Not all data that's valuable is internal and proprietary. New initiatives by governments including the United States and Mexico are opening the spigots of readily usable public data. New sources of open data could help unlock $3 trillion to $5 trillion in economic value annually across several sectors including retail, on a global level, according to new research from the McKinsey Global Institute, the McKinsey Center for Government, and McKinsey's Business Technology Office.
While desktop computer purchases accounted for the majority of e-commerce purchases this holiday season, the growth of m-commerce during the season was undeniable. In fact, annual m-commerce sales are expected to reach $707 billion by 2018, representing 30 percent of all e-commerce, according to a new report. The projected growth of the market is not surprising to those of us following m-commerce's developments in the past year alone.
As we have discussed here before, more retailers are adding technology to track customers’ traffic and purchases in stores, from iBeacons to infrared sensors. The practice is becoming so common, in fact, that the Future of Privacy Forum estimates that around 1,000 small and large retailers are using some type of sensors to monitor the pathways their customers take throughout the store. Macy’s is the largest and most recent example of a retailer effectively using customer tracking in an attempt to increase customers’ purchases this holiday season. In November, Macy’s installed Apple’s iBeacon technology in certain stores in New York and San Francisco, in partnership with rewards app Shopkick. Shopkick’s shopBeacons enable shoppers with iPhones and some Android phones to have their Shopkick app “woken” up by a signal from Bluetooth transmitters when they enter Macy’s, even if their phones are in sleep mode, according to The Wall Street Journal. As a customer who has opted in walks through a Macy’s store, they might see special offers based on the products they are near, Cyriac Roeding, Shopkick’s CEO, told the newspaper
Malissa Nelson, director of marketing and eCommerce at Dean and Deluca, spoke on FierceRetail's webinar, "How Retailers Are Embracing Omnichannel Strategies to Improve Customer Experience," and shared how the foods retailer connects with customers in store and online, and the number one way to get customers to trust brands.
Numerous retail organizations and research firms predicted that there would be a significant rise in holiday shopping via mobile devices this holiday season, and it turns out they are right so far. Early reports indicate that Cyber Monday’s overall online sales topped $2 billion, shattering last year's U.S. e-commerce record of $1.465 billion. Plus, 18.3 percent of all online sales across the 2,000 major retail sites that the Adobe Digital Index 2013 measures came from tablets or smartphones, an 80% increase over last year. Mobile traffic exceeded 17 percent of total online sales, an increase of 55.4 percent over 2012's Cyber Monday, according to IBM Digital Analytics data. Retailers catering to smartphone and tablet users benefited the most, with mobile traffic accounting for 32 percent of site visits, a 45 percent rise from last year.
All retailers and any business that processes payments should have a new document on hand that is meant to prevent and mitigate some of the millions of dollars in losses from card data breaches annually. When the Payment Card Industry (PCI) released its updated Data Security Standard 3.0 earlier this month, it said that companies should create a data flow diagram showing all the individuals, systems, and applications that have access to cardholder data. This idea first came about, PaymentsSource reported, after a hacker produced a color-coded scheme showing where sensitive data was stored at his targeted organization. “In the majority of compromises we’ve seen over the past few years, the merchant was trying to do the right thing but was unaware that cardholder data existed in a location that was not being protected. What these compromises have demonstrated is the business value for having a clear way to identify where the cardholder data is in your organization,” Troy Leach, chief technology officer for PCI’s Security Standards Council, told StorefrontBacktalk.
On the brink of obscurity, J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (NYSE: JCP) executives finally have a reason to hold their heads up. The struggling retailer produced positive growth of 24.3 percent from its e-commerce division during the third quarter, rising to $266 million. However, this news arrives at a time of great uncertainty within the company, as they are being removed from the S&P 500 Index in favor of the S&P MidCap 400. The S&P decision comes as no surprise, since J.C. Penney continues to turn in quarterly losses, resulting in plummeting stock prices.
PayPal (NASDAQ: EBAY) is telling global governments how they can better regulate technology companies--especially, of course, payment processors such as itself. Really. “It’s a common refrain among technology leaders that regulatory processes are far too slow to adapt. The general sense is that government cannot keep up with the rapid pace of innovation and creativity that is at the heart of today’s successful business operations,” Brian Bieron, executive director of Global Public Policy for eBay, wrote on the PayPal Forward blog this week.
Apparently, the “Internet of Everything”, could have returned $99 billion to retailers this year. Representing the connectivity of an increasing number of people, processes and things, Cisco Systems estimates that retailers will gain $81 billion from the “Internet of Everything” in 2013. However, Cisco found that this connectivity could have returned an extra $99 billion to retailers this year by providing more connections across their operations. Despite the gloomy news, Cisco pointed out the positive ways that retailers are upping their connections to people, processes and things, including: tapping into previously unused or “dark” data assets in store, building consumer trust and getting them to share information, gaining more visibility into inventory, driving higher levels of stock availability and maximizing staff productivity.
When Sears Holding Corp. shifted all of its workload off of mainframes and onto the cloud-based, open-source data Hadoop platform, it understandably saved the traditional retailer $2 million annually. “45 percent of the capabilities on a mainframe are never used and, when you switch, you can save 60 percent to 80 percent of your mainframe costs,” Aashish Chandra, DVP of Sears Holdings and general manager of Metascale, Sears’ big data division, told RISNews.