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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.

AT&T Embraces Mobility To Evolve The In-Store Shopping Experience

Bio Rudy Hermond Rethink 09-11-12v2Retailers are striving to integrate the best of the digital and physical worlds by implementing cutting-edge technology in their stores. In particular, mobile clienteling and POS have become priority investments as associates become more reliant on their smartphones and tablets when interacting with customers.

AT&T is one mega-brand that is embracing mobility to empower its workforce and streamline the customer experience. Although the number of devices per store varies by the location, size and format, all of AT&T’s 2,200 retail stores now are equipped with tablet devices.

In the below Q&A, Rudy Hermond, SVP of Data and Voice Products at AT&T Mobility, discusses how mobility has helped the brand transform its brick-and-mortar interactions. In his previous role as SVP of Retail Sales Operations, Hermond helped with the planning and implementation process. He was recognized for his efforts at the Retail TouchPoints 2014 Retail Innovator Awards

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Online Revenue For SMBs Will Increase By 9% This Holiday Season

RR Volusion imageDuring the 2014 holiday season, SMBs will experience a 9% increase in online sales, according to data from Volusion. These predictions are based on data from 40,000 online retailers who processed more than $1.75 billion during the first six months of 2014.

Mobile commerce will help contribute to SMB growth during the holidays. Reaffirming this point Volusion indicated that its merchant users experienced a 23% increase in mobile sales in Q2 2014. With this growth, Volusion suggests that SMBs focus on providing a mobile-optimized shopping experience that includes brand consistency across a variety of devices, including desktops, smartphones and tablets.

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Samsung And SAP Unveil Enterprise Mobile Solutions For Retail

SamsungSAPSamsung Electronics and SAP are collaborating to deliver enterprise mobility solutions for the retail, oil and gas, healthcare and financial industries. The companies made the announcement at the SAP TechEd && d-code conference, which was held November 11 to 13 in Berlin.

With the new partnership, SAP’s Mobile Platform will be integrated into hardware from Samsung. As a result, developers will be able to build solutions for Samsung mobile devices and wearables more easily, as well as leverage joint cloud solutions based on the SAP HANA Cloud Platform mobile services.

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Drive Personalized Engagement With Mobile Clienteling

Tony Busa BenbriaConnected consumers want shopping experiences that are fast, efficient and relevant to their needs. Mobile clienteling lets retailers give shoppers exactly what they want, anytime and anywhere throughout their journey — before, during and after the store visit. By using mobile to engage, understand and satisfy shoppers, retailers can increase loyalty, average spend and same-store sales.

Mobile clienteling lets retailers captivate shoppers by taking them on a highly personalized shopping journey. By connecting with shoppers through mobile channels — text messages, apps, e-mail, in-store kiosks and more — retail associates can engage them in meaningful dialog and learn what they want, need, like and don’t like. Insights derived from these conversations can help associates deliver the tailored experiences shoppers crave. With an effective mobile clienteling strategy, retailers can:

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Putting Mobile At The Center Of The Omnichannel Journey

FEAT Mobile imageFollowing is Part 1 of the feature, titled: Mobile Technology: From The Kitchen Table To The POS, which will outline the role mobile plays in the customer experience, from initial browsing and product comparison, to shopper engagement and eventually, conversion.

It is apparent that mobile is playing a more central role in the browsing and buying journey, and consumers see their smartphones and tablets as their personal shopping companions, whether they’re at home or in a physical store.

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Most “Empty-Nesters” Consult The Web, Browse And Buy Via Mobile

RR InfluenceCentral ImageAs many as 82% of “Empty-Nester Boomers” spend more time browsing for products online than in-store, according to a report from Influence Central and Vibrant Nation. Empty-Nester Boomers are characterized as shoppers born between the years 1946 and 1964 who do not have children living at home.

The Influence Central Consumer Insights Group conducted, programmed and analyzed the report, titled: Redefining Empty-Nesters: How The Power Generation Takes Control Of Consumer Purchasing. Influence Central and Vibrant Nation surveyed more than 600 American women 45 years and older via an online survey.

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Retailers Improve Customer Retention And Merchandising With BI Tools

FEAT BI imageIn today’s retail climate, merchants are encouraged to gather as much data as they possibly can to understand the internal and external strengths and weaknesses of their company. Retail organizations face the high-pressure challenges of optimizing supply chain and inventory management, all while attempting to be more customer-centric and drive shopper loyalty.

By leveraging business intelligence (BI) solutions, retailers such as Coach, Diamond Candles, Groupe Dynamite and Oberweis Dairy can analyze a variety of data points and convert them into actionable insights that improve decision-making processes and performance across all channels.

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Ingenico Releases New ROAMpay Mobile POS App

roampayROAM, a division of mobile commerce platform provider Ingenico Mobile Solutions, debuted the latest version of its mobile POS application, ROAMpay X5 at Money20/20 in Las Vegas, Nev. The new release includes a redesigned User Interface (UI) and now supports all mobile payment types, including: EMV chip-and-PIN, EMV chip-and-sign, mag stripe and NFC.

ROAMpay X5 is available through a native tablet app for iOS and Android devices that is designed to reduce training time, increase merchant adoption and improve customer satisfaction. The solution also connects with a redesigned portal, called ROAMmerchant, which provides merchants with a single access point to manage their business. With ROAMpay X5, smartphone and feature phone users can receive real-time SMS receipts, accelerating the time-to-checkout.

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IDC Releases Retail IT Predictions For 2015

IDCRetailRetailers must continually implement new technologies designed to provide the best experience for both shoppers and company employees. To help merchants down that road, IDC Retail Insights shared its Top 10 Decision Imperatives for 2015 and beyond. Each imperative includes four parts and correspond with predictions for the several years as outlined by Greg Girard, Program Director at IDC Retail Insights during a web conference:

  1. The imperative itself, or the action to be taken to achieve a desired business outcome;
  2. IT impacts, actions and consequences;
  3. Specific practical advice provided by IDC technology experts; and
  4. Drivers and external factors that bring attention to the decision.
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QVC Adds Fingerprint Sensor To New iOS App, Enhances “Second Screen” Experience

iphone full cart
QVC
, the video and e-Commerce retailer has ramped up its app strategy by adding Touch ID to its branded iPhone app. 

Incorporating Apple’s fingerprint sensor technology into the mobile shopping experience will give customers the opportunity to log into their QVC accounts on all iOS 8 iPhone 5S, 6 and 6+ devices using only their fingertips to confirm their identity.

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Bleu Station Starter Kit Provides In-Store Beacon Technology

SS site only BleuStation imageA variety of retailers, such as American Eagle, Apple and Macy’s, are rolling out beacon technology in stores to create one-to-one engagement with consumers through their mobile devices.

With beacon technology, retailers can track customer journeys throughout the store, share more relevant deals and help shoppers find the products they’re seeking. Twocanoes Software is empowering retailers to implement beacons in their stores with the Bleu Station Beacon Starter Kit.

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Sonic Automotive Improves Product Sales By 38% With MicroStrategy

CS SonicMicro ImageMore retailers are arming their sales associates with mobile technology so they can properly inform shoppers about products, pricing and more. One particular automotive retailer is staying ahead of the competition by implementing this mobile strategy company-wide.

Sonic Automotive enlisted MicroStrategy to develop and deploy its mobile application, FIRE (Financial and Insurance Reporting Engine), resulting in an increase in car product sales by 38%. Since rolling out FIRE, Sonic Automotive has gone from selling between $800 and $900 in products per car, to nearly $1,100.

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The Retail Internet Of Things (IOT): Turning Your Store Into An App

VP Schwartz head shotRetailers are an innovative bunch. We adopt and trial new technologies at a more nimble rate that other verticals. In a world where shopper marketing, field marketing and consumer insights have all been merged into an unending list of “mobile path-to-purchase” solutions, the retailer gets an A for effort.

Before we celebrate our successes, let’s look at another vertical: Cities. Like stores, their consumers are changing, their services need to adapt. IBM invested approximately $350 million in smart city technology and marketing trying to reinvent the metropolitan centers globally and have perhaps made 10 % return on this effort. But 557,000 cities spend $4.5 trillion per year, 10% of the global GDP.

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Starbucks Introduces Mobile Order, New Store Formats, Contest For Holiday Campaign

Starbucks-reserveStarbucks will roll out a Mobile Order and Pay feature across all U.S. stores in 2015. Initially, the technology will be implemented in cafés in the Portland, Ore., area before the end of 2014. 
 
The service is integrated with the Starbucks mobile app and is designed to enable customers to place orders in advance of their visit. Customers who use the service will have their order ready for them once they arrive at their selected Starbucks location. 
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DICK’S Sporting Goods Improves Customer Engagement, Satisfaction With New Mobile App

Over the past few years, DICK’S Sporting Goods has seen a significant uptick in mobile traffic and sales. To keep mobile-savvy shoppers engaged and satisfied, the sporting goods retailer has re-designed and re-launched its mobile app for Android and iOS smartphones.

“We are aware of our customers' affinity for their mobile device and are committed to ensuring they have the best mobile experience to engage with us when and where they would like,” said Rafeh Masood, VP of Customer Innovation Technology at DICK’s Sporting Goods. “We are placing a high emphasis on how our customer’s mobile device can enhance their in-store shopping experience.”

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