River Island Begins 280-Store RFID Rollout

Following the success stories of big brands such as Macy’s and lululemon, UK-based fashion retailer River Island is rolling out RFID hardware and software from Nedap in 280 of its 350+ stores. The retailer expects to complete the rollout within seven months.

Nedap will be the main contractor responsible for delivering the cloud-based software !D Cloud and RFID handheld readers as well as ensuring the quality of the RFID labels on the merchandise.

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Cayan Partners With RedIron To Improve Payment Options

Retail integration solution specialist RedIron has integrated to the Cayan Genius Platform, a cloud-based payments solution designed to mitigate business challenges associated with bringing new payment types to the point-of-sale. The partnership will allow consumers to pay how and where they want, whether through chip card transactions, mobile payments or traditional credit/debit cards.

Retailers also will find additional support with Cayan’s newly launched Unified Commerce solution, which is centered on supporting multiple channels and the variety of use cases consumers seek today. Cayan’s Genius also supports mobile wallets such as Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay; Level Up; and industry-specific payment types such as HSA and FSA cards.

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Brickwork Raises $5 Million To Expand Marketing, Deepen Analytics

E-Commerce software platform Brickwork has raised $5 million in Series A financing in a funding round led by investment firm Safeguard Scientifics. The financing includes contributions from new investor Recruit Strategic Partners, as well as existing investors Advancit Capital, Beanstalk Ventures, Cowboy Ventures and Forerunner Ventures.

Brickwork will use the funding to expand sales and marketing initiatives and strengthen its platform with deeper data science and analytics.

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Walmart Tests Giant BOPIS Kiosk In Arkansas Store

Walmart is testing kiosk technology in a Bentonville, Ark. store that is designed to make the buy online/pick up in-store process a completely self-service encounter. The 15-foot-high kiosk works in three simple steps:

  • A customer orders an item online for in-store pickup;

  • The customer receives an order number at the store and enters it into the machine;

  • The kiosk, which has been stocked with that day’s items, opens a window to provide the customer access to their item, similar to the way someone would receive a candy bar from a vending machine.

Data and insights collection company Field Agent sent a photo of the kiosk to Business Insider and later blogged about the tech, which remains in a beta testing phase. Given that only one kiosk has been put in place, with no promotion attached, it appears Walmart is in a relatively early testing phase.

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Mobile To Top 50% Of Online Commerce Traffic This Holiday Season

More and more consumers will be visiting retailers’ web sites via their mobile devices this holiday season, according to new research from Adobe. Mobile will account for more than half (53%) of consumer visits, with desktops and laptops accounting for the rest, according to the ADI Holiday Report.

The report also showed that the key days for mobile growth will be — to virtually no one’s surprise — Thanksgiving, Christmas, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

0aholidayhub“Cyber Monday has always been a shopping day for desktop, but the growth of mobile indicated that people are more comfortable browsing/shopping on mobile devices,” said Becky Tasker, Managing Analyst for Adobe DI, during a virtual press conference detailing the report’s findings.

While mobile will account for 53% of web site visits, it will only generate 34% of online sales. Desktop traffic may be shrinking, but conversion rates remain higher than those for mobile devices.

Online Growth Continues To Accelerate

Additionally, Adobe predicts that consumer online spending will be operating full force this holiday season.

“We expect to see a 5% spike in online shopping in early November and a record 24% increase in the last two weeks of December,” said Mickey Mericle, VP of Marketing and Customer Insights at Adobe in a statement. “‘Click and collect,’ faster shipping and retail promotions starting earlier than ever are all contributing to the extended shopping season.”

Tasker revealed a variety of reasons why people continue to shop online, including:

  • Lower prices/good deals (55%);
  • Free shipping (50%); and
  • Product availability (33%).

“The surprising part is that we’ve gotten an increase in convenience factors when shopping online,” said Tasker. “No traffic, product variety, shop from work: those grew more year-over-year than pricing and good deal factors. People are willing to make purchases online even if it means paying more just for convenience.”

Adobe’s research is based on analysis of both aggregated and anonymous data. Adobe measures 80% of all online transactions from the top 100 U.S. retailers; surveys 1,000+ U.S. consumers; and analyzes one trillion visits to more than 4,500 retail web sites and 55 million SKUs.

Carrefour City Implements ESLs Into Grocery Concept Store

French convenience store chain Carrefour City has launched its first urban grocery concept store in Paris. Designed to expand the brand’s organic, fresh and snacking product range, it includes features such as a post office, laundry services, pickup and delivery services, a neighborhood meeting place and a delicatessen.

Carrefour City has placed 7,000 Pricer SMARTTAG HD electronic shelf labels (ESLs) within the store, highlighting fresh foods within the fruit and vegetable department.

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Halloween’s Sweetest Treat: $8.4 Billion In Consumer Spending

1-hallcandyAs dentists around the country begin leafing through new car brochures and making vacation plans, consumers are gearing up for Halloween. And if you thought All Hallows Eve was a night of cheap tricks and treats, think again. Spending for Halloween is expected to reach an all-time high of $8.4 billion according to an NRF survey. In fact, U.S. consumers are expected to spend an average of $82.93, up from last year’s $74.34, with more than 171 million Americans planning to partake in Halloween festivities this year.

“After a long summer, families are excited to welcome the fall season celebrating Halloween,” said Matthew Shay, President and CEO of NRF in a statement. “Retailers are preparing for the day by offering a wide variety of options in costumes, decorations and candy, while being aggressive with their promotions to capture the most out of this shopping event.”

Princesses vs. Superheroes: Who Wins? Disney!

According to the NRF survey, consumers plan to spend $3.1 billion on costumes (purchased by 67% of Halloween shoppers) and chances are, it will be spent on a Disney costume. Oh, to answer the question above, with each having four of the top 15 costumes, it’s a tie; princesses and superheroes are equally loved. Traditional costumes like witches, werewolves, vampires, ghosts and most surprisingly, zombies, surprisingly do not make this year’s top costume list. But one thing is certain: with seven out of the Top 13 Costumes, Disney (in boooold) dominates the category:

  1. Disney
  2. Spiderman
  3. Deadpool
  4. The Descendants
  5. Light Saber
  6. Cinderella
  7. Ariel
  8. The Flash
  9. Stormtrooper 
  10. Firefighter/fireman
  11. Ballerina
  12. Disney’s Frozen
  13. Alice In Wonderland 

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JCPenney And DICK’s Test Private Label Payment App Plug-In

Retailers are always seeking ways to increase the “stickiness” of their mobile apps, to encourage shoppers to not just download the apps but to use them on a regular basis. Brands offering private label credit cards will now be able to boost stickiness by incorporating payments into their apps, via a new Synchrony plug-in (SyPi) credit feature.

The plug-in, which Synchrony developed with GPShopper, has been tested since late summer 2016 with four retailers, including JCPenney and DICK’s Sporting Goods. To date, the SyPi plug-in has attracted nearly 500,000 unique visits and generated more than $10 million in account payments via the four retailers’ apps.

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Amazon Earns Sixth Straight Quarterly Profit — Yet Misses Estimates

Amazon reeled in profits for the sixth straight quarter and matched revenue estimates with $32.7 billion, but the e-Commerce brand missed big on estimated earnings per share, raking in $0.52 — far below the $0.78 figure of Wall Street expectations.

In a Q3 earnings statement, Amazon revealed:

  • Net income was $252 million in Q3, well above the $79 million earned in Q3 2015 ($0.17 per diluted share, in third quarter 2015);