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.

LIDS Looks To Hit Home Run With New Loyalty Program

With 39% of consumers using two retail mobile apps at most on a regular basis — and 21% using no retail app at all — retailers face an uphill battle selling the apps to consumers. But sports apparel retailer LIDS has stadium-sized goals for its recently unveiled mobile app and rebranded “Access Pass” loyalty program, according to Jeff Pearson, the company’s Senior VP of Marketing and E-Commerce. “We would like to have between 10% and 15% of the customers download and regularly utilize the app,” said Pearson in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “Our goal is to have between 30% and 40% of our customers become a loyalty member.”

The Future Of The Corner Bank In The Cloud

In the most recent holiday season we witnessed the continued and painful decline of Main Street retail as consumers increasingly shop on their mobile devices. Retailers are deploying omnichannel strategies to mitigate lost sales in their stores and move their customers to more efficient and cost-effective cloud-based, mobile channels. Should the corner bank be concerned?

3 Retail Trends To Watch In 2017

Year after year, new trends help shape the retail industry. According to Worldpay’s 2016 Global Payments Report, more change is set to arrive in 2017 and beyond. Global payments company Worldpay compiled data on payment preferences and trends in 30 countries. Here’s a look at how three key trends from the report could shake up the retail industry for years to come. Shift To Mobile Slowly but surely, mobile wallets are on their way to becoming the world’s most common payment method. Although credit and debit cards accounted for more than 50% of the market in most countries in 2016, including the UK, U.S., Brazil and Hong Kong, the report predicts a decline in global usage by 2020. In fact, credit card usage rates could drop by as much as 4% while the use of debit cards is expected to fall by 1%.

Data Shows Most Retailers Lose Significant Sales Due To Weak Mobile Customer Experience Capabilities

The idea that all retailers must be able to sell to customers on their mobile phones first is not news. But, according to the world’s first Mobile Retail Report — a comprehensive study (conducted by my team at NewStore) of the mobile capabilities of more than 100 of the world’s top luxury, lifestyle, and fashion retail brands — data shows many brands are stuck in the stone age when it comes to providing customers with the fully integrated mobile capabilities that all retailers need, in order to capitalize on compelling (and expensive) in-store experiences and drive a significant increase in sales. In drawing these conclusions, researchers did way more than simply study a few variables. In fact, they conducted real-time research by using their own mobile devices. They bought and returned items online and offline. They performed extensive analyses of web apps and native apps across hundreds of variables. And they got a first-hand look at mobile technology capabilities of 112 of the most well-known retail stores in New York City and Boston.

Sephora, Walmart Top Mobile App Download Speeds

  • Published in Mobile
Sephora (at 3.9 seconds per download) and Walmart (4.1 seconds per download) have the fastest download times, according to a study of 15 retail apps from mobile content delivery network PacketZoom. Compare that to the molasses-paced Zappos download times which average 46.2 seconds. That is a full 11 seconds longer than the second slowest app, Zulily (25.2 seconds). Other retailers in the study include:

Hat Tip Helps Retailers Maintain Localized Job Boards

The Hat Tip platform is designed to enable retail, restaurant, hotel and other service companies to list jobs on devices within their store locations and allow job seekers to find them based on location. The platform includes algorithmic technology designed to: Identify jobs posted across the web; Determine which jobs are for service positions in retail, restaurant and hospitality; and Assign exact geolocations for each job.

CCSeries Webinars: Making The Shopper Experience Friction-Free

Did you miss the Retail TouchPoints Connected Consumer Series webinars, broadcast March 27-30? (Perhaps you were part of the throng that descended on Las Vegas for Shoptalk.) Never fear, all eight sessions are now available on-demand. This year’s series explored the many ways retailers can remove friction from the shopping experience — from using AI to deepen personalization to offering credit-wary Millennials new payment and financing options. Practical advice ranged from tips for maximizing mobile sales, empowering front-line employees, leveraging consumer-generated social content, and the true million-dollar question: finding out what your customers really want.

Mobile’s Customer Acquisition Potential Remains Underdeveloped

  • Published in Mobile
Mobile has become the preferred interaction point for a growing group of shoppers, and retailers have responded by racing to optimize both mobile sites and apps. But brands are still missing out on mobile’s ability to attract potential new consumers through the channel. While 90% of marketers say they design mobile initiatives for existing customers, only 40% design their mobile initiatives to attract new prospects, according to the MobileBridge 2017 Mobile Marketing Trends Report.

Mastercard Acquires Biometric Security Provider

Mastercard is buying NuData Security, which identifies authentic end users based on their online, mobile app and smartphone interactions as well as biometric markers. The NuDetect technology assesses, scores and learns from each online or mobile transaction, and is designed to enable retailers and financial institutions to make near real-time authorization decisions. “The addition of NuData will build on our layered security strategy to safeguard each and every transaction across the globe,” said Ajay Ballah, President of Enterprise Risk and Security for Mastercard in a statement. “The combination of session and biometric information will provide even richer context around potential cyber and device-specific threats, enabling us to deliver even greater trust and peace of mind.”

Shoptalk Insights: Global Commerce, VR, Pop-Up Retail

In its second year, Shoptalk did not disappoint. More than 5,500 attendees from 40+ countries swarmed the Aria in Las Vegas, March 19-22, to hear from retail executives and industry experts. Even some of the sessions’ overflow rooms were filled beyond capacity at times, and many sessions featured very quick presentations from fast-talking execs trying to squeeze in as much information as possible. Most of the key topics on the minds of retail industry execs were addressed during the conference. Here you’ll find the Retail TouchPoints take on a few of those sessions:

Design Essentials Increases Mobile Conversions 68% With New Site Experience

As an online retailer of women’s hair care products that only sells its merchandise physically through third-party retailers such as salons, Design Essentials needs a distinctive e-Commerce presence to keep up with major health and beauty brands. The retailer selected e-Commerce platform BigCommerce Enterprise to enhance its web site experience, generate more traffic and gain more insights into shopping activity. Thus far, Design Essentials has:

Alibaba’s Lee McCabe: China Must Be Part Of Retailers’ E-Commerce Strategies

If you’re a U.S. retailer, Alibaba, the Chinese e-Commerce giant, wants to work with you. The opportunities in China’s e-Commerce market may come as a surprise: research from eMarketer predicts that a quarter of the Chinese population will be shopping directly on foreign-based web sites, or via third party web sites, by 2020. Additionally, total revenue will jump to $1.1 trillion by 2020, according to Forrester. In an exclusive Q&A, Retail TouchPoints sat down with Lee McCabe, VP of North America for Alibaba, during the ChannelAdvisor Catalyst 2017 event in Nashville, Tenn., to learn more about his role at Alibaba, the perceptions U.S. retailers may have about the retail giant and the benefits of U.S. businesses expanding to China.

How Retailers Can Transform ‘March Madness’ Into ‘Marketing Magic’

With the first weekend of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament posting an average of 9.325 million viewers across all games and four television networks, “March Madness” continues to captivate both major sports fans and casual viewers alike. But the frenzy also can be a big boon to retailers and brands seeking to launch marketing campaigns. CPG food and beverage brands are obviously big beneficiaries of the tournament: During last year’s tournament, wing orders were 24% higher than during the days prior to the tournament, while pizza orders were 17% higher, according to data from Yahoo. Sponsor apparel brands increased web site searches 33% on the first day of the tournament versus the week prior.

Synchrony Financial Acquires GPShopper

Synchrony Financial, a consumer financial services company, has acquired mobile app developer GPShopper to expand its mobile engagement capabilities. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

What Will Replace The Cookie In A Mobile-First World?

For years, retail marketers have used web browser cookies to track consumers who are visiting their site, offer targeted promotions and add people to their mailing lists. But web cookies are crumbling, as they only account for activity on the web, not the multi-screen, app-filled world we live in. Enter the trusty mobile phone number, something that rarely changes in a person’s lifetime and is tied to many facets of life. Think about it — your phone number serves as an authenticator in registrations, call center records and brand loyalty cards, and companies like Facebook and Google use phone numbers for account verification. With phone numbers tied to so many aspects of our identities, they have the potential to bridge everything together in a way that web cookies never could.
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