Hooters redeems digital promotions with Sparkfly
Atlanta – Hooters of America LLC has activated Sparkfly to enhance and streamline the capabilities of its new HootClub loyalty program. Through the relationship with Sparkfly, Hooters will gain the ability to redeem digital promotions at any location, regardless of which POS technology is used.
The collaboration with Sparkfly also enables consumers to redeem deals and access the Hooters loyalty program through numerous forms of media, including mobile, digital, email and print. Redemptions are tracked in real-time, and Sparkfly’s technology generates detailed transaction data including basket size, average spend, frequency of redemptions, purchase history and more. Hooters will use this data to tailor individual offers and rewards to guest preferences, and assess the effectiveness and ROI generated from each media channel.
Hooters is currently testing its loyalty program in the Atlanta metro market with plans to expand to more than 200 locations across the U.S. in the coming 90 days, eventually reaching all 345 domestic Hooters restaurants.
“As an iconic brand with more than 30 years of history, Hooters has developed a strong following of loyal guests who appreciate the value that we deliver on a regular basis,” said Chris Duncan, CIO of Hooters of America. “When Hooters runs loyalty programs and offers, the consumer experience needs to be consistent across all forms of media and all physical locations. With Sparkfly’s technology integrated into the core of our transactional infrastructure, it offers a turnkey solution that will enable us to seamlessly deliver that experience for our guests.”
Amazon grows online-only subscription streaming service footprint
As news surfaced about Netflix increasing its prices to new members (and to existing members in a year or two), Amazon was signing a content licensing agreement with HBO, making Prime Instant Video the exclusive online-only subscription home for select HBO programming.
Amazon has been pushing its Prime Instant Video for some time now, but it’s upping the ante and strengthening its position in the online streaming media game. The deal with HBO will give Prime members access to shows that include The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, The Wire, Big Love, Deadwood, Eastbound & Down, Family Tree, Enlightened, Treme, early seasons of Boardwalk Empire and True Blood, as well as mini-series like Band of Brothers and John Adams.
Previous seasons of other HBO shows, such as Girls, The Newsroom and Veep will become available over the course of the multi-year agreement, approximately three years after airing on HBO. The first wave of content will arrive on Prime Instant Video May 21. This is the first time that HBO programming has been licensed to an online-only subscription streaming service. This programming will remain on all HBO platforms.
In addition, HBO GO will become available on Fire TV, targeting a launch by year-end. HBO GO is HBO’s authenticated streaming service offering subscribers instant access to more than 1,700 titles online including every episode of new and classic HBO series, as well as HBO original films, miniseries, sports, documentaries, specials and a wide selection of blockbuster movies.
Earlier this month, Amazon introduced Fire TV, described by the company as a tiny box that plugs into your HDTV for easy and instant access to Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN, Showtime and low-cost video rentals.
“HBO has produced some of the most groundbreaking, beloved and award-winning shows in television history, with more than 115 Emmys among the assortment of shows coming to Prime members next month,” said Brad Beale, director of content acquisition for Amazon. “HBO original content is some of the most-popular across Amazon Instant Video—our customers love watching these shows. Now Prime members can enjoy a collection of great HBO shows on an unlimited basis, at no additional cost to their Prime membership.”
“Amazon has built a wonderful service — we are excited to have our programming made available to their vast customer base and believe the exposure will create new HBO subscribers,” said Charles Schreger, president of programming sales for HBO.
“As owners of our original programming, we have always sought to capitalize on that investment. Given our longstanding relationship with Amazon, we couldn’t think of a better partner to entrust with this valuable collection,” said Glenn Whitehead, EVP of business and legal affairs, who along with Schreger headed up HBO’s negotiating team. “We’re also excited to bring HBO GO to Amazon’s Fire TV. The features like unified voice search will provide a compelling experience for HBO customers.”
Prime Instant Video is the exclusive online-only subscription home for PBS series Downton Abbey and Mr. Selfridge, the CBS summer blockbuster series Under the Dome and Extant, and other hit TV series including 24, Veronica Mars, Orphan Black, The Americans, Justified, Falling Skies, Grimm, Workaholics, Suits and Covert Affairs. Prime Instant Video also offers an exclusive collection of kids shows from Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. that customers won’t find on any other online-only subscription service, including favorites like SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, Team Umizoomi, Blue’s Clues, and The Bubble Guppies. Airing now, Amazon’s first original series Alpha House and Betas can be found exclusively on Prime Instant Video as well.
Kroger initiative digitizes stores
Kroger has unveiled a bold initiative to digitize every aspect of its physical store in an effort to measure a breadth of operational metrics to enhance the shopper experience.
The company announced a partnership with eInfochips, Wincor Nixdorf and several other partners on a new enterprise IT architecture called Retail Site Intelligence. This architecture for stores of the 21st century uses ZigBee wireless mesh networks to integrate long battery life sensors, hand held devices, point-of-sale devices and video management software into a next generation platform for retail applications such as in stock optimization, loss prevention, store automation and video analytics which can be integrated with Kroger’s industry leading loyalty program data.
"Retail Site Intelligence is, above all, about customer 1st innovation," said Kroger CIO Chris Hjelm. "We are leveraging technology to help customers have the best possible shopping experience in retail stores, whether by more easily finding the products they want or saving time at checkout. We expect Retail Site Intelligence to be the cornerstone of the technology infrastructure for Kroger stores in the future."
The introduction of the RSI architecture, and the deployment of new retail business solutions by Kroger, culminates two years of global collaboration between Kroger and eInfochips to develop the underlying technology products for the company’s Stores of the 21st century initiative. The results of the most recent phase of development are new wireless devices such as cameras, scanners and scales that feature ZigBee wireless technology and a proprietary video management software system called Vigil360.
Commercial versions of the RSI solutions being rolled out by Kroger will be available later in 2014 with support and customization services delivered globally.
"Most IT products are developed by design teams insulated from the user and application," said Frank Berry, founder and senior analyst with IT Brand Pulse. "Kroger's hands-on involvement in the development process has yielded products that are innovative and tailor made for digitized store environments."
Parag Mehta, chief marketing officer at eInfochips noted, "Our collaboration with Kroger to develop products for their Retail Site Intelligence Initiative embodies the trend of businesses partnering with technology companies to develop intellectual property for a sustainable competitive edge. The results of the Retail Site Intelligence project demonstrate why this trend is gaining momentum."