Mobile point-of-sale hardware is predicted to experience a compound annual growth rate of 11.4% over the next five years, reaching approximately $230 million, according to VDC Research. The market analyst firm reports that this growth is due to payment solutions being extended into the mobile market. For example, VeriFone, a widely recognized electronic payment solution provider, acquired Global Bay, a mobile payment platform, during November 2011, to increase retailer partnerships and extend enterprise mobility capabilities. Through the acquisition, GlobalBay is being integrated with VeriFone products and services.
The ability to analyze customer data and turn that insight into highly relevant customer communications provides a powerful platform that helps brands prepare for the digital future. Since everything marketers understand about customer loyalty is changing, nowhere is that change more profoundly felt than in the collection and use of customer data for marketing.
Hal Varian, Google Chief Economist and Economics Professor at UC Berkeley, believes the new “coin” of today is consumer data. In today’s globalized, fragmented economy, winners increasingly will be separated from losers by their ability to collect, analyze and derive actionable insight from consumer data. Varian has coined a term for those companies who have an edge in customer data insight: the Datarati.
As 2011 comes to an end, Retail TouchPoints would like to share insights into the top 20 most viewed articles this year. It came as no surprise that a majority of the articles viewed this year were case studies featuring success stories from leading retailers. Based on the articles receiving the most clicks, retail executives are looking to learn from their peers. Additionally, two of the hot-button topics in 2011 were mobile technology and social commerce.
Through the use of exclusive projects such as the first annual Nex-Gen Retail Awards Report, Customer Loyalty Report and the 2011 Holiday Outlook, Retail TouchPoints was able to highlight current retail trends and point SMBs into the right direction with inexpensive ways to combat the competition. The Nex-Gen Retail Awards Report honored 10 companies that showcased innovative solutions at the 2011 National Retail Federation (NRF) Annual Convention. The innovative solutions profiled in the report included 10 categories: social media; in-store marketing; inventory management; store intelligence; mobile technology; customer engagement; point of sale; analytics; store operations; and cross-channel.
Part III of a 3-part series looking at how leading retail chains are using Business Intelligence to maximize insight, enhance decision making and create better business value. Parts I and II appeared in the December 8 and 22 Newsletters.
Less time to make decisions, more complex data sets and the need for analyses based on real-time data are transforming Business Intelligence (BI) into a strategic priority with greater C-level ownership. Today’s advanced BI implementations help retailers maximize insight, enhance decision making and create better business value. One of the latest strategies is access to BI from mobile devices, which Starbucks is testing now. Another is BI software-as-a-service, appealing due to its agility, flexibility and lower cost. New deployment alternatives and applications also are enhancing BI’s impact and value, every step of the way.
Omnitrol Networks, real-time sensor-driven operational intelligence and item-level traceability solutions provider, recently launched a new generation of its Retail Smart-Store software application. The new system is designed to eliminate in-store stock-outs, optimize store-to-store transfers and reduce markdowns. In addition, the upgrade features customer analytics that enable retailers to proactively shift stock levels based on customer interaction with store products.
“The use of RFID within the retail sector has shown tremendous improvements in inventory accuracy and rapid replenishment, resulting in as much as a 50+% improvement in operating profits,” said Raj Saksena, CEO and President of Omnitrol, in a press release.
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TapBuy, a new checkout technology that stores shoppers’ billing and shipping preferences, has been licensed by TheFind. Launched in November 2011, TapBuy is designed for developers, shopping aggregators and retailers, and can be embedded within users’ mobile applications. Using cloud-based technology, the TapBuy application forwards order and payment information to the merchant in real time.
Touted as a “10-second online shopping” tool, TapBuy was developed and launched by Kima Labs, a company founded by Amazon.com veterans Blake Scholl and Jason Crawford. In early trials, TapBuy has increased sales conversion for retailers up to 15 times, according to the company.
Taap.it Live Local, a Manhattan-based mobile application company, recently launched an app to drive consumer traffic into neighboring stores throughout the U.S. “Local stores represent 99.7% of all employer firms; they keep our country running and we can’t turn our backs to them,” said Dave Balkaran, Director of Business Development at Taap.it, in a press release. Based on a shopper’s location, Taap.it enables consumers to find items in their cities from local stores and make purchases using their mobile device for same-day or following-day pickup. According to the release, Taap.it has a sharing system in place which allows consumers to rate the items inside of a store and share the rating with friends in an effort to earn points and redeem prizes. The company currently has signed more than 5,000 New York City businesses. Taap.it is available on the Apple App Store and Android Market free of charge.
Savvy retailers are developing recovery plans and strategies in light of potential risk from hurricanes, floods and power outages. Though store locations can be greatly affected by disasters, the rise of mobile and online buying presents retailers with a whole new level of risk.
During an in-depth interview with Retail TouchPoints, Rich Cocchiara, IBM Distinguished Engineer and Chief Technology Officer of Business Continuity and Resiliency Services, shared how merchants can better mitigate risk online and in stores. Cocchiara also revealed how best-in-class retailers are turning to the cloud to optimize data backup and IT management in light of potential risks.
New Business Intelligence (BI) solutions can be accessed via the cloud or in-house and offer better ways to leverage data and manage the supply chain more effectively. By combining both structured and unstructured data into an intuitive system, retail organizations are able to better manage merchandising, pricing, marketing and a variety of IT projects. A 7-step process will help merchants down the road to successful and advanced BI.