5 Things You Need to Know

December 20, 2018
All the news that's fit to print from the front lines of retail technology
5 Things You Need to Know

As the year lurches to an end, the news just doesn’t stop — and that includes retail. Take a look at the top five stories to cross our desk recently.

Yoga Bullish

The reigning champions of upscale athleisure, Lululemon, are testing a subscription-based loyalty program similar to Amazon Prime (though featuring a lot more Lycra-based products). After a successful pilot in Edmonton, Alberta, the apparel company will begin rolling out the program to several additional markets.

“We have a few additional markets that we’re going to be launching in,” CEO Calvin McDonald said. “We’re very excited as we look forward to the ability to have a membership-based program where it’s driving loyalty, but guests are seeing value in this curation of services and content beyond just our product.”

[Loyalty360]  

Aisle Driver

While December 17th, 2018 might not rival July 16th, 1969 (the first moon landing), it’s a date worth remembering — that’s when Kroger’s first self-driving vehicle delivered milk, eggs, and assorted groceries to the home of Shannon Baggett, in Scottsdale, Arizona. The launch event for the completely unmanned cars was not without a hitch, however. The AP reports, “One of the compact cars didn’t drive as planned at a media demonstration because of a dead battery and had to be pushed up a ramp and onto a truck by several men.”

[Associated Press]

Blitzkrieg BOPIS

Retail’s favorite new acronym, BOPIS (buy online, pick up in store) is quickly finding adoption outside the world of retail tech. As CNBC reports, “Adobe found that click-and-collect orders have grown a whopping 46 percent from a year ago during the Nov. 1 to Dec. 6 period.”

And BOPIS isn’t just saving consumers time; it could be helping save retail. Adobe credits the 18% uptick in online retail sales from Nov. 1 to Dec. 6 (compared with a year ago) in large part to click-and-collect programs. As Frank Layo, managing director at Kurt Salmon, explained, "[Retailers have] started to see it as a competitive advantage against Amazon building distribution centers around them."

[CNBC]

At a Gloss

Millennial-focused makeup company Glossier will exceed a whopping $100 million in revenue this year, per CEO and founder Emily Weiss. The social media saturating beauty company has managed to take on the incumbents through savvy marketing and D2C sales.

Weiss tells Bloomberg that the company is now entering a mysterious “Phase Two”, which promises to meld “e-commerce with social networks — a ‘social commerce’ website that’s led by former Facebook Inc. and Instagram Inc. executive Keith Peiris — so that customers can build relationships with each other.”

[Bloomberg]

These beauty samples now typically feature multiple shades of a particular product, driven by a movement toward inclusivity, as well as the rise of various Instagram-related beauty trends.

Pretty Penny

Samples — they’re not just for hip hop producers anymore. According to Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Beauty, “The share of skincare brands offering online samples has grown by 11% year over year, with 88% of brands now offering samples on site.” But digital-native consumers haven’t just driven an increase in sample offerings, they’ve also changed the nature of the samples themselves.

These beauty samples now typically feature multiple shades of a particular product, driven by a movement toward inclusivity, as well as the rise of various Instagram-related beauty trends.

[Gartner L2]

Wishing everyone a safe and happy New Year's -- see you all in 2019!

Tags: Retail, News

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