• Carl's Jr. Gives Credit for In-App Purchasing
    Carl’s Jr. is cooking up a loyalty application to serve to Canadian customers that includes payment, gifting and rewards options, and is welcoming new users with a $10 credit on mobile to fuel in-app purchases. The casual dining chain has teamed up with mobile payments platform PayWith to power the Carl’s Jr. Rewards app for the Canadian market and answer consumers’ demands for a one-stop location with payment, gifting and loyalty perk options. 
  • Commerce Giant Shares Drop
    Analysts have cut their price targets for Alibaba Group Holding Ltd shares after the stock fell to a post-flotation low on Wednesday on weak earnings and concerns over China's economy. Alibaba's shares are now at $73.38, hovering just above their initial public offering price of $68. The average target price fell from $106.82 on Tuesday to $99.09 on Thursday, according to a Thomson Reuters survey of 46 analysts. Of those analysts, 41 recommend buying Alibaba shares. None suggest selling, though the company has lost over $100 billion of market capitalisation since its November high.
  • Hilton Rewards with Mobile Keys
    Hilton Worldwide is rewarding its HHonors members by enabling them to be the first to receive access to its Digital Key feature, which allows guests to unlock their hotel rooms via their mobile device. After previously announcing plans to pilot the functionality this year, Hilton is bringing mobile room keys to the forefront and providing travelers with the option of bypassing the check-in counter at a hotel and accessing their room via the Hilton HHonors application. 
  • Retailers Look to Beacons for Shopping Data
    Marketers continue to tout beacons for their personalization capabilities and ability to facilitate targeted offers. But consumer interest has barely managed to rise above indifference, and most retailers are still in the experimental phase nearly two years after the introduction of Apple’s much-anticipated iBeacon, so the question remains whether beacons are still a technology on the verge or already a flash in the pan, according to a new eMarketer report, “Beacons for Retailers: Beyond the Hype.”
  • Beacons Used with Social Media Management Tool
    A year ago beacons were being talked about as the next big thing. Apple’s iBeacons are devices placed in a physical location which sends signals that can be picked up by anyone with the right app. The retail world got rather excited. Beacons would enhance the shopping experience. Restaurants could alert passers-by to today’s special, fashion stores could tell you the price, designer and even place where the garments you were looking at were made.
  • Hotels' WiFi Could Deter Travelers
    Guests’ increasing reliance on using their smartphones during hotel stays for browsing information and streaming entertainment means that properties with lackluster WiFi may unknowingly deter customers from returning, according to a report from Hotel Internet Services.
  • Home Depot Weighs Mobile Benefit
    A Home Depot executive at eTail East 2015 said that the retailer is getting closer to bridging the gap between online and offline conversion as it weighs the benefits of digital and mobile against the pull of the chain's stores.  During the Redefining Omnichannel: Blending Digital and In-Store session, the executive explained the difficulties in tracking how consumers are traveling across various devices into bricks-and-mortar.
  • Female Shoppers Drawn to In-Store Purchasing
    Female millennial shoppers still like the mall when it comes to shopping for back-to- school goods, and they are also using social media platforms to talk about it. Fifty-nine percent of respondents will primarily shop in-store for their back-to-school purchases, 35% will shop both in-store and online, and just 6% will shop exclusively online, according to a survey of female millennial shoppers by Teen Vogue and the International Council of Shopping Centers. Instagram (78%) and Snapchap (55%) are the most popular social media platforms for these shoppers, the survey revealed.
  • Sephora Turns to Mobile Offers for Subscriptions
    Sephora is betting mobile can help it compete in the subscription services space, with plans to include mobile offers, Spotify playlists and codes for accessing content via smartphones when it starts testing beauty boxes this fall. The beauty retailer announced plans to roll out the Play! By Sephora box in several test markets this fall, including Boston, Cincinnati and Columbus.
  • Beacons to Track Behavior at Events
    Event management company Experient, which is part of Maritz Travel, has teamed with technology provider TurnoutNow to develop products and services based on geolocation data. Specifically, Experient is tapping TurnoutNow's expertise in beacon/receiver technology, which uses BLE (Bluetooth low energy) to gather data about attendee behavior during events. (This is the same technology that powers Apple's iBeacon.)
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