Mobile Coupons - How SMBs Can Take Advantage

Jenn Reichenbacher

September 10, 2014

 Digital coupons present substantial opportunity for business growth helping to attract new customers and improve the loyalty of existing customers. In fact a recent white paper produced by Forrester in concert with RetailMeNot, explores the value of digital coupons and the impact they can - and will - have for a businesses bottom line. Supporting data was compiled by Forrester and included interviews with 500 digital coupon using consumers as well as in-depth interviews with eCommerce and marketing leaders at four large U.S. retailers and one large U.S. based restaurant chain. The Benefits of Mobile Coupons and Digital Discount CodesThere are a variety of benefits to offering mobile coupons to consumers, including their ability to spur people to try a new brand and to increase...

NFC Payments – What's In It For Me, the Customer?

Jenn Reichenbacher

September 10, 2014

The dust has settled. After much speculation, Apple finally announced NFC payment technology in the iPhone 6 and in the new AppleWatch via ApplePay. Working in the payments space, it’s something we’ve all been anticipating – and waiting for. Personally, I firmly believe that Apple’s engagement in payments will accelerate both consumer adoption and business acceptance of mobile payments. Yes, I’m aware that Apple’s smartphone market share continues to drop, primarily because of their product void in the low-end market. But, also remember that Apple has a very strong and powerful user group, comprised of true brand advocates. In full disclosure (if you haven’t already guessed) I’m one of those advocates. A few months ago I tried NFC payments on my iPhone through the NFC enabled case (...

Retail - Where We’re Trending in 2014 and Beyond

Jenn Reichenbacher

September 4, 2014

 Now that the second half of 2014 is upon us, a number of retail trends have been established. Are you familiar with any of them? Whether your business is primarily conducted in your brick-and-mortar store or through an e-commerce site - or both, it's always important as an owner or manager to keep abreast of the most pressing trends. Some will merely be flashes in the pan, of course, but several are already exhibiting major staying power. While you don't necessarily need to jump on the bandwagon of each one, chances are that virtually all of them will provide significant benefits for your company. Mobile PaymentsThe mobile payment trend has been picking up steam of late, and it's set to intensify over the next year or two. Why are mobile payments becoming increasingly...

Beacons - What Consumers Want

Jenn Reichenbacher

August 25, 2014

Beacons – we’re starting to hear more and more about them, especially for those in marketing, retail and payments. What are they? Beacons are simple, affordable devices that retailers and/or business owners can place within their respective stores, which enable wireless communication with customer smart devices. Using Bluetooth (BLE) technology, Beacons can detect visitors as they enter a retailer, for example, and immediately communicate with them. Communications can range from promotional offers, discounts and coupons to loyalty program updates to personalized shopping or requests for sales assistance. Beacons can also ‘track’ information and collect data on a customer’s activities as they move through the store, helping retailers deliver a more personalized and relevant experience in...

Online eCommerce - Tips for Addressing Abandoned Shopping Carts

Jenn Reichenbacher

August 19, 2014

 Abandoned shopping carts have long been thorns in online retailers' sides, and the problem only gets worse with each passing year. Interestingly, few online retailers take steps to combat the problem and simply consider it part of doing business online. That's too bad because there are actually several ways to reduce abandoned shopping cart rates. If you own a brick-and-mortar store in conjunction with an e-commerce site, you're in an especially strong position. Omnichannel marketing, which refers to delivering a parallel shopping experience across a variety of sales channels, including e-commerce, mobile and in-store purchasing, could not only help you cut back on abandoned shopping carts but even put them to work for you. What's the Deal with Abandoned Shopping Carts?If you...

Making the Most of E-Commerce - What Retailers Need to Know

Jenn Reichenbacher

August 13, 2014

Are you providing the best possible e-commerce experience for your customers? If you're like even some of the biggest, most popular online retailers, chances are that you're missing the mark in at least a few ways. Despite the fact that retailers are more aware than ever of the importance of maintaining an effective online presence, many are far from making the most of their efforts. Even if you believe your e-commerce site is up to par, odds are that there's some room for improvement. Is There Room for Improvement?The first step in making the most of your e-commerce presence is an honest assessment of your current strategy and digital mechanics. Just because your website looks good doesn't mean it's meeting customers' expectations. Now that online shopping has been around for a...

Yeah, I got my first EMV-enabled card!

Jenn Reichenbacher

July 22, 2014

A milestone. I open my mail on just a regular day to find it – something I have been waiting for – my first EMV credit card. Standard to some and irrelevant to others, as a professional in the payments space, I actually understand EMV and what it means to me as a customer as well as the industry at large. It’s no secret that the U.S. is one of the last countries in the world to adopt EMV. For those not familiar with EMV, the cards look pretty much the same as traditional magnetic stripe card, exclusive of an integrated circuit or ‘chip’ within the card – but, they greatly reduce counterfeiting and fraud. Worldwide, EMV has already become the standard for credit cards with 1.5 billion enabled cards in circulation (45 percent of the total) and over 21 million EMV enabled POS terminals (76...

SMB – Getting Started with Social Media

Jenn Reichenbacher

June 27, 2014

Social media is here to stay. Just look at the numbers. Facebook – Over 1 billion users worldwide in only 10 yearsLinkedIn – 240 million active users worldwide with 3 million business pagesTwitter – 560 million active users generating over 5,700 ‘tweets’ per secondGoogle+ - 400 million active users with nearly 1 million new users added each day   And, social isn't just about personal connectivity. All of these sites have evolved into powerful engagement and marketing forums for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs). But for many business owners, the challenge is in getting started. What are my first steps?Is there a cost? Do I need to advertise as well? What types of information should I put on my page(s)?What is my business going to yield from these efforts?...

Showrooming, Webrooming and Local Searches

Jenn Reichenbacher

May 14, 2014

Each month, approximately 2.9 billion people access the Internet and a good portion of that activity is centered on shopping. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), online (e-commerce) retail sales now comprise over six percent of all retail activity.Over the past several years the hot conversation was around showrooming, the process of walking around the inside of a store but failing to purchase any products. Today, the focus is shifting to webrooming, the act of researching a product or a service on the Internet before going to a physical store and buying the item. In fact, in 2013, the number of people who engaged in webrooming surpassed the amount of individuals who participated in showrooming.While showrooming created challenges for brick and mortar retailers, webrooming...

Stats Don't Lie: Loyalty Programs Deliver for SMBs

Jenn Reichenbacher

April 24, 2014

Loyalty – the quality of being loyal to someone or something. For businesses, building loyalty with existing customers is often critical to their long-term success. In fact, loyalty programs in the U.S. date back to the late 1700s when a merchant started giving out copper tokens to existing customers that could then be exchanged for items in their store. Granted, over the past 200 plus years, loyalty programs have evolved, but the core objective remains the same – incent existing customers to keep coming back.  Today, loyalty programs come in many flavors and formats. From a rewards program integrated into a pre-funded digital wallet, like Starbucks, to the paper punch card at your favorite sandwich shop to the key fob from one of many retail chains. As you look around it sometimes...