Maya Mikhailov

Recent Posts

Reframing Retail — Getting Underneath The Headlines And Hype

Posted by Maya Mikhailov on Apr 18, 2018 1:05:00 PM

Article in Retail Touchpoints

There isn’t an industry today devoid of technology. It has completely revolutionized the ways in which business gets done — from improving personalized customer knowledge through data, to reducing costs and increasing accuracy in supply chains, to using chatbots and other artificial intelligence (AI) to improve customer service.

For the consumer, tech has leveled the playing field — most immediately, from a customer service perspective. Treated unfairly on a flight? Tweet about it. Experience a product fail? Take pictures and email them to customer service. But the extent of retailers’ technological support cannot just emerge when things go wrong. Tech in the retail space must be about making experiences seamless throughout the journey. Perhaps when that happens, we’ll see less volatility in the industry.

While the current narrative largely bewails the “retail apocalypse,” experts should not be so quick to blame e-Commerce, and retailers must shake off psychological bruising from past economic downturns.

If we’re going to point blame for retail woes, we must consider the oversaturation of stores in the U.S. and the fact that, on the whole, stores have not offered the level of engagement customers are seeking.

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Topics: Press, Omnichannel Retail

Why You Need to Start Thinking About Holiday 2018 Now

Posted by Maya Mikhailov on Feb 13, 2018 3:58:47 PM

Originally published in Total Retail
Written by Maya Mikhailov, CMO and Co-Founder of GPShopper

During the 2017 holiday shopping season, retailers saw a 5.5 percent increase in sales from the previous year. Now that the holiday crush has come and gone, most executives are busy celebrating a huge jump over the prior year, and consumers are still dizzy from another whirlwind shopping season with delayed shipments and missing packages.

The battle for the relevance and convenience that keeps customers coming through the physical or proverbial door didn't pause for Christmas dinner. In an even less certain 2018, retailers must reflect and recalibrate quickly to succeed.

The Logistics and Shipping Headache Will Only Get Worse in 2018

This past holiday season, a majority of consumers spent up to 15 hours shopping for gifts. And despite the fact that they’ve spent tons of time with their favorite retailers instead of their favorite family members, there are still major mishaps that retailers have been unable to fix.

While online and mobile shopping boast to be the solution to avoiding overcrowded stores, a third of shoppers still reported paying extra for shipping and ultimately not receiving their gifts on time. This year, many retailers tried to solve this issue by setting shipping deadlines earlier, but with delays from the likes of UPS as early as Black Friday, even bumping up deadlines wasn’t enough to guarantee delivery by the holiday. Thirty-five percent of shoppers reported placing their orders by the deadline, yet they still didn't receive their gift in time, which seems pretty unbelievable when we’ve figured out tech solutions for everything from personal shoppers and chatbots to checkout kiosks.

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Topics: Press, Market Research, Omnichannel Retail, Holiday Season

Huffington Post: No More Door Busters

Posted by Maya Mikhailov on Nov 23, 2016 1:13:11 PM

Article in Huffington Post
Written by Maya Mikhailov

Americans are more likely to be hitting the snooze button this Friday than getting up and in line for Black Friday door busters. The 71 percent of consumers sleeping with their smartphones under their pillow don’t need to go any further than the breakfast table for a good deal this year. Why go to the mall when they can go to their mobile devices for all their holiday sales needs?

The holiday shopping season is about to officially kick off and most consumers aren’t even going to wait until their Thanksgiving meals are over to tap into all the promotions lighting up their smartphones. Instead of door busters, they’re going to be looking for screen busters. In fact, in 2015, GPShopper’s clients saw a 241 percent increase in visits to their app and a nearly 400 percent revenue increase on Thanksgiving Day. After a year of steady mobile retail growth in general, it’s hard to ignore this shifting trend that favors phones over physical stores on what has become the biggest shopping day of the year.

Smart retailers aren’t glazing over this evolving trend either. In fact, they’re shifting their strategies to match consumer behavior, knowing the opportunity to reach shoppers now lies with Thanksgiving day itself rather than Black Friday and officially embracing the earlier start to the shopping season.

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Topics: Press, Mobile Apps, Push Notifications, Loyalty, Location-Based Marketing, Market Research, In-Store Mobile, Benchmarks & Statistics, Omnichannel Retail, Best Practices, Holiday Season

QUARTZ:  To Compete with Online Shopping, Retailers Must Embrace Minimalism

Posted by Maya Mikhailov on Oct 27, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Article in Quartz
Written by Maya Mikhailov

Retail has an oversupply problem. For a long time, American consumers wanted more and more, so retailers obliged by expanding stores and product stock. But in order to thrive in this new shopping climate, retailers need to embrace the strategy of less is more.

Turn your store into a brand experience

America has 70% more retail space per capita than Canada, and more than six times that of Europe. That’s about 2,375 square feet per 100 people—23 square feet per person dedicated to your personal shopping whims!

But in the internet age, the reality is that no one needs that much retail space anymore (or if they ever needed 23 square feet each in the first place).

The role of physical stores has changed in the consumer psyche. Shoppers are rewarding nimble digital-first brands, such as Everlane, which practices “radical transparency” in product manufacturing and pricing. They clearly explain how the supply chain works to their customers and where margins are made. Another example is the seasonal Shoe Park in New York City, where customers trade their shoes at the door for a pair from the new collection. They can take the shoes for a test stroll through an indoor park, while enjoying Blue Bottle Coffee and Glossier’s cult-status makeup.

These new models are showing traditional retailers that a physical store should be an extension of the brand story, not a warehouse. In this way, the in-store experience isn’t dead; it’s just returning to its roots as retail theater.

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Topics: Press, Mobile Apps, Location-Based Marketing, Market Research, In-Store Mobile, Omnichannel Retail, Apparel Retail, Beauty Retail

Don't Snooze Through This...Scale and Security Matter for Mobile Success

Posted by Maya Mikhailov on Feb 16, 2016 9:30:00 AM

This is the last in a four-part series helping retailers plan their 2016 mobile strategy. Read the preceding posts, "Mobile was Huge for Holiday 2015... Now What?""If They Cannot Search for You, They Will Find Another", and "Stop Measuring Mobile Incorrectly."

Making an app well-designed and usable is just the tip of the iceberg of mobile application strategy. Under the surface is performance, security and reliability. There were some notable and very public crashes this holiday season from omnichannel retailers. But even those that didn’t black-out saw significant increases in traffic and a slowdown of their digital properties. In mobility, handling app scale can involve different strategies from mobile web scale. Apps can take advantage of even more local device caching. However, on the flip side, they can also generate a lot more load - even on a smaller user base. 

Security is another issue that often takes a back seat to app design. As apps become a bigger player in commerce, application security must be included in the conversation. Although apps have natural defenses against certain types of attacks, they are not immune to malicious players.

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Topics: Mobile Apps, Best Practices