Apple TV to enable shopping
San Francisco — Come October, consumers will be able to buy clothing and other goods on their Apple TV.
In its never-ending quest to wind its way deeper into people’s homes, Apple Inc. on Wednesday unveiled a new version of its Apple TV, the set-top box device that lets viewers stream live video through such sources as Netflix and Hulu. In the most talked-about update, the device will now come with its own App Store, featuring apps for TV and video viewing, games, sports — and shopping.
The new Apple TV also has a new touch-enabled remote control and integrates Siri voice-activated commands. Using the remote control, viewers will be able buy goods directly via their Apple TV.
Apple make the announcement at its "Hey Siri" media event in San Francisco.
The App emphasis, at least at launch, is on gaming, but the list also includes an e-commerce app from online luxury retailer Gilt. (Home buying site Zillow also has an app, as does Airbnb.)
Gilt CEO Michelle Peluso took to the stage at the Apple event and showed how Apple TV viewers, with just the click of a remote, will be able to shop for Gilt clothing on Apple television, reported Mashable.
The new set-top box will start at $149, going up to $199, and be available in late October in over 80 countries and 100 by the end of the year.
“Apple TV represents the future of television," Apple CEO Tim Cook told the audience. “The television experience has been virtually standing still, while innovation has been thriving in the mobile space. Today we are going to do something about that. Today we are going to do something about that.”
New store prototype may be in works for ailing Barnes & Noble
New York — Barnes & Noble on Wednesday reported its fifth straight quarter of sales declines. But the CEO sounded a positive note, telling the Wall Street Journal that the retailer is looking at a new store prototype.
“The industry is evolving, and we think there are opportunities ahead with a different format,” CEO Ronald Boire told the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday. “I’ve sat in on a couple of meetings about this and we’ll have more to discuss later.”
Barnes & Noble reported a net loss of $34.87 million for its first quarter, ended Aug. 1, up from $28.45 million the same period a year earlier and larger than Wall Street estimates. Increases in costs of sales and occupancy, as well as in selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses, contributed to the growing loss.
Sales at the company's retail division fell 1.7% to $939 million.
Same-store sales increased 1.1% for the quarter, benefiting from growth in non-book categories.
“The company successfully executed its major strategic initiatives during the first quarter, including the spin-off of its College business, the conversion of the Series J preferred shares into common shares and the initiation of a quarterly dividend,” said Allen Lindstrom, CFO of Barnes & Noble. “As we look to the second quarter and beyond, we are focused on opportunities to increase comparable store sales and reduce expenses. The company plans to further reduce Nook expenses through synergies with the Retail business and we expect to see those benefits during the balance of the fiscal year.”
Last month, Barnes & Noble spun off its college books unit to focus more on its retail bookstores and better integrate its Nook business. Sales at the college books division rose 5.7% in the quarter.
For fiscal year 2016, the company continues to expect same store bookstore sales, which exclude sales of Nook products, to increase approximately 1%. The company also expects full fiscal year EBITDA losses in the Nook segment to decline versus the prior year.
Report: Physical stores and technology have strong appeal for ‘omnishopper’
New York — While the use of technology in shopping is almost universal, brick-and-mortar stands strong, with the “omnishopper” choosing physical stores for better customer service and a faster, more social buying experience.
That’s one of the key findings of a report released on Wednesday by MasterCard, which notes that the continued appeal of physical retail might be a contributor to e-commerce’s relatively flat growth as a share of total retail sales (7.5% globally).
Eight out of 10 global shoppers’ purchase decisions are now informed by a digital device, with consumers saying they are smarter shoppers and getting more value than before. While in-store sales still account for more than nine-tenths of all retail spending, the result is a more focused in-store shopper buying from a narrower list of unique stores than in years past, the report finds.
Getting smart about smart shoppers is paramount to a retailer’s success, yet shoppers consistently report they’re frustrated that retailers don’t get it,” says Mathieu Loury, senior VP of Merchant Solutions for MasterCard Advisors, the professional services arm of MasterCard.
The study, “MasterCard Retail CMO’s Guide to the Omnishopper,” combines survey data from thousands of shoppers around the globe with transaction-based insights from MasterCard. Key findings include:
• Consumers Want Specific Inventory, and a Seamless Experience Accessing It: Today’s shoppers know what they want. The top frustration – cited by 73% of respondents – is items not being in stock, underscoring the importance of inventory management for retailers.
• Consumers Feel Smarter and Get More Value: Fully 80% of global consumers claim to be getting more value, both in-store and online.
Merchants Are Primed for Omnishoppers’ Loyalty: Despite having nearly endless choices a click away, only 26% of shoppers like to try new merchants. This can pose a challenge for retailers trying to attract new customers. Just 20% say technology has led them to consider a new retailer.