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In Between the Numbers: Markdown Money: the Key to Technology Adoption?

October 11, 2011 at 11:02 pm PST

I have been asking myself why this personal technology revolution is so hard for retailers.There are a number of pretty obvious answers on the surface.

The pace of innovation, for one. Given that the standard in-store technology refresh cycle is often measured in decades, it’s more than a bit frightening to think that today’s all-store devices might be old school in six months.

The fact that it’s about more than devices and apps, for another. Smart retailers know that the operational implication of the revolution is a single-brand, multi-touchpoint, flexible fulfillment future. Which will be millions and years in the making.

Which is enough to give any CIO – let alone CEO – pause.

I wonder, though, if there’s not another big reason. One that’s buried deep inside the financial fabric of retail. 

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Art of Compliance – Converging PCI Security Science and Art

When most people think about Payment Card Industry security, they think of architecture designs and security standards documents to help merchants protect cardholder data.

As the Cisco retail team worked on our Cisco solution for PCI DSS 2.0, we decided to combine the Science of Compliance (Cisco solution and the Validated Design Guide) with the Art of Compliance, a series of artistic work interpreting security in a new light.

Working with Adam Hagen, Cisco Global Integrated Marketing Communications Manager, Cisco worked with a series of artists in multiple disciplines including paint, digital, sculpture and video, and asked them to interpret security through their eyes. 

The result is a series of artwork, some of which are incorporated into the Cisco PCI DSS 2.0 Design Guide, plus an online gallery  is located on http://www.cisco.com/go/pci2art and on Cisco Retail Flickr

The artwork will be on display at the Payment Card Industry Council North America Community meeting September 20-22 in Scottsdale Arizona as part of Cisco and our partners HyTrust, VCE and RSA sponsorship of the event.

To learn more about some of the artists and their interpretation, we filmed some of the artists with their creations while it was installed in the Cisco San Jose campus for a limited run.

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In Between the Numbers: The “Learner” Segment of Consumers: Should Retail Take an Education Class?

September 8, 2011 at 9:14 am PST

The sight of Crayola crayons stacked high to fly at the local mass merchant brought these back-to-school thoughts to mind.

 Colleague Dr. Jeff Loucks and I surveyed US consumers this past spring regarding their confidence – or lack thereof – in using consumer electronics devices and content services.

 No surprise that we found a cluster of early adopters, a male-dominant group of device-loving consumers of all forms of bits and bytes.

 What was surprising – at least at first glance – was the discovery of a group that we might call “learners” that is more than twice the size of the early adoption group.

 The “learner” group was no stranger to technology: No Luddites among the Learners. What distinguished them was that they didn’t know how to do all the things they might like to do and wanted to learn more.

 This suggests they would respond with enthusiasm – and more importantly, with Visa and MasterCards – to the brand that was willing to invest in their education.

 Consider for a moment: Pew Research estimates that 21% of American adults search online for product information on a typical day. That’s about 49 million persons. Consider that comScore estimated that last year there were six million Internet searches for dining recipes – every day.

Combine this research with the Pew and comScore numbers, and a sharp-edged hypothesis begins to emerge:

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Cisco views on the new Payment Card Industry DSS Tokenization Security Guidelines

The Payment Card Industry Security Council recently released the PCI DSS tokenization guidelines clarifying how tokenization affects PCI compliance and securing cardholde data.  I sat down the Christian Janoff, Cisco retail industry architect whose team  has just finished work on the Cisco Design Guide for PCI DSS 2.0 to talk about his views about this guideline.

Christian’s view of the new tokenization guideline supplement are:

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Back to School Shopping 2011 – The Rise of the Connected Mom

In the past, back to school shopping conjures images of moms, minivans and moving from store to store with shopping lists.  Today’s back to school shopping trips for families are more of a logistics exercise with moms doing online research and checking on social media to find the best deals before they set foot in the first store.

This is backed by recent researching showing the rise of the “Connected Mom”.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUg2oo2XTFk

In a recent article titled “Digital Moms Favor Informative Ads” by eMarket.com, based on research from the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement and Media Behavior Institute,  survey shows that Gen X moms consumer more media on mobile than even television.   

In Deloitte’s 2011 Back to School Survey, research shows  that 64% of respondents with smart phones plan to use them for back-to-school, and 43% will download discounts, coupons and sales information.  Social media is also playing a role with 35% of respondents using social networking sites to assist in shopping.

What is leading to this change and what is the implication for retailers?  I talked to Laura Heller, contributor to Forbes.com retail blog Point of Purchase, who recently wrote about the back to school season

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