Channel Executive Summit at the Four Seasons Troon North Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona from September 30 to October 1. More than 100 retailers took part in three days of sessions, golf and networking opportunities. Here are five insights highlighted at the event.
Online channels will represent a projected 34 percent of overall revenue in 2008, a recent joint AMR Research and RIS News study found. That represents a compound annual growth rate of more than 19 percent between 2006 and 2008. When taking pure-play e-commerce respondents out of the equation, online revenue accounted for 19 percent in 2006 and an anticipated 25 percent in 2008.
2. KIOSKS ARE ALIVE AND KICKING
However, the numbers are somewhat misleading. More online transactions are now generated from the store via kiosks, point-of-sale (POS) devices, or handheld devices. By the end of 2008, 78 percent of retailers an ticipate using kiosks to connect customers to the Web site for sales, and 69 percent will support inventory and ordering via the Web site at the point of sale.
3. WEB IS PLATFORM FOR 21ST CENTURY
Who would have thought JCPenney, one of the oldest retailers in the country, would adopt the key principle of breaking down traditional business boundaries and connecting channels, partners, suppliers, and customers through the Internet? JCPenney's president and COO of Penny Direct discussed how jcp.com is the foundation that connects each point of interaction with consistent inventory, product, and customer information. This strategy has propelled revenue for its online operations to more than $1 billion annually.
4. GEN Y DOESN'T WANT TEXT OFFERS
Eight students from the University of Arizona, representing the generation called Generation Y, sat on a panel moderated by Richard T. Sweeney, university librarian for the New Jersey Institute of Technology. The students were questioned on topics ranging from favorite retailers (Nordstrom and Target topped the list) to favorite musicians (we didn't recognize most of the names).
5. E-COMMERCE AND LOYALTY CONVERGE
The general manager of CVS.com said that in addition to increasing Web selling features, the chain drug giant will also "give data back to customers." Allowing consumers to access their own data and take advantage of loyalty rewards via CVS' Web site increases interest and satisfaction. This move should also decrease customer service calls. A personalized online experience can build loyalty without compromising margin. RIS