THE CONSUMER-RETAILER

POW ER S HI FT

CAPITALIZE ON CHANGE AND OVERCOME 7 CHALLENGES TO DELIGHT THE NEW CONSUMER

Sponsored by

RESEARCH

Table of Contents
3 4 5 6 8
9 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Executive Summary Survey Respondent Demographics Laying The Groundwork For Success Why The New Realities Of Social Media Connection And Mobile Ubiquity Are Critically Important Overcoming The 7 Key Challenges
Understanding The ROI Of Implementations Creating Value In The Interaction For Both Retailers And Consumers Budgeting To Develop Strategies, Roll Out Programs And Train Resources Cloud Technology Frees Resources For Business Improvements Customer Adoption/Ease Of Use Understanding How The Consumer Will Interact With The Technology Privacy Concerns Consumer Fatigue/Saturation With The New Medium

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Conclusion About Junction Solutions and Retail TouchPoints

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The Consumer-Retailer Power Shift: RTP Research

Executive Summary
Leading retail organizations recognize that future success requires an evolution in how they think about, and interact with, the consumer. This requires both a business strategy shift and a need for technology to support the requirements of the customer. The new consumer wants engagement, not just the capability to conduct a transaction. They seek information, connectivity and community through social media and mobile. As a result, shopping has become a richer experience involving concepts like transparency, co-creation, sharing, personalization, authenticity, voice and the expectation of delight. The retail industry winners will not only recognize the shifts afoot, but also proactively work to capitalize on these changes. This white paper identifies seven key consumer touch point challenges facing retail today and discusses the steps necessary to manage and overcome them. Highlights include exclusive survey results, insights from industry leaders, and real-world examples of retailers who have implemented winning programs to meet the challenges and position themselves for success in 2013 and beyond.

The Consumer-Retailer Power Shift
Notable Survey Findings ❏

71.4% of survey respondents currently use or are
planning to use mobile apps in the next 12 months; and

22.9% currently use or plan to use mobile POS.
❏ Of those who are planning to add mobile apps,

68.6% are integrating social media into their mobile apps/m-Commerce solution; 54.3% are
integrating a retailer loyalty program. ❏

80.0% are planning within the next 12 months
to use social media to shape buying patterns and mobile apps for the same purpose; and 28.6% cite m-Commerce use. consumer behavior; 54.3% are planning to use

❏ With regard to leveraging social media channels, Facebook is primarily used for Marketing (77.1%) and Brand Building (62.9%); Twitter:

66.7% and 63.6%; LinkedIn: 24.0% and 36.0%.

74.3% cited the use of social media for Basic Brand Awareness, 60.0% for executing marketing campaigns, 45.7% for delivery of offers and 42.9% for gleaning demographic/psychographic data. 42.9% said “understanding the ROI of
implementations” is the greatest challenge. This was followed by 40.2% noting: “creating value in the interaction for both retailers and consumers.”

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The Consumer-Retailer Power Shift: RTP Research

Survey Respondent Demographics
Sponsored by Junction Solutions and presented by Retail TouchPoints, the Consumer-Retailer Power Shift survey included respondents representing a wide industry cross-section. Respondent companies range from those with annual revenue of more than $500 million (34.3%) to those with less than $1 million (31.4%). Represented respondent vertical categories were: Specialty Hardgoods (45.7%), Specialty Softgoods (22.9%), Big Box (14.3%), Grocery (8.6%) and Electronics (8.6%).

Please describe your retail vertical:

9% 9% 14% 23%
Specialty Hardgoods Specialty Softgoods Big Box Grocery Electronics

45%

Please describe your company’s annual revenue:
Less than $1 million $1 million - $5 million $5 million - $10 million $10 million - $50 million $50 million - $100 million $100 million - $500 million More than $500 million

32% 9% 3% 9% 9% 6% 34%

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The Consumer-Retailer Power Shift: RTP Research

Laying The Groundwork For Success
Retail companies preparing for future success and competitive advantage are recognizing the new reality of the omnichannel marketplace. They are striving to deliver consistency and transparency across all channels and are implementing new technologies to do so, particularly in the exploding areas of social media and mobile commerce. For many retailers, the current state of their multichannel marketing capabilities is siloed and disparate. A major challenge is to reengineer processes and procedures to better use new technologies in order to achieve the desired omnichannel visibility. Given this reality, it is no wonder survey respondents cited “understanding the ROI of implementation” as the top challenge for retailers wanting to create and deliver new consumer-focused touch points.

58% of retailers indicated that marketing ROI is critical to their cross-channel strategy, yet only 20% of respondents admit they are able to quantify the impact of their cross-channel marketing.
-Aberdeen

The elusive ROI continues to challenge retail organizations. In a June 2011 report from The Aberdeen Group, titled: The State of Multi-Channel Retail Marketing, 58% of respondents indicated that marketing ROI is critical to their cross-channel strategy, yet only 20% of respondents admit they are able to quantify the impact of their crosschannel marketing. Aberdeen further reported that while the ROI issue remains of great concern, retailers are now citing another top challenge: the “dramatic shifts in the way consumers want to be marketed to.” This finding further illuminates the central tenet of the Consumer-Retailer Power Shift survey: that a power shift to the consumer has occurred. It also involves the need for message consistency across all channels — whether it is brand, price or promotion. The cross-channel consistency challenge is clearly presented in a June 2012 report from RSR Research. When asked about the importance of cross-channel consolidation outcomes vs. progress in achievement, 100% of retail respondents cited the importance of the “customer shopping experience,” yet only 32% cited “synchronization done or in progress.” The bottom line importance of aligning the customer shopping experience across all channels is captured in a quote from a CIO of a Tier 2 fashion retailer, which was cited in the Aberdeen report: “Customers that shop in multiple channels are five times more valuable to us than a single channel. Therefore if we can build consistency across all channels, customers will become more loyal to the brand.”

Cross Channel

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Why The New Realities Of Social Media Connection And Mobile Ubiquity Are Critically Important
If social media connection and mobile access can topple governments, what does that mean for how these consumer technologies can affect brands? Business transformation always has been the outcome of broader socioeconomic trends and values. Consumers are in the process of transforming the relationship between society and business. Because of this, legacy business systems, which report historical activities, are rapidly becoming obsolete. New business systems based on real-time analytics that flow through all channels are now at the heart of a winning retail strategy. These business intelligence systems are anticipatory. They go beyond “what happened” to “why it happened and what is likely to happen.” These emergent, real-time technologies help organizations become more knowledgeable, more proactive, more innovative, more competitive and more successful.

Are you planning, within the next 12 months, to use any of the following to shape buying patterns and consumer behavior?
(Please check all that apply)

Social Media Mobile applications

80%

54%

If you are planning to add mobile apps, are you integrating any of the following into your mobile apps/ M-commerce solution?
(Please check all that apply)

Loyalty program via mobile device or social media

51%

M-commerce

Social Media Retailer Loyalty Program Instant Promotions for users to drive specific buying behavior N/A

69% 54% 31% 11%

29%

11%

Geofencing

6%
N/A

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The Consumer-Retailer Power Shift: RTP Research

How do you leverage the following social media channels?
92%
(Please check all that apply)

77% 67% 63% 53% 44% 29% 15% 14% 18% 14% 8% 7% 0% 33% 28% 23% 4% 36% 23% 24% 23% 4% 64%

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Yammer

17% 12% 3% 0% 4%

4%

Don’t use today

Customer Segmentation

Data Gathering

Brand Building

Marketing

Selling Customer Feedback

Are you currently using social media for any of the following?
(Please check all that apply)

Basic Brand Awareness

74%

Deliver Offers

46%

Execute Marketing Campaigns

60%

Demographic/ Psychographic Data

43%

Customer Segmentation

29%

6%
N/A

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Overcoming The 7 Key Challenges
The emergence of social media and mobile connection as commerce drivers has given rise to the need for retailers to move beyond counting and tracking to engaging, influencing, measuring and reacting. Survey respondents ranked the most important challenges to “creating and delivering a new consumer-focused touch point.” (Challenges are cited in order of survey responses, highest percentage of retailers giving the challenge a score of 1 or 2 out of 7)

Rank the following challenges when it comes to creating and delivering a new customer-focused touch point; i.e. mobile app, mobile kiosk, social media outreach.
(rating of 1 or 2 out of 7)

Understanding/communicating the ROI Creating value in the interaction for the retailer and consumer Cost to develop, roll out and train resources Consumer adoption/ease of use Privacy concerns Understanding how the consumer will interact with the technology Consumer fatigue/saturation with the medium

43% 40% 34% 26% 23% 23% 17%

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Understanding The ROI Of Implementations (42.9%)
While useful, there is no proven connection between numbers of fans/followers and ROI. As many as 61% of companies say their organizations are either poor or very poor at measuring ROI from social media.
- Internet Retailer

Retailers continue to be challenged to uncover the cross-channel ROI of marketing initiatives. According to Aberdeen Group’s The State of MultiChannel Retail Marketing June 2011 report, the ROI implementation challenge can be met by tracking campaign performance across all marketing channels in real-time. Aberdeen reported that 42% of Bestin-Class retailers do this compared with 17% of all others. With regard to measuring social media, 89% of CMOs tracked social media’s impact by using standard web metrics, such as site traffic, page views, and number of fans/followers. While useful, there is no proven connection between numbers of fans/followers and ROI. As many as 61% of companies say their organizations are either poor or very poor at measuring ROI from social media, according to the Internet Retailer The Value of Social Media Report. When it comes to measuring mobile ROI, behavioral metrics become even more complicated because mobile is both a standalone channel as well as a companion one. The most recent Foresee Mobile Satisfaction Index Study concluded: “Understanding the interplay and influence between and among channels becomes critical to maximizing the ROI of the mobile channel. It is therefore an absolute necessity for companies to understand how their customers are using their mobile devices to connect with brands and companies, and to create optimized web sites and apps for mobile devices. Failure to do so is a lost opportunity to secure customer loyalty, return visits, positive word-ofmouth recommendations and revenue.” Mobile penetration among U.S. adult consumers has topped 100% — meaning there are more cellphones in circulation than people, according to an OpenMarket study titled: Mobile Best Practices for Retailers. Shoppers are using their smartphones in-store to access product information, reviews and inventory availability. Realizing that inevitability, retailers may want to take an “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” mentality and provide access to wireless networks in-store. At this point, though, only 19% of stores have wireless available for customers, according to RSR Research, in a May 2012 report.

In-store wireless aside, many retailers have successfully developed and executed strategic programs that have achieved significant returns on social and mobile investments. L’Occitane, a high-end beauty retailer, continually tests personalization techniques and offers. The brand reports increased loyalty and purchases by segmenting visitors and customizing e-Commerce experiences based on the consumers’ overall level of engagement and their unique “path to purchase” for the brand. “L’Occitane tests a variety of personalization techniques for different customer segments, running up to 75 different campaigns at one time, according to Matt Kritzer, Director of e-Commerce.

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The Consumer-Retailer Power Shift: RTP Research

With regard to email marketing, Kritzer stated: “We never thought that ensuring consistency between email and the web site would make much of a difference…but it definitely has had a tremendous impact on overall sales and conversions. We have seen great ROI behind all the testing we’ve done and the general best practices we’ve developed.” Independent and corporate Hallmark Gold Crown Stores invested in developing a retail customized marketing solution (RCM) in order to better target individual customers and boost ROI on its marketing programs. Since its inception, RCM has generated sales lift ranging from 25% to 250% depending on the promotional vehicle. Although RCM is an optional tool for store owners, in 2011, 98% of all Gold Crown store owners used RCM in some way. “In 2011, the RCM program generated 45 million consumer contacts through postcards, emails, greeting cards and receipt offers,” noted Carlos Corredor, Hallmark’s Retailer Customized Marketing Manager. This was a 14% increase over 2010. RCM is enabling Hallmark to reach its goal of acquiring a 360-degree view of its customers, while providing results reporting and analysis. DeAnna Blair, Marketing Project Leader for Hallmark, summarized

“We never thought that ensuring consistency between email and the web site would make much of a difference…but it definitely has had a tremendous impact on overall sales and conversions.”
- Matt Kritzer, L’Occitane

the RCM program success: “By feeding the RCM customer contacts, along with all other contacts into our Market Mix analysis, Hallmark is able to measure the revenue and ROI generated by these retailfunded consumer touch points. The data from RCM is facilitating a more effective view of customer loyalty. Store owners can now assess shoppers by a number of attributes, including dollars spent, card and ornaments purchased, number of transactions and average spend per transaction.”

L’Occitane has reported increased loyalty and purchases by segmenting visitors and customizing e-Commerce experiences based on the consumers’ overall level of engagement and their unique “path to purchase” for the brand.

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Creating Value In The Interaction For Both Retailers And Consumers (40.2%)
Following implementation of an optimized e-Commerce personalization solution allowing for testing content, images and offers more quickly and seamlessly, Godiva has benefited with a 15% boost in average order value (AOV) and an 18% increase in conversion rates.
members, Godiva experimented by implementing email lightboxes on its home page. These lightboxes invite new visitors to sign up for the email program and receive special offers. “We were afraid that the lightbox addition would potentially drive customers away,” Nathan said. “With this test, we were able to see, in fact, the exact opposite; we saw a 1,076% increase in email capture.” Beyond the Rack is a flash sale eTailer that drives traffic and purchases by offering extreme discounts via timely sales and limited product availability. The company has created a seamless browsing and buying experience by leveraging web acceleration and performance management solutions. “In the flash sale space, things need to be quick; there’s a limited amount of goods available for a short period of time,” noted Ted Guglielmi, CTO. “We have quickened our site load times by 20%, leading to happier and more loyal customers. We don’t want to frustrate shoppers by providing products they like, but making the purchasing process so slow that eventually inventory is not available to them.” In discussing Beyond the Rack’s customer expectations, Guglielmi noted: “Whether consumers are on PCs, tablets or smartphones, they are looking for reliability, speed, performance, and for a consistent experience. To us, site performance — regardless of device being used — has to be equal.”

Consumers want interactions to be relevant, personalized, consistent and also appropriate for the channel being used. Every interaction contributes to how a shopper will feel and think about a brand. In order to create valuable new touch points for consumers, retailers must understand their attitudes, needs and wants, and have knowledge of the shoppers’ experiences with the brand. Value for both parties is in the focus on making sure customers feel good about the company each and every time they interact. Testing and experimentation have always been important in gaining confidence about the effectiveness of new consumer programs. Godiva Chocolatier offers a good example of this. Following implementation of an optimized e-Commerce personalization solution allowing for testing content, images and offers more quickly and seamlessly, Godiva has benefited with a 15% boost in average order value (AOV) and an 18% increase in conversion rates. By analyzing real-time click stream data, Godiva can now successfully determine the impact of specific offers and incentives on various customer segments. “We recognize that our customers are entrusting us with their personal preferences, so when we use personalization, respecting them is top of mind,” said Mahender Nathan, Godiva’s VP Direct. Godiva builds customer communication via email and chat. Email is used for educating customers — especially loyalty club members — about new releases and company announcements. After identifying and segmenting new and returning shoppers as well as loyalty club

Following implementation of an optimized e-Commerce personalization solution allowing for testing content, images and offers more quickly and seamlessly, Godiva has benefited with a 15% boost in average order value (AOV) and an 18% increase in conversion rates.

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Budgeting To Develop Strategies, Roll Out Programs And Train Resources (34.3%)
When it comes to strategic priorities, talent management came in second only to leadership development as a key priority in 2012.
- National Retail Federation

More retailers are committing to resource training in an overall effort to improve the customer experience. The most recent National Retail Federation (NRF) Retail Horizons study found that when it comes to strategic priorities, talent management came in second only to leadership development as a key priority in 2012. The study also found that as customer-centricity has permeated retail organizations, the tracking of customer satisfaction data is having a more direct effect on sales associate procedures (46%) and store procedures (41%). Five years ago, 60% of executives used customer satisfaction data to drive pricing and assortment decisions. Today, only 9% make that the priority. Additionally, Retail Horizons reported an increase in call center investment, with 70% of eCommerce executives deploying funds to boost call center capabilities. The study explained: “What used to be considered a backoffice support is now seen as playing an important front-line role as well. Today, the call center serves as the face of the brand and is a primary touch point for many consumers.” More than three quarters (77%) of participants indicated that they depend on call centers as a key source of customer insight, an increase of 16% over 2011.

Perhaps the greatest example of this focus is Zappos, which has labeled itself “a service company that happens to sell shoes.” The company’s single-minded strategic focus on customer service has led to supportive policies such as requiring all employees, no matter what functional responsibility, to train and spend time working in the call center. Bon-Ton, a men’s, women’s, and children’s apparel retailer, promotes effective chain-wide communications regarding new processes and procedures, training programs and other business intelligence as essential to ensuring all team members are on the same page. To that end, the company has invested in a number of technologies that have increased productivity. “With the scattered, long distance environment in which Bon-Ton operates, we continually require instant communications across all departments and locations,” noted Chris Sass, Multi-Media Production Manager for Bon-Ton. “Our associates want the information and education available to them. But if they have to struggle to get to it, our communications battle has been lost. These new tools bring cohesion and improved productivity and, in the end, help drive sales.”

Bon-Ton promotes effective chain-wide communications regarding new processes and procedures, training programs and other business intelligence as essential to ensuring all team members are on the same page.

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Cloud Technology Frees Resources For Business Improvements
The commitment to resource training must be balanced with the need for resources dedicated to strategy development and program rollout. With the advent of cloud computing and SaaS, the initial investment cost for technology experimentation has lowered dramatically, freeing organizations to tackle a myriad of business challenges. This is evidenced by the fact that a major finding of the Retail Horizons study involved a strategy shift from cost containment to growth acceleration. An example of the cloud’s efficiency is illustrated by the change in financial reporting implemented by The Container Store. By leveraging cloud-based corporate performance management (CPM) solutions, The Container Store has successfully eliminated the need for manual updates across cumbersome spreadsheets, while lowering costs. Because the company doesn’t maintain a dedicated team focused on financial planning, it requires a solution that is easy to use for all team members. “Now team members can roll out plans, conduct expense planning and execute forecasts at any time,” stated Michael Lambeth, Director of Finance for The Container Store. “We have real-time consolidation where all our plans roll-up into a single view of the business. Employees now access the platform directly through the cloud, which is more

By leveraging cloud-based corporate performance management (CPM) solutions, The Container Store has successfully eliminated the need for manual updates across cumbersome spreadsheets, while lowering costs.

efficient and user friendly. The solution doesn’t require any additional maintenance or manual updates by IT. This not only makes our employees’ lives easier, but also means extreme decreases in cost.”

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4

Customer Adoption/Ease Of Use (25.7%)
The same report further stated: “Good experiences with mobile sites and apps have critical cross-channel impact. Mobile shoppers who are highly satisfied with their mobile experience report being 54% more likely to consider that company the next time they want to make a similar purchase and twice as likely to buy from the retailer’s mobile channel again.” Finish Line, a sporting goods retailer, is transitioning 638 of its stores to mPOS technology, to provide mobile checkout. With the implementation, the company is striving to provide a seamless shopping experience for time-starved shoppers. “Our online and hyper-mobile customers are all about speed, style, performance and technology,” said CIO Terry Ledbetter. “For Finish Line, mobile checkout and point of service are obvious enhancements for satisfying those needs. This deployment is a foundational step to an ever-developing omnichannel experience.” Following a successful trial and analysis of the mPOS solution, from both a financial and a brand equity perspective, Finish Line determined that offering mobile checkout in stores was “a win for both our customers and the brand.” Ledbetter stated, “… the simplest moments make the biggest impression on customers, and mobility adds to the many ways we can delight our customers.”

The good news with regard to this challenge is the fact that consumers have adopted new commerce channels (Internet, social media and mobile) at a record pace. They report great satisfaction with these technologies and are incorporating these touch points into their shopping behaviors more and more every day. Consider the following: Social technologies have found favor with consumers faster than previous technologies did. It took 13 years for commercial television to reach 50 million households, and three years for Internet service providers to sign their 50 millionth subscriber. Facebook hit the 50 million-user mark in just one year, and Twitter in nine months. Sweeping cultural, economic and social changes have accompanied this accelerated pace of adoption by the world’s consumers, according to McKinsey Quarterly, Capturing Business Value with Social Technologies, November 2012. With regard to mobile, a Foresee Mobile research report published in January 2012 cited the following statistics: • 38% of all web shoppers have used a mobile phone to access a retail web site, mobile site or mobile app; • 34% used a mobile phone to research products; • 19% of all web shoppers used their mobile phone to compare prices while shopping in-store; • 15% used their phone to make purchases; • 14% of web shoppers visited the mobile site or app of one of the top 40 eTailers; and • 10% used retailer-developed apps.

Following a successful trial and analysis of the mPOS solution, from both a financial and a brand equity perspective, Finish Line determined that offering mobile checkout in stores was “a win for both our customers and the brand,” said CIO Terry Ledbetter.

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5

Understanding How The Consumer Will Interact With The Technology (22.9%)
In order to participate, consumers received a unique entry code every time they completed a purchase. By entering the number via text message and providing their email address, consumers could experience the game. “We wanted to run a promotion that was sports based, infused gaming, but still allowed us to drive traffic to our locations,” explained Ben LaPlaca, Creative Director of Charley’s. “By using SMS, our on-the-go consumers can participate with our brand and interact with the contest, helping us boost purchases and obtain data on our customers.” Charley’s was able to extend the promotion to other channels, such as social media, to increase participation. “Our customers interact with us across multiple channels, including email, social media and mobile devices,” LaPlaca said. “We wanted to create a platform to tie all networks together, creating unified, in-depth customer profiles so we can monitor and interact with our customers based on their unique preferences.”

Retail brands are developing social intelligence related to how consumers are using new channels, such as social media, to evaluate their brands. They are gleaning customer attitudinal and behavioral data by employing potent analytical tools to draw strategic meaning. An important aspect of this perceived challenge is the fact that companies that are willing to engage customers on every level can achieve the understanding they seek more easily than ever before. One example outside of retail could provide insight for retail companies. A McKinsey Quarterly article titled: How Social Intelligence Can Guide Decisions explained how General Electric (GE) developed a program to gather ideas about a “social” airplane. GE offered prizes with Virgin Airlines for the best insights. The company enlisted a community of 90,000 people who follow GE’s @ecoimagination Twitter account, and organized conversations using hashtags. Over the course of two hours, the global network produced thousands of ideas that had not been discussed or published elsewhere. GE used the information to fine-tune its understanding of airline passengers’ expectations and to create new processes for injecting input into strategic planning and development. Another example of how retailers are learning about consumers interacting with technology is an innovative promotion launched by the restaurant chain Charley’s Grilled Subs, involving SMS text messaging. The SMSfocused promotion, “Charley’s Philly Steak Blitz,” offered consumers the opportunity to experience a digital football game. Points were rewarded for every action and players also received an additional 100 points for every touchdown scored.

Charley’s Grilled Subs launched an SMS-focused promotion called “Charley’s Philly Steak Blitz,” which offered consumers the opportunity to experience a digital football game.

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Privacy Concerns (22.8%)
100% of retailers believe that protection of customer data and employee data is “important” or “very important.”
- National Retail Federation

Obviously consumer privacy concerns are a function of the level of trust between the retail brand and its customers. When asked about privacy policies, 82% of retailers polled in the Retail Horizons study said they do not share specific customer information with other companies; 100% of retailers believe that protection of customer data and employee data is “important” or “very important.” It is notable that almost a quarter (22.8%) of the respondents in the Consumer-Retailer Power Shift study mentioned this challenge, because much of the discussion of privacy still really flies under the radar. But, the growth of social media interaction has shone a light on — and elevated the discussion about — individual privacy. The Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, published in 2011, postulates: “As social media use has become mainstream activity, there has been an increasingly polarized public debate about whether or not ‘privacy’ can be dismissed as a relic of the information age.” There are two realities experienced by many in this debate: 1) The argument that privacy is a relic points to the fact that if people are willing to share all kinds of personal data, then they have undoubtedly abandoned any reasonable expectation of privacy; however 2) On the other side, privacy advocates argue that the consumer still cares about privacy but doesn’t understand enough about how data is stored, used and shared. To quote the Pew Study: “Social Science researchers have long noted a major disconnect in attitudes

and practices around information privacy online. When asked, people say that privacy is important to them; when observed, people’s actions seem to suggest otherwise.” But consumers are exercising increasing privacy and reputation management decisions on social media sites. According to the Pew Study in 2011, 63% of respondents “unfriended” someone vs. 56% in 2009; 37% untagged photos vs. 30% in 2009; and 44% deleted comments vs. 36% in 2009. Also, according to Pew, the practice of “Googling yourself” has doubled in the last five years, representing at least an aspect of curiosity and interest in knowledge of privacy. Retail organizations that are concerned about privacy should heed the words of Esther Dyson as quoted in the Pew Study: “We need to stop talking about privacy and start talking about control over data — making detailed decisions about what gets shared with whom that more closely reflect the distinctions we make in offline life.”

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7

Consumer Fatigue/Saturation With The New Medium (17.2%)
Social media presents retailers with a unique opportunity to connect consumers in a more intimate way. To achieve optimal engagement, brands must offer a variety of compelling content. ALDO, a men’s and women’s shoe and handbag retailer, keeps pace with and responds to consumers’ decision-making influences with a new social portal designed to generate and capture detailed customer feedback on a more frequent basis. Touting the hashtag #ALDO40, in honor of the 40th brand anniversary, ALDO’s campaign encourages social sharing of experiences and memories of well-established brand and products. ALDO marketers and brand fans can access and post to Facebook and Twitter directly through the ALDO40 web site. All social feedback is aggregated and published in real-time, allowing the brand to participate consistently and promptly in social conversations and acquire information to help shoppers move through the decision-making process. “Consumers’ passion for content and learning more about our brand and product line is really surprising,” noted Vyara Ndejuru, Director of Marketing for ALDO. “We have learned a lot from the social space, including how to inspire and be inspired by our customers.”

Clearly, most retailers are not overly concerned about this challenge given their recognition of widespread consumer adoption and satisfaction with the new social and mobile commerce channels. Most leading retailers recognize that smart phones, ubiquitous Internet connections, connected brick-and-mortar stores and omnichannel consistency are all contributing to enriching shopper purchase paths. Rather than problems with consumer fatigue with these technologies, leading retailers understand that consumers hold new power to shop anytime, anywhere they desire, and they like it. Aeropostale, a mall-based apparel retailer targeting teens, has recognized the power of technology to enhance its customers’ shopping experience. In October 2012, the merchant unveiled a new concept store featuring interactive fitting rooms and iPad self-service stations. In describing the concept, Anthony McLoughlin, Senior Director of Interactive Marketing, said the new store was developed to “inspire a more solid emotional connection with our teen audience. Our customers can use the iPad kiosks to build their own outfits and email their creations to friends, family and themselves.” McLoughlin added: “We want to be part of the conversations our target audience has online, via mobile devices, and in stores. We also want to create relevant brand experiences for our customers. To have that relevant and emotional impact on teens, we needed to create a strategy and use technology that allows them to engage with us on their terms. We’re not just using tactics to drive sales; we’re using strategies that are consumer-centric to drive engagement and eventually create brand ambassadors.”

Aeropostale unveiled a new concept store featuring interactive fitting rooms and iPad self-service stations.

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Conclusion
Leading retailers recognize that creating a positive cross-channel shopper experience requires a new level of engagement and a renewed emphasis on forging better connections with customers. Much of this work involves listening and responding to new consumer attitudes and behaviors, and new technologies are facilitating this capability. Successful retailers recognize that the consumer-retailer power shift requires a company culture that is conducive to broad collaboration and sharing. The company culture forms the brand that consumers can now touch in numerous ways. Shoppers want brands to listen to them and respond accordingly. Trust is the coin of the realm. Word of mouth has always been considered the most effective form of advertising. The Consumer-Retailer Power Shift survey has uncovered the key challenges driving retail strategies in this new age of customer-centric retail. Forward-thinking retail organizations are moving to overcome these challenges and will inspire other companies to employ similar bold thinking and bold action. In many ways, delighting the new empowered consumer has never been easier. Consumers want and expect to be delighted. They want to be engaged with brands. They want to create meaningful relationships. All they ask is that retailers listen and respond to their changing wants and needs. The tools to do this have never before been so powerful and so effective.

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About
About Junction Solutions
9785 South Maroon Circle Suite 410 Englewood CO. 80112 USA Phone: (877) 522-6355 Fax: (303) 327-8804 E-mail: info@junctionsolutions.com

www. junctionsolutions.com

With offices throughout the U.S. and Canada, Junction Solutions provides vertical-specific on-premise and on-demand software applications and services that help organizations enhance operational performance, reduce costs, expand delivery channels and strengthen relationships. Built on Microsoft Dynamics® AX and designed specifically for Multichannel Retail, Food & Beverage and Distribution companies, Junction Solutions’ innovative offerings focus on enterprise resource planning (ERP); supply chain management (SCM), including demand, order, warehouse, yard and distribution management; human capital management; merchandising; order entry management, callcenter management, eCommerce engagement and fulfillment. The company was named 2010 Microsoft Dynamics® Retail Partner of the Year, and has won numerous other industry awards. For more information, please visit www.junctionsolutions.com.

411 Route 17S Suite 410 Hasbrouck Heights, NJ 07604 Phone: 201.257.8528 Fax: 201.288.1071 E-mail: info@retailtouchpoints.com

About Retail TouchPoints
Retail TouchPoints is an online publishing network for retail executives, with content focused on optimizing the customer experience across all channels. The Retail TouchPoints network is comprised of a weekly newsletter, insightful editorial blog, special reports, web seminars, exclusive benchmark research, and a content-rich web site featuring daily news updates and multi-media interviews at www.retailtouchpoints.com. The Retail TouchPoints team also interacts with social media communities via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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