News Feature | November 18, 2013

Retail IT News For VARs — November 18, 2013

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

Top Federal IT Initiatives Include Security, Disaster Recovery, Digitizing Records

In the news this week, multi-channel SMBs weigh in on payment processing options and a mobile POS solutions provider lists top demands from retailers.

Payment Processing Systems Fall Short For Multi-Channel SMBs

A SecureNet & First Annapolis study suggests that payment processing software/systems are not meeting the needs of multi-channel SMB merchants. While 60 percent of merchants accept payments in multiple channels, these merchants often have to find different payment providers for each channel. Nearly 50 percent of single channel merchants expect to implement multi-channel in the next five years. These merchants report that simple technology, easy integration with existing technology, and a single solution for all the merchant’s payment are the most important multi-channel issues. The full study can be downloaded here.

In Demand Mobile POS Features Listed

I Love Velvet released its list of the five most in demand mobile POS features. These features are multiple payment options, built-in security for global use, CRM integration, and barcode scanners. Apple devices continue to be a favorite of retailers, so compatibility with Apple’s new lighting connectors is also in demand.  

Shoppers Turn To Mobile Devices For Holiday Shopping

Deloitte released the results of its annual survey of holiday spending intentions and trends, showing more holiday shoppers will be turning to their smartphones to complete holiday shopping. Nearly 7 in 10 (68 percent) of smartphone owners plan to use their smartphones for shopping, while 63 percent of shoppers will use tablets to shop or browse online for gifts. The research also shows that 32 percent of consumers feel associates can provide a better shopping experience when they’re equipped with mobile devices. Consumers shopping in-store are most likely to use price checkers (60 percent) and self-checkout payment lanes (57 percent) this year. 

October Retail Sales Better Than Projected

The Los Angeles Times reports that retail sales for October were better than anticipated. The Retail Metrics gauge showing same-store sales last month rose 3.7 percent from last year, up from the original prediction of 3 percent. The Thomson Reuters gauge revealed a 4 percent same-store sales increase, a full percentage point higher than predicted. Eliminating drug stores from the ratings, the gauge showed a 3 percent increase. The International Council of Shopping Centers expects a 3.5 to 4.5 percent increase for November.

Retail Industry Bullish On 2014 Sales Growth

On behalf of SPS Commerce, Retail Systems Research (RSR) conducted and released the results of “The Retail insight: The Impact of Omni-Channel Trends for 2014 and Beyond” report. According to the results, 70 percent of retailers expect sales to be better in 2014. However, the report also shows that 94 percent of retailers surveyed have not fully executed an omni-channel strategy. Experts from RSR are labeling this time as a “reset moment” for the retail industry. Retailers are more often reporting stable/growing budgets and increased optimism, however, consumer expectations, especially towards omni-channel fulfillment, continue pressuring the industry.

Retail IT Talking Points

According to the J.D. Power “2013 US Tablet Satisfaction Study” (vol.2), 59 percent of tablet owners purchased a device in store, while 41 percent purchased their tablet online. The results reveal that customers are more satisfied with their purchase experience when they purchase online, rating their experience 8.5/10 compared to 8.3/10 in-store. Customers also provide a higher satisfaction rating for the price of the tablet when it is purchased online (7.8 vs. 7.5 in-store.)

Kronos Incorporated released the results of a new survey it commissioned entitled “Holiday 2013: Top Trends to Watch.” The survey reveals it takes an average of 2.2 negative experiences within a single channel to deter consumers — in particular Millennials — from a retail brand. A negative shopping experience will impact a consumer’s perception of the brand across all channels, including online, mobile, phone centers, and catalog.

The National Retail Foundation (NRF) has compiled an infographic highlighting how/why shoppers use mobile in stores and which retailers/items are particularly successful using social media channels.