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Retailers to Provide Less Friction, Better Experiences

Retailers, vying for market share, are looking for new ways to hit consumers where they live—whether it’s literally their homes, their native languages or their desire to express themselves. DSW, Meijer and Amazon each have tackled the problem from a different angle.

DSW customizes kicks

Personalization continues to be a buzzword among retailers looking for ways to offer customers differentiated product and a reason to be brand loyal.

DSW has teamed up with TREND:BAR to bring the new company’s fabric stickers, charms and patches to select stores. With the variety of designs, shoppers can create footwear and accessories that express their personal tastes from collegiate to flower child.

“Fashion is an expression of who you are and a reflection of your personal style, so partnering with TREND:BAR and offering our customers the opportunity to personalize their favorite footwear or accessory was a no brainer,” said Todd Dreith, general merchandising manager for men’s, athletic, kid’s, handbags & accessories.

Meijer delivers around the clock

Convenience is the new retail battleground. Retailers hope that by removing friction and satisfying consumers’ needs for immediate gratification, they can make more sales.

Midwestern chain Meijer is making it easier to shop its stores in six states. By integrating the Shipt app, the chain is allowing shoppers to get more than 55,000 items delivered—in as little as an hour, 24 hours a day. Shipt offers monthly and annual memberships for unlimited delivery options.

The rollout follows a successful test in Detroit last year.

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“We are excited to expand our relationship with Shipt because together we can offer customers across the Midwest a whole new level of convenience, product variety, and service not available before,” Meijer president and CEO Rick Keyes said. “Now customers can shop a complete grocery list online, having access to our world class assortment of fresh produce, meat, dairy and a number of other essentials that Shipt will hand select from a local Meijer store and deliver to a customer’s doorstep.”

The service also means 10,000 new jobs in the service area, according to Shipt founder and CEO Bill Smith.

Amazon goes bilingual

The online behemoth continues to speak its customers’ language. This time, literally.

First, the company is expanding its Prime service to Mexico, which will provide shoppers south of the border with unlimited shipping and streaming for 899 pesos ($46) year. Amazon expand its offerings there from e-books to a full range of goods, including electronics, baby items and grooming products, just two years ago. Mexico will be the 14th country where Prime is available.

In the U.S., the company introducing a Spanish language option to The development opens the site up to the 52 million native Spanish and bilingual speakers in the U.S.

“Customers will be able to shop, browse and search for millions of products, view their shopping cart, and place orders in Spanish on and through the Amazon Mobile Shopping app,” the spokeswoman said in a statement.