Entering Era of the Endless Store

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Those in the know in online retail have been leveraging dropship vendors to create expanded ‘endless aisle’ assortments for a number of years now.

Through the ongoing development of the Matrix Retail approach it’s now become apparent a new reality is emerging best described simply as the ‘Endless Store.’

Just as an ‘endless aisle’ expands assortments well beyond the current store and retailer stocked web assortments, creating the ‘Endless Store’ connects and extends the bricks & mortar and virtual environments within which retailers operate. The potential for dramatically improved customer service and functional development of a unified retail customer experience is now within reach of every retailer. … Read more

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Start Building a Culture of Content Creation & Sharing

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For the past several years social media has been a buzzword swamp with marketers chasing one shiny object after another like dogs chasing their tails. Social Listening, Advocacy, Content Marketing, Engagement and Social Marketing to name but a few.

More recently joining the CMO in the chase have been other c-suite executives lured by the promise of a brave new world empowered by social business and collaboration. Or maybe it’s just their fear of losing control and being left behind. … Read more

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Great News in Canadian Retail Just Keeps on Coming!

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Over the past year, like many others working within the Retail Industry in Canada, I’ve grown tired of hearing about all the bad news relative to retailers pulling out, closing down or shrinking their store counts here in Canada.

Other than one major ‘faux pas’ by a discount retailer which doesn’t need to be named yet again, the majority of recent store closures have actually been retailers dealing with unprofitable stores in their chain.  And although painful for the individuals and areas where these actions happen, these steps are often necessary to keep the overall chain healthy in the long term.

The great news, and what we should be focusing on instead of the ‘doom and gloom’ of negative reports, is the growing number of new retail entries into Canada and the ongoing industry extensions taking place over the last year. … Read more

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Seven Signs Your Retail Business Needs an Omni-channel Makeover

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Are your retail customers finding you less attractive lately? Consider your position on the seven signs shared below and you may decide your retail business needs an omni-channel makeover!

This is not just an idle suggestion we’re making as the omni-channel retail buzz is quickly becoming a roar and with good reason.

Not since the advent of price tags, cash registers and the ubiquitous apparel hanger has there been a retail industry innovation poised to create such major change. … Read more

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Reaching the Supply Chain Sustainability Tipping Point

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Since the 1990’s I’ve been writing about sustainability, cap & trade and carbon footprints mainly in the realm of logistics and supply chain as that’s where I live.

Supply chains are incredibly important in this context as roughly 75% of most company’s carbon footprint emanates from their supply chain.

My mantra throughout this time has been ‘when not if’ these measures will be enacted and today I have to say we’re rapidly approaching the tipping point for supply chain sustainability. … Read more

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Exploring the Eight Layers of Matrix Retail

The age of Matrix Retail is already upon us and the only question to ask is will you acknowledge, understand, embrace, engage and tune all of the components of your company’s presence in the retail eco-system?

Or, will you choose to simply ignore them, continue in discrete multi-channel / abomni-channel mode and watch your competitors employ Matrix Retail methods to delight your customers, then dominate, devastate and ultimately destroy your business?

On a more positive note, we hope you opt for the former as the concept of Matrix Retail aims to help you bring about a state of zen awesomeness and retail customer joy as your business prepares to accelerate and break the e-commerce sound barrier.

Depicting something as pervasive and all encompassing as today’s real world digitally enabled retail environment is a tall order (especially for a graphically challenged logistics dude) but the above is my best representation to date of the eight layers of Matrix Retail which need to be enabled, interconnected and then tuned to fully deliver what I call ‘the logistics of customer experience‘. … Read more

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Cause Marketing: Making the Most of your Marketing Dollars

Trillions of dollars are spent each year on all aspects of brand and product promotion, the vast majority of which generates little in positive social benefit.

Many would argue why should it, as the purpose of these expenditures is only to sell as many products to as many people as possible. However the emergence of Corporate Social Responsibility in all major business organizations is leading to a rethink and refocus of all expenditures and actions of the organization to maximize the firm’s positive social impact. … Read more

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Matrix Retail: The Logistics of Customer Experience

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At a previous NRF Shop.org Summit I saw a keynote address by Jamie Nordstrom on trends he saw coming in the online retail business. During his talk Jamie said there was a new dynamic emerging, people were describing using words like multi-channel and omni-channel. However in his view these words were not fully capturing the changes he saw coming in retail and a new word was needed, ‘maybe polychannel or something like that’.

After the presentation I had a quick meet and greet with Jamie in which I told him how much his presentation had resonated with me based on my past senior department store retail experience at Hudson’s Bay Company. I then said to him that I think I know the word he was looking for to describe the new dynamic and that was Matrix Commerce. His reaction was immediate and visceral ‘Yes, that’s it! Have you trademarked it?’ … Read more

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Breaking the E-Commerce Sound Barrier with Matrix Retail!

BOOMBOOM!

What was that noise?

Someone just broke the e-commerce sound barrier!

 

In the third quarter of 2014 Williams-Sonoma’s e-commerce sales represented 51.5% ($587 million) of total company sales overtaking their store sales ($566 million) for the first time!

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Even more importantly this increase is not due to offsetting reductions in store sales with the $566 million in store sales representing an increase of 4.8% year over year for the quarter. … Read more

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Logistics, Systems Key to Social Business Customer Experience

Recently IBM Connect 2014 in Orlando was a great opportunity to catch up with a number of thought leaders and frontline practitioners working every day to bring Social Business to life.

Numerous reports have been emerging showing that anywhere from 50 to 70% of both B2B and B2C sales in coming years will be driven via the web through online and social marketing channels making the movement to a social business approach a must for leading firms. … Read more

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