OPERATIONS

Survey: Fewer than a third of leading online retailers ready for tablets

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Boston — Research results released Thursday by mobile and social merchandising solution-provider Zmags found that less than one-third of the top 100 Internet retailers are prepared for tablet shopping.

According to “Mobile & Tablet e-Commerce: Is anyone really ready?” commissioned by research firm Hawk Partners, too few retailers have optimized sites for tablet commerce. Most are simply relying on their standard websites to provide an “adequate enough” tablet shopping experience.

Other key findings of the survey include:

More than half of retailers have developed smartphone-specific offerings to provide key functionality for the smaller screen.

While over two-thirds of the retailers have developed iPhone apps, only half of that group offers the ability to purchase via the app.

All 100 retailers have Facebook brand pages, but only one (Coldwater Creek) lets consumers directly purchase from the Facebook page.

The research identified three retailers (Gilt Groupe, Disney and Urban Outfitters) as having the strongest and most robust mobile offerings across most devices and channels.

Only 19 of the top 100 retailers extended beyond ordinary HTML-type content to include more engaging material such as look books, catalogs, editorial picks, etc. However, none of them extended the dynamic environment or optimized the brand experience across the full range of smartphones, tablets and Facebook.

“What we discovered, unexpectedly, was that very few retailers — even among this elite group of marketers — are tapping into the full shopping potential of mobile and tablet devices. In fact, not even close to it,” said W. Sean Ford, COO and CMO of Zmags. “Only one quarter of retailers are ready to take a consumer through checkout over tablets, but 49% of today’s tablet owners said they plan to shop even more next year using their device. This reflects a serious disconnect between how consumers want to shop and the inconsistent experiences they are being offered.”

All results are based on research conducted over a four-week period in November and December 2011.

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OPERATIONS

POSitive Technology teams with It’Sugar for expansion

BY Staff Writer

Washington, D.C. — POS solution-provider POSitive Technology said Thursday that It’Sugar has selected them as their POS partner to implement the Microsoft Dymanics RMS and OpSuite solutions to meet the company’s growth needs.

Candy retailer It’Sugar plans to open as many as 10 new stores in 2012, in addition to continuous updating and refreshing of inventory to keep pace with sales and customer preferences, said the company.

With 20 It’Sugar stores, It’Sugar manages some 9,728 SKUs of confectionery, gifts and other merchandise. To meet its goals, It’Sugar needed a reliable, responsive retail management system that could translate POS transactions into actionable business information for corporate management.

OpSuite’s real time sales reports allow the corporate office to see every sale within three to five seconds of the transaction.

"We track and manage inventory from our corporate offices in Florida on a daily basis," said Butch Smith, It’Sugar IT manager. "But we don’t work from warehouses. Everything is drop-shipped directly to the stores, so having a system that gives us instantaneous access to sales data lets our buyers make accurate decisions based on facts rather than gut feelings.”

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Jan-20-2013 02:58 pm

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azee1122 says:
Jan-20-2013 02:58 pm

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News

FAO Schwarz celebrates 150 years

BY CSA STAFF

WAYNE, N.J. — When Tom Hanks danced across FAO Schwarz’s giant piano in the movie "Big," it established the store’s iconic status. Now celebrating its 150th anniversary, FAO Schwarz honor its legacy with in-store events, commemorative product offerings, a showcase of brand archives and an enhanced website that together will present the brand’s storied history.

“For 15 decades, FAO Schwarz has created a magical, one-of-a-kind retail environment, bringing joy to millions of kids and kids-at-heart,” said Jerry Storch, chairman and CEO, Toys“R”Us Inc., which exclusively operates the FAO Schwarz brand. “As we celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2012, we are excited to evoke nostalgic memories by highlighting the brand’s past, while continuing to elevate the FAO Schwarz experience through redesigned store features and unique new product offerings.”

The year-long celebration began this week when company founder Frederick August Otto Schwarz was inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame at the Toy of the Year Awards in New York City. At the store, the real-life "toy" soldiers are sporting a new look to honor the sesquicentennial. Inside the store, special displays call out the anniversary including a gallery filled with classic toys and brand artifacts including the original Crayola 64 Box, first edition G.I. Joe action figures and a vintage Barbie Doll. In addition, the company will offer limited-edition items from Mattel, Hasbro, Playmobil and more.

The celebration extends online with a revamped FAO.com website that will highlight a dedicated feature shop of 150th anniversary products that have been created especially to mark the occasion.

In the social space, the company’s Facebook page, Facebook.com/FAO, will undergo a similar transformation, featuring images of the famed flagship location, as well as trivia and facts culled from 150 years of FAO Schwarz history and more.

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