Pop-Up Stores Support an Omnichannel Vision

Two smiling young women outside of a pop-up store, one holding bags looking over the other's shoulder as she holds up her phone

Pop-ups project a fun, trendy and intimate attitude to customers, and for retailers they can function as an integral part of an omnichannel strategy.

Pop-up stores represent a temporary opportunity for shoppers to take advantage of something new that a brand wants to promote. Businesses can also use pop-ups to test out new technology before making a larger change in their stores.

Pop-Ups creating Omnichannel Buzz

Three young ladies looking at their phones smiling outside a Pop up

By their very nature, they generate buzz, and that can be parlayed into creating an excitement for a retailer’s other channels: online, mobile and in-store.

For example, a retailer might incorporate QR codes into a display that leads them to a scavenger hunt via the brand’s app.

The app might then continue the fun through gamification during the checkout process. Looping in a loyalty or rewards program adds to the positive and interactive customer experience.

Pop-Ups and Social Media Incentives

Pop-ups naturally complement social media. The excitement created by suggesting a “limited engagement” combined with an engaging atmosphere encourages interaction with customers.

The result is an experience that social influencers can’t resist. Social engagement generates enthusiasm for the pop-up store, and vice versa.

Exciting pop-up experiences attract hardcore social media users who can’t help but share how they spent their time interacting with the brand.   And that publicity doesn’t just impact these small satellite shops; once followers see what their favorite influencers are raving about, they’ll start visiting not only the pop-ups but also the brick-and-mortar sites, as well as related websites.

Brand Awareness Boost

man looking at a very well-known brand of shoe

Brand awareness and connecting with consumers are the two most popular reasons for launching a pop-up.

Customers have become burnt out from traditional “push” marketing tactics such as paid ads, and pop-ups offer a fresh take for brands to get attention.

They encourage customers to not only shop, but also to take part in marketing the brand.

Pop-ups can pair the physical storefront with digital marketing. They are the springboard for an omnichannel journey.

Having the right POS platform helps retailers that collect data from new customers they’ve attracted at a pop-up event and parlay them into future loyal customers; the POS data from the event is seamlessly and efficiently integrated with every channel.

That’s where a POS platform and customer management system for omnichannel retail – like Retail Pro Prism – comes in.

As a hybrid from both the physical and digital worlds, they tie all channels together – functioning as a place for completing transactions, fulfilling purchases, building community, and encouraging discovery as well as being their own unique destinations.

4 ways to use pop-ups’ popularity to boost your brick & mortar strategy

6 Ways to boost sales with better segmentation in your retail marketing

Knowing your customers is key to creating effective marketing campaigns and promotions.

There are myriad ways to slice your retail data, so how can you form smart segmentations that will help you deliver tailored marketing messages to relevant group of customers for higher redemption rates and sales?

As a retailer, you are collecting lots of useful data through your Retail Pro POS. OptCulture Marketing for Retail Pro is the tool that allows you to use that data in a way that facilitates a higher level of customer engagement leading to increased revenue for your business.

OptCulture provides retailers with a complete suite of solutions that integrate directly with your Retail Pro point of sale system and ecommerce platforms, giving your customers a full circle experience with loyalty and promotions.

Customers that enroll online can redeem points in-store and customers that earn rewards in-store can redeem online.

OptCulture also offers loyalty mobile applications that can display the latest offers for customers as well as keep them up to date on rewards earned through recent purchases.

Using integrated data in your OptCulture Marketing for Retail Pro, you can create better segments that will help you boost sales.


Segmentation is basically an elaborate way of describing the filtering of customers.

Which of your stores is their go-to location? What are they buying? How often are they opening and clicking through emails?

These are just the basics. The real fun begins with asking the right questions.

Where to start

Think of the different products your store sells.

Do your customers exhibit brand loyalty? Are there different genders that purchase from different departments? What is the average purchase amount per customer? How often are your regular customers visiting the store?

All of these questions lead to better answers when it comes to communicating and advertising to your market base.

Why should you do this? In today’s data driven marketing environment, customers simply do not engage with advertisements for things they are not interested in.

If I have only bought Nike shoes from my local shoe store and they keep sending me advertisements for Adidas shoes, New Balance, Vans, etc.,  I am very  unlikely to engage with those communications and may just unsubscribe altogether.

The process

Consider your inventory and what products you see customers purchasing or not purchasing.

As a sports clothing retailer, segment your customers based on the team that they support.

Look at sales reports, is there a day that is always slow? Consider running double rewards on these days.

What questions do you have and how can the data you are collecting be used to answer them?

What follows next are the 6 easiest examples of customer segmentation that every retailer should be doing, and then we’ll look at post-campaign analytics which will help refine our next steps in the overall marketing plan.

This first example is a very easy segment to set up. Think of how often your average customer shops. Is it once every 3 months, every 6 months, once a year? Then let’s take those rules and go right on into OptCulture and create the segment.

For this example I have created a segment for customers that have made less than 2 purchases and have not shopped with me in the last 6 months.

To do this I simply click on the rule I would like and drag it into the appropriate area. Rules can be combined in an “and” fashion as well as an “or” fashion. 

I can now target these customers every 6 months with an automated email or SMS message and include an offer in attempt to get them back into the store

Our second example relates to items in  your store.

Are there products that your customers need to replenish or refill? Customers that shop for products that have limited lifespans will need to buy more at some point.

Think about tire shops. When you get new tires in Houston, after a few months I will get a reminder for balance and rotation and then a few months later an advertisement for all new tires. All retailers should be doing the same things in regards to their products.

Here’s another example: High performance surfboards last at most a year or two.

Segmenting out customers who purchased that product within a particular time frame gives me an idea of who should be coming back in for a new one. If they have not, I could create a call list for my staff to reach out to.

The third example also relates to products. Are there items that are typically sold together? Shoes and socks? Kayaks and paddles.

Think of products you sell that go together and come up with some rules that you can take to OptCulture.

An example we came up with would be if a customer purchased a bike but without making a purchase for a Helmet.

Reach out to them with an email advertising safety equipment that is important for bike riders, or even places to ride their new bike and groups to meet up with.

Our Fourth example is going back to customer behavior.

What seasons or months are most important to your business? Are there holidays that your customer base shops on? Mothers Day? July 4th?

Create a segment for them and advertise products that are popular for that season.

Here we created a segment for customers that shopped prior to Christmas and we also added a rule that targets customers who on average spend $100 or more.

This will give us a good group of customers to reach out to when we know what we will have in stock for the Christmas season.

In this fifth scenario, we look at items that require special care or warranty information to be filled out.

In the event that a garment requires special care, with OptCulture you can follow up that purchase with an automated email or SMS explaining exactly how to care for that product.

Are there items your store sells that require customers to fill out warranty information?

In the example of a bike store, customers who purchase high end bicycles fill out warranty forms that are returned to the manufacturer. Make this process seamless by automatically emailing these customers the details that relate to their warranty.

Here we created a segment for customers that purchased a silk item the previous day.

This segment can be attached to a daily email campaign and customers who fit that criteria will be sent the necessary email. This is just a simple example.

Any information you are bringing into Retail Pro can be mapped to OptCulture so that you can segment out exactly the customers you are looking for.

6th and last on our list, while certainly not least, relates to segmentation based on customers interacting with your communications.

Consider the seasonal email you just sent out for summer items.

What was the open rate? Were there any clicks?

Why not reach out to those who clicked through the original email with a follow up in a few weeks?

Even better, reach out to those who clicked but did not make a purchase. Their click expressed interest; segment them out to see if they acted on that interest. 

Refining segments

Once you have put together some segments and run some campaigns, look at your reports. Are these groups coming in and making a purchase?

Create a segment for customers who opened the campaign and add purchase rules and find out.

Consider expanding the rules to include more or less customers.

Discover what is working by looking at promotional redemptions for customers who have been sent exclusive offers.

Continue to ask questions and to use your data and OptCulture to maximize engagement and increase revenue at the same time.

A quick look at the email reports dashboard will show you if customers are opening and clicking through emails.

Clicking on the name of the campaign will take you into more detailed reports such as how many opens or clicks for a given time period, or even what devices customers are using to view emails.

So let’s talk. Give OptCulture a call to discuss how you are currently marketing to your clients and how using segmentation can help your business increase customer engagement.

About OptCulture®

OptCulture Marketing for Retail Pro helps specialty retailers improve customer loyalty and engagement with their brand via customizable, omnichannel marketing. Capabilities and features include: Omnichannel loyalty, digital receipts, email & SMS marketing, campaigns & automation, custom promotions, ecommerce purchase data integration, mobile client app for accessing rewards, tablet or kiosk for in-store loyalty signups, analytics, and omnichannel customer data management.

Take Another Look at Sustainability

earth growing green foliage because of sustainability practices

Sustainability means serious business to a new generation of customers.

Business sustainability is far more than using recycled plastic in shopping bags or motion-sensing lighting.

It’s not a feel-good buzzword. Rather, it’s a way of doing business that considers the effect companies have on the environment or society.

Sustainability – from Millennials & Gen Z to Mainstream

a stack of clothes from different fabrics with a tag labeled co2 neutral Carbon neutral, CO2-free concept product to signal sustainability

For Millennials and Gen Z customers, sustainability includes reusability.

Thrifting or “resale marketing,” is popular with this group, and the secondhand market, including clothing retailers such as Poshmark and ThredUp, is thriving.

The similar concept of “circular fashion” considers the entire lifecycle of a garment, from how it’s made to ensuring its durability so it can ultimately be passed to several owners.

 Established brands are joining the party; for example, Patagonia’s “Worn Wear” program offers credits toward new items when customers trade-in gear.

With Millennials representing $600 billion in spending power and Gen Z at $140 billion, their preference to shop sustainably can’t be ignored.

Increased appetite for sustainability

Woman who cares about sustainability with shopping bags in studio on yellow background isolated

Not every product can be reused, however, so looking at responsible, “green” ways of manufacturing continues to be important.

What has changed, however, is that customers are more willing to pay for sustainable products. For example, last July, a survey from First Insight and Wharton’s Baker Retailing Center of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers found 68 percent of them willing to pay more for sustainable products, up from 58 percent from a survey taken in 2019.

That’s a compelling argument for retailers to create, source, and sell more sustainable goods.

Sustainability and cost incentives

packing away products to ship with brown cutout paper to increase sustainability

Sustainability aligns with business goals as well – and though many small and midsize retails are leading the charge, it’s not solely the purview of smaller companies.

A great example is “Amazon Day” when the behemoth retailer packages into one weekly delivery, chosen by the customer. That’s a huge savings in gas costs for Amazon, while it reduces environmental pollution.

In addition, Amazon has committed to produce 100,000 electric vehicle delivery vans for Amazon through 2024.

Brick and mortar retailers that provided enhanced delivery and customer pickup services might consider reducing the resulting carbon footprint by bundling packages for customers, which will consolidate the number of delivery/pick up trips.

Employees and sustainability goals

employee at sustainability-conscious artisinal

Finally, companies that embrace sustainability as a key purpose may be better positioned that their competitors to attract motivated, skilled workers that drive financial success.

Everyone likes to rally around a common goal, and employees with shared purpose are likely to be more satisfied at work – and happy employees are great ambassadors for your business.

Simplifying the omnichannel purchase journey with Retail Pro Prism

Woman shopper making a return, handing credit card to cashier so he can refund her and add the return back to inventory

Building a clientele is tough. It requires understanding who the customer is, what their tastes are and how to serve them: a simple plan, but not easy to execute. A retailer needs inventory tools that luckily, omnichannel POS and retail management platform Retail Pro Prism provides, to efficiently accomplish this feat.

Sometimes, customers aren’t sure of what they want, and when they guess incorrectly, the dreaded return process begins.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has caused many retailers to institute extended return periods that go beyond the traditional 30-day window. And, with many brick and mortar stores operating at reduced schedules, many shoppers turned toward ecommerce for everything from toilet paper to jigsaw puzzles to exercise clothing.

But with that change came an increase in returns, particularly with clothing, because online shoppers can’t be certain of fit and quality.

Making it easy for customers to not only find products but to also make returns if necessary, creates a frictionless experience that shoppers are comfortable repeating. An easy return process for customers doesn’t mean the same for retailers.

With Retail Pro Prism, e-Commerce and POS at every location can be seamlessly integrated to the Retail Pro platform so they can share transactional data in real time (or whatever interval is optimal for your operations) with the inventory management tools in Retail Pro.

Providing ease-of-doing-business is a way to improve loyalty, because customers can purchase knowing the return process will be hassle free.

Retailer’s Challenges in Simplifying Returns

shopper holding up a skirt standing next to store associate looking up inventory available for different sizes and colors

Creating a smooth, simple customer experience is, ironically, somewhat complicated.

The omnichannel shopper’s journey starts with the product research phase either online or, for those wanting a tangible experience, in-store.

The item might be purchased at that time or later, through the same – or different – channel. Finally, the product fulfillment phase includes several options: in-store pickup, home delivery shipped from the online or physical store or from the warehouse; a drop shipment directly from the vendor; or ship to store from the warehouse or another store.

Those logistics are transparent to the customer who, in most case, wants the product immediately or within a day or two. And then, sometimes, the product just isn’t right, and a return is initiated.

While inventory visibility is often thought of as useful for marketing products and pre-sales activities, it can be helpful for “smart returns.”

Returns and Inventory Visibility

store owner looking at a POS tablet, analyzing inventory changes

Visibility can help managers at physical locations “see” where products are, and move them between stores according to customer demand.

In a return scenario, a retailer has a connected network of inventory visibility, and an understanding of predicted demand. When customers initiate returns, a shipping label is generated but instead of the shipment getting sent back to a warehouse, it is shipped to a retail location where there is demand for the product.

Accurate stock counts make the most efficient use of existing inventory and provide valuable insight about trending products. Technology such as RFID helps retailers quickly and affordably track inventory, and avoid human errors that occur with manual counting processes.

Inventory disparities can cost retailers money in lost sales or the added expense of keeping too much inventory in stock. Unified data processes are critical for proper order management, fulfillment and restocking of returned items.

Retail Pro has partnered with RIOT to offer easy integration at an affordable price, which hasn’t been attainable in the past. Among its many benefits, with RIOT for Retail Pro you can increase stock accuracy to 98%+ to better support online sales and pickup in store, and reduce stock management labor costs associated with restocking, receiving, etc.

Going to the

2022 Retail Technology Show?

26-27 April 2022 | Olympia, London | Stand 6e28

About Pinnaca Retail & IT Solutions

Founded in 2015, Pinnaca Retail & IT Solutions is a family-run business offering retail solutions, specialist management consultancy and IT services. Our company is UK based, with offices in London, and a client base across the globe.

We work with all levels of business to define and develop strategies focused on our clients’ needs and objectives. Our tailored solutions are developed and optimised to fulfil your key business demands.

Over time we have added to our 20 years’ experience in the field and built up a team of experts, with a wide range of experience and in-depth knowledge, who are eager to help your business succeed and grow.

About DataScan Retail Systems

Datascan Retail Systems are a leading UK and European supplier of solutions to the retail sector, from small businesses through to mid-tier and international enterprises. We have vast experience in the analysis and design of retail IT and the implementation of EPOS and Stock Control Systems and provide all the services required to plan, implement and maintain an effective Retail Management System. We are committed to match the Retail Pro System to the exact needs of the retailer, utilising our development, training and help desk teams.

About RIOT

RIOT is turning traditional RFID solutions for retail on their head with RIOT Insight​. Insight is RIOT’s real-time inventory accuracy service offered as a simple but powerful add-on to a retailer’s existing systems. 100% inventory accuracy to support Omni-channel is now yours on demand.

About PAR

PAR Technology Corporation provides industry leading software and hardware solutions that are always there when you need them but never in your way.

  • State of the Art Point of Sale Systems.
  • Tablets and Portable Devices.

About XRetail

XRETAIL is a Global leader in Unified Commerce solutions, with a prime mission to empower enterprise retailers by helping to boost their sales and retain their clients. Through state-of-the-art technologies, integrations, and solutions, the XRETAIL platform creates unified sales channels including eCommerce, Mobile commerce, and Social commerce. XRETAIL’s Cloud-based platform creates seamless end-to-end solutions allowing enterprise retailers to blend brick-and-mortar and digital retailing into one unified platform, with notably enhanced customer experience both online and offline.

About Loqate

Combining leading technology with the richest data, Loqate provides several solutions to help bring businesses across the globe closer to their customers:

Address Validation
A faster, easier way to capture and verify addresses in real-time for your online forms and checkouts.

Email validation
Increase email delivery rates, boost customer marketing and reduce bogus registration when you verify email addresses upfront.

Mobile & phone validation
Take the guesswork out of reaching customers. Capture the right phone number, mobile or landline at the point of entry.

Data maintenance
The foundation of any customer management strategy, Loqate’s cleansing and maintenance software helps build lasting customer relationships.

DTC brands have a big impact on traditional retail

modcloth, bonobos and jet logos in a walmart shopping cart, harry's, casper, and care/of in target shopping cart. DTC brands impact traditional retail

Direct to consumer (DTC) products have been wildly popular in the past few years, and as they slowly infiltrate big box retailers’ shelves, brands such as Casper, Harry’s and Bonobos are gaining more attention and getting an even bigger sales boost.

But traditional retailers are learning from them as well.

For the biggest retailers, partnering with DTC has been mutually beneficial. Walmart bought men’s fashion retailer Bonobos in 2017 for $310 million. Target is partnering with Harry’s to sell the well-made, discount-priced razors in stores, as well as Casper mattresses — which can also be found in top-tier stores such as Nordstrom’s.

Mutual gains

two businessmen shaking hands - DTC brands impact traditional retail and it's mutually beneficial

Part of the draw of those and many other DTC brands is their popularity: They will drive customers into stores and online. Forging partnerships with newer, more sought-after brands helps retailers attract and create relationships with a new segment of shoppers who may not have otherwise shopped with them.

In addition, what big retailers such as Walmart, Target and Nordstrom’s can gain from well-established DTC brands is digital expertise. These products have successfully launched and sold products online with no physical stores. They are marketing powerhouses, and big box stores are learning from their strategies, particularly for their own private-label merchandise. For example, Target’s partnership with Harry’s spurred it to step up its men’s grooming selection by expanding its own Goodfellow & Co’s offering to more than 30 products. (Target is clearly focusing on the segment and rounding out its offerings by also incorporating Ulta Beauty shops this year into 100 locations this year.)

Fluid shopping

dark skinned woman with big short curls wearing orange shirt shopping on laptop on couch, DTC brands impact traditional retail - teaching big box stores about online marketing

What these relationships mean for consumers is that brands and retailers are becoming more attuned to the future of shopping. Customers are fluid in how they want to shop: One day they may opt for a personal, immersive experience at Sephora and the next they’ll order lipstick online. Convenience is a driving force, but it doesn’t always mean ecommerce. Sometimes, convenience is the ease of being able to go to a physical location and try on, inspect, and ask questions.

Successful retail has always meant providing what customers want, when they want it. Today’s technology merely widens the possibilities, and requires retailers to be intuitive and flexible.

Specialty brands partner with big box retail to boost foot traffic—and sales

It’s a retail conundrum: Foot traffic in malls is decreasing, and brick and mortar stores are losing ground to ecommerce – yet shoppers still want to visit stores to touch and try out products before buying.

To capture more sales and remain relevant to shoppers, big box stores are thinking out of the box and partnering with popular name-brand product manufacturers.

Bringing Apple to you at Target

rendering of mini apple store in all white target store with light wood kiosk  and shelves. Featuring black male worker behind the kiosk in red shirt wearing a mask greeting a white lady customer wearing a mask approaching
Image from Target

Target recently announced it will double the size of Apple’s footprint in 17 locations, expanding offerings in stores and online. In addition, Target team members will receive specialized training from Apple.

The retail behemoth has also partnered with Ulta Beauty to open 1,000-square-foot beauty shops, which will be staffed with Target employees who have been trained by the beauty retailer.

Notably, Ulta also provides customers with many services such as in-store hair salons, which drive considerable foot traffic: Salon customers reportedly make twice as many trips to an Ulta Beauty store as those who do not use those services.

And Target isn’t the only big box store looking to pretty itself up: Kohl’s will open 200 “Sephora at Kohl’s” locations this fall, with at least 850 locations planned by 2023. The cosmetics retailer will launch on Kohl’s website in 2022, offering more than 100 beauty brands, some of which are exclusive to Sephora.

Products across price points

smiling blonde salesgirl in all black holding product up for a customer

The beauty segment is notable because America’s department store makeup counters have historically been the place to purchase upper-end cosmetics.

The American beauty counter is iconic.

However, they’ve gradually been losing popularity as shoppers prefer to visit specialized retailers – such as Ulta and Sephora – which can provide a more extensive variety of products at different price points.

However, by collaborating with those same cosmetics retailers as well as be increasing their in-store footprint, department stores could win back many of those customers.

Department stores are using the popularity of brands such as Apple, Sephora and Ulta to lure customers back into their stores.

Once inside, the customers can be tempted to continue shopping for other products.

In a way, department stores function like mini-malls: From motor oil to bikinis to wrapping paper, these stores have it all.

The tough part today is getting the shoppers to come into the store.

The addition of top brand names will help provide the visibility needed to get shoppers in the automatic door.

Integrating Retail Pro POS data and COVID-influx of ecommerce data for hyper-personalization

two businesswomen wearing face masks, facing each other looking the same direction.

Amid recent retail turbulence, there has emerged an opportunity to provide customers a better, more intuitive shopping experience in the wake of a global pandemic that had serious repercussions in the retail sector.

With many shoppers staying out of brick and mortars due to COVID concerns, online shopping became significantly more popular, especially for buying everyday items like groceries and toiletry items.

As a result, retailers now have a year’s worth of data on new (and existing) ecommerce shoppers that can be integrated with store sales data from the Retail Pro POS for personalization, providing a more holistic customer view.

By preparing personalized and integrated customer solutions, retailers can be better positioned for success as the ability and customer willingness to visit stores increases.

Learning from your customer data

Hyper-personalization refers to enabling personalized, contextualized interactions across all channels, including sales and marketing.

A study from Ascend2 found that 62% of marketing professionals consider hyper-personalization to be critical, but only 9% have successfully implemented the strategy. Traditionally, personalized marketing would include, for example, inserting a customer’s name into an email or serving up specific content on a landing page. Personalized experiences in stores would stem from a salesperson’s ability to engage in clienteling based on the client’s history with a brand, especially in luxury retail.

Today, hyper-personalization uses intelligent tools like visual analytics software like Retail Pro Decisions to aggregate store and ecommerce data, the marketer’s email engagement data, website interactions, and other sources of third-party data to predict customer behavior.

AI algorithms can also compare a company’s shoppers with others online who display the same interests.

AI can aggregate similarities and predict future actions based on those that have already been taken by similar users.

That allows companies to deliver extremely relevant offers or product recommendations.

Rather than making recommendations to shoppers based on their own purchase history, AI compares their preferences and buying patterns to millions of others to discover more advanced, nuanced purchasing habits.

The strategy also builds brand loyalty: The more personal the customer experience feels, the stronger the relationship can be. Integrated data analysis combined with AI-powered loyalty and personalized marketing tools like AppCard for Retail Pro offers retailers something more than the competition.

Acting on data gathered during COVID’s ecommerce upsurge

With the sudden influx of customer data during COVID, retailers are learning more about what is truly important to customers, and what is not.

For instance, curbside pickup is a highlight coming out of the new normal shopping experience, a feature that in particular is helpful to parents of young children, those with disabilities or anyone on a tight schedule.

Prior to the economic lockdown during the first half of 2020, curbside delivery was pretty much limited to grocery pick up.

Retailers must leverage their data analysis capabilities while considering how recent customer trends will impact their supply chains.

They can then accurately respond to both vendors and customers in specific, relevant ways. By understanding the context of what customers want, retailers can adjust to meet those expectations. Retailers can move beyond providing customers with a robust product selection online and in-store. Today, the top retailers also offer a customized, cross-channel, personal shopping experience, resulting in loyal, satisfied customers.

Gartner: Retail’s role in sustainability improvements

woman shopping in store

Increasingly, retailers are learning that sustainability matters to their customers, and the COVID season did not stop sustainability efforts.

Recycling, energy conservation and reduction of waste are all everyday topics of conversation.

That desire to help conserve Earth’s resources has helped unite customers who may otherwise be very different from one another.

To meet the increasing requests from customers for carbon-neutral packaging and products, retailers are offering more environmentally friendly options. Gartner has recommended three ways retailers could improve sustainability within their supply chains: source responsibly; use recyclable or minimal packaging; incorporate “recycled goods” into product offerings.

Source Responsibly

Image:  Tom Fisk 

Retailers can choose vendor and distribution partners who practice sustainability.

When reviewing vendors, retailers can weigh sustainability as quality.

Sustainability includes processes that mitigate the harmful impacts of pollution and waste on the ecosystem, including reducing freshwater contamination and greenhouse gases.

Retailers benefit too, because sustainable practices such as decreasing energy usage, cutting back on waste generated and eliminating equipment for pollution control lower operating costs.


Image: Karolina Grabowska

Many suppliers are coming up with innovative packaging to reduce waste.

For example, dental floss can now be purchased in reusable glass vials, rather than hard plastic packages.

Not only has the product cut back dramatically on waste, but because of its very nature, it creates its own pool of customers who return to buy the floss replacement on a regular basis.

On the recycling side, L’Oreal cosmetics will market its first cosmetics in recyclable paper bottles to consumers this year.

“Re-commerce” Goods

Image: Nataliya Vaitkevich 

Thrifting — or shopping secondhand—is in vogue, and not solely because items are bargains or bespoke.

Because these goods are living a second life, they aren’t taking up room at the local landfill.

In addition, significant amounts of resources are saved by not creating a new product. For example, making a pair of jeans uses approximately 1,800 gallons of water.

The production process also generated greenhouse gases equal to driving more than 80 miles.

A number of retailers are focused on the “re-commerce” market, such as ThredUp and Poshmark, but some clothing brands including REI and Patagonia are selling their own gently used clothing, similar to the way in which luxury automobiles have sold “certified pre-owned vehicles” for many years.

Retailers wanting to strengthen or embark on a sustainability program should ensure their suppliers are committed to the same long-term vision.

Increasingly, customers are looking to buy from retailers and brands that share their values, and that includes companies that recycle, reduce waste and promote sustainable business practices.

How connected data personalizes shoppers’ experience

Image: Gustavo Fring

Providing a personalized experience that’s “just right” — not overly intrusive but offering information relevant to each shopper — is the Holy Grail of retail.

Deep visibility into data unified across channels and technologies through the Retail Pro Prism platform can give retailers the level of information needed to offer the right products to the right customers at the right time, through a preferred channel or combination of channels.

A single view of inventory, orders and customer data provided by a unified system of technologies offers retailers insights about their entire business in real time.

But unified commerce has a customer benefit also, allowing customers to take advantage of up-to-date product inventories and the flexibility to browse, buy, and fulfill orders any way they choose.

Read now: What does it take to unify commerce?

Creating interaction points to learn what your customer wants

Image: Andrea Piacquadio

Customers want efficient trips and will seek retailers that streamline the purchasing process, and which may include an online-to-offline experience.

Enhancing purchasing channels so they complement and build on each other helps retailers optimize their investments, focus efforts, and support their customers’ journeys.

Omnichannel offers customers multiple touch points, each a part of a seamless experience, and unified data helps retailers deliver instant, informed personalization.

One way to do that is to review past purchase data, converged between transactions in-store with Retail Pro, on ecommerce, mobile, social sales, and any other channels a retailer may use.

But for new visitors, providing interactive content not only engages the shopper but also benefits the retailer by sharing customer likes—and dislikes—with the retailer.

That data helps build a unique profile for future interactions whether online or in-store.

Every personalized shopping experience is created based on customer interactions.

As the retailer determines customer intent, an online strategy must be in place to quickly feature certain products in a relevant manner, with pertinent information and offers readily available and presented to the customer with immediacy.

Matching products to the right customer with personalized recommendations

While customers appreciate personalized shopping, unified commerce also provides retailers the data for targeted inventory.

By converging a customer’s interactions with your brand at various touchpoints into one cohesive customer profile and analyzing that holistic data, retailers can learn what products are popular for which types of customers.

The information can inform text and email messaging through AppCard for Retail Pro, providing personalized content which entices shoppers to visit (or return to) brick and mortars.

Stores can reduce or optimize in-store inventory by matching certain high-inventory products to potentially interested customers.

Based on analyzing shoppers’ data, a store can determine what products will appeal to which customers and present those options proactively.

Communications that are in the know with the customer

Image: Torsten Dettlaff

Customer segments may require different handling; some use email, others text messaging.

Retailers who can reach the customer during the decision-making process will remain top-of-mind as a trusted provider of quality goods and services.

Engagement might be driven through personalized email reminders that highlight where they can pick up their purchased product in-store, as well as recommending complimentary products to the items they just purchased.

Mobile push notifications or text messages can highlight related items to opted-in shoppers via the retailer’s app or loyalty program.

Most important is the unified experience from the customer’s point of view: When he or she returns to the retailer’s site, they should also see updated recommendations and search results based on in-store — or previous online —purchases.

Unified commerce provides the foundation for customers to easily shop whenever and wherever they want, including starting on one channel and finishing through another.

And that is an important step toward frictionless retail.

3 ways to drive incremental revenue with 2020’s digital retail traffic

Image: Andrea Piacquadio

Improving digital conversion rate is always a concern of retailers.

For those with both online and brick-and-mortar presence, conversion is even more important during COVID-19, as storefronts are hit with less foot traffic and reduced store hours.

One way to increase interest in your business is to give something away.

It could be a one-month trial of a personal shopping service, or a free online fashion tutorial; it simply needs to be of interest to your customers as well as something that has “staying power” i.e., can remain on your site for a few months.

This is not how many retailers traditionally engage customers.

Door prizes are exciting, but that type of giveaway is generally a one-shot deal.

Furthermore, at a time when people are social distancing, the thought of physically going to a store and competing for a door prize is unappealing.

Giveaways can be too much of a gimmick; they increase foot traffic the day of the promotion, but they don’t promote recurring sales.

Here are 3 ways to drive revenue with 2020’s big shift to digital retail.

1: Online tutorials

Fashion tips, makeup how-tos, home style ideas are all great ways to engage customers right from your ecommerce site.

During the demonstrations, offer a discount so shoppers can immediately select the product, go to their carts, enter the promo code and place their orders.

Offer the ability to pickup their purchased items in stores via curbside pickup, to give the option of immediate fulfillment for those shoppers who want it.

On the technology side, retailers can integrate promotions data from Retail Pro Prism POS software using Retail Pro’s open API for online redemption. This lets you use the flexible promotions capabilities in Retail Pro Prism to define promotion codes and pass the data to the ecommerce shopping cart.

2: Personal shopping

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Offer consultations with your professional, talented associates who can guide customer purchases.

These meetings can be free of charge or an “insider” exclusive, and shoppers can access the service through one-to-one conversations over conferencing software or via video calls to set up their profiles.

In addition, providing online questionnaires so customers can keep multiple profiles on file is an ideal way to help them organize and to streamline gift giving.

As your personal shopper meets with new clients, they can take note of shoppers’ preferences in the customer management area of Retail Pro Prism, for use in clienteling, to make more tailored recommendations during future visits using their purchase history.

Custom fields in Retail Pro can also be created and defined to standardize the data that comes in, for cleaner use in personalized marketing.

3: Offer subscriptions

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These have become increasingly popular in the last couple of years.

Customers can enjoy regular deliveries of goods as varied as IPAs and organic snacks to razor blades and workout clothing.  

A curated selection of product is sent based on certain customer preferences detailed at sign up.

Retailers can use deep reporting capabilities in Retail Pro to report on most popular items and determine complementary products to include in a subscription package. Transaction data from point of sale software is immensely useful here.

Payment is made in advance, and the subscription renews automatically at the end of the payment period unless cancelled. 

Recurring revenue is a reliable way of generating regular income so it can be more confident of its future.

Some segments fit more naturally on the subscription model, such as health and beauty care.

However, by thinking a bit outside of the box, almost any retailer can benefit from offering creative options that are easily accessible by customers and generate profits even in seasons with less foot traffic.