Ambushed by Amazon The e-commerce giant started out as a threat to booksellers, but it’s fast becoming Enemy No. 1 to retailers of all stripes…Amazon will prove an “extremely disruptive force,” as Kantar Retail’s Bryan Gildenberg puts it, with the rise of “showrooming.”

Guest Blog by Ralph Crabtree

According to a 2012 New York Times column on the psychology of queuing, (Why Waiting is Torture,) Americans spend roughly 38 billion hours each year waiting in line. And those billions of hours aren’t exactly flying by. . . People overestimate how long they’ve waited in a line by an average of 36 percent. Author Alex Stone states, “The dominant cost of waiting is an emotional one: stress, boredom, that nagging sensation that one’s life is slipping away.” Not the experience that retail stores, supermarkets and other brick and mortar businesses want to be giving their customers, especially when the competition is just a mouse click away.

Guest Blog by Gerrit McGowan

In an increasingly interconnected and cause-conscious world, retailers face growing pressure from their customers to do business in a socially-responsible way. And corporate social responsibility (CSR) is good for business, because it encourages customer goodwill and loyalty. These were two of the main themes discussed during the National Retail Federation’s Big Show, held last week in New York City. Thousands of exhibitors and hundreds of thousands of attendees from around the world gathered to network, discuss current trends and gain insights from industry leaders. In his keynote address, former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan pointed out that retail can play a big role in fostering economic growth in the developing world, which he characterized as “waiting for retail.”

Guest Blog By Bram Hechtkopf 

For the past year, Kobie Marketing has been emphasizing the importance of adopting of an omnichannel loyalty strategy as a means to enhance customer engagement and drive ROI. Regardless of vertical – retail, entertainment, hospitality, travel, etc. – brands benefit when their loyalty program is embedded throughout the customer lifecycle and on channels of customers’ choice. Most importantly, omnichannel loyalty promotes heightened customer experiences.

ABy Anand Subramaniam, VP of Worldwide Marketing, eGain Corporation

Online abandonment is a big challenge. Analysts say online sales are expected to hit a trillion dollars this year—yet  web sites don’t make it easy for shoppers to buy. This in turn causes today’s impatient, distracted shopper to simply abandon a website with the click of a mouse or ‘swipe’ of a tablet. Shopping cart and online form abandonment rates are often upwards of 75%, and only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to lost sales on retail sites.  Shoppers often abandon websites even before they ‘grab’ the cart.  We call it ‘shopping abandonment’, a phenomenon that is even a bigger problem than just ‘shopping cart abandonment’.

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