NRF News

How Zappos' quirky culture leads to customer delight

NRF Global SmartBrief | May 26, 2015

An e-commerce leader since 1999, Zappos is known for its customer service-driven, quirky culture. At the Online Merchandising Workshop in July, Zappos Head of User Experience Jason Broughton will share the most effective ways to translate corporate culture into imaginative and delightful shopping experiences. Learn more.

7 things retailers should know about Google’s mobile-friendly update

NRF Global SmartBrief | May 22, 2015

Google recently changed how its algorithms rank mobile search results, impacting retailers both large and small and helping smartphone users more easily find relevant results. NRF’s Artemis Berry looks at how search optimization has changed, and outlines short-term tips for surviving “mobilegeddon.” Read more.

10 concerns for retail CMOs

NRF Global SmartBrief | May 21, 2015

More than 50% of retailers surveyed in NRF's "The State of Retailing Online 2015: Key Metrics, Initiatives and Mobile Benchmarks" report said applications are not a key component of their consumer mobile strategy. An even greater percent said they weren't critical for employee strategy. To app or not to app is on the list of topics NRF's CMO Council is talking about right now. Read more.

Webinar: Attracting mobile shoppers

NRF Global SmartBrief | May 20, 2015

Retailers know mobile optimization of websites is critical, but many still struggle to sort out what matters most to shoppers in a mobile experience. In a webinar on May 27, speakers from HSN, Office Depot and Bizrate Insights will discuss the latest mobile retail trends and which strategies and tactics are increasing engagement and sales. Learn more or register.

Retailers still feeling effects of West Coast ports slowdown

NRF Global SmartBrief | May 19, 2015

While the labor dispute at West Coast ports is officially over, it's still not clear sailing. The slowdown was one of the worst in recent history -- consulting firm Kurt Salmon projects it could cost the industry $7 billion. Port officials estimate that it will take until sometime this month to work through the backlog of shipments, and retailers may feel the impact through much of 2015. Read more.

Quiz: What’s your retail superstar personality?

NRF Global SmartBrief | May 18, 2015

The NRF Foundation honored 25 remarkable individuals in January, celebrating their original ideas, strong leadership and power to influence. Now it’s time for you to find out: Are you a power player, disruptor, dreamer, influencer or giver? Take the quiz.

A one-minute dose of omnichannel inspiration

NRF Global SmartBrief | May 15, 2015's Digital Summit attracts some of the most innovative leaders in the retail industry. Watch this one-minute clip from last year's Summit, featuring executives from Birchbox and Zulily, and register now for this year's Digital Summit, to be held in Philadelphia 5 to 7 October.

Connect with fellow retail execs in New York

NRF Global SmartBrief | May 14, 2015

NRF is hosting networking dinners exclusively for senior-level retail marketing, technology, e-commerce, operations and mobile executives to connect and learn from each other, one city at a time. Join colleagues at Oceana in New York City on 21 May. Each retail company may register up to three executives (vice president and above). Learn more or sign up.

6 D.C. startups on why they love retail

NRF Global SmartBrief | May 13, 2015

Retail's Night Out brought more than two dozen pop-up shops to NRF's neighborhood in Washington, D.C. We asked six of these local retailers about their biggest challenges, why they love what they do and how their companies fit into the city's retail scene. Here's what they had to say.

US ports see record-high volume in April

NRF Global SmartBrief | May 12, 2015

Major US retail container ports handled record-high volume in March, up 44.9% from February and 33.1% from 2014, according to NRF's Global Port Tracker report prepared by Hackett Associates. The unusual numbers were because of a backlog of cargo from vessels waiting to be unloaded when a West Coast labour dispute ended in February. Read more.

Using high-tech tools to craft better in-store experiences

NRF Global SmartBrief | May 11, 2015

Compass Coffee -- a single-location cafe, roaster and wholesaler based in Washington, D.C. -- opened its doors last year. Co-Founders Michael Haft and Harrison Suarez have employed the latest technology to create a unique customer experience, using three-dimensional modeling tool SketchUp to design custom seating and water jet cutters and laser cutters to convert a former laundromat into a cafe. Read more.

What happens when a retail CEO goes undercover

NRF Global SmartBrief | May 08, 2015

Rocket Fizz President and co-founder Robert Powells participated in the television series "Undercover Boss" and worked alongside a sales associate in one of his company's franchised candy stores. STORES Magazine looks at the changes Powells made when he discovered inventory and point-of-sale inefficiencies. Read the story.

Quiz: How much do you know about small businesses?

NRF Global SmartBrief | May 07, 2015

As a SmartBrief reader, you know the industry -- from hot retail startups to established brands -- better than the average person. Test your knowledge with this six-question quiz, and try not to rub it in too much when you beat your friends' scores. Take the quiz.

How savvy small businesses use social media

NRF Global SmartBrief | May 06, 2015

Small businesses have to work especially hard to reach customers, and some of the savviest entrepreneurs are using social media to build their brands and their own distinct communities. NRF's Retail Across America road trip has uncovered success stories from small companies in San Francisco, Seattle, Austin and Frankfort, Ky., where online outreach is a big contributor to the bottom line. Read more.

Helping small businesses think big about digital commerce

NRF Global SmartBrief | May 05, 2015

One of the biggest hurdles for many smaller retailers and local merchants is mastering the digital arm of the business. In this month's issue of STORES Magazine, Susan Reda looks at Holonis, a new company that made a big splash at South by Southwest this year with its online tools for small businesses. Read more.

Making beauty products more accessible than ever

NRF Global SmartBrief | May 04, 2015

Cosmetics shoppers are leaning less on beauty advisors, preferring to explore products on their own. Retailers like Macy's and Kohl's are responding to the changing consumer by introducing new brands, acquiring emerging companies and creating environments where shoppers can have more interactive experiences. "We use the words 'test' and 'learn' a lot," says Macy's exec Jim Sluzewski. Read more.

Now streaming: What's next for Periscope and Meerkat

NRF Global SmartBrief | May 01, 2015

Two new smartphone applications are connecting consumers to live experiences that previously may have been out of sight. Social video-streaming startups Periscope and Meerkat have been all the buzz lately. NRF's Artemis Berry shares examples of retail "early adopters" and how retailers might experiment with live video in the future. Read more.

Top priorities for retail loss prevention

NRF Global SmartBrief | Apr 30, 2015

Every year, US loss prevention teams are called on to protect more than $400 billion in retail revenue. NRF's LP Advisory Council met last week, and discussions focused on the many challenges loss prevention teams face. NRF Vice President of Loss Prevention Bob Moraca looks at top priorities like cybersecurity, employee theft and team development. Read more.

How millennial homebuyers influence retail trends

NRF Global SmartBrief | Apr 29, 2015

Nearly one-third of U.S. homebuyers in 2014 were millennials, and the youngest generation of homeowners approaches home improvement and decorating differently than their parents. NRF's Kathy Grannis looks at the story behind the spending data, and how retailers like Urban Outfitters, The Home Depot, Macy's and Lowe's are finding unique ways to engage millennial consumers. Read more.

Monthly Economic Review: Consumers are in the driver’s seat

NRF Global SmartBrief | Apr 28, 2015

Lower energy costs, rising home equity, job and income gains and increased buying power from the stronger U.S. dollar will all continue to positively contribute to greater consumer spending ability -- a key factor for further economic gains. NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz looks at the latest trends impacting consumer spending and confidence in his latest monthly report. Read more.

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