Creating a Brilliant Customer Experience Across All Channels

Creating a Brilliant Customer Experience Across All Channels

A recent Deloitte survey on consumer holiday shopping plans contained some interesting news for brick-and-mortar retailers. While online purchases continue to nibble away at in-person shopping margins, consumers are seeking the best of both worlds. In greater numbers, they’re visiting stores to check out products before purchasing online, or purchasing online and picking items up in-store.

POPcodes to attend PYMNTS National Merchant Day in NYC

FinTech and Retail Tech startup set to showcase their solution at National Merchant Day Feb 16, 2017.

Calgary, AB—January 27, 2017—POPcodes, a startup focused on improving consumer and merchant experience, is set to attend the National Merchant Day conference in New York City February 16th, 2017.

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POPcodes to Compete in NEAA Competition

POPcodes to Compete in NEAA Competition

BOSTON - Jan. 25, 2017 - PRLog -- POPcodes, a startup focused on improving consumer, merchant and acquirer experience, has been asked to participate in Catapult 2017 at the Northeast Acquirers Association conference in Boston between January 31st and February 3rd. 

POPcodes Welcomes Tim Suther to Its Advisors Group

It was announced today that marketing expert Tim Suther has been named to the POPcodes Advisors Group. Tim joins an all-star advisor group that includes Greg Cohen, President of iPayment and 2016 President Elect of the Electronic Transaction Association, and Retail Advertising Hall of Fame inductee Robert Raible.

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PYMNTS and POPcodes Matchmakers Edition

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Consumers expect the ability to shop across channels and a seamless experience whether purchasing products online or in-store. But when it comes to utilizing promo codes or redeeming loyalty points, the lines between channels can be a bit harder to cross. Gregg Aamoth, CEO of POPcodes, joined this week’s episode of The Matchmaker Is In to discuss why the payment terminal may be the key merchants need to unlock a consistent rewards and loyalty experience across channels. 

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POPcodes selected to present at Money 20/20’s StartupPitch180 sponsored by EY

POPcodes selected to present at Money 20/20’s StartupPitch180 sponsored by EY

POPcodes is one of only fifteen late stage startups selected from around the globe to take place in Money 20/20’s 5th year’s competition. The action will be fast paced, interactive and fun, as judges from leading VC firms and audience voting will determine the 4 winners from our curated list of startup companies.

Former Macy’s Exec Hones In On The Need For Buy Online, Pickup In-Store

Former Macy’s Exec Hones In On The Need For Buy Online, Pickup In-Store

Gregg Aamoth, CEO and Co-Founder of omnichannel solution provider POPcodes and a former VP of Customer Marketing Systems and Privacy at Macy’s, is a heavy proponent of the buy online, pickup in-store trend and believes this model creates the most seamless shopping experience across all channels. The model also is known to strip down the hassle of pricing, as 86% of consumers who order products online and pick them up in the store want to avoid shipping fees, according to a POPcodes survey.

In the below Q&A, Aamoth details the buy online, in-store pickup process, and explains why it provides an added convenience that other delivery models do not.

Put the Rumors to Rest: 3 Myths about In-Store Pickup Dispelled

Put the Rumors to Rest: 3 Myths about In-Store Pickup Dispelled

Today's consumers expect to shop when they want and get what they need as quickly as possible, so it's no surprise that more and more retailers are offering omnichannel options. Every retailer has different priorities, but the goal is the same – to offer consumers the most streamlined, convenient and satisfying shopping experience imaginable. This means providing a retail experience that isn't either physical or digital anymore – but physical with digital. When it comes to fulfillment options, this means online purchase, in-store pickup.

The demand for buy online, pick up in store is higher than ever. According to Jarrett Streebin, CEO of San Francisco-based shipping firm EasyPost, in-store pickups for online purchases grew 15 percent in November, and will grow again in 2015. Unfortunately, many retailers are hesitant to implement this fulfillment model as a result of misguided perceptions. In reality, implementing in-store pickup is not nearly as expensive, complicated or narrowly-desired as they think. Here is the truth behind three common misconceptions about in-store pickup:

Retailers Embrace In-Store Pickup Amid Rising Shipping Costs

Retailers Embrace In-Store Pickup Amid Rising Shipping Costs

The onset of 2015 marked a huge change in shipping costs, and as a result retailers are struggling to find ways to maintain their bottom lines. As of Jan. 1, packages are now being evaluated by their “dimensional weight,” or volume, instead of determining price by weight alone. Experts say that the when combined with other annual rate hikes and surcharges, the resulting average rate increases will be as high as 30% or more.

Unfortunately, retailers are being forced to make sacrifices in the name of customer service in order to soften the blow. Some are raising free-shipping minimums, some are raising prices, and others are cutting free shipping altogether. But for the 68% of retailers already offering free delivery, cutting free shipping would take a serious toll on customer satisfaction.

How to launch in-store pickup that goes beyond 'grab and go'

How to launch in-store pickup that goes beyond 'grab and go'

So what exactly is this main goal? According to Aamoth, its getting the customer to fulfill an online order efficiently, while bringing them to a physical location where they can shop for additional items and drive incremental sales in both channels. Ace Hardware, for example, claims to have seen an average lift of 18% to 20% in e-commerce sales since installing in-store pickup.

Buy Online, Pick Up In Store: The Best Of Both Worlds

Buy Online, Pick Up In Store: The Best Of Both Worlds

The advantages of buying online and picking up in-store don’t end with the money saved on shipping costs. Directing customers into the store to complete their transaction results in major net gains for retailers, as two out of every three consumers shop for additional items when picking up a product in store, according to a recent POPcodes survey. The opportunity to upsell is unique to the in-store experience, and when consumers have the option to test and try, they are much more likely to make incremental purchases.

Optimizing The Supply Chain To Facilitate Omnichannel Fulfillment

Optimizing The Supply Chain To Facilitate Omnichannel Fulfillment

As omnichannel becomes more of a business imperative, retailers are striving to provide the best experience possible, particularly during the order fulfillment and delivery process.

Whether through ship-from-store or in-store pickup, merchants are enabling consumers to have more of a say in when and how they receive their orders. These are not the only methods retailers are implementing, as some merchants are adding same-day delivery services and even free shipping to the mix.

Regardless of the delivery method retailers want to execute, they must first streamline and optimize their supply chain operations.

Retailers Embrace Omnichannel Fulfillment Strategies To Exceed Customer Expectations

Retailers Embrace Omnichannel Fulfillment Strategies To Exceed Customer Expectations

A true omnichannel shopping experience is the ultimate value proposition retailers can offer their customers, and the order delivery and fulfillment experience is a vital part of this new shopping journey. To succeed, retailers must allow shoppers to receive their items at any time, and through any channel.

Don't Undermine Omnichannel Efforts With Siloed Solutions

Don't Undermine Omnichannel Efforts With Siloed Solutions

Today's consumers are always connected, interacting with companies using an array of devices and across multiple channels. Consumers' ability to shop at any time and on any Internet-connected device gives them the freedom to choose when and where to browse.  They can access pricing, inventory, and reviews from multiple sources. They can compare pricing with shipping from multiple online retailers. And many of them do this when they're walking around in your store.

Amazon’s Jump Into Brick And Mortar Is A Sign Of What's Ahead

Amazon’s Jump Into Brick And Mortar Is A Sign Of What's Ahead

Consumers still, and always will, want a shopping experience where they directly interact with people they trust. They also want to touch and test products before they purchase--particularly when it comes to fashion, high-tech, or big ticket items.

Tech Guest Viewpoint: Three Retail Lessons from Clicks to Bricks

Tech Guest Viewpoint: Three Retail Lessons from Clicks to Bricks

Comparing Amazon’s new Manhattan site, which will serve as the central distribution center for its new same-day delivery service Amazon Prime Now, to a “store” is a bit of a stretch. However, given their 17-year lease, only time will tell how much impact it has in terms of brand exposure and customer experience.  
 
But Amazon is just one of many online retailers stepping into the “clicks-to-bricks” game. Birchbox, Bonobos, Warby Parker, and Zappos have all clued into key findings about consumer shopping preferences and trends. Research has shown that consumers who have the option of shopping both online and off are spending up to four times as much as those shopping just one channel. Of course, e-retailers are hungry to capitalize on this. 

Amazon Challenges eBay With a Deeper Dig Into E-Commerce

Amazon continues to dive further into e-commerce with the release of its new pricing feature “Make an Offer”. 

The new “Make an Offer” tool allows Amazon to compete with online auctioneer eBay, by enabling customers to negotiate lower prices on products listed on Amazon. Sellers and buyers can negotiate through email until the deal is complete.

According to the company, “Make an Offer” is an opt-in feature for retailers, which means they will have the flexibility to decide which items they want to be enabled with the “Make an Offer” experience.

“We hear from sellers that there are items they are flexible with on price and are excited to negotiate with interested customers, and there are other items that they will not enable with the ‘Make an Offer’ experience, so it’s only for sale at the fixed price,” an Amazon spokesperson tells ClickZ.

Currently the only items enabled with the “Make an Offer” feature are sports and entertainment collectibles, collectible coins, and fine art. Amazon declined to disclose whether it will roll out this feature to other less expensive categories like electronics and books in the future.

“It’s interesting that Amazon is taking on categories like sports and entertainment collectibles where eBay has a dominance,” says Scot Wingo, co-founder and chief executive (CEO) of ChannelAdvisor, a provider of cloud-based e-commerce solutions. “eBay has been offering a similar feature called ‘Best Offer’ for a while, and it’s very popular.”

Gregg Aamoth, co-founder and CEO of POPcodes, a company that enables online payment and pick-up in-store, thinks this move indicates Amazon is considering consumer interaction to be a critical part of the shopping experience. “‘Make an Offer’ is one example of Amazon’s push to better connect with its customers. It adds another touch point in the shopping experience,” he says, adding that brick-and-mortar retailers will also be impacted by Amazon’s name-your-price model, because at large retail stores like Macy’s, consumers don’t have the bargaining power.

“I’d like to see if there will be more consumers expecting to negotiate prices in-store,” he notes.

With this move Amazon will likely give eBay a run for its money. But eBay doesn’t seem daunted. On the same day that Amazon introduced the “Make an Offer” tool, eBay debuted its new iPad app design, which aims to deliver a better shopping experience for buyers and better merchandising capabilities for sellers. The company plans to officially release the design in the first quarter of 2015.

“eBay has been struggling in the past two years. It would be interesting to see how eBay will reverse the slide and combat Amazon,” says Wingo, referring to his company’s data, which shows that in November of this year, Amazon saw much stronger sales in the U.S. than eBay, whose growth was just below the e-commerce growth rate.

Aamoth agrees that in terms of sales, Amazon has a competitive edge. “[But] in terms of facilitating the consumer-merchant interaction and having more price and product quality, eBay has been a strong leader for quite some time,” he says. “eBay is built around price negotiation and because it sells both new and used products, it has to have more of a buyer-seller dialogue.”

It’s hard to say whether Amazon or eBay will win the global e-commerce war. But one thing is for sure – Amazon is making efforts to improve its e-commerce business. In addition to the “Make an Offer” feature, the company initiated an ad training program called Trusted Creative Partner Program this week, where six select ad agencies – Leo Burnett’s Arc Worldwide, DDB California, Epsilon-Ryan, Possible, Rockfish, and TeaLab – will deliver creative advertising on Amazon’s sites and devices, including the Fire tablet, with special offers and e-commerce ads.

Click And Collect Brings New Customers To Retailers

Click And Collect Brings New Customers To Retailers

One of the most popular trends today in online retailing is customers buying online and picking up in-store, a practice referred to, cleverly, in the U.K., as “click and collect.” In fact more customers are asking for the service from the retailers they most often frequent. It’s a hybrid shopping experience: Customers can purchase an item anytime anywhere and then pick it up at their convenience at the retailer. Using this delivery model, a retailer can cultivate a convenient, streamlined image to the busy consumer; in addition, some stores are quite adept at drumming up related sales — upselling — at the time of pick up.