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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.

Pay With Amazon: Another Way To Threaten Traditional Retail

It would be an understatement to say that Amazon is the talk of the retail industry at this point, with the retailer now signing up more than 50 million Americans to its Prime service, increasing its Q4 sales 22% and now even rumored to be opening as many as 400 brick-and-mortar bookstores in the U.S.

But all signs point to the fact that Amazon is jumpstarting yet another endeavor through the growth of its payments service, Pay with Amazon. The recent publicity around the service sends a message to retailers that Amazon can process payments on its own site — and on other retail sites as well.

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Can Retailers Keep Pace With Millennial Consumers?

Retailers know they have to adapt marketing and advertising messages to target each new generation of shoppers. But the evolution of technology over the past 20 years has forced merchants to speed up their understanding of today's more technologically advanced Millennials.

The Millennial generation has grown up with the technology revolution and is now gaining more buying power, motivating retailers to tap into more content-based campaigns that are focused on a personalized customer experience.

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RapidCut Protects Mobile Screens With Made-To-Order Sizing

Clear-Coat, a manufacturer of mobile accessories, has launched RapidCut, an automated mobile screen and body protection system for brick-and-mortar stores. The RapidCut system is designed so that users can immediately cut screen and full body protectors for virtually any type or size of mobile device, on demand.

With new phones and tablets released in stores every week, it can be difficult for retailers to manage their inventory of accessories for them. With RapidCut, retailers don’t have to worry about overstocking specific screens for the mobile devices they carry.

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Mobee Selects Grimes For Chief Revenue Officer Post

Mike Grimes MobeeCrowdsourced insights provider Mobee has chosen Mike Grimes as its new Chief Revenue Officer (CRO). Grimes, who has more than a quarter century of experience in digital solutions for retail, will lead the company's go-to-market strategy, sales and business development efforts.

"Crowdsourced intelligence will play an important role in the future of retail, just as Waze and Kickstarter have transformed navigation and funding," said Grimes in a statement. "Brands and retailers are seeking new ways to collaborate, and Mobee's platform provides a unique lens into the behaviors of their common denominator — the shopper."

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Timberland Tablets Blaze A Trail Connecting Physical And Digital Commerce

Timberland Tap Wall Herald Square 1.16.16There's a bit of the great outdoors in one of the most urban locations imaginable: the Timberland store in Manhattan's Herald Square, literally steps from the Empire State Building. The retailer is in the midst of a 90-day pilot there that provides visitors with technological "Sherpas" in the form of NFC-enabled tablets available at a kiosk/charging station. When shoppers use a tablet to tap tagged inventory, rich product information comes up on the screen.

"We're creating a blended physical/digital environment where we can show product and immerse customers in the Timberland brand, while gaining a better understanding of their preferences in-store, online and post-visit to help shape our retail strategy," explained Timberland's VP of Direct to Consumer Kate Kibler in an interview with Retail TouchPoints.

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Giant Eagle Deploys Task Management Tools To Manage Constant Change

Realizing that dealing with the unexpected is actually the norm, supermarket chain Giant Eagle is in the process of restructuring its store operations, task management and communications to reflect this reality.

In an #NRF16 Big Show session titled Real-Time Customers Require Real-Time Store Operations, Chris Kelly, Senior Director of Operations, Planning and Engineering for the 422-store retailer noted that "Store associates are being asked to do things they have never done before," due to a combination of new offerings, larger stores, omnichannel demands, a greater shift to local products and new regulations from agencies including the FDA and OSHA.

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From Tweet To Receipt: Mobile Retail’s Transformation

1SAP

Retailers are under enormous pressure to adjust both internal and customer-facing business strategies in order to keep pace with rapidly evolving consumer demands. But most are not evolving fast enough, according to "How Mobile is Transforming Retail," a 39-country survey and report commissioned by The Economist Intelligence Unit. 

The report identifies the three key mobile imperatives to retail growth:

• Addressing generational differences in shoppers;

• Prioritizing the user experience to attract and retain customers; and

• Closing the gaps in mobile shopping functionality.

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Don’t Lose Out On Millennial Buying Power With A Bad Mobile App

1VP PushBy 2017, Millennials are set to become the generation with the strongest buying power in the U.S., with $200 billion burning a hole in their collective pocket. Born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s, Millennials are in many ways the first truly digital and mobile-driven generation for retailers to contend with. But, while more than 85% of them own a smartphone, a recent Accenture study found that rather than shopping consistently online, Millennials actually prefer the in-store brick-and-mortar experience.

The question of how retailers can capitalize on this contrasting pairing of behaviors can be answered not just by deploying mobile applications, a tactic many have been using to varied effect for the last few years, but by launching mobile applications that offer seamless location-based services to shoppers as they tread that thin line between mobile and in-person engagement.

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In 2016, Mobile Will Make Or Break The Customer Experience

1VP IBM ImageIn 2016, retail store associates need to know their customers' preferences to deliver the best service and experience that shoppers demand. Is mobile technology equipped with analytics the silver bullet to making 2016 the best year yet for both retailers and customers?

The post-mortem on how retailers fared over holiday 2015 is in full swing. The trend of consumers choosing to shop online rather than at the store soared. For the first time ever, more shoppers turned to their digital devices than physical stores to shop on Black Friday. In all, IBM Watson Trend found that online sales for November 1 through December 26 were up 13.3% over the same period in 2014.

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True Religion Partners With Aptos On Apple Watch App

1TR AptosPremium denim brand True Religion has teamed up with Aptos and Formula 3 Group to develop an Apple Watch app to track inventory and multi-point sales attribution, among other features. The app, which is being demoed at NRF booth #3504, is designed to enhance in-store customer engagement by helping salespeople show customers items that are not available in the store.

True Religion faced a challenge to provide its customers with a wide variety of denim in a 1,500-square-foot store setting. The brand wanted to avoid turning away customers because of lack of product in stock.

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Macy's Digital Thrives On Culture Of Customer-Focused Innovation

Macys Herald SquareMobile's extraordinarily strong performance during the 2015 holiday season may have caught some in the retail industry by surprise, but not Macy's Head of Digital Technology Yasir Anwar. His highly innovative group has been "betting on mobile for a long time," he said.

"We anticipated Black Friday mobile commerce traffic would be higher than desktop traffic, and it did account for over 50% of our digital traffic," said Anwar. "We also predicted that mobile shopper behavior would shift from being primarily about browsing and searching to encompass complete sales transactions — and indeed we saw double-digit growth over last year."

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PlaceIQ Raises $25 Million To Fuel Mobile Tracking

1placeIQPlaceIQ, a company that helps brands use mobile data to better understand their customers, has raised $25 million in Series D funding. The investment, led by Harmony Partners, will fuel the company’s location-based audience platform and provide consumer analytics to retail, automotive and entertainment brands.

The funding will also allow the company to invest in its foot traffic measurement technology, to determine how well ads are doing based on mobile behaviors and activities. Place IQ has already been granted a new patent on technology to create a unified view of consumer behavior. 

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Will 'Fallout' Spread After Tough Holiday Season? 5 Experts Weigh In

The overall economy continues to grow, but for a number of leading retailers, lower gas prices and rising employment didn't translate into a happy holiday season. In fact, the new year brought announcements of layoffs and store closings at Macy's, rumors that Kohl's would be going private, and announcements that Walmart would be closing an unprecedented 269 stores worldwide in 2016.

Retail TouchPoints asked industry experts to weigh in who were the real winners and losers of holiday 2015, as well as how widespread the "fallout" from this lackluster season is likely to be.

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10 Trends To Watch At NRF

What is the best way to peruse the annual NRF Big Show? It's a bigger challenge every year. To help, the Retail TouchPoints editorial team has put together a list of 10 trends to watch:

Debbie head shot

Debbie Hauss, Editor-in-Chief

1. Managing The Omnichannel Inventory Challenge, Without Breaking The Bank.

Retailers are struggling to manage the challenge of getting the right products to the right customers in an efficient manner. Shoppers expect to have all purchase and delivery options at their disposal, but how are most retailers able to accommodate that without taking a loss? A few key questions include: Which business unit should pay for the packaging and employee hours when fulfilling online orders in-store? How do we avoid over-selling inventory when sales exceed expectations across channels? Are there technology solutions that help manage this entire process?

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