News Feature | December 16, 2013

Retail IT News For VARs — December 16, 2013

By Anna Rose Welch, contributing writer

Stores

The NRF announces retail industry job gains of 13,500 in November, master data management is a valuable omni-channel tool, and a study shows why mobile sites are integral to ecommerce.

Retail Industry Adds 13,500 Jobs In November

The NRF (National Retail Federation) announced that the retail industry added 13,500 jobs in November. NRF President Matthew Shay says that the number of jobs added in November reveals that the economy continues to grow stronger over time. He says, “Retail continues to leave the jobs recovery with retailers and merchants bringing on thousands of additional workers to assists customers this holiday season.” Year-over-year, retail industry job gains stand at 268,500.

Data Management Platforms Key For Omni-Channel Success

According to a Multi-Channel Merchant article, many retailers are adopting master data management technology in order to enhance shopping experiences across the channels. The article discusses several key trends that will be affecting your clients in the upcoming year, trends they could better address with a data management platform in place. These trends include increasing smartphone penetration, omni-channel, personalized marketing, showrooming, and the growth of e-commerce (which requires a smooth fulfillment and payment process.)

Path-To-Purchase Littered With Too Many Clicks, Report Finds

LightningBuy recently released its “2013 Mobile Commerce Conversion Index,” which illustrated how and why some of the largest Internet retailers will lose sales this holiday season. According to the report, only 72 percent of the top 100 Internet retailers have a mobile site. While some of these retailers have a mobile-optimized site, they don’t all have a fully mobile site or aren’t mobile commerce enabled. Only 12 percent of the top 100 e-commerce sites had exceptional user interfaces. The report highlights the need for retailers to reduce the number of steps and processes customers need to take in order to make an online purchase. The average number of clicks to purchases is five, though some report requiring upwards of nineteen to complete a purchase.

Malware Threat “Dexter” Growing More Pervasive

SC Magazine reports that a form of POS malware known as “Dexter,” which recently impacted South Africa, has begin to enter POS systems in the US. “Dexter,” “Project Hook” and “VSkimmer” are several of the most active forms of malware detected today, according to an expert from Arbor Network’s security engineering and response team. Versions of Dexter malware rely on file transfer protocol to steal debit and credit card information. POS systems often face the same security risks as other Windows-based systems do, and can be infected by this malware via social engineering attacks or physical tampering. Small businesses are particularly in danger of this malware, though over the last year, some affected businesses have included bigger retailers, hotels, and restaurants.

Retail IT Talking Points

Eric Feinberg and JJ Cramer for Multi-Channel Merchant discuss the differences between omni-channel and multi-channel. They also provide a list of tips to measure and create a successful multi-channel and a successful omni-channel experience.

Following the release of a BDO Compass Survey of CMOs, Sarah Mahoney for Marketing Daily interviews BDO representative Natalie Kotlyar about mobile in retail. In particular, Mahoney asks questions about why retailers seem to be backing away from m-commerce and how CMOs are approaching/utilizing social media.

Pinterest was the dominant social commerce platform this Thanksgiving weekend, Business Insider says. On Cyber Monday in particular, sales via Pinterest grew by 260 percent, according to marketing and analytics company Piqora. However, Pinterest didn’t see increasing traffic; rather it would seem Pinterest users are becoming more accustomed to purchasing via Pinterest after browsing.

For more news and insights, visit BSMinfo’s Retail IT Tech Center.

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