“The Technologies Reinventing Physical Retail” by BOF Team, McKinsey & Co. via The Business of Fashion

“The Technologies Reinventing Physical Retail” by BOF Team, McKinsey & Co. via The Business of Fashion

Engagement with in-store technology can lead customers to spend up to four times longer shopping than customers who simply browse. (Getty Images) In-store mobile apps and micro-fulfilment tech can address consumer pain points and enable companies to incorporate their physical retail networks into omnichannel shopping journeys. KEY INSIGHTS In store, customers who engage with technology spend up to four times longer shopping than those who do not.Mobile apps provide a frictionless shopping journey, whether a customer is seeking convenience or an engaging, social experience.Micro-fulfilment technologies enable brands to process orders efficiently from stores, reducing associated costs by up to 90 percent, and can lead to higher conversion and customer satisfaction rates. This article first appeared in The State of Fashion: Technology, an in-depth report co-published by BoF and McKinsey & Company. The rules of physical retail are changing. Pressure on the economics of operating stores has been mounting, particularly since more and more consumers began embracing the convenience — and safety — of e-commerce during the Covid-19 pandemic. But physical retail is far from dead. A 2020 survey of European consumers showed that 60 percent of respondents wanted to see or touch products in-person before buying, while 50 percent shopped in stores so they can take items home immediately. As pandemic restrictions subside, the percentage of customers shopping online is expected to fall 3 percentage points from 2021 levels across key markets, including Europe, the US and China. This presents an opportunity for players to reshape the role of stores in their overall retail mix. Engagement with in-store technology can lead customers to spend up to four times longer shopping than...
“Who is Crystal Media? plus special BRA Member discount and access to view the ‘Reels Means Deals’ on-demand webinar right now” by Doug Works via BRA

“Who is Crystal Media? plus special BRA Member discount and access to view the ‘Reels Means Deals’ on-demand webinar right now” by Doug Works via BRA

A warm and enthusiastic WELCOME to our newest BRA Supporting Vendor Partner Crystal Media!    As a Board Retailers Association member, you save 15% on select Crystal Media Services! As always, we at BRA continue to bring you Supporting Vendor Partners that are here to save you time and money.  Crystal Media is one of them.  Take a look and decide for yourself whether this will work for you and your company,  Please give us feedback at doug@boardretailers.org  with your opinions.  For a decade, Crystal Media has been devoted to helping retailers—just like you—grow through social media. Their team has worked with thousands of companies in the retail industry to help them generate millions of dollars in additional revenue by deploying successful social media campaigns, providing consulting services, and managing digital marketing on their behalf. They’ve also taught thousands of retailers how to implement social media that delivers powerful results. What makes Crystal Media special is their unmatched expertise of retail and social media which allows them to produce what their clients care about most—results. Their passionate, approachable team of experts that, as a client, becomes an extension of your team—encouraging and supporting you no matter what your comfort level is with social media. They live their happy-to-help motto everyday, and are grateful to play a small role in helping independent businesses make a positive impact in their local communities. Check out these Crystal Media services to see what’s right for you and your business.Board Retailers Association members save 15%!  Use code BRA15 at checkout.➤ Insider: The social media membership every retailer needs. Get comprehensive, on-demand training, transformative virtual and in-person...
“Retail Moves From ‘The Great Acceleration’ To ‘The Great Rebalancing’.” by Steve Dennis via Forbes

“Retail Moves From ‘The Great Acceleration’ To ‘The Great Rebalancing’.” by Steve Dennis via Forbes

A Best Buy store, a retailer of consumer electronics, operating in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.GETTY During the early part of the pandemic, it became popular to say that we had experienced 10 years of e-commerce growth in only 10 weeks. While that was rather obviously not close to being true, the idea of a “great acceleration” in just about all things retail made its way into the popular vernacular. Moreover, many media outlets and retail pundits declared that some trends—most notably grocery home delivery—were permanent sea changes. As it turns out, not so much. While it’s clear that some important shifts did occur during the Covid crisis, it’s also quite apparent that right now we are experiencing much more of a “great rebalancing” and a rather clear return to more familiar shopping patterns. As revealed in the today’s US Census Bureau monthly sales data report, spending in the areas with the greatest activity spikes over the past two years are almost all decelerating significantly, and the most pronounced spending shifts of the recent past are seeing a reversion closer to the mean. For example, big ticket purchases and fitness equipment outlays that had been way up, are now seeing year over year declines. Apparel and restaurant spending, which had been hard hit during the depths of Covid, are both now registering solid gains. The rate of increase in eating out now greatly exceeds food purchases for the home, bringing us closer to the pre-Covid relative share of spending. As more data comes in, the supposed massive acceleration of online shopping is now turning out to be closer to one or...
“3 E-Commerce and Social Media Trends to Watch Through the Rest of 2022” by Jessica Hawthorne-Castro via Total Retail

“3 E-Commerce and Social Media Trends to Watch Through the Rest of 2022” by Jessica Hawthorne-Castro via Total Retail

E-commerce sales have been on the upswing as a share of total sales since before 2000, and in the last decade, social platforms have played an increasing role. Then 2020 happened, driving an unprecedented spike in online sales. This year so far, we’re seeing social media mature as a force that drives e-commerce, in addition to emerging technologies like the metaverse and 5G. Here’s a look at how e-commerce and social media will intersect across three major platforms through the rest of 2022. 1. Instagram Retains its Leadership Position in the Social Commerce Sphere This image-forward social platform is already a major player in e-commerce, with 72 percent of users reporting that they’ve made a purchase decision after seeing a post. Savvy brands have capitalized on Instagram’s visual-first design, placing content on the platform to keep consumers current on what’s new in stores or available online. With a successful suite of e-commerce features and the No. 1 rank among social platforms consumers use to follow brands, Instagram is still in a strong position in terms of e-commerce and brand communication, and that’s unlikely to change in the months ahead. Keep an eye on new features on Instagram like variable focus and augmented reality (AR) tools. Related story: Authenticity, Social Commerce Spur D-to-C Brand ZOX’s Growth 2. Snapchat Plays Catchup It may seem counterintuitive because Snapchat has a cutting-edge AR system, but the popular instant messaging app is losing ground in terms of active users relative to its competitors, and that makes it less of a player in e-commerce today. Instagram has well over twice as many active users, and TikTok has pulled far ahead,...
“Buy now, pay later players’ losses grow as costs soar” by Jonathon Berr via Retail Dive

“Buy now, pay later players’ losses grow as costs soar” by Jonathon Berr via Retail Dive

Don Arnold via Getty Images BNPL providers are paying a hefty price to keep up with surging consumer demand for their financing services, spending large sums to add new tech and more employees. The buy now, pay later boom had an inauspicious debut more than a decade ago. In 2005, three Swedish entrepreneurs, Sebastian Siemiatkowski, Niklas Adalberth and Victor Jacobsson, decided to see if their installment payment loan service, then called Kreditor Europe and now called Klarna, would attract the attention of investors attending a Shark Tank-like contest in Stockholm.   As Klarna’s website points out, Klarna came in last place. A person in the audience, which included Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf, came up to Siemiatkowski and told him he should pursue the idea because the banks would never do it. Klarna’s website asks for the man to come forward and identify himself because the founders have no idea who he is and presumably want to thank him.  BNPL has morphed from a shopping novelty to a multibillion industry on three continents in less than 20 years. Its explosive growth hasn’t been cheap. None of the major pure-play BNPL competitors, including Klarna, Affirm, Afterpay and Zip, currently is profitable. And some of their merchant clients are starting to wonder if they are paying hefty fees to the BNPL fintech companies for sales they would have gotten anyway. At the same time, regulators such as Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra have raised concerns about whether consumers are becoming too indebted from using the installment payment services. Plus, industry competition and consolidation are mounting, as new entrants flock to the U.S., where penetration rates for the installment financing service are lower...
“What Every Brand Should Know Before Launching Into Live Selling” by Finn Faldi via Total Retail

“What Every Brand Should Know Before Launching Into Live Selling” by Finn Faldi via Total Retail

Credit: Getty Images by fizkes For retailers and brands, “going live” consistently can drive conversion rates that are higher than what they see on their e-commerce sites. Here are some tips that businesses of all sizes should keep in mind when expanding into the high-potential live selling channel. Live selling proved a lifeline for retailers and brands over the past couple of years as the pandemic disrupted store operations and consumers moved online in droves for shopping and entertainment. Many retail operators that have recently dipped their toes into this new selling medium have quickly discovered that “going live” can generate higher conversion rates than they typically see on their e-commerce sites. It can also turn occasional customers into dedicated brand fans who habitually tune in to engage with their favorite live selling hosts to learn about new products and make repeat purchases. In fact, successful brands and retailers have found that their customers are tuning in not only to shop, but also for entertainment and personal connection. Coresight Research forecasts that the live selling market in the U.S. will reach $25 billion by next year; McKinsey estimates that by 2026, live selling will account for 10 percent to 20 percent of global e-commerce sales. As the consumer audience for live selling continues to grow, the platforms where retailers and brands can stream are multiplying. Businesses can now live sell not only on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and other social media sites, but concurrently on their own e-commerce websites and, if they have them, on their own mobile apps. One major benefit of live selling is that it allows retailers and brands to...