BEAUTY CARE

Personal engagement is omnichannel experience at Ulta Beauty

BY Dan Berthiaume

BOLINGBROOK, Ill. — For fast-growing retailer Ulta Beauty, having an omnichannel presence does not just mean selling products across multiple touch-points. As Ulta Beauty executives explained during a presentation at the recent Oracle Industry Connect 2015 conference, the retailer uses an Oracle Retail technology platform to support a range of omnichannel experiences that engage customers at a highly personal level.
 
For example, Ulta Beauty posts shoppable “haul videos” customers create on its e-commerce site. The haul videos show customers displaying items they bought at Ulta, explaining why they like them so much, and giving tutorials on how to use and apply them properly. Customers can rewind to a specific product and click on it to be brought to its listing on the Ulta site.
 
In addition, Ulta Beauty will offer loyalty members (who represent 80% of sales) personalized online product recommendations with a min-shopping cart overlay that lets them click to the full product page. When customers purchase the item, they remain on the product page and can see full photos and information.
 
Other omnichannel customer engagement features include live interactive chat with beauty consultants, as well as visibility of inventory in nearby stores. Customers can book in-store salon appointments online, boosting store traffic,
 
Furthermore, Ulta Beauty is piloting an iPad-based clienteling application that will replace the current system where customers fill out paper forms to obtain consultations with beauty experts.
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Amazon introduces latest consumer convenience in Dash Button

BY Michael Johnsen

 

 
 
SEATTLE — Amazon.com on Tuesday introduced the latest retail tech gizmo that stands a chance to forever change how consumers replenish supplies: a branded button called the "Dash Button" that's affixed to an appliance — a coffee maker for coffee, for example, or a washer machine for detergent — and automatically orders a resupply through Amazon when pressed. 
 
By making the replenishing of supplies that convenient, Amazon.com stands to circumvent the shopping list altogether and capture that business exclusively. 
 
"Dash Button is simple to set up," Amazon noted. "Use the Amazon app on your smartphone to easily connect to your home Wi-Fi network and select the product you want to reorder with Dash Button. Once connected, a single press automatically places your order. Amazon sends an order alert to your phone, so it's easy to cancel if you change your mind. Unless you elect otherwise, Dash Button responds only to your first press until your order is delivered." 
 
Along with the Dash Button, Amazon.com is introducing its Dash Replenishment Service to manufacturers, who are being encouraged to build a "Dash Button" right into their device. "By using DRS, device makers are able to leverage Amazon's authentication and payment systems, customer service and fulfillment network — giving their customers access to Amazon's low prices, great selection and reliable delivery."
 
Dash Replenishment Service can be integrated with devices in two ways, Amazon.com noted. Manufacturers can either build a physical button into their hardware to reorder consumables or they can measure consumable usage so that reordering happens automatically. For example, an automatic pet food dispenser made with built-in sensors can measure the amount of pet food remaining in its container and place an order before running out. 

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PLMA: Store brand dollar share moving up across all outlets, including drug

BY Antoinette Alexander

 

NEW YORK — As national brands continue to struggle with lower growth year-to-year in supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandisers, store brand sales in all the major retail channels continue their upwards trend, setting new records across the board for annual revenue, according to the Private Label Manufacturers Association’s 2015 Private Label Yearbook.

When 2014 came to a close, store brands had accounted for nearly $3 billion in incremental sales overall, an increase of 2.5% compared with the previous year and more than twice the percentage gain that was recorded by national brands. Total sales of private label in the United States were $115.3 billion.

As a result, store brand dollar share moved up across all outlets combined — consisting of supermarkets, drug stores, mass merchandisers, and the club and dollar store channels.

Over a three-year period, store brand sales across the combined retail outlets have increased by $5.5 billion, moving store brand dollar market share from 17.3% to 17.7%. The run-ups are much the same in the individual channels. Over that period, the annual sales volumes for store brands have risen by $2.5 billion in supermarkets and risen by $200 million in drug stores.

The PLMA 2015 Private Label Yearbook utilizes data provided by The Nielsen Co. for the 52 weeks ending Dec. 27, 2014.

Ongoing market basket research consistently reveals that shoppers can save about one-third on basic grocery and household items in a typical supermarket by choosing store brands over national brands. Last year, consumers who reached for the store brand version of their favorite food and non-food grocery products rather than the national brand saved an estimated $27 billion, according to PLMA.

 

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