Mobile Point of Sale, mPOS, Motorola Solutions

Survey Shows 66 Percent of Retailers Interested in Mobile Point of Sale (mPOS) as a Core Customer Service Strategy

Motorola Solutions study indicates retailers could replace more than 36 percent of fixed POS with mPOS by the end of 2013

Mobile Point of Sale, mPOS, Motorola Solutions

Motorola Solutions, Inc. MSI -0.30% today released the findings of a survey that demonstrates increasing interest from retail, hospitality and field service industries for mobile Point of Sale (mPOS) solutions as a core strategy for improving customer service. Retailers in particular showed a strong interest in deploying mPOS solutions over the next couple years to provide shoppers with more personalized service and payment convenience while gaining countless opportunities to close the sale.

Retailers are embracing mPOS pilots and trials to eliminate the high cost of traditional cash registers and accept customer payments — including magnetic stripe and chip and PIN-based credit, debit, gift and loyalty cards, as well as near field communications (NFC) payments via mobile phone — wherever and whenever needed. Fifty-five percent of those surveyed even plan to incorporate the ability to take cash as part of their mPOS operations. The mPOS allows businesses to offer customers brand new conveniences that improve the quality and speed of service and increase loyalty.


— Sixty-six percent of retail respondents are interested in mPOS, while 42 percent of retail respondents are currently piloting or starting trials within the next 36 months, and the majority is focused on using mPOS for sales associates on the store floor or line-busting.

— More than seven in 10 (71 percent) retailers that indicated interest in mPOS are using or planning to use it to improve customer service and also intend to provide access to inventory management (51 percent), pricing (48 percent) and merchandise returns (42 percent) applications.

— In December 2011, Motorola’s holiday shopper survey found that one-third of store visits ended with an average of $125 unspent due to missed opportunities to purchase. The survey also found that inefficient payment processes were one of the leading contributors to those lost sales. More than 43 percent of shoppers agreed that their shopping experience improved when store associates used mPOS devices.

— Sixteen percent of surveyed retailers currently have an mPOS solution deployed, while less than 9 percent have completely mobile or portable checkout systems.

— On average, retail respondents anticipated replacing more than 36 percent of their fixed POS as a result of migrating to an mPOS.


Michelle Crissey, Customer Solutions lead, Motorola Solutions

“As retailers battle for shoppers’ hearts and wallets, mPOS serves as a valuable tool that can help turn browsing into buying. When the power of mPOS is in the hands of every retail associate, shopping becomes an experience and associates are always in a position to make the sale.”


— The survey was fielded from December 2011-February 2012, targeted to full-time experienced employees in the retail, hospitality and field service industries in North America, United Kingdom, France and Germany.

— The survey was designed to reveal interests and experiences with the use of mPOS solutions.

— 541 respondents completed the survey without knowledge of Motorola Solutions’ sponsorship.

— The e-Rewards(R) Opinion Panel, operated by Research Now, is the largest “by-invitation-only” online research panel serving more than 900 research firms with more than 3 million respondent members.

[via MarketWatch]

Multi-Channel Marketing, Omni-Channel Marketing, Shopper Marketing

Multi-Channel vs. Omni-Channel, and Other Key Takeaways

At the recent RIS event in Orlando we learned that retailers are still figuring out the differences and challenges of operating multi-channel versus omni-channel. Retailers are in the process of defining the differences between the two and gaining understanding of where the lines are drawn for each strategy. Our view, supported by many people we met with, is that omni is the customer unified view of your brand and multi is the operational side of processes and strategies.

Multi-Channel Marketing, Omni-Channel Marketing, Shopper Marketing

In one of the workshops we led, retailers shared top challenges in their organizations with regard to inventory alignment strategies. New customer data being gathered needs to be integrated with traditional retail practices and presented to merchandise planners and buyers to be actionable in the inventory management processes.

Localization is conflicting with globalization. There remains a strong sense to develop localized assortment plans; however, retailers are still trying to manage the global reach of their online channel. Localization is continuing to challenge a unified view of process, e.g. returns/exchanges, in all channels.

Understandably, retailers were not ready to commit what impact social media and mobile commerce would have on inventory management strategies. Many retailers expressed strong customer engagement strategies concerning these tactics, but they also indicated that they were not sure how mobility and social media would be incorporated into a retail inventory management strategy.

There was considerable discussion that the role of marketing is changing across all retailers due to the omni-channel. We agree. Marketing and merchandising organizations are evolving, and marketing is clearly paying a leading role in social media.

The challenge for many retailers is how to fully integrate marketing and merchandising so that social media data points become actionable and meaningful to others in the organization; namely merchants.

Retailers who had made progress on this shared that moving from a product-centric to customer-centric operating model requires executive alignment and impacts all parts of the organization. Product data from social media needs to be further defined and measured, and made available to the organizations that can act on the customer feedback.

[via RIS News]

Target, Store Remodel, Fresh Food, Retail Localization

Target Begins Remodels of 90 Stores to Expand Fresh Food Offering

Target Corp. said it has initiated remodels to expand the fresh food offerings at 90 stores across the nation, with the work expected to be completed on June 24, 2012.

Target, Store Remodel, Fresh Food, Retail Localization

The June stores will be the second of three cycles of remodels for Target this year. Stores scheduled for the June remodel cycle span markets across the country, from Des Moines, Iowa, to El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

By the end of the year, more than 1,100 Target stores will offer the expanded fresh food layout.

Beyond the grocery aisles, most of Target’s new and remodeled general merchandise stores also feature updates in other areas. The beauty aisles feature a more visual environment, while the home department offers easier navigation with wider aisles and lower product displays. The shoe department is now more comfortable with additional seating and mirrors, and the baby department is easier to shop with broader visibility between baby gear, supplies and apparel.

[via ChainStoreAge]


RedPrairie Announces New Price Tag Generator Solution

Solution enables RedPrairie Merchandise Management Point-of-Sale Plus customers to instantly generate professional price tags via a web interface


RedPrairie Corp. today announced the availability of its new Price Tag Generator solution, which will be featured at the High Point Furniture Market April 21-27. Available through a web interface to RedPrairie’s Merchandise Management Point-of-Sale Plus module, the Price Tag Generator solution uses open inventory, not available for sale (NAS) and outlet data and instantly generates professional price tags for furniture, consumer electronics and appliance retailers.

Using the simple WYSIWYG (What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get) program, big ticket retailers can access numerous design template options for creating price tags, including group tags, that are fully customizable with each retailers’ logos and images.

“The Price Tag Generator is an easy-to-implement way for big ticket retailers to lower their labor costs when it comes to producing price tags,” said Tyler Owen, general manager for Merchandise Management at RedPrairie. “It also enhances the customer experience by acting as a silent salesperson, providing the most up-to-date and accurate information for a customer before he or she interacts with a salesperson within the store.”

Professional price tags can be easily generated through various filters, including by store, location, inter-store transfer (IST), purchase order and price changes, and can also contain UPC bar codes or QR codes. The fully customizable price tags can be exported as PDF files for easy printing and saving.

[via MarketWatch]

McDonald's Store Redesigns, Retail Localization, Fast Food Restaurants

McDonald’s Redesign: Changing the Golden Arches to Golden Architecture, One Upholstered Booth at a Time.

McDonald’s, the company that put “fast food” on the map 57 years ago, now wants to become the place to linger, relax and slowly enjoy time.

A massive undertaking is renovating nearly all of the company’s 13,000 U.S. locations, at a rate of 1000 a year. It’s anticipated that 75 percent of them will be completed by the end of 2015.

McDonald's Store Redesigns, Retail Localization, Fast Food Restaurants

The finished units are comfortable, bright, colorful, open, inviting and – perhaps most important of all – modern. “In 1955, McDonald’s was America’s most modern and innovative brand,” says Francesco Cordua, director of U.S. retail experience. “True to our roots, we’re driving a reimaging effort that will return us to those original parameters.”

While over the years it has added such interior elements as children’s play areas and flatscreen TVs, Cordua says McDonald’s is still often seen as a place to order quickly, grab the tray and rush through
the meal.

The new idea, he says, is to enhance the experience after diners have ordered their meals. “We want diners – whether families with children or businesspeople having an informal meeting – to feel they can come in, take a break, have a conversation, watch TV or use our WiFi connection,” he says. “We want them to enjoy being there.”

So inside these new environments, materials are richer, colors lighter and lighting warmer. The dining area is divided into zones, and the seating varies from booths and square four-top tables to longer community tables with bar stools. Decorative, modern light pendants hang from the ceiling. Colorful patterns of paper and graffiti-like graphics fill the walls. And wooden sculptural elements serve as informal architectural dividers between the various zones.

In the booths, upholstery replaces the familiar fiberglass. Tabletops have also been upgraded to laminates or solid surface materials (like Corian). At the tables, chairs have been unhinged from the floor so they can be moved around and rearranged

The upgrades produce a warmer, more upscale, almost residential look and feel. But Cordua emphasizes that this is not an attempt to recreate people’s living rooms. “We want the overall experience to be as comfortable and inviting as guests’ homes,” he says, “but ultimately we want to tap into what people enjoy about going out to dinner.”

On the outside, the red mansard roof has been replaced with a flat top and the familiar golden arch is more stylized and less arch-like. The McDonald’s “M” is still visible on a white wall with yellow trim and a lot of windows.

[via VMSD]

Five Years From Now, CMOs Will Spend More on IT Than CIOs Do

two arrows going upMarketing is now a fundamental driver of IT purchasing, and that trend shows no signs of stopping –or even slowing down –any time soon. In fact, Gartner analyst Laura McLellan recently predicted that by 2017, CMOs will spend more on IT than their counterpart CIOs.

At first, that prediction may sound a bit over the top. (In just five years from now, CMOs are going to be spending more on IT than CIOs do?) But, consider this: 1) As we all know, marketing is becoming increasingly technology-based, 2) Harnessing and mastering Big Data is now key to achieving competitive advantage, and 3) Many marketing budgets already are larger –and faster growing –than IT budgets.

McLellan’s recent webinar provided the data to back up that last point. According to Gartner’s research:

  • 2011 B2B and B2C marketing budgets as a percentage of revenue were almost three times as high (10 percent) as IT budgets (3.6 percent).
  • 2012 IT budgets are expected to grow 4.7 percent, while all marketing budgets, in general, are predicted to grow 9 percent, and high tech marketing budgets, more specifically, are expected to increase 11 percent.
  • On average, nearly one-third (30 percent) of named marketing-related technology and services is bought by marketing already. What’s more, marketing now influences almost half of all purchases.

Clearly, it’s time for CMOs and CIOs to start forging true, strategic partnerships, so both marketing and IT can begin sharing ownership of both goals and outcomes. After all, the business landscape has shifted, and it’s no longer marketing that drives business growth – it’s digital marketing that drives business growth. CMOs and CIOs alike must recognize that technology and marketing are now inextricably tied, and that future success depends on the creation of a totally new kind of cross-functional organization.

How will a strong partnership between marketing and IT create more value for your business? I see the benefits falling into four broad categories:

Integration. When marketing and IT depend on silos of teams, data, processes and software, they run in a very ad hoc fashion, and that makes it extremely difficult to scale, replicate and optimize. What’s more, silos inhibit alignment around relevant messages to the appropriate audience. Cross-functional collaboration can solve these problems by enabling a shared view of the customer with IT, sales and other stakeholders and creating efficiencies, improved workflows and even cost reductions. In other words, integration eliminates barriers and facilitates better engagement internally. Likewise, it eliminates barriers and facilitates better engagement between your brand and the consumer, as well.

Risk management. Global corporations now face enormous risks as they try to manage brand campaigns across a variety of different platforms (both off- and online). From the mundane (password policies for social media accounts) to the more sophisticated (customer privacy concerns, security issues), marketing and IT must join forces to mitigate an ever more complicated array of threats.

Compliance. Just as risks have multiplied, so have compliance concerns. Companies across all sectors face new industry regulations, as well as country/regional laws governing consumer privacy, etc. The compliance landscape internally is complicated, too, as organizations work to reach solid footing with regard to social media procedures, licensing agreements, etc.

Customer experience. Today’s successful marketers are taking a customer-centric approach and delivering a brand experience that’s compelling, personalized and consistent across all touchpoints. In order to accomplish that task, marketing needs systems in place for data collection, automated analysis and targeted distribution –each of which increasingly depends on IT expertise, particularly as campaigns become more and more centered on customer insight and real-time analytics.

Inevitably, marketing is poised to exert even more influence over tech spending, but doing so without the solid foundation of a strong cross-functional collaboration with IT just doesn’t make sense. Today’s business environment is volatile, and we’ve lost what little margin there was for error. Marketing and IT have no choice to get on the same page and drive business value working together as strategic partners.

[via Forbes]


Sears Holdings Announces Completion of $270 Million Sale of Eleven Sears Stores to General Growth Properties


Sears Holdings Corporation(NASDAQ: SHLD) announced today the completion of the sale of eleven Sears full line store locations to General Growth Properties for $270 million. Sears has received the sale proceeds and the stores will continue to operate as Sears locations into 2013 or 2014 with final closing dates to be determined and announced later this year.

Each of the Sears stores was part of an existing General Growth property.  The transaction included the list of owned and leased stores listed below.


1450 ALA MOANA BLVD Honolulu HI Leased
1481 CORAL RIDGE AVE Coralville IA Owned
1201 LAKE WOODLANDS The Woodlands TX Owned
20 BELLIS FAIR PKWY Bellingham WA Leased
1751 MADISON AVE Council Bluffs IA Leased
9405 W COLONIAL DR Ocoee FL Owned
1001 APACHE MALL Rochester MN Leased
2000 N NEIL ST Champaign IL Leased
6191 S STATE ST STE 300 Murray UT Owned
2501 W MEMORIAL RD Oklahoma City OK Owned


About Sears Holdings Corporation Sears Holdings Corporation is one of the largest broadline retailers with over 4,000 full-line and specialty retail stores in the United States andCanada.  Sears Holdings is the leading home appliance retailer as well as a leader in tools, lawn and garden, consumer electronics and automotive repair and maintenance.  Sears Holdings is the 2011 ENERGY STAR® Retail Partner of the Year.  Key proprietary brands include Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard, and a broad apparel offering, including such well-known labels as Lands’ End, Jaclyn Smith and Joe Boxer, as well as the Apostrophe and Covington brands.  It also has the Country Living collection, which is offered by Sears and Kmart.  We are the nation’s largest provider of home services, with more than 11 million service calls made annually.  Sears Holdings Corporation operates through its subsidiaries, including Sears, Roebuck and Co. and KmartCorporation.  For more information, visit Sears Holdings’ website at Twitter: @searsholdings | |Facebook:

[via Sacbee]

Remodeling cycle to lift Home Depot, Lowe’s

Homeowners plan to do more remodeling and spend more per project this year after delaying improvements, and that is good news for the top two U.S. home-improvement retailers Home Depot Inc. and Lowe’s Cos., an analyst said Monday.


Two-fifths of homeowners plan to spend more on their homes than they did last year, compared with 33% of them who plan to spend about the same and 27% of them who said they’d spend less, according to an online survey by Piper Jaffray analyst Peter Keith, who queried 440 homeowners regarding their home remodeling goals.

In another encouraging sign, 48% of the respondents said they planned to complete a discretionary project of greater than $500 this year. Three-quarters of them also indicated they have the cash savings to pay for a large ticket project. “We now expect home-improvement industry growth to outpace GDP growth for the foreseeable future,” Keith said.

Like many retailers, Home Depot says its expanding in the online channel aggressively and targeting it as a major growth opportunity, as housing worries continue to affect the world’s largest home-improvement retailer.

The analyst upgraded his ratings on both Home Depot HD -0.19% and Lowe’s LOW -0.06% to overweight on Monday, sending both stocks up about 1% to $51.58 and $32.01 respectively, as the rest of the retail sector declined. He has a $62 price target on Home Depot and $41 on Lowe’s.

Mixed signals continue to come out of the housing sector. The Commerce Department said Monday that March retail sales of building materials and garden equipment rose 3% from February, the biggest increase in almost a year and a half. At the same time, the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo housing-market survey showed home-builder sentiment dropped in April for the first time in seven months.

Delayed gratification

The Piper Jaffray survey showed both retailers were the most popular choices among places where homeowners said they’d like to spend their home-improvement dollars.

The median value of total spending expected on large projects this year rose 14% to $2,000, while the average spending per project expected this year shot up to $2,000 from $880, the 30-question survey showed.

Among the two most popular reasons behind the increase, 36% of homeowners said they had delayed updating or repairing their homes for long enough, while another 31% of them cited an improvement in their income situation or more cash savings. The survey found that declining home prices were not a major hindrance in remodeling intentions.

[via MarketWatch]

Walmart Solar Panels Colorado, Retail Localization

Walmart Expands Solar Commitment in Colorado

Walmart announced six SolarCity projects on stores in Colorado, marking the company’s 100th solar power installation in the United States and moving it closer to its long-term goal of using 100% renewable energy for all its retail and distribution facilities.

Walmart Solar Panels Colorado, Retail Localization

“Solar power continues to show promise as an alternative to traditional power for its environmental and economic benefits,” said Kim Saylors-Laster, Walmart VP energy. “We are proud to work with SolarCity and the state of Colorado on this project that creates local jobs, and ultimately helps Walmart reduce its energy costs, so that we can continue to pass on savings to our customers.”

The installations, totaling two megawatts on three stores in Westminster and one each in Lakewood, Highlands Ranch and Lafayette, will help Colorado meet its ambitious renewable energy goals. Colorado hopes to produce 30% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. These projects demonstrate that solar can be cost-effective even in the large flat-roof environment where high wind and snow can pose challenges for solar projects, Walmart said.

Despite the winter weather, Colorado currently ranks fifth among the country’s top 10 states for the total amount of solar capacity installed. SolarCity engineered and delivered a customized, cost-effective solution to meet the requirements of large, flat rooftop-solar systems operating in the Rocky Mountain climate.

[via Chain Store Age]

Sephora, iPads in stores, in-store media, retail localization

Sephora Makes Over Website, Adds iPads In Stores

San Francisco-based Sephora unveiled its social and mobile makeover, including a new personalized web experience, new mobile website, iPhone app and iOS devices in more than 100 stores. The beauty retailer has also integrated Pinterest to its site by adding “Pin It” buttons to every product and brand page.

Sephora, iPads in stores, in-store media, retail localization

“Digital is a must for the future of retailing,” said Julie Bornstein, senior vp, Sephora Direct. “With the social, digital, mobile and website updates, we’re giving our clients the most customizable experience in the beauty industry, and connecting clients with our experts in the ways that are most relevant to them. We’re excited to makeover the future of shopping.”

Each product on has been tagged and indexed with 25 different characteristics, including relevant data like target age group, specific ingredients, formulations, fragrance and price. The site also houses more product images and time-saving checkout. Shoppers can also use the website to check in-store availability.

The Pinterest “Pin It” button allows users to pin any of the 14,000 products from the Sephora website, as well as check out Sephora inspiration boards, highlighting current looks and new products.

As part of Sephora’s mobile focus, the retailer is also testing iPads in stores, with 20 locations outfitted with the Apple devices. Staff will also carry iPod Touch units to help clients find and research products through the Sephora app.

[via VMSD]