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SAP: Retail’s future will be personalized, global

BY Dan Berthiaume

Dallas – Increased one-to-one personalization and a growing global economy are two key “megatrends” that will help steer the future direction of retail, according to Dr. Chakib Bouhdary, executive VP of retail industry solutions for SAP. Bouhdary discussed these and other trends in his Oct. 8 keynote address, “Megatrends and the Future of Retailing,” at the SAP Retail Forum 2013 in Dallas.

Bouhdary differentiated global business from international business, saying the rapid expansion of a global middle class will drive demand for products such as cars and flat-screen TVs, as well as for access to services such as hospitals.

“International means opening a local office and distribution,” said Bouhdary. “Global means manufacturing in that country for that country with an embedded model.”

In addition, Bouhdary said a new value chain where brands such as Nike can bypass traditional distribution channels and third-party logistics providers can allow pure-play companies to quickly begin serving consumers, as well as the advent of cloud computing, are creating an era where retailers and brands serve a “segment of one.”

“Sixty to eighty percent of people willingly share information with a retailer,” said Bouhdary.

To capitalize on this situation, Bouhdary said retailers must use Big Data technologies like SAP HANA to collect personal customer information and provide optimized offers based on their individual histories and preferences. In the case of mobile customers, a personalized upsell or cross-sell offer is 30% more effective when delivered within two seconds of initial product selection.

“The world will be run by algorithms,” predicted Bouhdary.

Bouhdary concluded by saying retailers will take a renewed interest in supply chain, since one-to-one segmentation will not produce effective results unless customers can get promoted products in or near real time.

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New Amazon service streamlines online shopping

BY Vivian Lee

New York — Amazon rolled out a new service that streamlines how customers transact with online merchants. Login and Pay with Amazon allows customers of participating companies to go from browsing to buying in just a few clicks using their Amazon account information.

“Amazon has more than 215 million active customer accounts,” said Tom Taylor, VP, Amazon Payments. “Login and Pay with Amazon enables companies to make millions of our customers their customers by inviting online shoppers with Amazon credentials to access their account information safely and securely with a single login.”

Companies encourage their customers to create an online account to offer a personalized buying experience. To avoid losing potential consumers who may be put off by having to create multiple accounts and keep track of various log-in credentials, Amazon has introduced a solution that allows buyers to login and pay on any participating site using their Amazon credentials. This allows online merchants to create long-term relationships with more customers. Login and Pay with Amazon helps replace guest checkouts with recognized customers, leading to improved services which could include: managing and tracking orders, purchase history detail, special discounts, instant access to shipping addresses and payment methods.

“So far, the consumer adoption rates that we’ve been seeing with Amazon Payments have exceeded our expectations and we’re excited to see the results once we start offering our customers the bundled solution of Login and Pay with Amazon towards the end of this year,” said Ash ElDifrawi, Gogo’s chief commercial officer. “We know that Amazon buyers are highly satisfied with their payment experience on Amazon. We also know through our research that Gogo users want alternative methods of payment. By offering Amazon Payments, we are providing Amazon customers an easy way to pay for Internet access on Gogo.”

Login and Pay with Amazon works on tablet, mobile and desktop devices. Developers can implement Login and Pay with Amazon with existing websites using a set of widgets and APIs to embed on the site and integrate with back-end systems.

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Sears to showcase outdoor living line at New York City Wine & Food Festival

BY Mike Troy

New York — Sears and its Shop Your Way loyalty program will play a major role in the city’s Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival presented by Food & Wine.

New York’s premier culinary event will be held Oct. 18 to Oct. 20 and Sears and Shop Your Way are expanding their presence this year and plan to showcase stylish and affordable lines of patio furniture, Kenmore grills and indoor and outdoor entertainment with Sears designer and TV personality Ty Pennington.

"We’re pleased to expand our presence at the 2013 Festival after serving as the exclusive grill and outdoor furniture provider at last year’s Blue Moon Burger Bash," said James Alt, SVP and president of seasonal and outdoor living for Sears Holdings. "The energetic yet refined environment, filled with thousands of attendees and culinary influencers, is the perfect venue to display our newly-redesigned Ty Pennington Sunset Beach Collection of patio furniture, launch our 2014 line of Kenmore Elite grills and showcase recreational must-haves."

Sears is the exclusive retail provider of the Ty Pennington Style line of outdoor living, home, bed and bath products and Pennington will be greeting Festival guests at the Sears lounge. In addition, Sears and Pennington will be hosting attendees at three of the Festival’s events including: The Blue Moon Burger Bash; Jets + Chefs, the ultimate tailgate presented by Diet Pepsi and hosted by legendary Jet quarterback Joe Namath and celebrity chef Mario Batali; and Ronzoni presents La Sagra Sunday Slices sponsored by Time Out New York hosted by Anne Burell and Adam Richman.

"Backyards are an integral part of every home — an area where families, guests and neighbors socialize and have fun," said Hugo Malan, SVP and president, fitness, sporting goods and toys at Sears Holdings. "Sears offers a huge selection of indoor recreation products like billiards and table tennis along with outdoor games and toys that many of our customers are integrating into their enclosed patios or their backyard entertaining experience. So the Festival is a great place to help people — including our Shop Your Way members — imagine what’s possible."

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