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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.

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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#RIC18: How 1-800-Flowers Stays One Step Ahead Of Disruptive Technology

Monika Kochhar, SmartGift, interviewed Chris McCann, CEO of 1-800-Flowers Three decades ago, the company now called 1-800-Flowers.com Inc. was a small array of florist shops in New York City and Long Island. That was before the purchase of a telemarketing business called 800-Flowers. “By creating a brand around a phone number, we disrupted the floral industry,” said Chris McCann, 1-800-Flowers President and CEO, at the 2018 Retail Innovation Conference session, Reinventing The Customer Experience. “We realized then that if we had that ability, then another technology could come along and somebody could do that to us.” To make sure a newer technology would not have the chance to disrupt 1-800-Flowers’ business, management instilled a culture of exploring, testing and deploying new technologies. “We established a process we call ELAC,” McCann explained. “It stands for engage early when a technology is emerging, learn along with the consumer, adapt those learnings and innovate with new products, and bring it to a stage of commercialization.”

#RIC18: For Dunkin’ Brands, Data Identifies CX Pain Points

Paul Murray, Director of Digital Experience, Dunkin' Brands   Data can provide retailers with a lot of answers — but in some cases, its most useful function is identifying which questions the retailer needs to ask. Paul Murray, Director of Digital Experience at Dunkin’ Brands, shared several real-world examples of how the retailer used surveys, analysis and AI technology to figure out why the expected didn’t happen or the unexpected occurred. At the Retail Innovation Conference session titled Closing The CX Chasm, Murray was joined by ERDM Founder Ernan Roman. “Customers have unprecedented and unmet expectations about personalized value,” said Roman. “There’s a chasm between the customer experience (CX) fantasy that brands have versus reality.”

21 Innovative Solutions Showcased At #RIC18

At the 2018 Retail Innovation Conference, innovation wasn’t limited to the educational sessions. Sponsors showcased solutions for some of the retail industry’s most pressing concerns, including marketing personalization; mobile applications; making loyalty and referral marketing programs more effective; deepening connections between retail associates and shoppers; and the latest in design and digital signage. Following is a roundup of the sponsors’ offerings.

Mobile Retargeting In A Cookieless World

I’ve read countless stories about crumbling cookies in mobile advertising, which typically include a level of fear for what this means for advertisers. What I say to that is fear not, marketers, some ad tech companies have been preparing for some time now. Retargeting on mobile has had distinctly different strategies for mobile web and mobile apps. While Apple may have recently announced restrictions to cookies in Safari mobile, in-app advertising was built using persistent advertiser IDs for personalizing ads rather than cookies. This comes as a benefit to advertisers who have focused on advertising in-app.

UPS Study: U.S. Consumers Shopping Across Borders Climbs To 47%

It’s an increasingly small world in e-Commerce: Almost half of U.S. online shoppers, and a majority of online shoppers outside the U.S., choose e-Tailers that are based outside their own countries. Around the globe, consumers are embracing mobile commerce, online marketplaces and diverse shipping options, although adoption rates and satisfaction vary (in some cases dramatically), according to the latest UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper report. Based on a comScore survey of more than 18,000 consumers, the study captured the differing behaviors and preferences of online shoppers in the U.S., Asia, Europe, Canada, Mexico and Brazil.
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