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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...

mobile commerce

RBC Unveils Facebook-Enabled Mobile Payments at Canada's Ad Week

Posted by Alexandra Meyer on January 31, 2014 06:39 PM

The Royal Bank of Canada, the largest financial institution in the nation, is expanding its mobile commerce solutions with the ability to send Interac E-transfers through Facebook. 

During Canada's FFWD Advertising and Marketing Week’s panel on winning in a mobile-first world, Jeremy Bornstein, Head of Emerging Payments for RBC, announced the launch of Interac E-transfers through Facebook Canada's messenger. The launch signals RBC’s commitment to fulfilling its mission of becoming "Canada’s most innovative bank."

The feature initially launched on the company's iPad app in Dec. 2013 and is now accessible through its iPhone app, as well. According to Bornstein, one third of RBC bankers perform banking transactions exclusively though mobile.Continue reading...

retail watch

American Eagle Deploys iBeacon Technology in Expanded Shopkick Partnership

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 27, 2014 12:57 PM

American Eagle Outfitters has teamed up with Shopkick to deploy iBeacon technology in 100 AE and Aerie locations in what will be the largest rollout of the still-controversial tech across the apparel industry. 

Apple’s iBeacon technology uses Bluetooth LE to ping shoppers in-store and offer location-based deals, display location-specific rewards, discounts and product recommendations all without the customer even opening the ShopBeacon app.

"American Eagle Outfitters' shoppers are tech-savvy, social, and love their smartphones," said Shopkick CEO Cyriac Roeding, according to ClickZ. "ShopBeacon is able to connect to this new generation of shoppers as a trusted companion, by reminding opted-in users to open the Shopkick app at the entrance of the store, and further personalize their shopping experience with alerts and high-value rewards.”  

Additional Shopkick partners include Best Buy, Crate & Barrel, JCPenney, MasterCard, Old Navy, Simon Property Group, Sony, The Sports Authority, Target, Visa, Procter & Gamble, Kraft Foods, Revlon, Unilever, Pepsi, Levi's and HP.Continue reading...

digital moves

Pizza Hut Has Digital Down Pat as it Looks to Reinvent Retail

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 13, 2014 03:57 PM

With Super Bowl Sunday around the corner, Pizza Hut is preparing to deliver more than two million pies on their busiest day of the year. You can bet a large percentage will be headed to multi-tasking, third-screen gamers.

The Yum Brands-owned company recently announced that its sold $1 million worth of Pizza Hut products via its Xbox Live ordering app in its first four months of availability. But that's not the only surprising statistic coming out of the fast-food staple. The first two Fridays of 2014 saw the biggest days in company history for sales received by a means other than the traditional phone order, and nearly 40 percent of all transactions were digital the first 10 days of 2014. 

"Technology is playing a bigger and bigger role in the lives of our consumers and we want to meet them where they are, and where they are right now is online and on mobile devices." said Carrie Walsh, chief marketing officer, Pizza Hut. 

The success of the Xbox 360 app portends the addition of other consoles including the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Wii U.Continue reading...

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