Leveraging Mobile to Combat Showrooming

Dan Dufault

June 18, 2013

Showrooming – the increasingly popular consumer practice of examining merchandise in a traditional brick and mortar store, not making a purchase and then shopping online to find the same item at a lower price. According to L2: A Think Tank for Digital Innovation, 58 percent of smartphone owners regularly go to a store with the sole intention of trying on or testing products before purchasing them online. For retailers of all sizes, showrooming has become a major challenge. Big box retailer Best Buy estimates that 40 percent of their in-store traffic visits their stores with no intent to purchase. Combined with rapidly declining market share, they decided to attack showrooming head on, launching an anti-showrooming price match program in March and more recently, the addition of Samsung in...

Retailers: Do They Really Know You?

Dan Dufault

May 15, 2013

Last month, I authored a post on ‘big data’ and whether it should be viewed as a friend or foe for consumers. As fate would have it, shortly after I completed that piece, I found myself in a very relevant personal shopping experience. Looking for new business shirts, I headed off to my favorite retailer to pick up a few. Upon entering the store, I was approached by a friendly sales associate who offered his assistance. I outlined the specific shirts I was looking for and provided my size and then he set off to check their inventory. As I waited, I began chatting with another team member, who I later discovered was the store manager. Engaging in casual conversation, he asked me what I did for work. After mentioning that I work in payments technology and briefly describing our company’s...

Personalized Offers: Friend or Foe?

Dan Dufault

April 4, 2013

Big data – media attention is on it – but is it an asset to consumers or something they should fear. Is “Big Brother” looming around the corner, or it it just a lot of hype? Privacy concerns around online communities and social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and others, continue to cause fear with many Americans in terms of personal information and how it’s being collected and used. And, while individuals should be cognizant of their personal information and it’s use, they shouldn’t let the fear outweigh the benefit, especially in the world of commerce. While media continues to focus on the negatives of ‘big data’, surveys show that consumers want personalization. In a recent survey conducted my MyBuys and the e-tailing group indicate that consumers not only want...

15 Years in Payments with CEO Henry Helgeson

Dan Dufault

March 13, 2013

As Merchant Warehouse celebrates its 15th anniversary, I sat down with our co-founder and CEO Henry Helgeson to gain his perspective on the payments industry, how it has evolved since the company’s inception in 1998 and where it’s headed.   Me: Henry, how would you describe the state of the payments industry when you founded Merchant Warehouse some 15 years ago? Henry: In 1998, the distribution model around payments and processing was completely different. Credit card terminals were pretty much distributed exclusively through local banks or door-to-door sales reps. The model was one that, at the time, supported healthy margins for the reps and banks, but was costly for the merchants. Most small and mid-sized merchants weren’t able to afford point-of-sale (POS) systems, so they...

Is This the Year of Omni-channel Retailing?

Dan Dufault

February 21, 2013

First there was multi-channel, pioneered by leading retailers including Macy’s and Neiman Marcus, but today ‘omnichannel’ is one of fastest growing trends in retail. In its most simplistic definition, omnichannel is creating a seamless approach across every brand experience for the consumer including mobile, brick and mortar, online, television, catalogue and more. The driving force behind omni-channel is today’s ‘connected consumer’ and the retailers’ need to deliver a seamless experience across all brands, all stores, and all mediums. It’s estimated that there will be 140 million smartphones in the hands of U.S. consumers by the end of this year and, according to the e-tailing group, approximately 80 percent of merchants are planning on investing in mobile technologies. While mobile is...

Is There a Mobile Wallet Race, or Is It Really About Data?

Dan Dufault

September 14, 2012

As Google, ISIS, Visa, Sprint and dozens of others dominate media coverage around mobile wallets and their adoption via near-field communication (NFC) technology, thousands gathered around their computers, tablets and smartphones on Wednesday, September 12th to hear whether or not mobile payments and NFC specifically, would be key to Apple’s short term strategy. For weeks rumors swirled as to whether or not the iPhone would have NFC capability and if Passbook, which was introduced as part of iOS over the summer, would be reintroduced as Apple’s mobile wallet. With Apple’s announcement it’s obvious that they are not ready to commit to NFC. While many are banking on NFC adoption by both businesses and consumers, the challenge remains that the vast majority of both groups do not have NFC...

Mobile Payments: Big Names Converging

Dan Dufault

August 8, 2012

Forecasts for mobile payments, including digital and physical goods, mobile money transfers, and NFC transactions are expected to nearly triple from 2012 to 2015, growing from $240 billion to $670 billion, according to Juniper Research. Companies like Starbucks have already enjoyed success with their mobile payment application. Since the launch just 15 months ago, they have processed more than 42 million mobile payments, and with the announcement of their partnership with Square, they continue to expand in the space.  Mobile wallet applications from Google and ISIS continue to gain traction and both organizations remain committed to driving value for both merchants and customers through their mobile solutions. Google continues to add partners and features to their solution as the...

The Future of Payments and Consumer Experience: What Are Customers Doing Today?

Dan Dufault

June 26, 2012

There’s little doubt that mobile payments is making its way to the in-store countertop. However, the ability to scrap a physical wallet for a mobile version is not enough accelerant to fuel a retail revolution. Mobile payments are more than a replacement for checks or plastic. The future of payments will materialize when mobile transactions focus on customer experience and not just the transaction. Although mobile payment technology is not always present at checkouts today, consumers are using their devices in stores. According to a recent study conducted by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, 73 percent of smartphone owners say they have used their mobile phone in a store. If consumers are not using mobile to complete transactions, how are they using it? Consumers are using mobile to...

What is Genius?

Dan Dufault

June 12, 2012

A sea of change is on the horizon in the payments industry. Daily introductions of new payment solutions and value-added offerings are creating a constant, building cadence of entries that are flooding the industry. The deluge of new providers coupled with increasing demands from consumers for value-add offerings including mobile payment choice, loyalty and reward, and discount programs is leading to disruption and confusion in the industry. How do merchants manage such a complex environment? They don’t, Genius™ does. Genius is the first solution that aggregates and integrates any transaction method, payment type or value-added customer program. Cash, credit, near-field communication (NFC), EMV, QR codes, signature capture, loyalty and reward, mobile gift, couponing, mobile wallets...