Business Intelligence Posts

How Security Can Grow Your Business (Flipbook attached)

Bank of America Merchant Services Now Available in RQ!

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Why Traditional Retail and E-commerce Are Not (Always) Competing Strategies

In Harvard Business Review's (HBR) article titled “E-Commerce is Not Eating Retail”, Darrell Ridby defends retail stores and outlines why they’re here to stay despite the growth of eCommerce.
The HBR article points out two examples of retail segments that are on either end of the physical stores vs. purchased online spectrum - - “e-commerce sales will increase from 11% of Forrester’s top 30 categories to about 18% by 2030—higher in some (such as music) and lower in others (such as food).”

It really comes down to the types of goods that would determine the success of retailers who mix online and in-store.

It’s interesting to note what types of retailers would fall somewhere in the middle and would benefit from a strong blend of in-store and online strategies. It really comes down to the types of goods that would determine the success of retailers who mix online and in-store. My thoughts on the kinds of goods that would be great for the mix are:

  • Goods that are not commodities. If there are physical differentiators for a product set, then it becomes more important to have a physical store channel for consumers to validate a choice that they might make online.
  • Goods that are actually physical. Music is essentially a virtual ‘product’. The distribution lends itself to a strictly electronic form. Books are another example of this class of virtual product.
  • Fashion is a prime industry for an online and in-store mix. The goods are differentiated physically in terms of cut, material, and colors.
  • Technical physical products are another category that benefit from an online and in-store presence - gear that requires good maneuverability or feels good in the hand.

Perhaps another way to think about it is - what kinds of products carry a higher risk of disappointing the customer if they only ever had exposure to it online?

The article points out that “so many companies that began as pure e-commerce plays have added physical stores, including Warby Parker, Athleta, BaubleBar, and Bonobos.” But there are examples of where the reverse is true as well. Physical stores converting to entirely online shops such as old music stores, for instance. A&B Sound and Sam the Record Man were two massive music stores that have since disappeared from the Canadian retail landscape. That being said, moves to purely online aren’t as common.

Physical stores can offer consumers experiences that are difficult to replicate online.

Physical stores allow customers to make decisions based on important physical differentiators between products - feel, fit, smell, color/texture, and noise. Some might argue that a physical presence allows people to better establish the brand. I think this is true, but I think that the nature of the product you’re selling has more to do with it.
So knowing that the physical retail store isn’t disappearing, I’m not arguing that it can stay the same either. Retailers need to work towards bringing online experience and conveniences in-store.

Here are my top 3 tips for how retailers can remain competitive within the growing trends of E-commerce:
1.) Manage your online content to ensure its accuracy and quality. This includes not only product descriptions, but also the most recent availability and pricing information.
2.) Have a consistent brand experience between online and offline so that people feel the continuity across all your marketing channels.
3.) Seamlessly point back and forth from one channel to another. Get your eCommerce site to drive traffic to your store (and show accurate store location information such as hours of operation and directions.) Leverage the higher data density available online to your customers that are in your store – perhaps using mobile calls to action or using in-store kiosks that show online information.

The future of retail is not deciding between physical or online but finding a way to bring the best of both experiences together.
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Multichannel Inventory (Foot Locker case study)

In a recent article published by Retail Touch Points, Foot Locker’s growing success has been attributed to their multichannel strategy that has focused on inventory visibility.

Foot Locker has implemented endless aisle and drop ship concepts to pull together their omnichannel efforts. The article covered a lot of interesting trends that we’ve seen popping up all over the retail landscape.

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RQ Helps Mo's Mobiles Increase Efficiency, Accountability and Profitability (Flipbook attached)

View the Mo's Mobiles case study above.

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Omnichannel Retail Moves from Channel to Platform (Flipbook attached)

Every day it becomes more challenging for retailers to deliver the best customer experience through seamless omnichannel strategies. They must integrate back-end and front-end processes while keeping a close watch on delivering consistency across channels. Winning strategies are focused around a centralized platform that can update data such as purchase history, inventory, POS and CRM in real time.

This white paper details the six key benefits to a centralized commerce platform, and includes case study examples of each tactic from Walgreens, Apple, Walmart, Amazon, Verizon and Warby Parker.

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Securing Retail (TEAM Wireless case study - Flipbook attached)

As TEAM Wireless began to grow, the company needed a more sophisticated way to manage the expanding business and handle increasingly complex inventory. What TEAM Wireless needed was a system that could grow with the company and, for TEAM Wireless, security was
the number-one priority.

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Daily Dose of iQ: The 'Instagram Effect' Affects How Millennials Shop

On Sunday (July 26), the Financial Times' Andrea Felsted and Hannah Kuchler told the story of Clodagh Pickavance, a 23-year-old Briton (pictured above) who admits that a fear of being seen wearing the same outfit too often on Instagram motivates her to buy new outfits.

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Daily Dose of iQ: Nordstrom Extends 'Trunk Club' Service to Women

TechCrunch reported yesterday that Nordstrom is expanding its Trunk Club subscription clothing service to serve female customers.

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Daily Dose of iQ: E-Commerce Lessons from (You Guessed It) Amazon

We came across a couple articles today that outline e-commerce best practices. The first article, written by NYU Stern marketing professor (and L2 Founder & CEO) Scott Galloway, looks at e-commerce through the lens of "Amazon strategy." The second article (by Benjamin Spiegel, CEO of MMI Agency, which specializes in digital advertising) took a more generic approach. But the two cover a lot of the same points.

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Daily Dose of iQ: Best Buy Launches App-Enabled Wedding Registry

Mobile Commerce Daily reported today that Best Buy has opened a new wedding registry online, which will connect to the Best Buy mobile app next week.

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Daily Dose of iQ: Apple-IBM Partnership and Its Implications for Retailers

On Dec. 10, Apple and IBM launched the first apps of their new partnership: enterprise iOS apps for companies like Citi, Air Canada, Sprint and Banorte.

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Daily Dose of iQ: Teen Vogue Looks at How Millennials Shop Over Holidays

New stats from Teen Vogue show that in spite of growing e-commerce sales across the board, the mall is still central to millennials' Christmas shopping.

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Daily Dose of iQ: 'Botlr' Survey Reveals Generation Gap Among Hotel Guests

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