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Finish Line teams with VeriFone for mobile payment options

BY Katherine Boccaccio

San Jose, Calif. — VeriFone Systems said Tuesday that The Finish Line is deploying VeriFone’s latest mobile checkout and multimedia-driven countertop payment solutions.

Following a successful trial, Finish Line is currently deploying VeriFone systems chainwide with the goal of having all 638 locations equipped by mid-November when the holiday buying season begins. Finish Line is deploying 1,600 of the countertop multimedia MX 915 systems and 3,200 PAYware Mobile Enterprise secure mobile card acceptance devices for the iPod touch.

“Using VeriFone’s mobile card acceptance solution for the iPod touch creates the ability to line bust at the cash register and assist with making a purchase,” said Terry Ledbetter, Finish Line senior VP and CIO. “Our mobile payment devices enable our associates to fully service our customers on the sales floor and avoid checkout lines. We are also able to line bust during busy times to further reduce customer frustration.”

Finish Line is completing a systemwide upgrade to the Micros Systems xStore POS and MICROS miStore mobile Point of Sale, which are designed to increase sales associate productivity and build strong customer loyalty, and the new media-enabled VeriFone MX 915 customer-facing payment acceptance solution. PAYware Mobile Enterprise integrates seamlessly with xStore.

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OPERATIONS

Belle Foods selects Vestcom’s healthyAisles for in-store nutrition program

BY Staff Writer

Little Rock, Ark. — Shelf-edge communications and marketing services provider Vestcom said Tuesday that regional supermarket chain Belle Foods has expanded its existing partnership with Vestcom to promote a customized nutrition program based on the grocer’s health and wellness goals.

Vestcom’s healthyAisles shelf-edge nutrition program identifies food characteristics such as gluten-free, sensible carbs, sugar aware, heart-healthy and natural, and incorporates the nutrition information into Belle’s existing shelf-edge communications, also provided by Vestcom.





“Nutrition is a top-of-mind concern for many of our customers,” said Bill White, Belle Foods president and CEO. “We are excited to offer this program through Vestcom’s healthyAisles to help address our shoppers’ dietary needs by providing health information at the shelf-edge, where most purchase decisions are made.”

Vestcom’s healthyAisles is a customized in-store nutrition marketing system developed in accordance with U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines. It merges planogram and pricing data with nutritional guidelines at the shelf-edge.

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News

10 Steps to planning a shopping center gift card campaign

BY CSA STAFF

By Jeannie Lewis, [email protected], @dot jeannie

If you’ve ever wondered if gift card usage is on the rise, just check out the numbers. Last year’s National Retail Federation holiday consumer research revealed that shoppers would spend an average of $155.43 on gift cards for the 2011 holiday season, the highest since 2007. And total spending on gift cards would reach $27.8 billion, boosted by e-gifting, instant delivery through social networks, and mobile options. This year, spending on gift cards over the 2012 holiday shopping season is expected to surpass even those staggering results.

It isn’t just retail tenants that are leveraging the power and popularity of gift cards – shopping center owners are as well. In fact, a significant trend among shopping centers is employing a gift card campaign that involves e-gift cards which integrate the shopping center website and online presence with the brick-and-mortar presence – with the objective of increasing sales both on- and off-line.

Gift cards are inherently easy, and that’s a big part of their draw. The card is simply purchased, stored, presented and tracked; it is easily modified to present new, refreshed promotions and offerings at low cost to the shopping center. Savvy centers know that marketing the gift cards is key to how well they work. Gone are the days where word of mouth alone would carry the day. Digital marketing including social media messaging, email blasts, and multimedia tacts with properly implemented search engine optimization approaches make the difference between a satisfactory gift card campaign response, and an enormous gift card campaign response.

Following are 10 basic steps on how to run a proper shopping center gift card campaign:

1. Determine and list brands to be promoted that will best market the image and profitability of the shopping center. For example, include at least one anchor store if possible to showcase the big names in the center. Include smaller- stores banners to provide needed exposure and to show the diversity of the range of stores represented as well. Include at least one prestigious name if possible to hold up the value of the upper-scale brands.

2. Plan out the timing of the gift card releases to coincide with consumer shopping habits and lifestyle activities, such as around holidays, special occasions, or off-work times of day.

3. Target the customer demographics with appropriate content in all channels of marketing.

4. Integrate digital marketing into the campaign to include website announcements, newsletter announcements and social media announcements.

5. Create a separate microsite for the campaign to both communicate the campaign and track corresponding customer activity.

6. Allow, suggest and reward referrals to gift card purchases.

7. Include automated marketing email responses to inquiries, purchases and referrals.

8. Implement IP reverse tracking tools, Google Analytics and additional search analytics tools of choice such as Search Metrics or Quantcast to maximize data and analysis of customer and prospective customer response. Real time data will enable improvement on campaign results as the campaign occurs. Take advantage of the beauty of being able to change online content in seconds and be responsive where traffic is high, and build on trends in demand.

9. Implement video marketing to maximize the richness of the communication, the customer convenience and information-sharing. Remember to include entertaining as well as informative video presentation such as testimonials, or reenactments of positive experiences with a brand, and a gift card from the shopping center.

10. Build a sense of community into the messaging to maximize customer loyalty, and don’t forget to have fun with the most creative parts of the execution.

The common elements that divide the highly successful gift card campaigns from the average include: campaign materials to launch the gift card both online and at point of sale, planned social media messages to inform and educate the market about the gift card as well as enhance consumer experience, and the creation of organic traffic through blog marketing, streaming video, and truly interesting marketing campaign images and material to the target audience.

Staying on top of the target audience’s trends and purchasing habits is the key to creating the optimal marketing strategy that combines both in-store and digital retail marketing for the most complementary and sales-invoking outcomes.

Jeannie Lewis is director of PR and content strategy for Dallas-based digital marketing solutions company Magic Logix.


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