Retailers can learn a lot from grocers. From seamless alignment between bricks-and-mortar and digital presences to efficient checkout processes and popular loyalty programs, grocers have optimized user experiences across platforms, feats that still install challenges for many brands and retailers.Here, Alexis Clarfield-Henry, director of marketing at Unata — an end-to-end platform that leverages machine-learning to enhance shopper experiences in the grocer category — discusses key learnings for retailers and brands to borrow from the segment.WWD: Though Unata is primarily centered on the grocery category, what best practices can other sectors borrow from Unata’s customers?Alexis Clarfield-Henry: Grocery is one of the biggest categories of all retail sectors, and it forces supermarkets to offer a very clean, simple and seamless user experience so that their shoppers can easily and quickly find what they are looking for from a catalog of 10 thousand or more products. Without an incredibly simple user experience, customers will give up very quickly. Other sectors outside grocery aren't forced to focus on seamless user experiences in the same way because their catalogs are smaller, but they should, as it's what users expect, and they will similarly give up when they can't find what they're looking for after a few clicks.There is also an expectation from consumers for their shopping experience to be seamless between online and offline. To achieve this seamless experience, retailers can connect their e-commerce offering with their loyalty program. That way, retailers can use their shoppers' in-store purchase history to create a better online experience. For example, if a shopper just bought milk on a Sunday, the retailer doesn't need to send them an offer for milk on Monday. Other retail sectors should borrow this best practice and ensure that items bought in store are used to create a more relevant experience online.WWD: Why is the online-order, in-store pick-up relevant in today’s market? What is leading this change of order fulfillment?A.C.H: Today's consumer is time-starved and will flock to experiences that can save them a few minutes in their day. Services like UberX, Starbucks' order ahead and Amazon's one-day delivery have helped shape customer expectations to get what they want — transportation, coffee, services and more — fast. The online-order, in-store pick-up in grocery — also known as click-and collect or curbside pick-up — helps consumers receive similar benefits of quick and convenient shopping when they grocery shop. Since consumers tend to buy the same groceries each week there isn't a real need to go into the store if they don't have to. If people know they can order their Grande, non-fat, caramel, no foam latte and have it waiting for them when they get to the store, why shouldn't they be able to do the same with their groceries?WWD: It was recently announced that SpartanNash — a Michigan wholesaler and retailer — will begin implementing Unata's end-to-end solutions. How will SpartanNash enhance its consumer journey through this new platform?A.C.H.: SpartanNash has already been offering various click-and-collect solutions in stores, but the company expects the new solution will be more comprehensive. By integrating personalized promotions and other features, the offering will dovetail their Yes! loyalty program and ongoing efforts around personalization using data to segment customers based on individual preferences. Overall, SpartanNash believes the platform will take their customer experience to another level.WWD: What are best practices that retailers should adoptfrom the grocer segment?A.C.H.: The most important best practice for our retail clients is connecting all of their different digital offerings into one seamless user experience. For example, by connecting a retailer's e-commerce, e-loyalty, digital coupons, e-circular and more, a shopper is able to take advantage of all the available deals as they shop, rather than having to hop from one web site to another to find those same deals. When we integrated digital coupons into the e-commerce and e-circular experiences for Lowes Foods, they saw digital coupon redemption increase by more than 400 percent in the first four weeks. Their customers could easily find coupons associated with the products they were already buying and have them automatically redeem at checkout.WWD: How will artificial intelligence platforms continue to enhance the customer experience? Why do retailers need to integrate these now?A.C.H.: The best thing about artificial intelligence is that it helps retailers automate tasks that are typically completed by a person. By adopting AI, retailers can offer online personalized experiences that are typical of the in-store experience (e.g. recommendations from a knowledgeable store associate) without needing an army of analysts and marketers or a giant budget. Time is of the essence: local retailers and grocers are competing with Amazon, a behemoth that makes basic AI look like child’s play. If they want to compete with online marketplaces, retailers must adopt machine-learning capabilities that help them offer the same level of personalization and service digitally.
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion
@longchamp, which marks its 70th anniversary this year, just opened its biggest U.S. store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. On the lower level there’s a floor-to-ceiling display of the brand’s iconic Le Pliage bag – in all of its different colors, shapes and sizes. Customers can also have their product personalized in-store by imprinting names, initials or emblems. #wwdfashion (📷: @ericmtownsend)
“Whenever I’m in that place of sound and music, I don’t have fear or nervousness…This album has a lot of themes of courage and boldness and I want to be the soundtrack for people’s lives. I’ll be so happy if [my songs] evoke strength in people, which I know music has done for me,” says @kimbramusic of her newest album “Primal Heart.” The New Zealand-born singer sat down with WWD to talk about her music, newest tour and connecting with hear fans — read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
Luxury handbag resale company @rebagofficial is planning to sell a rare collectible for $70,000: the @hermes White Crocodile Himalayan Birkin. The exclusive Birkin sold for about $100,000 in 2008, when @davidbeckham bought one for his wife @victoriabeckham to add to her collection. Read more about the rare Birkin on WWD.com #wwdaccessories
With her costume pearl necklace and what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92, was a straight-shooter from start to finish.
Born Barbara Pierce in New York City, Bush served as the 37th first lady, as well as the country’s second lady from 1981 to 1989. In addition to being part of the longest presidential marriage — 73 years — Bush also had the unlikely distinction of having one son, George W., become the 43rd president and another son, Jeb, run unsuccessfully in 2016. Having served as second lady during the Reagan administration’s two terms and lived all over the world during her own husband’s ascending political career, Barbara Bush made it clear that literacy — not fashion — was her priority. Read more from Rosemary Feitelberg’s obituary on the late First Lady in WWD.com, link in bio. #barbarabush #wwdnews
Western and ’90s trends have influenced denim for fall 2018. Think raw, dark and coated jeans mixed with bold prints and tough leather. #trendtuesdays #wwdfashion (Styled by @thealexbadia;📷: @ryanplett)