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Mark Heckman

Principal
Mark Heckman Consulting

Perhaps the male shopper is the missing link the industry is looking for to accelerate the use of in-store shopping apps and location-based targeting. Having said that, improvements in content, targeting accuracy and consumer ergonomics (ease of use) are still going through much needed refinement which need to happen...

Many retailers that have invested mightily in their own loyalty programs are inherently suspicious of joining forces with other retailers in fear of either losing control of their data or existing equity of their program. Both concerns are real, but have been mitigated to some extent by those recent...

Technology without shopper intelligence has a tendency to be more annoying than helpful. There are plenty of examples today of geo-fencing and iBeacon technology being more of a bother than a help to shoppers, typically because the messages that are prompted by the shopper's presence are not practically actionable...

Transition is always painful and sometimes even unprofitable. So it goes with digital coupons and digital circulars. While brands and retailers are motivated to migrate from paper to digital given the cost efficiencies and flexibilities of digital, the code has not yet been cracked as to how effectively engage...

If retailers want their marketing and message to be about something other than price, developing enthusiastic, motivated and knowledgeable associates is a must. As brick-and-mortar stores compete increasingly with "smart" websites that account for the shopper's previous visits and preferences, a smart and engaging in-store associate is going to...

I am going to be the contrarian this morning and not bash Congress. In my view, the dysfunction in Congress only reflects the growing division among the voters who put them there. Ironically, this division is being propagated by the other two branches of government with executive actions and...

As a former retailer who marketed to the college crowd, my experience tells me that unless Aldi takes a very comprehensive approach to student marketing, they will see their efforts fall short of their expectations.

Many food retailers that have stores near college campuses provide buses, student discounts and back...

Physical stores will be relevant and actually vibrant if they begin making the necessary changes to engage the mobile customer. Some are, while others appear to be laggards. I see the growth in mobile and physical store traffic as synergistic, not mutually exclusive.

Mobile usage numbers are improving albeit from...

For most food retailers, center store still represents between 50%-60% of the business. It has been under siege by the expansion of fresh foods, the proliferation of new retail channels, (drug, dollar, mass, DIY) expanding into staple food categories, and of equal importance, a time-starved shopper. I agree with...

It would seem that the more technology and software retailers have access to, the more complex their pricing strategies become. There is a line somewhere to be crossed between sophistication and chaos.

Most retailers, first and foremost, price index off their key competitors, knowing that real or even significant perceptual...

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