Tag Archives: Retail

How Real-World Retailers Can Better Compete With Ecommerce

With an influx of consumer purchasing decisions driving ecommerce today, retail stores are struggling to find innovative ways to keep consumers walking through their doors. Small businesses must take action in order to survive the digital evolution. Fortunately, by targeting the right consumers there are optimal ways brick-and-mortar retailers can thrive.

The Power of Touch

Stores definitely have the upper hand when it comes to physical interaction with a product. No matter how advanced ecommerce sites become with 360 degree visualization and high resolutions images, nothing compares to a consumer’s ability to touch, feel, and have a full hands-on experience with the products they are interested in buying. A majority of average shoppers, approximately 78 percent worldwide, prefer the initial engagement with the product rather than a virtual one (Retail Customer Experience, 2017).

But Retailer, I Want It Now!

We all have those Veruca Salt tendencies where we want things NOW! Brick-and-mortar stores definitely excel in that aspect. Take the Hema Supermarkets owned by Alibaba, for example. They’ve redefined the shopper’s experience by integrating online and offline shopping, deeming it “New Retail” (Alizila, 2017).

As part of the shopping experience, everything is powered by their mobile app. They can seamlessly order their groceries, check to see if it’s available in store, find detailed product content by scanning a barcode, and get everything they need within seconds. If retailers continue to incorporate consumer efficiency into their path of purchase, they will continue to have buyers walking through their doors.

The Comeback

As ecommerce businesses like Amazon continue to set the bar high in terms of availability, delivery, and speed, that doesn’t mean all other shopping experiences like in-store are doomed. In fact, many predict a comeback with 54 percent of shoppers confirming they still prefer it (Future of Retail, 2017).

Amazon may impress consumers with drone and same-day grocery delivery. However, the new generation of shoppers who grew up as millennials crave authentic experiences. A more personalized shopping experience is achievable in traditional brick-and-mortar stores in a similar analytical fashion as online retailers. Retailers that feature both in-store and online shopping experiences are now tracking behavioral purchasing patterns from online all the way to the door.

For example, Sephora, a major cosmetics company inhibits both aspects. The consumer is tracked via a Beauty Insider card that the consumer provides each time they make a purchase whether it’s in-store or online. If they are purchasing online, once they log into their Beauty Insider and begin buying makeup, it automatically tracks the type of makeup they like to buy. Once you arrive at the store, it pulls that buying history from your account and begins offering recommendations via Sephora’s Visual Artist, which is an in-store augmented reality 3D facial recognition program.

The Future of Retail

In the not-so-distant future, we may even be able to expect same-day drone delivery, robot customer service and more. One thing is for certain…Companies will only continue to develop ways to intrigue consumers via a connected commerce approach.

 

References

 

Why Supply Chain Transparency is Critical to Your Business and Customer Loyalty

Food companies are facing unprecedented pressure to provide supply chain transparency not only to comply with FSMA and other regulations but to earn customer trust and loyalty.

A recent FoodLogiQ survey of 2,000+ consumers revealed that supply chain transparency by food companies is a critical driver in consumer purchasing decisions and brand loyalty.

But transparency is not achieved overnight, especially for food companies with with complex global supply chains. We are living in a technological atmosphere where information moves fast, and consumers are more aware about the food they eat and the companies they patronize. If a company is faced with a recall or a foodborne illness; the direct costs, lost of sales and brand damage can be staggering.

But there are ways for food companies to not only provide the transparency consumers are demanding but also make it part of their strategic business initiatives to protect their supply chain.

To help support this transparency, FoodLogiQ has partnered with 1WorldSync. Together, we offer a whole-chain traceability solution backed by product information that delivers transparency while tackling food safety and compliance issues.

On September 21st, join industry leaders from FoodLogiQ and 1WorldSync for a compelling webinar on:

  • The challenges and market forces in delivering safe and quality food products to the consumer and driving supply chain transparency
  • How companies are adopting transparency and traceability to drive business goals
  • The technology and skills needed to ensure customer loyalty while protecting your brand

We will present the results of the FoodLogiQ survey, A Food Company’s Guide to What Consumers Care About in the Age of Transparency and answer your questions about what leading food companies are doing to meet their transparent supply chain initiatives. We can help you create business value and decrease risk across your supply chain.

 

 

Walmart and Google Take on Amazon!

Google and Walmart announced last week a partnership that is starting next month. Walmart customers will be able to access hundreds of thousands of products from the company’s shelves via the online retailing service Google Express, an online marketplace where customers can purchase and set up delivery from stores like Target and Walgreens.

Walmart products will also be available through the Google Assistant and Google Home smart speaker, which competes with Amazon’s Echo. Walmart shoppers can link their customer accounts to Google and get personalized recommendations.

Walmart & Google: Powerful Alone. Better Together

Clearly, the two companies are combining their strengths to take on Amazon. Separately, the companies have had little success drawing shoppers aways from Amazon in the ecommerce space.

Walmart’s network of 4,700 U.S. stores and its fulfillment networks offer a competitive differentiator over Amazon offering an attractive omni-channel options including click-and-collect while Google has deeper artificial intelligence (AI) expertise and a huge pool of new data would allow them to leverage personalization through targeted ads.

Walmart and Google have combined their strengths to battle it out on the online retail market. Walmart’s huge product line will help attract shoppers and it’s the first time the world’s biggest retailer has made its product available online in the United States outside of its own website.

Are You Ready to Take on the eCommerce World?

1WorldSync has been a strategic partner of Walmart for more than a decade, facilitating product content exchange for Walmart manufacturers and supplies. Given this new announcement from Walmart, it’s obvious that they are looking to broaden their online presence and looking for more product content and product assortment.

Whether you have a single item, or hundreds of items; showcasing complete, accurate and up-to-date product content will improve your online search rankings, protect your brand,and increase your products’ visibility to consumers.

1WorldSync has been helping thousands (25,000+)  of suppliers and brands to build product content strategies to sell products to Walmart, Amazon, Google and beyond.

Whether you’re utilizing 1WorldSync to capture your GDSN data or non-GDSN data, we work with our customers to simplify product content exchange via a signal connection. The 1WorldSync Product Information Cloud (PIC) make it possible to share content anywhere, anytime, in any format, with anyone – easy.

Are you ready to get your products discovered by Walmart, Google and beyond? Learn more today!

Retail + Boxing: When Worlds Collide (Part 1)

When Floyd Mayweather welcomes UFC Champion Conor McGregor inside the boxing ring, it is expected to be the biggest fighting spectacle of this generation, if not ever. On August 26, 2017 viewers will witness, for the first time, the sports version of when two worlds collide.

Boxing has long been the staple in the combat sports world, until Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) became the fastest growing sport in the world and captured newer audiences. Today many view it as the old vs. new age, one seems to be on a meteoric rise and the other struggling to stay relevant.

Brick and mortar retail stores are following the same traditional format that we all grew up with. Mayweather, while flashy and controversial, represents a sport that gets the same headlines as brick and mortar stores; “Boxing is dead” or “Boxing is a dying sport”. You can replace brick and mortar in any of those headlines and find thousands of results on Google. This superfight, not only brings both sports to a height neither has seen in some time, but will create a new blended party for audiences.

Lines continue to blur between traditional brick and mortar shopping and e-commerce. Shoppers care more about bottom lines price and will go wherever that leads them, online or in store. These two worlds collide and coexist to consumers everyday while brands continue to struggle.

The $1.9 trillion e-commerce world shows no signs of slowing down, companies are facing more challenges managing product content across channels, and are losing revenue as a result.

A New Hybrid  

Thanks to e-commerce, online sales have scaled new heights, winning a growing percentage of the market every year. The Irishman, McGregor has made his own emergence from obscurity, much like MMA and e-commerce. The UFC Champion was said to be living out of his car just a few years ago. Now he is on the verge of a multi-million dollar pay day, bringing MMA into its largest spotlight to date. Regardless of who wins, audiences will fill the arena and create a new hybrid of both sports, leaving room for only growth.

An estimated  8,640 brick-and-mortar stores will close their doors in 2017, more than 2008 in the great recession (Zero Hedge 2017). Each retailer must look to online sales to keep consumers and both sides must concentrate on what the consumer wants/needs more than thinking of winning them for their side. This will not be a Blockbuster vs Netflix, we all know how that turned out, this battle is all about placement and willingness to adapt.

We have seen past dual sport athletes, Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders did it first by showing the cross over appeal. Now athletes like Tim Tebow and Brock Lesnar bring a different appeal to dual sports by sole mass appeal to the media. But this is not playing two sports separately, this is a head-to-head battle of two becoming one.

Weighing In

The weigh ins for a fighter are as mentally tough as they are physical. Today with regulations becoming stricter and heavier regulated in order to keep transparency and safety for fighters health, there is very little room for error.

Missing weight by 1 pound can result in losing millions of dollars from their fight purse, sponsors and overall brand loyalty. New industry regulations like UDI and SmartLabel have put pressure on companies to be more transparent in order to help consumers be more aware of the ingredients and processes used everyday. Bad data or ignoring consumer and federal guidelines can result in heavy profit loss, it would be as bad as not paying taxes ;)

Product information is becoming rich, robust, accurate and readily available to customers and consumers alike, and businesses are becoming more efficient, compliant, and transparent. Consumers want to know more about the products they buy and are basing purchasing decisions on the information available to them.

Companies that aren’t paying attention to larger trends will lose customers trust; the value of a cross channel approach is becoming a must in order to maintain trust loyalty and consistent experiences across every channel.

Follow us to know when part 2 drops next week…

References

“The Retail Bubble Has Now Burst: A Record 8,640 Stores Are Closing In 2017 – ZeroHedge” 22 April, 2017.  http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-22/retail-bubble-has-now-burst-record-8640-stores-are-closing-2017

“Worldwide Retail Ecommerce Sales Will Reach $1.915 Trillion This Year – E-Marketer” 22 August, 2016.  https://www.emarketer.com/Article/Worldwide-Retail-Ecommerce-Sales-Will-Reach-1915-Trillion-This-Year/1014369

Don’t Miss the 1WorldSync 2017 Working Group Day: “Digital Commerce, Now!”

We’re happy to host our all new 1WorldSync Working Group Day, September 14, 2017, at the GS1 Germany Knowledge Center in Cologne, Germany. This one day event, with the theme Digital Commerce, Now!,  is an unique platform for attendees to network, discuss industry trends, best practices and strategies on Data Quality, Supply Chain Enablement, Transparency, Compliance, and Omni-Channel Commerce. It’s a fresh new format with the focus on industry specific workshops for the DIY, Healthcare, FMCG / Grocery/ Retail and Foodservice / Food sectors.

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Let’s Get Real! Transparency Totally Transforms Product Content

Food contamination costs the food industry $55.5 billion (Fortune 2016).

Historically, the foodservice industry has focused on how to manufacture, distribute and sell items. However, in recent years, there has been a shift and product content transparency is a key component driving buyer behavior.

Consumers are increasingly active participants in product attribution, basing their purchasing decisions on information beyond the standard product label to attributes like ingredient origins and composition. There are also more government regulations around menu labeling and nutritional standards that foodservice manufacturers, brokers and distributors must address.

FoodLogiq & 1WorldSync: Powerful Alone, Better Together

1WorldSync, the leading multi-enterprise product information network, and FoodLogiQ, are in a close partnership to provide the entire spectrum of the food supply industry with a supply chain traceability solution that delivers transparency while tackling food safety and compliance issues.

“Food industry trends are changing fast—sometimes faster than what you and your supply chain can keep up with. From the customer demand for transparency to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s mandate for better processes, traceability is no longer just a nice-to-have asset. Without this sort of insight, keeping up with the evolving industry will be highly problematic, if not impossible,” says Dean Wiltse, CEO of FoodLogiQ.

“The fresh food industry has struggled in the past in figuring out a way to engage in true data synchronization with their retail and foodservice partners,” explains Nick Manzo, Global Omni-Channel Lead at 1WorldSync. “1WorldSync’s product information and fresh industry solutions coupled with FoodLogiQ’s enhanced traceability and supply chain management capabilities allows the fresh industry an opportunity to be fully engaged in global product information sharing.”

Turning Global Food Supply Chain Transparency Into Shopper Insights

As supply chains expand,transparency and traceability are strategic initiatives for businesses within the food industry. Ingredients and labeling is increasingly mandatory, not just because of FSMA and regulations but because customers are demanding it.

On September 21st, join industry leaders from FoodLogiQ and 1WorldSync for a compelling webinar on:

  • The challenges and market forces in delivering safe and quality food products to the consumer and driving supply chain transparency
  • How companies are adopting transparency and traceability to drive business goals
  • The technology and skills needed to ensure customer loyalty while protecting your brand

 

 

References

“Why Our Food Keeps Making Us Sick” – Fortune.  6 May 2016. http://fortune.com/food-contamination/

It’s Prime Time!

As a marketer, I have to give credit where credit is due. The creation of Amazon Prime Day was a brilliant move! With the third Amazon Prime Day now over, it’s clear that Amazon is trying achieve the same status as consumer calendar events like Cyber Monday and Black Friday.

Amazon said last week that their sales event was its “biggest day ever,” with sales this year surpassing its 2016 Black Friday and Cyber Monday results. Their Prime Day generated $1 billion in sales, making it the best sales day ever for the company (Bloomberg 2017).

According to Amazon, “The Prime Day 2017 event grew by more than 60 percent compared to the same 30 hours last year, and sales growth by small businesses and entrepreneurs was even higher” (Businesswire 2017).

Market Domination: The Struggle For Shelf Space

Smart suppliers are going “Prime”and ensuring their products are on the Amazon marketplace shelves and differentiating themselves with in-depth product content.

Amazon’s giant footprint gives suppliers an enormous opportunity to get in front of millions of potential customers they could not hope to find alone. Amazon enables small suppliers to compete with the larger players.

Are you ready to get your products discovered by Amazon?

1WorldSync makes it easy for customers to go “prime” and set-up their products based on Amazon.com requirements and publish directly to  Amazon Vendor Central. Smart suppliers are standardizing and leveraging their GDSN data to submit GDSN and Non-GDSN product content to Amazon efficiently.

1WorldSync has partnered with Amazon enabling our customers to send data to Amazon electronically.

Learn more today!

References

  1. “Amazon’s Prime Day Generates Estimated $1 Billion in Sales” 12 July, 2017<https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-12/amazon-s-prime-day-proves-to-be-biggest-shopping-day-ever>
  2. “Prime Members Enjoyed Biggest Global Shopping Event in Amazon History this Prime Day”> 12  July, 2017. <http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170712005745/en/>

Amazon: Prime-Time For The Grocery Industry

The grocery industry is the most pedestrian of retail endeavors – customers drive to stores, pick and pack their shopping, pay and then drive home. Many have tried to e-commercialize the grocery industry, but the business model never really seemed to work. The consumers desire to touch and feel grocery products before purchasing has been a barrier to widespread adoption of online grocery.

The food industry has traditionally been based around trust and price, not technology – and Whole Foods is known for providing a high level of trust and product transparency to its consumers through detailed product information. After a short dip into e-commerce, Whole Foods has refocused on brick-and-mortar retail growing 35 fold over the last 15 years (Fortune 2017)

And now, with the acquisition of Whole Foods Amazon sends a clear message to grocers that it is ready to play and, at least partly e-commercialize the grocery game. They’ve already dipped their toes in food and grocery in the past through Amazon Fresh and Amazon Pantry, but this gives them more robust access to high-quality food and more power to delivery grocery products more immediately to customers. It is also a bold statement that Amazon is serious about brick-and-mortar and at the same time this step finally fully validates cross-channel commerce as the future of grocery.

As the lines between online and in store have blurred, Amazon has realized that location will be a key driver for commerce success. Having access to Whole Foods’ 431 existing stores, gives them valuable distribution centers to bring fresh, localized products directly to customers. Amazon was also likely motivated to reach Whole Foods’ millennial audience and develop loyalty with the younger, more quality-conscious consumer.

This generation is more particular about where they buy their food and the ingredients in it, so Amazon will be able to earn the trust of these buyers through Whole Foods’ reputation and its strong identity as a trustworthy source for organic, GMO-free, high-quality food – that consumer trust will now be transferred to Amazon.  

Consumers need to be met wherever they are, whether in store or on their smartphones, but the importance here is an integrated approach. No one channel is the clear answer, but companies that stay competitive will need to more tightly integrate all of their approaches, both physical and digital.

Consumers are the key winners here, as the bar for success in the grocery industry is going to be much higher in the future. Competitive pricing, upgraded digital experiences, and more innovation will directly benefit customers.

Companies that aren’t paying attention to larger trends will lose as consumers demand for more product content; the value of an omni-channel approach to grocery; and the importance of consistent experiences across every channel.

To summarize, consumers aren’t tolerant of brands that look different online than in-store, and this is more important in the grocery market, as missing or misleading product information has the potential for serious harm.

Love is in the Air for Trusted Product Content

Roses are red, violets are blue, we love trusted product content, and so should you! It’s that time of the year again to share the love, and this year, our love goes to connecting trusted product content everywhere!

Who Says Love Don’t Cost A Thing?

Whether you’re in the store, on your phone, or even in your home, product content is everywhere. With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching and flowers, sweets, and cards to distribute to that “special someone”, make sure your products bring convenience and accurate product content to your consumers.

In the 21st century, a consumer’s journey begins at the favorable option of a digital interface. In preparation for Valentine’s Day, people are relying on eCommerce sites to find all the items they need and how quickly they can get it.

Not only are they looking for accessibility, but more importantly they are expecting dependability. The National Retail Federation reports that U.S. consumer spending on gifts this year will drop approximately 8% from last year’s record-high of $19.7 billion (NRF, 2017).

How Retailers Show Consumers A Little Love

That being said, your products need to stand out in order to meet your sales expectations this year. Here are 3 ways to ensure that your site’s products outrank your competitors.

  • Offer bundle deals to maximize sales – According to Bing research, over 50 percent of Americans celebrate Valentine’s Day; though, the average money spent amongst most couples is $146 with expected declines to $136 this year (Goodwin, 2017). Bundle options that include flowers, cards, chocolate, and even those cute little bears will prove to be more successful in sales. When strategizing the types of offers on your sites, be sure to keep in mind these consumer standards.
  • Ensure your products show up as good as they look on screen – Chances are, people aren’t going to be spending too much time bouncing from site to site to get what they need. That doesn’t mean that your products should disappoint. For many online flower companies, Valentine’s Day is one of the highest revenue earning days of the year. However, year after year, people are frequently disappointed in the presentation they receive. What they thought was portrayed online, often shows up dead or wilted. Talk about killing the mood… To avoid consumer dissatisfaction and the risk of future consumer neglect, be sure to offer accurate representation and information about your products. After all, ratings and reviews mean everything! 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation (BrightLocal, 2014).
  • Invest in search engine optimization strategies – Of the 50% of Americans that celebrate Valentine’s Day, 28% of their shopping happens online (Goodwin, 2017). Some of the top searched keywords from 2016 accessed through mobile and desktop included jewelry, Valentine’s day, Etsy, and flowers. Optimize search campaigns that include some of these typical searched terms but also invest in others such as last-minute gifts or handmade presents for those searching for specific items to buy for their significant others.

Marrying Brand Loyalty with Trusted, Authentic Product Content

Whether or not your company is planning on utilizing Valentine’s Day to boost sales this year, adapting these 3 techniques are essential to consumer satisfaction and experience. Brands must ensure that they’re distributing trusted and accurate product content if they want brand loyalty.

Word to the wise, dependability on product content is not going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, suppliers, retailers, and even consumers are demanding more detailed and accurate content on eCommerce sites than ever before.

At 1WorldSync, we strive to offer brands our services to share authentic, trusted content with customers and consumers, empowering them to make the right choices, purchases, health and lifestyle decisions. Seize this unique opportunity, play cupid with your consumers and stay ahead of the curve!

Happy Valentine’s Day from 1WorldSync!

 

References

  1. “Valentine’s Day.” National Retail Federation. Web. 10 Feb. 2017.
  2. Goodwin, Danny. “14 Irresistible Valentine’s Day Search Stats From Bing.” Search Engine Journal. Search Engine Journal, 13 Jan. 2017. Web. 10 Feb. 2017.
  3. “Local Consumer Review Survey 2014.” BrightLocal. Web. 10 Feb. 2017.

Ringing In The Retail: Does Size Matter?

Currently, there are 28 million American small businesses, which account for 54% of all U.S. sales (Patriot Software 2016).

In the Internet Retailer 2016 Second 500 Guide, the most successful e-commerce companies in the middle tier have outperformed their larger rivals by identifying and leveraging their sweet spots (Internet Retailer 2016). Second 500 web merchants, whose 2015 web sales fell between $1.7 million-$28.3 million, are solid proof that small can indeed be mighty. As a group, they grew their online sales last year by 14.9% to $6.99 billion, ahead of their larger Top 500 competitors, who grew at 13.5%.

Many smaller retailers rely on Small Business Saturday, an initiative launched by American Express (CNBC 2016). In its seventh year since the recession, Small Business Saturday events and entertainment encourage consumers to shop at small businesses versus big-box stores and malls that draw in Black Friday shoppers.  

However, as a smaller retailer, competing for e-commerce dollars during the busiest shopping season of the year is no easy feat. With higher than ever stakes, how do you tackle the big retailer squeeze?

Avoid Getting ‘Amazoned’ This Holiday Season

Smaller retailers face the constant struggle of having to match the convenience that Amazon offers, while personalized and trusted product content, including digital assets and insights, to keep streams of loyal consumers returning.

The only way is to create a better end-to-end user experience that is driven by customer insights. Failure to deliver on this experience will mean leaving revenue at the door – revenue that Amazon will be happy to gobble gobble (pun intended!).

86% of companies want to excel at customer experience. But only 27% even qualify as “good” in the eyes of their customers (Forrester Customer Experience Index 2015). One thing is for certain regardless of your size as an organization:

Consumers expect a seamless path to purchase from discovery to delight across all channels and devices.

Agile Is The New Black

One of the greatest benefits a small business has is that they can react much more quickly than most larger corporations or big box stores. In other words, if you see an opportunity to introduce a new vendor, you can make this happen more quickly than the many steps necessary it would take at a big box store.

For example, if you see inventory sales have gone cold turkey (pun intended!), you can help move it through displays, employee engagement and even marking it down to help it sell faster.

Big retailers have the advantage of large scale systems that optimize processes. However giant companies suffer when they lose touch with the granularity of their businesses. As a smaller retailer, you can better understand how swiftly consumer needs change prior to larger competitors because of direct contact. You are better equipped to deal with changes in the environment and test new ideas quicker among customers without obstacles.

Retail Is Big On Small Business

Gaining a national footprint no longer relies solely on big brand partnerships – with the right attitude, resources and strategy, small business have the power to go it alone.

And if a little support is needed to survive holiday pressures, there may even be opportunities to partner collaboratively with industry giants. Smaller retailers may offer flexibility and a more intimate customer experience but when coupled with their larger, wealthier counterparts, the global market offers an array of quality goods and services. If you can’t beat them, join them!

References

1 “The State of Small Businesses in the U.S” Patriot Software. 2 May 2016.  https://smallbusiness.patriotsoftware.com/small-businesses-in-the-us-infographic/?utm_source=FRB45&utm_medium=article&utm_term=smallbiz_sat&utm_content=GBL

2 “Keeping up with innovation keeps smaller retailers in the game” Internet Retailer. 13 June 2016. https://www.internetretailer.com/2016/06/13/keeping-innovation-keeps-smaller-retailers-game

3  “A secret weapon to help small retailers on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday”. CNBC. 23 November 2016. http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/23/ai-software-aids-retailers-on-black-friday-small-business-saturday.html

 “The US Customer Experience Index, Q1 2015.” Forrester. 6 October 2016 https://www.forrester.com/report/The+US+Customer+Experience+Index+Q1+2015/-/E-RES117482