• Harley-Davidson Turns to SMS Engagement
    A Harley-Davidson dealer and National Basketball Association team Oklahoma City Thunder leveraged SMS to drive basketball fan engagement in a March motorcycle giveaway that showed the strategy’s value in increasing reach and engagement without additional expenses. Thousands of entrants were sent SMS alerts directing them to locations where the unique bike, festooned with Thunder graphics and colors, could be seen, resulting in less than half of one percent of each outgoing message choosing to opt out of the promotion. The results reaffirm how SMS can be a powerful channel for reaching a wide swath of mobile users, notwithstanding criticism that …
  • UN Fund Taps Square for Mobile Donations
    The United Nations Children’s Fund quickly initiated a mobile program to raise funds to help the survivors of the recent devastating earthquake in Nepal, and while text-to-give is still playing an important role for the nonprofit, its strategy is evolving with a bigger focus on social commerce, including $Cashtags from Square. Square introduced $Cashtags last month, enabling anyone to create a personalized name, such as $Unicef, to get paid through Square’s online payments. Including the $unicef tag in social media posts enables mobile users to quickly make a donation.
  • New App Launched for Fast Food Delivery
    I’ve got a pretty bad addiction to restaurant delivery service Seamless, but even I’ll admit it’s not perfect — sometimes there’s a long wait for food that shows up cold, and sometimes I get stuck in a rut, wanting to try something different but unwilling to gamble on a new restaurant or weird-sounding dish. And yes, when I indulge that addiction often enough, things can get pretty pricey. Maple is launching today with the promise of a better experience. It’s backed by Momofuku chef David Chang, so it has plenty of foodie cred. To be clear, Maple isn’t just delivering food from existing restaurants. …
  • Mexican Grill Puts Mobile Payments on the Menu
    On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina is partnering with NCR Corp. to offer mobile payment at all of its corporate restaurants. Using the NCR Mobile Pay solution, seamlessly integrated with the NCR Aloha POS solution, On The Border allows customers to pay their check using their mobile device. In the mobile pay process, users can also join Club Cantina, On The Border's email club. Upgrades and additional services to On The Border’s current mobile pay are planned in the coming months. Benefits include increased speed of service, reduced potential for credit card fraud and automatic emailed receipts. 
  • Car Rental On-Demand Tested
    Audi has just launched its "Audi on demand" service as a pilot program in San Francisco, which offers a variety of Audi models to rent on a per-day basis, up to 28 days at a time. Even more interesting, though, is how they're doing it: starting, locking, and unlocking the cars all takes place through a smartphone app, with a digital key card as a backup option (you don't want to be left stranded if your phone dies, for instance). Rather than picking up and dropping off your car at a particular location, concierges can drop off and retrieve cars anywhere of …
  • Walmart Adds Gift Registry to App
    Walmart is the latest retailer to add gift registry capabilities to its mobile application, letting users create, manage and share their wedding or baby registry anytime, anywhere. The app lets consumers scan items with their phone to their registry in-store or choose from thousands of items online. The move, coming after Best Buy and Bed Bath and Beyond brought out mobile gift-registry services, points to how retailers see potential in the under-served space.
  • Best Buy Breaks Ranks, To Take Apple Pay
    Best Buy is the first big-name U.S. retailer to break ranks with a Walmart-led Apple Pay competitor, announcing today that it will accept Apple’s digital payment system in its U.S. stores later this year. Best Buy has also started accepting Apple Pay as a payment method in its apps, Apple CEO Tim Cook first announced on an analysts call on Monday after the company issued its earnings report. The partnership is a big one for Apple, because it’s the first with a member of MCX, a consortium of retailers and food chains that is building a payment app called CurrentC that is expected to be competitive …
  • Yahoo Sees Mobile Surging in Market
    The Taiwan unit of Yahoo Inc. predicted Monday that its mobile traffic on e-commerce business will exceed PC traffic in 2015 thanks to the Web portal's “Mobile First” strategy that has been pushed by CEO Marissa Mayer since 2012. The company's mobile transactions accounted for 30 percent of its total e-commerce revenues in the first quarter of this year, with mobile traffic exceeding 40 percent of the overall traffic on e-commerce platforms, according to Jacky Wang, vice president of the e-commerce group at Yahoo Taiwan and Hong Kong.
  • Marriott Adds Apple Watch for Hotel Services
    The key to creating a successful wearable program is presenting sensible use cases for the end user. The clearest way developers have built those use cases is by expanding existing processes and pushing them to a wearable device, which is what Marriott and Apple have teamed up to do on the hotel chain's app for the Apple Watch. Marriott released its Apple Watch app last week to coincide with the launch of the device. Through the app, users can check-in and checkout, receive notifications on a room's readiness, book rooms, review stays and receive detailed directions to their destination.
  • Mobile Location History Could be Key, Says Report
    Customers who frequent the same locations at the same time typically have similar purchase preferences, pointing to how marketers can enhance their advertising strategy by tapping the location history of consumers, according to a report from Columbia Business School. In the “Social and Location Effects in Mobile Advertising” report, the research reveals that while targeting based on store distance has resulted in effective advertising in the past, customers’ location history may hold the key to additional invaluable buying preferences and behaviors. This phenomenon, deemed “co-location,” may offer up more valuable data than demographics, and could significan
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