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...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 5, 2012 11:58 AM
Smartphones can do plenty of things. Now retailers are going to put them to work for them. Don’t feel like waiting in line at Walmart? Get yourself an iPhone.
The retail and technology giants have partnered up to create an app that is now being tested, one that will allow consumers to scan goods onto their iPhones and pay for them in a self checkout line, Reuters reports.
Walmart already offers a mobile app (at right) that can scan barcodes and check prices, along with a shopping list and basket, so self-checkouts are a natural extension as the mobile wallet business takes off, along with its @WalmartLabs R&D team exploring social and mobile commerce products and digital innovations such as semantic search.
The retailer promised earlier this year that it would put in more self checkout lanes into its stores as well as Sam’s Clubs, the wire service notes. If the test works out, the test will likely expand beyond Apple devices to Android and other mobile platforms. Apple's former retail chief is also bringing mobile self-checkouts to his new employer, JCPenney.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on August 8, 2012 04:14 PM
Visa's high-profile TV campaign for the London 2012 Olympics, like the commercial featuring Michael Phelps, carry the tagline, "People everywhere go with Visa." But what that doesn't tell you is that people everywehere at the London Olympics go ONLY with Visa.
That's because every one of the ATMs at the Olympic games accepts only Visa cards. It gets worse: There are only eight — count 'em, eight — ATMs across all of the London Olympic venues, according to the UK's This is Money. In fact, an agreement with Visa led to the removal or disabling of twenty-seven other ATMs.
Basically, that means anyone attending the Olympics without a Visa card needs to bring cash. To speed purchases — in keeping with the brand's London 2012 ambassador Usain Bolt — Visa instituted a contactless payment system, so visitors can wave their Visa card at a payment terminal to get food and souvenirs, or in one a few of London's iconic black cabs.
But on July 29 at Wembley, where Great Britain was playing the United Arab Emirates in football, aka soccer, the system went down. As a result even Visa cardholders were left out in the cold — which is not entirely unusual for Londoners to feel, but still.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 8, 2012 11:07 AM
Starbucks’ $25 million investment in and deployment of Square for mobile payments, signed Tuesday by Square CEO Jack Dorsey and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, will help spur adoption of mobile commerce in the US, with a halo effect that will be felt beyond.
Square will begin processing all credit and debit card transactions at Starbucks’ nearly 7,000 company-owned shops in the United States this fall via Pay With Square, and soon, customers will order their café du jour and charge it to their credit card just by saying their name.
“Starbucks is one of the largest organizations in the world, taking technology like Square — simple, fast and focused on customer experience — and bringing it to a massive scale,” commented Dorsey to the New York Times.
The Twitter co-founder and executive chairman (naturally) tweeted the whole deal, sharing the big news late Tuesday night in New York and subsequently posting photos of Adam Brotman, Starbucks' chief digital officer, using Square (and tipping 30%) in a NYC taxi; the deal-signing with Schultz taken Tuesday night in New York; and a twitpic on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday morning.
It's a huge week for Square: it's also receiving some cross-promotional love from Apple. Check out the new TV commercial for the iPad (being swiped as the voiceover says "make a sale") that debuted Tuesday night, below.Continue reading...