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.

Exclusive CDO Q&A: The 24/7 Innovation Culture At 7-Eleven

While “innovation” may not the first word that comes to mind when you think about a convenience store, it’s always top of mind at 7-Eleven. In fact, Chief Digital Officer Gurmeet Singh believes that a retailer with the size and scope of 7-Eleven needs to be at the forefront of innovation, particularly when it comes to the customer experience. The C-store behemoth serves a lot of customers: 55 million per day at its 63,000 stores around the world, totaling 20 billion transactions per year. In this exclusive interview with Retail TouchPoints, Singh, the company’s first Chief Digital Officer who also recently added Senior Vice President, Chief Information Officer to his title, provides insights into the company’s culture of innovation, including:

Target Adds Payment Functionality To Mobile App

  • Published in News Briefs
Following the lead of Walmart, Kohl’s, CVS and Starbucks, Target has incorporated a payment option into its mobile app. Customers can tie the new Wallet feature, introduced on Dec. 4, to their private label Target REDcard account. Wallet also ties in digital coupons and weekly ad offers along with the…

Study: Mobile App Transactions Jump 64% Globally In 2017

It’s clear mobile has continued to gain enormous traction in 2017, especially after the Thanksgiving weekend, with more than one third of online U.S. purchases occurring through these devices. Mobile apps are playing a big part in driving this growth, not just in the U.S. but globally: the share of in-app transactions increased 64%, rising from 28% in 2016 to 46% in 2017. Globally, advertisers that generate transactions on all mobile environments (mobile web and in-app) see more than 50% of transactions completed on mobile.

Four Factors Contributing To Slow Mobile Payment Adoption Rates In The U.S.

Mobile devices are unquestionably one of the most important customer touch points for a commercial organization. As these devices have become an integral part of our lives, they also serve as a central channel for companies to leverage customer engagement, offer services and facilitate payments. In the last few years there has been unprecedented growth in the mobile space, with a specific focus on mobile payments. However, while mobile payments are experiencing growth, the market is still far from mass adoption. According to research firm eMarketer, in 2016, 38.4 million Americans 14 and over used mobile phones to pay at checkout at least once in the preceding six months. Surprisingly, this number represents just 19.4% of U.S. smartphone users. Similarly, a recent study by consulting firm First Annapolis found that only 5% of consumers were using a mobile payments wallet at least once a week. So, what are key factors behind slower than expected mobile adoption rates in the U.S.?

Cyber Monday Becomes ‘Mobile Monday’ With $6.5 Billion Revenue Haul

Three days after bringing in $5.03 billion online on Black Friday, retailers outdid themselves once again, reeling in a record $6.59 billion on Cyber Monday — 16.8% growth year-over-year. For the first time in the U.S., Cyber Monday mobile revenue has broken the $2 billion barrier, according to Adobe Digital Insights. Mobile growth continues to accelerate: shoppers placed 37% of orders and made 56% of visits from phones on Cyber Monday, according to data from Salesforce. These totals well outpace last year’s figures of 29% and 48%, respectively. As more consumers become comfortable purchasing with a mobile device, retailers must continue developing digital experiences to match their expectations across all devices.

Mobile Commerce’s Most Dangerous Fraud Tactics And Ways To Stop Them

From 2012 to 2015 mobile commerce grew from $24 billion to $122 billion in the U.S. And with this growth came an increase in fraud and an all new breed of fraud threats. Nearly 40% of merchants surveyed by Kount indicated that mobile fraud had increased, up 17% over the previous year. Criminals have discovered new ways to leverage mobile as a means to commit fraud. Mobile fraud is negatively impacting merchants’ bottom lines. One study from Javelin Strategy found that 16% of chargeback losses stem from mobile transactions, nearly equal to losses stemming from in-store purchases. The same study pointed out that retailers are overly reliant on username and password to authenticate purchases.Unfortunately, these simple identity factors are not enough to stop sophisticated criminals.

Mobile Helps Break Black Friday Records; Walmart, Amazon, Kohl’s Win The Day

The biggest shopping day of the year continues to wow. Online Black Friday sales totaled $5.03 billion in revenue, compared to $4.3 billion in 2016, according to Adobe Digital Insights. But it didn’t all go down without a hiccup: retailers including Walmart, Amazon and Kohl’s scored big, but Macy’s and Lowe’s ran into technical issues with payment and web site performance.

Singles Day Hauls In $25 Billion, Doubling 2016 Online Thanksgiving Weekend Sales

Alibaba’s Singles Day has officially kicked off the global holiday push in a massive way, doubling the $12.8 billion in online sales generated between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday in 2016. The e-Commerce giant sold $25.3 billion in merchandise through its marketplaces on Nov. 11, a 39% increase over the previous year. Additionally, Alibaba hit a record $18 billion in gross merchandise volume (GMV) in just 13 hours on Saturday, eclipsing last year’s record of $17.8 billion in 24 hours. Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba Group, attributed the increase to the company’s “new retail” strategy, which is designed to blend online, offline, logistics and data across a single value chain. A remarkable 90% of the GMV was generated on mobile devices, a marker of the power and widespread acceptance of Chinese mobile payment platforms.

Digital Signage, Mobile Integration Enhance The Tusk Store Experience

On Nov. 1, I had the opportunity to travel to the Tusk store in New York City to visit the ComQi Pop-Up NYC Digital Signage Experience. The various technologies integrated throughout the store include beacons, large LED and LCD video walls and touchscreens, shelf edge displays, a visible light communication (VLC) device from LinkRay and RFID “tap and teach.” These are all technologies that companies often display on a trade show floor, but it was a breath of fresh air to see the hardware all working within a few square feet, and in conjunction with actual products — namely leather handbags and wallets.

German Alipay Partner Expands To Four More Countries

  • Published in News Briefs
One year after launching the Alipay service in Germany and Austria, Concardis has expanded its partnership with China’s largest mobile payment network  into Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. Alipay has become an important option at retail locations frequented by Chinese tourists. They do not have to convert their Chinese…

ENS Unveils Verge 355z MPOS Platform

ENS, a provider of technology mounting platforms, has released Verge 355z, an mPOS solution that pairs the Verifone e355 and Zebra TC51/56 handheld touch computers into one device. The Verge 355z case is small and compact, creating a comfortable handheld mobility solution for retailers. The case is designed to fit both devices, allowing full access to the features on both. In addition to the case that holds the two devices together, Verge 355z has an optional charging adapter that fits over the Zebra charging station. This enables both devices to charge while docked on the Zebra charger.  The quick release function allows retailers to easily remove the Zebra TC51/56 device from the ENS case and use the device independent of the Verifone e355 payment device. The Verge 355z design lets the devices maintain Bluetooth connectivity with one another. Payment transactions are processed via WiFi connections.

Retailers Must Overcome Fear Of Failure To Infuse Successful Innovation Into Business Strategies

As changing shopper preferences continually push the boundaries of what retailers can and should do to improve the customer experience, they also need to address the ongoing challenge: What is the best way to foster innovation? A number of retailers have addressed the challenge of keeping pace with industry shifts by creating innovation labs, with varying degrees of success. Whatever route retailers take, they should not be afraid to take chances on new projects — even though some of them will fail.
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