Groupon Adds Acceleration Services For Daily Deal Subscribers

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groupon_logo_capGroupon has deployed Limelight Network’s web site acceleration services to maximize site performance and improve its online experience. After implementing these services in August of this year, Groupon noticed a substantial increase in site speed — a crucial factor to the success of their daily deals.

“Site speed is critical to our customer experience and online conversions,” said Shinji Kuwayama, Director of Engineering, Groupon. “After evaluating several options, we found Limelight to have reliable, flexible services to meet our business needs. Since employing their solution, our performance has increased, and we look for more ways to use the service.”

In just two years, the deal-of-the-day company has expanded to nearly 300 cities and 31 countries. To meet increased demands and ensure optimum site performance for their growing user base, Groupon turned to Limelight Networks.

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Minimize The Risk of a Data Breach with Tokenization

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wp_drc_cap_epicor_tekenThe PCI Data Security Standard transformed the industry in 2004, promising to deliver better security and reduced risk for retailers. As retailers rely on PCI compliance to accept credit card payment, there’s no denying the need to address vulnerabilities that may expose sensitive customer payment data.

Register below to download this white paper to learn more about key compliance trends, including how tokenization can help retailers meet compliance demands.

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IBM Forecasts Black Friday, Cyber Monday Key Days For CE & Appliance Sales

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ibm_chart_capHoliday sales of electronics and appliances in U.S. stores are expected to get an early start this year, with consumers spending a larger-than-usual share in November, according to an analytics-based forecast produced by IBM.

With a 99% proven accuracy, the forecast relies on 19 years of historical data and sophisticated analytics software developed by IBM to analyze both long-term trends and seasonal peaks.

Michael Haydock, Global Business Services partner and IBM Retail Analytics Leader, noted that disposable income, as reported by the U.S. Commerce Department is on the rise along with the household savings rate, which can attribute to a pent-up consumer demand. This increased savings rate will jolt electronics and appliance sales, since these technologies are seen more as a necessity than a luxury.

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American Eagle Outfitters First to Utilize Prysm Display Solution For SoHo Store

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prysm_capAmerican Eagle Outfitters has partnered up with Prysm, Inc. utilizing the company’s free-form display solution for its flagship store in Manhattan’s SoHo district. This is the first retail installation of the Prysm Laser Phosphor Display solution.

“We’re very excited to be part of American Eagle Outfitters retail merchandising plans,” said Dana Corey, VP of Sales, Prysm. “American Eagle Outfitters marks our first retail installation, so serving them is an important milestone for the company as we ramp up our business.”

Prysm’s high-definition, stackable display building blocks are designed to enable American Eagle Outfitters to deliver high-impact brand imagery throughout the store. Multiple displays standing seven-feet tall have been arranged throughout the three-story, 24,000 square-foot retail space.

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Mobile Could Be Real-Time Game-Changer For Black Friday Shopping

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mobile_sitesWhile Black Friday has traditionally kicked off the holiday shopping season by giving consumers exciting in-store offers, this year, industry experts suggest the real-time access consumers can find via smart phones could be a potential threat to the usually-high expectation for in-store traffic.

Up to 138 million people plan to shop Black Friday weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), higher than the 134 million people who planned to do so last year, according to a preliminary Black Friday shopping survey conducted for the National Retail Federation by BIGresearch. The survey, which was just released yesterday, found that approximately 60 million people say they will definitely hit up brick and mortar stores. On the contrary, another 78 million will wait to see if the bargains are worth braving the cold and the crowds.

The ability to “wait and see,” or capitalize on the online deal assortments via Cyber Monday, have previously been obsolete, but the mobile phone is giving customers an additional channel through which to search, compare and shop.

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Facebook Deals Partners With Gap, American Eagle To Tap Location-Based Trend

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fb_deals_1Shortly following the release of Facebook Places, the social networking powerhouse has jumped on the location-based application bandwagon with the announcement of Facebook Deals.

Following in the footsteps of Foursquare, the new Deals app is designed to allow users to see available offers from nearby restaurants and retailers. Upon checking in, they can redeem deals, tell friends where they are and find out who is nearby.

To retrieve rewards, users simply download the latest version of Facebook for iPhone and Android or go to touch.facebook.com, touch “Places” and “Check In” at the desired location — locations with available offers have a yellow icon next to it. Users then view and claim the deal, and show it to a cashier to receive the special.

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New Research Offers Tactics To Bring Customers Back In-Store

While online spending continues to thrive, a new survey by Leo Burnett shows that all hope isn’t lost for brick and mortar outlets if they focus on excelling in the customer experience.

Despite the constant availability, variety and convenience of the web, 50% of consumers say that the in-store shopping experience and seeing a product in real life is still irreplaceable. Moreover, 43% said they still thrive off of seeing and touching the actual product before making a purchase. Leo Burnett surveyed 2,200 American shoppers to examine some of the biggest challenges retailers are facing with regard to sustain and grow sales — starting with the need to nurturethe consumer mindset.

However, there is a significant minority closing in on brick and mortars, with 20% of participants claiming that the Internet is a substantial and even preferred substitute for going to a store. Online research before purchase is also a key trend in the survey, with 34% of respondents indicating they gather information via Internet before making an in-store purchase.

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Solution Spotlight: LightSpeed Mobile Empowers Store Employees With iPod Touch Technology

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lighspeed_ss_2Concept:
LightSpeed Mobile
utilizes mobile retail units to introduce a new development of the personal retail experience while shoppers are in a store. LightSpeed Mobile was developed to give consumers a more personalized retail experience where they can receive a new kind of one-on-one service from sales reps and can complete their purchase anywhere in a store. After the company saw the advantages of the system adopted by the Apple Store, the creators of LightSpeed Mobile decided to deliver a similar, unique one-on-one experience based on the same hardware, so retailers could affordably re-create it for their locations, regardless of size.

The ability to close deals when the customer is most interested in a product they are considering to purchase will increase chance of spending. In the end this will serve the global need to deliver more convenient and personal service to consumers.

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4 Ways To Up The Ante With Social Media Spirit For Holiday

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By Mélanie Attia, Product Marketing Manager, Campaigner

MelAttia_newpx_capThe holiday season seems to sneak up earlier each year. Even before Halloween decorations went up, retailers have had their holiday marketing plans all tied up in a bow. It’s all part of the purchase cycle — be there when people are ready to shop. Fortunately, you can be right beside them with a well-timed email-marketing program. To make an even bigger impact this year, consider adding all of the bells and the tinsel with social media.

Social media is a great way to extend your reach.  Facebook has 500 million users and continues to grow, and on Twitter, over 10 billion tweets have been broadcasted since 2006.  Here are three ways to incorporate these tools into your email-marketing program.

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5 Last-Minute Ways To Optimize Online Holiday Shopping

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By Thierry Costa, Vice President of Marketing, SLI Systems

Thierry_CostaHoliday shopping starts earlier and earlier every year — as The New York Times recently reported, Black Friday sales, which traditionally launch after Thanksgiving, are now being trotted out by retailers in late October and early November. However, if you haven’t already gotten your online storefront ready for holiday shoppers, it isn’t too late: Here are several ideas you can put into place between now and the height of the holiday shopping frenzy.

1. Make it easy to find gifts: When shoppers have several gifts to buy, they need a way to sort through your offerings for many people on their list. This is where a gift finder comes in handy: It’s a search tool that lets shoppers sort through your products based on common requirements, such as gifts for kids or co-workers, or at different price levels. To see an example of a gift finder, check out the “Gift Planner” on the homepage of the Harry and David web site.

2. Expand your vocabulary: Your customers might not describe your products the same way you do, which can lead to a confusing or unfulfilling search experience.

You don’t want them to receive few or no results to a search when you actually have many suitable products in stock.

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