This Week in Retail Marketing Innovation - Nov. 13th 2017

This Week in Retail Marketing Innovation

Nov. 13th 2017


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Taking mobile payments all the way to the bank

Less than 25% of retailers currently accept Apple Pay making it a very competitive landscape.  Paypal has seen surprising acceptance, mostly online.   In-store is another story.

Starbucks is reporting that over 10% of its transactions are now conducted with Mobile Order and Pay, and that stores that have adopted it have seen significant increases in customer demand.   Will retailers finally wake up to the imperative of reducing checkout friction?

Meanwhile, Walmart is projected to drive more transactions than Apple Pay this holiday season.  With a near 14% market share in groceries and store staff to guide customers towards the payment option, Walmart has an inherent advantage in controlling the experience.

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To discount or not to discount, that is the question

Walmart is under scrutiny for offering higher prices online than in-store.  The strategy emphasizes the importance of driving customers in-store but does it hamper Walmart's effectiveness in competing with Amazon?  Will retail loyalty across online and physical win out over pure price comparison?

Department stores are killing off full-priced apparel, argues Forbes writer Barbara Thau.   With discount vendors thriving, department stores are becoming a discounting destination.  But can they compete with TJ Maxx and others? Some brands like Le Sportsac are pulling out of department stores like Macy's to maintain price integrity.   Will department stores get caught in the middle of the market?


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News from around the retail industry

Still tired of the retail apocalypse narrative?  So are we.   Holiday in-store sales are projected to be up 10% vs. 13.5% online.  Target is front and center in this discussion as CEO Brian Cornell talks about the opportunities ahead given consumer confidence and the changes that have been made at Target - New store brands to boost profitability, shipping from 1,400 stores for faster online delivery, ramping up 100,000 temp workers.  And the Target Store of the Future may have 2 entrances for different customer modalities.

JC Penny posted a surprise increase in same store sales, reversing 4 straight quarters of declines, while Macy's continued it's 12th straight quarter of declineCarter is predicting a record year after a 7.2% increase in Q3 sales, driven in part in double digit gains in both online and mobile. 

Meanwhile, there are rumors that two of the largest toy makers, Hasbro and Mattel, might merge. Meanwhile, Disney is left wondering why so many brands don't get that the secret is combining storytelling and technology to create compelling retail experiences.

54% of consumers are buying online and picking up in stores according to a recent Kibo report, validating investments in omnichannel ordering.  Order management and fulfillment is complex.  Retailers should spend more marketing efforts bringing digital media in-store to create engaging experiences and implement omnichannel more holistically.

With all eyes on the StitchFix IPO, subscription models are under intense scrutiny.  Retail Dive has an exhaustive analysis on the subscription model and a deep discussion about industry investment in the face of flatlining sales and retention at scale.

RIS outlined several techniques for driving in-store traffic including creating FOMO, reducing frictions and creating experiences and gamifying shopping.  They also point out that Macy's increased shoe sales double digits by going self-service from the high-touch service model that typifies their history.   Man, they should look at what PERCH was able to do at Neiman's with shoes (39% sales lift). 

So that's the weekly roundup.   Did we miss a big story?  Want to include yours?  Email us at and let us know who's making retail marketing news.