The search giant today launched an app called Inbox that could force retailers to change their e-mail marketing strategies.
It shows web shoppers nearby stores that sell shoes they seek.
Shoppers searching for the perfect shoe on SteveMadden.com who don’t want to wait for delivery have another option. They can enter their size and ZIP code, along with their desired shoe style and color, on the product page to see nearby stores with their shoe in stock. So if a shopper can’t find the perfect shoe on SteveMadden.com, or if she simply doesn’t want to wait for delivery, she can pick it up at the closest Steve Madden store—either way, it’s a sales conversion, the retailer says.
“We get a lot of conversions off of this,” Mark Friedman, president, said today at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition which began today in Chicago and runs through Friday.
Friedman, who spoke during the IRCE Technology Workshop in a session titled “Synching your technology investments with your business model,” said offering shoppers the flexibility to shop and receive products in multiple ways across retail channels is crucial at a time when consumers are expecting to shop however they please.
“She is not a web customer or a retail [store] customer,” he said. “She is a Steve Madden customer. No matter when or how a customer is in contact with our brand, she should be treated the same way.”
He added: “The customers spending across all your retail channels are your best customers, and you need to treat them as such.”
Friedman said Steve Madden also can fulfill online orders from 85 stores as well as from five warehouses, but he added that the retailer still has work to do to improve its ability to operate as an “omnichannel” retailer that can serve customers regardless of how they like to shop across online and offline channels, including stores and call centers.
The retailer constantly tweaks the algorithm in its order management system to determine the best source of fulfilling online orders, he said. For example, it will adjust the safety stock level of individual products that it keeps in each store based on a store’s local customer demand; if a particular red party shoe is popular in a particular store, it may decide to maintain at least five or 10 pairs in that store, while fulfilling online orders from other stores that offer short shipping distances to the online customer to cut down on shipping costs and delivery times.
Steve Madden is also planning to relaunch its e-commerce site later this year on a technology platform from Micros Retail, a company that already provides the retailer with its store point-of-sale system. Operating its e-commerce and store POS systems on technology from the same vendor will enable it to better manage inventory and customer records across online and store channels, Friedman said to session attendees in remarks following his formal presentation. Micros-Retail is in booth 1321 in the IRCE Exhibit Hall.