New Oracle Survey Reveals Shopper Insights On Mobile Marketing, Payments

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Shoppers are more comfortable tapping into their smartphones in-store and at home to interact with brands, comparison shop and make purchases, according to new research from Oracle. As a result, consumer response to mobile marketing initiatives such as SMS, geo-location features and applications is growing more positive.

The second installment of the survey titled “Opportunity Calling: The Future of Mobile Communications – Take 2” gathered insights from more than 3,000 mobile phone subscribers worldwide. Results covered key areas including: new mobile behaviors and perceptions; adoption of new mobile technologies, such as location-based applications; and consumer opinion on mobile payment capabilities.

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Global Shrinkage Reaches $119.1 Billion; 52% Of Retailers Implement RFID Solutions To Reduce Theft

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Organized retail crime (ORC) is no longer a problem only faced by retailers in North America. As the practice becomes prevalent overseas, retailers worldwide are deploying tactics that confront this cause of shrink.

Based on the economic downturn, all forms of theft — by employees, shoplifting and ORC included ― rose during a recent 12-month period as retailers’ implementations of loss prevention (LP) solutions could not keep up with shrink activity.

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Timing, Delivery And Relevance Key To Daily Deal Success

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Part 2 of the Retail TouchPoints Daily Deal Update

nexus_prime_lsIn light of economic uncertainty, consumers are tapping into daily deal sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial to obtain special offers on merchandise, vacations, meals and even salon services such as massages and manicures. While the deal itself piques consumer interest, sites limit coupon availability to a maximum of two days to increase purchase urgency. It is vital that retailers stand out by offering incentives to extend the reach of their brands and merchandise to keep pace with consumers’ thrifty spending techniques.

The recent departure of Facebook and Yelp from the space sparked debate regarding the future of daily deals, but research reveals that consumer interest in digital couponing is rising consistently. Some merchants have collaborated with outside distributors to release localized offers and specials. However, retailers such as Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus opted to roll out deal programs on their own.

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Is Ticket Or Traffic Driving In-Store Sales?

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Ticket_ImageWhether same-store sales are up or down, analysts and other stakeholders want to know what drove results. If you’ve listened in on an earnings call for a major retailer lately, undoubtedly you’ve heard the question: was it ticket or traffic?

It seems Wall Street analysts who poke and prod retail executives during the sometimes contentious Q&A sessions have distilled the “what drove same-store sales” question down to these two variables — either more people came into the store and/or more stuff was sold to the buyers.

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Oracle Makes First SaaS Provider Purchase, Announces RightNow Partnership

On October 24, 2011, Oracle announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire RightNow Technologies, a cloud-based customer service provider, for $43 per share or approximately $1.5 billion net of RightNow’s cash and debt. The acquisition marks the first time Oracle has purchased a provider of SaaS solutions. In a press release, Oracle said that RightNow’s Customer Service Cloud helps organizations deliver exceptional customer experiences across call centers, the web and social networks. Together, Oracle and RightNow can enable a superior customer experience at every contact and across every channel..”Oracle is moving aggressively to offer customers a full range of cloud solutions, including sales force automation, human resources, talent management, social networking, databases and Java as part of the Oracle Public Cloud,” said Thomas Kurian, EVP for Oracle Development. “RightNow’s leading customer service cloud is a very important addition to Oracle’s Public Cloud.” The transaction is subject to RightNow stockholder approval, regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions and is expected to close by early 2012, according to the press release.

Motion Computing Unveils Motion CL900 SlateMate To Meet New Needs Across Markets

Integrated mobile computing solutions provider Motion Computing introduced the Motion CL900 SlateMate. The new solution extends the functionality of the lightweight Mobile CL900 Tablet PC with elements that enable the delivery of new integrated configurations that meet the needs of users across vertical markets. Equipped with a magnetic stripe reader and barcode scanner, the Motion CL900 SlateMate enables mobile data acquisition and transaction processing without the need for third party devices. “Integrated tools, outdoor display visibility, durability and touch-screen capabilities are all key considerations for mobile productivity solutions,” said David Krebs, Director of Mobile and Wireless Practice at VDC Research. “With the CL900 SlateMate, Motion offers an innovative mobile platform that addresses the performance and functionality needs of today’s mobile professionals.” The device is designed to offer benefits across markets such as retail, field service and healthcare. With new insight into up-to-date data from any location, the Mobile CL900 SlateMate’s benefits include reduced abandon rates, empowered store associates, increased revenues per transaction, rapid data acquisition for improved documentation, real-time access to customer and inventory availability and improved customer service.

Six Ways To Transform Software Into Emotional Concepts that Customers Love and Buy

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Beradi_SnapRetailI remember a January afternoon in our start-up company’s Dallas showroom. Mycolleagues and I were perfecting our pitch to sell digital marketing software to indie store owners.  We were coming off a new software release and were counting on thisshow’s momentum to help us demonstrate traction.

Making the software less frightening was part of our strategy.  Small business owners who buy our product access a simplistic way to send marketing campaigns to their loyal customers via email, Facebook or Twitter.

At one point in our discussion, an affable 60-year old woman approached me, and thefive-minute conversation she and I had became the basis of ourchanged product positioning strategy.“My grandson is proud of me,” she said,“After I used your product, I told him how Ipost to Facebook, create campaigns with a computer, look at my reports, and he thinks I’m cool.”

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Thank Google-ness, It’s Windows?

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GSchwartz
Mobility is a treacherous business. Cell phones only are used for an average of 18 months before dropping down toilets, falling off tables and general m-wear-and-tear drives consumers back into the buyers’ market. For fashion and trend-conscious consumers, this cycle is probably shorter.

Mobile folks are a fickle bunch. While some may be diehard Apple or Android loyalists, the masses swap the old for the new in rapid succession. Every time a screen smashes or a phone drops down a manhole or domiciles in a taxi (without you), there is a fresh opportunity for a handset manufacturer and an operating platform to woo the new shopper.

Of course, there is some stickiness; Consumers may be faithful to their Blackberry Messenger groups, the slick screen design of their iPhones or the price point of their Androids.

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LUSH Cosmetics Partners With Demandware To Enhance Its e-Commerce Experience

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New e-Commerce solutions and capabilities are providing retailers with prime opportunities to expand their brands internationally. In response to these new developments, hair, skin and body cosmetic provider LUSH Cosmetics has selected Demandware to power three new North American e-Commerce storefronts: U.S. English; Canadian English; and Canadian French. LiveAreaLabs and Precision Design will partner with Demandware to design and roll out the sites.

The Demandware Commerce platform features a variety of customer experience applications and cross-channel merchandising capabilities. Primary goals of the implementation include creating a more content-rich experience for loyal customers and increasing site efficiencies during times of peak traffic, according to Mark Wolverton, President and CEO of LUSH Cosmetics, North America. LUSH Cosmetics’ existing web sites require manual intervention from marketing and development teams, preventing the retailer from focusing on customer interaction and experience, he noted.

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BuyCostumes.com Aims To Set Halloween Sales Records With Mobile Optimized Site

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Approximately 70% of Americans are expected to celebrate Halloween this year, up from 63.8% in 2010, according to results from the National Retail Federation’s “2011 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey.” To better reach Halloween celebrators nationwide, BuyCostumes.com, a costume, accessories and décor provider, rolled out a mobile optimized site; and based on early results, the retailer expects to set Halloween sales records. The new storefront was developed and launched in early October 2011 in partnership with Usablenet, a mobile and multichannel engagement solution provider.

The m-Commerce site was designed to give shoppers access to more than 20,000 items in the BuyCostumes.com inventory and replicate the search, product view and customer service functions of its web site. Like the web site, it also allows users to narrow a search based on category and view numerous high-resolution costume images. “The most important goal of the BuyCostumes.com mobile site was to recreate an easy shopping experience that enables customers to find the costumes, accessories and décor they want,” Nick Taylor, CEO of Usablenet, told Retail TouchPoints.

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