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Retail Monthly June 2015


Smartphone apps are all the rage, so what’s happened to good old-fashioned text messaging? Well, it’s still out there, and it’s still very effective, according to April 2015 Pew Research Center report. In fact, according to the report, of the nearly two-thirds of Americans who own a smartphone, 97% used text messaging at least once during the one-week survey period. Additionally, according to a 2010 SinglePoint whitepaper titled "Conversational Advertising," 90% of text messages are read within three minutes of them being delivered. That’s a winning combination for marketing, particularly for engaging existing consumers and attracting new ones. However, text messages are also effective for delivering news event reminders, seasonal messaging, and customer service messages such as order confirmation and shipping reminders. Nordstrom has even introduced a texting service that allows shoppers to ask sales reps questions and even by via text. This marketing vehicle has its warnings like any marketing tool, of course, but it’s effective and the price is right. Read the full story.



What are Top Retail Execs Reading? A List of 22 Books, Blogs, and other Resources

The movers and shakers of retail in the areas of e-commerce, marketing, IT, and legal gathered in New York last month for NRF’s Retail Leaders Dinner, and as would be expected, certain topics were hit hard. Omnichannel, innovation, and how retailers can proactively manage changes in culture and leadership challenges in an industry that is constantly evolving. The NRF hosts asked attendees how they find inspiration, new approaches, and new ideas by asking them which books, newsletters and websites they would suggest to colleagues. In addition to NRF and SmartBrief newsletters (of course), Women’s Wear Daily, and other retail publishing mainstays, read on to find out what these retail leaders are reading and recommending in the areas of: Leadership, Management, and Culture; Digital Technology and Innovation; and Marketing, Consumer Behavior, and Trendspotting.



What Types of Web Content and App Features are Online Shoppers Looking For?

According to a UPS and comScore study, nearly three-quarters of US online shoppers are influenced by product reviews when visiting a retailer’s website, making reviews the most influential content type of those identified. This data, which is specific to US shoppers, demonstrates the influence of Q&A (48%) and product and brand videos (47%) among shoppers. Similarly, previous research found that product videos boost purchase likelihood among their viewers. Also according to the study, consumer and peer reviews are important factors. However, detailed product information (73%) is the most important, with retailer reputation (66%) coming in second, followed by return policy (62%) and the presence of multiple images or the ability to zoom in (59%). The numbers are similar with mobile applications, with product images (54%) and product reviews (53%) considered the most important retail app features among users, followed by relevant search results (50%) and mobile coupons (50%). While the study states that apps aren’t necessary for every retailer, it also states that 4 in 5 mobile shoppers surveyed reported having used a retailer’s app rather than a browser at some point. Read the full story.



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Top Blogs of the Month
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RFID and the New Age of Music Festivals: A Heads Up for Retailers
Hannah Horning explains why retailers should look at using RFID devices to enhance the customer experience.
Suzi Shopper: Personalized Service…or Stalker?
Suzanne Scanlan discusses the importance of deciding the level and type of service your sales staff should provide.
Mobile by the Numbers
Dara Daly shows the numbers behind mobile searching and discusses the importance of staying involved in the information stream.
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