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“Every once in a while, a new technology, an old problem, and a big idea turn into an innovation.” — Dean Kamen

Almost 70% of shoppers globally belong to a loyalty program, yet most people, although accumulating these reward and/or loyalty points, seem to hardly use them. The main reason being that they can never accumulate enough points required to exchange for a worthwhile reward and when they do, it is difficult to achieve — like a seat or class upgrade with an airline.

Many loyalty programs and coalitions have major issues with massive accumulations of points sitting on their balance sheets as liabilities. These points are viewed as money that is owed to people, sometimes this in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Both display clear problems that are on each sides of the equation, for the consumer and the brand loyalty program.

Loyalty in many cases has become a sales tool, like a discount or sale campaign in disguise, to look like a benefit for a customer’s purchases. Choice is the main driver when it comes to shopping today and people have many screens and of course windows to see merchandise Despite this, many gravitate back to where the loyalty program resides and that, in many cases, is in-store and not always online.

Onboarding consumers to a loyalty program in the digital age is a lot easier and faster than ever, but there is often a large gap between the number of programs in which shoppers are enrolled and the number in which they actively participate. Make no mistake, loyalty programs are intended to ultimately increase a retailer’s share of the consumer’s wallet. While two-thirds of global respondents who participate in loyalty programs (67%) somewhat, or strongly agree, that they join these programs only to get free products or discounts. The advent of digital channels opens up loyalty programs to be personalised for the consumer through the use of mobile apps, email and in-store interaction. This allows the loyalty program to be more customised for each member of the program and influence repeat purchase behaviour.

Financial rewards are the most highly-valued loyalty program benefits for members of all ages. But product discounts, cash back or rebates are rated higher by older respondents than by their younger counterparts, where personal offers and products are seen as a benefit.

Having a loyalty card or other form of loyalty identification at checkout is still required in just about all major programs. In many cases this has led to large, heavy wallets and/or loyalty card apps on our mobile phones. In 2018 this should not be the case as loyalty should seamlessly be part of the payment process.

Loyalty should be like other new technologies, simple, seamless, cross-border and rewarding. That technology is now here and its based on the Blockchain.

The Decentralized Ledger Technology (Blockchain), that is available to us today will revolutionise every industry sector on a global scale. What has taken the Internet and World Wide Web to achieve in 25 years we predict will be transformed in far less than half that time.

It will decentralize stored value, accumulated via a loyalty program or scheme, into a stored value transferable unit. This will have a clear offering to a loyalty scheme participant, but also to the organization distributing the reward units, or points, via their proprietary loyalty scheme.

Today’s consumer shops via the omni-channel method, starting their path to the final purchase from a call-to-action from one of many screens, (mobile, laptop, desktop, digital billboard etc.), researching on Social media, talking with friends and of course visiting stores. Loyalty has now been reduced to the approach that a repeat purchase will equal more reward points.

Having so many brands available to the average consumer, via digital channels, means that there are hundreds of reward programs run by multiple loyalty schemes. In many cases these programs are unified in larger scheme coalitions and run by large global organisations such as airlines or payment card schemes.

After many months of evaluation, the team at RainCheck believe that the best DLT platform to build that technology on is the Stellar platform.

The Stellar project is one that has been seen as having great potential to influence the financial sector. Besides its primary focus of providing a network for faster and cheaper cross-border payments, the project is also able to hold tokenized assets and coin offerings. More voices from the crypto space believe that it will eventually become the crypto of choice for Central Banks all over the world.

Stellar is the only DLT technology that allows funds to be sent and received very quickly and almost at no cost, and that makes it a perfect network to handle a loyalty rewards system.

The team at RainCheck will build the first Blockchain solution for Loyaltybased on the Stellar protocol due for initial release later this year.

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Press

Thanks to Amazon’s latest shareholder letter, we know its formidable Prime subscription service now has 100 million members who order more than 5 billion products a year.

Competing retailers have rolled out comparable two-day (and faster) delivery options, but Prime sets a high bar with streaming movies, TV and music, as well as access to books and shopping deals. Amazon is also a daunting adversary when it comes to price and convenience.

But retailers have an opportunity to distinguish themselves by providing personalized services with early and/or exclusive access to products, which has become a more important part of their loyalty programs as consumer interest wanes in transactional value.

In fact, Marissa Tarleton, CMO of savings site RetailMeNot, said loyalty is no longer a single program, but rather a product, marketing and business strategy that builds products and experiences to make customers repeat visitors.

“Loyalty for most brands is about frequency and retaining users long term,” she added.

Research from professional services network PwC found 73 percent of consumers say customer experience is a top factor in making a purchase decision.

And, David Clarke, global chief experience officer, experience consulting leader and principal at PwC, said successful companies transcend being a product or service and instead become platforms that foster communities of like-minded people.

“I think smart brands will think about ways to capitalize on the relationship opportunity to drive loyalty,” Tarleton added.

But retailers must also offer additional experiences, or what Tarleton called “softer features that are less transactional,” like Nordstrom offering Rewards Card holders early access to anniversary sales, exclusive holiday points events and VIP access to store events.

Another example is Mac Cosmetics’ Select Loyalty Program, which is tiered based on dollars spent in a calendar year with benefits like exclusive products, early access to collections, complimentary makeup applications, birthday gifts and exclusive event invitations.

Target’s RedCard holders also have early access to events like its collaboration with British boot brand Hunter. In addition, they receive 5 percent back on all Target purchases and free two-day shipping. As a result, Target said RedCard holders are some of its most loyal guests, generating nearly 25 percent of sales in 2017. With $71.9 billion in revenue last year, that’s nearly $18 billion.

“A program like this appeals to Prime members’ sensibilities while also reinforcing Target’s differentiators in a way that makes clear why it makes sense to be loyal to Target, too,” added Jared Blank, svp of marketing and insights at AI-driven retail marketing firm Bluecore.

Target is also piloting a loyalty program in the Dallas area called Target Red, which gives members 1 percent back on purchases, 50 percent off a first-year membership on same-day delivery from Shipt and free next-day delivery with Target’s Restock service.

Retailers can generate loyalty even further with personalized experiences thanks in part to the data they collect.

“Each time a consumer swipes their card or enters their email, data from each touch point aggregates into a singular profile, giving retailers a consistent view of each customer and the ability to deliver contextualized experiences,” said Stephanie Waters, global retail industry principal at digital software company SAP Hybris.

What’s more, Tarleton said consumers now expect offers, services and benefits to be customized to their preferences.

Walmart’s Savings Catcher, for example, is a free loyalty app of sorts that is embedded into how consumers already engage with the retailer, Tarleton said. To use it, shoppers scan their receipt’s bar code, which allows Walmart to look for advertised deals nearby. If it finds a lower price, Walmart gives the shopper the difference. Walmart’s built-in features drive repeat engagement through personalized discounts like a loyalty program would, kind of like Kohl’s Cash, she added.

And while consumers may not necessarily say they want personalization, they will come to expect it once they reach a certain threshold, Tarleton said.

Sephora couples its loyalty program with its app and online tools to give it the ability to recognize customers online, in-store and on mobile in a highly personalized way.

“They are using omnichannel and personalization strategies in their products and experiences that drive long-term loyalty well beyond what their traditional rewards program can likely accomplish,” Tarleton added.

Link: http://bit.ly/2HKrPXF

 

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Visa, the global payments technology company, today announced the winners of its 2017 Australia and New Zealand Visa’s Everywhere Initiative, a global innovation program aimed at start-ups.

Visa’s Everywhere Initiative challenges start-ups to use the suite of Application Programming Interface (API) available through the Visa Developer platform to solve payments challenges and accelerate the future of commerce, leveraging Visa’s world-class network.

“At Visa we believe that no single organisation can have all the answers – our collective future will be much brighter if we collaborate. Much like the need for diversity within organisations to enable new ways of thinking and unlock creativity, it’s important that businesses small and large work together to define and enable our digital future,” said Stephen Karpin, Group Country Manager for Visa in Australia, New Zealand & South Pacific.

At the pitch event, held as part of the Women in Payments symposium in Sydney, RainCheck took home the award for The Everywhere Commercial Challenge: this challenge asked startups to leverage Visa APIs to augment their products and ultimately drive more powerful commerce experiences for merchants.
It’s been an exciting few weeks for RainCheck picking up two very prestigious awards.
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Press


 
2 Nov 2017, Sydney: Competing against companies from around the world, Australian technology startup RainCheck has won the Millennial Shopper category of the four Accenture ConsumerTech Awards at the Millennial 20/20 Summit in Singapore.

Based in Sydney, Australia, RainCheck is a mobile commerce platform for retailers and brands that opens up mobile as a direct to consumer channel. Leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence the platform allows people to save and share favourite items they discover online and notify them at a contextual and relevant time when shopping either online, in-app or in-store.

Co-founder Cameron Wall said RainCheck was extremely pleased to have had the opportunity to present at the Accenture program, and to receive wider industry recognition at a time when the company is looking to exploit commercial opportunities in S.E Asia and China.

“It’s great to get recognition for the work RainCheck is doing to solve problems faced by many brands and retailers around the world. Although 90% of research and discovery currently happens online, as much as 90% of transactions still happen offline in the store,” Mr Wall said.

Often this means that retailers are unable to track the impact of their online marketing and advertising investment. As importantly, they also miss out on future sales and on building strong customer relationships by not fully understanding the online-to-offline activity and not being able to track individual in-store transactions.

Mr Wall said that with the Millennial shopper fast becoming the largest spending demographic in the retail sector, many stores do not realise that although these shoppers spend most of their time on Smartphones, the majority of their purchases are still made in shops. And one of the major problems for these shoppers is knowing if a particular item is going to be in stock when they get to the store and knowing if they can get it at the right price.

“RainCheck resolves both of these problems. Our mobile commerce platform allows people to save things they like online and remind them when they are near stores that sell those items. Shoppers can even connect with a personal shopper that can locate the item in-store, make the purchase and have it put aside or even delivered to them. Retailers can then identify where their business is coming from in terms of online promotions and offers,” Mr Wall said.

The Accenture awards recognise early stage start-up businesses that are pushing the boundaries to better engage with the millennial consumer in the automotive, consumer goods & services, retail and travel industries.

As part of the awards program, short-listed companies from Australia, India, Italy, Singapore and the United States presented to an exclusive panel of judges from globally recognized brands that included Visa, Publicis, Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg Company, Pirelli, Uber and Unilever.

The awards organiser Accenture, a leading global professional services company, believe technology start-ups are critical to encouraging material change in the innovation model, and that the Summit is a great stage for these entrepreneurs to showcase their business while industry leaders get to hear and explore their disruptive ideas first hand.

Millennial 20/20 brings all industries together with leading international and regional brands, retailers, and personalities alongside the world’s most exciting and disruptive start-ups. The Summits in London, New York and Singapore look into the future of nextgen commerce from the perspective of a digitally savvy consumer with a micro-focus on key pillars that include Retail, Marketing, Mobile, Payments, Video, Social, E-Commerce, CRM, Advertising and Big Data.

 

For further information:

Cameron Wall, Co-Founder & CEO

Mob: +61 423 530 318 or Email: cameron@getraincheck.com

 

 

About Raincheck

RainCheck was created to transcend the digital and physical worlds and help you shop smarter. Our patent-pending solution lets you save (aka “RainCheck”) items you find online and be notified on your Smartphone when nearby a store that stocks them in the real world. Founded in November 2014, we’ve now built the leading Geo-Fence and Beacon network, free iPhone (iOS) and Android apps and free Chrome and Safari browser extensions.

In addition to the Accenture ConsumerTech Awards (2017), the unique RainCheck technology has received global accolades including being named a Unilever Foundry50 Finalist (2015), Anthill SMART100 Innovation Finalist (2015), one of Econsultancy’s ‘19 startups set to revolutionise marketing’ (2015) and more recently a Visa Everywhere Initiative Finalist (2016). Read more on our Press page. As at October 2016, RainCheck proudly boasts a national footprint of over 10,000 retail locations, and a series of partner retailers including M.J. Bale, Alpha60, Mr Simple, Dolci Firme, Simple Watch Co. and Swish Fashion.

Find out mote at: https://www.getraincheck.com/home/

About Accenture ConsumerTech Awards

Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. With approximately 425,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. The Accenture ConsumerTech Awards recognize and reward early-stage innovators that are pushing the boundaries to better engage with the millennial consumer in the Automotive, Consumer Goods & Services, Retail and Travel industries.

Visit https://www.accenture.com/us-en/event-consumer-tech-awards

 

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Press


Mobile Voice input will be as big as Google Glass
 – Voice search or Voice triggered AI driven assistants sound really cool and obvious however I don’t see them going very far on the Mobile platform. Google Glass was also cool and innovative but went nowhere fast. The reason is a bad UX (user experience), try it in public.


Bots are revealed as quite useless without a solid AI layer – Again Bots sound cool and seem obvious and the use case is evident however without solid AI data driving them they will remain in basic mode performing minor tasks.


Deeplinking on Mobile is suddenly understood and goes crazy – The Internet has provided a connected web of content that is all linkable and we take that for granted, however we spend most time in native mobile apps which are not connected the same way. Deeplinking solves that and expect to see some compelling solutions.


Retailers work out that Mobile is a Channel and its native – eCommerce and responsive web design has been implemented and re-platformed for the past five years by retailers, however everyone is Mobile now. In order to take advantage of rich push, location and proximity services (contextual commerce), you need to have a native mobile experience. Individual retail apps is not the answer so expect to see Mobile Commerce platforms emerge as a new channel.


Mobile Data speeds and cost disrupt Fixed-line in most countries – Investment in wireline infrastructure will slow and eventually stop. Developing countries will start to enjoy state-of-the-art Mobile networks with 4 & 5G pushing most of the mobile data. Why pay $70 p/mth for fiber when you have to pay $20 for the same speed over mobile, anywhere you go.


Instant Apps boom from nowhere – Instant apps are not that well known right now but that will change in 2017. Android has announced them and Apple is working on a similar project where you “try before you install” apps that again are served up at a contextual moment.


Contextual Commerce arrives & explodes – Gone are the days of paying for advertising that people may have seen or clicked on, it’s time to pay for action and that action is a sale. AIl driven data will enable contextual commerce where a relevant and contextual call can be made at the right time and place.

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Press

Now, more than ever before, consumers are using their smartphones not only as a communication tool, but also as their number one shopping and retail browsing precinct.

This shift in consumer behavior when it comes to mobile browsing has created what I term the Mobile Strategy Dilemma: should retailers develop a mobile application, or invest heavily in a highly responsive website?

Having both a native app strategy and an e-commerce website is a waste of money and grossly unrealistic for retailers, so a choice absolutely needs to be made. But what is the best choice? And which will work best for any given retailer?

Let’s look at the numbers. According to recent data from ComScore, smartphone apps now constitute 50 per cent of all digital media time, up a huge 44 per cent from a year ago. Mobile is now a whopping 68 per cent overall with desktop claiming just 32 per cent of digital attention.

As a society, and with advancements in technology and payment methods, we are transitioning from a ‘point and click’ world to a ‘swipe and tap’ way of life, steering away from the world of desktops to multi-channel usage. Retailers that aren’t reacting to these changes in mobile usage won’t see any online sales conversion, which is where the money lies.

This is where the Mobile Strategy Dilemma comes in. Retailers are asking: “If I invest in a native app strategy not enough people will download and use it, but if I don’t have a native mobile app I am doomed”.

You’re damned if you do, and doomed if you don’t.

Benefits of apps vs. mobile websites

Apps offer benefits that other channels simply can’t, activating location services to coincide with in-store beacons and enhance the shopping experience with the ability to communicate special offers, discounts and personalise customer service and human interaction. The unprecedented accessibility and convenience of shopping from an app doesn’t even compete with that of a desktop, with many laptop users converting to the use of iPad Pro or smartphone to conduct their online shopping activity.

While most retailers have mobile-optimised sites, shoppers are clearly converting across multiple channels. The gap between share of traffic and share of sales represents a huge opportunity for retailers who don’t see over 40 per cent of their mobile traffic converting digitally. Mobile-optimised site browsing isn’t as seamless for the online shopper, which begs for retailers to offer a richer and more convenient customer experience which can be provided in app-form.

With Facebook usage on mobile at approximately 80 per cent and Instagram at almost 100 per cent, it makes sense this is where shoppers are browsing and sharing. So why is it the lions-share of marketing spend on fixed web technology? The skills needed from retailers in order to deliver on mobile are immensely different than web, requiring development, integrations and design (UX/UI).

Today’s marketing funnel is broken into short, intent-driven moments, and marketing’s role throughout the funnel routinely extends all the way through to purchase. As customers enter mid-funnel, skip stages altogether, or move through this new funnel out of order, the business costs to retailers continue to mount and the cost of acquiring and retaining new customers grows more expensive.  In addition, managing the host of technologies that retailers have adopted to meet these challenges has significantly slowed down their ability to respond with speed to changing customer expectations and software advances.

Most retailers turn to mobile vendors due to lack of sufficient in-house mobile resources and expertise to meet their strategic goals. Forrester recently reported that 56 per cent of retailers work with several partners, including agencies, specialty vendors, and platform providers, to support integrated mobile initiatives. The issue lies in integrating and managing multiple point solutions as there are high costs associated, and they hamper the retailer’s agility in responding to changing customer expectations.

So what is the solution to this modern retail dilemma?

Retailers need to partner with specialist tech organisations in order to combat the trend. It’s about working with those that not only have the know-how, but also the connections to produce a universal shopping experience via a native app where all retailers are reachable together.

Mobile first or even mobile-only solutions will start to surface to satisfy this need, where the shopper is chaperoned all the way from discovery to purchase in-store or online. The new measure will be a pay per action model where retailers will pay for an actual sale conversion.

While the future of mobile is bright, it’s vital for retailers to move their strategy to more than optimisation allowing a seamless experience for consumers and further driving sales and traffic via their hefty investment in app technology. This will ensure greater sales, but also higher in-store conversion. A channel consumers will never be able to completely step away from.

Cameron Wall is a mobile technologist and the co-founder of RainCheck

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Although many retailers are currently focusing their efforts on increasing online sales, statistics show that a high percentage of Australians will research a product online but head to a bricks and mortar store to make their purchase.

The co-founder and CEO of RainCheck app, Cameron Wall, has built his business on this premise.

RainCheck is an app that lets consumers save items they find online and receive a notification if a nearby bricks and mortar store stocks the product.

It was launched in November 2014 with the aim of converting the 88 per cent of shoppers who research online but make their purchases offline.

While online sales are important, Wall said there is evidence that getting customers in-store is more beneficial.

 

“It’s surprising to many, but retail online sales in Australia are slow, showing a growth of only 2.3 per cent over the past five years,” he explained.

“Three out of four shopping carts are abandoned and 88 per cent of shoppers research online to make purchases offline.

“The evidence is there that, in Australia, retailers need to be utilising tools to get the customers through the door, rather than trying to execute the sale online.”

Joining forces to fight cart abandonment

With this in mind, Wall’s company RainCheck has announced a partnership with Australian ‘buy now, pay later’ company Openpay that he hopes will drive customers to make purchases in-store.

After meeting at the NRF Retail Conference in New York, Wall and Openpay CEO Simon Scalzo decided that, together, their businesses could help address the issue of three in four online shopping carts being abandoned.

The partnership will use Openpay’s beacon technology to drive interaction with customers in-store and RainCheck’s ability to let customers know that stock researched online is available as the customer walks past the store. Openpay’s ‘buy now, pay later’ service will also encourage purchases.

“When you start to look at the impact of building customer awareness of targeted product availability together with deferred payment options, before the customer reaches the checkout, it represents a very effective way to assist retailers in driving sales, reaching a highly diverse and dispersed audience,” said Wall.

“We chose to partner with Openpay because they understand the significance of bringing customers in-store to purchase and have an app that facilitates that journey.

“By integrating with the RainCheck app shoppers are reminded at a contextual and relevant time, when the purchase decision is being made.”

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Press

Openpay has partnered with retail platform RainCheck to bridge the gap between online and offline shopping.

Interest-free retail payments provider Openpay has today announced a new key partnership that aims to benefit the 88% of shoppers that buy in-store after researching online. RainCheck is a retail platform that allows consumers to save online items into a wish list that alerts them when a store nearby stocks any item on their list, while Openpay lets consumers purchase an item and pay it back in interest-free instalments.

By combining the two tech-driven platforms, Openpay and RainCheck are hoping to corner a lucrative retail segment.

Shoppers still prefer in-store purchases

“It is surprising to many, but retail online sales in Australia are slow, showing a growth of only 2.3% over the past five years,” says Cameron Wall, CEO of RainCheck.

“Three out of four shopping carts are abandoned and 88% of shoppers research online to make purchases offline. The evidence is there that, in Australia, retailers need to need to be utilising tools that get the customers through the door, rather than trying to execute the sale online.”

The combined technology between the two companies will allow customers using RainCheck to save items they find online, and they’ll then have the option to “buy now, pay later” with Openpay if they make their purchase in-store.

Openpay’s CEO Simon Scalzo believes the new combined technology is driving potential customers to purchase in-store.

“The whole purpose behind the technology is capturing online browsers who don’t go all the way to the checkout,” he said.

Tech first

While still a self-described fintech platform, Scalzo believes Openpay is very much tech-focused.

“I’d like to say we’re very much focused on the tech perspective, and continuing to evolve our product…A great example of this is what we’ve been able to do with beacons. When the consumer walks in-store regardless of them having downloaded our app or not, the beacon is going to make them aware that if they want they can utilise a “buy now, pay later” solution in-store, seamlessly.”

Other innovations include integration with the retailer. The background of the Openpay app will change to fit the store’s branding that the consumer is shopping in, and retailers can send push notifications and messages to consumers about information such as sales.

Marrying online and in-store

The partnership has everything to do with connecting the online and in-store experience.

“I like the technology around connecting the two worlds: online and offline. To me that was really the key,” said Scalzo.

“Consumers want a consistent experience right? They don’t just want to have one experience when they’re shopping online and a different experience when they’re shopping in-store.”

Scalzo says the partnership with RainCheck, which focuses on connecting online and offline shopping, lines up with Openpay’s own goal to be “leading edge from an in-store perspective.”

“For both RainCheck and for us we saw it as a great partnership, as the focus of our business is really about that in-store journey, and RainCheck really wanted to partner with the provider that had in-store right and had a really significant presence in physical bricks and mortar stores.”

Consumer habits

While this recent partnership is innovating the way consumers think about retail payments, Scalzo admits the innovations are responding to consumer habits rather than shaping them.

“Technology is fundamentally important,” he said.

“I think “buy now, pay later” is really the evolution of layby, to a certain extent, in-store, but with more benefits; there is no paperwork, you can get the goods then and there and the retailers gets the funds the same day.”

“It’s just really digitising that process to be completely seamless.”

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Openpay has teamed up with Raincheck to create a new app developed to increase conversion rates. Consumers can now save items online into a “wishlist”, and be notified when passing a bricks and mortar store location.

FinTech payments company Openpay has announced a partnership with RainCheck, to enhance the online shopping experience further. A new Australian platform has been developed to enhance the online shopping experience by creating a social “wishlist” of relevant products, and providing multiple payment options.

Cameron Wall, CEO and co-founder of RainCheck, has seen the significant impact ‘buy now, pay later’ is having in retail. Following a meeting with Simon Scalzo, CEO of Openpay at the NRF’s Big Show in New York last month, the pair brainstormed over their foundations, and decided to integrate their technologies to build a new omnichannel platform via an app.

“By integrating with the RainCheck app, shoppers are able to buy from multiple retailers and brands in the one checkout with Openpay. It represents is an effective way to assist retailers in driving sales, reaching a highly diverse and dispersed audience,” says Scalzo.

Combining both companies’ ability to link traditional and online retail, the integration of the two omnichannel platforms could simplify the challenge of helping customers shop smarter and seamlessly, from browsing right through to purchase.

“While RainCheck initially existed to transcend the digital and physical worlds, we’re now supporting pureplays by taking their product feed into the RainCheck platform to sell directly through the app,” says Wall.

When you consider three out of four shopping carts are abandoned in Australia, retailers need to need to utilise tools that get the customers’ conversion online.

“By adding our RainCheck star button, so users can RainCheck items off our retailers websites, we help capture the three in four abandoned online shopping carts to convert the sale at a later date.”

RainCheck is an online to offline retail platform that bridges the gap between online browsing into offline shopping and purchase. Consumers now have the ability to save items online into a “wishlist”, and be notified when passing a bricks and mortar store location.

Technology and data are central for both Openpay and RainCheck, providing retailers with access to never before seen retail analytics through its integrated apps, including the ability to understand customer behaviour.

“With plug-in platforms like these, online retailers are able to flex and react at speed when interventions are required, with a tailored solution based on what customers are responding to,”  Scalzo.

This partnership continues to build on the groups significant in-store abilities to drive a new level of interaction with the customer in-store via Openpay’s unique beacon technology and RainCheck’s ability to build customer awareness of stock researched online and available in-store as the customer walks past the store.

“We chose to partner with Openpay because they understand the significance of bringing technology to the retail landscape and have an app that facilitates that journey.”

“In-store is still a major priority, and using mobile technologies is central to modernising our in-store solution to seamlessly implement purchase opportunities into our users’ everyday activities, when inspiration, intention and proximity collide,” says Scalzo.

Openpay is the only ‘buy now, pay later’ app born in-store. Openpay’s technology has evolved over four years to deliver a seamless in-store and online payment solution across many lifestyle industries, with a significant retail footprint in thousands of stores nationally.

About Openpay

Openpay is an online, in-store and in-home payments solution that allows consumers to buy now and pay later, interest free. The technology framework has been developed over four years and has proven to be successful under the Jam Payments, Evoke AutoPay and other white label brands. This year, led by its newly formed board and advisory committee, it has been consolidated into one group and a one single brand and new app platform – Openpay.

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Now, more than ever before, consumers are using their smartphones not only as a communication tool, but also as their number one shopping and retail browsing precinct. This shift in consumer behaviour when it comes to mobile browsing has created what I term the Mobile Strategy Dilemma: should retailers develop a mobile application, or invest heavily in a highly responsive website? Having both a native app strategy and an e-commerce website is a waste of money and grossly unrealistic for retailers, so a choice absolutely needs to be made. But what is the best choice? And which will work best for any given retailer? Let’s look at the numbers. According to recent data from ComScore, smartphone apps now constitute 50 per cent of all digital media time, up a huge 44 per cent from a year ago. Mobile is now a whopping 68 per cent overall with desktop claiming just 32 per cent of digital attention. As a society, and with advancements in technology and payment methods, we are transitioning from a ‘point and click’ world to a ‘swipe and tap’ way of life, steering away from the world of desktops to multi-channel usage. Retailers that aren’t reacting to these changes in mobile usage won’t see any online sales conversion, which is where the money lies. This is where the Mobile Strategy Dilemma comes in. Retailers are asking: “If I invest in a native app strategy not enough people will download and use it, but if I don’t have a native mobile app I am doomed”. You’re damned if you do, and doomed if you don’t. Benefits of apps vs. mobile websites Apps offer benefits that other channels simply can’t, activating location services to coincide with in-store beacons and enhance the shopping experience with the ability to communicate special offers, discounts and personalise customer service and human interaction. The unprecedented accessibility and convenience of shopping from an app doesn’t even compete with that of a desktop, with many laptop users converting to the use of iPad Pro or smartphone to conduct their online shopping activity. While most retailers have mobile-optimised sites, shoppers are clearly converting across multiple channels. The gap between share of traffic and share of sales represents a huge opportunity for retailers who don’t see over 40 per cent of their mobile traffic converting digitally. Mobile-optimised site browsing isn’t as seamless for the online shopper, which begs for retailers to offer a richer and more convenient customer experience which can be provided in app-form. With Facebook usage on mobile at approximately 80 per cent and Instagram at almost 100 per cent, it makes sense this is where shoppers are browsing and sharing. So why is it the lions-share of marketing spend on fixed web technology? The skills needed from retailers in order to deliver on mobile are immensely different than web, requiring development, integrations and design (UX/UI). Today’s marketing funnel is broken into short, intent-driven moments, and marketing’s role throughout the funnel routinely extends all the way through to purchase. As customers enter mid-funnel, skip stages altogether, or move through this new funnel out of order, the business costs to retailers continue to mount and the cost of acquiring and retaining new customers grows more expensive. In addition, managing the host of technologies that retailers have adopted to meet these challenges has significantly slowed down their ability to respond with speed to changing customer expectations and software advances. Most retailers turn to mobile vendors due to lack of sufficient in-house mobile resources and expertise to meet their strategic goals. Forrester recently reported that 56 per cent of retailers work with several partners, including agencies, specialty vendors, and platform providers, to support integrated mobile initiatives. The issue lies in integrating and managing multiple point solutions as there are high costs associated, and they hamper the retailer’s agility in responding to changing customer expectations. So what is the solution to this modern retail dilemma? Retailers need to partner with specialist tech organisations in order to combat the trend. It’s about working with those that not only have the know-how, but also the connections to produce a universal shopping experience via a native app where all retailers are reachable together. Mobile first or even mobile-only solutions will start to surface to satisfy this need, where the shopper is chaperoned all the way from discovery to purchase in-store or online. The new measure will be a pay per action model where retailers will pay for an actual sale conversion. While the future of mobile is bright, it’s vital for retailers to move their strategy to more than optimisation allowing a seamless experience for consumers and further driving sales and traffic via their hefty investment in app technology. This will ensure greater sales, but also higher in-store conversion. A channel consumers will never be able to completely step away from.
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