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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.

A Look At Holiday Retail Trends 2018: If You’re Not Mobile-First, You’re Last

While new and exciting technologies like the Internet of Things, augmented reality and voice assistants dominate retail conversations, a key area that many retailers miss the mark on is also one that has proven far more impactful for today’s shoppers: the mobile channel. Over the years, shoppers have continued to opt for the convenience, speed, personalization and ease of their mobile devices over in-store visits and purchases, but what exactly does this shift in shopper behavior mean forretailers? According to eMarketer's recent report on "Worldwide Retail and Ecommerce Sales: eMarketer's Updated Forecast and New Mcommerce Estimates for 2016-2021," mobile commerce sales are projected to represent nearly 73% of e-Commerce sales — meaning retailers who neglect to build upon and optimize their mobile strategies will fail to reach a key growing audience.

How To Optimize Mobile, Site Speed And Site Search Ahead Of Holiday 2018

For most retailers, the holiday season begins promptly in November, although some retailers start the previous month for Halloween and others as early as September for back-to-school. While retailers can forecast the start of the holiday season, one area that proves to be unpredictable are the strategies and tactics used to boost holiday sales.   The holiday season can represent as much as 30% of annual sales, according to the National Retail Federation. For online retail brands, understanding changing consumer behavior, technology and timing is critical to having a make or break year.

‘Near Me’ Searches: What’s Pushing the Trend?

At this year’s Google Marketing Live event, it was revealed that mobile “near me” searches — when someone searches for a product or store nearby — have reached a new peak. Other data suggests that “near me” searches have grown by more than 200% since 2016. In the current landscape, we’re seeing a new “near me” economy develop — one that’s driven by a store or product’s location above all. It seems that customers are less motivated by brand loyalty and more by proximity and convenience. With this in mind, here’s a look at three factors responsible for its growth.

Self-Service App Deepens Customer Connections At Fairway Market

Some retailers worry that adopting a self-checkout solution will deprive them of a key point of contact with their customers. Fairway Market, a New York City metro area chain of 15 supermarkets and four wine and spirit stores, wanted to be absolutely sure that wouldn’t happen when it deployed a self-checkout app, because the retailer prides itself on a family atmosphere and a close relationship with shoppers. The retailer is in the process of rolling out its first self-checkout app and will be seeking results that include:

Study: Mobile Empowers Retailers To Catch Shoppers At The Point Of Intent

Brick-and-mortar retailers once feared that mobile would eat into store sales, either via “showrooming” or simply by siphoning off shoppers. But now, omnichannel retailers are discovering that they can leverage mobile to bring what had previously been online-only tools into the physical store. These tools allow retailers to deliver targeted promotions and personalization when it matters most: the moment of purchase intent. Nearly half (47%) of retail executives say their mobile strategy is to increase shopping basket size both in-store and online by catching customers at the point of intent, according to the 2018 Retail Mobility Insights report by Oracle. “If you think about the experience that consumers are looking to have, the reality is most of them are shopping with a smartphone,” said Jeff Warren, VP of Solutions and Strategy at Oracle Retail. “A number of different retailers are seeing that they have to provide a more compelling experience in-store. There’s an opportunity to blend physical and digital, and they can use the advantage that the consumer is actually carrying around a computer with them as a way to engage.”

Walmart Rolls Out On-The-Spot ‘Check Out With Me’ Feature, In-App Store Maps

Coinciding with the launch of its store technology testing ground, the Sam’s Club Now store in Dallas, Walmart is rolling out its latest innovative investment, a “check out with me” option at all U.S. stores. Starting at some locations as soon as Nov. 1, Walmart will give associates mobile devices that can scan bulky items such as flat-screen TVs and heavy furniture, enabling customers to immediately pay with a credit card and bypass checkout lines. Walmart has tested the functionality since April in the lawn and garden centers of more than 350 stores. The devices are not intended to check out whole baskets of items, but they will be capable of processing everything from groceries to apparel.

New Sam’s Club Store Will Be A Mobile-First, AI-Powered Tech Lab

  • Published in News Briefs
Sam’s Club is set to open its Sam’s Club Now store in Dallas, designed as a real-world technology innovation lab. The store will test technologies including mobile-enabled shopping; smart shopping lists that use machine learning and shoppers’ past purchase data; and augmented reality to tell the “stories” behind products. “At…
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Richemont, Alibaba Partner To Target Chinese Luxury Consumers

  • Published in News Briefs
Richemont and Alibaba have formed a joint venture to bring luxury goods from Yoox Net-a-Porter (YNAP) to Chinese consumers. The partnership will launch Net-a-Porter and Mr Porter online stores on Alibaba’s Tmall Luxury Pavilion platform, as well as create Chinese mobile apps for each brand. Alibaba will provide technology infrastructure,…
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ShopRunner Acquires Spring To Bring 2,000+ Brands Into Mobile Shopping Experience

ShopRunner has acquired Spring, a mobile shopping destination designed to enable customers to shop directly from more than 2,000 brands in a single-cart experience. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed. ShopRunner teams with mid- to high-end retailers to offer its paying members free two-day shipping and free returns on their sites, taking a small cut of each purchase.

The Snuggle Bugz Baby Formula: Abundant Content Builds New Parents’ Confidence

There’s no shortage of advice for parents, particularly first-timers. In fact, it’s all too common for new moms and dads to suffer from a bad case of information overload. Retailers in this space want (and need) to be perceived by shoppers as trusted advisors, so it makes sense that the corporate mission of Canadian baby retailer Snuggle Bugz is to give confidence to customers navigating parenthood. Fulfilling that mission means providing plenty of solid content, both about the products it offers and other parenting issues. Unfortunately, the retailer’s old e-Commerce platform was causing a confidence gap between its in-store and online customer experiences. “Our stores are beautiful, and people can get all the information they need there,” said Sharron Vanderbeek, Director of E-Commerce at Snuggle Bugz, noting that the average employee spends more than 100 hours in product knowledge training each year.

Tobi Relaunches Mobile App For Holiday Season

Tobi has partnered with Poq, a SaaS-based native app platform developer for retail, to relaunch its mobile app in time for the 2018 holiday season. The fast fashion brand, which serves customers in more than 100 countries, will debut the new app in November. “Poq’s feature-rich SaaS platform, deep domain…
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Excitement Of Product Discovery Powers Tophatter Auction Platform

Auction-style and flash sales business models appear to have lost some of their luster in recent years: eBay has pivoted its focus to a more marketplace-centered experience, and companies like Gilt Groupe dropped from a valuation of $1 billion to an acquisition price of less than $100 million. But as a category, online auction marketplaces are actually estimated to grow 7% through 2022, according to Technavio. Tophatter, an online platform that sells jewelry, electronics, fashion, beauty products, home goods and hobby supplies, is seeking to become a major part of that growth by linking the excitement of product discovery to its time-limited auctions. The Tophatter platform has more than 20 million users, with the company selling more than 100,000 items per day — and 85% selling within 90 seconds. Most of the 90-second auctions start at $1 and are designed to generate immediate excitement and competition among shoppers.

Snapchat Introduces Snap-To-Buy Capabilities For Amazon Shoppers

  • Published in Mobile
Snapchat is bringing a new visual search tool to its app, enabling users to search for products on Amazon from the Snapchat camera. The visual search will allow Snapchat users to point the app's camera at an item or barcode, find it on Amazon and buy it straight from the social messaging app, the company said in a blog post. When the item or barcode is recognized, an Amazon card will appear on-screen, surfacing a link for that product or similar ones available on Amazon.
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