Monthly Newsletter | March & April 2019
S-CUBE Fixtures for Retail
Table of Contents
Retail Re-Imagined
A Goodwill Story
Strategies That Save Retailers Green
Content's Role In the Customer Experience
Retail Re-Imagined
S-CUBE’s Now, New, Next Trends Report details how brands and retailers have firmly placed the customer at the center of their strategies, elevating new tools and experiences to maintain relevancy and deepen engagement where it matters most — at the point of purchase.
  • BRANDS will sell experiences, not just products
  • Pop-Ups will target key markets
  • Hello ‘Omnipresence’
  • The Internet of Things will play a key role
  • Commerce comes on strong

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 A Goodwill Story
Partnering with S-CUBE, Goodwill challenged the team to explore fixturing options that could support all types of merchandising needs.  Fixture solutions that were super flexible, reconfigurable, mobile and cost effective were key criteria.  With an ever-changing inventory and unpredictable mix of product, adaptability was crucial.

Additionally, as a nonprofit organization, an investment in custom fixtures was not a practical, nor desirable solution.  

S-CUBE went to work assessing product categories, merchandising needs, flexibility requirements, and budgets. 

A combination of standard fixtures and semi-custom options was determined to be the right mix of solutions to support Goodwill, satisfying both the need for flexibility and, creating a store environment to enhance the shopping experience.

The definition of a semi-custom solution is one in which a standard fixture is selected and some custom elements like a panel, hardware, accessories, and/or finishes are added. This eliminates the expense and lead-time necessary for custom tooling but creates a look that is not totally off-the-shelf.

For Goodwill, we took our DiSimo Collection and did just that.  We added a custom finish, accessories and hardware.  We replaced two separate wall systems currently being utilized (and requiring two different hardware and accessory packages) with a modular wall system. The store had been using one system for shoes and another for pictures & home decor.  Now store staff can effortlessly switch out product with a shared upright system and interchangeable accessories. 

All floor fixtures (double bar racks, housewares shelving, and more) were semi-customized with the same finish application.

The single custom element was the book area. Using MDF and a finish that mirrored the DiSimo fixtures the store was complete.

S-CUBE has worked with Goodwill for 5 years and is excited to be part of this new prototype design.

Three ‘Green’ Delivery Strategies That Save Retailers Green
Three popular sustainable delivery processes that can be good for an e-commerce retailer’s bottom line, as well as their environmental efficiency.

Combining Deliveries Into A Single Day
E-commerce retailers both big (Amazon) and small (Farmstead) are offering regular customers the opportunity to select one standard day per week to receive all their orders at once. For customers, combining deliveries like this makes receiving orders much more predictable and convenient.
For the environment, a single-day delivery reduces the number of vehicles that have to be on the road to get packages to the customers that ordered them. In some cases, retailers are able to consolidate deliveries of multiple items into fewer packages, meaning even more goods can fit into a single vehicle and also reducing the amount of packaging that winds up in the waste stream.

Combined single-day deliveries also produce a handy cost savings for e-commerce retailers. Expenditures related to fuel, labor, distribution systems, general vehicle wear and tear, and possibly packaging are all reduced.

Generating More Savings From Packaging
Combined deliveries already offer e-commerce retailers the potential to reduce the cost of packaging the items consumers order. But by re-examining packaging itself, as Amazon is doing, retailers can further cut delivery expenses while aiding the environment.

E-commerce retailers can make efforts to use smaller and/or lighter weight materials for packaging customer orders, or even in product packaging for private label items. Both Walmart and Amazon are including efforts to reduce packaging waste as part of broader carbon initiatives.

In addition, retailers can collaboratively work with their suppliers to reduce the volume of packaging used in deliveries, as Amazon does in its “Frustration-Free Packaging” program. The end result is a reduction in the amount of primarily paper- and plastic-based material that needs to be created to ship products or recycled after they are delivered. The environment, and net profits, benefit.

Delivery, Hold The Gas And Driver
2019 may prove to be the year of the autonomous electric delivery vehicle. Since the beginning of the year, companies including Amazon, Stop & Shop, and FedEx have piloted battery-powered, self-driving vehicles to make deliveries.

Autonomous electric vehicles offer retailers the chance to save significant costs in driver wages and fuel expenses. Also, self-driving vehicles have a much better driving record than trucks and vans with humans behind the wheel. In the addition to eliminating carbon dioxide produced by burning fossil fuel, these vehicles can eliminate expenditures from the delivery budget.


Content’s Role in The Customer Experience
According to a recent Forrester report, 80% of business leaders believe that content challenges prevent them from delivering on their business objectives. This is not very surprising when you consider the volume and velocity of digital content that makes its way across all of the customer communication channels. This level of content can be tough to manage if businesses do not have the right strategies in place.
For global shoppers, experiences should be as positive online as they are in-store. Customers should be nurtured at each access point — whether consuming earned, paid or owned content, and regardless of the language they speak. Clearly, customer experience hinges on content management at every point of the sales cycle.

While most retail leaders understand the importance of content, only 30% believe that the customer journeys they provide are consistent, according to the Forrester study. Essentially, there is a disconnect between what business leaders know and what they are actually able to execute.

How can a company overcome this disconnect?

Take Advantage of Automation
First, get rid of manual processes that prevent the digital transformation that every company craves. Stop relying on disparate Web Content Management systems, network drives or document management systems and manual translation. These create far too much space for human error and result in ineffective and inefficient silos that disrupt the flow of content through each channel.

It is vital that businesses institute a content management strategy that creates an automated “content supply chain,” and makes sure that all product information across all channels and marketing tactics is consistent. The automation factor will allow the content to be customized and personalized for a user’s need in any given circumstance.

On a similar note, ensure product information is kept up to date. When you strip away the frills of delivery method and marketing strategy, product information at its core is what entices a customer to buy. If the information is not correct across all of your channels, you risk confusing your customer and losing the sale — all of your efforts will go to waste.

Automation allows for easier testing. Even the best code can sometimes experience glitches, and there is nothing more frustrating for a content editor than broken functionalities — especially when that same functionality was previously working fine the day before. These glitches cost both money and time to fix, but the sooner you find them, the easier they are to resolve. Additionally, automated testing can prevent problematic updates from ever being sent out, reducing the risk of content management workflows from ever even being impacted.

Go Global, The Right Way
Many large retailers are already global, multinational or are planning on becoming so in the near future. While there may be a primary customer market, translation and consistency across languages is key. Retailers need to focus on Neural Machine Translation (NMT) to account for the natural ambiguity and flexibilities of the human language that earlier, phase-based machine translation models are not able to accommodate. NMT systems have evolved to a point where brands can now engage with customers in almost every language, even the most challenging like Russian, Chinese or Korean.

The way machine translation works is through artificial intelligence (AI). AI is experiencing varying levels of success across numerous industries, and smart companies need to evaluate their AI solutions. 

Moving Forward
Overall, all successful retailers understand the importance of a powerful content management strategy. As content effects every customer touch point, it is vital that the information being provided to the customers is consistent and accurate. In doing so, retailers will be able to better connect with their audience and ensure a positive customer experience.


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