EyeSee – seeing-eye mannequins that check out customers for age, sex, and race

Seeing-eye mannequins

The high-fashion mannequin maker Almax has released the new $5000 EyeSee mannequins.  The mannequins contain cameras in their eyes that are connected to facial recognition software that analyzes customers’ faces, classifying them by age, sex, race, and ethnicity. The cameras also can tell merchandisers when the store is getting crowded, and what products or clothing are attracting the most attention.



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Cyber Monday will remain biggest ecommerce day of the year

41% of US consumers planned to shop on Black Friday this year.

Holiday promotions by retailers are earlier and earlier every year.  The buzz has moved progressively from “Cyber Monday” to Black Friday and finally to Thanksgiving Day itself, with reports of mass merchants beginning their sales in the middle of what is for many still an important family holiday.



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Big retailers luring online shoppers offline


Walmart began allowing shoppers to order merchandise online and pay for it with cash at a store when they picked it up.

Online shopping has surged. Traditional retailers have lost millions in sales to so-called showrooming.  Showrooming is when shoppers check out products in stores that they then buy from Web sites like Amazon. It has gotten so bad that Best Buy even replaces standard bar codes with special Best Buy-only codes on big ticket items so they cannot be scanned and compared online.

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Pinterest leads consumers to online product purchases


Thirty-two percent of surveyed consumers have made a purchase after seeing an image on a social image-sharing site.

Retailers have some new social commerce opportunities on the horizon. Consumers are spending more and more time with image-sharing social networks like Pinterest and Polyvore, and they are clicking through to product websites quite frequently.

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Only half of online retailers have processes for measuring customer issues


Only half of customer experience professionals have a plan in place for measuring results.

Retail has always been an industry with a high level of customer interaction; providing a satisfying shopping experience is integral to sales. And it is no different for ecommerce, particularly as consumers remain cautious and need incentives to spend.


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What Effect Will the Cut in Debit Card Fees Have on Consumers?

debit card

The Fed rule on debit card fees could have far-reaching effects on how consumers spend and save.

The debit card battle between retailers and banks has reached epic proportions.   The plan by lawmakers is to slash the fees retailers pay banks every time a shopper uses a debit card.  Both sides are spending millions of dollars to convince lawmakers that they’re looking out for average Americans.


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Reinventing Sales Tax


Sales tax is a a system that is now on the verge of collapse

Futurist Thomas Frey:  As a general rule, extreme levels of complexity take a significant toll on society. The price we pay for complexity is far greater than the money involved. With upwards of 90,000 separate taxing districts in the U.S. sales tax has become an overly complicated system deeply entrenched in the fabric of society, but woefully out of touch with the times.


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Retailers Need to Reach Out and Touch More Mobile Users


apple apps

Fifty-one percent of shoppers are more likely to buy from retailers with mobile-specific websites.

Retailers must answer the call to make mobile shopping easier and more engaging or they risk getting disconnected from the majority of mobile device users.  While 89.7 percent of the U.S. population aged 18 to 64 have mobile phones, only 49.1 percent are using their phones to shop, according to Arc Worldwide, the marketing services arm of advertising agency Leo Burnett.


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