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Barcode, Auto-ID, Point of Sale and RFID articles from Barcode Discount


Online shoppers want real-time customer support

Posted January 30, 2013

Online shopping has become part of mainstream culture, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Keeping this in mind, retailers need to figure out ways to support their customers who are purchasing items from their ecommerce sites. According to a recent survey conducted by provider of intelligent engagement solutions LivePerson, 83 percent of consumers responded that they need some form of support during their online journey. Happy customers force retailers to focus more on inventory management because products will be moving quickly off of warehouse shelves.

Shoppers want to troubleshoot problems in real time
Customer service for online customers needs to be from multiple channels in order to meet the needs of every shopper. The study found 57 percent of customers favor live chat, 34 percent want a click-to-call feature and 7 percent would be pleased with a live video chat. No matter the medium, providing customer service in real time helps retain clients and keeps them happy.

“With consumers becoming more adept and familiar with digital channels, they have come to expect the same levels of help and customer service as they would in a physical store,” said Jeremy Sokolic, senior vice president of marketing at LivePerson. “The research shows that consumers are quick to abandon a purchase and jump to another website if they don’t receive the assistance they want, in the timeframe they expect.”

Meeting the needs of customers is key
When online shoppers log on to a website to purchase products and/or services, they want a quick, problem-free experience in which they can find what they want and place their orders. Ninety-three percent of consumers see real-time help as especially helpful during their online customer journey, and just more than half of survey participants said they were more likely to interact with a brand if they were able to speak with a representative from the company before placing their orders. These insights provide a look into what consumers want, and retailers should use some of this knowledge to change how they conduct customer service.

“To drive conversions and really impact customer loyalty, online businesses need to be able to derive insights from consumer behavior, identify the type and level of engagement that consumers require, and respond accordingly,” said Sokolic.

Mobile customers need support, too
With ecommerce becoming more popular with consumers, many are turning to their smartphones and tablets to do their online shopping. This creates the need for retailers to create mobile customer service strategies because problems customers can confront can be quite different, according to recent research provider of unlocked communications Voxeo.

“We know that smartphone usage among mobile consumers is on the rise, and it’s critical that contact center leaders have a strategy to integrate mobile support into their customer touch points,” said Sarah Stealey, editor-at-large for the International Customer Management Institute.

The research revealed 43 percent of respondents say their company knows mobile customer service is a priority that they need to fit into their business plan, while 68 percent said they know adding a mobile customer service strategy would improve their user experience with their brand.

“With only 25 percent of companies currently having a mobile strategy for 2013, that leaves a lot of opportunity to create a strong competitive advantage for those willing to quickly create and adopt a plan of action,” said Tobias Goebel, director of mobile strategy at Voxeo. “Having a mobile customer service strategy can make the benefits outweigh any challenges.”

Filed under: Point of Sale

Google pegged to be leader in mobile payment solutions

Posted January 29, 2013

Mobile payments are bound to catch on in the retail industry, but the question remains, “Which company will create the solution that becomes adopted universally?” According to a recent survey that gauged the opinions of attendees at the National Retail Federation’s 2013 annual conference 53 percent of respondents believe Google will eventually create a virtual payment solution that wins the mobile wallet war, while one-quarter of respondents see PayPal taking the lead on such a deployment.

It only makes sense that mobile payments will take off in the upcoming years, almost fully replacing the credit card reader, found the research, which was conducted by international provider of payment systems ACI Worldwide.

“In our evolving economy, consumers expect to be able to shop and conduct transactions anywhere and at any time,” said Jeff Hale, senior vice president of retail payments at ACI Worldwide. “What you see in this survey is a confirmation that the delivery of mobile solutions aimed at meeting this demand is top of mind as retailers focus on building a mobile experience that enhances customer satisfaction and intimacy.”

The survey also found 32 percent of respondents believe the mobile wallet will gain traction within the next two years.

Filed under: Data Collection

Super Bowl creates big opportunity for advertisers

Posted January 28, 2013

Many retailers are taking advantage of the advertising bonanza that is the Super Bowl and increasing their spending on marketing initiatives in an attempt to create more interest in their brand. Recent research from integrated marketing communications firm Hanon McKendry found 56 percent of U.S. adults who will be watching the Super Bowl willing be tuning in as much or more for the commercials than the actual game.

This year, roughly 70 percent of Americans are planning to watch the Super Bowl. This presents an opportunity to marketers and advertisers to get more people to learn about their company. However, these firms must be prepared with an inventory management system for the rash of sales that can result from a successful Super Bowl commercial.

“Ads continue to be an important part of the full Super Bowl entertainment package,” said Bill McKendry, founder and chief creative officer at Hanon McKendry. “And trends show that entertainment carries over to the other three screens – computers, smartphones and tablets – which gives advertisers even more bang for their $3.8 million.”

The amount of money that firms are spending to advertise their brand during the Super Bowl demonstrates just how important the sporting event is to the retail industry as a whole.

Filed under: Data Collection

Customer still value coupons when shopping

Posted January 25, 2013

Many marketing professionals use coupons to get more customers in stores – and hopefully buy more products. With the demand growing for certain items, it’s imperative to have smart inventory management solutions to ensure customers will be able find the products they are looking for.

According to a recent survey conducted by intelligent media company Valassis, nearly 80 percent of consumers regularly shop using consumer packaged goods coupons while shopping, which is similar to last year’s numbers, but the types of coupons are changing. Coupons requiring the purchase of two or more products increased to 29 percent, up two shares from the previous year.

“Coupons have been effectively used to generate trial of new products for 125 years, however, such a significant year-over-year increase had a direct impact on the annual coupon industry measures,” said Charlie Brown, vice president of marketing at NCH.

The lifetime of the coupons is also changing, with the research finding expiration dates shortened 6.1 percent to 9.3 weeks on average. Customers who receive coupons in the mail need to make sure to use them quickly after receiving them.

 

 

Filed under: Data Collection

Use content marketing to promote the brand

Posted January 24, 2013

Many marketers are taking advantage of content marketing to reach out to new customers and spread the word about a business, and the use of video is something that is beginning to gain steam at many firms. According to recent research conducted by BusinessBolts.com, 74 percent use content marketing to increase traffic and promote their brand.

Furthermore, 38 percent of marketers are creating videos, while 53 percent are planning to create video during the upcoming year. By building content to promote a brand, marketers can benefit from search engine optimization and even create new opportunities at a firm for freelance writers and other staff members.

“SEO and social media are converging into content marketing optimization,” said Lisa Parmley, founder of BusinessBolts.com. “Businesses create content their prospects are interested in. Naturally they want to maximize the results they get from each piece of content they create.”

Understanding that content marketing initiatives can help firms build a customer base, decision makers at firms must conduct proper inventory management to ensure that a potential rash of new customers will be able to purchase the products they are seeking out.

Filed under: Data Collection

Social media becoming an determining factor in purchases

Posted January 23, 2013

With retail sales ending on a positive note in 2012, many marketers want to see how much consumer spending was influenced by social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. According to recent research conducted by the Advertising Research Foundation, roughly 33 percent of shoppers said social media either introduced them to a brand or product they were unaware of, or helped them change their mind abut a particular brand.

Twenty-two percent of 2,000 shoppers surveyed said that social media was “important in my final purchase decision. Retailers can take a look at these insights and  adjust their presence on social media sites accordingly.

“This state of constant interaction with brands through digital and social media has come to challenge the purchase funnel, as we have traditionally understood it,” said Todd Powers, executive vice president of primary research at the ARF. “This also challenges the notion that consumers are aware of the influences on their purchase decisions, and that they always make decisions consciously.”

By using barcode systems, retailers can keep inventory of items that are flying off the shelves and ones that are less popular. Scanning social media sites can give retailers insights on what products they may need to order more of.

Filed under: Data Collection

Warehouse clue stores starting to grow in popularity

Posted January 22, 2013

Consumer attitudes have changed as a result of the recent economic recession, which is causing some retailers to have to look for other areas of the company through which to deliver sales numbers. Recent research conducted by Deloitte found mass merchandise, grocery and ecommerce are a few of the places that warehouse club stores are expecting to bring in higher revenues.

Just less than 90 percent of consumer package goods executives surveyed by Deloitte expect their companies’ sales through the warehouse club channel over the next three years. These increases in sales require management at these firms to focus on inventory management to deal with the increase in customers.

“Economic uncertainty and consumers’ focus on value has made club stores a more important channel for many consumers, including those who are at the higher end of the income scale and represent a more lucrative target customer for retail and consumer products brands,” said Pat Conroy, vice chairman and consumer products leader at Deloitte.

Seventy-five percent of respondents are expecting to expand their geographic presence with warehouse club channel stores over the next three years, as well.

Filed under: Point of Sale

Mobile technology can improve grocery shopping

Posted January 21, 2013

Using smartphones as a barcode scanner is a generally new idea for Americans who just have begun to understand the new technology and how it can benefit them. A recent blog post for ÜberMobile talks about how changing the way people are grocery shopping can benefit both food retailers and people who have the need for products on a regular basis.

The traditional grocery shopping experience is something that many Americans value, and it won’t change for many years, but with theadvent of mobile technology, it can be both supplemented and improved, to make life easier for shoppers.

“People want to choose their own produce, wander the aisles to find new products, get a few free samples,” according to the blog post. “Mobile can’t replace that shopping experience.”

Developing an app for smartphones that can manage the grocery list and communicate with food retailers can help people shop for products more quickly and efficiently, said the blog post. For example, products that are purchased over and over again can be scanned when people are done with them, retailers can prepare those items for them while they shop and look for items that they wouldn’t necessarily buy.

Filed under: Data Collection

Mobile channels for point of sale being embraced by retailers

Posted January 18, 2013

As smartphones and other mobile devices gain more popularity with Americans, retailers are going to have to adjust the way they market their products and the way customers can interact with their firm. Integrating mobile channels could be a way to generate interest from new customers.

Recent research conducted by independent management consulting firm Boston Retail Partner found more than half the retailers surveyed are now operating a mobile channel, compared to 33 percent in 2011 and 12 percent in 2010. These results demonstrate that retailers are embracing mobile point of sale systems, creating a better customer experience.

“The point-of-sale has become mobile and the next step is enabling customers with their own POS – cPOS, or customer point-of-sale,” said Ken Morris, principal of Boston Retail Partners. “Customers already have the technology so why shouldn’t retailers leverage it? The future is now, the POS is literally in the customer’s hand.”

Through mobile channels, retailers can embrace social networking opportunities and interactive customer service, drive store traffic, offer additional sales channel and provide in-store product information. Losing out on these benefits could be critical to smaller retailers.

Filed under: Point of Sale

Luxury brand marketers must improve ecommerce sites

Posted January 17, 2013

Ecommerce sites provide an opportunity for retailers to capture the customer base that is lurking on the internet. According to a recent survey from customer experience analytics firm ForeSee, luxury retailers need to focus onproviding mobile commerce opportunities for their customers, who are displeased with ecommerce as a whole.

The study has an 100-point scale and luxury brands earned an aggregate score of 77, with Tiffany & Co. and Coach scoring the highest with 80 and Brooks Brothers claiming the lowest score, 76. The point of sale system on the site proved to be one of the problems that luxury brand shoppers found. Forty-three percent of respondents believe they will return on investment from improving site functionality

“Luxury retailers have some catching up to do with mainstream retailers in terms of measuring the customer experience across all channels and using that data and analysis to impact strategic, tacticaland operational decision making at the highest level,” said Larry Freed , author of the study and president and CEO of ForeSee.

The study surveyed more than 3,500 luxury shoppers and found that 36 percent of those who are customers of these retailers use their mobile devices to research the brand, as opposed to 25 percent of non-luxury brand shoppers.

Filed under: Point of Sale

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