Early Online Impact of GDPR

As we have reported before, Europe’s General Data Protection Rule (GDPR) went into effect on May 25, 2018: It seeks to protect the personal data of EU citizens. In addition, it increases the obligations of firms that collect or process personal data. Thus, this rule does not just apply to firms based in the EU, but to all firms doing business with EU customers. Today, we examine the early online impact of GDPR.


Early Online Impact of GDPR on Leading Firms

Thank you to Sierra Skelly of Siege Media and to Varonis for the following material and infographic. They focus on the early online impact of GDPR on leading companies:

“On May 25th of this year, the European Union officially implemented the General Data Protection Regulation, known widely as GDPR. The regulation made sweeping changes to the online privacy landscape. It chiefly affects how companies may collect and share the personal data of users.”

“The regulation applies to the citizens of the EU. Yet, users across the world found their inboxes flooded with updated privacy policies from companies,. Even those located in the United States. The reason? Yes, the regulation applies to the data of EU citizens. However, it also impacts all companies that collect data from these citizens, regardless of where the firms are physically located.”

“To help better understand the privacy policy updates that filled your inbox in May, Varonis took a look at how company privacy policies changed after GDPR implementation. Specifically, it looked at the privacy policies of 10 tech companies. It studied three variables: word count, reading time, and reading level.”

“Results were surprisingly, given that GDPR aimed to add transparency to how data were obtained. Varonis found that the word count and reading difficulty of privacy policies increased almost across the board. Check out the full infographic below to see for yourself.”


The Early Online Impact of GDPR

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Applying Artificial Intelligence

As we know, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) is taking off. Thus, today’s post takes another perspective on applying artificial intelligence.

For a good understanding of AI, read these two posts: Artificial Intelligence Insights from Intel and Artificial Intelligence Predictions. “With artificial intelligence (AI), a computer acts similar to human learning and decision making. It works via an expert system or a program. An example — a digital personal assistant at an online store. It works with a customer. Then, it learns from that customer. And it recommends for that customer.”

Background: Applying Artificial Intelligence

Thanks to Josh Wardini for authoring this section of today’s post. And to 16BEST.net for the AI infographic.

“Artificial Intelligence is on the rise. And become a buzzword across the globe. Almost everyone in marketing knows about it. In addition, AI helps different brands. People find it to be a fascinating technology.”

“Technological breakthroughs occur when machines respond like human beings via neural networks. This helps them process and react to information without the help of humans. That lets them perform complex tasks such as facial recognition. See the Virtual Artist AI at Sephora, for example.”

“Here are some ways in which AI will impact brands and industries in the years to come.”

Companies Applying Artificial Intelligence

Applying Artificial Intelligence: Manufacturing and the Supply Chain

“AI firms make advanced robots easy for humans to communicate and collaborate with. As time goes by, technology will affect even industries with nothing to do with robots. For example, in the supply chain, machines will have the capacity to perceive demand patterns of a particular product. And know about specific times, weather patterns, geographic markets, and social-economic segments. As a result, brands will better recognize market demand.”

“With regard to manufacturing, AI offers predictive maintenance signals for equipment. Firms achieve this with sensors tracking performance and operating conditions of factory equipment. Thus, sensors can predict breakdowns and project the perfect actions. This is in effect in some industries such as alerting car owners of any malfunctions.”


Applying Artificial Intelligence: Workplace Safety

“AI’s existence goes back over 50 years. However, its modern acceptance relates to the recent development of machine learning algorithms. They can record and recreate their own patterns with no human programming. Without flexible algorithms, computers can only follow commands and do as told. AI companies make more advanced robotics that can communicate and take instructions from people. Some of their features include machine vision where robots work with images they detect. Thus, more firms are now applying artificial intelligence.”

“The machine vision tools recognize defects beyond the range of human vision. They can be trained to sense activities going on around them. And that lets them detect danger and disruption. For example, some vehicle sensors alert the driver before an accident occurs. In the future, this technology will be used in industries with self-driving forklifts and machines which move raw materials.”

“Some people feel jobs will be lost to robots and machines. Although robots will do many tasks, jobs may not fall off. People will partake in high-level work. And let the intelligent devices do jobs too complex and tiring for humans.”

“In sum, AI will help increase workplace safety and reduce downtime from unexpected machine malfunctions. Also, it will speed up production, enhance marketing, and reduce costs.”

Posted in Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business, Part 6: Merchandise Management and Pricing, Technology in Retailing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Disconnect Between Consumers and Retailers

Today, there is a big disconnect between consumers and retailers with regard to social media priorities. In fact, consumers most want to read about deals. Yet, many firms place too little emphasis on this.

Take a look at these posts for some information on consumer expectations:


Disconnect Between Consumers and Retailers

Now, we address the social media disconnect between consumers and firms. Because, the disconnect must be be understood. And it must be fixed!

According to Jennifer King for eMarketer:

“Retailers produce loads of different content types for social media platforms. But are their posts in line with their consumers’ preferences? In May 2018, Survata did a survey for Sprout Social. And it found social media retailers aren’t prioritizing the types of content that consumers want. And what consumers most want — not surprisingly — is value.”

“The Survata survey found that marketers prioritize posts that tell a story (58%). Yet, about one-third (37%) of Internet users said they wanted that type of content. Meanwhile, consumers reported wanting to see posts on potential savings as they scroll through news feeds. In fact, 72% said they want posts about discounts and deals. Yet just 18% of marketers said they prioritize that kind of content.”

“In May 2018, Bizrate Insights conducted the eMarketer E-commerce Insights Survey. The results? Nearly three-quarters of Internet users consider discounts or coupons important or very important. Whenever they make digital purchase decisions. And younger consumers are the most likely to place a higher value on the offers.”

Consider these findings from the Sprout Social study. It further highlights the disconnect.

Disconnect Between Consumers and Retailers

Posted in Online Retailing, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer, Social Media and Retailing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

2018 Retail StatPack

In conjunction with Oracle and Bronto, eMarketer offers a FREE Retail StatPack. Just click on the image. Then fill out the short form to download the report.



Posted in Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 4: Store Location Planning, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business, Part 6: Merchandise Management and Pricing, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer, Part 8: Putting It All Together, Technology in Retailing | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fast Fashion Getting Faster

Today, numerous fashion marketers are following one very strong trend: fast fashion getting faster. And this represents a competitive advantage.

These prior posts also look at fashion activities:


Fast Fashion Getting Faster

Recently, McKinsey & Company did an in-depth study of fast fashion. Highlights of that report follow:

“To get new styles into stores quickly, fashion firms must improve internal collaboration. Tap into consumer insights. And start to digitize the value chain.”

“Burberry and Tom Ford began experimenting with “see now, buy now” in 2016. At that time, their efforts met with a little skepticism and a lot of excitement. The thinking? Consumers, especially millennials, have become accustomed to instant gratification. And much less willing to wait months to own the latest runway styles. “Fast fashion” firms — such as Forever 21, H&M, Inditex, and Primark — already made replicas of fresh-off-the-runway items. They sold them in stores in a matter of weeks. Thus, consumers rewarded their speed to market. As a result, revenues at those companies rose 8.2 percent in 2017 overall. But overall apparel retail grew only about 3.5 percent in that same period. With a see-now-buy-now sales model, luxury fashion companies, too, could capitalize on the media coverage. Including Fashion Week events in New York, London, Milan, and Paris, and translate the buzz into full-fledged sales campaigns.”


“Broadly speaking, the fashion cycle consists of three phases: planning, design, and product development; sell-in; and production and delivery. The length of each phase varies widely by company. A phase can be as short as 12 weeks or as long as 30.”

Fast Fashion Getting Faster -- Three Stages

Click here to read the full McKinsey report on speeding up the fashion cycle.


Posted in Global Retailing, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 6: Merchandise Management and Pricing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Smart Appliances Still Not Cutting It YET

Despite the huge hype surrounding them, smart appliances are still not cutting it yet. Shoppers have been in no hurry to buy.


Smart Appliances Still Not Cutting It YET

As Krista Garcia reports for eMarketer:

“Smart-home technology like connected TVs and lighting have been available for awhile. But smart appliances like refrigerators and dishwashers aren’t prevalent in U.S. homes. That could change, though.”

According to a January 2018 survey by Fluent LLC, many U.S. Internet users (55%) own some form of smart-home technology. The most common device is a smart TV (38%), followed by lighting (17%), thermostats (16%) and security systems (14%). Kitchen appliances had the lowest level of ownership (7%) among those mentioned.”

“In a June 2018 YouGov poll, 62% of U.S. consumers said they were aware of smart appliances (including thermostats, not just kitchen appliances) but didn’t really know much about them. This was more pronounced for those 35 and older (67%), while 52% of consumers ages 18 to 34 knew about smart appliances but didn’t fully understand them. Over one-quarter (26%) of that younger age group had awareness and claimed to know a lot about them. In all, just 9% of respondents across all age groups had not heard of smart appliances. “

“The biggest worry with smart appliances is cost: 31% of respondents ages 18 to 34 and 38% of those over 35 cited this as a concern. Being hacked and fears about data privacy had similar levels of concern, while practical matters like not being able to use them if there were problems connecting to the internet was also an issue. “

Smart Appliances Still Not Cutting It YET

Posted in Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 6: Merchandise Management and Pricing, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Value of Shoppers SECOND Purchases

Gaining and keeping customer loyalty remains a key goal for most firms. In general, loyal shoppers contribute to both higher revenues and higher profit. In today’s post, we examine the value of shoppers second purchases. Why? If we get customers to return at least once, chances increase for turning them into loyal shoppers.

First, consider these posts:


Understanding the Value of Shoppers SECOND Purchases

As Jacqueline Renfrow reports for FierceRetail:

“In general, firms know that a second purchase usually results in increasing a customer’s lifetime value. Still, some firms never get past the first purchase by providing follow-up communication. Many shoppers miss that follow-up contact. To learn more, marketing firm Bluecore examined post-purchase messaging to customers. 80% of respondents comprised first-time buyers. And they patronized 16 apparel firms. The findings: Second-time buyers become 130% more valuable. Also, customer value does continue to grow with each purchase. BUT the biggest jump in value happens between the first and second purchases.”

“In fact, many second transactions, about 60%, occur within 100 days of the first purchase. After that 100 days, the chances of a second purchase drop below 10%. But the research shows that even covering just 5% of these 80,000 one-time buyers could lead to $550,000 more in revenue over the next two years.”

Therefore, more firms need to focus on driving second customer purchases. They must be aggressive in doing so.

Click the image to read Renfrow’s full article for FierceRetail. How would YOU drive greater second purchases from first-time customers?

Value of Shoppers SECOND Purchases

“Marketers should focus on repeat buyers, not acquisitions.” (iStock/Rawpixel-Ltd)

Posted in Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment