The future of mobile is here, or at least available to grocery shoppers as Safeway and Giant Eagle roll out Apple's iBeacon, the location-sensing technology that connects to shoppers iOS devices and sends product suggestions and messages while inside the store.
Amazon's announcement of Sunday delivery effectively turned the traditional e-commerce world upside down. It truly is a game-changer, not only for online retailers but also for brick-and-mortar stores that are battling for their share of sales this holiday season.
It seems that all major U.S. retailers - whether they are traditional, brick-and-mortar operations or Web-based - are stepping up their same-day delivery services and fulfillment systems before this holiday season. The move not only helps them extend the holiday shopping season by a few days, but also caters to busy holiday shoppers who don't have time to grab groceries for holiday parties or family meals.
How close is Amazon to same-day delivery for most U.S. customers? Maybe not as close as we thought. While a report in May said that by the end of 2013 Amazon will have a distribution center within five miles of most major U.S. cities, a new calculation by supply-chain consultant Marc Wulfraat suggests Amazon has a lot farther to go before it can even reach 20 percent of U.S. shoppers.
You know all that CRM data you've been so lovingly collecting from loyalty programs, special offers, POS systems and any other way you could find to gather shopper information? It's about to be put at risk by a data broker - and not in the way you expected.
How much electricity is all of retail's e-commerce, big-data analytics and mobile shopping devouring? No one has calculated that, but a report out this month argues that all IT now consumes about 10 percent of the world's electricity.
As merged channels (also known as omnichannel) become the default for an increasing number of retailers, the challenge of efficiently handling the supply chain and managing inventory becomes exponentially more complex.