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In Between the Numbers: Renting Prosperity – A New Value Proposition

June 25, 2012 at 8:37 am PST

Have been thinking about the retail implications of an early May article in the Wall Street Journal.

“Renting Prosperity” (by Daniel Gross, May 5) spoke to the growing trend of rental – and not just in the traditional housing or automotive markets.  Numerous other rental business have emerged in recent years, from the Zipcar car-sharing plan to the Chegg.com college textbook service to the one million customers who have used Rent the Runway’s frock-and-accessory services.

The obvious implication for retail is all about new business models.  A number of traditional brick-and-mortar players are now testing the waters.  We’re aware of initiatives in which purveyors of hard goods are renting clothes washing machines by the load and high-end consumers of electronics are leasing home theatre set-ups and even iPads – along with monthly subscriptions, say, to Netflix. 

But the lessons of the rental trend go deeper than simply a new business model. 

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Join Cisco on June 14th for retail webcast “Get in on the Gold Rush: Best Practices for Global E-Commerce”

According to the US Department of Commerce’s latest figures, Eccomerce sales in Q1 2012 is estimated to be at $53.2 billion, reprenting 4.9 percent of total US retail sales.  Recent news from Asia Pacific (Video interview by of Michael Zung, senior VP and MD, digital at Bite Communications from ClickZ Asia) and Middle East (Article by Nancy Messieh on NextWeb) all indicate growing E-commerce sales and projections.

With global e-commerce estimated to reach $1.4 trillion by 2015, crossing borders online is a clear path to faster growth.

Joanne Bethlahmy, director of retail with Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group will be hosting a webcast on Best Practices for Global E-Commerce where she will be discussing:

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Reshaping Retail with Mobility

It’s no secret that people are forming personal attachments to their iPhones, Android phones, and other “smartphone” devices.

In fact, in a recent Pew Research Center study, respondents used adjectives such as “awesome,” “great,” “essential,” “indispensable,” “good,” and “excellent” to describe how they feel about their treasured mobile devices.

This love affair is driving skyrocketing sales of smartphones: by 2015, eMarketer estimates that 58 percent of all mobile users in the United States (149 million people) will own smartphones, while in the European Union, more than 50 percent will own them by 2014. Read More »

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Getting your retail network ready for cloud computing

Last week at the Interop conference in Las Vegas  Cisco announced the  2012 Global Cloud Networking Survey  where more than 1300 IT professionals in 13 countries were polled to find out the top priorities and challenges they face when moving applications and services to the cloud. The survey was commissioned by Cisco and distributed by Insight Express and addressed a range of questions from what are the top applications considered for migration (Storage, ERP) and the role of the network in supporting a Cloud strategy.

Retailers today are considering cloud computing to support business agility and innovation.  This include reducing the number of servers in the store and moving them to the cloud, optimizing data center computing resources and virtualizing desktop applications. 

Some of the recent inquries to Cisco retail team have led to development of the following content that we hope will help you in your road to the cloud:

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In Between the Numbers: Some Truths About “Showrooming”

May 7, 2012 at 9:06 am PST

 There’s a lot of buzz in industry circles these days about the impact of “showrooming” on brick-and-mortar brands. Witness the excellent overview by Ann Zimmerman in the April 11 US edition of the Wall Street Journal, “Can Retailers Halt ‘Showrooming?’”

 Ms. Zimmerman notes the anti-showrooming efforts of such retailers as Target and Walmart, and the challenge of meeting-and-beating pure play pricing and assortment breadth.

 And, she also gets to the core of the issue: It’s not about competition between stores and pure play websites. It’s about competition between the websites of brick-and-mortar brands, and the websites of the pure plays.

 We live in the era of Google, an era of web-based search, an era where just about any detail of just about anything can be found on the Internet. Studies of recent shopper behavior show a steady climb in the number of US shoppers who begin their purchase journey with online research. Nearly two-thirds of US adults do so regularly.

 The Internet is the front door to all retail brands these days – not just the pure plays. It’s where shoppers are initially won or lost – and where store traffic is increasingly generated.

 This means two things to brick-and-mortar brands:

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