How Mobile Payments Will Evolve In the Next Several Years

Mobile payments has become a mainstream tech topic in the last couple of years, mirroring the rise of smartphones and application stores. E-commerce is becoming m-commerce. The focus point of the buzz has been the evolution of near-field communications as related to smartphones. The thing is, nobody in the payments industry expects NFC to be a player in mobile payments for years, if ever. In that case, what does the mobile payments ecosystem look like in the short term?
The current mobile payments market centers around several cores: direct carrier billing, mobile wallets, online and offline sales, mobile credit card readers and application stores. During meetings with various mobile payments experts and executives at CTIA last week, the most uttered phrase was: "This is not something I would use to buy a fridge." Where are mobile payments going?

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Social Sharing : Please Steal This Idea

Not long ago, I found myself talking with several clients about a trend I felt would truly impact their business. Social Sharing. There's no brilliance to identifying this as a meaningful trend, we see social sharing everywhere. In the real world and most recently on networks as people not only share what they are doing, but what they are reading, listening to, and even purchasing.
I've made suggestions multiple times to whoever would listen that they should take another look at their Website and integrate social sharing (beyond content and more toward commerce). For example if you are even considering buying a product, you should be able to tell your friends about it. If you booked a vacation or a hotel room with a view—same thing. If you recommend a product or service you should be able to broadcast that across your entire social network (and not just one) directly from the site.

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New Labels On Packaging Include Instructions For Reuse

The Costa Rican project Quehagoconesto.org (meaning “What do I do with this”) has successfully convinced several Central American brands to print ideas for reuse directly on their packaging. Each label has basic instructions for how to repurpose the container, and includes the Quehagoconesto web address. At the site, consumers can find step-by-step instructions, including pictures.
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1/3 of consumers will spend more online than in-store this year

Despite the threat of online fraud, consumers are increasingly getting comfortable shopping online. ThreatMetrix, which provides a platform for preventing online fraud, and the Ponemon Institute, which researches data privacy and security, did some consumer surveys and found that one-third of the respondents said they plan on spending more online than they do in-store this year.
The willingness to shop doesn’t seem to be slowed down by worries about fraud, which are still significant. Almost three-fourths of respondents (72 percent) said they were “very concerned” or “concerned” about being a victim of online fraud, and 84 percent said they felt it was important for online payment services to protect them from fraud. The survey was conducted in August and polled 722 active Internet users.
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Indian fashion site lets US shoppers borrow or buy

Rental options for fashionistas have become increasingly common over the years, and it was just recently that we looked at an example in the world of sunglasses. Now, putting a different niche spin on the concept is Illinois-based Luxemi, which offers Indian fashions for sale or rent to US consumers.

How to make electricals retailing interesting

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Danish advert for electrical retailer Fleggaard, which takes an alternative approach to getting shoppers interested in low-priced washing machines. Be warned before clicking on the link that it’s not for the prudish, but it is a genuine ad.

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Macy’s Partners With Start Up To Find Your Perfect Pair Of Jeans

Macy’s Denim Finder has become the first partner site of start-up True Fit, aiming to solve the problem of finding the right size clothes online. The company asks consumers to fill out a quick three-step profile. This asks questions about which brands and sizes fit them best, the shape of different parts of their body, their height and their weight. This information is then used to work out what products are likely to fit.

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The Supermarket Of The Future Can Grow Its Own Food

The Netherlands has started funding for a ‘Park Supermarket,’ which is intended to have a working prototype in 2012. This huge project spans 74 acres across the Dutch countryside, and it is divided into sections depending on the type of food being grown or farmed, whether it is meat, dairy, or produce. The concept was created by Van Bergen Kolpa Architecten, and this supermarket and farm in one is said to be able to support the food needs of several large Dutch cities – a population of roughly eight million. Park Supermarket can grow crops like kiwi fruit and pandan, even though these are native to tropical regions, thanks to temperature control technologies combined with smart farming methods.

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Trendspotting: Retail embracing social media to boost in-store experience

With an increasing number of retail brands aligning their social media activities with traditional online PR and marketing campaigns, it is no surprise that we are also now starting to see more and more companies integrating social media into their real world in-store experiences too.

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Walmart Downsizes To Become A Friendly Neighborhood Market @PSFK

Walmart is a retail giant in the U.S. that is well-known for selling personal goods and appliances. Some of its stores can stretch up to a massive 150,000 square feet, which is nearly the size of three football fields. However, this is about to change as Walmart intends to boosts its Neighborhood Market stores across the country.
The Neighborhood Market store is only 27,000 square feet, much smaller compared to the average Walmart size. The focus will be on groceries rather than goods. In a regular Walmart, groceries only account for a third of products sold. In a Walmart Neighborhood Market, groceries will take up three-quarters of the space.
Neighborhood Markets were first introduced in 1998 and now have 155 stores nationwide. Walmart plans to roll out 300 more by 2013. Recently, Walmart opened a Neighborhood Market in Chicago and it has gained positive feedback from the community. The appearance of the store is much friendlier with a warm coat of paint (as opposed to the bold blue) and the inside of the store is more open spaced.

Automated Retailing is the New Low Cost Way to Reach Consumers in Virtually Any Location

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, all over the world, upscale automated retail centers offer shoppers the ability to purchase unique items in locations where they would not normally be found.
In the lobby of a luxury hotel stands a machine that dispenses gold bars and coins. In bathrooms at upscale bars, vending machines with hair products enable women to get a mini beauty treatment before heading back on to the dance floor. And at the Los Angeles Airport, people can soon download movies to a portable flash drive that will play on their computer.
But don't call them vending machines... these automated retailing centers feature stylish architecture and graphics, and have interactive touch screens that entice, entertain, and inform.
What drives this quest for automation? The answer is simple, according to Shannon Illingworth, the founder of AVT - one of the nation's leading developers of automated retailing systems. "For consumers it's about convenience and a fun shopping experience. For retailers it's about lowering costs, expanding product lines, increasing distribution, and reducing shrinkage."
AVT, which makes some of the newest high tech self-service retailing kiosks, recently completed an order for a beautiful aluminum and glass tower that dispenses electronics such as cell phones, iPods, and portable satellite navigation systems. Illingworth stated that the system is a huge hit - especially with the younger generation.
The economics make it easy to see why. Mall stores produce about $330 a square foot a year, while a 28-square-foot kiosk can generate $3,000 to $10,000 a square foot a year, according to some reports.
Does this mark the end of the retail store? Hardly, states Illingworth. Just as DVDs didn't end movie theaters, automated retailing won't replace brick and mortar stores. "We complement the store by offering an interesting variety of products to a captivated audience in locations that are not normally served," he stated. "We're the icing on the retailer's cake."

For more information about automated retailing, please visit www.autoretail.com