Drugstore Masstige

The drugstore industry has taken a liking to masstige products – those that are similar to the prestige brands found at upscale department stores but sold at mass market retailers like drugstores and big-box retailers. But will customers remain willing to spend more on products sold in a place that also carries beef jerky and digestive aids?

Eyewear Revolution

More than a few eyewear companies, like Warby Parker, have taken the gamble – heresy of heresies – to offer consumers more of what they want for less. These so-called eyewear upstarts are placing realistic, yet far from ridiculous, prices on a complete set of glasses. Yet another example of the customer-centric business model gaining huge ground on the old product-driven one.

Instagram Rules Consumer Engagement. So What?

Who needs to economize with 140 Twitter characters or a superbly worded Facebook post when a picture or video is still worth 1,000 words on Instagram? The photo/video sharing service engages potential customers 18 times more effectively than Facebook and 48 times better than Twitter. But with social media responsible for driving less than 3% of website traffic, what is Instagram’s recent social victory worth?

Holiday Spending Highlights U.S. Wealth Gap

With one percent of the U.S. population controlling a little more than half of the country’s assets these days, how do marketers deal with the growing divide between rich and poor in America, aka the Wealth Gap? A look at how those on the lower end of the economic ladder could provide some insight. If you know your Charles Dickens, that is.

Bigger Stores Could Dent Retailers’ Holiday Profits

“He who has the largest store or number of stores will sell the most things between now and the end of the year.” Right? Maybe not. Bigger, alas, is not always better. But could larger operations with extra floor space actually result in lower sales numbers? Especially once the holiday shopping season stampedes into town? Is that even possible?

Is Luxury Merging Back in Style?

Mergers and acquisitions activity (M&A) in the U.S. has “jumped significantly” over the last year or so, with a number of large consumer packaging companies selling off non-core operations and brands. M&A also appears to be on the rise in Europe, particularly in the areas of jewelry and fashion. Does the end-consumer look to benefit from corporate’s rush to buy and sell?

Using Gamification to Engage Customers and Employees

Expanding on the premise that most activities – including shopping and work – aren't as stressful if they feel like fun, gamification has risen to prominence in the world of retail. Merchants as diverse as Nike, Whole Foods and New York-area drug store chain Duane Reade are taking a long, hard look at how online games and apps can help them improve the bottom line while keeping customers -- and employees – entertained. And, the retailers hope, loyal.

Digital Mavericks Using Social Media to Change Our Lives

The leaps and bounds taking place in social media amount to more than graduated upgrades. And the people driving the changes are no longer referred to as movers and shakers. According to Details magazine, the new social players are known as “digital mavericks” because what they bring to the technological table promises to change the way we live and interact on a daily basis.

Color It Marketable

It's not brand new information that colors easily stir up subconscious feelings, some troubling, others completely pleasant. Savvy retailers bank on this emotional correlation along the spectrum of Roy G. Biv to attract shoppers and encourage the opening of pockets and swiping of credit cards.

As Retailers Battle “Showrooming,” Online Merchants Click Through Their Next Moves

With customers shopping for deals locally and then purchasing those same items online – a practice known as “showrooming” – retailers are scrambling to win back sales from foot traffic. At the same time, online merchants are toying with brick-and-mortar presences that aim to match the competition, service for service.