News Feature | September 18, 2013

Retail IT News For VARs — September 18, 2013

By Anna Rose Welch, associate editor

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

Wireless Fears Spur PCI Compliance Concerns

Daily Finance profiles a study completed by McAfee and the IHL Group about methods retailers are using to secure in-store payment systems. The study reveals retailers are primarily concerned about maintaining PCI compliance as wireless sharing of information increases. The article contains a link to a PDF of the full study: “Store Systems Security: Preparing for the Paradigm Shift.”

Retail Workers Rejoin AFLC, Get Resources To Organize Wal-Mart Workers

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) is rejoining the AFL-CIO after an eight-year stint in a rival labor federation, Sam Hananel from the Associated Press reports. The UFCW—composed of 1.3 million members of the retail, meat-packing, and food processing industries—is now the largest private sector union in the AFL-CIO. Hananel claims this move back will strengthen the struggling union movement and provide UFCW more resources to organize Wal-Mart workers.

What Will Affect The Future Of Mobile Payments?

eMarketer has provided new figures that reveal mobile payments will top $1 billion in 2013. The article put forth by eMarketer claims that mobile payments more than tripled in the U.S. from 2011 to 2012 and are estimated to reach $58 billion by 2017. The article also contains a list of key assumptions and variables that will affect eMarketer’s estimates on the future of mobile payments.

Study Includes Tips To Improve Customer Experience

According to Integrated Solutions for Retailers, the CFI Group released the results of their Retail Satisfaction Barometer (RSB) profiling retail consumers’ satisfaction levels. Of the six areas measured in the study, store associates, price, and checkout were the areas needing the most improvement. In response to the results, CFI group provides retailers with recommendations for methods to improve customer experience and engagement. These recommendations include considering price carefully, training staff, maintaining channels of communication, and regularly monitoring consumer satisfaction. A link to the infographic illustrating the study’s results is also available.

Retail Industry Adds 43,600 Jobs

The Fort Mill Times reports that the retail industry gained 43,600 jobs in August. NRF President, Matthew Shay claims that this modest growth proves the retail industry is growing, but that retailers are proceeding cautiously. While NRF officials expect the economy to continue strengthening, slow wage growth and decreasing jobs are challenges still facing the retail industry.

Retail IT Talking Points

In his column for Chain Store Age,  Scott Welty lists seven trends that brick-and-mortar stores must embrace to survive the digital age. Some of these trends include social media, store-size rationalization, near field communication, and growth of the “dark store.” Welty also lists five disciplines that brick and mortar retailers will be expected to fulfill, including all-channel demand sensing and profit-based distributed inventory management.

While the term omni-channel is being widely used in the business world today, many companies may not know the difference between omni-channel and multi-channel. Business2Community features an interview performed by Kathy Juve, CMO for [24]7. Juve, interviews five industry experts about their perceptions on the differences between omni-channel and multi-channel. 

In his column on Marketing Daily, Henry Helgeson argues that CMOs must pay attention to the point of sale in order for their businesses to succeed. Helgeson claims that because the POS is “a vital marketing command center,” CMOs must work closely with IT and data science teams to improve business decisions. Similarly, CMOs that focus on the POS can educate themselves about the different mobile marketing opportunities available. 

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