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SAP survey: Mobile payments need to be targeted at retail

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — More than half (53%) of industry leaders believe that improving customers’ retail experience is essential to creating a successful mobile payments scheme, according to a recent survey by SAP.

The study, SAP’s third consecutive GSMA Mobile World Congress survey, found that the “secret sauce” for creating a better retail experience includes POS services such as near-field communication (28%), facilitating universal acceptance of mobile payments (25%) and location-based point-of-sale offerings (24%).

Other services included targeted offers based on consumer preferences and shopping history (12%) and integration with mass transit (9%).

“We are seeing a maturing of the mobile payments market, as we move from a service that is driven by person-to-person payments to one that must tackle the challenges of the retail environment,” said Diarmuid Mallon, lead, global mobile marketing programs, SAP. “It is clear from our survey that in addition to improving the payment experience, mobile wallet apps need to support a multitude of services such as loyalty and couponing.”

In other results, 34% of the respondents felt that applications such as Apple Passbook will speed up brands offering wallet services. In regard to changes in the mobile wallet, only 28% of mobile insiders expected new ticketing and coupon services, such as Apple Passbook, Google Now and the Samsung wallet app, could become an alternative to true mobile wallets. And 38% believed that the lack of consumer awareness and too much confusion around the offerings were holding back mobile wallet services.

The anticipated leaders of future successful mobile payments offerings included banks (29%); online payment schemes, such as PayPal, Apple iTunes or Amazon Payments (28%); credit cards (26%) or a consortium of operators (26%).

The SAP survey was conducted on-site at the GSMA Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona, Spain.

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Gap’s February Q4 same-store sales rise 3%, topping estimates

BY Staff Writer

New York — Gap Inc. said Thursday that its February same-store sales rose a better-than-expected 3% for the four weeks ended Feb. 25. Analysts expected a 2% increase.

The chain was due to release the sales figures after the market closed, but put them out at midday after they were found in a leaked transcript of prerecorded comments.

By division, same-store sales rose 2% at Gap and 6% at Old Navy. They fell 5% at Banana Republic.

Total revenue increased 11% to $966 million for the four weeks ended Feb. 25, boosted by a calendar shift.

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Things get steamy with Black & Decker mops

BY CSA STAFF

Towson, Md.-based Black & Decker introduced four new models of germ-killing steam cleaning units.

The units use water to kill 99.9% of germs to achieve a deep down clean, according to the company.

“We’ve identified four areas with steam cleaning products that were in need of improvement and innovation: steam mops that are difficult to fill, units with awkward controls, insufficient cleaning power, and units that are unable to access difficult areas like tight corners,” said Austin Wilcox, product manager at Black & Decker. “The new Black & Decker Steam Cleaning Units allow users to clean multiple floor surface types like tile, vinyl, stone, marble and even sealed hardwood. Consumers are able to get a deep down clean using only water.”

Here’s the new lineup: The SmartSelect Deluxe Steam Mop with Handle Command, the 2-in-1 SmartSelect with Handle Command, the SmartSelect Steam Mop and the Handheld Steamer.

SmartSelect technology lets consumers choose a steam setting to address individual floor types. SmartSelect provides three different steam settings that correspond to different floor types to produce the right amount of steam to clean the selected floor material.

All of the new steam mop units have an automatic upright shutoff, which helps protect floors from damage during pauses in cleaning, a 15-second heat-up time and a ready-to go illumination tank that changes from red to blue to let users know when the steam mop reaches the correct temperature.

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