CEO Sharon Price John says Build-A-Bear’s old e-commerce system is a big reason for disappointing online sales in December.
A sampling of e-retailer and vendor announcements from the NRF show floor this week.
The National Retail Federation’s 106th annual Big Show kicks off today and vendors are armed and ready with timely announcements they have been saving up for the few days when nearly 35,000 retail professionals converge on the floor of the Jacob K. Javitz convention center in New York City. Last year the event hosted representatives from 3,326 retail companies including merchants, vendors and consultants.
Here’s a sampling of e-commerce news and products announced in conjunction with the NRF 2017 Big Show.
Listrak, an email marketing vendor that works with 82 retailers in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 1000, launched Listrak Exchange, which allows digital marketers to automatically sync their customer email lists to consumer audiences on Facebook Inc. and Google Inc. The aim is to help marketers save time managing lists and save money on advertising by avoiding targeting outdated groups of consumers that have already recently purchased or have not responded to advertising in the past.
Specifically, with Listrak’s new Facebook Lead Ad Automation tool, advertisers acquiring new subscribers via Facebook Lead Ads can automate the flow of these subscribers from Facebook to their Listrak email system to engage them via email. Facebook lead ads enable consumers to sign up for more info or request something from a business, such as a price estimate, newsletters or product demos.
With Google, Listrak Exchange enables advertisers to easily manage which names on their email lists see Google AdWords ads, enabling advertisers to better allocate their ad spend. Listrak Exchange also works with Gmail and YouTube ads.
Brian Gavin Diamonds, No. 767 in the Top 1000, and 2nd Wind Exercise Equipment (No. 747) are among the online retailers that use Listrak for email marketing.
Global selling services
Azoya Group, a cross-border e-commerce services provider, announced its U.S. launch, aiming to help stateside retailers and manufacturers break into the Chinese market. More than 35 retailers in 12 countries have worked with Azoya to expand into China, including French fashion retailer La Redoute SA, No. 55 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Europe 500, which recently used Azoya to create and operate its own e-commerce site in China, and European online beauty retailer Feelunique. The Chinese cross-border consumer e-commerce market reached $40 billion in 2015 and is growing 50% annually, according to McKinsey and Company.
Ahold USA, owner of online grocer Peapod LLC (No. 65 in the Top 500) and cosmetics retailer Sephora USA Inc. (No. 129) are the newest clients of RangeMe, a vendor that helps companies manage their supply chain and sourcing by aiding in comparing offers from potential suppliers. Ahold is using RangeMe in an effort to source products from more women- and minority-owned businesses. Ahold also will use RangeMe to manage its inbound product submissions. Sephora is using RangeMe to scale its retail buying efforts in the U.S.
Omnichannel vendor Radial introduced Radial Order Management. The vendor, which launched in April as a spinoff of the former eBay Enterprise, provides omnichannel services that connect a retailer’s online and offline assets, as well as fulfillment, fraud prevention and customer service tools. Radial order management gives retailers a single view of inventory across stores and e-commerce and helps retailers offer store returns for online purchases and multiple delivery options including buy online, pick up in store. It also offers what it calls intelligent order routing, meaning it can help merchants find the most cost-effective way to fulfill an order, such as shipping an online order from a store that is close to a consumer’s home. The new order management feature integrates with Radial’s other services, the vendor says.
"Radial Order Management accepts orders from any source, figures out the best way to fulfill—distribution center, store or drop-ship—connects to a retailer’s payment and fraud systems, and communicates back with the webstore for customer status,” says Stefan Weitz, chief product and strategy officer for Radial.
Radial also recently opened a new 500,000-square-foot distribution center in Burlington, N.J. aiming to speed its current average ground delivery time of 2.4 days. Radial counts GameStop Corp. (No. 45) and Shoe Carnival as retailer customers.
Payments and loyalty
Payments vendor Verifone and financial services company FIS unveiled Verifone Points Redemption, which alerts shoppers at checkout who are paying with a loyalty-linked card when they have collected enough points to pay for their items. Merchants can download the free tool from the web-based Verifone Commerce Platform and cardholders can opt to pay for their purchases with points using a Yes or No prompt. FIS works with 8.5 million consumers served by 3,100 banks to support loyalty point redemption at thousands of U.S. gas stations. The program is powered by payment technology company ModoPayments.