News Feature | September 12, 2013

Retail IT News For VARs — September 12, 2013

By Anna Rose Welch, associate editor

BSM-Loyalty

Business Solutions searched recent headlines for news of interest to VARs serving clients in the retail market.

CMO IT Spending Increasing

An IHL Group study revealed $11.6 billion (nearly 20 percent) of North American Retailers’ $60 billion yearly IT budget will be from budgets beyond the CIO’s. Software purchases from chief marketing officers (CMOs) will account for $6.6 billion. Marketing services (CRM, digital signage, mobile offers) and core operations (store operations, merchandising, and infrastructure) are the highest expenses from budgets beyond the CIO’s.

E-Commerce Sales On The Rise

U.S. Census Q2 data shows that e-commerce sales have increased 18percent since 2012. E-commerce sales currently account for 5.8percent of total retail sales. The National Retail Federation expects growth through 2013, based on more brick-and-mortar companies opening online storefronts before the holidays, and web retailers growing their businesses.

Study Reveals Where Millennial Generation Is Spending

A recent survey completed by The NPD Group, Inc. has found that 81percent of the Millennial generation’s retail spending occurs in brick and mortar stores compared to 19 percent online. Millennial shoppers have the lowest shopping conversion rate — they are selective with limited budgets — and dollar stores and second-hand stores have seen the most Millennial shoppers’ purchases this year.

Debit Card Swipe Fee Remains In Place During Recalculation

An Integrated Solutions For Retailers article reports retailers and the Federal Reserve have agreed to maintain the current 21-cent cap on debit card swipe fees while the courts consider  the appeal to lower it. Originally averaging 45 cents per transaction, the Federal Reserve lowered the cap to 21 cents in response to 2010 legislation requiring swipe card fees be lowered. The NRF sued the Federal Reserve in 2011, claiming the cap is still too high.  While fees are recalculated, all parties agreed that having a cap in place would be the best option for retailers.

Retail IT Talking Points

In his column for Forbes, Lewis Gersh addresses the question, “Is the accelerating proportion of e-commerce’s market share in fact a threat to physical retail?” He argues that omni-channel retail and data-driven in-store experiences are a “positive disruptive force in physical retail,” one that will enable retailers to better meet the needs of consumers. 

In an interview featured on blog.shop.org, mobile retail expert and Eight by Eight CEO Amy Africa shares some insights on where retailers should increase their spending in terms of mobile investments, what the retail industry can learn from others online, and some of the mistakes she herself has made in mobile retailing.

Following the study, “State of Retailing Online 2013: Marketing and Merchandising,” blog.shop.org provides a list of online merchandising priorities for retailers in order to continue enhancing customer experience.

A Mobile Wallet Media article says with the increasing usage of mobile payments/wallets and digital gift cards, the ATM industry is challenged with how to stay relevant. Randy Smith, chief editor of Mobile Wallet Media, claims, “If the ATM is to remain relevant it must be reinvented to embrace pushing customers to retail partners. The ATM must become a ‘financial services kiosk.’ It must be a bridge to retail customer acquisition and loyalty.” Some of these bridging methods may include ATM bill-pay options and “bonus value digital gift cards.”

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