IKEA okay to spur retail rush

A large number of foreign single-brand retailers are chalking out their entry plans, following Swedish furniture retailer IKEA’s success in getting its entire Rs 10,500-crore proposal approved by the government.

According to commerce ministry officials, single-brand heavyweights such as America’s Fossil, French cookware maker Le Creuset, French sports goods giant Decathlon, Thailand-based luxury goods retailer Lotus Arts de Vivre and Italy’s pharma-nutrition business player Officina Farmaceutica Italiana are waiting to set up shop.

Source: IKEA okay to spur retail rush

2013 Could Be the Year eBay Takes on Amazon for Real

Expectations are high for eBay ahead of its earnings call this week as this charter member of the web’s old guard shows signs of finding strong footing in the mobile era.

Though e-commerce sales as a whole underwhelmed expectations this past holiday season, analysts say eBay likely beat the trend and are predicting a banner year.

Colin Gillis, director of research at BGC Financial, said in a note to investors that he believes eBay could break $4 billion in quarterly revenue for the first time ever when it reports earnings Wednesday. The number is slightly above the Wall Street consensus, but not by much.

“Haiku: eBay and PayPal, setting holiday records. Stock is our top pick,” Gillis wrote. He calls eBay the top e-commerce pick for 2013.

Read On: 2013 Could Be the Year eBay Takes on Amazon for Real | Wired Business | Wired.com

How To Create Loyalty Programs Consumers Will Actually Get Excited About

Consumers can smell empty rewards points a mile away. Here's how to do loyalty programs that will actually spread some delight.

It is a customer conundrum that can put a marketer at wits’ end: While not all smart shoppers are loyal, all loyal shoppers are savvy.

This is not surprising, considering the technology out there, from smartphones to smarter transaction processing to smart mobile wallets. All of these innovations challenge the competitiveness of the loyalty cards in our wallet. Remember the quaint old days when winning customers required exceptional services and innovative products? Today, with an influx of loyalty programs penetrating almost every industry including health care and utilities, brands find themselves having to compete in completely new areas, from speed of reward redemption to delivering personalized experiences no other brand could promise.

In fact, some could argue that loyalty programs themselves may not generate loyalty at all, but instead condition consumers to game the system, using programs only when they expect to receive an immediate discount or other benefit.

We, as business leaders, have the ability to steer out of this. Think about it.

Source: How To Create Loyalty Programs Consumers Will Actually Get Excited About | Fast Company