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.

Diane Von Furstenberg, Wolf & Badger And ColourPop Test Mobile Product Discovery

  • Published in Mobile
Diane von Furstenberg, Wolf & Badger and ColourPop are among 20 businesses testing the Qubit Aura beta platform, a product discovery solution designed for mobile commerce. Wolf & Badger already has increased mobile conversion rates 3.6% since implementing the platform. The need for mobile-first product discovery comes at a time when this channel gets plenty of eyeballs but doesn’t generate corresponding rates of revenue. Qubit analyzed data across 35 fashion and cosmetics brands since January 2017 and noted that mobile still has a way to go to catch up to its desktop counterpart:

2017 Holiday Tips: Personalize Promotions, Target Millennial Dads, Prepare For ‘Black November’

Channel-agnostic retail is shaping the 2017 holiday season, requiring merchants to readjust many aspects of their holiday planning, including marketing, experiential retail, fulfillment and workforce optimization. With a little more than a month to go, retailers anticipate seasonal sales growth of anywhere from 3.6% to 4%, which remains in line with 2016 figures. Four retail experts shared insights into the steps merchants should take this holiday season to optimize for the anticipated growth. The experts covered topics such as pricing and markdowns, the de-emphasis of in-store shopping on Black Friday, the growth of mobile shopping and the anticipated role of voice and AI platforms. Here are some key takeaways:

Walmart Predicts Lofty 40% E-Commerce Growth For 2018

Walmart hasn’t been modest about its e-Commerce expansion plans over the past year, acquiring various online-first retailers and investing in numerous omnichannel initiatives. These significant online investments have paid off for the retail giant, with the company anticipating annual U.S. e-Commerce sales growth to hit 40% in 2018 (referred to as fiscal year 2019). But even more changes are in store for the retailer, including plans to nearly double the number of online grocery pickup locations in 2018 and streamlining product return processes via its mobile app.

3 Retailer Perspectives On Future Business Success: Hershey’s, Jo-Ann Stores, TechStyle

The onslaught of bankruptcies and acquisitions is motivating the smartest and most innovative retail businesses to find new ways to capture consumers’ attention, build brand loyalty and deliver on the omnichannel promise. “I look at it as a time of disruption, not the end of the world,” said Brian Kavanagh, Senior Director, Insights Driven Performance and Retail Evolution, The Hershey Company. “It is waking up sleeping giants” — the traditional retailers and slow movers that have balked at innovation. “They are hard-to-move big battleships, but the jet skis are scooting by them.”

3 Steps To Mobile Mastery: Grab Attention, Leverage Influencers, Integrate Smart Devices

During my visit to the Button TAP Conference last week, I came away with three major takeaways that I feel retailers should understand, regardless of how seasoned they are in creating engaging mobile experiences: Retailers only have three seconds to reel the shopper in on the phone; Influencers are a necessity to gain brand loyalty and boost followers, especially as major players offer similar products; and Mobile apps and content can be tremendous assets that add value to smart devices and other products. 3, 2, 1 — Gone Shoppers are demanding a shorter journey from discovery to purchase, and this couldn’t be more relevant for the mobile consumer. Sarah Personette, VP of Global Business Marketing at Facebook, shared that 40% of mobile web site visitors leave at three seconds of delay. “Reimagine mobile, and in particular mobile ads, as shoppable storefronts,” said Personette. “Secondarily, think about how many clicks it takes to get to a purchase, and take at least one out. If you’re at three clicks, and you can optimize for one, that will absolutely improve your experience. Test where your buy button is. Is it intuitive? Is it in the right place? Taking these simple actions will actually help build your business and also create a better pathway…

RSP17 Recap: Making Personalization Practical And Effective

The Retail TouchPoints Retail Strategy & Planning (RSP17) webinar series aired live last week, and all 10 webinars are now available on demand. Three of the sessions focused on the hot topic of personalization, providing practical advice on how to: • Use basic personalization techniques to boost KPIs like conversions and click-through rates; • Maximize the impact of product recommendations by sending them when shoppers are most receptive to selling suggestions; and • Achieve true individualization by creating detailed, data-rich customer profiles and using them to influence shopper behavior in real time.

What’s In Store for Holiday 2017: The Top Shopping Trends

Though my body is holding on to the last days of summer (and some shorts that my wife can’t wait to throw out), my mind has been filled with preparation for Holiday 2017. Because we work with so many top retailers (Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Toys ‘R’ Us) and see their aggregate online sales data, we have a unique window into e-Commerce buying patterns and product trends. Our research and business intelligence team has compiled the trends that marketers and retailers should understand and act on now to be ready for the flood of shoppers in Q4: 2017 An Enlightened Holiday. Consumer Electronics is always one of the top sellers for holiday gifting, and I’m fascinated by the fact that in the U.S., UK, France and Germany, nostalgic tech is a big seller. Generation Z loves the tangible and is driving the return of turntables, cameras and even film. Seems like every tween wants the instant camera that I had when I was a kid. In contrast to that, we are in the midst of a big upgrade cycle as shoppers are finally ready for newer tech like 4K televisions. All of the major CE companies have voice activated assistants…

Retail Kiosk Locksmith Startup Raises $25M In Series D Funding

KeyMe, a New York City-based locksmith startup, has closed $25 million in Series D funding to continue its expansion into retail and invest in more robust marketing. The latest round — led by Comcast Ventures, Battery Ventures and additional insider investor participants — brings the company’s total funds raised to more than $100 million.

RSP17 Recap: Timely Tips For Maximizing Holiday Season Success

Early indications are that the 2017 holidays will bring good tidings of great joy — at least for those retailers able to convert high consumer confidence and a boost in disposable income into purchases. Deloitte’s annual retail holiday sales forecast, released last week, predicted a sales increase of 4% to 4.5% over 2016, with e-Commerce revenues climbing 18% to 21%. The Retail TouchPoints Retail Strategy & Planning (RSP17) webinar series aired live last week, and all 10 webinars are now available on demand. Just in time for the launch of the holiday season, three sessions provided practical tips on how to be successful in Q4 and beyond, including:

Shopgate Launches Automated Push Notifications

  • Published in News Briefs
Shopgate has launched its push notification engine, Automated Push Notifications, which is designed to enable retailers to further engage with their customers and provide customized messages based on the actions users take within the app. The Automated Push Notifications add another layer of customization to a merchant’s push notification strategy…

Alibaba Mall Moves Internet Giant Further Into Physical Retail

  • Published in News Briefs
Construction is well underway on a five-story Alibaba mall that is scheduled to open in April 2018, according to Chinese financial group Caixin. Located near Alibaba headquarters in Hangzhou, China, the “More Mall” is being built on a 40,000-square-meter plot of land. It will reportedly house unique brands from the…

Contextual Commerce: Engaging Shoppers On Their Terms

We’re living in the age of the customer. Retailers recognize the need to enable consumers to shop on their terms — however they want, wherever they are. The introduction of contextual commerce has enabled retailers to seamlessly implement buying opportunities into everyday activities. Whether a shopper is clicking on a Buyable Pin, using Facebook Messenger or talking to their Amazon Echo while doing their weekend housework, shopping is becoming more engaging because it’s happening at the moment of interest and intent to buy, in an environment that makes the experience very natural for the shopper. We’ve already begun to see forward-thinking brands starting to embrace contextual commerce — mostly in the form of hardware and mobile messaging apps. Specifically, messaging apps have exploded in popularity, eclipsing the top four social networks in active users as of late 2015. What’s more, mobile messaging apps have higher retention and user rates than most mobile apps, and the majority of messaging app users represent the most crucial demographic for brands, advertisers and publishers. With no additional infrastructure required of the consumer, contextual commerce can provide stellar customer experiences as well as interactive customer support.

Synchrony Financial Offers SyPi Mobile Plug-In For Retail Apps

Synchrony Financial has created a fully-integrated plug-in credit feature (SyPi) for the mobile apps of its retail partners. The SyPi technology is a patent-pending plug-in designed to integrate credit, loyalty, coupon codes and payment functions seamlessly into retailer-branded apps, to further enhance the mobile shopping experience for cardholders.

Brick-And-Mortar Renaissance: The Time Is Now For Independents

Throughout my years in the retail tech industry, I’ve been an avid supporter of independent businesses, and brick-and-mortar was the name of the game when I started Lightspeed 12 years ago. During this time, there have been various shifts in thinking on how retailers should approach sales, build customer relationships and adapt to industry changes as we undergo a rapid evolution of technology and how consumers shop. A decade ago, the prediction from many retail experts and analysts was that brick-and-mortar was unequivocally on its way out, but that isn’t true. In my mind, it wasn’t ever about the absence of physical stores, but how to make owning and operating a shop more accessible and deliver a better customer experience.
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