Category Archives: online shopping

Now available for purchase on selected stores in Italy and
on our Facebook store!

We were amazed by the final result – and even though these ECOFFEE tShirts were meant to be a concept, we received so many requests from our customers and supporters so that we were “compelled” to create a limited edition, capsule collection to be sold in selected stores and on our Facebook store.

T-shirts are available in khaki and brown colors for both male and female sizes. We also printed a very small quantity on yellow t-shirts, just for kids!

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As we previously mentioned, for each t-shirt sale we will proceed 1 euro to Foundation, thus supporting  water sanitation projects in 10 Masai villages.

And we are glad we decided to do that!
Hurry up or you will miss the opportunity to buy one (or more) of these unique ECOFFEE tShirts!

Social Commerce and Curated Content for Retailers 2.0

Recently published as part II of a previous part I published on January 31st, this Retail Touchpoints article deals with Social Commerce with a stronger emphasis on social curation, a must to know for all retailers. Enjoy!

“In Part I of this Social Commerce feature, Walmart toldRetail TouchPoints: “The first generation e-Commerce sites brought the store to the web. We think the next generation will be about building a multichannel experience that integrates the store, the web and mobile seamlessly, with social identity being the glue,” Ravi Raj, VP of @WalmartLabs, stated.

Charlie Cole, VP of Online Marketing for Lucky Brand, also shared his viewpoints on social commerce with RTP: “Social commerce is important to us because it allows for a revenue event directly at the point of social interaction. The approach is integral to our other channel strategies: Across social sites we want to make sure we are tracking not only direct revenue attribution but also understanding the ‘view through’ component of the interaction.  Ideally, we want people to interact with products on their own terms and by doing so we heighten the brand relationship.”

However, Cole said he believes social at its core will be a “top of funnel” driver, more so than a direct response vehicle, “but it could be that integrated shopping experiences change that trend in the long term.”

Underscoring Raj’s and Cole’s comments, Facebook’s recent IPO to raise $5 billion, as well as its reported 65% boost in 2011 net income, emphasize that social networking and e-Commerce are fusing to present significant opportunities for retailers to further engage with brand advocates and loyal shoppers on a more intimate level.

In Part II of the Social Commerce Report, several retailers share their social commerce success stories and  insights about its future.

Social Reviews, Curation and Gamification Grab Consumers’ Attention
Social ratings and reviews are key to improving the online shopping experience and subsequent conversion rates at Ice, an online jewelry retailer. Though not a new strategy, Dave Haber, Senior Director of Social Media, told RTP that “Ice continues to focus here because allowing our customers to rate, review and better educate onsite visitors has been one of our most powerful forms of social engagement.

“In fact, we see customers that create, read or share ratings or reviews converting at 2.5-times the rate of an average site visitor ― that’s a 250% improvement in the conversion rate,” he noted.

Another area of social commerce Haber’s team is focusing on is the idea of social curation ― the ability for people to curate selections of products, brands, imagery, etc., in order to create their own personal lens of shopping needs and experiences. Haber points to a site called, which allows participants to organize web clippings onto a virtual bulletin board and share them with friends. For example, for Valentine’s Day, visitors can create a board called “Jewelry Gift Ideas,” and attach (or “pin”) a necklace or earrings from Ice. Pinterest users can click through “pinned” items to access the product detail page at the Ice homepage and ultimately make a peer-recommended purchase.

Haber also sees online gaming as a huge social commerce opportunity that can impact the ways consumers interact with online retailers and brands. The NRF’s “Social Retailing Blueprint” study looks at “gamification,” defining it as the use of game play mechanics and dynamics for non-game applications, products and related services. This tactic is used in consumer-driven web sites and mobile applications to encourage sustained engagement or incentivize other behaviors.

Gamification in the context of retail operations and social marketing tactics helps drive customer transactions. Online shoe retailer, for example, tapped gamification to double advertisement click-throughs and boost share rates via Facebook by 50%. DKNY was among the retail initiators of social gaming. Today that group includes Best Buy, CafePress, Gilt Groupe, H&M, Nike, Rue LaLa, Simon Malls, Sport’s Authority, Valentino and many others.

Telling Stories, Gifting and Social Sweepstakes Win Big
The opportunities for social commerce tactics continue to branch out. In January 2012, Facebook announced 60 new web partners that will appear in the site’s users’ Timeline offering. Timeline is a new profile that gives users an easy way to “share and highlight your most memorable posts, photos and life events on your timeline. This is where you can tell your story from beginning, to middle, to now,” according to

A number of merchants have recently introduced new social commerce sites and apps:

  • — One of the 60 new Facebook partners is, an e-Commerce marketplace for design. In a recent blog about its social commerce innovations,’s CEO Jason Goldberg, revealed: “Fab is thrilled to be among the first to launch a timeline app. To get started, you can opt-in on Fab to add the app to Facebook Timeline, your future purchases will be shared on your Timeline, and you’ll be able to discover the items most popular among your friends through the Facebook News Feed and ticker. Clicking through on the Fab Member’s username then shows that user’s Fab Profile, which displays all of the items the member has purchased, faved, or added to the Fab Inspiration Wall. [This] Social Shopping launch is just the start. We’ll be continuing to forge ahead and innovating at the intersection of social and commerce,” said Goldberg.
  • @WalmartLabs — @WalmartLabs launched an app on Facebook called Shopycat last December, which recommends gifts for friends and family based on their likes and tastes. Earlier in January it launched Get on the Shelf (, “which allows us to crowd source the next great product to carry on our shelves,” Raj told RTP. “Both these initiatives have been off to a great start in terms of usage. You can expect to see more innovative social products from @WalmartLabs in 2012,” he said. “Our scale at Walmart with retail stores, combined with social commerce, positions us well to succeed in the new generation of e-commerce.”
  • Brookstone — Bill Wood, CIO at Brookstone, said the chain’s recent partnership with SWAGG, a gift management app extended Brookstone’s reach into the mobile social commerce space. It did this by allowing consumers to give and redeem gift cards via their mobile device, as well as access offers and promotions from any smartphone. He described the strategy during his presentation entitled “Technology-Enabled Social Media” at the Social Commerce Strategies Convention in Las Vegas late January.

Woods told RTP: “Social commerce is proving to be a valuable tool to enhance storefront appeal. This holiday season, Brookstone conducted a Foursquare promotion offering a $10 discount for check-ins at our retail locations, which blended our online strategies with our brick and mortar consumer engagement.”

  • SquareTrade — A service provider of extended warranties for consumer electronics, SquareTrade leveraged social commerce to promote its services in conjunction with the release of the iPhone 4S. Looking for a cost effective way to spread and track word-of-mouth, SquareTrade launched a hybrid of Social Referral and Social Sweepstakes products. Coupling the two products added a viral aspect to the referral campaign, which was promoted via email and Facebook. The campaign included two offers: $10 for every referral, and $100 for every five referrals, with referrers getting $5 off their warranties as an incentive to buy one. SquareTrade also gave away “50 iPad 2’s in 25 Days,” a program allowing referrers to enhance their chances of winning by sharing, since both the chosen winner and the individual that referred them received an iPad 2.

In the first 10 days of the campaign, more than 10,000 SquareTrade brand advocates were identified. Advocates shared with an average of five friends, and the campaign generated more than 60,000 social shares across Facebook, Twitter and email. Referrals drove 500 new customers, each purchasing a $100 product.

“We wondered whether people would still be sharing after the sweepstakes ― and they did,” reported Will Spencer, Marketing Manager for SquareTrade. “Thousands of organic shares continued when the campaign ended. The sweepstakes and its aftermath succeeded in validating that social commerce is a strategy in which our customers are willing to participate. On the strength of that data and the success we achieved, social commerce will most likely become a bigger part of our overall strategy in 2012, with more product categories eligible and a wider range of customers participating,” reported Spencer” (Source: Retail Touchpoints)
Dozens of vendors have recently entered the social commerce space, including Adgregate, Baynote, Bazaarvoice, 8th Bridge, Extole, IBM, Moontoast, Oracle, Payvment, ShopIgniter, 360i and TurnTo, all helping to distinguish social commerce as the new era of e-Commerce.

Are pop-up stores a way for fighting retail recession?

We have already talked about pop-up stores a while ago, but a recent news about Walmart opening pop-up stores hit our attention not because of their being “pop-up”, but because the American giant decided to create small pop-up stores to face the upcoming holiday demand, driving it from a physical location (the pop-up store) to While Walmart customers will be able to purchase high margin gift solutions directly from the store, they can also pick up items ordered from the retail giant’s website and pick them up in the store with no delivery charge under the Site-to-Store and Pick-Up Today programs.

The stores, located in Souther California,  which bear signs reading, opened November 2 and are expected to remain open through December 31. Unlike its recently launched Walmart Express or its Neighborhood Market small-format stores, this new concept does not feature food or other convenience products.

“This is just a small test we’re conducting during the holiday season to offer local customers easier, more convenient access to quality products at everyday low prices,” Wal-Mart spokesperson Lorenzo Lopez toldCSP Daily News. “These small stores, located in the Topanga Mall in West Los Angeles and Horton Plaza in San Diego, will offer customers access to more than one million general merchandise items currently available through”

He added, “The store will display key holiday items such as toys, electronics, gaming and home theater. These items can be picked up at the store or nearest Walmart store via the Site to Store and Pick Up Today options. Products can also be delivered to customers’ homes via the standard shipping options currently available through Customers will also have an opportunity to purchase a small selection of items at the store, mostly accessories.”

Lopez said, “We’re always looking for ways to better serve our customers, so it’s not uncommon for us to test different formats to learn how customers respond to products and services. These stores are just another way to give customers a continuous experience by bringing together our stores, our brand and our footprint through eCommerce.”

A growing number of shoppers are in fact using technology to research and purchase gifts. These test stores are an interesting way to let shoppers research and buy online with the option to “get it now.” The highly targeted assortment and short-term leases are a low-risk way for Walmart to reach new shoppers and capture shopping occasions it may not otherwise have access to. Maybe most importantly, the pop-up stores could drive shoppers that don’t currently shop at Walmart (or to the retailer’s website.

Mobile consumers do prefer in-store purchasing, a research says.

According to JiWire’s research 79% of mobile consumers are ‘comfortable’ making purchases from smartphones or tables, even for products over the $1,000 threshold. Mobile shoppers are most likely to make purchases under the $1,000 threshold with about half saying they’ve made purchases over $100. Only 20% report making a purchase over $500 through a mobile device.

However, more important than those actually making mobile purchases is the fact that researchers believe mobile shopping is actually leading to more in-store purchasing. While many mobile shoppers logon to branded websites, many may be simply looking for product information, pricing or to check the availability. From there, they are going to brick-and-mortar stores to complete their purchases.

“What we are seeing with the evolution of mobile commerce is how the combination of mobile and location is transforming shopping behavior, enabling mobile advertising to drive in-store, brick and mortar consumer engagement,” said David Staas, Senior Vice President of Marketing with JiWire. “We are seeing this trend take place across a broad range of retailers and service providers, from national brands to local mom and pop deals.”

Researchers found:

• 31% of mobile shoppers research mobilly and then buy in-store
• 40% of mobile shoppers research mobilly then purchase via PC/desktop
• 20% of mobile shoppers research and then purchase via mobile

In addition to researching purchases, mobile shoppers are looking for local store locations, looking for daily deals or coupons and even sharing deal or product information with friends through email and social networks. (Source: Bizreport)

AR is running fast towards the fashion Retail industry

GoldRun is a new platform for retailers that matches mobile, Augmented Reality and social. Enjoy this video, comments are welcomed!

How to implement grocery retaling and e-tailing in India

We found this article by Avinder Batra, published on very interesting because of its very detailed approach to the implementation of a home delivery service for those small groceries retailers that are facing the competition with by multinational like Wal-Mart. This is also a business model which is very sustainable, by lowering CO2 transportation emissions and by mainting vital the traditional small retail grocery business.

Batra identifies a big trend in the grocery business- home delivery- due to two main reasons:

-High fuel price: Indian families are not interested in spending time on these products
-Families want more leisure time for themselves: Since both the partners are working, shoppers find this activity as waste of time to collect groceries in weekends

“When most of the big retailers are fighting for larger space, opportunities can be foreseen where you do not have compact space and can still run successfully through Etailing the Grocery model” Batra says.

The solution could be a mix of website, mobile, IVR.

High rental costs have made the retail business cumbersome for the independent players.  As told by Ragib Hussain, VP, Vice President Strategy at e.Soft Technologies,  “This type of model does not need much of investments. Etailing models (having virtual shop) can help retailers in expanding the business thus by covering larger area & reap good volumes.”

Small independent retailers need to increase their customer base: Online services and then home deliveries would fetch revenues only when you have large customer base. Margins are the rewards which an investor gets and this is what he has to work on to have with minimum liable cost.

Develop tie-ups/partners: Developing partnership agreements with the kirana shopkeepers and others nearby shops in the area that would reach the consumers through home delivery systems. This should  be the initial step of building a strong network in the areas concerned you want to cover.

 Also, it would decrease the liability on the retailer—warehouse cost, maintenance cost, procurement cost, etc. 

Develop your own site and make a strong viable back-end system for smooth functioning of the business model: either by creating your own hosted website or by opting for cloud services, this is a very important step. Cloud services would play a vital role to make updated connections with your suppliers, logistics suppliers, CRM updates and drop shipping suppliers. Because time is a critical factor, efficient distribution is of utmost importance. Technology plays a key role in enabling an efficient dairy distribution model.

 This is the back bone of the whole concept when the business starts working and it is the most challenging part of the business to make real-time connectivity with them.

Home delivery services: By tying up with the partners in the local areas, investor can direct the orders to those shops and through delivery boys; the task can be executed smoothly. This would even increase the revenue prospects of the local partners.

 If the business model is churning profits, there is no harm in having your own warehouses and company owned shops in the localities. This could be the way to expand your business model and make it stronger.

Each small outlet should be centrally connected to the warehouse to record the sale and updates are on real time basis. This would help to replenish the goods which are going out of stock.

Delivery system: Tempos and other mini trucks can be used to provide deliveries in the located areas if orders come in bulk in particular area. (Source:

Online shoppers welcome home grocery delivery

Though few retail grocers offer home delivery of web orders, a survey from the Food Marketing Institute, a grocery industry trade organization, suggests that consumers respond more to web grocers that offer to deliver online orders compared with grocers that require pickup at their stores.

In 2010, 32% of consumers responding to an FMI survey said their primary grocery store offered online ordering, and 28% said they had done at least some online ordering at those grocers. 4% said they shopped online at those grocers one to three times per month, and 2% said at least once a week. But 22% said they shopped online at those grocers less than once a month, with another 73% saying they never shopped there online.

By comparison, the FMI survey showed that only 17% of respondents said their primary grocery store offered home delivery—but 13% said they ordered home delivery one to three times per month, and 5% said they did so at least once a week, higher figures than for when home delivery was not an option. 17% said they ordered home delivery less than once a month, leaving 65% saying they never did.

Regardless of the demand for it by consumers, however, home delivery of groceries isn’t for all retailers, experts say. “Home delivery is only going to work for really big folks with profitable online grocery operations offered in places where the retailer has a reasonable density of customers,” says Jack Horst, a retail strategist at retail industry consultants Kurt Salmon.

The category of “really big folks” surely includes, the largest web-only retailer, and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer and the leading U.S. grocery merchant. Both Amazon and Wal-Mart are experimenting with home delivery of groceries.

Amazon’s program, dubbed AmazonTote, has been tested by the company’s employees in Seattle for the past six months or so. In its infancy, the service entails weekly delivery of groceries and other items to the user’s home, with the groceries bagged in reusable tote bags, all free of charge.

According to The Financial Times, the service is linked to Amazon’s Fresh grocery delivery service, which currently only operates in the Seattle area but is available to all consumers in that area.

Fresh offers fresh produce and meats in addition to non-perishable grocery items; the service goes beyond food, too, ranging from pet supplies to beauty products and other categories. Granted, the convenience is reflected in the price — would you pay $2.50 for a single grapefruit under any other circumstances? — but you get what you pay for, which in this case amounts to a lot of time and energy saved.

On the other side, the “Walmart To Go” test , just launched in California last Saturday, allows customers to visit to order groceries and consumables found in a Walmart store and have them delivered to their homes, a company’ spokesman said. Products include fresh produce, meat and seafood, frozen, bakery, baby, over-the-counter pharmacy, household supplies and health and beauty items. Wal-Mart also offers a Pick Up Today service, which is limited to select electronics, video games and appliances.

What Amazon also needs to fear is a new initiative from the company called @WalmartLabs.  According to GeekWire, this new Silicon Valley-based arm of the company is stating it has pretty lofty goals: “Walmart plans to expand the @WalmartLabs team and expects this new group will create technologies and businesses around social and mobile commerce that will support Walmart’s global multi-channel strategy, which integrates the shopping experience between bricks and mortar stores and e-commerce.”
In other words, exactly what Amazon does, except with the integration of brick and mortar stores.

Walmart seems to be turning its collective eyes towards technology more and more as of  late, the only real question is what took them so long.  If the discount store giant starts pouring its massive resources into more technology integrations, releasing its own products and taking on the likes of Amazon, we could see the company slowly take over eCommerce just as it did with the retail world.

The majority of grocery retailers still prefer store pickup of online orders, as MyWebGrocer* CEO Rick Tarrant says. But if the Wal-Mart and Amazon test will prove to be successful, we are pretty sure that at-home delivery will be the next big trend.

*MyWebGrocer, a provider of e-commerce and digital marketing technology and services to more than 110 grocery retailers, has supermarket clients including ShopRite that offer home delivery in some markets

Business Retail: a global view

Retail is big, but how big it is and is it equally distributed worldwide or are there countries where retail is at its best?  

The last CB Richard Ellis Survey  about the business of Retail, reveals how fluctuating this market is, measuring how the most important 323 retailers changed their strategies in 73 countries during the last year.

The survey findings are very interesting, showing us that Dubai is the most favorite city for both American (61%) and European (63%) retailers, while only 23% of retailers from the Asia-Pacific area are present in that city – not because of lack of interest, but just because the Asia-Pacific consumer market is the fastest growing, therefore retailers from those countries do not need to branch out abroad.

Retail expansion rate saw a decrease during 2010, only a 2%, compared with 4% in 2009 and 12% in 2008, with new target countries being India (8 new retailers) and Turkey (7). United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait, Ireland, Romania, and Belgium all attracted six new retailers.

Online retail is becoming more and more important for retailers: 82% of the brands in the survey do have an online catalogue, even though only a smaller percentage (46%) offers to consumers the chance to purchase goods online, with Value&Denim being the most active (43%) followed by mid-range fashion  (26%) and Luxury & Business Fashion (32%). To have an online retail shop is the favored choice by those brands who already have a physical store (46%), while in more advanced market such as the U.S.A., there is a slight percentage of online seller (24%) who do not have a physical store, and that are using online sales platform to test the market before opening a physical point of sale.

Online retail: how to turn a negative consumer feedback into a positive one

Retailers who are going to open online shops often fear about negative feedbacks from online shoppers. “What if I receive a negative feedback? Should I ignore it or answer?” The most common retail behaviour is to ignore it, hoping it will be ignored by other consumers too. But this is a great misconception.

Retailers have an opportunity to fight back and use social media to turn unhappy customers into brand advocates, says the Retail Consumer Report, commissioned by RightNow and conducted online by Harris Interactive in January 2011 among 1,605 online US adults. The report shows how retailers are using social media to win back customers and drive buying decisions.

  • 68% of consumers who posted a complaint or negative review on a social networking or ratings/reviews site after a negative holiday shopping experience got a response from the retailer. Of those, 18% turned into loyal customers and bought more.

By listening and proactively responding on the social web, says the report, retailers have a chance to turn disgruntled customers into social advocates.
After a positive shopping experience, half of consumers cited great customer service and/or a previous positive experience as influencing their decision to buy from a specific online retailer.

Social advocacy can also help drive sales, the survey found:

  • Nearly a third of consumers researched what customers said on social networking and reviews websites while shopping online.

For those consumers that had a positive holiday shopping experience with an online retailer during the past holiday shopping season:

  • 21% recommended the retailer to friends.
  • 13% posted a positive online review about the retailer.

The survey found that 38% of consumers turned to the retailer’s website for information or support with online shopping. However, one of the top frustrations consumers had when shopping online was a lack of consistent information from retailers. Specifically, 22% of consumers were frustrated by information that was inconsistent between the retailer’s website and customer service agents.

For further research on how customer experiences impact the bottom line, including the fact that 85% of consumers said they would be willing to pay anywhere between 5-25% over the standard price to ensure a superior customer experience, RightNow makes the Customer Experience Impact Report 2010 available to download. (Source: MediaPost)

GoodGuide for Good Products for a more sustainable Retail

Yesterday I was reading a post concerning Levi Strauss & Co as the Top Jeans Brand, scoring a 7.4. The brand Prana was listed as the next highest, with a score of 6.3—followed by H&M (6.1), Banana Republic (6.1), and Old Navy (6.1).

I did not know what GoodGuide is – shame on me – so I checked out their very interesting website, which is said to be the world’s largest and most reliable source of information on the health, environmental and social impacts of consumer products. And I think it really is, rating over 95000 products, mainly available on the US market only: from food, toys, personal care to apparel, electronics and appliances. What is really striking is the scientific approach they have on their ratings, which are compiled from three sub-scores addressing Health, Environment and Society.

 Each of these sub-scores are based on an analysis of a set of indicators that GoodGuide has determined are the best-available measures of performance in these areas. Their methodology differs from the product belonging to different categories, each and every one having its own scoring methodology. Amazing. Let’s talk about apparel for example.

Quoting the Good Guide site: “Until (apparel) companies do a better job of providing transparency into their supply chain, our ability to accurately score brands based on their relative performance will be subject to significant uncertainties Environment scores are assigned to apparel brands by combining GoodGuide’s standard company indicators of environmental performance (weighted at 50%) with brand-level environmental indicators that address issues that are specific to the apparel sector (weighted at 50%).(….) Social scores are assigned to apparel brands by combining GoodGuide’s standard company indicators of social performance (50%) with brand-level social indicators that address issues that are specific to the apparel sector (weighted at 50%).(…) Health scores are not assigned to apparel brands because this product category does not generally pose health risks to consumers.”

The Good Guide website is also very good at using the Web 2.0 tools to “spread the word” and improve the accuracy of the product information thanks to a “support product info” page which enables visitors to add further details.

It would be also very interesting to test the effect of this kind of structured and scientific information directly at the point-of-sale, to see how the consumer react when discovering that his/her favourite brand of pasta is not that “good”. Because thanks to GoodGuide mobile App this is possible: consumers can scan the product, check the GoodGuide database and then purchase, or decide to choose another brand.

With this detailed level of “scientific” information, producers and retailers have nothing to hide and their achieving a high/low score can have a boomerang effect on brand reputation which must not be ignored and will not be ignored by consumers. Sustainability pays, and it will pay even more in the future.