TECHNOLOGY

Report: Retailers making physical stores more mobile

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Physical stores aren’t going away — at least not those who are integrating mobile solutions into the store experience to keep up with today’s tech-savvy shoppers.

Stores that have digitized their operations through mobility are exceeding customer expectations, according to the “The Future Store Manifesto — 2016 Scorecard,” from Boston Retail Partners, which finds that 78% of retailers plan to use mobile point-of-sale (POS) by 2018.

When looking at specific mobile capabilities, 58% of companies plan to utilize geo-location services within two years, and 51% plan to offer targeted suggested selling based on what is in a retailer’s closet by 2019, the study said.

The introduction of more personalized services also requires more attention to overall support. For example, within five years, 50% of retailers plan to enable shoppers to start an experience in one channel and seamlessly finish it in another. From a security standpoint, 88% of companies plan to have end-to-end encryption (E2EE) to ensure data security by 2019, the study said.

“The unified consumer experience is table stakes today, and retailers know it,” said Eric Olafson, senior VP stores, Salesforce Commerce Cloud. (Salesforce is the report’s sponsor.) “[Retailers] don’t question why they should do unified commerce. They question how — as in, how to break down the silos between digital and store systems to get to the omnichannel use cases. It all starts with a move to a single, real-time view of the consumer, prices and inventory availability across all channels.”

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TECHNOLOGY

Domino’s loyalty members ‘profit’ from rewards program

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Domino’s is rewarding loyalty members with a “piece of the pie” — literally.

Starting Dec. 5 through Nov. 2017, all Domino’s Piece of the Pie Rewards members are eligible for a chance to win 10 free shares of Domino's stock, just for being enrolled in the program. Each month, 25 loyalty members will be randomly selected to win 10 shares of stock. They can keep the shares for their own stock portfolio or sell them at market price, the company said.

“Prior to today, Domino's Piece of the Pie Rewards members earned points toward free pizza,” said Russell Weiner, president of Domino's USA. “Now, we're literally giving our customers a piece of the pie, in the form of shares of stock and a share of store profits.”

The pizza chain is complementing the program with a social media campaign. Members can follow @Dominos on Instagram or Twitter, and post a photo and caption using #PieceofthePieContest. The campaign, which will run through April 16, 2017, will reward 50 members with a $10,000 check, and 10 of those winners will receive a "super fan experience" trip to Domino's world headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the company added.

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TECHNOLOGY

Pinterest makes a play for retail customization

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

For any retailer that ever wanted to create a “mobile showcase” on Pinterest, now is your chance.

As visitors (“pinners”) visit a brand on Pinterest, they are now greeted with customized showcase designed to highlight the best of a brand. Retailers can choose up to five of boards that will be featured and rotated in a welcome screen, and can also highlight Buyable Pins in the app’s first “Shop” slot. These revisable options allow brands “to decide how to introduce yourself, and how you shape the story of your business,” Pinterest said on its blog.

Keeping in line with the concept of digital consistency, Pinterest is also making visual board designs identical regardless of the touch-point —iPhone, Android and Web — that Pinners use to connect to the social network. Other enhancements include remote access to content, enabling marketers to change boards on the go, as well as more streamlined access to Pins.

Enhancements were rolling out on the Pinterest website and apps beginning Dec. 1.

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