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Macy's Dials Up Omnichannel Strategy Ahead of Holiday Shopping Blitz

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 17, 2014 01:29 PM

Macy’s is making a bigger investment in omnichannel retail technology ahead of the major holiday shopping season by creating a more personalized and interactive shopping experience for consumers in-store, online and on mobile devices. 

A pioneer in the implementation of RFID technology, Macy's will be rolling out shopBeacons to all of its locations across the US and will be expanding its partnership with Shopkick to drive consumer engagement in-store. 

“Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s remain committed to operating at the forefront of innovation, as well as fostering a locally relevant shopping experience in every store,” said Terry J. Lundgren, Chairman and CEO of Macy's, in a press release. “We are a multi-faceted retailer with stores, technology, Internet capability and mobile access that come together for our customers. They are at the center of all our decisions, and our ongoing research and development will continue to help us understand how to personally engage with them.”Continue reading...

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Coupon King: 5 Questions with Thinaire Co-Founder Tim Daly on NFC Adoption

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 15, 2014 02:13 PM

Thinaire, a leader in radio frequency-enabled solutions, has been using technologies like Bluetooth and NFC to deliver mobile commerce and advertising content since 2011. While Thinaire's software can deliver paid video, music, games, apps and other sponsored content to consumers through branded apps, brands and retailers are increasingly in search of ways to deliver sales incentives to consumers in the very moment that they're considering a purchase.

NFC, which is at the heart of beacon technology, has been talked about as the next innovation in retail marketing, but brands have been slow to adopt the technology that makes use of consumer data due to confusion among marketers and concerns over security. Proximity marketing has previously been at the center of consumer complaints at retailers like Nordstrom, which was caught last year capturing shopper locations via the store's Wi-Fi network without consent. 

However, increased transparency from retailers and consumer-enabled apps like Swirl and Shopkick have helped retailers like American Eagle deploy beacon technologies throughout stores, pushing sales notifications and coupons for products that are in close proximity to a shopper's location within the store. Thinaire also recently launched its Active Shopper digital coupon solution to deliver mobile coupons that are instantly redeemable at checkout, while Macy's plans to expand its use of Apple's iBeacon technology to all of its US stores by year-end.

ActiveShopper works anywhere NFC and beacon solutions are available, and soon that may be in a lot more places following Apple's announcement last week of its mobile payment service, Apple Pay. The platform, which seeks to replace credit cards, uses NFC technology to seamlessly—and securely—complete transactions, a key piece to the mass adoption of the retailing technology.  

brandchannel spoke with Thinaire co-founder Tim Daly to discuss the future of NFC and how brands can better utilize proximity marketing.Continue reading...

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Proximity Marketing Spreads as Safeway, Duane Reade Test iBeacon Tech

Posted by Dale Buss on May 30, 2014 11:02 AM

Long past are the days when privacy advocates merely worried that GM’s pioneering OnStar service could track your car wherever you traveled using GPS technology. Now, an increasing number of retailers and other brands are using new “beacon” technology to track consumers to within several inches of their locations in stores in order to push promotions and encourage spending. 

There are lots of other potentially disruptive uses to come from Apple’s iBeacon and similar technologies though as brand transparency and consumer privacy become top of mind.

Already, for instance, Safeway has been testing an iBeacon installation that automatically offers discounts to shoppers who have downloaded the supermarket chain’s “just for U” loyalty app and walk into the store—at the exact moment when consumers are ready to shop.

Similarly, Duane Reade, the Walgreen-owned East Coast US pharmacy chain, has launched a program to fit its New York stores with iBeacons that delivery weekly ads and coupons to opted-in smartphones. “iBeacons help remove some of the obstacles of engagement and facilitate customer interaction,” Tim MacCauley, mobile commerce director for Walgreen, told Adweek.Continue reading...

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American Eagle Deploys iBeacon Technology in Expanded Shopkick Partnership

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 27, 2014 12:57 PM

American Eagle Outfitters has teamed up with Shopkick to deploy iBeacon technology in 100 AE and Aerie locations in what will be the largest rollout of the still-controversial tech across the apparel industry. 

Apple’s iBeacon technology uses Bluetooth LE to ping shoppers in-store and offer location-based deals, display location-specific rewards, discounts and product recommendations all without the customer even opening the ShopBeacon app.

"American Eagle Outfitters' shoppers are tech-savvy, social, and love their smartphones," said Shopkick CEO Cyriac Roeding, according to ClickZ. "ShopBeacon is able to connect to this new generation of shoppers as a trusted companion, by reminding opted-in users to open the Shopkick app at the entrance of the store, and further personalize their shopping experience with alerts and high-value rewards.”  

Additional Shopkick partners include Best Buy, Crate & Barrel, JCPenney, MasterCard, Old Navy, Simon Property Group, Sony, The Sports Authority, Target, Visa, Procter & Gamble, Kraft Foods, Revlon, Unilever, Pepsi, Levi's and HP.Continue reading...

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Apps Help Fuel Black Friday as Cyber Monday Morphs Into "Mobile Monday"

Posted by Barry Silverstein on November 21, 2012 12:02 PM

The annual holiday shopping hysteria is upon us, and this year's Thanksgiving madness promises to be more mobile than ever. In fact, a new survey indicates 28 percent of adult consumers who own smartphones or tablets will use them to shop on Thanksgiving day. That's nearly double last year's percentage.

As 20 percent of shoppers definitely plan to shop on Black Friday, they'll be enabled by QR codes (although almost 60 percent of shoppers don't know how to use them) as well as apps from websites and retailers catering to shoppers with smartphones and tablets. And beyond Black Friday throughout the holiday season, more so than ever this year.

"Apps will play a particularly strong role for driving commerce this holiday season," reports Mobile Commerce Daily. Nearly a third of smartphone owners will download a shopping app to use for holiday shopping, according to a Pricegrabber study and of those, over 80 percent will use their smartphones this holiday season in an effort to save money on purchases. eMarketer puts that figure at about 53%.

This year, retailers have resigned themselves to the fact that "showrooming" (checking out merchandise at stores and purchasing online) is the new competitive environment. "Consumers have been empowered by shopping apps," said Alexander Muse, founder of the Future Of Retail Alliance. "They've been armed with more product knowledge than clerks in most retail stores have. Retailers used to be threatened by this; now, they are finding ways to capitalize on it — such as through aggressive price-matching, as well as ship-to-store and other omnichannel strategies. That's the big difference between Black Friday 2011 and Black Friday 2012."Continue reading...

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Target Rolls Out Shopkick App Today

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 23, 2012 10:07 AM

Target is taking the lead as the largest retailer to offer its customers Shopkick points (known as "kicks") starting today.

Shopkick, free and available on iPhone and Android devices, rewards users with 300 “kicks” just for walking-in to a store. “After 6 months in the market, shopkick reached 1 million users. Today, it is the largest location-based shopping app in the world,” said Cyriac Roeding, Shopkick CEO and Co-Founder.

Target customers can now use those “kicks” to scan products ranging from food and cleaning supplies to electronics and toys, redeemable for Target gift cards, Facebook credits, dining gift certificates, iTunes downloads and donations to charities, as well as receive special in-store deals including coupons and discounts.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Warren Buffett, Pfizer, Spotify & more

Posted by Dale Buss on November 21, 2011 08:54 AM

In the News

Alleghany to buy Transatlantic.

American Apparel acting president quits.

Apple leapfrogs Argos to become 2nd biggest online retailer in the U.K., as textbooks and photography tops its new product priorities and Grand Central NYC store prepares to open and iPhone 4S heads to China.

Berkshire Hathaway to invite Wall Street analysts to annual meeting for once as Warren Buffett, excited about Japan, says company could spend $10 billion on its next acquisition.

Best Buy sees shoppers in Florida camping out since last week for Black Friday.

Chevron accepts responsibility for oil spill off Brazil.Continue reading...

mobile commerce

Shopkick Turns One With Major Brands on Board

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 9, 2011 11:00 AM

How much is that doggy bed in the window? Shopkick knows.

The mobile application, which melds in-store and mobile retail, rewards consumers for just walking in, with further deals for scanning partner brand products at more than 250,000 stores across the U.S. 

Launching a year ago this month (it officially turns one on August 17th), its users have surpassed 6.5 million product scans as 12 new major brand partners sign on: CoverGirl, Disney, General Mills, Levi’s, Libman, Mead Johnson, Meguiar’s, Mr. Clean, Olay, Revlon, Tilex and Trident.Continue reading...

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