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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.

Moltin Offers API For Digital Displays, Social Shopping

Moltin, an e-Commerce solution provider, has introduced an API designed to enable retailers to deliver holistic experiences to consumers when they interact with the brand, whether through interactive digital displays, social media, smart television, video games or any other touch point.

Study: Starbucks Mobile App Usage Exceeds Popular Payment Apps

Just how popular is the Starbucks mobile app? In 2018, 23.4 million people aged 14 and above will use the app to make a POS purchase at least once every six months, according to eMarketer. That’s more than the users of today’s most popular proximity-based mobile payment apps, including: Apple Pay (22 million); Google Pay (11.1 million); and Samsung Pay (9.9 million).

Total Wine & More Deploys Mobile Communication Across 190 Stores

Total Wine & More has implemented Theatro, a provider of voice-controlled mobile workforce solutions, as its mobile communication platform across the company’s 190-store network. The SaaS-based solution uses Internet of Things (IoT), voice intelligent assistant, and new workforce-optimized apps to help improve in-store communication, worker productivity, customer engagement and business performance.…
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Sephora, Nike Leverage AR Effects Via Facebook Messenger

Four brands are presently taking a new approach to augmented reality (AR) experiences, integrating them with the Facebook Messenger messaging app. In May, Facebook revealed that it had launched AR experiences on its Messenger platform in closed beta for retailers such as Nike and Sephora, as well as ASUS and Kia. With these experiences, retailers and brands can leverage messaging to help shoppers visualize a product and get instant feedback about purchases, customizations and more — without ever needing to set foot in a store.  The future of Facebook Messenger as a means of communicating with retail consumers looks bright. As of May 1, there were more than 300,000 active bots on Messenger, and more than 8 billion messages are exchanged between people and businesses each month — a number that is 4X the number of messages exchanged just since last year.

Peet’s Coffee Takes The Guesswork Out Of Promotions With New Loyalty Solution

Peet’s Coffee was looking to expand its Peetnik Rewards loyalty program to all 240 stores following a beta test period, but needed a more reliable platform. By partnering with Paytronix, the chain got a more stable platform, along with a bonus: detailed data about program members’ activity, which has translated into valuable marketing insights and measurable benefits. The chain moved its loyalty and stored value program to a SaaS platform from Paytronix. Within six months after a July 2017 chainwide rollout, Peet’s had achieved:

Las Vegas Shopping Complex Debuts Chatbot With Personality

Visitors to the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas now can interact with an AI-powered shopping guide through Facebook Messenger whenever they need better information to enhance their shopper journey. The chatbot, “Jules,” showcases a witty and sassy personality designed to reflect the mall’s audience of chic and lively shoppers. Jules is available 24/7 to address a variety of guest inquiries that pertain to the center’s stores, restaurants and shows, and can provide specific answers based on where users are in the 475,000-square-foot mall.

47% Of Gen Zers Use Smartphones While Shopping In Stores

Gen Z, the generation born between 1997 and 2015, has never known life before the World Wide Web. Yet across the globe, 98% make purchases in a physical store some or most of the time. Two-thirds of this cohort shop at brick-and-mortar retail (67%) most of the time, while 22% shop online most of the time. Mobile phones or smartphones are the most important device for three-quarters of the Gen Z population worldwide. While less than half (48%) have used a mobile app to shop, one-quarter have used mobile phones to pay for purchases. These are among the findings of What Do Gen Z Shoppers Really Want?, a report based on a survey of 15,600 individuals between the ages of 13 and 21 in 16 countries, conducted by the IBM Institute for Business Value in collaboration with the National Retail Federation (NRF). This is the third of three reports NRF and IBM have produced based on a year-long study of the Gen Z consumer.

Microsoft Enters Cashier-Less Tech Race: Will Checkout Lanes Become Relics?

The news that technology powerhouse Microsoft is working on cashier-less technology that could help retailers compete with Amazon Go signals a major advance in this area. Still, questions remain about exactly what kind of solution will best solve shoppers’ checkout pain points. While some consumers may welcome a cashier-free environment, others might want more cashiers on duty to provide assistance if needed. Tech-savvy retailers are still trying to figure out the optimal way forward. Kroger has made major investments in its Scan, Bag, Go technology, which allows shoppers to scan products either with a device provided by the store or with their smartphones. The retailer is in the process of expanding the program to 400 stores, and Kroger CIO Chris Hjelm identified the technology as one of his proudest achievements of the past few years.

Exclusive Q&A: Can Fitness Centers Become The New Mall Anchor Store?

As department stores exert less consumer drawing power, U.S. malls are seeking new types of anchors to build foot traffic. Many malls have been trying to add tenants that, by their nature, require consumers to be physically present, such as restaurants, theaters and fitness centers. One of the most successful gym chains is Crunch, with more than one million members visiting 250 locations across 24 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, Australia and Spain. In February, Crunch was named Best in Category in the fitness sector by Franchise Business Review’s annual list of the top franchises for 2018.

Too Many Products Crowd Small Screens: ‘Paradox Of Choice’ Frustrates 48% Of Mobile Shoppers

Nearly half (48%) of consumers agree or strongly agree that buying and discovering products directly from brands’ mobile sites is frustrating, according to a survey from Qubit. Instead, consumers are more likely to use their mobile devices for browsing and inspiration (61%) than for purchasing specific items (58%). During 2017, consumers could choose from more than 78 million products across 73 retail web sites in the U.S. and EMEA regions, according to Qubit. This demonstrates a “paradox of choice” for consumers and illustrates the need for retailers to focus on relevancy and discovery now more than ever.

How A Digital Storefront Enhances The Physical Experience At Mizuno

Designed to “capture the new digital savvy customer and showcase Mizuno product cross-sport,” the digital solutions in place at Mizuno flagship stores are driving global customer engagement and loyalty. Mizuno operates one flagship store in the U.S., as well as others in key markets worldwide. The digital display merchandising solution, provided by Perch, features self-serve technology that brings the digital online experience into the brick-and-mortar store. This technology is a key focus of the Mizuno Experience Center, located in The Battery, the U.S. flagship store in Atlanta. Here, shoppers can immerse themselves in digital experiences to book custom fittings for golf clubs or running shoes, assess their baseball swing, get gloves steamed and more.

Social Commerce Best Practices: Optimize Mobile, Match Products To Platform Strengths

Social media is no longer just a place for building brand awareness or loyalty: it’s another potential storefront, a frontier where the customer journey can take on fresh new forms. There are approximately 3.2 billion active social media users today, according to Hootsuite. The major platforms have enormous audiences that are too big to ignore: 800 million Instagram users (as of December 2017), according to Omnicore; 255 million Snapchat users (as of June 2017), according to TechCrunch; 175 million Pinterest users (as of April 2017); and More than 2.2 billion Facebook users (as of March 2018).

Walmart Abandons Cashierless Mobile Checkout

  • Published in News Briefs
Just a few months after announcing that it would expand the Scan & Go solution to 100 U.S. stores, Walmart has dropped the program, citing a lack of customer usage. The mobile app allowed shoppers to scan items as they moved through the store and then bypass the checkout line…
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