‘Tis the season for bold and forward-thinking retailers to try new things! Excitement is building as many innovative retailers focus on areas to make the holiday shopping experience better for their customers.
Enhancing Retail Mobile Apps
Some retailers are using mobile apps to help customers spend less time gathering deals and waiting in line, and more on finding the gifts their friends and family want:
- Target makes it easy for parents to play Santa by enhancing their kids’ wish list app. This app includes new holiday games and a kid-friendly search function to add products in a “letter to Santa.” Parents then log into adult mode and respond to the letter, buy the presents directly, and share the list with relatives.
- Kohl’s mobile app lets shoppers gather all their deals in one place by scanning gift cards, Kohl’s Cash, and Yes2You loyalty rewards into a mobile wallet. Customers also enjoy accelerated checkout in stores using Apple Pay.
- Walmart’s mobile app lets customers build holiday wish lists by scanning items while shopping in stores, which can then be accessed by friends and family members using the app’s search feature. The app also directs consumers who order presents online to pickup locations in the store.
Creating a Better Omnichannel Experience
Retailers are also connecting online and offline channels with technology in the store to make sure customers don’t leave empty-handed:
- Gamestop helps customers who want to avoid lines at all costs by letting them order products with their mobile app and pick it up in the store. If a shopper starts their shopping journey in the store, sales associates equipped with mobile devices will help them browse the complete online inventory, ship products to their home, and check out quickly with Apple Pay and Android Pay.
- This year Kohl’s is debuting a “Ready for Pickup” email to alert customers that their order is ready, complete with an in-store map directing them to a pickup kiosk. Customers use just one shopping cart whether they’re shopping from their smart phone, tablet, or desktop.
- Dick’s Sporting Goods is providing customers with an “Endless Aisle” experience. If an item is sold out in the store, the customer can use a digital kiosk to order the item, or work with a sales associate to have the item shipped to their home, often free of charge.
These innovations are supported by Cisco research on digital shoppers, which confirms that shoppers are very willing to use mobile features related to product research, purchase, delivery, and product support. In fact, 63 percent of customers surveyed would use in-store guidance to navigate to desired products, 60 percent would scan barcodes when shopping, and 49 percent would use mobile payments. Retailers can expect improved satisfaction and conversion by investing in mobile experiences that provide convenience and value to the customer, and avoiding features that complicate the shopper journey.
Cisco has also found that retailers can turn shoppers into omnichannel customers by allowing them to use in-store technology to purchase out-of-stock items. In a previous holiday season, Cisco customer Tesco combined online and in-store shopping experiences to exceed online holiday sales targets and achieved more than 50 percent sales growth.
We’re looking forward to seeing what kind of results progressive retailers will deliver this holiday season. Share what innovative approaches you are seeing in the marketplace and where you are placing your bets this season!
For more innovative retail strategies, see our Top 10 list of how you can create the ultimate shopping experience.
Tags: alert, Android Pay, App, Apple Pay, channel, Cisco, Dick's Sporting Goods, digital, endless aisle, Gamestop, in-store, Kathryn Howe, kiosk, Kohl's, mobile, omnichannel, online, pickup, retail, shopper, Tesco
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last two weeks, you know that the FIFA World Cup is in full swing. Stakes are higher than ever as we move into the semi-finals with more and more people tuning in to cheer on their favorite futbol teams. In fact, FIFA just released a media release yesterday about how this year’s 2014 FIFA World Cup™ has set new records for streaming data traffic around the world. My colleague Ido blogged about IWAN helping with the bandwidth overload caused by the FIFA World Cup last week, so let’s dive deeper and talk about video and high density.
There is no denying it: your employees and customers are streaming video. While the volume of that streaming dramatically peaks around game times during the World Cup, it should be no surprise that today, mobile applications, largely video, are increasing mobile traffic across networks. That’s straight forward: apps + video = bandwidth drain. Combine that with the fact that people are touting multiple devices–think a laptop and a smartphone, maybe a tablet, too. This means high density–lots of clients and devices on a single network. These circumstances trigger three potential yellow cards to cross an IT person’s mind – let’s see how we can avoid them.
YELLOW CARD #1: Rich Media Optimization
As an end-user, the common expectation is that I should get the same crisp, clear, rich media or video experience across all platforms—I don’t care if it’s my phone, my tablet or my laptop: make it high definition. This is harder said than done.
It is not easy to provide the same rich media experience across wired and wireless devices. Traffic from wireless devices has to travel all the way back to the controller in a data center and then back to an access switch before reaching its destination. It’s called the hairpin effect. The result is that video over Wi-Fi could look grainy. That won’t do for the current generation of high definition junkies. Read More »
Tags: App, application, AVC, brasil, brazil, device, fifa, high density, IT, media, mobile, online, streaming, video, visibility, wi-fi, wifi, wireless, wlan, world cup
Portland State University is Oregon’s largest and most diverse public university encompassing 50 city blocks, eight schools, 226 degree programs, 29,000 students, including 1,700 international students from 91 countries, and 126,000 alumni. For the second year in a row, the US News & World Report has named Portland State University a top 10 “up-and-coming” national university in its Best College rankings, released online Sept. 10.
In 2010 Portland was one of the first schools to adopt the Cisco CleanAir capable Access Points 3502 to address the frequent sources of interferences found in a typical school environment. In this blog, I will describe how the students adopt technology to learn as well as share some details about our conversation with Tamarack Birch-Wheeles, the manager of Network Team in charge of the WLAN deployment with the 5760 Series Wireless LAN Controller.
Read More »
Tags: access, access point, alumni, AP, Cisco, class, cleanair, client, college, computer, controller, degree, deployment, device, failover, Guest, infrastructure, interference, LAN, mac filter, MOOC, network, online, oregon, portland, portland state university, prime, psu, secure, security, software, SSID, stateful switchover, team, university, web, wi-fi, wifi, wireless, wlan, wpa2e
Mobility comes down to the lines between online and offline blurring rapidly, with organizations sprinting to put the infrastructure in place to catch up with the trend.
The blurring of the online and offline is happening all around us in a bi-directional manner – where the customer expects to interact with the business however and whenever they wish and get the same experience regardless of where they are or what they are doing- and for the business to be able to deliver exactly the same information and services to the customer regardless of how or where they choose to interact.
Is this new? Maybe not, but the O2O (online to offline) concept was truly brought it to life by the Tokyo Metro and their recently launched innovative offering for consumers.
Tokyo Metro carries 6.22 million passengers daily. This past September they announced a new service with two partners: the convenience store operator 7-11 Japan and the Ito-Yokado supermarket chain. Read More »
Tags: 7-11, coupon, Hotspot, Japan, location, metro, network, o2o, offline, online, seven eleven, subway, tokyo, tokyo metro, wi-fi, wifi, wireless
Big data seems to be everywhere these days. Everywhere you look there are new companies and technologies that promise to crunch up enormous databases and instantly extract from them knowledge and understanding. Although that sounds impressive, it raises the question – how can that help me and my business? How does fitting an N degree polynomial to a CRM database help me grow my business?
At Cisco, we’ve taken a very practical approach to big data. We started by asking our customers: what do they want to know? What information would help our customers’ better manage their sites, optimize their operations and grow their business? We took those questions and built Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) Analytics around them.
Wouldn’t a store manager want to know how many of his customers were new? Did that new marketing campaign launched last month really drive new visitors to the store? Or another example, let’s say the layout of the store was just changed, wouldn’t the manager want to know if it was effective? Did people spend more time in the store? How about better understanding your customer base? Which web sites do my visitors visits? And of course retail isn’t the only segment that would like to know things. Wouldn’t an airport want to know how long people wait in the security line? Would a train station like to know how long before the train leaves people come into store?
Cisco’s CMX Analytics takes anonymous device location data gathered by the Cisco Mobility Services Engine (MSE), and leverages that data to provide clear, concise and relevant information. In order to make the data easier to visualize, we have recently enhanced our user interface adding many features that help users immediately and intuitively grasp the data. Our new dashboard enables every user to customize the views they wish to see and prioritize which data is meaningful to them. Our new Path engine enables customers to visualize how many people walk through the different paths in their venue. Our new reports can tell our customers everything from how many people are using their Wi-Fi to which floor people spend the most time in. These are just a few examples of the many innovations pouring into out CMX Analytics platform. Read More »
Tags: analytics, Big Data, data, enterprise mobility, healthcare, Industry, line-of-business, location, location-based, marketing, network, on-premise, on-site, online, onsite, retail, sales, social, vertical, wi-fi, wifi, wireless