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Target testing Pinterest section on its website

BY Staff Writer

New York — Target is testing a section of its website that features products popular on Pinterest.

The Target Awesome Shop includes products from several lines, including beauty, each of which is among those most-pinned on Pinterest in the last few days. The products are mentioned only if they have at least a four-star guest review.

The website is currently in beta testing and was put together "in a matter of a few weeks" by Target’s Rapid Accelerated Development team, a small group of digital experts working for the company.

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First Data: Retail dollar volume growth up 9% over Thanksgiving/Black Friday

BY Marianne Wilson

Atlanta — Year-over-year retail dollar volume growth during Thanksgiving and Black Friday was strong at 9.0%, and a significant increase compared to last year’s growth of 5.6%, according to First Data Corp.’s SpendTrend analysis, which tracks same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT, closed-loop prepaid cards and checks at U.S. merchant locations.

Most of the 9.0% retail spending growth was driven by shopping on Thanksgiving as opposed to Black Friday; with 3.4% growth on Black Friday. Retail average ticket growth was healthy and strong at 3.8% versus last year’s growth of 1.9%, according to the report, as consumers opened their wallets and spent more per visit while also focusing on bigger-ticket items.

Overall transaction growth was 4.9% during the two-day period, and most of that growth again was driven by shopper foot-traffic on Thanksgiving; with Black Friday transaction growth at 2.2%. Similar to trends seen during rest of the year, shopping on credit cards experienced strong growth at 8.8%.

“In addition to promotions and early openings, we saw many retailers make it even easier for consumers to shop by providing a seamless integration of in-store, online and mobile initiatives that allowed shoppers to buy products wherever and whenever,” said Krish Mantripragada, senior VP, information and analytics solutions, First Data. “While the start of the holiday spending season was robust, merchants will continue to monitor shoppers to see if they can sustain the spending growth through the holiday season.”

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Verizon releases Wi-Fi CRM solution

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York — Verizon Enterprise Solutions is launching a new managed, cloud-based Wi-Fi for business solution aimed at retail and food service environments. The solution is designed to be easy to deploy while enabling businesses to improve customer service, customer loyalty and business processes.
The solution includes a portal that provides an array of different kinds of retailers, enterprises, and the hospitality industry to better understand their foot traffic and customer behavior to offer the most opportune opening items, and to fine tune marketing initiatives and staffing polices. The services’ API enables retailers to integrate presence data with their customer relationship management (CRM) apps to push targeted customer offers to patrons when they visit the store or company site.

Key features include:

  • Statistics on capture rate (clients passing by versus visitors spending time), engagement and appeal.
  • Information to make decisions on staffing storefront design and employee "bring our own device" policies.
  • API for raw data output for integration with business intelligence and analytics system.
  • View apps used when on wi-fi.
  • Asset tracking.
  • Identity-based filtering policies; supports blocking of websites.
  • Prioritized bandwidth usage by clients and apps between employees and customers.

"The opportunities for helping our customers promote their businesses are endless," said Chris Kemmerer, director of business solutions for Verizon Enterprise Solutions. "Providing them with enterprise-grade Wi-Fi is the first step. The real business value with Verizon Wi-Fi for Business is how our clients can monetize the service based on the stream of analytics that is generated. It’s a whole new approach to sales and marketing that is highly targeted and measurable."

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