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.

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.

Tulip Raises $40 Million To Spur International Growth

Tulip, a mobile app platform built for retail stores and associates, has raised $40 million in Series B funding. Kleiner Perkins led the round, joining existing investors including Jump Capital. The platform provider will leverage this investment to focus primarily on international growth and innovation. Already deployed across 25 countries and in seven languages, Tulip plans to use the funds to expand the organization globally, particularly in regions such as Europe, South America and Asia.

Cargo Mobile Vending Machines Serve On-The-Go Uber, Lyft Riders

Ridesharing platforms such as Uber and Lyft have become major disruptors in public transportation, and one company wants to leverage their popularity to offer passengers products such as phone chargers, beauty products and M&Ms while in transit. Cargo Systems recently launched Cargo in New York and Boston. The company has access to Uber's Driver API and gives preferred access to drivers who sign up using their Uber profile. Drivers in other ridesharing programs such as Lyft can join as well.

Why Mobile Ads Are Shopper Marketing’s Most Overlooked Tool

Advertising should be simple. If an ad is relevant to what a shopper is buying, it’s good. If the ad is irrelevant, it’s useless, wasteful and annoying. Most retailers would agree that this mantra makes sense in theory, so why do so many fail to put the practice into place? Shopping is a personal experience, so advertising should speak to an individual’s needs, even if they’re shopping for the most basic of items. When tasked with choosing which frozen dinner they should buy or which brand of cereal to bring home from their weekly trip to the grocery store, customers that frequent their favorite supermarkets are constantly making decisions based on factors like their familiarity with the brand, new deals and ads they’ve seen recently. The problem most retailers face is creating an ad experience that is both highly personalized, while also reaching an audience at scale.

49% Of Marketers Need IT Assistance At Least Once Per Week

Retail marketers are still struggling to control their digital channels and promotional technologies, with 49% needing to contact their organization’s IT department at least once a week to carry out their role effectively, according to a survey from Episerver. A relatively small group, 15%, need to work with their IT department on marketing-related tasks on a daily basis. One in five respondents say that working with other departments is holding back their ability to drive change.

Mobile Traffic, Larger Orders Spearhead 14% Digital Commerce Growth

It’s not exactly news to note that more consumers are shopping online more often. What is different is that this growing group also is spending more on their purchases. For the first time, shopper spend growth (8%) has outpaced traffic growth (6%) as the primary driver of digital commerce growth (14%), according to the Q2 Salesforce Shopping Index.   Mobile is playing a role in this growth, with its traffic share jumping to 57%, a 23% year-over-year increase. An even higher percentage of consumers (59%) reported using their phones while shopping in a physical store within the last three months.

Shopicks Rebrands Digital Shopping Platform As Thinkover

  • Published in News Briefs
Digital shopping platform Shopicks has rebranded its web browser extension, site and mobile app as Thinkover. Thinkover is designed to enable users to discover, collect, organize and manage online shopping on one platform. Additionally, Thinkover allows retailer's products to remain at the forefront of their customer's shopping behavior, thus facilitating more bottom-of-the-funnel…

Shopkick Now Rewards Users For Shopping On Mobile Devices

  • Published in News Briefs
Shopkick is an app known for rewarding shoppers with gift cards just for walking into a store, interacting with products in the aisle and purchasing items in stores. Now for the first time, Shopkick will offer rewards for mobile browsing and buying from web sites such as Boxed, eBay, Groupon…

Texas Humor Improves Mobile App CX From Lone Star To 5 Stars

  • Published in News Briefs
Clothing company Texas Humor, a small business that operates an e-Commerce shop selling Texas pride apparel, has selected the Shopgate mobile commerce platform solution to enhance its customer mobile shopping application. The platform allows the retailer to connect with shoppers in a variety of new ways, including via mobile content.

ROI Of AI: 5 Ways Retailers Are Embracing The Innovation

“Artificial Intelligence (AI)” is being touted as one of the newest, most promising business technologies of the 21st century — even though its roots go back nearly 80 years. The fact is, the basics of AI can be traced back to Alan Turing and the Theory of Computation in the late 1930s; and the 1950 paper that helped inspire the 2014 film, The Imitation Game: Computing Machinery And Intelligence. But as AI has moved out of the theoretical realm and into the practical, confusion about what AI is — and what it can do — has grown. Even today’s smartest and wealthiest business executives seem a bit stumped by what, exactly, constitutes an AI solution. As recently as July 25, 2017, Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk got into a social media feud over each other’s understanding of the technology.
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