Posted by Shirley Brady on November 25, 2012 10:10 PM
The so-called "Grey Thursday" pre-Black Friday rush didn't seem to stop Walmart from having its best Black Friday ever. So how did it all play out over the weekend, and as Cyber Monday morphs into Mobile Monday?
According to the Wall Street Journal, "Total spending for the weekend reached an estimated $59.1 billion, a 13% increase from a year ago, according to the National Retail Federation. Last year the group said sales rose 16% over the weekend. A consumer survey conducted for the trade association by BIGinsight found that shoppers spent an average of $423 over the weekend, up 6% from $398 last Thanksgiving weekend."
As noted by Reuters, comScore estimated that "Black Friday sales during the 24 hours of November 23 passed $1 billion ($1.042 billion) in online sales for the first time, making it the heaviest online spending day to date in 2012 (with 57 million shoppers visiting e-commerce sites) and a 26-percent increase versus Black Friday 2011. Thanksgiving Day (November 22), while traditionally a lighter day for online holiday spending, achieved a strong 32-percent increase to $633 million."
According to IBM's Black Friday 2012 report, US shoppers once again took advantage of early promotions this holiday season, driving a 17.4 percent increase in online sales Thanksgiving Day. This increase set the stage for 20.7 percent growth on Black Friday. Online sales on Black Friday increased 21% over last year, IBM estimated by analyzing data from 500 retailers, including 50 of the 100 largest web retailers. The biggest surge came from mobile consumers, with sales reaching 16.3 percent, led by the iPad. Other takeaways by IBM:Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 22, 2012 03:03 PM
This holiday shopping season is all about mobile, and Google wants to help Black Friday shoppers not get lost. Last November, the Google Maps app headed indoors, mapping the interiors of locations such as IKEA, airports and shopping meccas such as Mall of America. This month, it expanded its indoor retail mapping in time for Black Friday sales beyond Android devices, and now offers "over 10,000 detailed floor plans of locations in nine countries," including Macy's New York City flagship. Google is also promoting its voice-activated search app this holiday season.
Posted by Barry Silverstein on November 15, 2012 12:06 PM
Back in January 2011, Starbucks became the first national retailer to offer its own mobile payment technology combined with a loyalty program. It led to more than 100 million mobile transactions occurring in its U.S. stores since the launch.
Now, in a move to push mobile commerce even further, Starbucks is accepting payments in some 7,000 retail locations via Square, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey's mobile payment app for iOS and Android smartphones. In addition to laying out cash for that latte, users of Square Wallet can browse menu information and store hours, gain access to their transaction history, and even explore nearby businesses. Since Square Wallet is linked to a debit or credit card, there's never a need to reload a balance, and a digital receipt appears instantly.
It's not only been a huge boost for the Square brand (as Dorsey tweeted, "Immensely proud of the teams at Square and Starbucks: 7,000 stores launched 3 months TO THE DAY after signing the deal. #nailedit"). The announcement by Starbucks seems to come at a time of increased activity that could make 2013 the year of mass adoption of mobile payment technology. Indeed, Dorsey this week announced that "Square is now facilitating over $10 billion of commerce annually for small businesses across the US. Up $2 billion in just 2 months."Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on November 8, 2012 10:15 AM
Mobile devices are fast becoming the accepted way for consumers to communicate, get information from the Internet, and take advantage of apps that help them do just about anything, which includes making travel easier. Case in point: Apple's Passbook, the new free app released to iPhone users with the upgrade to iOS6, is being pitched as an app that allows consumers to keep boarding passes from participating airlines (as well as movie tickets, retail coupons, loyalty cards and more) in one handy place.
Apple's new deal with London's Heathrow airport, which is looking to elevate its brand experience including rolling out digital improvements to make journeys better, offers a glimpse of how the application might function on a wider scale.
Imagine this: You walk past a store in the airport and a customized discount pops up on your iPhone. That's the basic premise — because passengers will be able to store their "WorldPoints" collected through a Heathrow loyalty card and access current retail offers and coupons with Passbook. Promotions and discounts will appear on a Passbook-enabled device throughout the customer's travel through the airport at the relevant stages of their journey. Heathrow's Passbook content will evolve to include both airport retailers and service providers. It's the first time such a program is being implemented in a European multi-retailer environment.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 5, 2012 07:31 PM
Tesco made headlines a year ago when its HomePlus retail subsidiary in South Korea tested a virtual store in a Seoul subway station, showcasing items that could be scanned and ordered by smartphone for home delivery, while Peapod is testing virtual grocery shopping in the U.S.
Now Walmart is testing a similar idea in Toronto in partnership with Mattel. The retail and toy giants are teaming up on what's described as Canada's first pop-up virtual toy store, enabling QR code-based shopping of Mattel brands — including hot toys from Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price and Thomas & Friends brands — to holiday shoppers.
The pop-up is located in the city's massive PATH underground walkway, a retail concouse that connects downtown buildings and and an array of businesses to Toronto's Union Station rail commuter hub. It may find a ready pool of virtual shoppers, as it will run for four weeks in the same location where Wells.ca tested a QR-enabled store in April.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on October 22, 2012 11:07 AM
As Engadget puts it, "Three carriers, nine phones, one long way to go." AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile finally launched their joint venture Isis Mobile Wallet app for smartphone payments and discounts at "hundreds" of participating merchants (basically, "wherever contactless payments are accepted" according to a tweet) in Austin, Texas (where it hit SXSW earlier this year) and Salt Lake City, Utah.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 18, 2012 03:03 PM
News America Marketing (NAM), publisher of coupons in the U.S. and Canada, in partnership with thinaire, a cloud-based platform for NFC marketing campaigns, and Kraft, recently teamed up on a retail innovation pilot in the San Francisco area using smartphone technology.
The experience focused on drill-down user engagement and activation through tap and engage technology, increasingly integrated in consumer’s lives. Predictions are there will be 630 million NFC-enabled smartphone users by 2015.
The program launched at five grocery stores in the Bay Area, embedding readable RFID (radio frequency identification) chips within shelftalks promoting the Kraft cheese and Nabisco cookie brands.
Shoppers were invited to tap their smartphones for interactive experiences that included a series of recipe interactions, instant download of the brand's i-Food Assistant app, input on other Kraft products and sharing on social media.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 8, 2012 11:16 AM
A whole lot of cash changes hands in the Walmarts of the world every day. About 85 percent of the company’s daily transactions are done in cash.
After all, many of the discount retailer’s customers don’t necessarily have credit or checking accounts. That’s something that has led Wal-Mart's corporate execs to try and figure out ways to help serve that market’s financial needs, even if it means creating a whole new system of payment.
That's why Walmart is teaming up with American Express to roll out a prepaid financial-services product called Bluebird that "will allow for deposits by smartphone and mobile bill paying, with no minimum balance or monthly, annual or overdraft fees." The tagline — "Loaded with features, not fees" — emphasizes the fact that this is a move to help consumers who are struggling to pay their monthly bills, let alone go shopping.Continue reading...