First off, please join me in congratulating our usual weekly Retail article blogger, Derek Tangren, on the addition of another son to his family. While he’s off helping around the house, I’m happy to return to my old reins for a couple of weeks with the weekly retail roundup.

This week, we focus a lot on the integration of online and offline retailers, with articles ranging from a keynote at the recent Internet Retail Conference & Exhibition (IRCE) in Chicago, to Target Corp’s plan to win Millennial shoppers. Additionally, we present some great stories on the continued growth of webrooming and on retailers that are growing their brick and mortar stores. We wrap with an infographic that’s full of great stats for your next presentation.

  • Web? Store? Mobile? Shoppers Want It All” [Internet Retailer]: In a recap of eBay Inc. CEO John Donahoe’s keynote this week to the Internet Retail Conference & Exhibition (IRCE), we’re invited to consider collaboration between online and offline retailers in order to serve the customer best. We’re also invited to continue enhancing personalization to more precisely address customer needs and desires.
  • The One Thing about Big Data that Retailers Aren’t Talking about Enough” [Retail Customer Experience]: This article serves as a reminder that although data is useful in personalization and promotion, it’s important to keep in mind that there’s an emotional side for the customer. Care and consideration for how tragedies or life changes might make the data inaccurate are necessary when developing and running such marketing programs.
  • Imagining a More Modern Grocery Store” [Chicago Tribune Business]: Recent innovations in the customer experience, particularly for the checkout process, are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to reinventing your neighborhood grocer. However, such innovations might cut into the opportunity for larger profits.
  • Restoration Hardware to Live Large, Dump Small Stores” [Investor’s Business Daily]: In an important story further illustrating that brick and mortar isn’t dead, but a unique product and an excellent customer experience are required, retailer Restoration Hardware announced a refreshed focus on larger-footprint stores.
  • Target Tries to Win Hearts and Clicks of Gen Y” [USA Today]: New mobile and digital initiatives, along with an overhaul of wedding and baby registries, integrated shopping lists and store maps, and tests of same-day delivery, are all on Target’s shopping list for trying to win the minds and loyalties of Millennial shoppers.
  • Why ‘Webrooming’ Could Bring Customers Back into Stores” [Fox Business]: Webrooming—researching online, then walking into a physical store to purchase—is proving to be a reality in the modern retail landscape. Chris Wuhrer, Merchant Warehouse’s senior vice president of strategic initiatives and product marketing, says the answer to seeking balance lies in omnichannel marketing, reminding us that “a unified marketing approach across channels can be the catalyst to create more in-store transactions.”
  • How Visual Content Can Help Retailers Drive Sales” [Internet Retailer]: This article presents some great anecdotes and examples of how visual social content (on Pinterest, in particular) is helping drive sales at King Arthur Flour.
  • Data Driven Ecommerce Infographic” [Business2Community]: This infographic gives some good basic stats on ecommerce in general, mobile, search, social media, conversion and retention rates, coupons and discounts, and shipping information—lots of great tidbits for your next business case, presentation, or PowerPoint slide.