“PacSun opens metaverse store, auctions NFTs” by Tatiana Walk-Morris via Retail Dive

“PacSun opens metaverse store, auctions NFTs” by Tatiana Walk-Morris via Retail Dive

Courtesy of PacSun Dive Brief: Joining other brands in experimenting with the metaverse, Pacsun launched a three-level store in ComplexLand 3.0, a metaverse shopping festival taking place between May 25 and May 27, the youth clothing brand announced on Tuesday.Virtual shoppers with customizable avatars can browse curated products from Pacsun, and its resale arm, PS Reserve. Once consumers find an item they want to buy, they’ll be redirected from the virtual store to Pacsun’s website to make their purchase, the company said.The clothing brand is also auctioning off a non-fungible token of a Pacsun Mall Rat in ComplexLand’s virtual gallery. Buyers of the NFT will receive a sneaker from PS Reserve, per the announcement. Dive Insight: Pacsun’s entry into the ComplexLand 3.0 festival is part of its ongoing experimentation with the metaverse and blockchain technology. Last October, the apparel brand began accepting cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin and Litecoin via Bitpay to appeal to Gen Z consumers interested in digital assets. “Being part of ComplexLand 3.0 is a big step for us in the metaverse, coming almost a year after we introduced our first offering of Pacsun branded items on Roblox,” Brie Olson, president of Pacsun, said in a statement. “It is undeniable that metaverse as a whole has an incredible network effort. Not only do consumers find community in the space, but we, as a brand, get to connect with them in an authentic way and ultimately grow our Pac Community in the both digital and physical worlds as well.” Multiple brands and retailers, as diverse as Forever 21, Crate and Barrel, Tommy Hilfiger, DKNY and Walmart, have turned their attention to the metaverse. However, a Gartner report noted that companies shouldn’t devote too many resources to one metaverse component,...
“Did the Pandemic Change Retailing Dramatically?” by Jan Rogers Kniffen via The Robin Report

“Did the Pandemic Change Retailing Dramatically?” by Jan Rogers Kniffen via The Robin Report

Any professional observer of retail trends and every shopper in the U.S. would tell you that retailing, and retailers changed dramatically during the pandemic. But many of those changes were already in the works before the pandemic even started. One of the interesting things that happened during the pandemic is that Amazon announced the closure of almost all their test stores that were in the works. On the surface, one might think that online retailing charged ahead so rapidly during the pandemic that Amazon decided to withdraw from stores altogether, concluding that the world had passed brick-and-mortar stores by. Well, there is no doubt that online selling charged ahead during the pandemic. It went from about 9 percent of retail sales to over 18 percent in that short (very long living through it) pandemic period. But Amazon’s move to close stores and try “something new,” which right now seems to be a 30,000 square-foot department store, seems to be driven by the poor consumer reception to the various test stores tried so far, not a belief that stores are not still important. 1/ The Physical Store Actually Became More Important My conclusion is that despite the explosion of online selling during the pandemic, stores became even more important as retailers realized that physical stores were going to be great support for online retailing going forward. They saw the billboarding effect of the store was real, using the store as a distribution center was necessary and using the store as a customer service center for online sales was a requirement. Despite Amazon arguably (some experts would say unarguably) being the very best online retailer in...
“Audience Hijacking: How to Prevent Your Online Customers From Being Shoplifted” by Patrick Sullivan via Total Retail

“Audience Hijacking: How to Prevent Your Online Customers From Being Shoplifted” by Patrick Sullivan via Total Retail

Ensuring your website visitors have a positive experience is absolutely crucial for turning shoppers into buyers. But increasingly, the online customer journey is disrupted by pop-up ads, browser plug-ins and extensions designed to redirect shoppers away from your site. More than just distracting, “audience hijacking” can take a real bite out of sales, significantly impacting your bottom line. By some estimates, audience hijacking is costing retailers billions in revenue. Yet, because it’s occurring within the browser, retailers may not even be aware it’s occurring. A Common, Complex Problem How common is audience hijacking? One estimate suggests that between 10 percent and 20 percent of retailers’ shoppers are lured away by competitive offers — or, worse yet, by fraudulent offers. Audience hijacking can take several forms, most commonly injected ads or coupon codes. One concerning trend is the increase in affiliate fraud, where a third party “hijacks” credit for affiliate sales they didn’t make. In addition, there’s also the risk that your customers could be lured away to a phishing site designed to steal their credit card number or other personal financial data. And those attacks can go undetected for weeks or months. So why not simply block all third-party ads, extensions and scripts and eliminate the “threat surface”? The fact is not all third-party elements are problematic — and some may actually be beneficial. Customers are increasingly using third-party shopping apps and tools to find the products they want. You don’t want to miss out on those opportunities. In addition, allowing authorized affiliates to piggyback on your online presence may actually result in sales that you otherwise might not get. Therefore,...
“Retailers Should Be Texting Customers More: Here’s How to Do it Effectively” by Tom Sheahan via Total Retail

“Retailers Should Be Texting Customers More: Here’s How to Do it Effectively” by Tom Sheahan via Total Retail

While many industries have embraced short message service (SMS, or more commonly referred to as texting) as a meaningful way to communicate with customers, many retail brands still haven’t adopted the practice with regularity. As retailers consider changes in marketing tactics, increasing text message campaigns should be part of the discussion. People are on their phones a lot, but it’s important to note they’re shopping on their phones a lot, too. Mobile commerce (m-commerce) is on the rise. According to eMarketer/Insider Intelligence data, retail m-commerce sales hit $359.32 billion in 2021, an increase of 15.2 percent year-over-year. By 2025, m-commerce sales could more than double in the U.S. Sending a relevant, timely message is a great way to connect with consumers and potential customers in a place where they likely already do some shopping. Why Texting? Texting offers convenience, but also results. Research from OpenMarket indicates 83 percent of millennials open SMS messages within 90 seconds of receiving them. And Gartner research pointed at 90 percent of all people reading text messages within three minutes of receipt. These stats represent the fact that text messages are a desired form of communication for most, as also indicated by the amount of time people spend on their phones. Text message sends are also affordable, allowing retailers to reach their large lists of customers without breaking the bank. Retailers can send text messages for as low as pennies per message, depending on the SMS software provider. Related story: Soft Surroundings Sees Growth in Email, SMS Revenue Through Automation Texting as Part of an Overarching Marketing Strategy Text messages act as another touchpoint between a brand and consumers; they...
“How the Pandemic Saved Brick-and-Mortar Retail” by Archie Black via Total Retail

“How the Pandemic Saved Brick-and-Mortar Retail” by Archie Black via Total Retail

Credit: iStock.com by Marie LaFauci Retailers get a second chance with true omnichannel now within reach Today we all love — and have likely used — curbside pickup at some point over the last two years. But let’s be honest: there’s no reason retailers couldn’t have offered this a decade ago. As we take stock of the many changes to come out of the pandemic, one of the biggest in retail is that retailers finally accelerated the need to innovate the consumer experience. One of the key opportunities in today’s retail landscape that was overlooked pre-pandemic is the physical store as a competitive advantage in the e-commerce game. Many retailers are at a crossroad as they consider whether to take the path towards true customer-centric omnichannel (which will require new tools and, in many cases, a culture shift) or continue down the forced path they’ve been on for the past three years: a DIY model of physical-plus-digital that has led to the inefficiencies, backups and disruptions we’re seeing now. The Path to True Omnichannel Unfortunately, I believe we’re still debating the definition of “omnichannel.” For me, it’s the ability to have shopping the way I want.  This experience may tap into any or all of a retailer’s channels on a single order so I can receive (and possibly return) my order based on my preference (in-store or curbside pickup, at-home delivery, in-store return) — all with the same branded experience. No “online-only coupons,” change in inventory from one channel to the next, or disconnected online vs. in-store return policies. But over the past decade, there has been a general lack of...
“2022 Trends For Social Commerce” by Mark Hook via Independent Retailer

“2022 Trends For Social Commerce” by Mark Hook via Independent Retailer

Over the last 20 years, we have seen social media shift from simple, text-based updates to increasingly visual content, championed by app-based platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. Now, new entrants such as TikTok and Pinterest are taking the trend even further. Social media now goes way beyond communicating with friends and family. The impact and growth of social media brands play a huge part in what we see on our newsfeeds — and with that, social commerce has flourished. Social apps that already allow for commerce include Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, but TikTok and Twitter are also experimenting with shopping features. Social Commerce – Why You Should Care Social commerce is a $89 billion market right now, and is projected to grow to $605 billion in the next seven years. eMarketer predicts social commerce will rise by 35 percent to $36.09 billion in 2021 alone. Social is becoming a primary research tool for shoppers with many channels, including Instagram, acting as discovery engines for brands. According to Instagram, 60 percent of consumers discover new products on their platform, and users say that when they were inspired by something they saw, they would take steps to find and buy it straight away. Consumers also love the ability to browse and buy products within different digital environments, often as their preferred buying channel. In fact, 81 percent of shoppers research products on Instagram and Facebook, and shopping is a top priority for 48 percent of Pinterest users. Ignored Channels However, a staggering number of retailers are overlooking social media for commerce. According to Brightpearl’s own data of 4,000 shoppers, a quarter of retailers still do not have options for shoppers to buy via social channels, including some of the...