Best Global Green Brands 2014

retail watch

Walmart Jump Starts Holiday Sales Engine with Toy Teasers, Drive-Through

Posted by Dale Buss on June 20, 2014 01:07 PM

Walmart has a present challenge and a future challenge, and the giant chain is trying to step up to both with some new initiatives. So, on the first official weekend of summer, say hello to an even earlier holiday promotion season at Walmart, who is also toying with the idea of a drive-through to pick-up online orders from Walmart.com.  

The most pressing challenge, of course, is to get American consumers to come back to Walmart stores immediately and spend money there with the sort of growth that had been reliable for decades. Walmart’s growth has been stymied lately by a number of factors, including sluggish US consumer spending overall, and the chain’s own mistakes such as allowing too many items to be out of stock.

So this year, Walmart is attempting to get a better start on the holiday season by hosting what Advertising Age called the chain’s first showcase for long-lead magazine and gift-guide editors of the merchandise that it expects to be top sellers this holiday season—media features that typically don’t close until July.Continue reading...

retail watch

For Retailers, E-Commerce Meets In-Store with Click-and-Collect

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 11, 2014 07:01 PM

Marrying digital commerce with bricks and mortar has been a challenge for retailers since Amazon showed up and changed the game. But after years of trial and error and new innovations in online and mobile shopping, brands have finally found a way to make it work. 

Sainsbury’s, Britain’s second-largest grocery chain, is now following rivals Tesco and Asda into the world of click-and-collect, enabling customers to purchase online in the morning and pick up their items at locations in seven different subway stops on the way home from work. In addition to providing more convenient options for its one billion-pound online business, there are benefits for its partner, too. Transport for London, aka the London Tube, is hoping to bring in £3 billion ($5 billion) by renting out spaces across its 270 stations to the grocer.

And in the US, Target is hoping to catch up to competitors by making big investments in digital, including Store Pickup, its own click-and-collect service that allows shoppers to order goods online and then pick them up in-store the same day.Continue reading...

retail watch

Target Takes Aim at On-the-Go Millennials with Mobile Commerce Push

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 6, 2014 05:12 PM

Beleaguered big-box retailer Target, in efforts to rise from the ashes of a disastrous data breach that affected as many as 70 million customers, is redoubling efforts to reach out to Millennials with digital initiatives to capture dollars and mindshare on mobile.

"Target has traditionally been a store where people want to go in and feel and touch the products," Jim Porçarelli, chief strategy officer at Active International, told USA Today. "It's been a destination." But as more time-constrained consumers opt to make purchases from behind a screen, Target is tasked with reimagining its retail strategy into an omnichannel experience. 

While Target has been innovative in mobile, including its shopping companion app Cartwheel and its namsake app, both of which ranked in Internet Retailer's Top 25 mobile commerce apps list, it is behind competitors like Walmart when it comes to cross-platform experience. “It was very much a static experience," said Casey Carl, Target's president of omni-channel strategy and experiences. "It required too many clicks to get where you wanted to go."Continue reading...

retail watch

Proximity Marketing Spreads as Safeway, Duane Reade Test iBeacon Tech

Posted by Dale Buss on May 30, 2014 11:02 AM

Long past are the days when privacy advocates merely worried that GM’s pioneering OnStar service could track your car wherever you traveled using GPS technology. Now, an increasing number of retailers and other brands are using new “beacon” technology to track consumers to within several inches of their locations in stores in order to push promotions and encourage spending. 

There are lots of other potentially disruptive uses to come from Apple’s iBeacon and similar technologies though as brand transparency and consumer privacy become top of mind.

Already, for instance, Safeway has been testing an iBeacon installation that automatically offers discounts to shoppers who have downloaded the supermarket chain’s “just for U” loyalty app and walk into the store—at the exact moment when consumers are ready to shop.

Similarly, Duane Reade, the Walgreen-owned East Coast US pharmacy chain, has launched a program to fit its New York stores with iBeacons that delivery weekly ads and coupons to opted-in smartphones. “iBeacons help remove some of the obstacles of engagement and facilitate customer interaction,” Tim MacCauley, mobile commerce director for Walgreen, told Adweek.Continue reading...

mobile commerce

Brands Elevate Mobile Commerce Experience to Capture Luxury Shoppers

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 28, 2014 10:38 AM

Extreme couponing isn't just the theme behind a TV reality show. As mobile commerce becomes a mainstream channel for retail transactions, more than half of US consumers will redeem a digital coupon or code at least once in 2014. That number is projected to rise to over 82 percent by 2016, according to Emarketer. 

Among retailers, luxury brands are leveraging consumers’ desire to use their smartphones in-store for mobile commerce, according to L2, a New York-based luxury consultancy. Brands like Nordstrom, Piaget and Louis Vuitton have translated the desktop e-commerce experience to mobile, allowing consumers to access reviews and stock and sale information via geolocation capabilities, and have simplified the mobile checkout process, Luxury Daily reports

But what differentiates mobile commerce from the brick-and-mortar experience are value add-ons. “Affluent consumers are willing to convert on mobile, but they expect an experience that goes above retail," said Jason John, Gilt's VP of online, mobile and social marketing.Continue reading...

branding together

Brand Disruptors: Amazon Changes the Game, Turns Twitter Into a Shopping Mall

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 5, 2014 05:41 PM

Tweeting just got sweeter—or shopping just got Tweeter—for Amazon customers thanks to a new social integration that lets users add items to their shopping cart by responding to links on Twitter with the hashtag #AmazonCart (in the U.S) or #AmazonBasket (in the U.K.), a move that makes social shopping easier and—dare we say—fun.

“Add it now, buy it later” is the slogan, and it seems to be as simple to use as that tagline. Once an Amazon account is linked to a Twitter account, responding to a link with the requisite hashtag puts the item in your cart along with a reply tweet from @MyAmazon.

While hashtags make the process simple, it’s simultaneously a public broadcast of what one is buying—as well as user-generated marketing for Amazon and the latest step in making shopping more social and seamless.Continue reading...

mobile commerce

eBay, PayPal Bring Mobile Commerce to Wearables at SXSW

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 11, 2014 02:03 PM

The wearable technology train has logged quite a few miles so far this year, making big stops at CES, Mobile World Congress and now SXSW, where two more unlikely players are entering the space. 

“Wearable devices are the next frontier,” Steve Yankovich, VP innovation and new ventures at eBay, wrote in a blog post. “Personalization will be key for the future of mobile—creating seamless experiences for shoppers on the go." The e-commerce company, which also owns PayPal, hopes to be a portal for mobile payments on every type of screen, whether its on a smartphone, smartwatch, or other wearable device. 

eBay and PayPal—who are at the center of an activist investor tug of war—were busy touting their smartwatch apps at SXSW for both Pebble and Samsung's Gear line, which was recently announced at Mobile World Congress and now includes the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, as well as the Gear Fit. The apps were launched on Samsung's original wearable device, the Galaxy Gear, last year, so the apps have achieved a coveted spot as a "featured app" on the latest editions.Continue reading...

mobile commerce

Square One Step Closer to Making Mobile Payments Mainstream with Whole Foods Deal

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 12, 2014 02:49 PM

American Express ran its “Don’t leave home without it” campaign for years, but it appears that consumers will soon be able to leave their homes without their AMEX or any other credit card, as mobile payments are on the rise.

Whole Foods Markets has made a deal with San Francisco-based mobile payments company Square to allow consumers to pay for goods with their smartphones using Square Wallet, and will implement Sqaure Register and Square Stand technology at checkout points within a select group of stores, The Street reports. That's not a bad deal for Square, which is rumored to be considering an initial public offering this year.

According to a press release, there will be a few “lab stores” that will test out the concept. "Together with Square, we'll deliver options to expedite checkouts, and we look forward to developing new concepts to further simplify and improve grocery shopping," said Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods. "Square's forward-thinking vision and technology makes them an ideal partner to create a convenient, responsive experience for our customers."Continue reading...

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