BlueSnap Launches Powered Buy Platform, Launches Checkout Conversion Index

Payments technology services provider BlueSnap has launched the Powered Buy Platform, a mobile solution designed to eliminate friction during the checkout process and prevent retailers from losing sales.

The Powered Buy Platform enables retailers to provide numerous checkout experiences, either through an API or a turnkey embedded checkout. The platform integration enables merchants to connect to multiple acquiring banks, and includes a failover mode to maximize payment authorizations. The platform also offers value-added features such as dynamic e-Commerce tools, including offers and coupons, subscription billing, fraud prevention and chargeback management.

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FTC Regulators Aim To Block Staples Acquisition Of Office Depot

Federal regulators are preparing to block Staples’ anticipated $6.3 billion acquisition of rival Office Depot, according to sources of The New York Post. Staples officially agreed to buy Office Depot for $6.3 billion in February 2015, but the regulators are wary of the merger, which would combine the only two national office suppliers serving corporate clients.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) initially agreed to extend the transaction’s review period to Dec. 8, 2015, and has until then to decide whether to approve the transaction or sue to halt the deal. The FTC could potentially delay its decision again in an effort to get Staples to concede to more stringent terms.

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Black Friday: Now Home To The Online Shopper

While Black Friday has traditionally been the start of the holiday shopping season — and is widely known as the day shoppers swarm to retail stores in droves — it appears the day itself means less to the increasingly large population of online-savvy consumers. In fact, even as more retailers kicked off Black Friday doorbuster deals on Thanksgiving Day, a growing number of shoppers flocked to their computers and mobile devices to complete purchases.

Nearly 102 million people say they shopped in stores on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, but more than 103 million say they shopped online during this two-day stretch, according to the NRF. It is apparent consumers are becoming more comfortable staying home to make a purchase instead of fighting the in-store crowds.

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Q3 Financial Report: Weak Performance By Macy’s, Nordstrom, JCPenney Spotlights Sector’s Challenges

Although the recent Thanksgiving weekend festivities have certainly given a boost in both revenue and traffic to major department stores, it probably won’t be sufficient to reverse shrinking sales and Wall Street’s bearishness. Q3 earnings reports and stock prices from Macy’s, Nordstrom and JCPenney all indicate that these retailers are not hitting the expectations set for them at the beginning of the year. In fact, these three retailers are expected to only grow revenue 1.2% in Q4, according to a USA TODAY analysis of data from S&P Capital.

With these leading department store retailers all showing disappointing results, there are now questions as to whether the sector as a whole is faltering. In comparison to department store earnings, discount stores in the S&P 1500 are expected to grow 10%, while apparel retailers and computer/electronics retailers are expected to grow 3.8% and 2.3% on average, respectively.

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Will Small Business Saturday 2015 Surpass Last Year’s Bonanza?

With all the hype for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals already kicking off the holiday season, it’s easy for small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) to get lost in the shuffle of the promotional chaos. However, the recent advent of Small Business Saturday has given these retailers a promotional platform of their own.

Consumers spent a reported $14.3 billion purchasing gifts at independent retail stores on Small Business Saturday in 2014, according to American Express. The credit card provider initially launched the concept of Small Business Saturday in 2010 to encourage consumers to spend money at their local businesses, instead of doing their typical shopping at major retailers.

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Hardware Chain Streamlines Task Management To Eliminate Tedious Processes

RocklerWoodworkingStore

RocklerWoodworkingStoreThe 31-store Rockler Woodworking and Hardware chain faced similar communication, task execution tracking and reporting challenges as many larger retailers. Rockler’s headquarters used multiple emails, often with multi-page pdf documents attached, to communicate with stores about everything from promotions and product launches to seasonal campaigns.

This blizzard of messages caused a number of issues, including:

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‘Tis The Season To Tailor Marketing Campaigns To Mobile-Empowered Shoppers

Ramsey Masri OtherLevelsHoliday shoppers are frequently creatures of habit, but as retailers and marketers know, shoppers’ habits are changing.

This holiday season, retail marketers are faced with the challenging task of building bridges between customers’ traditional holiday expectations (sales, discounts, holiday promotions) and the new realities of the mobile marketplace (smartphone browsing, easy-to-use shopping apps, mobile rewards programs, online offers, tantalizing text messages and more).

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Results Are In! Find Out Which Omnichannel Tactics Work Best

1omnichannelEffective omnichannel strategies are helping retailers improve loyalty, increase brand interactions and boost basket size, according to the 114 business leaders surveyed for the 4th annual Retail TouchPoints Omnichannel Survey.

Although the term “omnichannel” is now part of our everyday retail dictionary, many business executives are still trying to figure out the most effective strategies. While the brick-and-mortar store continues to be the most prevalent selling channel, online sites are now in relatively equal standing.

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