News Feature | January 9, 2014

Grocery And Convenience Store IT News For VARs — January 9, 2014

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By Anna Rose Welch, Editor, Biosimilar Development
Follow Me On Twitter @AnnaRoseWelch

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In this week’s news, more than 200 grocery stores are a part of the rollout of inMarket apps using Apple iBeacons that send notifications of deals and rewards to shoppers in the store via their smartphones. In other news, the NRF is appealing the recent $5.7 billion swipe fee settlement.

Stores Partner With inMarket To Roll Out iBeacons

In a partnership with inMarket, more than 200 Giant Eagle and Safeway stores in Cleveland, Seattle, and San Francisco, will be the first to use Apple iBeacons that send signals to customers’ smartphones with notifications of specials and reward opportunities. Bluetooth 4.0 low energy radios at the stores’ entrances send short-range signals that communicate with iPhones and some Android devices that have the inMarket app installed. The technology can determine a customer’s location to within a few feet. Because customers “opt in” by downloading the app, those who do not want to receive the signals on their phones do not have to participate in the program.

NRF Appeals Swipe Fee Ruling

The Washington Post reports that the National Retail Federation (NRF) is appealing the recent $5.7 billion settlement between retailers and Visa and MasterCard. The NRF is filing an appeal on the grounds that this settlement will not stop the card companies from raising merchant credit card fees in the future.

M-Commerce Helps Drive Online Sales

IBM recently released its fourth quarter Digital Analytics Benchmark report, which shows online sales were up 10.3 percent year over year, Internet Retailer says. Department stores saw the greatest gains in the last three months, with online sales increasing 62.8 percent. Following in second place were home goods retailers, up 46.3 percent. Health and beauty retailers saw a 14.7 percent increase. Apparel came in fourth place, increasing 10.2 percent. Mobile was a big driver of traffic, with tablets and smartphones accounting for 35 percent of online traffic. While smartphones saw greater traffic than tablets (21.3 vs. 12.8 percent), tablets were more popular for making purchases. Tablets accounted for 11.5 percent of sales compared to smartphones’ 5 percent.

QR Codes Can Show Produce Growth And Production History

Japan Daily Press reports that a Japanese company has begun to use QR codes on apple labels to inform consumers about the apples’ growth and production history. These QR codes provide consumers with a message from the farmer, information on where the product came from and how it was cared for/what pesticides were used. As more and more people become concerned about where their food is coming from, this could serve as a way to meet consumers’ desires for more information.

Grocery And Convenience Store IT Talking Points

Brick Meets Click features a white paper by IBM and the NYU Stern School of Business. The paper discusses the future of retail, highlighting how retailers will need to cut down on retail space due to a lack of sales supporting physical stores. In addition, because mobile and social media platforms will be affecting shopping habits, BMC says stores will need to be using stores and technology as “a competitive weapon.” 

A new study released by Radius Global Market Research shows that Millennials and Boomers share some unexpected similarities. While technology is considered a realm in which Millennials dominate, boomers are just as likely to research products online. In fact, 86 percent of Boomers research products online, compared to 90 percent of Millennials. Social media is also an important channel for reaching female Millennials and Boomers, considering they turn to social media at a nearly identical rate (90 percent). The study also highlights some of the top differences between Millennials and Boomers.

Because online food sales are rising in popularity in the UK, major supermarkets will be investing in twice as much online warehouse space in 2014, The Guardian says.

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