Neiman Marcus Acquires

“Neiman Marcus Group has acquired the German fashion e-commerce platform and Theresa, its flagship Munich store. Owned up until now by its founders, Christoph and Susanne Botschen, and investment firm Acton Capital Partners, the brand will run as an ‘independent subsidiary of NMG based in Munich,’ a statement from the brand read this morning.” [Source: Vogue]

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Time to Prepare Your CSRs to Answer Questions About Apple Pay


In addition to the iPhone 6, Apple announced Tuesday a payments platform accepted at more than 220,000 merchant locations as well as digital shopping applications.

Now payments happen with a single touch.

To pay, users will hold their iPhone near a reader with their finger on the phone’s built in fingerprint reader. A subtle vibration and beep lets users know the payment has been made. Users can also use Apple Pay to pay with a single touch in apps. Checking out is as easy as selecting “Apple Pay” and placing a finger on the fingerprint reader.

With the iPhone’s share of the mobile device market and projections for sales of the iPhone 6, Apple Pay has great potential.

Participating brick-and-mortar retailers include Babies”R”Us, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, Nike, Staples and Toys”R”Us, while retailers offering Apple Pay in-app include Sephora, Starbucks and Target.

Of course, in the wake of major data breaches at retailers in recent months, …

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Lowe’s Funnels Customer Feedback Through “Rant or Rave” App


Social networks have proven to be a challenging channel to service customers, who often turn to Twitter or Facebook to air grievances.

Part of the challenge is providing a good solution to a customer’s issue in 140 characters (or less when you include the user’s Twitter handle). And for obvious privacy concerns, a retailer doesn’t want to encourage customers to publicly share details like order and shipping information.

Lowe’s has created a microsite and application to collect and respond to customer feedback, from sources including Twitter and Facebook, that seems to address these challenges. Both the Lowe’s Twitter account dedicated to customer service, @lowescares, and its main account, @lowes, replies to customer tweets and refers them to the microsite.

@dewittrunner1 Lori, we understand your frustration, pls let us help you. Share the details with us at

The link sends the Twitter user to, a microsite that encourages visitors …

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Preparing for the Holiday Rush: Q&A with Kevin Gardiner of Macy’s


Editor’s note: This interview is excerpted from StellaService’s Q3 2014 report, Essential Holiday Ecommerce Data & Best Practices. Kevin Gardiner is Director of Store Operations & Strategies at Macy’s. Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

Experts predict this will be the largest holiday ecommerce season in history. How are you preparing for that at one of the largest department stores in the country?

Our .com business has continued to outpace the industry’s growth. We have been dealing with such massive growth that last year we were more than prepared. [...] It’s one thing to plan for your business to be up x-percent, but it’s really just a few key dates that drive that volume. We’re trying to be more flexible. [...] We usually over-prepare. We over-hire. What we’re starting to do this year is work with outsourced partners and work-at-home [agents].

What motivated that shift to more outsourced and in-home agents?

Last year we had …

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These 19 Retailers Are Keeping Customers Informed During the Refund Process


Keeping customers guessing is a good way to keep them from coming back.

And, surprisingly, many retailers fail to keep customers fully informed throughout the returns and refunds process.

As part of its ongoing measurement of customer service practices, StellaService tracks notifications sent to StellaService Analysts during the returns process. In 2014 to date, 19 companies included in StellaService’s coverage set have provided notifications for every return. It’s an admirable accomplishment and it will be interesting to see how many of the retailers will stay consistent throughout the remainder of the year.

The most common communications received by StellaService Analysts are:

  • Product is en route back to the warehouse
  • Product was received at the warehouse/Return was processed
  • Notice of no need to return item to receive a full or partial refund or credit
  • Refund/credit is being processed or is complete
  • Notification of an issue with the refund or credit
  • Refund/credit amount …

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