How Retailers Like Target and Walmart Prep for Back-to-School Shopping in 2018

“Back-to-school (B2S) season is the second-biggest shopping season of the year, with 29 million households across the United States planning to spend a total of $27.6 billion.”- Deloitte

Although it may feel like school just got out for summer, it’s never too early to start delivering on the back-to-school rush of sales, promotions and events.

With Prime Day under our belts and many legacy retailers looking for ways to compete during the summer months, we have our eyes glued to how a couple of major brands are offering a back-to-school shopping experience like no other. 

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Topics: consumer trends, consumer habits, back to school, customer experience, delivery, convenience

Why It's So Difficult to Introduce New Products to Your Assortment

“One of the biggest challenges that companies face is predicting demand for new products over time. Overestimate it, and risk warehouses full of excess inventory. Underestimate it, and your customers could leave empty handed—or you might be left with a hefty bill for expedited delivery.”Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University 

Innovate or die trying. 

The phrase is almost as overused as “retail apocalypse,” yet a concise depiction of what retailers face constantly when we think about the video-gone-viral level of speed behind the changing retail landscape and unpredictable nature of demand. 

As if determining the optimal assortment wasn’t already difficult enough, introducing new products to your strategy when some fashion trends barely last is a risk merchants must take. 

When it comes to new products, retailers are getting burned (more often than not) when a quick pivot or adjustment to changing demand is unmet. Today, these losses hurt big time, especially considering retailers are clenching onto their purse strings more tightly than ever.

Why is it so difficult to accurately predict consumer demand for a new product? And, more importantly, how can we overcome these difficulties? 

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Topics: inventory optimization, data, consumer trends, consumer habits, demand prediction, advanced analytics

Delivering on Delivery Expectations

"The No. 1 driver of shopping cart abandonment (aka lost market share) is extra fees applied at checkout (aka logistics costs).”  - Retail Dive

As a consumer, it’s easy to overlook the complexities retailers must overcome to execute on delivering the right product to the right place, at the right time.  

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Topics: fulfillment, retail technology, amazon, walmart, delivery, order delivery, consumer habits, customer experience

Stores and E-commerce - the Conjoined Twins of Retail

Here’s something interesting:

According to data collected by SimilarWeb, when a retailer closes a brick-and-mortar location, its e-commerce site is adversely affected. Sears, Macy’s, and Payless—all companies that have made headlines for shuttering multiple storefronts in the past year—all saw noticeable declines in web traffic in recent months. Macy’s traffic dipped 11%. 

Payless.com saw an increased bounce rate, while consumers were viewing the same number of pages per visit. 

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Topics: retail stores, ecommerce, consumer habits

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