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Sports Chalet selects Transaction Wireless to deliver e-gift cards

BY Staff Writer

San Diego — Transaction Wireless announced that Sport Chalet has selected the Transaction Wireless cloud-based gift card platform to deliver personalized plastic and e-gift cards with added marketing capabilities to drive digital promotional campaigns when delivering notifications to gift card recipients.

Sport Chalet plastic and e-gift cards can be purchased on its online site or Facebook page. Both the plastic and e-gift cards have email or mobile notification for intended recipients that can be scheduled or delivered in real time. The e-cards can be personalized with an image, text and audio message, and the available notification that comes with plastic gift cards is also customizable in the same way.

“Sport Chalet customers have active lifestyles and are always on the go, so e-cards are the perfect choice for a holiday gift,” said Craig Levra, CEO and chairman Sport Chalet, which operates 54 stores. “Our customers are passionate about sports and outdoor activities and personalized plastic and e-gift cards are a great way for them to get everything they need for their favorite pastime in a convenient way with the added personal touch of a note, image or audio message.”

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Survey: Mobile technology leads to better in-store experience

BY Marianne Wilson

Schaumburg, Ill. — Three in four (75%) surveyed retail associates and managers feel they provide a better in-store customer experience when equipped with the latest mobile technologies, according to Motorola Solutions’ annual Holiday Shopping Survey.

Shoppers echoed a similar sentiment, with 67% reporting greater satisfaction with stores where associates utilized the latest technologies to assist in the shopping experience. And 43% of shoppers reported that the mobile point of sale improved their shopping experience.

Retailers are still losing significant revenue due to inefficient payment approaches, out-of-stock occurrences and lack of selection, according to the survey. Thirty-three percent of shopping trips ended with shoppers leaving before satisfying their intent to purchase, costing an average of $125 per trip. Of those lost opportunities, more than 73% did not complete their purchases with the original retailer.

“Retailers continue to deploy technology to improve the shopping experience, but they need to pay closer attention to the growing expectations of the omni-channel shopper,” said Michelle Crissey, customer solutions lead, Motorola Solutions. “Rather than just give them technology and call it a positive experience, customers prefer that retailers use the technology in a meaningful way to actually give them a better experience, both in-store and for fulfillment of online and mobile orders.”

Key survey findings include:

  • One-third (33%) of store visits ended with an average of $125 unspent due to missed opportunities to purchase driven by inefficient payment approaches, deal-habituated behavior, out-of-stocks and limited store associate assistance.
  • The vast majority of shoppers reported that self-help technologies improved their shopping experience: 83% cited using a price checker while self-checkout payment lanes (65%) and information kiosks (59%) also were mentioned frequently.
  • More than four in ten (43%) shoppers would likely use a store application on their smartphones that creates a map from a shopping list to guide them through the store on the most efficient route to complete their shopping.
  • Sixty-eight percent of lost sales could have been recaptured if a retail associate was able to order the item and have it delivered to the shopper’s home. Almost 55% of shoppers would have made their purchases if an associate could find another location that had the item in stock and told them how to get there.

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Report: Wal-Mart names new head of corporate foundation

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — Wal-Mart Stores on Friday will appoint Sylvia Mathews Burwell, a former senior executive of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to head its corporate foundation, according to the New York Times. She also will oversee the retail giant’s social, environmental and economic development programs in Africa.

Burwell replaces Margaret A. McKenna, who became the company foundation’s president in 2007.

Burwell joined the Gates foundation in 2001 after working in the Clinton administration as deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, deputy chief of staff to President Bill Clinton and chief of staff to Robert E. Rubin when he was Treasury secretary, the report said. The Gates Foundation is the largest in the country with some $36.3 billion in assets.

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