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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.

Kohl's Links Loyalty Rewards To Apple Pay

1kohls store smallKohl's has integrated its private label credit card and loyalty program with a contactless, one-click payment option via Apple Pay. Currently live in 250 stores, the retailer expects to offer this functionality nationwide by the end of May 2016.

When paying in stores, customers hold their iPhone 6 or iPhone SE near the contactless reader with a finger on Touch ID to pay and receive their Yes2You Rewards. On Apple Watch, shoppers double-click the side button and hold the face of the Apple Watch up to the reader. Kohl's first introduced the Apple Pay option in June 2015.

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Holiday Preview: Five Keys For Successful Omnichannel Retail

1VP SapientNitroLast holiday season, my friend found herself in a bit of a gift-giving fiasco. A present her brother had purchased for her — a subscription to a “Tea of the Month” club — had failed to arrive by December 25, making her the proud recipient of a printed sales confirmation on Christmas morning.

Because her brother had ordered the gift from a third-party website, he needed to call two different customer service lines, speak to three different agents and give his order number at least as many times just to find out that her gift would be delivered sometime after Valentine’s Day. The kicker? My friend doesn’t even like tea.

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Thanx Packages Loyalty And Retention Tools In Branded Mobile App

Thanx has released its Branded App, designed to provide multi-location merchants with a complete suite of mobile and retention marketing tools.

Retailers using the offering can work with Thanx developers to fully customize the app, to present their own brand experience to the consumer. Retailers can implement and tailor features such as ordering, customizable rewards and VIP treatment.

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Barneys Brings iBeacons And 'Endless Aisles' To New York Flagship

Barneys New York is enhancing the in-store experience at its flagship Manhattan location with iBeacon technology and an updated personalization platform.

The luxury retailer has enlisted the RichRelevance Relevance Cloud platform to:

  • Drive the store’s editorial personalization campaigns within the store;

  • Connect consumers’ online and offline behaviors and preferences; and

  • Help sales associates better serve clients via a customer clienteling app with “endless aisle” capabilities.

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Mobile Site Acceleration Boosts Conversions 23% At American Giant

Everyone talks about business agility, but American Giant has actually put it into practice — with impressive results. When the online apparel retailer shaved an average of five seconds off of its mobile site's speed, conversions increased 23%.

"Anything you can do to improve site speed will bring benefits," said Jennifer Patchen, Director of Site Operations for the San Francisco-based retailer. Reducing the desktop e-Commerce site's speed by just a single second boosted conversions there as well, by a smaller (though still measurable) percentage.

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Starmount Partnership Powers Omnichannel Payments

Starmount logoA new partnership between Starmount and Aurus offers retailers the ability to implement payment solutions that are capable of processing both in-store and e-Commerce transactions.

Retailers will be able to incorporate payment-as-a-service with their Starmount POS solutions, including Starmount Engage mobile POS, managing consumers' payment processes separately from their POS transaction data.

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Survey: 43% Of Retailers Don't Track Mobile Fraud

Mobile-Commerce-FraudEven though mobile fraud rates rose 81% from 2011 to 2015, many retailers remain alarmingly complacent about the problem. In fact, 43% of surveyed merchants simply don't know the share of total fraud coming from their mobile channels, according to the fourth annual 2016 Mobile Payments & Fraud Survey. Nearly as many (38.5%) say their biggest challenge in managing mobile fraud risks is determining whether or not they have a mobile fraud problem to begin with. (Hint: they probably do.)

"Despite awareness that the mobile channel poses a greater risk than standard e-Commerce, businesses are taking a blanketed approach to their security strategies," said Don Bush, VP of Marketing at Kount, which conducted the survey along with CardNotPresent.com and The Fraud Practice, LLC. More than 1,500 payments and fraud professionals representing a variety of organizations within the payments ecosystem were surveyed between November 2015 and March 2016.

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Audio Brand Harmonizes Digital Experience Worldwide With SaaS Platform

Until fairly recently, Harman International suffered from something of an identity crisis. If consumers knew the name at all, they associated it with high-end audio brands such as Harman Kardon and JBL. Yet the $7 billion company also is a leader in automotive technology, including GPS and navigation systems, as well as professional audio systems and even the ultra-hot Internet of Things (IoT) category.

Delivering a unified message about Harman — not to mention supporting cross-channel sales for a wide range of products— was a significant challenge not only because of the company's low profile, but also the scattered state of its digital presentation and supporting infrastructure. In 2014, Harman was operating 13 different e-Commerce systems, including separate platforms for seven global operating areas.

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Flipp Raises $61 Million For Mobile-Accessible Circulars

Furthering the idea that print marketing is on the decline, Flipp, which enables consumers to use their smartphones to access digital circulars, has raised $61 million from General Atlantic.1 flippCollage

The company serves more than 800 retailers, including Walmart, Kroger, Macy’s, Lowe’s and Dollar General, with a reach of 50 million shoppers every week.

“In North America alone, $15 billion worth of flyers are being produced,” says Wehuns Tan, CEO and Co-Founder of Flipp. The company aims to replace expensive physical flyers with cheaper and more trackable digital versions that include more features for shoppers. Flipp cited a Nielsen study, which reports that as many as 84% of shoppers said they still checked a print circular each week.

Tan says the cash injection will help Flipp pull in more users as the company focuses on international expansion, joining what he estimates to be a $40 billion worldwide circular market.

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Fraud Percentages On The Rise, With Mobile The Most Vulnerable

As retailers embrace new payment mechanisms geared to online, mobile and international commerce, they must be aware of key pain points and current fraud trends. According to the 2016 LexisNexis True Cost Of Fraud Study, the average volume and value of fraudulent transactions has risen sharply since last year. Overall, the percentage of revenues lost to fraud increased from 1.32% to 1.47%.

The comprehensive study of more than 1,000 risk and fraud executives in retail organizations, conducted by KS&R, looks at merchants’ attitudes toward fraud prevention, the challenges they face and the various ways of managing fraud, from automated to manual methods.

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In-Person Interactions Rev Up Advance Auto Parts Rewards Program

For the third year in a row, Advance Auto Parts is pulling out all the stops to bring attention to its Speed Perks customer loyalty program, rolling out an RV across the U.S. as part of the Advance Auto Parts Mobile Tour. The retailer is using gamification techniques, integrated with live events and delivered to mobile devices, as part of a multi-platform effort to increase awareness and membership in the program.

In partnership with Interactions Marketing, the retailer introduced interactive mobile gaming to the tour to further influence shoppers to sign up for Speed Perks. Interactions developed the Speed Perks puzzle app game for the iPad, which ranks players based on speed and accuracy. Customers can register to play the game at the Advance Auto Parts tent, in which they can pick a vehicle type and drag-and-drop eight parts into their correct location within the vehicle. Upon opting into Speed Perks with their email address, winners can choose to enter a drawing for a $50 gift card.

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Rock/Creek Unites Digital And Store-Based Customer Tracking

Rock/Creek has a lot to gain from learning about its customers — particularly their plans for outdoor adventures. The retailer's most valuable shoppers are those who are about to "graduate"— set off on a backpacking trip across Europe, hike the length of the Pacific Coast Trail or scale the heights of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Knowing exactly when these trekkers are prepping to leave allows Rock/Creek to supply them with everything they need to enjoy the trip (and hopefully survive to return and buy more products). The total "spend" from these customers easily can reach $5,000 to $6,000 per adventure, including items like specially designed shoes, GPS-enabled watches and emergency communicators.

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Newegg To Deliver Chat Via Facebook Messenger; Will More Retailers Follow?

1neweggNewegg, an online computer products and hardware retailer, has partnered with Facebook to offer its Messenger platform as another customer support channel. Messenger supplements channels including email, SMS text message, phone and chat.

Customers can contact Newegg through its official Facebook page or search for it within the Messenger app to start a conversation with any customer representative.

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Fossil Adds Payment Options With Mobile POS Solution

Fossil will upgrade the point-of-sale at more than 500 of its stores with the latest version of the Aptos Mobile Store POS solution, integrated with Verifone FIPay. The upgrade will increase Fossil’s electronic payment acceptance options at the point-of-purchase and will also comply with security best practices.1 Fossil

Fossil Group, Inc. is a global design, marketing and distribution company. The company's principal offerings include an extensive line of men's and women's fashion watches and jewelry sold under a diverse portfolio of proprietary and licensed brands, handbags, small leather goods and accessories. 

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