Mobile content covers the gamut, from the implementation of mobile apps and mobile web sites to in-store mobile technology. A fast-changing industry segment, mobile presents unique challenges to today's retail organizations. This section will help retail executives stay on top of the latest news, insights and information to help solidify cross-channel strategies and draw traffic into stores.

'Tis The Season To Tailor Marketing Campaigns To Mobile-Empowered Shoppers

Ramsey Masri OtherLevelsHoliday shoppers are frequently creatures of habit, but as retailers and marketers know, shoppers' habits are changing.

This holiday season, retail marketers are faced with the challenging task of building bridges between customers' traditional holiday expectations (sales, discounts, holiday promotions) and the new realities of the mobile marketplace (smartphone browsing, easy-to-use shopping apps, mobile rewards programs, online offers, tantalizing text messages and more).


Shopping Joins Football-Watching As Prime 'Sofa Sunday' Activity

It's the Sunday evening of the long Thanksgiving weekend. You've finally made a significant dent in the leftovers and your most annoying relatives are on their way to the airport. So what do you do?

For many people the answer is, apparently, shop online using your handheld device. Aggregated advertiser data from MediaMath shows a definite spike in mobile traffic on "Sofa Sunday," with the most purchases made from 7 pm to 11 pm. In an interview with Retail TouchPoints, Edwin Lee, VP of Retail at MediaMath, explained the trends that are fueling the Sofa Sunday phenomenon, and revealed how retailers can best take advantage of consumer activity during this critical portion of the holiday weekend.


Target, REI, H&M Take On The Holidays In Unique Fashion

Will the recent terror attacks in Paris have a dampening effect on holiday sales? What other factors will impact holiday shopping in 2015? Retail TouchPoints has been following all the news and predictions around what to expect this year, and in this article you'll find a comprehensive collection of predictions, implementations and strategies.

Most forecasters continue to predict that the 2015 season will be a robust one for retailers. Lower gas prices are putting more dollars in consumers' pockets, and rising confidence is making shoppers more willing to take that money out of those same pockets.


Target Leverages Mobile And Social Tools To Personalize Holiday Shopping

Target is engaging in a full court press to make "click and mortar" a reality for the 2015 holiday season. Initiatives include:

• Free shipping and returns through Dec. 25;

• New this season: International shopping and shipping to more than 200 countries and territories;

• Expansion of its Curbside pickup service to 121 stores (up from 21), which allows customers to complete their shopping without leaving their cars, at Target stores in Philadelphia, San Francisco, New York-New Jersey and Chicago;

• Expansion of the Instacart on-demand grocery delivery service to an additional territory in San Francisco. The service was piloted and initially offered in Minneapolis.


IBM Launches Watson App, Uncovers Holiday Trends

IBM has launched the IBM Watson Trend App, an application designed to provide insight into the top trends of the holiday season and also predict the hottest products — before they sell out.

The app scans 10,000 sources across the Internet such as social media sites, blogs, forums, comments, ratings and reviews to gauge consumer sentiment on trends and products. In gathering this data, the Watson app reveals how consumers feel about the products they are considering or have purchased.


Moovweb Launches Optimize To Power Contextual Mobile Experiences

With more shoppers taking to their mobile devices to access, browse and shop from their favorite web sites, retailers need to allocate more time and resources into getting that mobile experience right.

Moovweb has released Optimize, a mobile experience optimization (MEO) platform designed to provide device-specific, contextual mobile experiences that can grow revenue, engagement and brand loyalty. The company also launched a mobile performance tool, MoovScore, to help companies better asses their technical performance compared to industry peers.


Jamba Juice Set To Roll Out Mobile Ordering App For 600 Locations

Jamba Juice has revealed that it will fully roll out a mobile "order ahead" option into its Jamba Juice mobile app in mid-November. The feature, which is designed to reduce in-store wait times, will be supported in more than 600 Jamba Juice locations in the U.S.

In August, the first phase of the rollout affected more than 200 stores located in California, New York, Chicago and Hawaii. An additional 400 stores are set to roll out the feature in the coming weeks.


Is Your Company Truly Agile? Think Again

Carl Rosen Shelter RockAgility will soon become the watchword of brands with products sold at brick-and-mortar retailers. In the same way the most agile athletes adjust speed and direction, organizations must change, pivot and adjust often to improve retail execution.

Precipitated by unprecedented levels of connectivity, the pace of change has accelerated a thousand-fold. Mobile technology solutions, especially those with the ability to capture images, have become the new enablers. Companies that embrace these tools will be in a better position to compete. Those that are slow to adopt new technology will surely fall behind.


Fossil Group Acquires Wearable Tech Startup Misfit For $260 Million

1fossilFossil Group, a designer and distributor of consumer fashion accessories, watches and jewelry, has acquired wearable technology manufacturer Misfit for $260 million. Sonny Vu, CEO of Misfit, will now serve as President and Chief Technology Officer of Connected Devices for Fossil.

Fossil Group is home to the Fossil and Skagen watch brands and licenses a host of other brands such as Burberry, DKNY, Marc Jacobs and Tory Burch. The distributor sells 50 million watches and accessories annually in 150 countries. With the acquisition, Fossil can scale the Misfit technology across this brand portfolio to offer both traditional timepieces and connected watches. Misfit products include the Shine, a wearable fitness and sleep tracker that costs $99, and the Flash, a lower-priced wearable selling for $29.


Lucova Develops “Pay With Your Selfie” App For Checkout

Mobile commerce platform provider Lucova has partnered with Fresh Ideas Food Service Management and Heartland Payment Systems to integrate its Bluetooth low energy (BLE) technology into an app that provides users with the ability to make payments with a “selfie” photo.

Lucova and Fresh Ideas collaborated to roll out the FreshX mobile app in Southwestern College in Kansas. The app is designed to shorten student wait times upon checkout. Students on campus can access their meal cards, loyalty and rewards details within the app and purchase items at the checkout without pulling out their wallet or smartphone.


Shelfbucks Closes $6.5 Million Series A Funding Round

1ShelfbucksShelfbucks has secured $6.5 million in Series A funding to facilitate large-scale rollouts of its SmartDisplay and SmartShelf platforms. The platform provider for digital in-store offers has not disclosed the names of the investors.

The company also will use the new funding to expand its current 14-person staff by adding 10 employees, according to The Austin American-Statesman. It is currently hiring in areas including finance, engineering, mobile, sales and client services.


Janam XM2-RFID UHF Device Scans RFID With Read Range And Accuracy

AS JanamXM2 ImageThe requirements of today’s retail supply chain call for devices with long read ranges and high accuracy levels that are capable of monitoring products in the most challenging environments.

Janam stepped up to the challenge in releasing the RFID-reading solution, XM2-RFID UHF. The mobile device is specifically designed to help companies cut costs, improve customer service, reduce labor, increase accuracy and improve production throughput.


Apps Still Struggling: Only 30% Of Consumers Use Them To Make Purchases

While smartphones and other mobile devices continue to increase their influence on the retail purchase process, whether the consumer is at home or in the store, mobile apps are still struggling to gain their footing. In fact, only 30% of consumers are using retailer apps to actually purchase products at any point, according to research from RetailMeNot and Forrester Research.

Mobile retail apps in general just haven’t caught on, with 60% of consumers having two or fewer retail apps on their phones and another 21% having none. More than half of respondents (56%) use the retailer apps they have once a month or less.


Mi9 Retail Acquires Raymark

Mi9-logoMi9 Retail has acquired Raymark Xpert Business Systems. The newly combined company will offer a broad suite of real-time enabled applications including merchandising, analytics, point of sale, omnichannel, clienteling and CRM, while continuing to support and develop all existing applications. Neither party disclosed a purchase price.

Based on the growth of its flagship solution that combines merchandising and business intelligence, Mi9 Retail has experienced strong growth over the past two years. Built on a common set of web technologies, retailers can deploy this solution in the cloud, on premises or as a service.


Technology Is Important, But Trust Is Essential

2TrustWe talk a lot about omnichannel retail and giving today's shoppers every option when it comes to product ordering and delivery. But what is really at the heart of retail success is establishing a trusting relationship with customers. It sounds simple, but it's not.

This week I attended the Money20/20 conference in Las Vegas, where there were a lot of discussions and questions around data security and payment innovation. Are retailers implementing EMV? How can we make mobile payment work at the drive-thru? What are the steps to speeding the checkout process, both online and in the store? These are all great questions and need to be addressed, but when it comes right down to it, they all lead to Trust.

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