Retail


Using location data to personalize ads has given a lift to marketers trying to engage with their target audience. But driving customers into the store? That's not so clear.

Switzerland has one of the highest digital buyer penetration rates in the world, according to eMarketer’s first-ever retail ecommerce forecast for the country.

User acquisition is a major app marketing goal, but the next step for retailers is boosting users' lifetime value, since fostering loyalty can pay off down the road.

Social commerce has never jelled, but marketers haven't given up on trying to sell goods and services to social media users. The latest push: Instagram and Snapchat are trying to make shopping in Stories a thing.

Beauty retailers like Sephora and L'Oréal have adopted augmented reality in some form to let consumers try on products without having to leave their home. And according to recent data, more companies are planning to embrace the technology within the next two to five years.

A recent study by NPR and The Marist Poll found that many US digital buyers rarely send unwanted items back. The decision to keep an online purchase instead of returning it comes down to time and cost.

Emerging technologies like augmented reality and visual search offer new promise for retail apps as they evolve beyond simply reducing friction toward surprising and delighting their users.

More than a year after Amazon debuted the Echo Look, a $199 Alexa-fueled, freestanding camera to take photos of a user's outfits, the device has moved from the invite-only stage to full US availability. Coupled with Amazon's push into private-label apparel, Echo Look is just one more attempt to penetrate the competitive fashion category.

Steve Yankovich, eBay's chief product architect, reflects on what the company did right in the early days, and how its mobile strategy continues to progress.

Greg Portell, lead partner for consumer industries and retail practice at A.T. Kearney, discusses taking the personalized customer experience offline.

Emotions play a role in shopping behavior even if consumers don't think that they do. According to a recent survey of UK and US internet users by analytics firm Clicktale, 78% of respondents believe they are rational when they shop. Yet 40% said they shop to calm down, and 74% have "stress-shopped" in the past.

Consumers have heightened expectations about corporate responsibility. Product quality and cost are still more powerful drivers when it comes to actual purchase decisions, but concerns about brand purpose are a primary factor for a significant number of buyers.

Shoppers have been slow to embrace buying furniture digitally. Most pieces are a major investment they want to see before acquiring. For retailers, furniture is bulky and expensive to ship (and return and restock). But this is starting to change.

According to recent data from Blackhawk Network, shoppers need an incentive to join—like free stuff or cash back.

Thanks to factors like more efficient manufacturing, 3-D printing and ecommerce platforms, mass customization—the production of products that meet individual tastes—has become more mainstream. Especially in the fashion category.

It's been one year since Germany-based retailer Lidl debuted in the US, but the deep discounter hasn't quite taken the grocery industry by storm. Still, a study by Oliver Wyman found the company is popular with younger consumers. Those under 45 shop there more often and spend more per visit than older consumers.

Shopping and buying online is now a routine activity in Austria, according to eMarketer’s latest ecommerce forecast. In 2018, more than 72% of the population, equating to 5.5 million people, will shop for products online.

In a recent study from Walker Sands, respondents were nearly twice as likely to say that the ecommerce giant always meets their speedy delivery expectations compared with other digital retailers.

Aubrie Pagano, co-founder and CEO of Bow & Drape, discusses the importance of dedicating time and resources to listening to the customer, and building an experience that feels informed without being creepy.

Every interaction with a consumer is an opportunity for a company to build and develop a long-lasting connection. Personalization and digital experiences hold sway, but traits like integrity and effort are also respected.