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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.

EBay Closes Down Same-Day Delivery Service

EBay has discontinued its eBay Now same-day delivery service, according to a company blog post. The online marketplace also announced it will close down multiple standalone mobile applications, including eBay Valet, eBay Fashion and eBay Motors. In retiring the mobile apps, eBay plans to migrate these functionalities into its flagship eBay app.

The company is undergoing a transformation in an attempt to narrow the focus on its online marketplace, with the blog post indicating that these closures are the “first phase of their sunset plans.” News of the closures follow eBay’s sale of its Enterprise business for $925 million and its official split from PayPal.

When the eBay Now service launched in 2012, customers in New York, Chicago, Dallas, and parts of the San Francisco Bay Area were able to access same-day delivery of items from local merchants via couriers.

EBay also is discontinuing a local pilot program in Brooklyn, NY that started in December 2014 and offered same-day delivery from approximately 80 local merchants. Both eBay Now and the Brooklyn program will officially stop service on July 31.

The company initially shut down the eBay Now mobile app in November 2014, bringing the program’s delivery capabilities and many participating merchants’ inventory into its core mobile apps.

“While we saw encouraging results with the eBay Now service, we always intended it as a pilot,” said RJ Pittman, Chief Product Officer of eBay, in the post. “We are now exploring delivery and pick-up/drop-off programs that are relevant to many more of our 25 million sellers, and that cover a wider variety of inventory that consumers tell us they want.”

EBay will continue to pilot scheduled delivery in the UK, according to the post.

Most of the employees affected by the eBay Now shutdown will be reassigned elsewhere in the company, an eBay spokesperson told CNET.

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Youngland Kiddie Shops Taps Aptos Solution Suite To Drive Growth

aptosYoungland Kiddie Shops has implemented a variety of solutions from Aptos, formerly Epicor Retail, to support retail operations, improve customer engagement and streamline chainwide efficiencies.

The discount retailer — which operates 17 stores under the Kid City brand — implemented several Aptos solutions through the cloud, including: Store and Mobile Store (Point of Sale); CRM; Merchandising; WebIM (Inventory Management); and Sales Audit.

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The Top 15 Stories Of 2015 (So Far…)

topstoriesWe’re halfway through 2015 and Retail TouchPoints already has covered a plethora of new industry trends and best practices through our features, special reports, awards programs and proprietary surveys.

While the Apple Watch and Internet of Things (IoT) turned the heads of industry analysts and retail executives in a number of articles, the final top 15 list also includes a variety of topics that are relevant to all retail businesses, such as: Pricing, inventory management, customer service and loyalty programs.

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Gap Brings Reserve-In-Store Shopping To Virgin Hotels Guests

GapVirginGap has partnered with Virgin Hotels to offer guests the option to have clothing and other items delivered to directly to their room via the Gap Reserve in Store service. Patrons at Virgin Hotels Chicago can access the service via the hotel’s mobile app, Lucy, or by visiting virginhotels.com, to reserve the merchandise and purchase the items during their stay.

Upon using the service, guests can select their favorite styles through the “Reserve in Store” button. After the purchase is finalized, the hotel can deliver the reserved items to the guests.

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More Than 5.5M Shoppers Save With Fuel Rewards From Shell

fuelrewardsshellLoyalty programs play a significant role in retailers’ efforts to bring consumers into the store and keep them coming back. Today, traditional retailers are taking steps outside of their core industry to boost loyalty among consumers. One successful entry into this growing retail segment is the Fuel Rewards Program. Shell is the network’s redemption partner, with more than 12,000 U.S. gas stations participating in the program. Retail partners linked with the Fuel Rewards program have included J.C.Penney, Kmart, Macy’s and The Home Depot.

Launched in 2012, Fuel Rewards has acquired more than 5.5 million members in three years. Across all categories, 78% of Fuel Rewards members redeem their rewards within 20 days of earning them when shopping or dining.

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Peapod Re-Launches Mobile App

PeapodOnline grocery shopping and delivery service Peapod has unveiled a new mobile app that touts improved features and functionality, such as Filter and Order Genius.

The Filter feature is designed to give customers easier access to dietary and nutritional filters. With Filter, Peapod can become an organic farmer’s market, a gluten-free or dairy-free store, a nut-allergy safe zone or a low-sugar or low-carb shop, according to a company press release. Customers also can use the feature to display specific brands, items or sales.

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SEKUR.me Helps Improve Mobile Payment Security

Consumers are becoming more comfortable purchasing items through their mobile devices. As retailers integrate mobile payment into their commerce strategies, they must ensure they have the solutions and systems in place to keep customer data secure.

SEKUR.me is a mobile payment platform for browser-based e-Commerce and m-Commerce that includes secure multi-factor authentication. The app’s FonePrint multi-factor authentication combines a smartphone’s hardware with user information to create a “mobile fingerprint,” providing anonymous payments for confidential purchases.

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RetailMeNot Partners With Gimbal To Extend Beacon Offering

Retailers across categories are testing and implementing beacon technology to connect their digital and in-store shopping experiences. Consumers who opt in to receive beacon alerts can receive timely deals, offers and coupons that align with their personal preferences, which can lead to increased engagement and sales.

Digital couponing marketplace RetailMeNot is breaking further into the beacon space by extending its partnership with proximity marketing platform provider Gimbal. With the partnership, RetailMeNot is striving to scale its location-based beacon tests, which were previously executed with retailers, shopping malls and out-of-home advertising networks.

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TouchCommerce Integrates Traditional Ads And Mobile With TouchMedia

Retailers today are challenged to constantly refine their marketing and commerce strategies based on new and emerging technologies. As mobile devices play a more central role to consumers’ browsing and buying journeys, retailers are trying to optimize their advertising campaigns to drive engagement across all channels and generate ROI.

To tackle this challenge, TouchCommerce has released TouchMedia, which is designed to help advertisers infuse interactive and personalized engagement tools into their brand’s media messaging. Specifically, TouchMedia provides brands with a means to integrate live chat and personalized self-service options into campaigns at any phase of the omnichannel shopping experience.

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Spotlighting The Purchasing Habits Of Dads And Grads

RR Purch ImageWith Father’s Day behind us and graduations now occurring throughout the U.S., June certainly is a key month for shoppers to spend on their dads and grads. Believe it or not, these two demographics have very similar tendencies when it comes to their shopping behaviors and preferences.

Both dads and grads are difficult to shop for, as neither demographic likes to ask for help. Only 13% of dads and 22% of students aged 18 to 24 say they ask for advice on what to buy, according to digital content provider Purch.

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Askuity Mobile App Helps Improve In-Store Inventory Management

SS Askuity ImageMerchandising teams need all the help they can get while gathering information about their stores’ inventory levels. However, they don’t always have the time required to gather data and apply it to stores.

Askuity, an analytics solution provider focused on improving collaboration between retailers and product manufacturers, has released its Mobile App, which is positioned to extend data analytics to in-store employees. The Mobile App enables in-store merchandising teams from retailers and product suppliers to access real-time inventory data without having to rely on store-generated reports or dated spreadsheets delivered by headquarters.

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Onyx Beacon Unveils Hardware For Large-Scale Deployments

As retailers try to understand consumers’ in-store browsing and buying habits, they turn to technologies that can provide them with a wealth of digital and brick-and-mortar data.

Onyx Beacon, a developer of iBeacon hardware and software, has launched its Enterprise Beacon, which is designed for larger-scale deployments. Enterprise Beacon has a range of up to 70 meters, battery life of approximately four years, and can be powered by AA batteries, a plug or a USB port.

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Mobile Ads Drive Twice The Sales Of Desktop Ad Campaigns

mobileadvertisingMobile has become a massive part of the average consumer’s everyday life, and as such, retailers have to adjust their experience to the medium. In particular, marketers and advertisers alike must further study the technology to better understand how they should appropriately allocate their budget.

An effective mobile campaign can be a lucrative option for companies that focus on the medium. In fact, mobile advertising generates more than double the sales of its desktop counterparts, according to a report from 4INFO and Catalina. Total sales per 1,000 impressions reaches $29.90 for the average mobile advertising campaign, compared to $13.10 for desktop campaigns.

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Free Shipping Is Imperative For Most Online Shoppers

freeshippingFree shipping remains key for most (77%) online shoppers today, according to a new study from UPS and comScore. In fact, 60% of consumers have added items to their cart to qualify for free shipping.

UPS and comScore released the fourth UPS Pulse Of The Online Shopper Study during a press conference at the 2015 Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition (IRCE) in Chicago. The survey revealed insights from 5,000 U.S., focusing on their shopping preferences and buying behaviors.

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Google Set To Launch ‘Buy’ Button For Mobile Search

googlemobileGoogle will launch a ‘buy’ button next to products listed on its search result pages, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. The buttons will accompany sponsored search results, which Google displays under a “Shop on Google” heading at the top of a search results page.Buttons will not appear with the nonsponsored results driven by Google’s basic search algorithm.

Google spokespersons have not commented on the matter.

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