News Feature | December 2, 2013

Retail IT News For VARs — December 2, 2013

By Anna Rose Welch, associate editor

BSM-Retail Fronts2

News this week’s includes a new partnership between The NFC Forum and the Bluetooth SIG, and a report shows omni-channel stores are making a comeback against their “e-tail” competition.

NFC Forum, Bluetooth SIG Form Partnership

There is a new partnership between The Near Field Communication (NFC) Forum and the Bluetooth Special Interest Group could help promote both technologies as the best tools for mobile commerce. However, because Bluetooth technology has had more development attention, Mobile Commerce News argues Bluetooth could replace NFC in the future. 

Omni-Channel Retailers Rank Above e-Tailers

A new OpinionLab Holiday Preview Customer Feedback Index report reveals that retailers are no longer trailing e-tailers. New omni-channel initiatives have made retailers more flexible, convenient, and better able to provide excellent customer service. “Bricks-and-clicks” retailers outperformed e-tail competitors in 5 out of 7 categories, especially in the checkout and service/support areas. New pick-up counters where consumers can pick up orders that they purchased online have been particularly successful. In addition, consumers even rated brick-and-click retailers stronger in the homepage, search, and products categories.

October Shows Improved Dollar Volume Growth

First Data Corporation released its “First Data SpendTrend Analysis” study for the month of October, tracking same-store consumer spending by credit/debit, EBT, checks, and other payment methods. The study revealed that dollar volume growth in October was 6.8 percent compared to 5.3 percent in the previous month. The greatest dollar volume growth occurred in food service/drinking and leisure categories, which helped offset low gas station dollar volume growth. Credit, signature debit, and PIN debit payment methods showed the largest percentage of dollar volume growth change, showing increases of 7.7, 6.0, and 6.2 percent respectively.

Retail IT Talking Points

Instant.ly Blog profiles how Kohl’s, Target, and JCPenney are all used mobile on Black Friday to draw more customers into stores. Methods theses retailers employed included leveraging social media, SMS deals campaigns, and text/email sale notifications.

Andrew Gazdecki for Business 2 Community provides a list of trends that your SMB customers should keep in mind as they explore mobile strategies. Making sure mobile websites are optimized for local searches, investing in mobile ads, and offering promotions for mobile users through all channels are some things to consider.

The Huffington Post features an infographic about some of the top marketing technology failures. The infographic highlights several key advertising campaigns that included faulty QR codes, hashtags, videos, email marketing, and marketing automation. However, the article also focuses on how/why these technologies can fail and methods for retailers to follow in order to ensure success.

An article in the Chicago Tribune highlights some of the ways retailers are using technology in stores to track and analyze customers spending habits. Because some of these strategies concern consumers about privacy, experts say retailers need to be transparent with data usage and be sure to give customers benefits in return. One expert, John Sheldon, believes that stores are still in the early stages of using tracking technology. He believes someday more retailers will rely on wearable computer devises that use location-based tools to lead shoppers toward deals.

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