News Feature | February 5, 2014

Retail IT News Roundup For VARs — February 5, 2014

By Anna Rose Welch, contributing writer

BSM-Mobile Devices

In the news, the demand for digital gift cards is growing, mobile payments account for about 20 percent of transactions worldwide, and an Accenture study shows more consumers plan to shop in brick-and-mortar stores in 2014.

Digital Gift Cards In Demand

InComm released its 2013 holiday data, which shows that digital gift cards are more in demand than ever with the rise in online shopping and mobile commerce. In December, more consumers (57 percent) purchased digital gift cards than they purchased physical cards (43 percent). In the days leading up to Christmas, 80 percent of consumers purchased digital gift cards compared to the 20 percent that purchased physical gift cards during this same time period. According to InComm, brands could seriously benefit from selling both physical and digital gift cards on their e-commerce sites. 

Mobile Payments For 20 Percent Of Global Transactions

According to the third Ayden Mobile Payments Index, mobile payments accounted for 19.5 percent of worldwide transactions in December 2013. This was a 12.6 percent increase from last December and a 55 percent growth year over year. Mobile transaction volume rose by 23 percent in the retail industry, with tablets being customers’ device of choice. Transaction volume for tablets rose 16 percent compared to smartphones, which only rose by 7 percent.

Top Ten Annual Retail IT Predictions

IDC has released it most recent Retail Insights report featuring the annual top ten predictions for retail and retail IT. According to IDC, PLM and sourcing, marketing and advertising, and Big Data and analytics will be the areas retailers invest in over the next 2 to 3 years. Distributed order management and enterprise inventory visibility will encourage store sales in an industry, which are increasingly threatened by same-day delivery.

Retail IT Talking Points

While e-commerce is growing, there are still more customers planning to make their purchases in physical stores, a new Accenture study has found. The data shows that 21 percent of U.S. shoppers plan to shop more frequently in brick-and-mortar stores — an impressive increase from 9 percent of shoppers last year. The study outlined several trends that stores should be aware of in their attempts to make the in-store shopping experience better. For example, more shoppers appreciate stores that bring the online experience into the physical realm. More shoppers (78 percent) are “webrooming” rather than showrooming, and 57 percent of respondents find free delivery the most important delivery option. Forty-three percent of consumers find purchasing from their mobile phone easy, compared to 23 percent in 2012.

Joshua Siegel for Data Informed discusses the steps retailers should take in order to build a Big Data program in time for next year’s holiday season.

According to the State of Fulfillment Satisfaction Survey conducted by FulfillmentCompanies.net, a majority of retailers (53 percent) are unsatisfied with their fulfillment processes. Both in-house and outsourced fulfillment operations cause grief for most managers of both small and large businesses. Some of the most common fulfillment “pain points” were the technologies employed, inventory accuracy, order processing times, and overall cost reduction.

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

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