What’s Next in Retail from Etail

The sessions at eTail, the conference for multi-channel and online retailers, were chock full of new perspectives and new technologies.

The title for this year’s event, held last month in Palm Springs, was: “The Future Is Now: Managing ‘What’s Next’ While Remaining Focused on Today’s Brand Experience.

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Are All Your Employees Brand Ambassadors?

A few years ago, I was doing an interview for a new book about experiential marketing and I was asked about the importance of brand ambassadors. My response was that while they were certainly very important when you were doing marketing events, the truth is that there shouldn't be a select group of brand ambassadors. Every employee that you hire should be a brand ambassador. I've written about the importance of retail in the past:

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Better Trade Shows

Remember that mobile, networked, multimedia rich future that debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show ("CES") early last month? That's good, since it went away pretty much the day the trade show closed its doors. It's back to the less awe-inspiring present for all of those visionary manufacturers, hopeful retailers, and fawning media.

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Reports from the National Retail Federation Show 2011

Had a chance to sit down with Bob Phibbs and Marge Laney during the NRF Big Show to talk about what I saw happening at retail. During this session, one of the things I talk about is:


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Sensory Marketing in Retail

Here’s an interesting little video that highlights what supermarkets and other retailers are doing to engage all the senses of their shoppers.

The camera crew visited a redesigned Coles supermarket as well as a tea shop and Air Aroma, a scent marketing firm. A few of the sensory appeal techniques the video illustrates:

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The Lost Art of Selling

The holiday season is upon us and retailers are gearing up for the increased sales volume.  One way they’re doing so is hiring more salespeople. In a piece in the Wall Street Journal, Karen Talley reported the retail industry added 28,000 positions in October, according to figures from the Labor Department. Macy’s Inc. is reportedly adding 65,000 seasonal employees nationwide to stores, call centers and distribution centers, while Kohl’s Corp. will hire over 40,000 seasonal staffers.

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A New Song for Blockbuster

A year and a half ago, I wrote “Don’t Stop Retailin’, Blockbuster,” an encouraging post to the then-struggling video rental chain. Blockbuster had just hired a new advertising agency and CEO Jim Keyes was mapping out his digital media-heavy plan for re-invigorating the business. I offered a different perspective saying, “While Blockbuster’s Keyes may want to evolve the business from a video-rental chain to a full-service media delivery company, I would recommend he put more focus on reinvigorating Blockbuster as a retail brand” — and I offered three suggestions for doing so.

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Groupons For Local Business: No Magic Bullet - The Retail Doctor

Bob Phipps, writing over on The Retail Doctor, has an 11 piece post on Groupon (and similar sites) and their impact on retail.

He makes a pretty strong final argument on his post:

Stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.

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Consensus on Retail

Consensus Advisors just released their 2009-2010 Retailer Health Ratings (RHRs) report. The RHRs measure and compare retailers over a five-year period on:


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Re-Imagining the Future of Retail

Ever wondered how product bar codes, new mobile applications and augmented reality will change the way we shop for goods and services over the next decade? In this 84-page SlideShare presentation, PSFK provide an analysis of the Future of Retail:

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