Most digital marketers know or have heard that “We are in the age of the customer.” That means that customers have greater control of the buying journey. They have more information at their fingertips and have less patience for merchants who do not provide a stellar customer experience.
In their latest blog and white paper, inRiver PRIME Platinum Partner Rightpoint describes the steps to developing an e-commerce strategy that will enhance your customers’ experience with your website, communications, and products.
To help companies achieve better results with their digital commerce initiatives, Rightpoint explains how to develop rich content and commerce solutions. In this white paper, you’ll learn how to design a rich customer experience:
For example, you will be provided with assessment questions to both identify your business objectives, as well as to determine your current capabilities for providing a superior customer experience. In addition, you will learn how to better identify your buyer and differentiate the needs of the ‘power buyer’ from ‘the opportunistic buyer.’
Download this white paper now to benefit from these and many other nuggets of wisdom from Dale Traxler, Vice President of Commerce Solutions at Rightpoint.
Kathryn Zwack, Senior Content Marketing Manager, inRiver
On July 1, Canada—our friendly neighbor to the north—will celebrate her 150th birthday. Along with our congratulations, we would like to highlight some special Canadian-based customers who have been pioneers in the Canadian digital frontier.
Statistics Canada recently reported that e-commerce sales in Canada were $1.2 billion in April—a small 2.5% of the total retail sales of more than $48 billion for the month. Despite this tiny percentage, e-commerce is growing rapidly in Canada, having accounted for less than 2% of retail sales just last year.
Despite the small amount of e-commerce sales, the increase in total retail sales for the first four months of 2017 was nearly 4% according to StatsCan. This was the best year on record since tracking began in 1991! Canadians are enjoying a strong employment environment and real estate gains. We will wait and see if this growth is sustainable.
Considering that e-commerce in Canada is not nearly as pervasive as in the U.S., it is even more exciting what strides our partners and customers have achieved in the Canadian retail environment.
Absolunet, an inRiver Platinum PRIME Community Partner is a Canadian e-commerce agency with more than 120 results-obsessed digital commerce experts. Absolunet was the inRiver Partner of the Year for North America for three years in a row and is also an inRiver Marketplace Solution award-winner for 2017 for their Magento Connector. Hear more from Absolunet and read on to learn about our joint Canadian customer successes.
Canadian lingerie retailer, La Vie en Rose, uses inRiver PIM to achieve efficiency in their product information process. When Absolunet implemented inRiver, the solution helped to greatly simplify La Vie en Rose’s international expansion, enabling them to manage unique regional requirements and tailor content for specific markets—especially in the Middle East, where the company is expanding at a phenomenal rate. La Vie en Rose e-commerce marketers have uncovered how product content enrichment and product storytelling can create great customer experiences across all sales channels.
As part of a complete digitization of Primeau Vélo, a century-old bicycle retailer, Absolunet implemented inRiver PIM to enable the creation of more enriched, granular product content. This allowed the retailer to better cater to the broad spectrum of users that make up the cycling community. By enriching product information with imagery, granular content, and better descriptions, technically minded consumers can now find their answers more quickly. Once in-store, customers frequently shop with their product needs previously identified and their smartphones in-hand. Staff utilize the website in-store as a source of valid technical information and can more effectively assist in-store customers, increasing sales.
When Canadian retailer SAIL wanted to take their in-store assortment online, they turned to Absolunet and inRiver. Within a six-month period, this outdoor retailer went from being a store-only venture to a prominent online player—offering an extensive assortment through digital commerce. Today, SAIL has an agile PIM process to support its online and offline sales channels, and experiences a faster time-to-market that positions the company for the future.
Groupe BMR, a home renovation retailer with more than 300 stores in Eastern Canada selected Absolunet and inRiver to implement a Magento e-commerce solution that will be fed with product information from inRiver’s PIM solution. The combined solution will assist BMR in capturing supplier product data, enriching that data, and releasing the resulting product information to the Magento e-commerce solution and other retail channels.
What these Canadian success stories illustrate is how inRiver PIM enables more online merchandizing, cross-selling, and up-selling of products, while providing a user-friendly interface and other key features—such as “shop the look” functionality, hero shot imagery, and InDesign connectors for print materials. By deploying inRiver, internal teams can take advantage of Absolunet’s Magento Connector, as well as other e-commerce and CMS connectors. In addition, suppliers can be provided with access to a supplier portal for a more automated transfer of product information to the e-commerce engine and product information repository. Take a page from the playbook of these Canadian retailers and start telling perfect product stories.
Please join all of us at inRiver in wishing Canada and her citizens a very Happy 150th Birthday. We wish all of you safe and enjoyable celebrations on July 1st!
Kathryn Zwack, Senior Content Marketing Manager, inRiver Inc
You have probably heard the news and it isn’t good. Sports Authority is gone. The Limited is gone. Shoes.com – gone. Payless Shoes – gone. Wet seal – gone.
JC Penney, Macy’s, Nordstrom have all reported declining sales. Even Kohl’s is hurting. The latest report was Target—also down—for the fourth straight quarter.
Meanwhile, there was an 11% increase in online and non-store retailers and an increase among restaurants and bars. I guess folks get hungry while shopping online and then go out to eat.
At the same time, Wal-mart revenue is up. And, of course, Amazon is up and prepping for another “Prime Day” in a couple of months.
We can surmise why some of these retailers are not doing well and why others are cleaning up. But let’s take a look at what the analysts say.
Wal-mart has cut prices and improved in-store traffic, while Target has less foot traffic. Wal-mart is also improving its e-commerce performance, which the company says rose more than 60% in Q1 2017 and are the highest ever. Wal-mart’s growth surpassed even that of Amazon and was attributed mostly to Wal-mart, not its recent acquisitions of Jet.com, and Moosejaw, which provide access to a more affluent and sophisticated shopper.
Wal-mart has expanded its online catalog to more than 50 million products up from just 10 million one year ago. The company also now offers free two-day shipping on orders that total more than $35 and a discount to shoppers who order online but elect to pick up select products in-store. Wal-mart is capitalizing on its close proximity to a large percentage of the US population—something that Amazon cannot easily counter.
Other innovations include investing in online grocery ordering that provides curb-side pickup services by busy moms and dads. Wal-mart also is investing in new technologies to speed shelf stocking to ensure that products are there where and when consumers need them.
In turn, Amazon has turned their popular Alexa device into your own personal style consultant with Echo Look. The device sits quietly in your closet and takes full-length photos and short videos upon command with a built-in camera to help you see yourself from every angle. This complements Amazon’s efforts to become a bigger player in fashion—introducing several private label apparel lines and hiring hundreds of personnel to manage the category.
These are only a few of the interesting trends that we are seeing in the retail industry. We hope to hear and see more at IRCE on June 6-9 in Chicago. Stop by our booth (#739) or sign up for a meeting in our private room (#W472) to discuss how inRiver PIM can help you address these, and other, disruptive trends in retail.
Kathryn Zwack, Senior Content Marketing Manager, inRiver Inc