets in North America and the U.K. Personalization...

Consumer shopping glitches on the rise, reveals study

The 2017 Customer Rage Study reveals more than 62 million families had at least one shopping glitch in the past 12 months, leading to frustration and anger in the customer experience. And while retailers' customer service teams responded, 79 percent...

Customer support teams find job more challenging than ever

More than half, 56 percent, of customer contact center employees are dealing with complex customer issues and 60 percent say the company they work for has left them ill equipped to handle problems. The data, from a Calabrio study, reveals...

Amazon Go stores may be close to a full 'go'

Amazon is gearing up to establish a roster of Amazon Go stores, the cashierless retail strategy the mega etailer has had in pilot for just about a year, according to a Bloomberg report. Amazon is hiring personnel for the stores, claims Bloomberg.

Free is better than fast when it comes to shipping, say consumers

The annual Deloitte holiday survey of consumer trends and spending reveals that nine in 10, 88 percent, of consumers view free shipping as more important than options for fast shipping. Over half, 54 percent, of holiday shoppers describe fast shipping...

CVS Health delivering next-day service come the new year

CVS Health will debut next-day delivery of drugs and even same-day service come 2018. The new services efforts are the latest in an ongoing battle among retailers to give consumers the fastest product delivery possible and the latest shot by...

Yankee Candle pops up in NYC for holiday buying season

One of the newest retail pop-ups in New York City this holiday season is home to Yankee Candle. The retailer has opened a 5,340-square-foot-store in Soho on Broadway and is calling it "CandlePower," according to a New York Post report.

Hilton teams up with Amazon in loyalty program strategy

Hilton Honors members can now link Amazon accounts to their Hilton account and shop Amazon using Hilton points, according to a TechCrunch report. The collaborative effort is the first time a hotel brand and Amazon have joined forces in a...

Consumers love retailers with multiple channels, reveals survey

The more channels available for customer service, the happier a consumer is, reveals a Narvar survey on shopper behavior. While 80 percent of consumers still prefer email as the top communication option, 38 percent want other options, according to the...

UK customer experience is getting weak, claims study

Retail brands in the U.K. aren't meeting growing consumer expectations and are struggling to deal with consumer queries, reveals an Eptica study. Of 100 companies polled, 44 percent could answer routine questions from shoppers via social media and online, a...

Outdoors retailer shuttering doors on Black Friday

For the third year in a row, outdoors retailer REI won't be open on Black Friday. Its CEO claims the strategy is helping the business and is a path other retailers should take, according to a Business Insider report. Selling...

First Data expands availability of Clover via Apple retail stores

First Data has announced new initiatives with Apple designed to broaden the distribution of First Data's Clover devices and accelerate the expansion and digital transformation of Apple Pay, according to a press release. First Data's Clover Go device, an EMV...

Storis to introduce kiosk for home furnishings retailers

Storis, a retail software solutions provider, has announced a new kiosk solution that brings a key component of in-store technology to home furnishings retailers. The Storis kiosk's core functionality will be to catalog a retailer's inventory, access customer history and...

Price not the only focus for consumers these days

While the price point will always be a top consideration for the consumer, other factors, from in-store events to great service, are also top of mind, according to a new Interactions survey. The survey, which polled more than 1,500 shoppers,...

Venmo acceptance comes to 2M online merchants mobile digital wallet pos

Venmo users can now shop on their mobile phone and make purchases at more than two million U.S. retailers via the mobile web, according to a press release. The new feature enables Venmo users to shop at millions of merchants...

United Airlines secures EZ Access certification for self-serve kiosks

United Airlines has incorporated EZ Access technologies into its self-service kiosks to better ensure that the kiosks are accessible to all travelers. "We chose to implement EZ Access into our kiosks because it's not limited to a single disability," Jaymes...

Ikea vending machine offers kitchen tools

Ikea has installed a vending machine at a Stockholm subway station to sell small kitchen items such as a garlic press, an egg slicer and other tools, according to Ehandel.com, a retail site.

Study: Retailers lack tools to tap customer data

More than half, 58 percent, of retailers don't have in-store tools to view and analyze customer data across touch points, and of those who do, just 64 percent believe they're somewhat effective. The Kibo study also reveals 52 percent of...

Amazon plans to hire on over 120K workers for holiday season

The human resources teams at Amazon are getting pretty busy as the etailer plans to hire for over 120,000 jobs this holiday season for its fulfillment, sortation centers and customer service sites. "We prepare year round for the holidays, and...

Footwear retailer DSW is striving to inspire self-expression

DSW Inc. has a new brand mission focused on building engaging customer experience, enabling associate product knowledge, boosting operational processes and "distorting" traditional assortment. The strategy, according to a press release, is aimed at inspiring self-expression, according to CEO Roger...

Costco expands delivery options

Costco is now offering same-day and two-day delivery via a new internal program and a partnership with Instacart. The delivery expansion comes on the heels of retailers, including Best Yet, striving to get goods into the hands of the consumer...

Starbucks shutters online store front

Consumers can't jump online any longer to buy Starbucks stuff as the company has shuttered its ecommerce presence. The move, according to a New York Times report, was made to put a stronger focus on the coffee seller's in-person store experience.

Walmart grabs up small NY warehouse

In its quest to provide same-day delivery on par with its ecommerce arm, Jet.com, Walmart has bought a New York City delivery company boasting a warehouse. The Brooklyn-based Parcel, according to an AP report in Newsday, already knows how to...

Mobile platform aims to empower store associates to boost customer experience

M.Gemi and PredictSpring are debuting a store associate app that aims to tap store associates to better the retail customer experience. The in-store mobile commerce platform is in play at M.Gemi stores in New York City's Soho area and the...

Walmart readying same-day delivery for NYC customers

Free, same-day delivery will soon be offered by Walmart in the New York City area. The delivery move will put the retailer in sync with its acquired ecommerce arm, Jet.com, which already offers city residents such service, according to a...

NYC transit going big with digital ads

New York City commuters are the target of a massive digital ad campaign in play by the city's MTA agency which plans to install over 30,000 video screens across its thousands of subway cars, stations and platforms. There will be...

Hilton testing ‘smart room’ to enhance customer experience

One day soon consumers staying at Hilton won't have to adjust thermostats once in the room, find their favorite television program or call to order the beer they like. That's because the hotel chain is striving to make all that...

Amazon's Whole Foods suffers credit card breach

As consumers still grapple with a massive Equifax data breach, reports indicate Whole Foods' shoppers are likely facing a similar issue. Amazon's Whole Foods Market reported last week that payment card data has been taken from venues within some stores,...

Robots, no-cash experience coming to Shake Shack NYC location

There won't be any humans taking orders and no cash exchanged at the impending Shake Shack location in the East Village of New York City. Hungry consumers will tap touchscreen kiosks via an app to place orders, according to a...

Swarovski's new VR app lets users buy goods via Masterpass checkout

MasterCard and Swarovski launched a virtual reality shopping app for the Atelier Swarovski home décor line, a collection of functional and decorative crystal home accessories. The app immerses consumers in a tastefully decorated home where they can browse and purchase...

California DMV opens self-serve kiosks in San Francisco supermarkets

The California Department of Motor Vehicles has installed 14 self-service kiosks at San Francisco area grocery stores so drivers can renew vehicle registrations and receive the hard copy faster than if they renew online, according to sfgate.com. Drivers renewing registrations...

Amazon's Manhattan hub will house 2,000 employees

Amazon's impending Manhattan office will be home to 2,000 employees over the next three years, according to an AM New York report. The office, slated to open in 2018, is a 360,000,000-square foot spot at 5 Manhattan West, and Amazon has signed a 15-year lease, according to the report. It will be home for Amazon Advertising.

Alipay expands to Nordic region with retailer pacts

Alipay has signed separate memorandum of understandings with Finpro (Finland), Svensk Handel (Sweden) and the Scandinavian Tourist Board, which will enable retailers across the Nordic region to accept payment via Alipay and reach Chinese customers before, during and after their...

Tencent launches mobile marketing tools for US retailers

Tencent is launching a suite of advertising products and resources that will enable U.S. marketers to directly engage Chinese consumers on Tencent platforms both in China and while they travel abroad, including on the company's popular social messaging app, WeChat....

Aldi to accept contactless payments at all locations

Grocery chain Aldi will now enable shoppers to pay for their items with any contactless payment method, including mobile methods such as Apple Pay, as well as plastic cards and wearables, according to a press release. "We're continually innovating to...

Kohl's teams with Amazon in product return partnership

Looking to return an Amazon purchase? Now you have two options: send it back to Amazon or drop it off at Kohl's. Kohl's will be accepting select Amazon return items in 82 stores come next month, according to a Reuters...

JPMorgan Chase hires Amazon customer experience leader

Marbue Brown, formerly Amazon.com's quality control and customer experience leader, is moving on to direct customer experience at JPMorgan Chase & Company. He will oversee digital sites, apps and call centers at Chase branch locations, according to a Reuters report....

CVS Pharmacy launching health, wellness vending machines nationwide

CVS Pharmacy is introducing automated retail vending machines stocked with convenient, on-the-go necessities including over-the-counter health products, "better-for-you" snacks and personal care products typically sold at CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide. The vending machines are designed to help maximize convenience and...

Google veterans launch smartphone activated self-serve convenience concept

Google veterans Paul McDonald and Ashwath Rajan are launching a new concept called Bodega, a 5-foot-wide pantry box filled with non-perishable convenience items that customers purchase using their smartphones, according to Fast Company.

Venmo tackles e-commerce payments with Williams-Sonoma pact

Venmo wants to get itself involved in e-commerce and has struck a deal with Williams-Sonoma to let users of the mobile P2P app buy or split gifts across all Williams-Sonoma properties, according to a report from recode. "That is very...

Alipay saunters down the runway with Rebecca Minkoff partnership

Fashion retailer Rebecca Minkoff is partnering with Alipay to enable Chinese tourists to make mobile payments with Alipay Wallet at all Rebecca Minkoff locations and online. Rebecca Minkoff made the announcement September 9 as part of the New York Fashion...

Long Island Bloomies gets a makeover

The Bloomingdale's store at the Roosevelt Field mall on Long Island is now boasting some new store design work. The renovations at the Long Island retailer include new signs, lighting and flooring, according to a Newsday report. The redesign and...

First Data sending mobile POS devices to help retailers hit by Hurricane Harvey

First Data is sending free mobile payment devices to Houston in a move to help retailers and businesses get back up and running as soon as possible following Hurricane Harvey. The commerce-enabling technology company is sending thousands of Clover Go...

Coast taps Aptos to enhance website

Apparel retailer Coast's new website, developed by Aptos, boasts new modern features, including large retina display product images and an enhanced digital brand experience. Coast deployed Aptos Digital Commerce to provide a seamless shopping experience, according to a press release....

Best Buy shares take a dive despite robust sales

While Best Buy enjoyed a 5.4 percent same-store quarterly sales boost and a revenue spike of 4.8 percent in the most recent quarter, its shares dropped 12 percent last week. The sales figure, according to a New York Post report,...

Houston mattress retailer opens stores to Harvey hurricane victims

A Houston retailer that sells mattresses is opening its stores to displaced hurricane victims to provide a safe, dry place to sleep. Gallery Furniture made the compassionate gesture in the wake of tremendous flooding taking place in Houston following the...

Walmart, Google team up on a collaborative shopping vision

In a quest clearly aimed at beating Amazon, Walmart will sell its products via Google’s online mall, Google Express, in a partnership aimed at offering a new shopping experience. It is the first time Walmart products will be sold outside...

Limited Too takes a pop-up strategy to keep brand in front of shoppers

The once popular teen retailer Limited Too is now debuting a pop-up strategy to stay in front of consumers as back-to-school shopping hits. It's launching a mobile truck approach outside of big brand players in New York City, according to...

Tacos on the go: Chipotle to add mobile ordering to new app

Chipotle Mexican Grill has selected Deloitte Digital to help redesign its mobile customer experience, according to a press release. Deloitte Digital, the creative digital consultancy within Deloitte Consulting LLP, will redesign Chipotle's iOS and Android ordering apps as part of...

Low price, good value are driving deeper customer loyalty

Nearly all consumers, 92 percent, view price and value as top reasons to be loyal to a retailer and brand. Product quality also factors high, with 72 percent of U.S.

Paytronix expands integration of rewards platform

Paytronix Systems is expanding its reward platform with three new POS integrations. The platform is now integrated with Gilbarco Passport, NCR Radiant and Verifone Commander, all technologies used at convenience stores, including the Des Moines-based Yesway store chain. "The new...

Amazon debuts instant pick-up service in select areas

Amazon is now offering Instant Pickup, a new free service for Prime members that lets members pick up specific "daily essentials" in two minutes or less at five staffed locations in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Berkeley, California, Columbus, Ohio and College...

Survey: Online shoppers prefer direct shopping with brands

More than half, 55 percent, of shoppers prefer buying directly from a brand versus buying at a retailer, according to a new Astound Commerce Insight survey. The finding illustrates how consumers are moving away from preferring multi-brand retail experiences, stated...

Report: Retailers should be embracing Amazon as a distribution option

A new Bluecore report reveals retailers should be embracing Amazon as a distribution channel and that research indicates 44 percent of brand marketers are "paralyzed by the competitor." Just 35.3 percent of retailers are taking "technological action" to maintain market...

Online grocery service debuts Alexa skill for hands-free voice order capability

Consumers who like to order from Stop and Shop's online Peapod grocery service can now enlist the help of Amazon's Alexa devices. The grocer is offering an "Ask Peapod" feature which enables voice ordering, according to a Progressive Grocer report....

The impact of unhappy customer service teams

Customer service plays an integral role in providing good customer experience and unhappy service teams can have a negative impact on CX. Currently less than two thirds of customer agents are happy in their roles and more than a third...

Sephora debuting a new boutique approach

Sephora is testing a "boutique" strategy in response to the current retail climate. It launched the new retail experiment in Boston, according to a Fast Company report, which describes the retail pilot as "an intimate boutique embedded in a neighborhood."...

USAA testing Amazon Alexa skill

USAA is testing an Amazon Alexa skill that will enable its customers to get answers to some of the most frequent and basic questions fielded by service representatives answering member phone calls, according to a press release. The San Antonio-based...

Shopgate hires Ken Aponte as customer success VP

Software-as-a-service shopping app platform Shopgate has a new leader of customer success with the appointment of Ken Aponte. In his role, according to a press release, Aponte, as vice president, will oversee customer satisfaction, shopper retention and driving revenue growth....

Midwest grocery chain debuts a robot named Tally

Three St. Louis-based grocery stores are participating in a six-week pilot featuring a robot, Tally, which will check aisles three times a day to ensure items and price tags are in sync. The Schnucks grocery stores are also hoping Tally...

Consumers hungry for contactless checkout at Whole Foods and hope Amazon delivers

Consumers are hoping that once Amazon acquires Whole Foods, the online mega retailer will provide cashier-free checkout and a much improved grocery store experience. That's the feedback from a ChargeItSpot poll regarding the deal, according to a CNBC report. "Our...

Walmart aims to monitor shoppers' facial expressions

Walmart is reportedly building new technology that will help it identify unhappy consumers standing in check-out lines. The facial recognition tool, according to a Business Insider report, will assess facial expressions and movements, and if it detects a not-so-happy consumer,...

Clothing retailer drives mobile shopping forward with Shopgate app platform

Texas Humor, a clothing brand focused on state pride, is using Shopgate's mobile commerce platform to build an enhanced mobile shopping app for customers. The quest is to both help shoppers and achieve deeper customer engagement via unique content capabilities,...

Pet retailer deploys IBM MobileFirst to simplify purchase journey

The U.K.-based Pets at Home is launching Sales Assist, an IBM MobileFirst for iOS app for iPad, to drive a simpler purchase process across its 440 stores. The technology, according to a press release, creates an in-store digital experience for...

Giant Eagle taps Symphony EYC to drive customer-centric retailing

Giant Eagle is aiming to drive customer-focused retailing via the use of Symphony EYC's solutions to gain greater customer insight and drive more personalized marketing. Symphony offers cloud-based software apps, big data analytic solutions and services, as well as an...

Furniture retailer launches delivery tracking service

Jerome's Furniture wants its customers to know where their furniture is, and has launched a smart tracker service to provide customers insight on the delivery journey. The "Uber-style" web map interface notifies customers when the delivery truck is in route...

Virtual assistant offers checkpoint assistance at Barcelona airport

The Barcelona-El-Prat Airport in Spain recently deployed a virtual assistant at its security gates using BrightSign's HD1023 media player. Users can receive key information from the virtual man on the security process, according to a press release. The airport is...

Smartphones will soon beat out tablets in UK mobile spend

The smartphone will soon blow past the tablet in the U.K. when it comes to mobile shopping, with smartphones grabbing 51.5 percent of spend next year. The big reason is consumers are loving smartphones more than tablets and using them more, according to the new GlobalData research.

Research highlights challenge points when it comes to customer experience

While 76 percent of retail decision makers believe they have enough actionable data, more than half (55 percent) are still relying on written, non-automated records for measuring customer experience. And while most retailers are engaging with customers in person, just...

Research: Lifestage and lifestyle play big roles in consumer path to purchase

Family, childhood experiences and external influences all play a role in the consumer's path to purchase, according to new Alliance Data research. For example, as millennials came of age during the social media boom, they are likely more trusting than...

True Fit boosts personalization with new shopping capability

The data-driven personalization platform True Fit has boosted its capabilities with a "Shop for Others" function that lets users build additional profiles for friends and family members. The feature relies on rich data and connected profiles to eliminate sizing guesswork...

Consumers willing to pay for a good customer experience, claims new study

Eight out of 10 consumers are willing to pay more for better customer experience, according to a new Capgemini study. The research report reveals a "positive correlation" between investment in digital customer efforts and consumer satisfaction and a willingness to...

Target goes to the mat with mattress startup

Shoppers browsing Target's aisles can now check out Casper Mattress mattresses and bedding as the retailer is teaming up with the start-up to sell its wares. The three-year-old startup doesn't boast any brick-and-mortar locations of its own, having been focused...

Online clothing startup unveils brick-and-mortar strategy

Despite reports claiming the omnichannel may soon go the way of the dinosaur, an upcoming online retailer plans to move into the brick-and-mortar realm. Secondhand apparel seller ThredUp, which has $130 million in funding, has opened its first store, in...

Report: Amazon developing drone hub for metro areas

A patent filing reveals Amazon may be building a distribution hub — a tower resembling a beehive — for busy metro areas "designed to accommodate landing and takeoff of unmanned aerial vehicles." The news, from a New York Post report,...

Canadian Amex users can add cards to Android Pay

American Express has announced the availability of Android Pay for its Canadian card holders, according to a press release. Android Pay is available for eligible Canadian consumer, small business and corporate cards issued by Amex Bank of Canada and is...

United Airlines debuts Uno's pizza as airlines race to boost customer food options

Flying isn't as fun as it once was for most consumers, but United Airlines is hoping a little pie will go a long way to changing the trend. The airline's domestic flight customers will soon have a new menu item...

Ikea building AR app with Apple's help

When it comes to augmented reality, Apple CEO Tim Cook is a huge fan. In fact, Cook said he is so enthused about AR potential he wants to "yell out and scream," according to a 9to5Mac report. So it's no big surprise to learn Ikea is developing its AR shopping app with Apple's help according to Digital.di.

Amazon debuts free 'try at home' apparel service

Not one to stand idle Amazon is advancing its game in the online and fashion apparel business and debuting a new service that lets shoppers try on and return with ease. The free service, Prime Wardrobe, is available to Prime...

Report: Omnichannel retailers will likely be operating one channel by 2027

If a new research report proves correct, there won't be many omnichannel retailers operating at the close of the next decade. Most stores now operating both online and off will shutter physical doors and move forward with an online only...

Dermstore, Calendars.com boost sales with customer segmentation platform

Calendars.com and Dermstore are enjoying a 2 percent sales boost and a 10x-lift in return on advertising spend following a deployment of Custora's Segmentation Studio, according to a press release. The technology provides marketing teams point and click access to...

1 in 4 retail associates don't have needed tools and tech

One out of four retail store associates say they are not properly equipped with the right digital tools and tech to do their jobs, and oftentimes leave the associate role for that reason. But, if they are given needed tools,...

TSA to tap emerging tech to spur better customer experience

Airline passengers may soon stop complaining about long lines at airport security checkpoints as the TSA is aiming to test several emerging technologies to boost the customer experience. The federal agency is testing facial recognition and fingerprint ID tools that...

Retail tech investment expectation bodes well for tool makers

A new Accenture Strategy report reveals greater tech investment by retailers could lead to $2.95 trillion in sales for technology makers. The reason? Retailers will be grabbing up new digital tools as consumers want and expect technology in the retail...

Macy's taking new approach to promotions, media, loyalty

Macy's aims to reconnect with loyal shoppers, lure in new shoppers and deploy a new mix of marketing media. All three efforts are tied to boosting sales and communication with shoppers, according to an Ad Age report. Stores will not...

Consumers expect ease of use, security from bank's mobile app

Retail bank and credit card customers now prefer mobile to all other channels, but rate ease of use as a differentiator among top-performing mobile apps. Additionally, a study by J.D.

J.C. Penney targeting college living furnishings to drive sales

J.C. Penney is hoping a full-throttle focus on college kids' desire for furnishings will help spur sales though it's going to be a challenge given hefty competition. The retailer is launching 500 'dorm shops' within stores, highlighting everything a college...

Walmart pilots self-service kiosk for fast online order delivery

A few lucky Walmart shoppers in Oklahoma City are the first to test an automated kiosk being used to distribute online grocery orders in under a minute. After placing their online order, customers select self service for pickup at the...

SoftBank buying Boston Dynamics to boost robotic advancements

Robotics pioneer Boston Dynamics, owned by Google's Alphabet Inc., is being acquired by SoftBank Group Corp. The move, according to SoftBank Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son, is all about advancing robotic technology and driving what he calls the "information revolution."...

Consumers love tech in the brick-and-mortar retail experience

A new Bouncepad survey reveals U.S. consumers love stores that offer technology and they want more tech options in the shopping experience. The study results, as outlined in this infographic, cite that three out of four want more tech and say they are more likely to visit a retailer if wanted tech was available.

Consumers hungry for 3D printing, targeted notifications

A new Interactions survey on what shoppers want from retail technology reveals consumers are hungry for targeted notifications in the shopping experience and would love to have 3D printing available. The study, "What Shoppers Want from Retail Technology," surveyed more...

CVS revamps to lure in health and trend-focused shoppers

CVS is revamping beauty and skin care areas in stores in a quest to grab the attention of the health-focused and trend-focused consumer and the strategy includes thousands of new products, a new brand line and specific store product areas....

Shoe Palace slips on Aptos platform to boost customer experience

Athletic footwear and apparel retailer Shoe Palace is tapping the Aptos Singular Commerce Platform to boost its omnichannel customer experience and streamline retail operations. The 24-year-old retailer, which runs 118 stores nationwide and an e-commerce channel, is focused on providing...

Macy's RFID deployment may make for a text book case

Radio frequency identification technology isn't new, but RFID hasn't taken deep root in retail given a slew of challenges. That may change, however, given the RFID experience spearheaded by Macy's, according to a Forbes report. The technology has long been...

Ex-Amazon guru now hard at work revamping Target strategy

Improving real-time delivery is the focus of Arthur Valdez's leadership role at Target as the ex-Amazon executive strives to help Target catch up when it comes to online commerce. Valdez, Target's chief supply chain and logistics officer, is directing a...

Vehicle registration renewal kiosk moves to Kroger store in Georgia

A kiosk that allows vehicle owners to skip the trip to the county office to renew their vehicle tags has relocated from the county tax commissioner's office to the Kroger store at New Holland Marketplace on Jesse Jewell Parkway in Gainesville, Georgia, according to The Gainesville Times.

Study: Consumers not happy with resolution experience

A new inContact study revealed that customers are not getting the 'fast resolution' expected in today's retail commerce environment and companies must improve the cross-channel customer experience. The study reported that less than half of customers are satisfied regardless of...

Forman Mills taps Aptos Singular Commerce to drive growth strategy

Off-price retailer Forman Mills aims to expand and is deploying the Aptos Singular Commerce cloud-based suite as part of its growth strategy. "The Aptos Singular Commerce platform will enable us to better serve our customers through a faster and more...

Human interaction key to customer experience, reveals research

Trading human interaction for total automation may save money but it's not going to win a retailer any points with consumers. A new Yonder Digital Group research report states human interaction remains a valuable element in providing a good customer experience as 87 percent of U.K.

Amazon prepping brick-and-mortar bookstore for D.C.

Amazon, which built its e-commerce empire on putting the physical bookseller nearly out of business, is now reportedly planning to launch another brick-and-mortar bookstore and this time it's aiming for Washington, D.C. The online giant has leased 10,000 square feet...

Brick-and-mortar retail showroom boasts online mattresses only

Given the success of online mattress sales it's obvious not every consumer needs to physically test out a bed before making a purchase. But for those who do one Minneapolis physical store retailer aims to fulfill that need. The store,...

Wegmans, Publix are tops with grocery shoppers, reveals study

Shoppers' favorite grocery stores in the U.S. are Publix and Wegmans, which landed in a first-place tie in a new Market Force study. The poll of 12,700 shoppers revealed Trader Joe's is a very close second and H-E-B is third....

Amazon drops free ship minimum to $25

In the ever-increasing battle to gain greater customer share and sales, Amazon has now lowered its minimum purchase for free delivery to $25 for non-Prime members. It's the third time the mega e-tailer has decreased the minimum order size to qualify for free shipping.

Target to test new restock strategy, next-day delivery in Minneapolis

In a quest to get orders into the hands of customers faster than ever, Target is prepping a new delivery and restocking approach that it hopes to pilot in Minneapolis stores. Right now the retailer is testing the effort, called...

Connecticut supermarket boosts sales with recipe/coupon kiosk

Geissler's Supermarkets in East Windsor, Connecticut uses a recipe/coupon kiosk with a printer and has started printing coupons and hanging them in front of products, according to Progressive Grocer.

Amazon dominating voice-control speaker realm, claims report

Amazon is a dominating etailer on many fronts and now it's dominating the voice-controlled speaker technology realm, according to a eMarketer research. While the industry is still emerging, Amazon is tops thanks to its Echo and Echo Dot devices which...

IBM study finds current in-store and digital experiences fail to improve customer experience

An IBM study reveals current digital experiences in stores fail to improve customer experience. IBM surveyed 507 brands in 25 countries and found that the average Customer Experience Index was only 33 out of 100, according to a press release....

Personal experience, mobile shopper insight are retailer priorities

In a quest to provide a more personal experience, and better understand the mobile consumer, retailers are increasingly focused on new tools and strategies to achieve both goals. A new report states identifying customers and providing a personalized experience is...

Amazon debuts fresh grocery delivery in Berlin

Amazon Prime subscribers in Berlin, Germany are now enjoying fresh grocery delivery, according to a Reuters report. Germany subscribers can access over 80,000 products from over two dozen local stores and get unlimited deliveries for just over $10 a month...

Study: Personalization gets respect but little deployment action

New research reveals that while a large number (95 percent) retailers understand the value of personalilzed marketing not a big number of retailers are actually deploying such efforts. The insight, from Periscope By McKinsey, states just 15 percent of retailers...

Whole Foods advances 365 concept into new stage

Whole Foods Markets has developed a 2.0 version of its 365 store concept and opening the first location in Texas. The quest is to provide even more economical shopping for consumers, according to a Supermarket News report, which states the...

Elite Manufacturing develops 3-sided outdoor kiosk

Elite Manufacturing Technologies, a provider of precision sheet metal components and assemblies, has developed a three-sided outdoor kiosk using 65-inch, 4,000-nit displays, according to a press release. A national park for performing arts will install the kiosk.

Consumers feel misunderstood by retailers, claims study

Just 61 percent of consumers believe companies understand their needs and that less than stellar percentage is leading to fading loyalty. Companies need to do more when it comes to effective use of data to meet consumer expectations as well,...

United aims to boost customer experience with some big changes

United Airlines, in the wake of a disastrous customer interaction and a few other poorly handled customer experiences, is revamping its policies when it comes to customer service. It's adjusting its approach to law enforcement action and boosting customer compensation...

Bloomie’s gets its yoga on to lure shoppers

New York City's Bloomingdale's staged a huge free yoga class this past weekend in an effort to draw new shoppers and yoga clothing enthusiasts. The event, held on the store's third floor, according to the New York Post, included pose...

Goodwill Industries in Virginia town installs informational kiosks for employees

Goodwill Industries of the Valleys in Roanoke, Virginia recently installed self-service kiosks in employee break rooms in 10 stores that allow employees to easily obtain and update benefits information, receive company-wide information, apply for internal job postings and complete online...

Papa Murphy's tests the delivery waters via Amazon Prime

Seven Papa Murphy outlets in Oregon are testing delivery of the chain's take-and-bake products with Amazon Prime members in Portland and Seattle, according to a news release. "Our product is uniquely suited for delivery because, unlike a cooked pizza, it...

Canadian FI rolls out Pepper the Humanoid Robot for customer service

Whether it's totally cool or a tad creepy is a matter of debate; either way, Pepper, the humanoid robot created by SoftBank Robotics America is now on staff at ATB Financial in Alberta, Canada. Starting in May, Pepper will engage...

Small biz owners have a rosy outlook on growth

Half of small business owners are viewing current business conditions as good or excellent and predict conditions will improve in the next six months. That's a healthy spike from 41 percent citing optimism last year, according to Capital One's Small Business Growth Index report.

Shoppers favor digital over associates in product data search

A good number of consumers rely on a mobile device, rather than insight from a store associate, when it comes to researching a product and 77 percent are using a mobile device while in the store. In comparison, just 35...

Wine retailer taps 3Cinteractive platform to create better mobile experience

Total Wine & More, a leading independent retailer of fine wines, is teaming with 3Cinteractive and its Switchblade platform for mobile coupon redemption and to boost brand engagement. The platform, according to a press release, will enable the wine retailer to deliver digital coupons via email that can be added to a customer's mobile wallet.

Retailers failing at personalization, claims study

Less than half of retailers are successfully driving a personalized consumer experience and even fewer are using advanced strategies to customize the shopping experience. Yet consumers are increasingly seeking both personalization and customization, according to a new Reflektion survey that...

YETI debuts first flagship boasting unique experience

Premium cooler and drinkware brand YETI's first flagship location in Austin, Texas boasts an engaging patron atmosphere aimed at inspiring shoppers to get out and enjoy nature. The brand, beloved by outdoor enthusiasts, ranches, hunters and angles, worked with Mood...

Clothing retailer aims to make shopping more fun for men

A male clothing retailer is striving to make shopping more fun for male customers, providing sports viewing and whiskey sipping for those shopping for new duds. Retail brands Q Clothier and Rye 51, which will open a new shop in...

InMoment names new CEO, debuts new CX intelligence tool

InMoment has appointed Andrew Joiner as its new CEO and has debuted Discover, an analytics tool for monitoring and mining structured and unstructured customer data. Discover can analyze customer and contextual data from any source, including social reviews, customer comments...

Nordstrom taps Infor solution to boost omnichannel capabilities

Fashion retailer Nordstrom is tapping Infor Rhythm for Commerce to be more nimble, quick and consistent across its sales channels. The Infor cloud-based point-of-sale system will also let Nordstrom better engage with customers and drive forward greater functionality across channels....

Analyst: What Macy's needs to do to rally

Macy's needs to draw more mall traffic, adapt to changing shopper trends and get faster at customer service, according to a retail analyst. The iconic retailer also needs to figure out a way to get ahead of online competitors such...

Report: Voice assistant technology growth more than doubles

Homeowners are loving Internet of Things voice assistant technology as a new report reveals adoption of such tools more than doubled from 2015 to 106. The Parks Associates research reports 56 percent of U.S. broadband households enjoying using voice assistance to control smart home devices such as Amazon's Echo and the Google Home.

Big IoT adoption on horizon, claims new report

Seven in 10 retailers will be investing in Internet of Things technologies as a way to improve customer experience, according to the newly released 2017 Retail Vision Study from Zebra Technologies. The report claims nearly 70 percent of retail decision...

Lids Sports Group launches new mobile app focused on loyalty

The new Lids Access Pass app is the latest move by the omnichannel sports licensed retailer to drive greater customer loyalty, providing shopper rewards, deals and access to "once-in-a-lifetime" experiences. The app, available in iOS and Android, lets members leverage...

Clothing retailer goes with Aptos platform to drive seamless customer experience

Brooklyn-based J.McLaughlin, an American clothing and accessories retailer, is using the Aptos Singular Commerce cloud platform to foster a better omnichannel strategy, boost customer engagement and boast a seamless customer experience. The software platform and end-to-end suite of solutions allow...

BrightSign delivers digital signage to Cromwell Casino

BrightSign recently teamed up with Socialure to deploy more than 20 displays at Drai's Club, a Las Vegas night club owned by Cromwell Casino. BrightSign provided LS and XD media players to push content to the displays, according to a press release. The displays feature a range of content from advertisements to social media posts.

Amazon loves Texas when it comes to opening fulfillment centers

Amazon plans to open its 10th Texas fulfillment center, this time in Katy. The e-tailer said another 1,000 jobs will be created, according to a press release. Amazon operates facilities in Dallas, Coppell, Haslet, Fort Worth, Schertz and San Marcos.

NAC knocks new FICO findings on card compromise at nonbank ATMs

The National ATM Council Inc. is questioning — for the second year in a row — FICO statistics concerning card compromises at retail ATMs in the United States.  FICO, a data analytics and credit-scoring company, announced in March that 60 percent of card compromises occurring in 2016 involved nonbank ATMs.

Wegmans to expand in New Jersey

Wegmans Food Markets plans to open two new New Jersey sites, with the first one opening in late July. The first one will be a 113,00-square-foot store in Hanover and the second, a 108,000-square-foot store in Montvale, will open in...

AI may one day be the modern bank teller

A new Accenture survey reveals four in five bankers believe artificial intelligence will be the prime channel for customer interaction by the year 2020. The technology, according to a New York Post report, will "revolutionize" how banks get data and how banks interaction with customers.

Personalization, customer reviews driving better customer experience

A new Astound Commerce study, focusing on key drivers impacting e-commerce and customer experience, reveals personalized product recommendations, customer review activity and real-time inventory management are playing critical roles in advancing sales and such elements are part of 90 percent...

Amazon's new Virginia center will hire on 1K workers

Amazon is expanding its fulfillment center footprint in Virginia, as it plans to open a new center in Clear Brook. The 1-million-square-foot location will create more than 1,000 full time jobs. The e-tailer currently employees 3,500 full time hourly workers...

Tulip Retail, True Fit team up on a personal shopping experience

Tulip Retail and True Fit are partnering to foster a more personal in-store shopping experience and working with fashion brand kate spade to pilot the store associate-focused initiative. The quest is to provide shoppers with highly personalized fit, size and...

Study: Consumers receptive to chatbots

A majority of consumers are comfortable talking with a chatbot yet only a fraction have engaged with one, according to the 2017 Mobile Consumer Report from Vibes. In addition to under-indexed chatbot use, Vibess fourth annual Mobile Consumer Report uncovered...

British market offers a special check-out lane for shoppers suffering from dementia

A British supermarket chain, Tesco, is piloting a new check-out line for shoppers suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's in order to make the shopping experience more relaxed and eliminate shopper stress. The new "relaxed" lines, which provide shoppers additional time...

Supermarket puts nutritionists into the aisle

In a quest to provide better customer service and enhance the shopping experience, one supermarket is expanding its staff of nutritionists in store locations. Giant Landover has hired on three more in-store nutritional experts for 2017, according to a Progressive...

Retailers losing big bucks by not getting personal, reveals survey

Retailers could boost revenue by 5 percent if they stepped up their game when it comes to customer experience and providing personalized service. In fact, as a new TimeTrade survey reveals, millennials are willing to pay up to 20 percent...

Retailers eager to embrace IoT, automation high on investment list

Retailers are hungry for Internet of Things technology with 70 percent of decision makers ready to make changes to adopt IoT and 65 percent planning to invest in automation for inventory management by 2021. Such technologies, according to Zebra Technology's...

Pandora deploys digital receipts for UK locations

Jewelry brand Pandora is deploying digital receipts at its 220 U.K. locations and the Ecrebo technology is enabling the brand to capture customer data at point of sale. The receipts are emailed to shoppers after a transaction and offer consumers...

Simon deploys interactive mapping to boost customer experience

Retail real estate giant Simon has deployed digital interactive mall maps on all its websites in a quest to help shoppers easily navigate the company's retail locations. The maps also include a services directory and a list of amenities available...

Bankers will spend more on CX this year, reveals report

The banking industry is planning to expand spend on customer experience initiatives with more than half boosting the CX budget, according to a new Computer Services survey. Nearly half of the 160 bank leaders polled, 47 percent, will be tapping...

Costco, Dillard's tops in satisfying consumers, reveals report

When it comes to customer satisfaction, department store Dillard's and Costco are tops, with both scoring 83 out of 100 on the American Customer Satisfaction Index. "[Costco] has that model of: this is what we do, this is who we are, what we sell and we are going to do it really well," said David Van Amburg, managing director at ACSI, told CNN.

Report: Wal-Mart piloting convenience store strategy

Wal-Mart is reportedly piloting a convenience store in Texas, complete with hot dogs and the familiar ICEE machine found at other top brand convenience locations. The store in Crowley, according to a Dallas News report, is 2,500-square feet and is one of two opened in the last month.

Amazon tops when it comes to corporate reputation

When it comes to corporate reputation Amazon is tops, ranking first for the second consecutive year on the annual Harris Corporate Reputation Poll. The retailer scored a record-high of 86.27 on the survey which polled 23,000 people across the U.S.

Beer, wine may soon hit Amazon Go store shelves

Shoppers will likely soon be able to pick up wine and beer while browsing the salad, food and snack aisles at Amazon Go store in Seattle. The innovative beta store, which features cashier-less checkout, is applying for a liquor license,...

Amazon expands food delivery service

Washington, D.C. Amazon Prime members can now get deliveries from 150 restaurants, including Osteria Morini, Bolt Burgers, Pizza Mart and Maketto, according to a press release. "Who doesn't love being a Prime member and all the benefits that come with it?" Jesse Hiney, general manager of Osteria Morini DC, said in the release.

Study: Customer service supplants sales as job No. 1 in retail banking

Boosting sales results is no longer job one for North American banks. These financial institutions now believe cultivating customer relationships is their top retail banking priority, according to a newly published study. The results of a biannual survey by research...

Unisys rises to omnichannel banking challenge with Elevate

Unisys Corp. has unveiled Elevate by Unisys, an end-to-end digital banking software platform and suite of applications designed to deliver an omnichannel banking experience. Institutions using Elevate can offer customers the option to pay bills, transfer funds and apply for...

Ignoring personalization can cost a retailer, reveals survey

Better customer experience can boost a retailer's revenue by 5 percent and retailers missed out on $150 billion in payback last year in failing to provide personalized service to consumers. That's because consumers want such service and millennials, in particular,...

Research: More big companies are gungho on CX

A new Temkin Group report reveals customer experience investments are on the rise and good return-on-investment last year is spurring greater attention and effort on customer experience. The survey, which polled 165 large companies in December 2016, also reports 87...

Newegg expanding into China, 19 other countries

Newegg plans to launch online marketplaces in nearly two dozen countries, including China, this year. The consumer electronics e-tailer will let U.S.

Survey: Big opportunity for retailers embracing chatbot technology

Retailers have big potential for boosting customer satisfaction and driving better overall customer loyalty if they embrace chatbots and text messaging. That's the finding of a new OpenMarket survey that polled 1,500 mobile users in the U.S. and U.K.

Nordstrom most popular retailer, reveals survey

Nordstrom may not be popular with President Donald Trump but it is among consumers, ranking tops as the favorite fashion retailer for the fifth year in a row in Market Force Information's annual survey. It took top honors for its...

Consumers experience anxiety when it comes to e-commerce

Consumers don't have much confidence when it comes to e-commerce retailers delivering the right product on the expected date. In fact, 42 percent of shoppers polled in a new study don't trust that packages will arrive on time and nearly...

Report: Simple is a winning retail strategy

The more simple the better and simplicity will drive more revenue, reveals the seventh annual Global Brand Simplicity Index from Siegel+Gale. That's because consumers love simplicity and 64 percent are willing to pay more for a simpler experience, notes the...

FedEx taps Walgreens for package distribution

FedEx and Walgreens are piloting a new package distribution strategy involving 8,000 Walgreens locations. FedEx, according to a Commercial Appeal report, will do pickups and drop-offs at the stores starting in the fall of 2018 and is launching a small rollout this spring.

Watch out, Amazon: Wal-Mart enhances shipping options

Wal-Mart is "moving at the speed of a startup," according to its CEO, by launching free two-day shipping without any membership fee involved. The new option is a direct shot at Amazon's longstanding free shipping for Prime members. In addition...

Broken promises more damaging than brands realize, reveals study

Breaking a promise to a customer or consumer has a bigger negative impact than most retails realize, according to a new InMoment study on how emotions drive customer loyalty. The annual CX Trends Report explores how consumers and brands prioritize...

Dirty Lemon taps text as direct sales channel

A wellness beverage retailer is selling product direct to consumers via text messaging — a channel it claims also makes for a personal retailer-consumer relationship. Dirty Lemon, a two-year-old Brooklyn company sells three drinks and plans to build out its...

HP debuts new tools to help retailers boost customer experience

HP is debuting its HP Elite x3 Mobile Retail Solution and the HP MX12 Retail Solution, both aimed at helping retailers improve the customer experience and create a consistent omni-channel experience. "Retail is evolving in an exciting direction and retailers...

Neiman Marcus launches voice-controlled wearables for better communication

Neiman Marcus Last Call Stores are deploying voice-controlled wearables to help spur better communication within its luxury fashion retail operation. The Theatro technology, according to a release, is also in play with The Container Stores and Cabela's and a dozen...

Disney Magicband-style experience coming to Carnival cruises

Princess Cruises, a global cruise line and tour company, announced last week at CES in Las Vegas that it will be the first Carnival Corp. brand to feature the Ocean Medallion, a contactless wearable device that vacationers can use to...

Amazon makes meal reordering easier than ever

Amazon Prime members can now voice-order restaurant orders via Amazon Restaurants on Alexa-enabled devices, including Amazon's Echo and Dot. Customers can reorder from any of the service's restaurants for free delivery of any previously ordered meal in an hour or...

Shoppers are loving mobile messaging apps, claims new study

Retailers may want to consider bolstering mobile messaging communications with consumers as a new study reveals 51 percent of messaging users view it more immediate and 48 percent consider it less annoying than voice communications. The key to grabbing consumer...

Want some 'lettuce' with your cabbage? Indian grocery service adds cash delivery

India's on-demand e-commerce grocery delivery service Grofers has partnered with Yes Bank, the nation's fifth largest private financial institution, to provide a cash delivery service to customers. Grofers customers in the cities of Mumbai, Gurgaon and Bengaluru can get up...

Report: Consumer-centric marketing can boost customer satisfaction

A customer-first marketing strategy can go a long way toward boosting customer satisfaction. More than half, nearly 60 percent, of highly satisfied customers believe the marketing of a company they are satisfied with "often and always" put their needs ahead...

Royal Bank of Canada first to deploy video service to small retail clients

Royal Bank of Canada clients can now tap video to connect real time, face-to-face, with bank service personnel. The RBC is the first Canadian bank to provide the remote video banking service, according to a press release. "We continue to...

Security vulnerabilities, potential hack attacks demand greater attention

Hackers have more opportunity to infiltrate retailer networks, according to a SecurityScorecard report, and that means retailers need to shore up security precautions. In fact no retailers, big or small, is immune from security threats, notes the vendor's cybersecurity report...

Study: Upsell fails lead to lost retail revenue

A new SkillSurvey reports a need for better customer service and sales as the lagging 'upsell' effort is resulting in lost revenue for retailers. "These key behaviors with lower than average ratings were the same whether the customer service and...

Amazon Go promises no checkout, no lines, no waiting

Come 2017 Amazon aims to debut a no-waiting, no-line, no-checkout grocery store experience, called 'Just Walk Out', at its Amazon Go store in Washington state. The strategy, according to a web site about the new retail approach, is shopping without...

Slow lanes could boost supermarket experience, claims study

Supermarkets providing a 'slow lane' for the older and elderly shopper can offer the senior consumer segment a better customer experience. It could also help ease loneliness for the shoppers, reveals a new study from the University of Hertfordshire in...

Target debuts another small-format store in NY

Target has opened its second small-format store on Long Island, New York. The new concept store, opened in Elmont, features a slimmed-down product selection but includes a CVS pharmacy and Starbucks, Newsday reports.

Barnes & Noble debuts food, drinks to engage book lovers

Not only can you browse thousands of books at the Edina, Minnesota-based Barnes & Noble, you can now also grab a meal and a drink as part of the shopping experience. The bookseller opened the new concept in the Galleria...

Loyalty perks, security and return options key consumer wants, reveals study

Consumers expect three major elements when it comes to online shopping. They want smooth security, a choice in return options and loyalty perks, according to a new holiday retail report from CFI Group and Radial. If retailers provide all three...

Retailers launching new strategies to beat Amazon

In a quest to lure consumers off Amazon and into their brick and mortar storefront, some retailers are launching new marketing strategies and hoping to capitalize on the shopper's love of selfies. And the strategies aren't about bigger discounts, according...

Newegg aims to make online shopping more convenient

Newegg is integrating its shopping cart with FedEx service so shoppers can hold packages for pickup at FedEx locations across the U.S., including FedEx Office retail stores. The goal is to make shopping more convenient and more secure, according to...

LensCrafters hits 1,000 store milestone

After opening eight new locations earlier this month, LensCrafters now boasts 1,000 stores nationwide, including stores at Macy's locations. The new locations are featuring the retailer's newly redesigned store experience and new digital eye exam service, according to a press...

Mall of America prepping new retail concept for debut this month

The Mall of America will be home to a brand new, permanent retail concept, called Debut, come November 16. The concept, to be located in the new north end of the mall features nine brands to start. Debut is a 2,500-square-foot collection of shop in shops, according to a release.

Report: Retailers will need to pivot to hurdle upcoming challenges

While holiday sales are expected to be robust, the future holds some challenges for retailers, reveals a new Forrester report, and those challenges could be tough for retailers not willing to make change. Pivoting to meet consumer expectations, demands and...

New tool powering PetSmart.com's delivery operation

PetSmart.com is now providing same-day scheduled delivery to 17 metro areas via Deliv, a logistic deliver provider. PetSmart customers can now select specific delivery times in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Francisco, San Jose, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Miami, Seattle and...

UK book retailer drives efficiency, cost savings with automation platform

The biggest U.K. book seller is gaining operational efficiency and greater transparency with in-house facilities management after deploying a SaaS service automation platform. The ServiceChannel solution, according to the release, is helping the retailer boost communications and performance. "The goal...

Best Buy offering free shipping this holiday season

In what's being viewed as a quest to compete with online powerhouse Amazon, electronics retailer Best Buy is offering free shipping to holiday shoppers. The promotion, initially run last year, means consumers won't have to order at least $35 in...

Amazon delivers Fresh to a slew of new cities

Chicago and Dallas are now among cities where shoppers can access AmazonFresh. The service, which has already launched in over 10 different cities from New York to California, is a subscription offering providing everything from fresh groceries to household goods...

Google delivers Express service in Florida

Online shoppers in Tampa Bay have a new option to select when it comes to product delivery as Google has launched its delivery service in the city, as well as across nine other states. The service, according to a Tampabay.com...

Nordstrom dials down on holiday seasonal hiring

Department retailer Nordstrom will be hiring 3 percent less seasonal employees for the holiday season. This year's temporary employee hiring will hit about 11,400, according to a Reuters report, with 9,500 taking sales and stock roles and the rest being...

Target revamps holiday marketing strategy with a Broadway touch

Target is going Broadway with this year's holiday strategy, pulling in new merchandise, decorating stores with new products and boosting savings. It's debuting Wonderlist, an online free service to help shoppers discover personal and creative gifts from 400 curated ideas....

Macy's to open a bit earlier Thanksgiving Day

Not only isn't Macy's not following the trend of retailers closing on Thanksgiving, the iconic retailer is opening its doors even earlier this year. Macy's stores will open at 5 p.m, due to increasing consumer interest, according to a USA...

rue21 names interim CEO, executive leaders

Specialty apparel retailer rue21 has named Keith McDonough as interim CEO. McDonough had been serving as the company's CFO for 13 years. It also named Nine Barjesteh as its new chief merchandising officer and Elizabeth Hodges as chief customer officer, a new role, according to an announcement.

InContext teams with Intel on virtual reality strategy

InContext Solutions is partnering with Intel in a quest to create new virtual reality products for the retail environment. "We have long been a leader in web-based VR, but with Intel's world-class technology expertise we can push the boundaries of...

Apple store revamp is all about boosting customer friendliness

Apple's new retail location in Indianapolis boasts a bigger footprint and reflects the retailer's revamped store design focused on being more customer friendly. "This is one of the new store designs we're starting to roll out in America," Angela Ahrendts,...

Nordstrom launches 'reserve & try on' customer service option

Nordstrom is debuting an omnichannel effort that lets Washington state shoppers choose an item online, via a reservation, before hitting the retail location to try the item on. The 'Reserve & Try In Store' program, according to Geek Wire, works...

Amazon hiring 120K temps for holiday rush

Ecommerce giant, Amazon, is hiring 120,000 workers for seasonal roles this holiday season across 27 states, for fulfillment and sorting centers as well as customer service sites. "Last year alone, more than 14,000 seasonal employees stayed on in regular, full-time...

Nordstrom pilots omnichannel customer strategy

Nordstrom is debuting an omnichannel effort that lets Washington-based shoppers choose an item online and then try in their local sore. The 'Reserve & Try In Store' program, according to Geek Wire, works off the retailer's app and is available...

Not every retailer is closing on turkey day

Mall operator, General Growth Properties, isn't jumping on the bandwagon to close on Thanksgiving, and its CEO will be working the holiday at a New Jersey mall location. GGP's chief executive, Sandeep Mathrani, is holding a live press conference at...

Sears aims to grab the price-conscious holiday shopper

As the holiday sales season nears, Sears is making a move to draw bargain-hunting customers with a new guarantee initiative. The struggling retailer, which has shuttered over 70 stores nationwide, is launching the Sears Holiday Guarantee, which gives its rewards...

JCPenney puts greeters in place in pilot customer service move

Taking a page from Wal-Mart's customer service playbook, JC Penney is reportedly placing greeters at store entrances. Employees are being put in the role for two hours of their shift, according to a New York Post report, and the move is reportedly a pilot effort being tested in northeast store locations.

Midwest C-store chain taps loyalty platform to boost customer relations

Break Time, a convenience store chain in Missouri and Arkansas, is launching a new Paytronix-powered MyTime Rewards program to boost its brand and customer relations. Break Time chose the platform for its 74 stores due to its comprehensive capabilities, including...

Amazon eyes going the convenience store route

While it’s already driving an online grocery initiative ahead, Amazon now wants to reach consumers who stop at the local convenience store and planning to develop its own store format, according to a Wall Street Journal report The plan is...

Wendy Jones heading up eBay’s global customer service

The online bidding platform eBay is promoting a 13-year company veteran to head up its global customer service operations. Wendy Jones, who had been serving as senior VP global operations will now add customer service to her list of responsibilities,...

Study: Mobile shopping and purchasing have become the norm worldwide

Mobile shopping and purchasing have become the norm across the globe as 75 percent of smartphone and tablet users said they have purchased a product or service on their devices in the past six months, according to new report from...

Kibo buys a cloud personalization platform

Kibo is acquiring Baynote, a cloud personalization platform, to boost commerce solutions. Baynote, according to an announcement, provides a smart data hub that leverages historic data and real-time behavior to provide a holistic customer view. Kibo is a cloud-based omnichannel...

Ex Wal-Mart digital leader takes customer-focused role at Pizza Hut

Helen Vaid, who served as VP of digital store operations and experience for Wal-Mart , is taking on the newly-created role of chief customer officer for Pizza Hut, a division of Yum! Brands. Vaid will direct efforts to transform in-restaurant...

Amazon Prime now includes a Chicago beauty brand

Amazon Prime now offers one- and two-hour delivery of products from a Chicago beauty retailer. The store, Merz Apothecary, is the first beauty brand in the Prime service, according to an announcement. "Merz Apothecary is a family-owned, iconic destination in...

Google pushes out 2-day delivery to 40M new customers

Midwest consumers can now tap Google's two-day delivery service, as Google expands the service to 40 million Midwest customers. The Google Express service, a $95 annual subscription, offers fast delivery from specific retailers and comes at a time when Amazon...

Kohl's, Macy's among 'genius' digital retailers

JC Penney, Nordstrom, Macy's and Kohl's are on a 'genius level' when it comes to digital smarts, but no one is close to attaining Amazon's impressive capabilities, according to a MediaPost report. The retail industry is spending 52 percent of...

Le Creuset deploys customer engagement program for retailers

In a quest to spur store traffic and boost sales, Le Creuset is launching a digital culinary program for retailers. The goal is to help retailers selling Le Creuset products boost engagement with customers via product demonstrations, according to a...

Amazon launches more locker sites for package pick-up

In an effort to make it easier than ever to retrieve that latest order, Amazon is launching more pick-up location sites for consumers. The locker-style approach lets consumers avoid having packages sit on stoops and porches at an unattended delivery...

Mood Media debuts consumer playlist interaction feature

Mood Media is providing retail customers the opportunity to have a say in the in-store music experience via a virtual remote control. The Mood Mix Pro features a new add-on, Social Mix, that allows for interactivity in store playlist strategies....

Sionic Mobile, home services site collaborate on new service

Nationwide home service network, YourHome1Source.com, is partnering with Sionic Mobile on a new YourHomeSavings app which promises to provide home buyers and owners expert advice, professional home services, discounts and better savings. The free app, available on Sept. 6, will...

Two Tap expands options to help retailers sell on global scale

A new service from Two Tap, called Two Tap Crossborder, lets consumers outside of the U.S. order from American retailers with as much ease as if they were buying on a local basis. Two Tap, which announced record growth in...

Consumers not a very patient lot, reveals study

Companies succeeding at digital customer response will be successful as that's what consumers expect, according to a Northridge Group report. Today's consumers are impatient and expect immediate assistance on digital channels when they confront difficulties, reveals the report. Findings show...

Macy's teams with Grandin Road to give customers a scare

This September, Grandin Road, a direct retailer of home furnishings and decor, will collaborate with Macy's Herald Square in New York City to open a seasonal pop-up. "Macy's is known and loved for its place in bringing the holidays to...

Tuesday Morning enjoys substantial store growth, additions

Tuesday Morning, a high-end home goods retailer, is expanding its Dallas, Texas location in Preston Shopping Center and opening new unit in Plano's Parker Central Shopping Center. "As we evolve our store experience, we are putting the focus on our...

Nordstrom Rack racks up new Canada locations

Nordstrom will open off-price retail Nordstrom Rack stores in Calgary and Vaughan, Ontario by spring 2018. The Seattle-based retailer has opened three of its full-line stores in Calgary, Ottawa and Vancouver.

FileMaker debuts business bundle, free small business toolkit

FileMaker, an Apple subsidiary, is rolling out its new Service Business Toolkit and Idea to iPad bundle for small retailers striving to go digital. The free toolkit features an efficiency-focused ebook, “How to Transform Your Service Business,” highlighting app creation...

Digital assistants will be $623B market by 2020

Apple's Siri, Microsoft's Cortana, Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant aren't the only digital assistants contributing to the $7.9 billion global industry. According to a study conducted by William Meisel, president of TMA Associates, the North American market for general and...

Amazon drone delivery dream now a reality in UK

Amazon is going drone in the U.K. as it's kicking off a trial service program. The mega etailer, in a partnership with the government, is prepping to offer 30-minute delivery to customers. With support from the UK Civil Authority, Amazon...

September is prime time holiday season kick-off time

Retailers aiming to cash in come the lucrative holiday sales season need to be getting in gear now as a new study reveals the arrival of fall is prime time to get the marketing effort going. July, November and December...

Target hires new general counsel

Target announced Don Liu as the company's new executive vice president, chief legal officer and general counsel. Beginning on Aug.

Brits throw fits over slow tech, survey finds

Impatience is the word of the day in Britain, at least when it comes to technology. Crucial surveyed 2,000 Brits and found one in five (21 percent) lose patience with technology once a week, according to a press release. Nearly...

Cricket Wireless hopping into Sam’s Club locations

Cricket Wireless is making a big retail leap, moving into 400 Sam's Club retail locations. The expansion features 13,500 retail outlets across the country.  "Our brands share a common goal of providing customers simple solutions to help them find incredible value on quality products and services," said Dave Fine, VP of sales.

Pizza Hut instant-chats customers

Pizza Hut, along with leading SaaS platform tech company, Conversable, said the chain has launched a new Pizza Hut social ordering platform or "chatbot" that allows the so-called "conversational ordering" from the brand's menu via Facebook Messenger and Twitter. "The...

Amazon heading back to school in Illinois

Amazon is teaming up with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to open Amazon@Illinois, a staffed pick-up location in the Illini Union Bookstore on the UIUC campus. The first Amazon pickup location in Illinois, according to the release, offers the...

PetSmart picks Manhattan Associates to implement new omni and digital strategies

Manhattan Associates announced that PetSmart has selected its Enterprise Order Management Solution (OMS) to help PetSmart deliver omni-channel shopping and engagement with PetSmart's websites, according to an article published on Yahoo! Finance. This selection is part of a large strategic...

Live webinar: How to leverage your company's brand value as promotional incentives

Gift cards have remained popular for many years, and recent research by Blackhawk Network reveals that 74 percent of shoppers hope to receive gift cards this year. That’s why now, more than ever, it’s essential for retailers to understand how...

Hey Amazon, Walmart is fighting back

Amazon Prime continues to baffle Americans with their incredibly fast shipping and delivery. Today, retailers are forced to compete with a company that seems to be redefining the norm.

Delivery a big part of customer experience, reveals survey

More than half, 66 percent, of online consumers said the delivery experience is critical and that poor delivery could easily prompt them to hit another ecommerce retailer. While customers form a shopping opinion throughout the purchase experience, delivery is a...

Fashion retailers beware: A bad fit for shoppers is a bad thing for business

Fit, as in clothing fitting the body, is a crucial aspect for consumers and retailers should be aware that a poor fit isn't a good thing in the customer experience. A new Body Labs survey reveals nearly half of consumers...

US Bank taps former Best Buy exec to lead omnichannel-experience team

U.S. Bank has hired Beau Gray to lead its omnichannel-experience team.

Author Gary Magenta debuts customer loyalty tome

The book,"720 Haircuts- Creating Customer Loyalty That Lasts A Lifetime," is the true story of a man who drove a 100-mile roundtrip for a haircut at the same barber shop for over 60 years. Yes, that's one definition of customer...

Cadillac Fairview rolls out new technology for retail center

Cadillac Fairview is providing turn-by-turn navigation, upgraded guest Wi-Fi and access to its CF SHOP! text concierge services in retail centers in Ontario, Canada, according to a company press release.

The Container Store implements new Theatro wearable technology in 70 stores

Dallas-based storage and organization retailer The Container Store is using wearable technology that provides its employees with SKU look-up and immediate inventory analysis, while tracking in-store efficiency with other store locations, according to a company press release.

Retail ATM app promises greater efficiency, error code assistance

A new app designed to help simplify ATM management for merchants is available from Nautilus Hyosung America. The MoniMobile app promises to make management of retail ATMs easier and more efficient, according to a company press release. "This app will...

Study: Brand loyalty programs fastest route to a millennial's heart

Loyalty programs are proving valuable with consumers and are paying off in more ways than one. That's the feedback from Bond Brand Loyalty and its sixth annual loyalty report. The report was conducted in collaboration with Visa and is the largest of its kind, according to a news release. The report obtained responses from roughly 12,000 U.S.

Outdoor gear retailer deploys tougher encryption for card transactions

Cabela's is shoring up credit and charge card transaction security with a new Point-to-Point Encryption solution from Ingenico Group. The technology, which is being deployed to all Cabela's locations in the U.S.

Neiman Marcus shoppers can now charge in more ways than one

Neiman Marcus wants to make sure customers can enjoy mobile devices while shopping and is deploying phone charging stations nationwide to make it happen. The 37 charging stations being installed in 30 store locations is all about boosting the customer experience. The first deployment took place in the Washington, D.C.

Amazon opening second fulfillment center in Joliet

As part of its drive to speed product delivery Amazon is opening its second fulfillment center in Joliet, Illinois. The center will create 2,000 full-time jobs.

CVS Pharmacy moves to shred paper receipts with digital experience

CVS consumers won't be stuffing 20-inch cash register receipts into wallets for much longer as the retailer is moving to replace the traditional check-out transaction record with a digital approach. The digital strategy, slated to start early next month, will...

Saks Fifth Avenue opens revamped Houston store

Saks Fifth Avenue opens revamped Houston store

Saks Fifth Avenue's Houston location is bigger than the first store established in the city, and gives greater focus on beauty and fragrance products. The store's relocation in The Galleria in Houston was designed in partnership with CBX and boasts...

JetBlue, Alaska Airlines score big in customer satisfaction

When it comes to airline customer service JetBlue and Alaska are at the top of the list. The latest annual J.D. Power customer service satisfaction survey of North American carriers reveals JetBlue and Alaska Airlines as attaining the highest rankings,...

Kroger aims to hire 14K more employees

In what has to be one of the largest hiring efforts by a grocery chain, The Kroger Co. will hold open job interviews nationwide Saturday to fill 14,000 jobs. The hiring event will be taking place at every Kroger location from 10 a.m.

Walmart cuts shipping price, piloting new delivery approach

Walmart wants to make product delivery more efficient and cheaper and is piloting a new approach that involves both goals. The mega retailer is considering cutting off $1 off its $49 annual shipping fee and aiming to cut its three-day...

Retail report reveals the more delivery options, the better for retailers

Retailers considering reducing or streamlining shipping option might want to think again as a new report reveals a full range of options that consumers are expecting. A retail report from Radial and CFI Group, which surveyed 500 shoppers, queried consumers...

Northwest Bank takes honors in customer satisfaction among retail banks

Northwest Bank attained the highest customer satisfaction among retail bankers in the Mid-Atlantic region, according to a new J.D. Power report. The quarterly study assesses overall satisfaction in the retail banking experience.

Lowe's deploys new customer service

Lowe's ATGStores.com now offers Porch.com's installation and assembly services in 25 markets across the country. The home services platform connects home improvement professionals with homeowners. ATGStores.com is an independent wholly-owned subsidiary of Lowe's, according to an announcement. Shoppers can now...

European airport retailers redesigning to drive shopper interest and activity

Retailers in Europe airports are redesigning and deploying services to drive shopper interest and activity. The airport businesses are also trying to compete against increasing online competitors. The strategies include ensuring that routes to gates provide enticing marketing to draw...

Discover taps FIME for terminal certification

Discover is engaging payment consultancy FIME to provide approval services for terminal end-to-end certification of its Discover Network and Diners Club international acceptance system using D-Payment Application Specifications. The services allow acquirers to integrate new EMV chip terminals into Discover...

Sears Canada reinvention brings leadership, IT overhaul

Sears Canada is revamping its leadership ranks, deploying new technology and driving a cultural change in the quest to drive sales, profits and consumer loyalty. Its new executive chairman believes it's not too late for the company to reverse its...

Amazon expands university pickup strategy

University of Connecticut students and faculty now have their own Amazon pickup location, the first in the state. The 4,000-square-foot pickup site at 40 Wilbur Cross Way in Storrs Center will open this summer. "We are excited to bring an...

Foxtel hires on new customer service, retail leader

Mark Buckman, former managing director at Telstra and Commonwealth Bank CMO, has been tapped as Foxtel's new leader for customer and retail strategy. His official title is managing director and he begins the job in June. The position involves, sales, marketing and customer service.

Amazon expands Prime Now restaurant delivery

San Francisco diners seeking a meal can now access a new restaurant delivery service launched by Amazon via its Prime Now program. For a limited time it will be free one-hour delivery from local restaurants including Big Chef Tom's Belly...

Wal-Mart teams with ChannelAdvisor to expand product portfolio

The partnership should make it easier for retailers to put products on the mega retailer's website.

Amazon extends free same-day delivery to new metro locations

Amazon’s Prime membership feature of free same-day delivery is now an option for members in 11 new metro sites.

Digital divide in the digital supply chain environment

Consumers are expecting better service when it comes to product inventory, yet a new study reveals that most retailers aren't up to speed.

Idea boards at Wayfair getting lots of consumer love

Consumers are enjoying Wayfair.com's idea board functionality and it's helping the retailer's mobile app revenue stream.

IKEA advances expansion strategy in Canada

IKEA's latest distribution center has opened in Mississauga, Ontario.

Kroger expands online ordering, pickup service into major markets

Consumer embracement of the ClickList service is prompting Kroger to expand the service.

Kansas home, again, for Amazon's newest fulfillment center

Kansas now home to two Amazon fulfillment center locations.

Facebook, email top customer service channels in U.K.

A new study regarding retail customer service response reveals Facebook and email are besting Twitter in the U.K. when it comes to providing consumers with answers.

Whole Foods' ambitious delivery service in play

Whole Foods hopes to double stores offering Instacart delivery service.

Don’t miss: Free webinar offers holiday sales season tips, advice, strategy insight

A free one-hour webinar offers valuable insight on optimizing on the biggest retail sales season of the year.

Sprint embarking on nationwide sprint to open new stores

The telecom player, striving to move ahead in the ultra-competitive market, is working with a partner to expand store locations.

Amazon expands free pick-up service with Georgia location

Online commerce retailer Amazon is opening a free same-day pick-up service in Georgia through a partnership with the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Amazon debuting pickup spot at Texas university campus

Amazon expands campus pickup strategy with first Texas site. Several more nationwide in the works for this year.

Car starting experience primed for a big change

Car starting experience primed for a big change

Volvo is driving a new customer experience and, yes, there is an app for that.

Mobille app, wallet security top of mind for retailers

When it comes to mobile app and mobile wallet payment solutions nearly three quarters of retailers are most concerned with security features, reveals a new survey.

Retailers failing on customer service when it comes to email support, claims study

One in three retailers don’t respond to customer service emails and the lack of response is likely impacting consumer loyalty and shopper satisfaction.

Retailers must embrace the mobile consumer to boost sales, increase loyalty

Retailers must embrace the mobile consumer to boost sales, increase loyalty

Nearly half of all retail shopping activity involves some sort of mobile and it’s more than half when it is millennials doing the shopping.

Consumers expect top-tier service and will take leave if retailers fail to deliver

Consumers still favor the in-store shopping environment but true optimization from the trend isn’t going to happen for retailers unless customer experience is the best it can be.

Amazon mulling subscription music service, earnings call today

Amazon is supposedly looking to launch a brand-new music subscription service that would go head-to-head with Apple Music and Spotify, according to a news report.

Survey: Consumers want more delivery options and greater delivery transparency

Survey: Consumers want more delivery options and greater delivery transparency

Retailers not offering lots of delivery choices aren't making consumers happy. Today's shoppers are willing to pay extra for the delivery option they want, claims a new survey.

'Evolved' retailers more likely to succeed compared to pure-play business strategy

Retailers going only online, or only in physical store locations, are likely not going to achieve sustainable, long-term operational success.

Amazon aims to make product re-orders easier than ever

Amazon wants to make shopping easier than ever and is building a re-order capability via connected devices tied to its Amazon Dash service.

Amazon flying fast forward with drone service strategy

Amazon flying fast forward with drone service strategy

Regulatory challenges, safety hurdles and increasing competition aren't stalling Amazon's plans to be one of the first, if not the first, drone service delivery provider in flight.

Apple aims to draw out the artist in iPhone, iPad user base

Apple aims to draw out the artist in iPhone, iPad user base

Apple will debut new creative and artistic workshops for device users.

Amazon mulling air freight service operation, claims reports

Amazon isn’t just looking to drones to provide faster and more efficient shipping and delivery operations.

Retail hours for Christmas Eve aim to provide late shoppers a reprieve

The retail segment is hoping more than a few procrastinators will be out and about Christmas Eve and expanding hours to accommodate the last-minute consumer rush.

Retailers embracing Free Shipping Friday

Whether free shipping offers a competitive edge for retailers is a bit murky as the incentive is now pretty much an expected consumer benefit.

Amazon expands booze service but challenges ahead in meeting consumer needs

Online leading retailer offers daily delivery service timeframe when most local liquor suppliers aren't yet open.

Chicago retailers hopping on Amazon Prime Now service

More local stores in Chicago are signing up for Amazon’s Prime Now one-hour delivery program.

Consumer rage on rise as customer service, satisfaction continues to plunge

Customer service quality is at an all-time low and customer satisfaction in dealing with a product or service issue is just as low, reveals a new consumer rage study.

U.K, U.S. consumers not thrilled with online holiday shopping experience

British and American consumers may be spending big this holiday season, but they’re not very satisfied with the retail customer experience taking place, especially when it comes to finding information and product data online.

Amazon delivers restaurant service to Baltimore

Amazon is launching a one-hour restaurant delivery service for Prime Now members using the mobile app and it's free for a limited time.

Lululemon takes a community, concierge approach to lure in shoppers

Lululemon Athletica is aiming to lure in shoppers, and keep them browsing longer in its retail space and taking a few new approaches to making that happen.

Dunkin' Donuts testing on-the-go ordering, delivery service

Dunkin' Donuts is testing mobile ordering in Portland, Maine, and delivery service in Dallas.

Amazon Prime delivering food from LA restaurants

LA-based restaurants either have a new partner or new competitor now that Amazon.com has expanded Prime Now, the company's one-hour delivery service, to include delivery from local restaurants.

Amazon expands retail sales landscape for Echo device

Amazon expands retail sales landscape for Echo device

Amazon pushes Alexa and Echo onto brick-and-mortar retail shelves.

J.C. Penney opts to open earlier on turkey day this year

J.C. Penney is hoping Thanksgiving Day shoppers will want an earlier jump time than 5 p.m. and is opening its doors to accommodate those consumers eager to find a bargain.

Consumers more comfortable buying, using digital gift cards

The Retail Gift Card Association found that methods of purchase and redemption are rapidly shifting to a mix of both physical and digital.

Macy's, Target opening late Thanksgiving Day

Retailers are taking various stances in regards to opening stores, online and offline, on Thanksgiving.

Restaurants to honor veterans, active-duty military on Veterans Day

Restaurant chains across the United States will honor the nation's veterans and active-duty military personnel Wednesday (Veterans Day) with a variety of discounts and free giveaways.

Walgreens first to integrate rewards into Apple Pay

Walgreens first to integrate rewards into Apple Pay

Walgreens has more than 85 million active Balance Rewards members.

Target aims to revamp food supply chain strategy, store closures loom as well

Target, facing pressures from online and brick-and-mortar competitors, is shuttering over a dozen failing stores and aims to revamp its food-supply chain strategy.

Watch out Amazon: Wal-Mart prepping drone delivery service, seeking fed's approval

Amazon's drone service will have a big competitor as Wal-Mart is seeking federal approval for such delivery approach as well.

Lowe’s going virtual with in-store consumer design, preps 3D printer for space station

Retail home improvement player Lowe’s is going virtual with a consumer-facing design service and also plans to be the first retailer to push product into space.

Sears launches service melding online shopping with in-store expertise

Online consumers seeking home appliance insight can now easily connect with knowledgeable associates with in-store appointment service.

Amazon expands free Prime same-day delivery into Chicago, Orlando

Amazon will now be serving up free same-day delivery into more than 750 cities and towns.

Punchh, CiCi's Pizza partner to develop loyalty app

Punchh, a brand-centric mobile customer engagement platform for restaurants, is teaming up with CiCi’s Pizza to build a loyalty app.

Poor inventory control equates to shopper disappointment, lost sales for retailers

A whopping 81 percent of consumers experienced an "out-of-stock" experience in the past 12 months, resulting in lost sales for retailers and lots of disappointment for in-store shoppers.

Isle of Man telecom calls on in-store digital signage

Isle of Man telecom calls on in-store digital signage

Isle of Man-headquartered telecom Sure are again welcoming customers to a new concept store featuring digital signage experiences designed by Acquire Digital in collaboration with new partners Image Technique, according to an announcement from Acquire Digital.

Microsoft prepping for NY, Australia retail store grand openings

Microsoft prepping for NY, Australia retail store grand openings

Microsoft will debut two new brick-and-mortar retail stores in the next two months, launching a flagship New York City location and a Sydney, Australia, store.

GameStop kicks off holiday layaway program

The global game retailer GameStop is launching its holiday layaway program and promising to boast the most popular products for consumers.

DirectBuy debuts app to drive consumer website access, product sales

DirectBuy debuts app to drive consumer website access, product sales

New mobile app features unique product recommendation service.

The Irish are here, the Irish are here and why US retail should be worried

The Irish are here, the Irish are here and why US retail should be worried

Primark sells retail goods very cheap, between 20 to 40 percent less than U.S. stores, and one analyst notes it's not good news the Irish company is now in America.

Retailers not too knowledgeable about top shoppers reveals new survey

Insightful and useful information on loyal consumers is lacking, reports new study.

Kohl’s looking to hire on nearly 70K for holiday shopping rush

Seasonal workers will take roles in stores, fulfillment centers and credit operations.

Walmart hiring 60K employees for holiday season workforce

The bottom line will be a bit bigger given the minimum-wage increase put into place earlier this year.

Amazon expands delivery service in southern California

The etailer is also boosting delivery service for items purchased at local Los Angeles stores.

Target, Cub Foods latest to get into home food delivery service

The race to be the best at food delivery is getting more competitive than ever.

Kroger ramps up data analytics to spur customer, consumer engagement

Supermarket chain aims to tap deeper data insight to drive more strategic business efforts.

UPS hiring on 90K for upcoming holiday delivery season

If there is one thing the delivery service doesn't want to happen this holiday season it's the scenario of not having enough workers to handle expected customer demand.

Walmart gets its own special retail experience center

The showroom and simulated store operations center is focused on helping the world's top retailer drive new ideas and strategies in omnichannel efforts and customer experience.

BP aims to spur loyalty by letting customers share savings

“Give a Reward, Get a Reward” lets consumers share savings at the pump with friends and family.

U-Vend, Ingram Micro team up on self-serve retail platform

Self-serve kiosks being launched in Canada will provide consumers a new channel for buying cell phones and phone accessories.

Young shoppers want lowest price, seniors seek retailers who treat them nice

Price matters to the youngest of shoppers, but service quality matters to the older consumer.

RadioShack gift card court battle nears resolution with $40M settlement

Defunct retailer agrees to plan to refund a good number of consumers holding valueless cards.

Amazon debuts daily delivery service in its own backyard

Amazon debuts daily delivery service in its own backyard

One-hour service via Prime Now is $7.99, two-hour delivery is free.

Walgreens taps healthcare provider to run new clinics, boost customer communication capabilities

Walgreens takes outsourcing approach to boost medical clinic patient engagement.

Amazon opening yet another Texas fulfillment center

Amazon opening yet another Texas fulfillment center

E-commerce giant already employs more than 3,500 in the state.

Consumers love the personal touch in email marketing

Taking time to customize that email strategy can pay off for retailers.

Macy, Bloomies expand same-day delivery markets

Macy, Bloomies expand same-day delivery markets

Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s delivering same-day delivery to nine more market locations.

Lowe's goes small in the Big Apple, new store format designed for city dwellers

Lowe's goes small in the Big Apple, new store format designed for city dwellers

Lowe's is going small and tapping interactive technology to make its first New York city store as customer friendly and engaging as possible.

Compass Group adopts Five Freedoms for animal welfare

Compass Group joins Wal-Mart and General Mills in embracing Five Freedom’s procurement practices.

Fashion brand taps analytics to drive customer experience to higher level

Apparel merchant Marine Layer signs with RetailNext to gain customer insight.

Consumer apps are a must-have for the food retail business, reveals new research

Consumer apps are a must-have for the food retail business, reveals new research

Grocery apps for shoppers are a great way to enhance customer interaction and spur consumer loyalty.

TripAdvisor app integration expands customer engagement capability

The new TripAdvisor integration is the latest addition to Enplug’s app portfolio geared toward boosting customer interaction via social networks

Free webinar offers insight on Which Wich CRM strategy

Free webinar offers insight on Which Wich CRM strategy

The live webinar will provide a rare opportunity to learn about customer relationship management from the business enterprise and gain unique insight on options and strategy.

Children's deaths ignite massive Ikea dresser recall

Children's deaths ignite massive Ikea dresser recall

Reports of children killed last year is prompting the Swedish furniture seller to provide consumers with wall-mount kits to stop dressers from flipping over on children.

Google mobile buy button move is all about helping consumers, retailers

Google mobile buy button move is all about helping consumers, retailers

Search giant Google not only wants its users to find what they need but buy what they need without leaving its website.

Amazon expands handyman service to 15 metro areas

Amazon expands handyman service to 15 metro areas

Amazon Home Services is expanding nationwide in terms of providers and services, as it begins moving into 15 metro areas including Atlanta, Boston, Miami and San Diego.

LIVE Webinar: Managing customer relationships– what Which Wich learned on its search for the perfect CRM

Free webinar offers insight from sandwich chain Which Wich regarding implementing a successful customer relationship management strategy.

Wells Fargo & Company veteran tapped to lead new client experience division

Wells Fargo & Company veteran tapped to lead new client experience division

Chris Calvert and her team are focused on boosting customer service across the insurance business.

Airport shoppers enjoying new interactive retail experience

Airport shoppers enjoying new interactive retail experience

Travelers at San Francisco International airport are now tapping interactive screens if looking to buy headphones or a cold healthy drink.

Wegmans Food Markets debuts meal plan for the busy family

Wegmans Food Markets debuts meal plan for the busy family

Wegmans nutritionist Kirby Branciforte said the guide will help families with fast, healthy eating during the summer.

Dysfunctional consumers require most attention as they can hurt revenue big time

Every retailer knows to pay attention and reward the loyal, happy consumer but they also need to pay close attention to the irate, angry shopper.

Webinar download available: Tips for ensuring retail business continuity

Webinar download available: Tips for ensuring retail business continuity

A retail store chain IT leader offers insight on how he's ensuring Internet connectivity and why he went with a wireless technology approach.

Men are from Mars, women from Venus in the retail shopping environment

When it comes to retail shopping men and women have very distinct behaviors, both in the brick and mortar environment and online, and retailers need to tune marketing and merchandising approaches to meet the varied needs.

Amazon celebrating big anniversary in prime fashion

Amazon celebrating big anniversary in prime fashion

It's been 20 years since Amazon.com opened its doors and the e-tailer is using the big occasion to promote its top-tier membership service and one of its latest Prime consumer services.

Whole Foods chiefs: We're sorry we overcharged customers

Whole Foods apologizes for overcharging incidents, vows to beef up training.

Webinar to focus on customer traffic, conversion insight

Traffic and conversion data can be priceless if a retailer understands how to use it to drive sales, engage with shoppers and boost marketing. An expert will offer insight on how to do just that in our free webinar.

Online grocery shopping gaining in popularity among consumers

Online grocery shopping gaining in popularity among consumers

More consumers are jumping online to buy groceries these day, with a 29 percent increase in total online grocery shopping in the past year.

Alibaba going mobile to reach consumers no matter where they're shopping

Alibaba going mobile to reach consumers no matter where they're shopping

A new shopping and dining service, called Koubei, promises to speed up online retail delivery services for China’s biggest ecommerce player.

Instacart expands personal delivery into Miami communities

Grocery patrons in northeast Miami-Dade county will now have another food shopping option given Instacart expanding its delivery operations, according to a Miami Herald report.

Pepper robot boasts record sales, may be the retail assistant of the future

Pepper robot boasts record sales, may be the retail assistant of the future

Retail assistant of the future flies off sales shelves

Amazon revamps rating process to make reviews more valuable

The world’s biggest etailer hopes to make product reviews more valuable, and more trustworthy, for consumers by revamping and re-weighing actual reviews.

'Living Services' promises to radically change retailer-consumer interaction

'Living Services' promises to radically change retailer-consumer interaction

There’s a tsunami of change coming toward the retail business environment and interaction with the customer that may turn today’s approaches and strategies in completely new directions, impacting everything from store design to communication with consumers.

Drone delivery scheduled for take off in just one year

Drones in retail delivery could be a reality within the next year as the Federal Aviation Administration is finalizing rules regarding unmanned drone operations by businesses.

Office Depot launches Apple Watch app

Office Depot is the latest retailer to embrace the Apple Watch with its recent launch of an app specifically designed for the watch.

Amazon Prime Now adds one-hour delivery from local stores

Starting in Manhattan, Amazon Prime Now will deliver groceries and more from D’Agostino, Gourmet Garage and Billy’s Bakery.

Study: Retailers struggling with omnichannel shopping

CFI Group reported that the average shopping experience is no longer either in-store or online; it's an interwoven process, and shoppers are finding flaws.

Generation gap narrowing when it comes to customer service

Generation gap narrowing when it comes to customer service

New research shows there is no secret formula for serving millennials who have higher expectations.

Companies partner to provide in-store analytics in Middle East

Walkbase, an analytics and marketing company, is partnering with BT Al Saudia for delivering in-store analytics in five countries.

Retailers worldwide lose $1.75 trillion

IHL Group reports retailers worldwide lose $1.75 trillion annually due to the cost of overstocks, out-of-stocks and returns.

Amazon introduces Amazon Business

Amazon Business is a new marketplace on Amazon.com with features and benefits customized for businesses.

Retailers encouraged by passage of cyber security bills

The Protecting Cyber Networks Act and the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act encourage businesses to share cyber threat information electronically with federal law enforcement agencies.

Montana convenience stores roll out new POS

Town Pump selects new point of sale system to support EMV compliance and enhance customer experience.

KFC franchisee using video intel solution to reward employees, improve customer experience

Instant, actionable video intelligence from Envysion contributes to two percent improvement in bottom line across KFC stores in six months, claims the company.

Returns are key for retaining UK customers, according to new research

More than 83 percent of consumers would stay loyal to a retailer with an easier returns delivery service, but majority expect a free service and more convenience and choice.

PetSmart and Amazon.com earn top customer experience ratings

PetSmart and Amazon.com deliver the best customer experience in the retail industry, according to the 2015 Temkin Experience Ratings, an annual ranking of companies based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers.

C-store chain Thorntons targeting 1M loyalty members by end of Q1

Chain's Paytronix-powered Refreshing Rewards program should hit 1 million registered customers in first seven months.

Survey says: 9 out of 10 have been frustrated by self-service tech

Many customers report being frustrated by self-service technology; is human interaction still the key to getting customer service right?

Deliv expands same-day delivery service

By the end of the year, Deliv says it will offer its same-day delivery service in 30 malls across its eight markets.

Walmart enters the fray as holiday price war heats up

Walmart bracing for competition at least as bad as last year's holiday season, when heavy discounting depressed earnings across the retail industry.

Digital disruption, emerging technologies to drive retail revenue in 2015

Omnichannel personalization specialist predicts sweeping changes for retail in the coming year.

Swirl intros ad exchange for mobile marketing

Company's product enables leading retailers and brands to reach consumers with highly relevant content and offers delivered to their smartphones while they shop in participating retail locations nationwide.

Venuelabs launches free social listening tool for small businesses

AboutLocal lets small retailers listen to and engage with their customers in real time across hundreds of disparate online channels.

Retailers falling short of consumers' omnichannel expectations

A new study from OrderDynamics reveals that retailers are offering the wrong delivery and inventory services across channels.

NoshList adds new reservations feature for restaurants, retailers

NoshList has added reservations and scheduling features to its app, to help businesses further manage their daily wait lists. The Reservations feature has been added to the company's iPad, Android and web platforms. It can be used to make reservations...

Lucchese using gamification for employee training

Experticity, a platform for building and rewarding expertise in sales associates, has been chosen by footwear retailer Lucchese to elevate associates' expertise on the brand's rich history and craftsmanship. According to the companies, Experticity will create a gamified experience on...

USAA, Amazon.com top annual customer service ratings by Temkin Group

Based on a study of 10,000 U.S consumers, USAA's banking business took the top spot in the 2014 Temkin Customer Service Ratings, which rates 233 companies across 19 industries. Amazon.com tied with USAA's insurance business for second place in the...

CXPA announces Customer Experience Innovation award winners

The Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA), an international non-profit organization created to guide and enhance the growing professional field of customer experience management, has announced the winners of its 2014 CX Innovation Awards: Akbank T.A.S., Cisco, National Car Rental, the...

CFI Group receives statistical modeling patent for customer satisfaction research

CFI Group, a customer satisfaction measurement and analytics firm, announced it has been awarded Patent No. 8,666,515.

NRF to host second virtual career fair

The National Retail Federation today announced it will host its second Virtual Career Fair, designed to connect students and young professionals seeking entry-level careers and internships with leading retailers. Recruiters from companies including Macy's, Nordstrom, Walgreens and Neiman Marcus will...

US consumers twice as likely to share a bad service experience than UK counterparts

New research from NewVoiceMedia reveals that U.S. consumers are twice as likely to share a bad customer service experience than those in the U.K., whereas Brits are more inclined to recommend a company following a positive interaction. Following an inadequate experience, about half (49 percent) of U.S.

UK consumers less tolerant to poor service than US counterparts

New research from NewVoiceMedia reveals that U.K. consumers are less tolerant to poor customer service than those in the U.S..

Lowe's to hire 25K seasonal employees

Lowe's announced today it plans to hire approximately 25,000 seasonal employees at its stores in the United States during spring, the busiest time of year in the home improvement industry. Seasonal jobs available are focused on customer support and will...

Webinar to explore hiring, employee theft

On Thursday, Feb. 20 at 2 p.m.

2014 is 'The Year of Empathy,' according to Temkin Group research

Bruce Temkin, widely recognized as a customer experience visionary, has released his annual listing of customer experience trends to watch. Headlining the list for 2014 is Temkin's call to name 2014 "The Year of Empathy." "As companies increasingly focus on...

Late flurry of online sales nails UPS, retailers

A number of large retailers that promised to deliver goods before Dec. 25, including Amazon, Walmart and Kohl's, missed some of their deadlines, and the finger of blame seems to be pointed at shippers like United Parcel Service and FedEx,...

Simon, Macerich and Westfield malls launch same-day delivery

Deliv, a same-day delivery company, today announced alliances with three of America's largest mall operators, Simon Property Group, Macerich and Westfield, to provide the convenience of same-day service to shoppers in malls across the U.S. starting this holiday season.

Retailers commit to 'Customer Bill of Rights'

On Monday, a number of large retailers met with the Rev. Al Sharpton, and agreed to publish and abide by a Customer Bill of Rights.

Startup unveils wearable tech for retail floor, cloud connection

Technology start-up Theatro today announced the general availability of the Communicator Software-as-a-Service offering, a mobile workforce productivity application suite that leverages Theatro’s new enterprise wearable. The store operations solution, delivered as a cloud-based SaaS service over the in-store WiFi network...

Lululemon chairman Chip Wilson resigns

Chip Wilson, the controversial co-founder and chairman of Lululemon, has resigned from his position. Laurent Potdevin, recently the president of TOMS Shoes, was announced as the new chief executive. This is certainly not the first time Wilson has raised eyebrows...

Walmart worker and OUR Walmart member responds to CEO resignation

Walmart CEO Mike Duke announced today that he would be stepping down on January 31. The company immediately announced that Doug McMillon, currently the head of the retailer's international arm, would ascend to the position. In response, OUR Walmart member...

Retail industry adds 37,600 jobs in October

The National Retail Federation issued the following statement from NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay and chief economist Jack Kleinhenz on the October jobs report: "The latest jobs report, which came in stronger than anticipated, provides some positive indication that...

President Obama reportedly supports $10.10 minimum wage

Reports surfaced last week that President Obama supports an increase in the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, from the current $7.25 an hour. This suggestion surpasses his previous call earlier this year to raise the minimum wage to...

Report: U.S. becoming a 'switching economy'

Despite having more data and insights into consumer desires and preferences, companies in the U.S. have failed to meaningfully improve customer satisfaction or reverse rising switching rates among their customers.

Australian specialty store inspires shoppers through technology

Australian specialty store inspires shoppers through technology

Choices Flooring, an Australian chain, has created its own store of the future with the help of interactive digital signage by Brisbane-based Prendi. Over the next year, the concept and its accompanying technology will be rolled out to Choices stores...

Macy's may break tradition and open doors on Thanksgiving

For the first time in Macy's 155-year history, certain store locations will open for business at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving, according to a report in the Chicago Sun-Times. Five employees at Macy's flagship store in Chicago told the Sun-Times that...

Saks to introduce The Fifth Man concept shop

Chicago's flagship Saks Fifth Avenue store will offer men a "new lifestyle shopping experience all under one roof," said Tom Ott, senior vice president for Men's, Home and Gifts at Saks. Opening in January is a new men's shopping concept...

Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman to permanently offer free shipping and returns

The Neiman Marcus Group announced that it would begin offering free standard shipping and returns for all domestic purchases made online and in-store. The service will also apply to the Bergdorf Goodman store and website. Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman...

Demandware offers retailers a low-cost move toward omnichannel

The cloud commerce technology provider Demandware today announced the unveiling of endless aisle functionality in its new Digital Store Solution. The function will enable retailers to sell online products in the brick-and-mortar store without needing to develop their own software....

New eBay service allows UK shoppers to 'click and collect'

The Internet giant eBay has joined forces with the U.K. retailer Argos to offer a Click & Collect service, enabling shoppers to purchase products from selected eBay merchants and pick them up at Argos stores throughout the U.K.

Target launches 'baby experience program' in select Chicago stores

Target announced this week the launch of an enhanced baby experience program in 10 existing Chicago-area stores. The test program aims to create a more compelling shopping experience — with an emphasis on in-store service — through a redesigned layout,...

Whole Foods launches training program for aspiring butchers

Whole Foods Market announced that it is launching an in-store Meat Apprenticeship Program for its team members interested in mastering the age-old profession of butchery. The intensive 18-month training program is designed to transform aspiring butchers into skilled meat cutters...

NRF issues statement on employee strikes

Responding to today's low-wage retail workers strike (or "planned labor action" according to some), impacting chains such as Walmart, Macy's, Sears and Dollar Tree, the National Retail Federation issued the following statement from SVP Bill Thorne: Today's effort by a...

NRF puts focus back on benefits of retail jobs

As wage discontent still looms over the retail and foodservice industries, brands from both sectors have begun fighting back with PR campaigns aimed at steering public perception back in their favor. An article on abcnews.com referred to the National Retail...

Comcast tunes into kiosks inside its largest customer service center

Comcast recently held the grand opening for its interactive Xfinity Service Center in Houston, with self-service kiosks serving as integral features of the overall customer experience. At 6,500 square feet, the new service center is Comcast's largest in the country,...

Toys 'R' Us expands price-match policy

Toys "R" Us announced today that it will now match online prices from its major competitors, including Walmart, Best Buy, Kmart, Sears and Amazon. The price-matching policy also applies to the retailer's sister store, Babies "R" Us.

Walmart hopes to woo shoppers with fee-free layaway

In front of 6,000 Walmart associates at Walmart's annual holiday meeting Wednesday, Duncan Mac Naughton, the retailer's chief merchandising and marketing officer, introduced free layaway with no opening fee, the company said in a news release. Kicking off its holiday season Sept. 13 and running through Dec.

Consumer advocacy groups up in arms over 'return profiles'

Although retailers claim it's a move to fight fraud, the tracking of customer returns is yet another retail technology coming under fire from consumers. A recent story in The Detroit News explained that the process of creating "return profiles" is...

Latest eBay app brings online benefits to brick-and-mortars

In a move that strengthens the relationship between online and brick-and-mortar commerce, eBay has launched the Retail Associate Platform — an application that supplies the benefits of online shopper data to local retail merchants. According to a post on mercurynews.com,...

Report: Appliance customers seeking end-to-end experience

Appliance retailers need more than just a large selection of appliances or the best prices to satisfy their customers, according to the J.D. Power 2013 Appliance Retailer Satisfaction StudySM released today. The study, now in its sixth year, measures customer...

Google allowing Starbucks to offer faster Wi-Fi

Starbucks has selected Google to provide the next generation of its Wi-Fi offering for its customers. Beginning this month, new U.S.

GlobalShopex launches embedded checkout solution

GlobalShopex today announced availability of its embedded international checkout solution for U.S. e-commerce merchants.

Asda forecasts omnichannel for 2013 holiday season

The European grocery chain Asda expects that 75 percent of its customers will shop across bricks and clicks this Christmas, according to an article on Retail Week. The numbers signal a shift in consumer behavior toward omnichannel shopping, as the...

Target founder Douglas Dayton dies at 88

Douglas Dayton, who helped to transform his family's department store into what is now the Target Corporation, passed away at the age of 88, the Associated Press reported. Dayton was the youngest of George Nelson Dayton's five sons who, in 1948, took over the family's department store in downtown Minneapolis.

Rite Aid, PAI enter turnkey ATM agreement

Rite Aid Corp. has selected payment processing solutions provider Payment Alliance International to provide turnkey ATM services at approximately 1,500 Rite Aid locations in the western and southern United States. The program will provide convenient access to cash for Rite...

Macy's expands in-store fulfillment to 500 stores

Macy's continues to move forward with its omnichannel strategy with the announcement that it will expand its store-based fulfillment centers to 500 locations, according to a post on risnews.com. Macy's began piloting omnichannel fulfillment capabilities at 23 stores in 2011....

Microsoft attempts to boost sales with Best Buy mini-stores

Microsoft has announced that it will open 500 mini-stores within existing Best Buy locations in the U.S., selling Windows-based tablets, computers and other Microsoft-exclusive products, according to a Reuters report. The new store-within-a-store approach represents Microsoft's effort to revitalize sales...

US Lexus dealerships roll out MyDealerLot service solutions

Customer service and support solutions from MyDealerLot were selected by Lexus for implementation in its U.S. dealerships, according to a news release. Under the new program, MDL's fully integrated RFID service and sales solutions will be offered to Lexus dealers,...

Google taps STELLAService for customer service ratings

Google is tapping STELLAService Inc. to provide customer service rankings and analytics for online retailers, according to Forbes.

TimeTrade amps up retail solutions with kiosks, digital signage

TimeTrade, providers of online appointment scheduling technology for businesses, has announced upgrades to its TimeTrade Retail solution that it says will improve customer experience and flow management. With TimeTrade Concierge, retailers, banks and retail healthcare providers can improve customer satisfaction...

Sears CEO highlights 'integrated retail' strategy

Sears' Chief Executive Eddie Lampert announced his plan to give the 120-year-old retail brand a facelift — and hopefully turn around its six-year sales slump. According to an article on businessweek.com, the company's new mantra is "integrated retail," a term...

High-low pricing method gets slammed in court ruling

Following a recent ruling in California's 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, retailers following a high-low pricing method (think JC Penney, Kohl's) could be in violation of the law. According to an article on consumerist.com, a suit against Kohl's alleging it...

IBM's Jeopardy-winning computer Watson now working on customer engagement

Two years after conquering Jeopardy, IBM's Watson is setting its sights on customer engagement. IBM today unveiled its IBM Watson Engagement Advisor, a cognitive computing assistant that learns, adapts and understands a company's data, empowering customer service agents to provide...

Inventory fulfillment solution promises omnichannel execution

During this week's Momentum 2013 conference in Las Vegas, Manhattan Associates announced the release of its Store Inventory Fulfillment solution, which it says transforms store locations into efficient omnichannel fulfillment centers. Store Inventory Fulfillment enables a store associate to execute...

Bealls Florida goes to the cloud with HighJump

HighJump Software, a global provider of supply chain management software, announced today that the Florida-based apparel and home merchandise retailer Bealls Inc. has selected its cloud-based warehouse management solution. With the system, Bealls Florida gains fast, accurate fulfillment through directed,...

RichRelevance expands global presence with acquisition of Avail

RichRelevance, the company behind personalized online product recommendations for clients including Walmart, Sears and Target, announced it has acquired Avail, a European provider of online merchandising platforms. According to Venture Beat, the acquisition gives RichRelevance presence in a total of...

Update: Nordstrom ends test of shopper tracking

Following a report on CBS 11 in Dallas (and subsequent reporting through other websites) that Nordstrom was tracking shoppers' activity via smartphone data, the company announced that it has ended its trial of the service. The retailer insisted that the...

Nordstrom tracks shoppers to improve customer experience

Nordstrom is using tracking software to identify how much time shoppers spend in specific departments, according to dfw.cbslocal.com. The technology is being used in 17 Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack stores nationwide and is what Nordstrom calls an attempt to improve...

Retail Mesh 'cuts through clutter' of mobile coupons

The rise of mobile technology in retail has led to a surge of platforms that push targeted, location-based mobile coupons to smartphone-wielding shoppers. A post on fourthsource.com highlights the mobile coupon tech of Retail Mesh: Mobile technologies offer a way...

Honeymoon registries get personal with video feature

Engaged couples looking for creative alternatives to the traditional wedding registry have shifted the focus from the ceremony to the honeymoon. And portals like HoneymoonPixie.com, with its recently announced partnership with the social video platform Sociagram, enable the registry process...

A positive customer experience may lead to stock market gains

Companies that deliver a great customer experience are rewarded — on Main Street and on Wall Street. That's the conclusion from customer experience advisory firm Watermark Consulting, based on its six-year analysis of stock market returns for companies that lead...

Google pilots same-day delivery in San Francisco

Google opened its Google Shopping Express same-day delivery service to a test market in San Francisco last week. The service delivers products for the trial from a select group of retailers that includes Target, Walgreens, Staples, American Eagle, Toys"R"Us/Babies"R"Us, Office...

Study finds brands miss out on customer feedback

A recent study by Venuelabs reveals major brands are missing as much as 86 percent of local consumer sentiment about their in-store experiences. The study further found that even when brands are employing best-of-breed social media and brand monitoring technologies...

Apple rolling out new customer service initiative

Apple is slowly implementing a new customer service initiative across its retail stores. According to 9to5mac, the strategy is called "table selling," and assigns employees to a product table where they are responsible for working with groups of customers with...

Shopper turned delivery person? Walmart considers crowd-sourcing

Walmart may soon be crowd-sourcing shoppers for delivery services. According to an article on nbcnews.com, Walmart shoppers could tell the retailer where they live and sign up to drop off packages for online customers who live on their route back...

Walmart struggles to stock shelves with fewer employees

Walmart's thinly spread workforce could be contributing to its increasingly empty shelves. According to an article on Bloomberg, the retailer's disorganized stores are getting worse, and shoppers are abandoning them in droves. The article reported that in the past five years, Walmart added 455 U.S.

Aussie store fights showrooming with $5 'just looking fee'

A specialty food store in Brisbane, Australia, has come up with a way to combat showrooming, and a photo of its strategy has gone viral on Reddit. According to the Consumerist, the store posted a sign on its door that...

Shopbust launches mobile mystery shopping platform in Asia

The Singapore-based startup Shopbust announced the launch of its fully automated, online mystery shopping platform that helps brands measure customer service and brand execution. Features include: Check on-site branding and operational compliance Check implementation of POS materials, promotions, end caps...

Oscar de la Renta brings True Fit to online shoppers

Oscar de la Renta is refreshing the customer experience on its e-commerce site by offering personalized shopping and fitting profiles with True Fit technology, according to an article on Luxury Daily. True Fit profiles are designed to help customers find...

Restaurants reel in customers with retail

According to a recent interview aired on Minnesota Public Radio, there is a growing trend toward restaurant establishments serving a side of retail. And not just the gift shop-behind-the-hostess-stand sort, actual fully stocked and targeted retail stores. Rachel Hutton, senior...

Market Force study reveals more shoppers trying new retailers

Research from a new Market Force study reveals H&M, Kohl's and Macy's are luring the most potential new consumers into their stores. Rounding out the top five are Abercrombie & Fitch and Forever 21 as the retailers with the most...

Insights from eGain to lead multichannel strategy at JD Williams

Customer engagement solution provider eGain announced today that it was chosen by U.K. retailer JD Williams to lead its multichannel strategy.

Cali store using robotics to compete with online retailers

For former Amazon executive Nadia Shouraboura, jeans and robotics are proving a successful combination. An article in the Seattle Times features Shouraboura's store, Hointer, and the ways she is managing to redesign the shopping experience for her customers. At Hointer,...

Control Group creates 'immersive' experience for Kate Spade flagship

The NYC-based technology and design firm Control Group today unveiled its work with the newly launched Kate Spade Saturday brand. The concept highlights the social side of shopping by "bringing the online experience into the retail stores," the announcement said....

Rent The Runway, the 'Netflix for fashion,' secures more funding

Rent The Runway, the website that lets users rent designer clothes, accessories and jewelry, has secured an additional $4.4 million in funding, bringing the total funding for the company to $54 million. According to an article on TechCrunch, the startup...

Best Buy VP tells Consumerist 'We are a true multichannel retailer'

In a recent article on Consumerist, Best Buy's Chief Communications Officer and Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Matt Furman spoke about whether or not the electronics retailer can compete in a world with Amazon and other online-only sellers that...

Pep Boys revamping Tampa store for improved customer experience

In a move to make auto repair more accessible and engaging for customers, Pep Boys is introducing a new approach to customer experience with the construction of a totally redesigned store in Tampa. According to an article on aftermarketnews.com, the...

Survey crowns Nordstrom as most-favored retail chain

Nordstrom is the nation's favorite fashion retail chain, according to an annual consumer study conducted by Market Force Information. The upscale department store edged out Kohl's, which had ranked first in the three previous studies.

Target Canada President promises 'new shopping experience'

Canadian shoppers got their first taste of Target as the retailer opened its first three locations north of the border today. According to an article on ctvnews.ca, Target Canada President Tony Fisher told reporters touring one of the stores that...

Xtreme Labs releases report card on retailer apps

Xtreme Labs, a mobile strategy and solutions company, released its Retail Apps Report, which details how consumers rate the top U.S. retailers' iOS and Android mobile apps and provides insight into how those retailers fare in the mobile space. The list of retailers is from the 2012 annual STORES Top 100 Retailers report.

Shutl courier service debuts in Chicago

Shutl Ltd., a London-based startup that matches retailers with local courier services, debuts today in Chicago, New York and San Francisco, according to chicagobusiness.com. The business model could be a direct move to combat customers shifting to Amazon for their...

Macy's supports LGBT cause with same-sex wedding registry

Macy's has been an outward supporter of gay rights and the LGBT community, and according to a report on hrc.org, the retailer's store near Metro Center in Washington, D.C.

Moscow Mall now using indoor mapping

Retailers at the Moscow Mall in Russia are utilizing indoor mapping and positioning to help shoppers navigate their way to the more than 5,000 shops in the center. According to an article on timesofisrael.com, the Moscow Mall installed the "beacons"...

The Children's Place sends hyper-personalized emails with CQuotient

CQuotient today unveiled its algorithm-based technology that enables retailers to send digital communications to individual customers. By harnessing big data from customer touchpoints, CQuotient creates a predictive portrait for each individual, resulting in automated emails that are hyper-personalized for each...

NRF: Voice feedback tool from Saygent

At this year's NRF show, representatives from Saygent were demonstrating their new voice feedback tool, which aims to capture customer sentiment and feedback while they're still in the store.

Best Buy to join the price-match party

Best Buy has announced that it will officially throw its hat into the permanent price-matching ring, Reuters reported. Beginning on March 3 the electronics retailer will match online prices of competitors, with plans to also shorten its return policy, a...

Article: With in-store and online offerings, its okay to be different

With the rise of omnichannel, a retailer must reformulate in order to integrate all of its shopping channels. Part of this undertaking includes finding the best balance of products available in-store and online. A recent article on smh.com.au addresses the...

JC Penney arms employees with mobile checkout

JCPenney's roving employee checkout system is up and running at several locations, according to an article on bellinghamherald.com. JCPenney spokesperson Kate Coultas in Plano, Texas, said the company began using the new system in August when they launched their in-store...

Micah Solomon, Dr. Chris Petersen added to Retail Customer Experience Executive Summit agenda

The fourth annual Retail Customer Experience Executive Summit will take place August 13-14 at the Hard Rock in San Diego.

Customers test showers and ovens at Cali home supply store

The kitchen and bath specialty store Fixtures Living is going big on the "try before you buy" approach. Specializing in fixtures and appliances for indoor and outdoor kitchens, laundry rooms and bathrooms, Fixtures Living boasts that its showrooms allow customers...

Tesco installs Cummins Allison coin-counting kiosks

Cummins Allison today announced that the U.K grocery chain Tesco has installed more than 15 Money Machine self-service coin counters in its Superstores and Metro stores. As part of a targeted rollout of approximately 50 units, the Cummins Allison coin...

Sporting goods store unveils 'retail lab' with in-store tech

The Canadian sporting goods retailer Sport Chek today unveiled a tech-heavy retail lab at its flagship store in Toronto. Utilizing interactive kiosks, digital signage and augmented reality, the official store of the Canadian Olympic Team goes all out for what...

Apple granted patent for "distinctive design" of stores

Retailers looking to take a page from Apple's playbook on store design and layout now have to worry about copyright infringement. The U.S.

Elo targets retail digital signage

Elo Touch Solutions, a global supplier of touch-enabled technology, has launched new interactive digital signage and mobile touch-computing tablet products designed to help retailers enhance their customer experience and drive sales efficiency, according to a company announcement today. Elo is...

Latest Voxware study examines consumer return habits

Voice solution provider Voxware released research this week on consumer product returns. The findings highlight why consumers return items purchased online or by phone and how their experiences with the return process affect their future purchase intentions with retailers. Results...

IBM collaborates with jewelry chains for multichannel redesign

IBM and Signet Jewelers Ltd. recently announced a collaboration on an e-commerce strategy and digital marketing redesign for Signet's national U.S.

NRF: VeriFone intros payment solution for iPad mini

VeriFone Systems today announced at the NRF BIG Show how its comprehensive suite of payments solutions is helping retailers interact with their customers. New solutions on the show floor include: A new, size-adaptable payment acceptance solution for tablets — the...

Survey: Retailers seek to master omnichannel in 2013

The rise of the connected shopper is causing a change in strategic focus for retailers. According to the 2013 Shop.org/Forrester Research State of Retailing survey, retailers now seek to improve the customer experience and increase Web conversion and loyalty across...

Target implements permanent online price-match policy

With flat December sales dampening its holiday shopping season, Target today announced a policy change that could bolster the retailer's value-driven reputation — year-round online price-matching. Target implemented price-matching last year from Nov. 1 to Dec.

Tensator set to display digital signage Virtual Assistant, self-service at NRF Big Show

Tensator, a global provider of queue management and customer journey solutions, today announced it is launching several new digital signage and self-service retail solutions at this year's NRF "Retail's BIG Show" being held Jan. 13-16 at the Javits Center in...

Polaroid to announce new retail concept at CES

Polaroid will make its first foray into retail when it announces plans for a new store concept at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The Polaroid Fotobar will attempt to draw in customers eager to unlock photos from...

In retail, size matters

It may seem like there is nothing small about big-box retailer Costco, but a recent article on forbesindia.com pointed out a psychological paradox that could be a reason behind the store's success. At a deeper level, the customer's experience of...

Andrew W.K., Jim Knight to keynote 2013 Retail Customer Experience Executive Summit

Andrew W.K., Jim Knight to keynote 2013 Retail Customer Experience Executive Summit

LOUISVILLE, KY — Networld Media Group (NMG), organizer of the Retail Customer Experience Executive Summit, has announced the keynote speakers for its fourth-annual event, to be held August 13-14 at the Hard Rock San Diego: best-selling musician, TV personality and...

Lowest-price e-commerce hurts shopper loyalty

The rise of e-commerce and the hunt for the lowest prices is causing once-loyal shoppers to abandon allegiance to certain stores, according to an article on cnbc.com. "There will be a lot less retailers on this planet in another decade...

NRF announces award recipients for 2013 Big Show

The National Retail Federation announced that Amazon, Crocs, Kohl's and lululemon are the recipients of its annual awards. The recipients, each company's top ranking executive, will accept their awards during the Annual Retail Industry Luncheon at NRF's Annual Convention and EXPO, Retail's BIG Show, on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013.

Mobile self-service apps could be a must for businesses

As mobile self-service apps become more commonplace with consumers, it is up to businesses to determine how best to use the tools to their advantage, according to ameinfo.com. The mobile approach has many advantages, if done correctly. As the excerpt...

Study shows the right sounds and smells will make shoppers spend

Retailers can start factoring in shoppers' senses when figuring out how to increase dwell time. A new study by Washington State University researchers has found that combining tunes with simple, store-appropriate smells could help retailers. Looking over related scientific research...

Walgreens utilizes pharmacy kiosks in new store designs

Walgreens has begun the roll out of new store designs at select locations across the country with self-service kiosks touted as a tool to improve customer service at the pharmacy. The Walgreens Express Rx is a touchscreen kiosk that enables...

The trouble with facial recognition technology

While the use of facial recognition technology for marketing purposes is attractive for retailers, an article on independent.co.uk discusses how the process poses concerns of privacy issues and discrimination. According to the article, Britain's class system was automated some years...

Macy's expands 48-hour last minute holiday shopping marathon

Macy's has announced the expansion of its annual last-minute shopping marathon to stores nationwide. For 48 hours, beginning at 7 a.m.

Carrier biller mopay offering loyalty, CRM tools

Direct carrier biller mopay is making its payment platform more useful to merchants, adding functionality that includes a mobile loyalty management suite. Merchants will have access to customer relationship management, loyalty and gamification tools, as well as a new feature...

Opinion: C-store retailers need convenient loyalty programs

An opinion piece on csnews.com explains the importance and benefits of loyalty programs for c-store retailers. The author cited a recent study from the NPD Group that shows the primary factor affecting whether or not a consumer makes a purchase...

Google acquires BufferBox, takes aim at Amazon's shipping business

Google may be gearing up to enter the shipping and logistics business with its recent acquisition of BufferBox, a self-service parcel pickup company, according to rttnews.com. The BufferBox services allow users to subscribe for single-use services, renting temporary lockers to...

Leaked Apple employee video features now JCP CEO Johnson

A leaked internal video made for Apple retail employees solidifies the perception that the company puts quite a bit of preparation, planning and philosophy into its retail model. According to cnet.com, the video is voiced-over by Apple’s former head of...

New survey app rewards consumers as it tracks their behavior

TrendSource Inc., a market research company, announced the launch of an interactive mobile survey app, wINput (Win By Giving Your Input), which is now available for Apple and Android users. wINput was developed by TrendSource as a research tool designed...

Malls to offer VIP perks to lure more Black Friday shoppers

Black Friday shoppers at certain malls will get the VIP treatment as more retail establishments seek to offer a "white glove" experience to those willing to pay for a reprieve from the shopping day’s typical madness. According to marketwatch.com, malls...

Walmart launches Goodies doorstep delivery service

Shoppers looking to have unique seasonal foods delivered to their doorstep need look no further than the latest brainchild of Walmart Labs: Goodies. According to an article in the Seattle Times, Goodies customers get a box of five to eight...

Petitioners plead with retailers to stop 'Black Friday creep'

Target, Walmart, Kohl’s and Sears are among the long list of retailers facing a consumer backlash on Change.org over “Black Friday creep” following Walmart’s announcement yesterday that it would open its doors at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving evening. In the...

JDA, RedPrairie announce merger

RedPrairie and JDA Software announced today that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement. According to a press release on the merger, JDA's history of supply chain planning, merchandising and pricing solutions fits in with RedPrairie's heritage in warehousing,...

Apple axes SVP of retail division

Apple announced today the immediate departure of John Browett, the company's newly minted SVP of retail. Browett has encountered some snags in his six-month stint on the job, but Apple has not given specific reasons for his exit. According to...

Study: Social media interaction leads to long-term sales increases

New research shows that social media interaction between a customer and a brand drives immediate and long-term sales increases. The 2012 LoyaltyOne Social Media Transaction Impact Study was released this week by LoyaltyOne, in cooperation with Northwestern University and the...

Best Buy begins roll out of audio kiosk program

Turtle Beach, a provider of gaming headsets, and Best Buy are launching an in-store interactive kiosk program that delivers a fully interactive and educational experience, while giving Best Buy customers access to samples from Turtle Beach's product line-up. According to...

Retailers discuss importance of multichannel at Wincor World 2012

Multichannel retailing remains a focus for global retailers, according to a post on fashionunited.co.uk, as stores fight to boost relevance by enhancing the customer experience in-store. John Osborne, general manager for research and development at Kroger, said at Wincor World...

Target gears up for holidays with price match policy

Target Corp announced the introduction of its new Holiday Price Match policy that, for the first time, will offer guests the ability to match select online competitors' prices in its stores between Nov. 1 and Dec.

Walmart's think tank lab to thank for recent innovations

While Walmart has been making headlines lately with improvements to its technology and Web presence, the force behind the advances is less widely discussed. Known as @WalmartLabs, the San Bruno, Calif.-based workforce is the think tank of innovation for the...

Walmart battles Amazon with launch of same-day shipping

Rival retail giants Walmart and Amazon go toe-to-toe once again, with Walmart announcing Tuesday that it had begun testing same-day delivery for online purchases. According to an article on nytimes.com, Walmart plans to make the instant delivery possible by shipping...

Target launches QR codes for holiday toy shopping

In line with the holiday shopping fervor among retailers, Target announced it is adding QR codes in stores for the season's 20 most popular toys. The Target mobile app will allow shoppers to scan toy QR codes, purchase the product...

Retail customers enjoy telling a good lie, study shows

Customers get a high amount of satisfaction when able to lie to retailers to obtain refunds, discounts or concessions, according to an article on NBCnews.com. University of Sydney professors Christina Anthony and Elizabeth Cowley found that consumers who tell lies...

No fee layaway plan at Tennessee discount store

Memphis-based Fred's Super Dollar announced plans to launch a holiday layaway plan that boasts no fees, a down payment of just $1, and a $5 gift card for layaways totaling $50 or more. Dave Mueller, senior VP for sales and...

Best Buy looks to improve employees as a way to boost sales

After a decline in sales and uneven store performances, Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly plans to put more focus on employee training, according to an article on Businessweek.com. Joly is attempting to turn around sinking sales numbers, following a second...

Walmart revamps layaway to please customers

Walmart announced yesterday a consumer-driven change to its holiday layaway policy, extending the program and cutting fees. The new policy adds an extra 30 days to the layaway availability, going from 60 days to 90 days. The open layaway fee...

New AT&T flagship takes retail experience to the future

A new AT&T flagship store is set to open tomorrow on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile and aims to give customers a one-of-a-kind retail experience. The flagship differs from the rest of AT&T's 2,300 retail stores not only in size, but also...

Apple Genius training manual reveals sales secrets

A leaked copy of Apple's Genius Training student workbook was examined in an article on gizmodo.com this week, and the contents were extensively revealing of the company’s sales techniques. As it turns out, sales comes in second in priority behind...

Target to get geeky with new partnership pilot

Shoppers at Denver-area Target stores will have extra help in solving electronics problems. Starting in late October, the Geek Squad will be available 80-hours per week in all 28 Target stores throughout Denver, white shirts and clip-on black ties included....

Tokyo toy co testing augmented reality kiosks

A Tokyo toy company is testing kiosks with augmented reality capabilities to allow shoppers to interact with toys even when they're still in packaging. The kiosks, developed by Tokyo-based Chariot Co. Ltd using technology from Metaio GmbH, are now in...

Bailey Banks & Biddle revamps in-store, online experience

Luxury jeweler Bailey Banks & Biddle is revamping its in-store and online shopping experience by implementing a new design studio, according to a company press release. The studio offers customers more than 20,000 unique diamonds and hundreds of settings, allowing shoppers to customize jewelry to their own specifications.

Company attempts to 'revolutionize checkout' with mobile platform

After a successful test project in a Washington supermarket, QThru is officially launching its mobile platform allowing shoppers to scan items with their smartphone as they shop to facilitate a more efficient checkout using their phone. "Given recent advancements in...

Meridian releases auto dealership kiosk

Automobile dealerships can now deploy a new kiosk designed by Meridian and Adam Technology that allows customers to view services by their vehicle year, make, model and odometer reading. They can also select services, schedule appointments, pay for services, drop...

MokiTouch creates Android kiosks with remote management

The trend of transforming tablets into kiosks and digital signs seems to be hotter than ever, a fact not lost on MokiMobility, a provider of cloud-based mobile device management for single-purpose iOS and Android devices. Hoping to cash in on...

Z Gallerie using Aruba technology for iPads

Z Gallerie, a retailer of home decor merchandise, has deployed Aruba Networks technology to support in-store sales and enhance customer engagement. Based on the Aruba Mobile Virtual Enterprise architecture, the network features the AP-93H, a recently introduced wall-mountable access point...

New global standard to 'make product recall more effective'

Improving product and consumer safety in the global supply chain is critical, which is why GS1, a not-for-profit organization that designs and manages a global system of supply chain standards, has ratified a new global product recall standard, along with...

John Lewis using OpenSpan tech to enhance customer service

OpenSpan Inc., a provider of user process analytics, optimization and automation solutions, is now working with John Lewis, a department store group with annual gross sales of GBP 3.23 billion. OpenSpan technology will measure, improve and innovate customer service processes...

Revel globally launches POS system for iPad, iPhone

Revel Systems' retail POS system for the iPad and iPhone — called "Atlas" — is now available worldwide. Atlas features software innovations that include unprecedented levels of analytics that allow users to see trends in sales to increase or decrease...

E-commerce sites improving customer service

A record 36 of the Top 100 online retailers achieved the "threshold for excellence" on the annual Top 100 E-Retail Satisfaction Index from customer experience analytics firm ForeSee. Scores of 80 or higher on ForeSee's 100-point scale are considered superior customer satisfaction performances.

Social media raising stakes for customer service

Americans are growing more frustrated with customer service, and their social media savvy is making it hard for businesses to get away with ignoring the problem, according to the 2012 American Express Global Customer Service Barometer. It found that consumers who have used social media for service wield the greatest amount of influence.

Bike seller bridging e-commerce, brick-and-mortar gap with build-a-bike kiosks

According to the Fort Collins (Colo.) Coloradoan, Fort Collins bicycle retailer Big Shot Bikes is using build-a-bike kiosks to bridge the gap between e-commerce and brick-and-mortar retailing. Big Shot Bikes, which sells customizable single-speed bikes, is rolling out self-service kiosks...

New Balance opens Boston 'Experience' store

New Balance is stepping up its game with a new 2,500-square-foot high-tech store at Copley Square in Boston that opens today.

Gucci unveils mobile POS program

Gucci sales associates at select U.S., Europe and Asia locations are equipped with personal Apple iPhone 4S devices to provide shoppers with a more convenient experience. The mobile devices allow employees to process sales from anywhere in the store and...

Why pet stores are thriving

Pet stores are thriving, and some retail experts think it's because they are catering to pet owners who treat their animals like family members, Joanna Felder, retail design expert, told CalgaryHerald.com. Felder, who helped redesign the multimillion-dollar U.S.

GNC upgrades phone app to enhance store experience

GNC Holdings Inc., the nation's largest specialty retailer of health and wellness products, has enhanced its new iPhone app and has also made it available to Android users. Since GNC launched its first iPhone application in March 2011, it's received...

Study: French e-commerce growing despite delivery kinks

Although 91 percent of French consumers shopped online over the past year, 27 percent asked for a refund at least once because of delivery hassles, according to a February survey by French polling organization Institut français d'opinion publique, or IFOP....

The Container Store adds 'real-time listening' via OpinionLab

OpinionLab today announced that The Container Store, retailer of storage and organization products, is using OpinionLab multichannel feedback solutions to listen to and learn from shoppers at anytime, from anywhere — whether they are browsing the pages of containerstore.com or...

Biometrics makes tanning quick, easy at NY salon

Customers of Zoom Tan, a tanning salon chain in New York and Florida, can pay for sessions and sign in with a touch of a finger now that the salon has integrated DigitalPersona's U.are.U Fingerprint Readers into the company's customer-...

Video game retailers merge to dominate Canadian market

Play N Trade, the world's largest video game retail franchisor, is expanding in Canada through a merger with Canadian-based Dimensions Games Corporation. Dimension Games will now be known as Play N Trade Canada, and all new Canadian stores will open...

Study: 'Racioethnic consistency' between retail employees, customers boosts profit

According to a new study from Temple University, retailers can significantly increase their revenue and profitability by better mirroring the "racioethnic representation" between their employees and their customers. The researchers took data from 739 outlets of a U.S. department store,...

AT&T opens high-tech, bilingual store in Queens

New York Yankees pitcher Dwight Gooden was on site today to help AT&T celebrate the grand opening of its largest and newest store in New York. "The Queens Center Mall store expansion augments our growing portfolio of bilingual retail locations...

Study: Retailers must engage employees to please shoppers

Employee engagement in the U.S. retail sector has sunk to its lowest levels since 2009, according to a new study claiming that employee engagement is directly linked to customer satisfaction, staff retention and financial performance. "The World of Retail: How...

In-store radio network expands Texas footprint

A professionally-produced, private-label radio station is now playing throughout 90 locations of Spec's Wines, Spirits and Finer across Texas Barix is exclusively providing IP audio decoding solutions to RFC Media for its private-label, retail radio network, according to a company...

Udi's Food using ShelfX self-checkout

ShelfX, a provider of a self-checkout and inventory management solution, announced today that Udi's Food will integrate the system to shorten customer wait-time and increase shopping convenience at their Udi's Bread Café chain. The initial pilot project is expected to...

Mobile retail startup Signature announces launch

Signature Labs, Inc. launched today, and the company said it is "making retail personal again by delivering VIP treatment to shoppers, both in and out of store." The Signature mobile app is a personal shopping assistant, "delivering to customers' mobile...

Survey says: 51% of shoppers seek online access via in-store kiosks

More than half (51 percent) of shoppers in the United States seek out in-store kiosks for access to the retailer's website, according to a recent survey from Cisco's Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG). Among U.S.

Procter & Gamble seeking way to scan coupons to phones

Coupons are coming to consumers' phones, according to Procter & Gamble, who just signed a deal with a Silicon Valley start-up to find a way to scan coupons to smart phones. Redeeming money-saving offers on a smart phone by pointing...

NRF survey: Amazon is tops in customer service

Consumers have spoken: Amazon.com has the best customer service among U.S. retailers, according to a survey of thousands of shoppers.

GUESS deploying iPads to better serve shoppers

GUESS Inc. is using iPads to put its products in front of shoppers by implementing the VeriFone GlobalBay iPad Retailing solution inside a dozen stores in the U.S.

Online retailers must provide better service

Although Cyber Monday 2011 set a record for the most online retail spending in a single day, and the weekend before Christmas was the second heaviest weekend of online spending on record, online retailers had some trouble filling the orders,...

Best Buy CEO, FCC chairman among speakers at CES

Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn will discuss the state of the retail industry Jan. 11 at the Consumer Electronics Association's 2012 International CES in the Las Vegas Convention and World Trade Center. "I am thrilled to discuss opportunities and challenges...

Sears CEO: Technology key to revitalizing company

Sears' chief executive officer, Lou D'Ambrosio, plans to turn around his company's performance by implementing technology and spending more money on stores, according to Bloomberg. Sears announced on Dec. 27 that it was closing about 120 locations after same-store sales slipped 5.2 percent in the eight weeks ended Dec.

Survey announces 10 worst online retailers

Is it brand perception or actual high-quality service that gives online retailers their reputations? That's a question that 24/7 Wall St. set out to find by examining Internet retailers with the best and worst customer satisfaction ratings based on ForeSee's...

Teamwork Retail using iPads to manage stores

Employees in Teamwork Retail stores are using iPads to ring up purchases and look up product info on the retail floor, Not only is the store's inventory a couple of taps away but Teamwork on the iPad can also add...

If only Ocean Marketing had been versed in bilateral customer service

The Ocean Marketing public relations nightmare that played out in the blogosphere last week never had to happen. Providing good customer service is retail 101, so where did it all go wrong for Paul Christoforo? The back story It all...

3 things shoppers care more about than price

American consumers were less concerned with costs during the 2011 holiday shopping season than last year, according to the Foresee E-Retail Satisfaction Index published Dec. 28. The study, according to marketing expert Charles Gaudet, backs up his conviction that business...

Geo-fencing makes targeted text offers possible

Consumers who visit any of the 27 open-air malls owned by DDR, a commercial real estate company, can receive text messages offering deals from the retailers in each of those locations. The program, called ValuText, is based on geo-fencing, which...

Apple employees: We know where you are

Apple employees in Palo Alto, Calif., know the location of all their customers, thanks to a new technology the company is using to help speed purchases. According to the NY Times, an iPhone owner can use the free Apple Store...

Toys "R" Us intros new mobile solutions

Toys"R"Us shoppers have more ways to stock up on gifts this holiday season. In addition to updates made to store's iPhone and Android apps, Toys R Us has formed new partnerships with Google and shopkick to help customers locate the...

Poll: Retailers to lose customers if shelves aren't full

Nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults would avoid shopping at a retail store if they encountered empty shelves, according to a nationwide survey commissioned by Galleria Retail Technology Solutions, a provider of retail and category optimization solutions. The phone survey took a random sample of 1,021 U.S.

Survey names top 10 retailers for customer service

Whether it's an unbeatable return policy, a helpful sales associate or 24-hour shopping convenience, holiday shoppers define customer service in a variety of ways. The NRF Foundation, the research and education arm of the National Retail Federation, has announced the...

AT&T testing new store concept in Chicago

AT&T, with 2,300 stores, is one of the country's largest retailers, but now it's on a mission to be the best when it comes to customer service. The company has been studying some of the most successful names in the...

Store employees balk at early Black Friday openings

Black Friday is quickly approaching as major retailers kick of the holiday shopping season earlier each year, hoping to be the first stop for Thanksgiving shoppers. Not everyone is happy about it, according to a story in the New York...

Survey: Kohl's is America's favorite fashion retailer

Kohl's is the nation's favorite fashion retail chain, according to an annual consumer survey conducted by Market Force Information, a provider of customer intelligence solutions. This is the third year in a row that Kohl's has earned the top spot, according to the company.

Study: Annoying music drives customers away

Half of Britain's shoppers have left a store because they were annoyed by the music, according to a study by Immedia Plc, a company that develops music strategies for retailers. The study polled more than 1,000 shoppers about their attitudes...

Best Buy announces its plans for 2011 holiday season

Best Buy has launched its holiday season by announcing a collection of offers that delivers what people say they want most from a retailer: competitively priced products, multi-channel convenience and selection, and service pre- and post-purchase. "We've devoted the past...

Consumer grocery store survey reveals satisfaction and brand preferences by geography

Empathica Inc., a provider of Customer Experience Management (CEM) solutions to some of the world's most respected brands, announced that its Consumer Insights Panel survey of more than 16,000 North American consumers ranked grocery stores on how well they deliver...

Infogain service enables low-risk transition to cloud-based customer support

Infogain Corporation has announced the newest addition to its line of services, Transformational Customer Support service. The new service creates a multichannel, community-based, knowledge-enabled solution that leverages the benefits of and innovations available in cloud-based contact center offerings. "The Transformational...

Lowe's putting iPhones in the hands of 42,000 store associates

Bloomberg reports that Lowe's is reacting to Home Depot's move last year which put Motorola mobile devices in its employees' hands – by handing out iPhones to its people. In addition to a new online tool that will act as...

Canada Post capturing customer experience data at 40 post offices

OpinionLab, provider of voice-of-customer (VOC) listening technologies, has announced an expanded relationship with Canada Post. In addition to collecting feedback from its website through OpinionLab technology, Canada Post will now pilot OpinionLab mobile-feedback tools to gather customer input from 40...

Facing extinction, video stores reinvent themselves

An article in the New York Times takes a look at the "few scrappy Davids" that are clinging to their video stores, staring down the goliaths that are redbox, Netflix and the like. Los Angeles-based Vidiots, for instance, opened up a classroom-type space where it hosts classes in film studies and spoken-word events.

Mercedes Dealers get top marks for retail experience

According to a report in MediaPost.com, Mercedes dealers received the highest satisfaction index rating for the third year in a row in the Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index, which uses 3,524 paid mystery shoppers to rank the retail experience at...

Custom men's fashion meets the house call

A story in the Centre Daily Times from State College, Penn. highlights the growth of J.

Study: UK online customer service needs improving

A new report from Eptica, a UK-based provider of customer interaction management software, surveyed the online customer service practices of 100 leading UK companies. The survey looked at how well each company answered simple, routine questions via email, website and social media.

FurstPerson launches Web-based retail-hiring solution

FurstPerson Inc., a provider of on-demand, pre-employment assessments and talent management solutions for customer contact organizations, today introduced an online retail hiring solution to help organizations identify high-quality employees with the ability to improve sales and service. The solution will...

Walmart MoneyCenter kiosks should have retailers, banks shaking in their boots

According to Bank Investment Consultant.com, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. recently announced that it will be rolling out automated kiosk-based versions of its MoneyCenter offices, which provide a range of financial services to Walmart shoppers. The "MoneyCenter in a box" concept will...

Fashion retailer Donna Karan chooses QuickAssortment to create options for client preferences

The Donna Karan Company, the international fashion retailer, is implementing a new merchandise, store and assortment planning software solution. QuickAssortment from Maple Lake will enable Donna Karan to create store assortments that align with the purchasing preferences of its customers...

Saks Fifth Avenue to accelerate customer-centric transformation

Luxury retailer Saks Fifth Avenue has appointed 5one, a global retail consultancy, to assist in the on-going transformation of Saks to a more customer-centric business. 5one will provide Saks Fifth Avenue with in-depth insight into their customers' shopping behavior and...

Kroger offers $1 per gallon fuel discount to loyal shoppers

According to the Lancaster Eagle Gazette, the Kroger Co. is expanding its fuel discount program, in which regular shoppers can get up to a $1-per-gallon discount on a tank of gas. The discount program rolled out in markets such as Atlanta and Phoenix in time for Memorial Day weekend traveling.

Kendon Trailers partners with Shopatron to offer consumers eCommerce platform

Kendon Trailers, an Anaheim, Calif.-based manufacturer of fold-up motorcycle trailers and lifts, has partnered with Shopatron, an eCommerce solutions company, to sell Kendon's products directly from its website. According to Frank Esposito, president of Kendon Industries, the company didn't want...

Publix closes Little Clinics

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Publix Super Markets is closing down its in-store Little Clinics. The Little Clinic, a Tennessee-based medical company, has leased space within 40 of the stores in Florida and Georgia.

Consumers rank social networks better than online businesses for ability to protect personal information

ThreatMetrix, a provider of cloud-based fraud prevention solutions that do not require personally identifiable information (PII), has announced that a joint study with the Ponemon Institute, an independent research company, shows that consumers are most wary of online businesses in...

Publix changes coupon policy

According to the Sun-Sentinel, Publix Super Markets Inc. is changing its coupon policy, placing restrictions on which ones it will accept. The company announced the new policy on May 11, in what seems to be a response to rising food...

Coles pilots online ordering, pick-up service

According to Business Spectator, Australian supermarket chain Coles is expanding its online retail shopping platform to include "Click & Connect," which allows customers to order goods online and then pick them up. The company is utilizing its 620 petrol stations...

Online grocer utilizes BI to deliver customer service promise

According to STORES.com, FreshDirect, a New York-based online grocery delivery company, uses business intelligence (BI) strategies and technologies to help it carry out its satisfaction guarantees and customer service promises. “First and foremost, at FreshDirect we are committed to delivering...

Rhodes, Shopatron offer online store

Rhodes Music Corporation has announced its online store, www.rhodespiano.com, which relies on Shopatron’s retail-integrated eCommerce system. The online store allows Rhodes to sell its music products on the branded website and have orders fulfilled by local, stocking dealers. The Shopatron...

Wal-Mart tests online food purchasing service in California

According to the New York Times, the "Walmart To Go" test allows customers to order grocery items online and have them delivered to their homes via temperature-controlled trucks. The company is currently shipping grocery items from a San Jose store.

New supermarket chain in Dubai uses Oracle Retail Solution

Zawya, Dubai's newest supermarket and convenience-store chain, has implemented Oracle Applications to support its growing business in the United Arab Emirates. The retailer is using the Oracle applications to ensure high levels of customer service by delivering consistent pricing and...

Shopatron receives A+ rating with BBB

Shopatron Inc., a technology company that provides eCommerce solutions to branded manufacturers and retailers of consumer goods products, recently announced that it has received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. According to the BBB website, Shopatron’s rating is...

Webinar discusses integration of contact center, social and web interactions

According to a recent Harris Research poll, 85 percent of consumers said they would be willing to pay anywhere from 5 to 25 percent more than regular price if they received a superior customer experience.That was one of the facts...

Sears Holdings Corp. expands partnership with Creative Channel Services

Creative Channel Services (CCS), a retail marketing agency, has announced that it will expand its partnership with Sears Holdings Corp. by providing the CyberScholar employee-learning platform to five of the retailer's store brands that carry home appliances and consumer-electronics products....

Best Buy, TiVo, Walgreens affected by weekend hackers

According to The Los Angeles Times, Best Buy Co., TiVo Inc. and Walgreen Co.

Retail executive summit announces keynotes, Twins/Red Sox outing

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Retail Customer Experience Executive Summit, an exclusive c-level event produced by NetWorld Alliance and hosted by RetailCustomerExperience.com, has announced its keynote lineup, as well as a special evening excursion for attendees to a Twins/Red Sox game...

Netflix offers apology and refund for outage

According to DigitalTrends.com, Netflix offered an account credit to its customers for an outage on its website that lasted more than an hour on Tuesday, making it impossible for users to instantly stream content. “Recently you may have had trouble...

Sunrise MarketPlace launches redesigned website

Sunrise MarketPlace, a Citrus Heights, Calif., retail and business district, has partnered with Mallfinder, a developer and provider of integrated marketing services for the shopping center industry, to launch a redesigned website, promoting more than 400 merchants and services. The...

Home Depot announces barcode program for smartphones

According to TechNewsDaily.com, Home Depot announced its first mobile barcode program, which allows customers to take a picture of a 2-D barcode, known as a QR code, with their smartphones to instantly watch product videos, read product reviews and purchase...

Acqueon launches new multichannel outbound notification software application

Acqueon Technologies Inc., a product specialist in Customer Interaction Management (CIM), announced its new communications and notifications management application, ProActive Reach. The application is designed for organizations to quickly and efficiently communicate with large groups of employees, customers or other...

Price Chopper to implement IBM data-warehouse platform

IBM today announced that Price Chopper, a Golub Corp. company and one of the largest supermarket and pharmacy chains in the Northeast region, will implement IBM Netezza, a comprehensive data-warehouse platform. The platform utilizes the company’s sales, merchandising and supply...

NCR unveils first hybrid laser and imaging bi-optic scanner

NCR Corp., a global technology company offering assisted- and self-service solutions, recently announced that it is launching the world’s first hybrid laser and imaging technology bi-optic scanner, which enables retailers to scan mobile and 2D bar codes at the point...

Adidas opens women-only concept store in Korea

According to Fibre2Fashion.com, Adidas has opened its first women-specific retail store in Korea, which focuses on customer service for a more personalized and enjoyable shopping experience. Training and fitness experts are available to give advice and help shoppers find the...

Walmart launching ‘Pick Up Today’ service this month

Walmart has announced plans to expand its U.S. multichannel platform by launching "Pick Up Today" later this month.

Retailers using iPads to enhance shopping experience

According to InsideRetailing.com, more retailers are expected to begin incorporating Apple’s iPad into store operations. The shift seems to be retailers' response to consumers’ multi-channel shopping habits. Some retailers are using iPads as mobile catalogs, equipping sales associates with iPads...

Digby brings In-Store Mobile Module to retailers

Digby, provider of mobile commerce for top retail brands, announced today the launch of the Digby In-store Mobile Module, a new feature that enables retailers to communicate with their customers, from the moment they enter the store to the time...

Amazon offering unlimited instant streaming to Prime members

According to WSJ.com Market Watch, Amazon announced yesterday that it is now offering unlimited instant video-streaming of movies and TV shows at no additional cost to its Amazon Prime members.

MICROS-Retail announces XBR and Balance Sales Audit versions 7.0

MICROS-Retail, a division of MICROS Systems, Inc. and provider of retail technology, announced the release of XBR Loss Prevention and Store Analytics version 7.0 and Balance Sales Audit version 7.0 yesterday. XBR version 7.0 is designed to expand behavioral data...

Survey shows majority of shoppers motivated by brand loyalty

CrossView, a provider of cross-channel commerce solutions, recently released a survey showing that more than half of 177 shoppers surveyed are motivated by brand loyalty when making a purchase. Key findings include: 51 percent are motivated by brand loyalty when...

OpinionLab adds auto-translate feature to VOC platform

OpinionLab, developer of voice-of-customer (VOC) listening technologies, has unveiled a major enhancement to its feedback-translation tool, enabling companies to streamline interpretation of global customer feedback for better identification and service of consumer needs, no matter where customers live or what...

Shopatron adds new features to e-commerce suite

Shopatron has unveiled Shopatron 3.0, promising an upgraded customer experience that will lead to increased sales. This announcement comes after months of research and development to upgrade systems company-wide.

Retaligent intros Charisma 1:1 clienteling and loyalty solution

Retail software company Retaligent Solutions Inc. recently announced its new retail-specific Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution, Charisma 1:1. Built on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 platform, Charisma 1:1 provides a fully integrated, end-to-end Retail CRM, clienteling and loyalty solution.

Survey: Shipment tracking, live chat most desired e-commerce features

Online service provider Limelight Networks has announced the results of a survey of 1,600 consumers. Limelight Networks sought to determine what customers wanted from online customer service.

Empathica launches mobile reporting solution for multi-unit retailers

Empathica Inc., a provider of customer experience management (CEM) solutions to more than 200 of the world’s most respected brands, has announced the launch of its new Mobile Reporting solution. Targeted to address the challenges facing multi-unit restaurants and retailers,...

Execs from Macy's, Brooks Brothers, Disney, HSN headline NRF's 100th Annual Convention

When the National Retail Federation's 100th Annual Convention arrives in New York in January, 100 years of history will come along with it, as well as some of retail's most exciting and influential speakers. They include Macy's Chairman, president and...

Target launches new services for electronics buyers

Target has announced three new consumer electronics services that will provide guests with an enhanced shopping experience both in-store and at home — 1-877-myTGTtech, Target Mobile and Target Electronics Trade-In. 1-877-myTGTtech is a free product support hotline for all Target electronics purchases.

Chrysalis Software launches outbound notification service for contact centers

Chrysalis Software Inc., a provider of contact center professional services and products, has introduced a cloud or premises-based multimedia information delivery service that manages outbound notifications for contact centers. The Chrysalis Notification Service delivers information quickly via a variety of...

Jeanne Bliss, author of "I Love You More Than My Dog," to give keynote at retail summit

Jeanne Bliss, author of "I Love You More Than My Dog," will give a keynote speech at the Retail Customer Experience Executive Summit, taking place August 1-3 at the Westin Chicago Northwest.As the customer experience executive for five U.S. market...

Radiant rolls out real-time retail reporting tool

Radiant Systems Inc. has announced that it has launched CounterPoint SmartAlerts, a powerful new tool within its CounterPoint retail product suite that helps retailers monitor activities within each of their stores by receiving timely alerts via SMS text and e-mail.

Sears launches online platform for Blue Crew

Sears is taking its Blue Crew, "the trusted experts at Sears who help in-store customers get exactly what they need," onto the Internet.According to a press release, the company is launching the Sears Blue Crew HQ digital platform on which...

Retail Doc to lead interactive session at Retail Customer Experience Executive Summit

Bob Phibbs, retail training guru and author of "The Retail Doctor's Guide to Growing Your Business," will lead an interactive session on the first full morning of the Retail Customer Experience Executive Summit, August 1-3 at the Westin Chicago Northwest...

Sword Ciboodle identifies the 'Customer Engagement Continuum'

Sword Ciboodle, a provider of customer-oriented business software and services, today announced three new product modules in response to a new marketplace trend the company has branded as the Customer Engagement Continuum. The Customer Engagement Continuum promotes customer choice, which...

NCR showcasing new era c-tailing solutions at FMI 2010

NCR Corp. will demonstrate its converged retailing — c-tailing — solutions for multichannel retailers in booth #1952 at FMI 2010, the largest food industry event in North America, this week at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. NCR's...

Online retailers refining delivery options

According to SupplyChainStandard.com, a survey by multichannel logistics operator iForce indicates that online retailers are refining their delivery options with lower standard charges offset by increases for premium service. The research, done at the beginning of April, follows a similar...

Accenture study says high-tech companies need to improve the consumer experience

Accenture today announced that new research it has done shows that communications and high-tech companies — many of which are falling short in their customer service delivery — need to direct their investments at new levers that enhance the customer...

Disney Institute to keynote Retail Customer Experience Executive Summit

Disney Institute has been named the principal keynote for the inaugural Retail Customer Experience Executive Summit, August 1-3 in Chicago.Speakers from the Disney Institute will lead the 90-minute opening session, "Disney's Approach to Quality Service," on the first full day...

Study: Women buying more online in response to poor customer service

A recent survey by VibrantNation.com, an online community for women over 50, reveals that Baby Boomer women are shifting their clothing purchases online because they feel "ignored" in the retail marketplace.Almost two-thirds of Boomer-women respondents reported that they are purchasing...

Viewpoints, ForeSee partner for online customer satisfaction measurement

ForeSee Results and Viewpoints Network have announced they will be joining forces to provide Viewpoints.com and Viewpoints Technology Platform (VTP) clients with a scientific measure of voice-of-customer for their communities. Viewpoints Network is a social technology and media company focused...

Study: Consumers desire better 'touch and feel' shopping experience

Three out of four consumers still want to visit a physical retail store when buying a communications product or service, but they are not very satisfied with their experience and rated it only slightly better than average, according to a...

Report: Customer satisfaction strong in 4Q 2009

Customer satisfaction with the goods and services that Americans buy remains strong in the fourth quarter of 2009, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). The index is largely unchanged, dipping a mere 0.1 percent from the previous quarter...

Survey: Wegmans is top supermarket, Costco favorite mass grocer

Wegmans and Costco were selected as the No. 1 grocery retailers in a consumer survey conducted by Market Force Information Inc., a worldwide leader in customer intelligence solutions.

NRF: L.L.Bean ranks No. 1 in customer service for third year

L.L. Bean has once again landed at the number one position as the retailer with the best customer service.

Retailers tackling 'mountains of data'

A new report in the New York Times discusses the "mountains of data and whiz-bang technology" that today's retailers are wrestling with, in their ongoing attempts to get shoppers eager to spend money again. The story touches on everything from...

Survey: Retail employees not giving good customer service, despite tough job market

Despite working in a sector that has suffered job losses averaging roughly 50,000 per month since the start of the recession, retail employees are not providing high-level customer service, according to data from The SALT & Pepper Group's new Retail...

NRF announces top ten retailers for customer service

The NRF Foundation, the research and education arm of the National Retail Federation, has announced the top 10 finalists selected by shoppers in the annual NRF Foundation/American Express Customers' Choice survey. The survey, which asked 8,526 shoppers which retailer provides...

ResponseTek CEM upgrade adds SMS surveys, new reports

ResponseTek, a provider of on-demand customer experience management (CEM) software, has announced the Fall 2009 release of its ResponseTek:CEM solution. Retailers can use the tool to survey customers on their in-store or in-branch experience following a transaction, and new distributed...

Borders announces in-stock guarantee for the holidays

Borders today announced its new "In-Stock Guarantee," which promises that if a customer's desired item cannot be found in-store, the company will ship it from Borders.com with no shipping charge. The program covers all products sold by the company, not...

Survey: Returns fraud will cost retailers $9.6 billion in 2009

Though return fraud continues to plague the retail industry, changes in policies have helped companies see improvements in some areas. According to NRF's annual Return Fraud Survey, completed by loss prevention executives at 134 retail companies, two-thirds of retailers (69...

Best Buy CEO: Low prices are 'table stakes' for retailers

Customers care about low prices, but they want a lot more from their retailers than just the best deal. That's the assertion of Brian Dunn, CEO of Best Buy, in a guest blog post for CNBC. Dunn says that having the lowest price is just a starting point, and represents "table stakes" for companies such as his.

Walmart's 'Project Impact' shoots for cleaner stores, better customer service

Time is reporting on the real-world impact of Walmart's "Project Impact," a makeover initiative that sees the retailer focusing on cleaner store environments and better customer service. "They've got Kmart ready to take a standing eight-count next year," says retail...

Grass-roots marketing: Retailer mails hand-written thank you notes to shoppers

In Palm Springs, Calif., one retailer is going back-to-basics for customer service, reviving the art of the hand-written thank you note. The Desert Sun reports on a campaign by regional chain Diane's Beachwear, in which store staffers send personalized and...

Roots Canada adds social commerce features to web site

Roots Canada, a leading Canadian lifestyle retailer, announced it has added social commerce features to its e-commerce site at www.roots.com. The product suite, provided b y Bazaarvoice, lets shoppers communicate with one another, write product reviews, post photos and ask...

Supermarket woos shoppers with valet parking

There's a fierce battle for customers raging between three Staten Island supermarkets, and that battle just got a little more interesting: ShopRite has started offering free valet parking, according to a report from Staten Island Live. Although store management won't...

Meijer to test online ordering, in-store pick-up

Internet Retailer reports that supermarket chain Meijer is about to launch its Grocery Express program, which will let customers place orders online, then head to the store for curbside pick-up. The system will allow customers to specify the date and...

Chico's adds live help to its e-tail sites

Chico's, which operates three online retail brands (www.chicos.com, www.soma.com and www.WhiteHouseBlackMarket.com), is adding an integrated live help solution to its web properties. The technology used is the eStara Click to Chat solution from ATG. "As our business continues to grow,...

Luxury retailers need to personalize the online experience

Shopping a luxury retailer is a singular experience — the setting, the products, the (hopefully) excellent service. But most of those things go away when transitioning to online shopping.

Three reasons customer service is so bad

New York Times blogger Jay Goltz says in his blog that even though people usually blame poor customer service on a particular generation, it really is caused by three separate factors. One he says, is health insurance. Because of the...

Best Buy's new laptop sales model includes Internet service, steep discounts

Electronics retailer Best Buy has tried a lot of strategies in recent months to stay ahead of its discount competition, everything from expanded Geek Squad offerings to high-end home theater installation to customer service via Twitter. Now it's dipping its...

Jeff Bezos apologizes for Kindle/Orwell incident

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos knows his company raised a lot of eyebrows last week with its remote deletion of Orwell's "1984" and "Animal Farm" from Kindles of users that had purchased the books. We certainly weren't the only ones to...

AT&T completes makeover of 2,200 retail locations

The Apple Insider blog reports that the massive makeover of more than 2,200 AT&T U.S. retail locations is complete.

New research dissects what makes a 'wow experience'

A new survey from The Verde Group and the Retail Council of Canada says that most shoppers — just slightly more than 50 percent — have had a great retail experience in the past six months. What exactly made those...

Column: Younger generations expect less customer service

Kansas City Star: "Most teens and college students, I think, have become accustomed to dealing with salesmen whose only job seems to be ringing up your purchase. Then there are the seemingly ongoing unpleasant hassles with cell phone or cable television companies over confusing fees, service contracts and technology breakdowns.

Blog: Apple's magical retail experience in its global stores

Information Week: A professional investor who's used PCs for 20 years relates the superb retail experience he had at the Apple Store in Tokyo, and emphasizes the power of atmosphere and interpersonal interactions in driving brand equity, revenue and customer engagement.

Opinion: The fine art of reading customers

Publisher's Weekly: Training staffers to read customers' signals can lead to much better, more successful experiences for both customer and retailer. Though it can feel like it at times, retail is not servitude; it is a form of hospitality.

Hispanic foods moving out of the ethnic aisle

MSNBC: Several major chains are expanding their specialty offerings to capture business from Latinos, the country's fastest growing population and already almost one-sixth of the U.S. total in 2008.

Whole Foods offering free rides home — via rickshaw

Supermarket News: Whole Foods Market stores in Manhattan this week are offering to take shoppers home for free — via rickshaw. Each day this week the chain will provide a fleet of pedicabs available to shoppers between the hours of 11 a.m.

Bloomingdale's veteran: We need to react to changing shopper attitudes

Retail Week: Retailers need to work harder to persuade shoppers to start spending again in what is the most difficult time in the sector's history.

Office Depot offering free resumes, faxing

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Office Depot announced it is offering customers free copies of their resumes and free faxing from April 19 to May 30, 2009. Customers will be able to participate in this special offer by visiting the Design, Print, & Ship Depot center in any one of the more than 1,100 Office Depot retail store locations nationwide.

NRF, Shop.org Partner with Expo TV

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In an effort to gain more insight into what consumers are feeling, why they make certain decisions and how the economy has changed them, the National Retail Federation and Shop.org are partnering with ExpoTV on a series...

CEO: Retail entering a new era

Retail Solutions Online: Green Hills Market CEO Gary Hawkins offers an intriguing premise in a series of new position papers. He feels the retail industry is currently entering a technology era he calls "Retail 3.0." In the emerging Retail 3.0,...

iCongo version 8 adds dynamic catalog creation, enhanced merchandising

MONTREAL — iCongo, provider of e-commerce and cross-channel systems, today announced a set of new features to its retail e-commerce and cross-channel system. This latest release, version 8.0, is now available to customers and includes many enhancements and new features...

Store closings spell big opportunities for the survivors

The Associated Press: Retailers left standing amid the carcasses of their competitors are going after orphaned customers. They're using aggressive mailers, accepting dead stores' gift cards and stocking the items that were once their rivals' best-sellers. "The retail market is...

Opinion: Don't confuse customer service with customer experience

Forrester analyst and prolific customer experience blogger Bruce Temkin writes about the need to keep a clear distinction between customer service and customer experience, two worlds which are often mashed together, to the detriment of both. "For most companies, customer...

GK Software releases GK/Retail 12

SCHOENECK, Germany — GK SOFTWARE AG has announced the immediate availability of GK/Retail 12, the newest release of its Store Automation suite of products, which the company calls a quantum leap in store automation functionality to support customer-centric store operations....

Independent booksellers hold tight to their niche

The Daily Herald (Chicago): They've battled the big guys, the Internet, the downward spiral of the economy. Now, in the tradition of all great drama, independent suburban bookstores are writing a whole new chapter on survival. Stores like the decades-old Anderson's in Naperville, Town House Books in St.

Retail architect: Meet the new consumer

Jeffrey Hutchison, The Huffington Post: The current financial crisis has ushered in a new retail era which spells the end of shopping as we have known it; everyone's value systems are being re-set. Even those consumers who can afford to...

Costco calls shoppers to warn them about recalled products

MSNBC: Jon Lowder usually disdains computer-generated telephone calls — "robo-calls," he grumbles — but when he got two this week from Costco Wholesale Corp., the Winston-Salem, N.C., man didn't mind. The giant warehouse retailer was dialing Lowder to warn him...

New research reveals the best retail customer experiences of the year

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Retail Customer Experience magazine announced the publication of its inaugural Best Retail Customer Experiences report, a comprehensive market survey that asks thousands of shoppers to rate retailers based on several aspects of their customer experience. "It's easy...

Study: Customer experience is No. 1 retail priority in 2009

Multichannel Merchant: According to Retail Horizons: Benchmarks and Forecasts, a study released by the National Retail Federation at its annual convention, customer satisfaction is a top strategic priority for 69 percent of the 400 respondents from 153 retail companies. The...

NRF: Retaligent announces subscription plan for clienteling software

NEW YORK — Retail software company Retaligent Solutions Inc. announced two new programs designed to address the challenges retailers face when buying, deploying and managing enterprise clienteling and assisted selling software.

NRF: Clarity unveils POS 'Innovation Lane'

NEW YORK — Clarity Consulting today presented its "Innovation Lane" — a new POS technology concept system featuring Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 and unified communications technologies. On display in Microsoft Corp.'s Booth No.

Employee training is no luxury — it's a necessity

Kansas.com: Though there is never a good time for an economic downturn, now is especially poor timing. Many companies are already experiencing huge gaps in skilled and knowledgeable workers.

Smaller stores honoring gift cards from large retailers

The Toledo Blade: For the fourth year, Culture Clash, a Toledo, Ohio, store that sells CDs, records, and pop culture merchandise, is accepting gift cards of other retailers on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

Getting customers to complain

Going beyond comment cards to really understand shoppers is one key to loyalty.

One-third of online shoppers encountered problems this holiday season

MARINA DEL REY, Calif. — In what may have been the most closely-watched holiday shopping season in the short history of the online medium, some 36 percent of online shoppers ran into roadblocks en route to buying that gift —...

Top 10 customer experience resolutions for the New Year

Bruce Temkin, customer experience blogger and vice president with Forrester Research, has just published his Top 10 resolutions companies should be making in the new year when it comes to customer experience.

Retail's new motto: Many happy returns

The News & Observer (N.C.): Employing new technology and softening some return policies, cash-strapped retailers are intent on making the returns process as pleasant as possible. Take, for instance, Target's policy on returns where the shopper paid cash.

Expert: One big checkout line better than multiple small ones

As shoppers rush to stores like Best Buy in the waning hours of the 2008 holiday shopping season, lines get longer and longer at the checkout lanes. Some stores use multiple queues, while retailers like Best Buy use the "single...

Carphone Warehouse starts measuring customer experience

Retail Week: Carphone Warehouse is the latest retailer to work with Fizzback to assess the experience it provides to customers. Fizzback's technology allows consumers to make contact with a retailer and provide any feedback they like via multiple channels such as text message and e-mail.

Independent retailers tout their differences this holiday

Indianapolis Business Journal: Unlike their larger counterparts, locally owned merchants aren't pushing deep discounts to lure shoppers through their doors. They instead are relying on more traditional strengths.

Limo rides, employee discounts: retailers pull out the stops to woo shoppers

ABC News: Some stores and malls are trying to lure shoppers by treating them like A-listers, offering massages, drinks and a chance to relax at "rejuvenation stations." Rosie Pope Maternity in New York City goes the extra mile to pick...

Study: Online shopper satisfaction holds steady

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Despite a decrease in online shopper satisfaction on Cyber Monday year-over-year, customer satisfaction with retail Web sites has remained steady ever since, according to ForeSee Results' weekly holiday benchmark. Satisfaction last week is on par with...

Intelligent Queue Management System monitors, improves queue performance

ATLANTA, Ga. — As shoppers curb spending, retailers are turning to less traditional technologies, such as advanced infrared technology, to improve customer service and better manage staffing levels to safeguard the bottom line. Fueling this movement is Irisys (InfraRed Integrated...

Study: Retailers underperforming on customer service

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — eGain Communications Corp., provider of multichannel customer service and knowledge management software, published its 2008 international benchmarking report for the retail sector.

Leaked memo: Best Buy redoubling customer service efforts in wake of slowing sales

With fear of a global recession casting a shadow over much of retail, one major player is using that fear as an opportunity to motivate staff and improve its relationships with customers. Last week, Best Buy president and CEO Brian...

Study: Electronics retail gets high marks for customer satisfaction

ARLINGTON, Va. — Consumers are very satisfied when shopping online and at traditional retail outlets for consumer electronics, according to new data from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). The study, "Trends in CE Retailing," found that consumers and retailers have benefited from changes in the CE shopping and buying process.

Top five tools retailers need to survive

Think good service is the surefire way to customer satisfaction? It is - but the rules are changing to include far more than 'may I help you?'

Leveraging loyalty

Key ways you can use data to create an unforgettable experience

Research: Poor customer service will cause 62% of Europeans to change provider

A study commissioned by DHL Express, the world's leading international express company, has revealed that the average European consumer spends more than two hours and three minutes per week dealing with customer service. The independent online survey of 6,435 adults...

Baby food giant enhances multichannel CRM

CHICAGO — Sword ciboodle, provider of customer-oriented business software and services, announced that it is working with U.K. baby food giant Nutricia Ltd.

Four out of 10 shoppers influenced by social media

SEATTLE — Four out of 10 consumers have made a purchase based on advertising they saw on a social media site, and 76 percent welcome advertising on social networks, according to a report published by Razorfish, one of the industry's...

Billpay tech coming to checkout lanes

BROOKFIELD, Wis. — Fiserv Inc., a leading provider of information technology services to the financial industry, announced it has partnered with PayScan America Inc., obtaining exclusive rights to license PayScan's patented bar code bill payment process. By utilizing the PayScan...

NCR to resell Experticity assisted selling solution

DAYTON, Ohio — NCR Corp. announced that it has signed a global reseller agreement with Experticity, the pioneer of live on-screen expert sales and customer support technologies.

NRF, Retail Customer Experience announce pavilion partnership

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — NetWorld Alliance, publisher of Retail Customer Experience magazine and RetailCustomerExperience.com, and the National Retail Federation have announced a partnership to design and launch the Customer Experience Pavilion at NRF's 98th Annual Convention & Expo, to be held Jan. 11‐14, 2009, at Jacob Javits Center in New York.

IBM publishes report on customer shopping preferences

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — IBM announced the findings of a survey of nearly 4,300 U.S. and U.K.

Men's 'shopping shrines' court lifestyle dollars

Forbes: While women are cutting back on discretionary purchases, men are still buying. According to the NPD Group, a retail market research firm, sales in men's apparel increased 1.6 percent in July, while women's sales actually dropped 4.1 percent.

Target upgrades info delivery with KANA

MENLO PARK, Calif. — KANA Software Inc., provider of multichannel customer-service technology, has closed a seven-figure transaction with leading retailer Target. Known for its meticulous attention to customer experience, Target plans to use KANA's knowledge management solutions to more effectively...

Online retailers wrestle with shipping discounts

Advertising Age: Retailers counting on online shopping to buoy sales in a tight economy are wrestling with a big problem: free shipping. In the coming season, industry watchers expect more retailers to offer free shipping with strings attached in an effort to preserve margins.

Opinion: Most loyalty programs use the wrong incentives

Wall Street Journal: The biggest problem with loyalty programs, according to two professors of management science, is that most retailers adopt a one-size-fits-all approach: They use monetary rewards to encourage repeat purchases. But product discounts won't change buying behavior in...

Best Buy opens first Mobile store in Canada

(Canada) MarketNews: The store concept is focused on selling mobile phones, contracts and accessories, but there are a few differentiating factors that will help draw customers in. As part of a Walk Out Working program, for example, staff provide a...

Microsoft 'gurus' will help customer choose Vista at retail

Yahoo!: As part of its $300 million marketing campaign to promote Windows Vista, the company is planning to deploy customer service reps into major retailers like Best Buy and Circuit City, where they can "help people with their PC purchases."...

Sprint takes aim at history of tepid customer service

ZDNet: Sprint, which has a shaky customer service record, wants to improve its standing with subscribers by using its reps to deliver personalized tips.

Store makeover starts at Orange to improve customer care facilities

Mobile Today (U.K.): Orange is looking to boost the quality of customer service in its stores by giving new and existing stores improved customer care facilities. The operator will give 100 of its existing stores makeovers within the next year and has started implementing its plan to open 60 new outlets by the end of 2009.

Gaps closing between consumer multichannel expectations, retailer readiness

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Sterling Commerce, an AT&T Inc. company, today released the results of a recent survey that shows that the gaps are closing between consumer expectations for a seamless cross-channel experience and retailers' abilities to deliver that experience. "Shoppers...

Using the VIP treatment as retail differentiator

The Age (Australia): Butlers, concierges, valets, stylists and personal assistants who will pick out a sweater for your pooch — these and more will be offered to the average shopper as inducements to part with their cash in the shadow of flatlining consumer confidence.

Circuit City brings tablet PCs to the aisles

REDMOND, Wash. — Microsoft Corp. and Circuit City Stores Inc.

The pursuit of pampering

The Lexus experience goes from the showroom to the waiting area. Result? Total luxury.

Neighborhood retail making a comeback

Springfield Business Journal: During the past 50 years, the commercial development industry has followed rooftop demographics as they moved farther out on the edges of town. New retail developments entice customers from the older, more urban parts of town to come on out and try something new.

Grocery shopping more enjoyable now than in the 1950s, says shopper

Elizabethton (Tenn.) Star: Jeanette Hyatt says shopping for groceries in 1953 was like "being in slow motion" when compared to grocery shopping today. Grocery shopping is more enjoyable now than back in the 1950s, according to Hyatt.

Nine West pilots item-level RFID

NEW YORK — Jones Apparel Group Inc. announced that it has initiated a program to evaluate RFID technology in select Nine West retail locations.

Expert: Shoppers can't afford to be loyal

The Globe and Mail: Shoppers cannot afford to remain loyal, according to retail guru and "true-life sixties-era Mad Man" Don Watt. "They will remain loyal if the retailer understands that it has to help them manage their disposable incomes.

Future Shop unveils quadrant-based layout, central hub

The Vancouver Sun: Future Shop has unveiled its first new store format in eight years with a feature that has taken a firm grip on the interior design world — the central-area hub. The consumer electronics chain spent three months...

China shop boosts customer service with real-time location system

RFID Journal: When a customer is ready to make a purchase at high-end china retailer William Ashley, a salesperson runs an inventory check for the items via one of the store's 60 computer stations. Assuming the desired items are in...

Thirty-six million Americans now print online coupons

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — The number of people turning to the Web for coupons has soared to 36 million in 2008. That's an increase of 10 million people from 2005.

Web merchants stepping up their customer service

Internet Retailer: A good call center agent who is courteous, knowledgeable and professional when the pressure is on is hard to find and even harder to keep. That's why online retailers are working smarter to recruit more qualified agents and motivate their best reps with higher pay, better benefits and more career advancement.

Report sheds light on value of loyalty programs

ATLANTA — Vesdia Corp., provider of loyalty marketing and merchant network services, announced it has underwritten the research report, "Responsive Customer Loyalty: Creating Customer Commitment in Retail." The new benchmark report, written by Aberdeen Group, delineates characteristics of Best-in-Class retailers...

Online stores lean toward tailor-made services

San Jose Mercury News: An increasing number of online retailers have distinguished themselves from the pack by giving users a little something extra beyond intuitive navigation and easy checkout. One shopping service, for example, sends periodic e-mails alerting customers to sales of brands they pre-select as favorites.

Study: Retailers willing to sacrifice efficiency to improve service

DENVER — According to a new RSR Research report, "The New Customer-Centric Retail Supply Chain: Benchmark 2008," better performing retailers (what RSR calls "retail winners") are willing to give back supply chain efficiencies in order to improve customer service. This...

Issue resolution key to repeat call-center business

TWICE: Resolving a customer-service problem on the patron's first call will entice that person to continue doing business with that company 49 percent of the time. This was found in a study by the market research firm CFI Group in...

More retailers testing the 'wisdom of crowds'

San Francisco Chronicle: Companies like Threadless, a T-shirt company in Chicago, and Ryz, an athletic shoe company in Portland, Ore., are making it possible for consumers to design shirts and shoes. Consumers then vote for their favorites, and those are the products these companies sell over the Internet.

Tomax, CXA partner on tech for auto retailers

eWeek: Enterprise retail solutions provider Tomax and WHI Solutions, a specialist in technology for automotive retailers and wholesalers, are integrating key solutions to improve the customer experience for the automotive service business.

Blog: Employees do what is measured, incented and celebrated

Customer Experience Matters: Some executives struggle to understand why their company doesn't deliver better experiences to customers. But it shouldn't be such a big mystery.

Full-service gas stations are thing of the past

The Jackson (Tenn.) Sun: Poplar Corner Service Station in Jackson, Tenn. is one of a dwindling number left in the United States that offers full service.

Staples expands video-assist program

SEATTLE — Experticity, provider of video-assisted customer support solutions, announced that Staples Business Depot, Canada's largest supplier of business supplies, has signed an agreement to roll out the "Video Agent" customer service stations to 34 stores across Alberta, Canada. Customers...

Big-name retail comes to grips with online

CNBC: If there's one indisputable truth about retailing on the Internet, it's that the established retail cliques have consistently underestimated how it would grow. That's allowed the new wave of entrepreneurs, led by Jeff Bezos of Amazon and Pierre Omidyar...

Calgary Co-op completes self-checkout install

DALLAS — Calgary Co-operative Association Limited (Calgary Co-op) has completed a chain-wide rollout of self-checkout that has enhanced customer service and shopper satisfaction. The new technology from StoreNext Retail Technologies LLC, a subsidiary of Retalix Ltd., provides additional checkout options...

Experiential store environment leads to big sales boost

Display & Design Ideas: Caryn Lerner, president and chief executive of Toronto-based Holt Renfrew & Co.

In-store Web access drives sales for JCPenney

Internet Retailer: It's been nearly two years since J.C. Penney Co.

Survey: Small stores, independents preferred over big names

Retail Week: On Friday, Retail Week published the "100 Stores You Must Visit" and a quick scan through the names reveals an uncanny fact: the great bulk of the picks were independents. Choosing a small store or an indie puts the selector in that group of people that value local shopping and on-off design.

Study: Customers won't tolerate waiting in line more than four minutes

DALLAS — A study conducted by M/A/R/C Research found 10 percent of shoppers are frustrated enough to leave a check-out line if the wait is too long. The study, which was originally conducted in early 2007, was recently revisited to...

As economy slows, stores emphasize customer service

Reuters: As high gasoline prices and tighter credit lead people to curb their shopping, consumer products companies are renewing their focus on customer service but broadening the concept to try to engage buyers in new ways to win sales.

Report sheds light on tricky security issues

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Consumer fraud and identity theft numbers have risen steadily over the past few years, and, whether you realize it or not, your customers are taking notice. In fact, according to "Data Security and Privacy: Best Practices for...

Self-service transactions to top $1.7 trillion by 2012

FRANKLIN, Tenn. — Transactions at self-service kiosks will surpass $607 billion this year in North America as consumers continue to embrace self-service technology, according to a new research study conducted by the IHL Group, an analyst firm and consultancy that serves retailers and retail technology vendors.

E-tailers tailoring the experience to match user preferences

Seattle Times: Online retailers never meant to offer highly customized service when virtual stores were a new concept. But a decade later, it's that personalization that sets some sites apart from the thousands of others selling clothes, shoes and gifts.

Designing luxury retail for young men

Design Week: Credit crunch or not, luxury seems here to stay. And while the world chooses to turn a blind eye to hedge fund managers and energy oligarchs' increasingly avaricious demand for ever finer and more conspicuous trophies of their power, luxury is also being dissipated into other social groups.

IBM, SelfServiceWorld.com announce free webinar on reaching the 'new consumer'

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - IBM, a global provider of business technologies, and Self-Service World, the leading news and information source covering the self-service industry, announced a free webinar.

LivePerson debuts third-generation live-assistance solution

NEW YORK — LivePerson Inc., a provider of online engagement solutions that facilitate real-time assistance and expert advice, announced the availability of LivePerson Enterprise for Retail, a new product designed specifically for online retailers. LivePerson Enterprise for Retail leverages the...

Report: shopper marketing success requires understanding the customer

COLUMBUS, Ohio — All shopper marketing campaigns are not created equal because every retailer has a unique customer base. For a campaign to be successful, marketers should tailor it to their shoppers' preferences and include media that influences them to purchase.

Grocers reach out to cash-strapped shoppers

Columbus Dispatch: Recognizing the financial pinch some of their customers are feeling and the strain that might put on customer loyalty, grocery chains are putting out the message that they understand.

Shoppers expect high-tech options in coming years

Media Post: According to the New Future In Store by TNS, 60 percent of shoppers across the globe believe that they will be able to pay for purchases using just their fingerprint by 2015. U.S.

Balancing act

Retailers must juggle staff and technology to give shoppers an optimal experience.

Study: customers dislike the wireless retail sales experience

Marketing Daily: America's love affair with the automobile has been matched by its love affair with the cell phone. People seem very happy to be using them, and often wonder how they lived without them. But the actual process of buying a cell phone and dealing with sales reps — well, that appears to be another story.

Fujitsu, Socket Mobile partner on mobile data collection

SUNNYVALE, Calif. and NEWARK, Calif. — Socket Mobile Inc.

New report details ROI for in-store digital signage

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Digital Signage Association has published "Retail Digital Signage ROI: Finding the break-even point," an exclusive research report that uses real-world numbers to estimate ROI and benefits for various types of retail. "The one question that gets...

Wal-Mart opens first Hispanic store

Marketplace: In Garland, Texas, Wal-Mart has opened its first superstore targeted to Hispanic customers. Wal-Mart wanted to meet the need of the surrounding community.

Consumers expecting more from online retail

Marketing Charts: Consumers cite the web as the fastest-growing retail channel — by a 2-to-1 margin — and are starting to expect more from businesses, such as ordering products in one place and picking them up or having them delivered...

Sears fighting bad economy with improvements to customer experience

Chicago Tribune: The chairman of Sears Holdings Corp. went on the defensive Monday, saying the troubled retailer's conservative approach to spending money will help it weather the nation's rocky economic outlook.

Shortlist announced for 2008 European Retail Solutions Awards

Nominees have been announced for the eighth annual European Retail Solutions Awards, which will be awarded in a ceremony June 25 at Old Billingsgate Market in London. The ERSAs are "focused on recognizing retailers and suppliers for excellence and innovation...

Retailers focus on convenience, self-service to fight online

Brand Republic: Retailers are planning to introduce fresh store concepts to counter competition from the Internet by making shopping more convenient.

Retailers experiment with new loyalty programs

Wall Street Journal: Rising food and oil prices combined with a downward spiraling economy have spurred consumers to spend less time shopping and more time managing their bank accounts.

Blockbuster tests cappuccinos, children's play areas

Display & Design Ideas: Dallas-based Blockbuster Inc. has begun testing new concepts, including the option to buy a cappuccino or fountain drink, offering new technology for watching movies, reading books or shooting video, renting movies as early as 6 a.m., and in-store entertainment such as 62-in.

Retail designers emphasizing local connections, customer amenities

CoStar: Architect Tipton Housewright says today's retail designers are placing emphasis on having their environments blend in with local culture.

Best Buy benefits from axing loyalty card fees

Forbes: When Best Buy removed annual fees from its Rewards Zone bonus card program, the company yielded about 10 times the number of shoppers opting to sign up.

Consumer needs to be the central focus of multi-channel retail

Retail Week: Multichannel retailing should be about allowing customers to access your services in whatever form they find easiest, while continuing to act as one business, according to speakers before the World Retail Congress. Tesco.com marketing director Ian Crook said...

Escalate releases Customer1 version 4.0

SAN DIEGO — Escalate Retail announced the availability of Version 4.0 of its Customer1 point of service software application. The upgraded version of Customer1 now includes true debit card acceptance and signature capture, and features the most up-to-date standards for...

North American consumers demand more self-service

ORLANDO, Fla. — A growing legion of North American consumers use self-service in their everyday lives, and the latest research from NCR Corp. shows an increasing percentage of individuals actually favor businesses that offer "do-it-myself" options. The third annual NCR...

Shopatron rolls out in-store pickup solution

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Shopatron, a provider of e-commerce solutions for consumer goods manufacturers, directs orders from manufacturers' Web sites to retailers located near the consumer. Consumers have the option of picking up orders in-store or having their items shipped.

Inaugural Customer Experience Summit announced

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The inaugural Customer Experience Summit, co-hosted by RetailConnections and by Cathy Hotka & Associates, will take place August 17-19, 2008, in Nashville, Tenn.

Chockstone initiative turns credit cards into loyalty cards

Media Daily News: Starting this week, consumers will be able to turn their credit cards into loyalty program cards at retailers, eliminating the need for a separate card that tracks purchases and doles out rewards, according to Jeff Lipp, CEO...

Macy's explores local focus

Advertising Age: Peter Sachse, like many marketers before him, is doing a tricky balancing act: trying to find the perfect mix of national and local.

Retail application for Microsoft Surface unveiled

SEATTLE — Accenture and Avanade announced the availability of their first retail showcase application for Microsoft Surface, a 30-inch surface-computing display in a table-like form factor. Surface provides effortless interaction with digital content through touch, gestures and by placing objects...

Ikea experience builds extreme brand loyalty

The Spokesman Review: Of all the home furnishers out there, none offers a comparably multifaceted experience to Ikea. Inexpensive bedding, tables and kitchen utensils are widely available.

Email is the worst channel for customer service

SME Web: Email is officially the UK's worst channel for customer service, according to research. eService provider Transversal's third annual Multi-channel Customer Service Study has uncovered a growing crisis in email response: Emailing customer service staff is markedly less effective...

Apparel retailer benefits from cross-channel integration

Internet Retailer: Title Nine sells women's sports apparel online, in stores and through a catalog, and two years ago had three separate systems for collecting customer data.

Think globally, sell locally

Cultural sensitivity can attract ethnic customers.

Study: U.K. retailers not embracing multi-channel

LONDON — A new study by Foviance and RXPerience reveals that only a handful of retailers are managing to integrate their various sales channels effectively, and provide a consistent level of customer service across channels. The two companies, whose core...

Hiring time

Experts say a recession is the perfect time to build your team.

GlobalShop: Day 1 news roundup

CHICAGO — Today was opening day for GlobalShop 2008, the 16th installment of the trade show devoted to store design, visual merchandising and in-store marketing. An estimated 836 exhibitors sprawled out across 300,000 square feet of the newly opened West...

Is it the end of an era for enclosed malls?

Blogger Heather Strang at Retail Design Diva is mourning the apparent death of the enclosed mall, noting that a new one hasn't been built in the United States in two years. Taking their place, it seems, is the open-air "lifestyle center" format. "Lifestyle malls just feel, I don't know — better," she writes.

Harris poll: Consumers expect retailers to know their preferences

Advertising Age: A Harris Interactive poll finds that a whopping 95 percent of people believe it is at least somewhat important that companies know "who I am, my buying history, past problems or complaints, preferences and billing record." Some 37...

Bergdorf Goodman named 2008's best customer experience

NEW YORK — High net-worth consumers rated Bergdorf Goodman the retailer that offers the best customer experience in the 2008 Luxury Customer Experience Index (LCEI) survey from the independent New York-based Luxury Institute. Respondents commented, "The selection of products is...

Airport retail, foodservice trending toward more local flavor

The Salt Lake Tribune: Airports are responding to longer passenger wait times by improving the quality and focus of their retail and restaurant offerings.

U.S. retailers just beginning to understand customer experience, report says

Forrester Research has published "The State of Experience-Based Differentiation," a summary of its recent survey of 287 customer experience decision-makers about the state of their initiatives. Respondents were quizzed about the three key components in Forrester's "Experience-Based Differentiation" method: obsess...

Starbucks closes 7,100 stores for training

Wall Street Journal: Starbucks Corp. retaught baristas how to make espresso shots, steam milk and hand drinks to customers while it shut down nearly 7,100 stores in the United States on Tuesday evening.

Opinion: the shopping experience can be more important than the product

Advertising Age: Nordstrom executives long have made it their business to do whatever is necessary to please the consumer — everything from stocking every possible color and size of a pair of shoes to having a sales associate buy an out-of-stock item from a competitor only to turn around and resell it to his or her customer.

Customer satisfaction down overall, up online

Medill Reports: Another explanation for lackluster consumer spending emerged Tuesday when the University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index reflected sagging impressions of retailers and financial businesses in the fourth quarter, the second quarter in a row. The index, which...

Borders concept store includes digital services

USA Today: Borders' new concept store, located in its home town of Ann Arbor, Mich., features a digital center where customers can download music or books, burn CDs, research family histories, print pictures and order leather-bound books crammed with family...

Product pros

Knowledgeable employees are trained, not hired.

Ramping up accessibility

Accessibility not only is the law, it's good business. Here's how to stay legal and profit at the same time.

Up close and personal

Becoming familiar with customers builds lasting loyalty.

Know your customer

See how personas help retailers shape the customer experience.

Clarity UC solution lets sales associates go mobile

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Clarity Consulting Inc. demonstrated a new Unified Communications (UC) retail solution today at Microsoft's Office System Developer Conference in San Jose. The solution, which was highlighted in the keynote address, was created to increase productivity and...

Healthnotes program shown to increase shopper satisfaction, drive sales

PORTLAND, Ore. — Healthnotes announced results of an in-store test conducted by an independent firm showing that the company's "Fresh Ideas" program drives incremental sales and shopper satisfaction.

Chocolate lounge invites customers to sit back and relax

Display & Design Ideas: In recent years, chocolatiers have picked up on consumers' fond sentiments for the cocoa bean and have begun opening chocolate cafés, restaurants, boutiques and bars across the country. One of the latest concepts to hit the...

Wal-Mart launches online shopping tool for Valentine's Day

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart has introduced HelpaChickPick.com and re-introduced HelpaGuyBuy.com, online shopping tools that help customers identify the gift profile of their significant other, and then select the perfect gift to suit it. "Valentine's Day should be sweet, not stressful,...

Online shoppers expect more from the experience

Marketing Charts: Some 67 percent of consumers say their expectations about the quality of their online shopping experience had increased from the previous year — and 80 percent say they would be less likely to return to a retailer's site after a negative online shopping experience, according to an Allurent survey.

Retail clinics a symptom of change in patient demand

The Tennessean: The medical profession should not be surprised that small, convenient retail clinics are popping up as popular destinations for patients. The clinics are symptomatic of everything else in time-demanding everyday life.

Office Depot adds customer product reviews to Web site

South Florida Sun-Sentinel: Delray Beach-based Office Depot, the world's second-largest office supply retailer, recently launched a new product review and rating feature on its Web site that lets customers share product feedback to help each other make better purchasing decisions....

Retailers need to keep an ear on the phone

Scott Caldwell writes on Retail Design Diva about how retailers should keep the telephone in mind when planning their store layouts.

Interactivity 'the future of customer service'

Nikki Baird with Retail Systems Research identified three areas of investment that retailers have eyes on for the coming year: cross-channel care, mobility and interactivity. She says 2008 will be a year that sees a big push on the part...

De-escalation

How to cool down the fired-up customer.

L.L. Bean No. 1 in customer service, according to NRF

NEW YORK, N.Y. — Satisfaction guaranteed is a mantra many companies live by, but customers say that none demonstrate that practice more than specialty retailer L.L. Bean.

ARTS releases SOA blueprint for retail

NEW YORK — The Association for Retail Technology Standards, the standards division of the National Retail Federation, announced the release of the SOA Blueprint for Retail and associated SOA Best Practices technical reports. Developed by 26 of the world's leading...

Kroger testing paperless coupons

Forbes: Some grocery chains are trying paperless, or digital, coupons. Kroger Co.

IBM unveils results of new retail loyalty survey

NEW YORK — IBM unveiled a new survey of 19,000 U.S. consumers which found that across multiple retail segments, only 21 percent of consumers are advocates for their primary retailers.

In-store health clinics on the rise

The Arizona Republic: Health clinics located inside grocery and drug stores promise convenient health care for common ailments such as strep throat, skin conditions or vaccinations. Patients don't need an appointment, and care is administered by a licensed nurse practitioner or physician's assistant instead of a staff physician.

'Express stores' are new grocery trend

Canadian Business: There's a new trend emerging in grocery retailing: the "express" store. These are essentially small-surface grocery stores developed for cramped urban sites with high population densities.

Dolce & Gabbana's secret: change with the times

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana are two guys who 22 years ago started with 2 million lira — about $1,500 — in their pockets and have since seen their tiny womenswear collection grow to a top-tier brand of...

The Tesco-Kroger connection

Wall Street Journal: Britain's largest retailer, Tesco PLC, opened its first stores in the U.S. last month, but Americans have already gotten a taste of the Tesco shopping experience without realizing it in an unlikely place: Kroger Co.

Independent merchants fight big retailers with selection, service

The Columbus Dispatch: This season finds independent retailers across the country dealing with a new set of economic challenges even as they still contend with growing competition from big-box retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Borders Inc.

Report says women are 'better suited for retail jobs'

Economic Times: Some of the biggest players in Indian retail are looking to the fairer sex, especially when it comes to dealing with killer attrition blues. Reliance Retail, Future Group, Shopper's Stop and RPG Retail are experimenting with a host of hiring models to increase the ratio of women to men in their workforce.

Report: 40 percent of shoppers rely on directional signage

A recent study conducted by M/A/R/C Research found 40 percent of shoppers rely on directional signs while shopping. The group polled almost 23,000 shoppers through an online survey to learn the impact directional, informational and promotional signs had on their...

Retailers: make customer experience 'more theatrical'

A new report from Datamonitor shows that retailers are seeking to win back market share by making the customers' shopping experience more theatrical, with emphasis placed on the sensuous elements of an in-store shopping trip. "Shop X: where's the store...

Measuring and managing the customer experience

Retailers must measure, manage and improve the experiences of their customers, in order to grow their businesses effectively.

Interactive signage gives power to the people

A new trend in digital signage is emerging that combines the strength of digital signs with the interactivity of digital kiosks. For many areas, such as retail shops, the sum of the two holds greater potential for marketers than either of the individual parts.

New retail trend: 'park-your-husband lounges'

Forbes: When men accompany their ladies on a shopping trip, the last thing stores — and women — want is a nagging, bored husband. After all, the more time consumers spend in a store, the more money they're likely to spend.

Breaking the rules of retail

Charging a fee for customer service? Asking shoppers to make an appointment for help? These might be the kiss of death for most retailers, but not Apple.

Trading places

Customer empathy is the best way to better customer service.

Survey: customer service trumps price

A recent benchmark survey on "The State of Retail Workforce Management," conducted by Retail Systems Research (RSR), and sponsored by Kronos Inc., indicates that retailers are aware that their customers demand better service than ever before. Sixty-six percent of the...

POPAI research: digital window signage increases footfall

Research commissioned by 3M and POPAI demonstrates the effectiveness of back-projecting dynamic promotional messages onto shop windows. In a research project at four high profile retail locations in The Netherlands involving more than 24,000 shopper observations and 1,562 interviews, 85...

More gift cards going unredeemed

A Consumer Reports survey conducted in October found that among people who received a gift card during the 2006 holiday season, 27 percent of them left one or more unused — up from 19 percent in the previous year.

Customer satisfaction takes first dip in two years

Customer satisfaction is down for the first time since early 2005, according to the third quarter report of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). The Index slides 0.1 percent to 75.2 on its 100-point scale, but it remains 1 percent...

Where clothing stores really fail: the dressing room

Retail consultancy Adaptive Path recently used its blog to tear into the clothes-buying process. The main culprit: dressing rooms that don't make the shopper feel good about how they look. "It's a terrible experience," wrote product manager Julia Houck-Whitaker.

JCPenney launches 'Know Before You Go' campaign

If you can't beat 'em, integrate 'em: JCPenney recently unveiled a new initiative on its Web site, "Know Before You Go," aimed at bringing the online and in-store shopping experiences closer together.

Portland's Healthnotes adds products, expands beyond natural-food roots

(Portland, Ore.) Business Journal: Long a mainstay in natural-food markets, Healthnotes Inc. kiosks can now be found in mainstream grocery stores and pharmacies all over the country.

Nike opens first NikeID Studio

Nike recently opened its first "NikeID Studio" in London, following similar installations in New York City, Paris and Osaka. The concept connects the in-store shopping experience with online; customers can build the shoe of their dreams at home on their computers, or at a touchscreen window at the front of the store.

Staples improves the experience for online shoppers

With its online channel a critical part of its growth strategy, Staples needed a commerce platform that would support and fuel its online business growth — not constrain it.

BMW delivers high-performance customer care

Upon conducting a systematic review of its IT infrastructure, BMW Group Canada needed to find a business communications platform that would support aggressive business growth and reinforce BMW's high performance brand image.

Pep Boys revs up customer service

The automotive parts and accessories retailer required an integrated retail environment to be more responsive to customer needs.

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How poor customer service impacts the retail customer experience