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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Payments by the numbers

Following are some recent research findings that caught our eye today.

Motorola explores mobile POS readiness

A Motorola Solutions Inc. survey of retail, hospitality and field services merchants in North America and Europe revealed 66 percent of respondents are interested in mobile POS solutions; 42 percent either currently use or plan to pilot mobile POS solutions within the next three years.

"As retailers battle for shoppers' hearts and wallets, mPOS serves as a valuable tool that can help turn browsing into buying," said Michelle Crissey, Motorola Solutions Customer Solutions Lead. "When the power of mPOS is in the hands of every retail associate, shopping becomes an experience and associates are always in a position to make the sale."

Top mobile POS application functions sought by retailers are inventory management, 51.3 percent; price marking and shelf labeling, 47.8 percent; merchandise returns, 42.2 percent; and merchandising, 36.1 percent.

Tactical goals for switching to mobile systems included better customer service, 71.3 percent; saving the sale/special ordering for out-of-stock items, 27 percent; fulfillment of custom orders or assisted shopping, 26.1 percent; line busting, 23.5 percent; serving locations where fixed POS systems were not suitable, 23 percent; and customer relationship/loyalty programs, 22.6 percent.

Global movement in proximity payments

An NPD Group report, Worldwide Mobile Payment Market Marches Ahead, estimates proximity payments using near field communication or bar code scanning will reach 9.9 billion in 2016, up from the 1.1 billion valued at nearly $226 billion projected for 2012. The Asia-Pacific region is expected to account for 41 percent of global proximity payments by 2016.

"The contactless or proximity mobile payments market is in its infancy and thus a variety of technologies are being explored and promoted," said Amy Cravens, NPD Senior Analyst. "2011, however, was a significant year in clarifying the future direction of market development. Based on the vast support for NFC and the endorsements made by significant players in 2011, it is apparent that this will be the dominant contactless payment solution going forward."

Cravens also believes bar code-based payments will continue to thrive and be supported long into the future, pointing to Home Depot U.S.A. Inc. and Starbucks Corp. as prime examples of where bar code payments will have a presence in the retail sector.

Merchant sentiment toward loyalty

A report from Aite Group LLC, Merchant Loyalty Programs: Deal or No Deal?, found that when it comes to protecting margins, daily deals rank far below in-store promotions and gift cards in merchant preference.

"As consumer interest in daily deal programs increases, daily deal providers will need to consider the sustainability of their business models," said Madeline K. Aufseeser, Aite Group Senior Analyst and co-author of the report. "In spite of strong consumer acceptance, daily deal business will be short-lived without greater merchant acceptance, and merchants currently prefer marketing programs that scale and protect margins."

According to the report, when merchants were asked to rate loyalty program effectiveness, in-store promotions and gift cards ranked highest with 79 percent of respondents. These were followed by merchant loyalty programs, at 72 percent; daily deals, at 18 percent, ranked last in the eight categories presented. end of article

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