(Author : Kim Souza)
After more than a year of planning, the Walmart to Go convenience-store format quietly opened in Bentonville on Saturday (March 15), with the grand opening set for March 19. 

 

Walmart to Go

 

Store workers told The City Wire this was a soft opening and it was a busy day with heavy in-store traffic as travelers on the busy intersection near 1300 S. Walton Blvd., sought a look inside what is the first store in a new effort by Bentonville-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to capture a different and growing element of the retail market. The small store is a hybrid format — part traditional convenience store, part grocery, part quick serve restaurant. Walmart partnered with Bentonville Butcher & Deli, one of the more popular names around in terms of quality meat, to operate a quick serve meat counter in the back of the store. Fresh deli sandwiches or hot barbecue brisket, ribs, smoked chicken and traditional sides were available by the plate or by the pound. Krispy Kreme has a donut stand between the beverage stations on the right wall of the store. There is a traditional soda fountain, Icee fountain, milk shake option and full coffee/cappuccino area. Refrigerated food-to-go includes market fresh pizzas, sandwiches and other meat entrees. There is also fresh fruit and a Greek yogurt smoothy station. The center of the store closely resembles a traditional convenience format with cashiers in a corral with a wide range of tobacco products.

he left side of the store is merchandised much like a tiny grocery. Coolers line the outer wall offering wine and beer with a walk-in cooler. Frozen foods can be found in two large freezers along the outer left wall.

The mini grocery includes five wide aisles that contain hundreds of packaged foods and non-edible items from breakfast cereals to dog food and diapers. Shirley’s Flowers has a fresh floral stand near the front doors next to Hallmark Cards. The store also has magazines, books, and ATM and a seating area near the front of the store.

The convenience store also features six gas pumps out front with a covered awning that sports the Walmart sunburst on the underside. One unusual feature is a large awning that connects the pump area to the front door. Ice, Blue Rhino propane and Red Box are all positioned outside the store under awnings. There is a picnic area outdoors to seat those wanting to eat onsite.

With this new convenience format Wal-Mart hopes to capture some of the $415 billion quick trip marketshare it is losing to Dollar General and other convenience stores. Walmart U.S. CEO Bill Simon said earlier this month that the retailer has just 10% of that marketshare and is vying for more with the hybrid stores that can serve consumer fill-in trips, which Walmart estimates to be 40% of their grocery spend.

Source : thecitywire.com

(Author : JOHN GLENDAY)
A virtual reality Tesco supermarket is to open its binary gates to retail executives at the TCC International Marketing Forum, Berlin.

 

Tesco  Pele

Created by VR creative agency Figure Digital the demonstration has been set up to illustrate the marketing initiatives and consumer research opportunities that such technology throws up for European retailers. Tesco’s Pele experience was first created for the TCC Global’s retail innovation centre at the tail-end of last year, utilising the latest hardware and software including Oculus Rift headsets. Malcolm Fogarty, global digital director, TCC Global “It is a facility where we can get retailers in and inspire them about different and new ways of customer loyalty campaigns.”

Figure Digital founder and managing director, Ben Paterson added: “We plan to create virtual experiences for brands that advertisers could only have dreamed about only a few years ago.

“We can now create 360-degree cinematic experiences and gamified interactive solutions that allow consumers to totally immerse themselves into a brand’s message.”


Source : thedrum.com

(Author : Leah Gonzalez Angue)
Gap’s latest creation at its White Space concept shop on Fifth Avenue in New York is a store designed to bring people back to what it’s like to go shopping in brick-and-mortar stores.

 

Gap NY

 

Gap NY

The “Lived In” concept store sells a curated selection of classic Gap products and features third-party items like indie lifestyle magazines and books. The new concept store aims to bring an “authentically local shopping experience in the middle of Manhattan.”

Source : psfk.com

(Author : retail customer experience)
Sephora has announced the launch of Beauty Board, its new social shopping platform designed to engage clients through beauty images and allow them to post, share, browse and shop Sephora’s photo gallery directly on Sephora.com, the mobile site, iPhone and Android apps. According to the company, clients will be able to upload photos, tag the products they use, and give helpful tips on how they achieved the look.

 

sephora_beauty_board

“Our beauty lovers are gathering and sharing beauty tips across a variety of social properties like Instagram and Pinterest, as well as our blog and beauty community site,” said Julie Bornstein, EVP and chief marketing and digital officer at Sephora. “So we took what we admire as social users to the next level by developing and integrating our newest social site, Beauty Board, into our Sephora.com experience. Sephora shoppers can now share looks or hauls, and tag all of the products they used to make shopping easy for the entire beauty community. Best of all we designed Beauty Board to seamlessly connect with our clients’ other social platforms, providing an informative and social shopping experience for all.”

Using their current Sephora.com account information or signing up for a new account, clients will be able to create their own social accounts on Beauty Board that will allow them to upload and tag their own beauty images. The Beauty Board will simultaneously launch on desktop and mobile at the same time. The Beauty Board features:

  • filters based on interest — members can search across the site for inspiration from other users in a variety of ways, from newest and most popular, to unique categories like hauls and skincare, plus keyword and hashtag search;
  • “tag-able beauty” — users can tag all the products they used in their posts, so other beauty addicts can get the same look and shop for any of the tagged products on sephora.com;
  • the ability to “love” photos to be saved for later — users who love a look, but don’t have an occasion for it just yet can save it for later by “loving” it;
  • infinite inspiration — members can brows endless photos from multiple beauty evangelists including Sephora users, stores, Beauty Pro Team, HQ staff, and brands; and
  • sharing across networks — any upload can be exported to the user’s social channels on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Google Plus.

Users of Sephora’s Beauty Board already include top beauty influencers such as Beautyblitz.com, Beautyhigh.com, Bellasugar.com, Byrdie.com, Temptalia.com and the Sephora PRO Team, the retailer said.

Source : retailcustomerexperience.com

(Author : GILLIAN WEST)
Adidas has worked with StartJG to create a digital centrepiece for its new global retail concept, HomeCourt, premiered in Beijing earlier this year.

 

ADIDAS China

 

Celebrating Adidas’ sports heritage HomeCourt provides consumers with an interactive retail experience and will be implemented in 25 stores globally over the course of 2014.

Our new retail concept HomeCourt offers a consumer experience unlike any that Adidas fans have enjoyed before. We have created a store where our consumers are at the very heart of the Adidas brand,” said Michael Stanier, chief sales officer consumer direct. “At the Beijing Adidas Brand Centre we have kicked off the next generation of retail concepts which I am very excited about. We look forward to bringing this concept to Adidas fans around the world this year.”

The Shoebase at the centre of the store focuses on the brands footwear offering with interactive elements. Designed by StartJG the digital interface gives consumers multiple entry points into the shoe buying experience – from ‘hunters’ to ‘prospects’ and ‘browsers’.

Through two touchscreens customers can find the right product for them or find out more information about a chosen project. A shoe finder connected to the Adidas online shop also helps customers locate items which may be out of stock in their current store.

“The HomeCourt digital experience allows consumers to go beyond the physical, interrogate their decisions and get the best recommendations based on their needs,” explained Joey Scully, creative director, EXD StartJG.

Mobile access to the interface enables staff in the store to centralise and unify the way they communicate and sell to potential customers.

In April 2014, Adidas will open its first South American HomeCourt store in Rio de Janerio (Brazil), followed by a UK debut in Bluewater, Kent and Harrods, London. March 2014 will see the launch of the first Adidas Originals ‘Neighbourhood’ concept store in Berlin.

Source : thedrum.com

(Author : Lauren Johnson)
Starbucks’ plan to dominate mobile commerce is becoming a bit clearer with a new application revamp that puts payments front and center.

 

 

The coffee giant will add two new features to its iPhone app on March 19: Digital tipping and a new shake-to-pay feature. Even though both features have been in the works for quite some time, the update further cements Starbucks’ goal to build a mobile strategy that is split equally between payments and loyalty. “Digital tipping is nothing new, but what is cool about the Starbucks app is the new digital form factor,” said Peter Olynick, lead for the card and payment practice at Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group, Charlotte, NC. “For consumers the integration has to be seamless to make this successful, something Starbucks does well,” he said.

“By implementing shake-to-pay, Starbucks has made it easy for their app to be top of phone. According to Carlisle & Gallagher’s mobile wallet research, payment choice and real-time incentives rank in the top three desired features and functionalities consumers would prefer in their mobile wallet.”

Brewing up mobile success
The update will let consumers add a digital tip for their barista when paying with the Starbucks app. Additionally, the app will be updated with a shake-to-pay feature that makes mobile payments more visible in the brand’s app. By shaking the app once it is open, the bar code functionality will automatically be pulled up, eliminating the need for consumers to dig around and find the payment feature on its own.

“Digital tipping has been a top request from our customers, especially as more and more customers are using their phone to pay, and shake-to-pay is a fun feature that conveniently lets customers access their card from anywhere within the app,” said Maggie Jantzen, spokeswoman at Starbucks, Seattle.

Since digital tipping has been on Starbucks’ radar for quite some time, the actual implementation of the feature highlights how the coffee giant is beginning to move beyond simple mobile payment transactions. Starbucks is continually credited as a top retailer that has grown mobile payment awareness among consumers with a bar code-based payment app that also integrates with the coffee chain’s My Starbucks Rewards loyalty program. The new app revamp suggests that Starbucks has now established a strong user base of consumers who are using their mobile devices to pay repeatedly and therefore may be ready for more sophisticated features. The updates to Starbucks’ iPhone app will roll out in the United States, Canada and Britain with an Android version to follow later this year. The digital tipping is only available within the U.S. To promote the new app, Starbucks is distributing small in-store cards promoting the new features. One side of the card lists the features, and the other side encourages consumers to set up their username and password before the app is updated. Starbucks claims that more than 11 percent of transactions now take place through the company’s mobile app. During the coffee giant’s first-quarter 2014 results, it was revealed that this increase in mobile payments is close to hitting five million weekly transactions.

Digital shift

The new app features comes on the heels of an organizational restructure that Starbucks put into place earlier this year to give CEO Howard Schulz more control in the brand’s day-to-day work with digital and physical assets. The shift could also signal that Starbucks wants to try its hand at mobile rewards and payments outside of the confines of its bricks-and-mortar stores. The idea is that Starbucks may be able to capitalize more on the rewards and loyalty portion of its mobile payment app, which leverages location and is integrated into Starbucks’ cross-channel initiatives. The soon-to-be-released app update is meant to streamline mobile payments, but could also be more focused on entertainment than utility, according to some experts. “I can’t imagine a scenario where a shopper would say, ‘Cool, I’ll download this app so I can shake to pay,’” said Paula Rosenblum, managing partner at Retail Systems Research, Miami.

Source : mobilecommercedaily.com

(Author : Rebecca Borison)
McDonald’s Sweden is integrating mobile payments into its application to deliver the best service to its customers and create new utility.

McDonald’s Sweden takes mobile payments to the next level

Consumers are now able to scan a unique QR code at checkout and enter their personal PIN code to pay. The technology is being powered by Seamless’ SEQR mobile wallet solution. “McDonald’s in Sweden are quite far along on our digital journey and Swedes are among the most connected people in the world,” said Kajsa Dahlberg, head of digital engagement at McDonald’s Sweden. “It was natural for us to explore mobile payments as part of our overall mobile strategy,” she said. “We have worked with Seamless for more than a year and offered mobile payments in a number of our stores. Integrating the service in our mobile app was just the next step for us.”

McDonald’s Sverige
McDonald’s Sweden has had an app since 2011. The app lets consumers browse the menu and nutrition information, locate McDonald’s restaurants in Sweden, get special offers and participate in campaigns, contests and games. Now, consumers can also make in-store payments directly from the McDonald’s Sverige app using the Seqr wallet. Consumers could already pay with the Seqr app at McDonald’s locations, but now the payment method is integrated into the McDonald’s Sverige app for easier access.

If consumers already have the Seqr app, they can easily access it from within the McDonald’s app. If they have not already downloaded Seqr separately, they will be directed to Apple’s App Store or Google Play to download it for free. Once they open the Seqr wallet, they can scan a QR code in-store and enter their PIN code to pay. “Every smartphone has a camera as well as that you can integrate it in many channels such as physical, digital and on screens,” Ms. Dahlberg said. “For us with many stores and many POS in each store, it was important that we did not have to install hardware everywhere, but simple and quickly could try mobile payments to a low cost for our stores.” To promote the integration, McDonald’s Sweden and Seqr are offering consumers a cheeseburger for 1 SEK, 10 eurocent, when they pay with Seqr. According to Seqr, it is the only mobile payment solution in Sweden that lets consumers pay in stores and online. McDonald’s is one of the first companies to integrate Seqr into its own app.

International payments
McDonald’s has been expanding its international efforts towards mobile payments for quick some time now. McDonald’s France tested a mobile payments solution in 2012 and rolled it out nationwide this past November. The solution also included QR codes and PINs but integrated with PayPal. Additionally, McDonald’s has been partnering with Isis in America to accept payments from the mobile wallet app. Quick-service restaurants as a whole are moving quickly to figure out the best mobile payments solution. They understand that the use case for them is valuable in that consumers tend to be more comfortable making frequent, small purchases on mobile devices, something that is very familiar to QSRs.

“McDonald’s in Sweden have 435,000 daily guests,” Ms. Dahlberg said. “By enabling mobile payments, we are opening up also for all the customers that prefer to pay using the mobile. “For the past year working with Seamless and Seqr payment, we have learned that the system is very easy to implement in the stores, quick and easy for the customers to use and offers a lower cost-per-transaction for the stores compared to if a customers is using a debit or credit card,” she said.

Source : mobilecommercedaily.com

(Author : Lauren Johnson)
British online retailer ASOS is making a harder push into the United States market with a new application that lets consumers shop and access additional brand content.

 

Asos

ASOS’ mobile app pulls in 850 brands in addition to the retailer’s private line. The app includes many of the basic features that have become table stakes for retailers, such as cross-device log-ins and shopping cart editing features. “The rapid increase in mobile traffic means it’s important for brands to keep investing in and evolving their mobile offering,” said Matt Hiscock, senior vice president of ASOS U.S., New York. “Today’s shoppers are on multiple platforms, and it’s our responsibility to offer a seamless and engaging experience as they switch between devices,” he said. ASOS is an online fashion and beauty retailer that sells more than 60,000 branded and private label products.

Shop on mobile
Consumers can search within the ASOS app by tapping on a bar that stretches across the screen and they can also favorite products. The shopping cart pulls all items into a vertical list that consumers can quickly edit. Products can also be moved from a shopping cart to a saved section. The app leverages a log-in so that shopping carts and information are linked between Web and mobile. The app is available for iOS and Android devices. ASOS’ app is part of a bigger push to claim the U.S. market. The brand has also opened up a stateside warehouse to speed up shipping. Additionally, the retailer has launched its subscription-based Premier service, which gives members free two-day shipping, access to deals and collection previews and a magazine subscription for $19 per month.

Beyond on-device commerce

In addition to the mobile commerce functions, ASOS’ new app also incorporates some of ASOS’ other assets. For example, runway videos for each product are incorporated into the app and content can be shared across Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+. ASOS has been in the mobile space in Britain for quite some time. In 2011, the brand launched a commerce-enabled iOS app. A month earlier, ASOS launched an iPad magazine app that pulls together editorial and shopping content. ASOS will face significant competition in the U.S. market as an online retailer, many of which are already ahead of the curve with mobile. Gilt and Rue La La are only two examples of online retailers that have shifted their businesses to heavily rely on mobile with more sales coming through smartphones and tablets. At the same time, some of the less commerce-focused features in the ASOS app could push consumers to repeatedly use the app. ASOS has also carved out a group of fans outside of Britain, which will give the company traction within the U.S.

“We wanted to make the app reflective of our Web experience which offers a wide range of features, such as runway videos, to give shoppers as much insight into our products as possible before making a purchase,” Mr. Hiscock said.

Source : mobilecommercedaily

(Auteur : Chantal Tode)
Macy’s spring marketing campaign puts a new spin on integrating mobile with an in-application game enabling consumers to spin a flower-shaped wheel for a chance to win prizes.

 

Macy's  mobile game

 

The Spin & Win game in Macy’s mobile app gives users a chance to win a digital gift code worth between $10 and $500. For spring, Macy’s has also introduced a new digital catalog with tablet-exclusive features and videos. “Today’s customer always has her smartphone in hand, and through mobile initiatives, we’re able to add a layer of personal interaction and excitement to her shopping experience,” said Holly Thomas, vice president of media relations and cause marketing at Macy’s, New York. “In celebration of Macy’s new Secret Garden campaign, our ‘Spin & Win’ mobile game is a fun way to engage customers with a chance to win a digital gift code from $10-$500,” she said.

Spin and win
The Spin & Win game and new digital catalog are part of Macy’s Secret Garden campaign showcasing garden-inspired merchandise for spring that also includes special promotions and events as well as a fundraising program to support local parks. The campaign is an example of how Macy’s continues to make its app a big focus of its mobile strategy and how the retailer is ramping up its offerings for tablet users, who typically are active shoppers and spend more than smartphone shoppers. Macy’s customers will have a chance to play the Spin & Win game up to five times per day between March 5 and 30. The chance to win is highlighted on Macy’s microsite for the campaign, encouraging browsers to download the app. Customers can also text “APP” to 62297 to download the app. To play the game, app users must tap to spin the flower-shaped wheel.

App marketing
The strategy is a great way for Macy’s drive app downloads and encourage customers to return regularly to the app. Macy’s has previously prominently featured its app in its TV advertising. Additionally, during the 2013 holiday season, Macy’s positioned its app as a digital personal assistant for customers to help them plan their shopping trip in advance and find their way once in store. Macy’s well-rounded mobile strategy for engaging customers and driving sales is also focused on mobile email, SMS, image recognition, mobile advertising, photo-sharing, music streaming and engaging in-store shoppers via their phones using iBeacon technology. In addition to the mobile elements, The Secret Garden spring campaign includes a fundraising component called Macy’s Heart Your Park, which aims to raise awareness and money for local parks. Macy’s stores across the country have each selected a local park or green space in their community to support, with more than 550 local parks benefiting from the program. From March 7 to March 31, customers can visit their local Macy’s store and donate $1 or more at the register, and 100 percent of donations will benefit that store’s selected local park. Macy’s will match customer donations across all stores, dollar-for-dollar, up to $250,000 in total. Also during March, Secret Garden events will take place in Macy’s stores featuring fashion presentations, family fun day activities and cooking demonstrations. “We aim to continually enhance the Macy’s experience through new merchandise, great value and engaging activations that resonate with our customers,” Ms. Thomas said. “Macy’s focus on an omnichannel strategy works to create seamless shopping between our stores, online and mobile.”

Source : mobilemarketer.com

(Author : retail customer experience)
The Canadian retail sporting goods giant Sport Chek has once again unveiled an experience-focused store concept that combines interactive displays and self-service technology into a digital wonderland experience.

 

Sport  check  new flagship 2014

Last year the retailer opened the doors to what it called “a game-changing” retail lab in Toronto, and just recently opened its 80,000-square-foot Sport Chek/Atmosphere store in a new flagship location in Edmonton. “Our new flagship store in West Edmonton Mall is the most digitally advanced and personalized retail experience in the world,” Michael Medline, president of Sport Chek owner Canadian Tire Corp., said in an announcement of the new store. “We have created an energy-filled experience for anyone who is passionate about a great customer experience and shopping for an unparalleled array of sporting goods.”

The new flagship location features 800 screens populated by 220 channels that display product images and deals, store-wide anthems and community walls filled with local sports information (and that breaks down to 470 individual screens, 250 computers, 25 large-format tabs, 80 tablets and more than 1,200 square feet of digital projection), and 250 staff members will use digital installations, interactive technology and product displays to provide detailed and personalized service to customers, ranging from bike and ski fittings to gait analysis for runners.

Digital signage mainstay STRATACACHE worked with the retailer to integrate digital signage and interactive technologies into the store. The Dayton, Ohio-based company provided its content management solution. “We are very excited to be working with Sport Chek on their first flagship store. As the provider of their content management system, we understand the innovation and hard work that goes into tackling many in-store technological ‘firsts,'” STRATACACHE CEO Chris Riegel said in a release. “Digital is the next step for retail. Sport Chek understands this and with the opening of the flagship store has proven they can lead it.” Sport Chek plans to build 10-12 more flagship locations across Canada, Medline said in a video interview. The chain also will take elements of the flagships and retrofit them into other locations and incorporate them into new store builds, he said.

“This store is the culmination of a dream,” and a three-year re-branding process, Medline said. “I would argue that this is the best retail store on the planet.”

Source : retailcustomerexperience