Nordstrom Rack Launches Website, Mobile Apps

“Budget shoppers can now shop online using Nordstrom Rack’s new website and mobile app for iPhones and other Apple devices. Seattle-based Nordstrom, Inc. announced Monday the launch of the new site, which combines the outlet’s offerings with the company’s flash sale business HauteLook. The discount arm of the Seattle-based upscale retailer has 150 locations around the U.S. and plans to open stores in Canada in 2017. The company operates 117 full-line stores. Nordstrom Rack generated $2.7 billion in sales in 2013, about 22 percent of the company’s overall sales.” [Source: Puget Sound Business Journal]

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Indian Online Retailer Flipkart Offers Same-Day Delivery in 10 Cities

“The ongoing battle for supremacy in the Indian online retail industry already has a clear winner — the customer — as companies trip over each other to provide the best and most innovative service. The latest salvo has come from Flipkart, the market leader, which on Monday launches same-day delivery across all categories in 10 cities. The importance of customer service, especially in last-mile delivery, is apparent as the Bangalore-based online marketplace has launched three new services in April.” [Source: Times of India]

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Burberry Opens Virtual Storefront on Alibaba’s Tmall

“In an unusual move that highlights what a force Alibaba has become on the global eCommerce scene, British luxury brand Burberry has opened a virtual storefront on Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Tmall shopping site. The move allows Burberry to stake its claim in the highly lucrative and exploding Chinese eCommerce scene while at the same time combatting the grey market that luxury brands like Burberry face in China. Luxury goods are often bought outside of China at a lower rate and then resold at a profit within the east-Asian country.” [Source: PYMNTS]

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Different Approaches to Digital Fragrance Finders

“LET ME BEGIN with a disclaimer: I am not your average fragrance consumer. I have been a beauty editor for 10 years, which has afforded me unprecedented access to hundreds of perfumes, often before they come to market. My fragrance affections being fleeting, however, I still find myself in search of that elusive “signature scent”: an early love affair with a cyprus-tinged men’s scent from L’Occitane preceded a brief fling with Costume National’s Scent Sheer, which I recently followed with a multiparty tryst starring Acqua di Parma’s Colonia, Byredo’s Seven Veils and Frédéric Malle’s Geranium Pour Monsieur.” [Continue reading at Wall Street Journal]

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Will Home Depot’s Ecommerce Strategy Be the Key to Its Survival or Demise?

“After news broke that The Home Depot is moving from being a primarily brick-and-mortar operation to more of an e-commerce format, investors are probably wondering what this means for the business. According to an interview conducted by Frank Blake, the company’s CEO, opening new retail locations does not make sense due to a combination of growing competition and market saturation. Moving forward, Home Depot’s decision to operate electronically could mean a great deal of profit not only for it, but also for shipping companies like FedEx and UPS.” [Source: The Motley Fool]

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Rethinking the Retail Customer Experience

“Today’s retail customer is always shopping around, but while price and quality consistently bring customers to the table, it’s increasingly the customer experience that completes the sale and makes all the difference between buy, buy, buy and bye, bye, bye. While it’s becoming harder for retailers to differentiate based on price and product availability, it’s becoming easier to differentiate based on customer experience. Personalization, seamless service across channels, customer-centric engagement; some retailers have it; some don’t. But those who don’t must if they are going to compete in the ever-evolving retail space.” [Source: Business2Community]

 

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Why Catalogs Play a Crucial Role in Modern Ecommerce

“When everything is available for sale on your smartphone, why do catalogs still clutter your mailbox? The old-school marketing format has survived to play a crucial creative role in modern e-commerce. Today, the catalog is bait for customers, like a store window display, and a source of inspiration, the way roaming through store aisles can be. The hope is shoppers will mark pages they like and then head online, or into a store, to buy. Today’s catalogs are no longer phone-book-size compilations of every item a retailer sells. Instead, they have fewer pages and merchandise descriptions, and more and bigger photos and lifestyle images.” [Continue reading at The Wall Street Journal]

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Target Expands Subscription Program

“Target has significantly expanded its subscription-based e-commerce service, first launched last fall as a response to Amazon’s popular “Subscribe and Save” program, by increasing the number of online items available for subscription purchase from just 200 to now 1,500. While the company’s original focus was on baby-care items, the now revamped service offers similar savings for other everyday purchases, including cleaning supplies, health and beauty aids, pet treats and training pads, grocery items, home and offices supplies, and more.” [Source: Techcrunch]

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USPS Details Plans for Partnering with Ecommerce Sites

“Nagisa Manabe, the chief marketing and sales officer with the USPS, offered a preview of an array of initiatives that the agency is working on to improve and expand its services through the use of technology, tapping into unused infrastructure and by forging new partnerships. [...] Manabe described the agency’s vision for “forward distribution centers,” a plan to offer retailers access to unused areas within USPS distribution facilities, making it easier to deliver merchandise in short windows, not unlike Amazon’s strategy of opening up new outbound hubs all around the country. Additionally, Manabe said that the Postal Service is working to make it easier to process returns of orders placed online. That starts with the shipping labels, which Manabe says should be reconfigured within the next few months to include return freight that could be activated when a customer needed to send back an order. [Source: Ecommerce Bytes]

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RetailMeNot Acquires Personalized Shopping Startup Pickie

“RetailMeNot announced today that it will be acquiring the team behind personalized shopping startup Pickie. Pickie provides a personalized email newsletter and iPad app to show users products that they would like to buy, based on your interests and mentions by friends on social networks. Designed as part magazine, part catalog, Pickie created a beautiful, shoppable experience for its users. The company is being acquired by Austin, Texas-based RetailMeNot, the online coupon giant which went public last year.” [Source: TechCrunch]

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