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.
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.”
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.)
InMobi, a prominent advertising platform, has launched a new mobile shopping platform in India that is meant to enable discovery-lead commerce, sometimes referred to as d-commerce. The platform is called Miip, and it already has the support of Amazon India, Paytm, a leading mobile commerce organization, and several other retailers. This support will allow Miip to reach 120 million consumers throughout India, which will result in an estimated 5 billion discovery sessions in the country every month.
Even though the Millennial generation is typically considered to be tremendously mobile-savvy, a recent study has shown that a full 15 percent of them have never conducted any m-commerce shopping activities at all on their smartphones. In this study, which was conducted by the Ampersand ecommerce agency, but commissioned by YouGov online, it was shown that within that 15 percent of mobile device owning 18-34 year olds, 15 percent hadn’t conducted any kind of m-commerce activities at all on their smartphones.