Blog

What Moms Really Want this Mother’s Day – Gift Cards

May 8th, 2013 | Category - Industry Insights

By Transaction Wireless

Mother’s Day is approximately four days away and if you’re the procrastinating type, which a lot of us are, chances are you still haven’t purchased a gift for Mom. It happens though; with busy schedules between work, school, attending social gatherings and more, these types of things can get put on the back burner and easily slip our minds. But as we near Mom’s special day and scramble to find her the perfect gift, many of us might miss the mark.

A recent survey conducted by Ebates.com found that about 55% of men thought that the mom in their life wants to receive roses, but the No. 1 item women actually want is a gift card for their favorite brand. So what does that mean for you? If you’re the last minute type, digital gift cards could be the perfect answer, and for those of you that live afar, you can still send Mom a gift that she’ll love without the hassle and unpredictability of shipping. With digital gift cards, personalization is brought to life through a special message, video, photo, or voice recording and for the tech-savvy moms, can be easily stored onto a mobile phone for use at a later time.

Transaction Wireless, a cloud-based enterprise solution for B2C and B2B gift cards is in full swing, powering digital gift cards for Mother’s Day for a number of merchants including Applebee’s, Boston Market, California Pizza Kitchen, Fandango, Olive Garden, Red Robin, and SpaFinder® Wellness. Brands leveraging the Mother’s Day theme in digital gift cards include Applebee’s “buy $50 in digital gift cards and receive a $10 digital bonus card,” as well as SpaWish, a SpaFinder Wellness Company, who is offering e-gift cards at $35 for the value of $50 through Groupon.

Another gift moms will love and you’ll love as a solution to your procrastination, is TwoSmiles by HP which was recently launched as a unique greeting card and gift card product that is print-on-demand and offers a variety of Mother’s Day greeting artwork. So as you scour through the department store the night before Mother’s Day, think about whether Mom will really enjoy that pearl necklace or maroon sweater, and instead opt for the gift they really want—a gift card.

See our Mother’s Day press release here.

Social Shopping

October 28th, 2011 | Category - Industry Insights

Social networking has rapidly become a powerful platform and will only continue to grow. The mix of social networking and consumer preferences makes for a compelling combination that retailers can use to their advantage. People share what they like and make recommendations on social sites such as Facebook, and the next step is to then send what they recommend, and what they think their friends would like, as a digital gift.

The emergence of social shopping allows retailers to further fuel digital gift card adoption and grow their brand. Most retailers have a Facebook page in place and can interact and have a dialogue with their customers. However, not many of them can convert “likes” and comments into sales. Instead of just responding to comments and monitoring conversations, retailers can now offer digital gifts and highly targeted offers based on each person’s activity on the social
media site.

It’s common for people look at what their friends on Facebook recommend and brands they like before purchasing something. In fact, a study conducted by Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate Research Technologies found that consumers are 51% more likely to buy from a brand they follow on Facebook. Additionally, they’re 60% more likely to recommend companies they follow to a friend on Facebook.

Now retailers can take that idea one step further by allowing friends to send a digital gift card directly through Facebook. Not only can someone “like” a brand or a company and leave a positive comment, they can also send a digital gift card to their friends for them to try it out.

With Transaction Wireless™ wGiftCard, which can be used on the Facebook platform, consumers have the option to add personal text, audio, images, or video messages, and to schedule delivery of the digital gift card for a specific day and time. This individualized approach gives customers a more satisfying interaction with brands. There’s also the unique benefit of being able to post the digital gift card on the recipient’s Facebook wall.

Social media can be a powerful tool for those who know how to use it. Retailers have a great opportunity to capitalize on the Facebook platform and use social shopping to drive adoption of digital gift cards and grow their brand.

Intelligent Gifting

October 28th, 2011 | Category - Industry Insights

Digital gift cards are highly valued among consumers, retailers and marketers alike. Consumers get the convenience of having their gift card on their mobile phone without the worry of losing it or forgetting it. The sender can personalize the digital gift card with greetings and images depending on the occasion. The recipient of the digital gift card has the benefit of using it online or printing it out to use in-store and some retailers are able to scan the gift card on the recipient’s mobile phone. Additionally, eco-minded shoppers like that the cards are digital, not plastic so it’s a win-win situation for everyone.

But there’s more: digital gifting leads to intelligent gifting. Digital gift cards are a data dream come true for retailers, who can use digital gifting to better leverage consumer information, helping them bridge the gap between online and offline marketing. They can better understand consumer behavior and find ways to engage and incentivize more effectively. For example, this information enables retailers to offer special discounts, promotions and previews of sales, allowing them to convert casual shoppers into brand loyalists.

With Transaction Wireless, retailers can better understand their customers with wConnect, which has a robust dashboard and platform in place to access and act on key data. The Transaction Wireless wConnect solution enables retailers and brands to seamlessly manage email, mobile and Facebook marketing campaigns for their customers, using a single, comprehensive application that unifies all delivery formats for optimal consumer viewing and brand message experience. It allows retailers and marketers to more effectively target their customers and offer an individualized, unique shopping experience. This is how Transaction Wireless is bringing intelligent gifting to brands, retailers and consumers.

New Brand Loyalty – What Retailers Can Do Now

September 16th, 2011 | Category - Industry Insights

By Doug Schneider, CEO, Transaction Wireless

Social networking is taking up more and more of our time, despite 79% of Internet Retailer’s Top 500 having a Facebook presence; only 10% of retailers have shopping-enabled Facebook pages or applications, according to a report from Ability Commerce.

While most retailers are willing to embrace new technologies, they sometimes struggle with the resources required to create and support them. Even so, mobile and social networking are not going away, in fact, they are growing bigger every day and retailers simply can’t afford to sit on the sidelines.

As the iPhone and other smart phones continue to boom, the chatter about mobile commerce keeps increasing, and as developers continue to find new and unique ways to improve our lives, consumers are beginning to expect more from retailers and the overall purchasing experience. Consumers are becoming increasingly dependent on instant gratification, and are demanding a much more engaged, personal experience. Anything else from retailers is just considered spam.

With this in mind, a key group that retailers must appease is the Millennial Generation, also known as Generation Y. They are a buying force to be reckoned with. They are social. They want to be engaged. They seek authenticity and sophistication. Experiences that deliver will earn their loyalty. For retailers to really influence Millennials, they need to begin embracing new ways of engagement across multiple channels in a much more personal, intuitive way.

So what can retailers do to improve customer interactions while benefiting their bottom line? Here are some tips:

  • Gift Cards and Loyalty Programs – It’s definitely in the retailer’s best interest if consumers redeem gift cards, especially because they often result in sales over the gift card amount. Mobile gift cards provide retailers with an avenue to personalize customer service by offering customizable text messages with a free gift or discount. Mobile gift cards can also help retailers facilitate loyalty programs by automatically offering an incentive, such as a free cup of coffee after the tenth visit to a cafe.
  • Great Customer Intelligence - Digital gifts provide retailers with insight into consumer behavior, opening up opportunities for highly-targeted, successful offers and more satisfying customer interactions. Savvy retailers will use these solutions to monitor consumer behavior and offer deals tailored to specific demographic groups, regions and even individuals.
  • Activating and Monetizing Facebook – Patented technology from Transaction Wireless enables retailers to offer digital gift cards on Facebook to help drive new traffic and heighten brand perception – all without dedicated resources. The technology helps increase sales without having to develop an expensive shopping app.
  • “Greening” the Process - Digital gift cards reduce the number of plastic gift cards produced, mailed, and thrown in the landfill. Digital gift card platforms eliminate physical inventory and shipping costs and make it easier for customers to track and manage their cards online.
  • Securing Your Mobile Wallet – While the allure of having an entirely mobile wallet is appealing to many, making the leap of faith to turn over their credit cards, identity, and financial security to their phone is an intimidating concept. PCI (Payment Card Industry) Level 1 compliant, Transaction Wireless enables consumers to make gift card purchases with their phones without the fear of opening up their bank accounts to security threats.
  • 21st Century Retailing: Advantages of Early Adoption - There’s no question that mobile commerce is the future. Early adopters, like Millennials, embrace mobile commerce enthusiastically. The “hottest” items can be offered to mobile customers first, who can then respond almost immediately whether they have their wallet with them or not. Retailers who start now will have a leg up on the competition and consumer desire for the next best thing will help drive adoption.

Do Retailers Get Mobile Commerce?

March 20th, 2011 | Category - Industry Insights

By Doug Schneider
CEO, Transaction Wireless

Gone are the days of increasing retail sales solely via clever TV ads placed on major networks and select offers in the Sunday paper. Today’s retailers use multiple channels to reach busy, media-savvy consumers.

Mobile commerce, defined as purchasing an item or gift card through a web-enabled smartphone, brought in nearly $5 billion in 2010 according to ABI Research. We’re at the forefront of this technology having worked with numerous retailers over the last five years and found that the lines between commerce and mobile marketing, especially loyalty programs, couponing and redemption options, have blurred.

As the number of smartphones overtakes the number and capabilities of PCs worldwide in 2012, mobile commerce is poised to skyrocket. Near Field Communications (NFC) has emerged with market leaders like Google and Apple working to improve mobile commerce capabilities with NFC-enabled phones. Super fast 3G and 4G network speeds, phone processing speeds, increased screen size and other PC-like features have all contributed to a positive mobile commerce experience. With the hardware in place, merchants need to follow suit with technology at registers to accept mobile payments and improve their mobile commerce offerings.

But, why then don’t all retailers have a mobile commerce strategy to take advantage of these opportunities? According to the Association of National Advertisers and the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), 88% of large retailers and consumer brand manufacturers will tap mobile marketing in some fashion for promotional campaigns this year. While smartphone hardware and software is lining up properly this year, many Point of Sale (POS) terminals are not. This remains the largest obstacle for retailers when considering new mobile commerce initiatives, particularly those tied to redemption, as new POS technology is costly – and the economic slowdown hasn’t helped matters. Some retailers are also concerned about slowing down the check-out process and needing additional training for staff. Still others don’t believe they have the resources to roll out new technologies.

Consumers, Select Retailers are Leading the Way
However, there are many, rapidly emerging examples of successful mobile commerce adoption programs. Starbucks has pioneered mobile payments offering one of the largest programs in the country, even without NFC. Customers present a barcode on their smartphones to purchase coffee without a wallet – simple and easy for both the consumer and baristas. It also helps build additional usage of their loyalty card since consumers always have their mobile device handy.

Youth-brand leader American Eagle Outfitters is an early mobile and social media pioneer and offers in-store redemption of mobile gift cards for various brands – AEO, 77 Kids and Aerie – a perfect fit for its technology-hungry youth clientele as well as the ability to purchase gift cards on their mobile phones and share their gifting experience with their Facebook friends .

More and more consumers are looking for convenient purchasing options that fit into increasingly mobile lifestyles. Eighty percent of consumers use their mobile phones to check pricing, receive coupons and visit retailers’ websites. They’re hard wired for instant gratification and expect highly targeted messages and discounts, not blanket spam.

Gift cards, a multi-billion dollar industry affecting virtually all consumers, boost retailers’ bottom line. However many states are considering legislation to regulate and take a cut of breakage – gift cards that are sold but never redeemed for merchandise. It’s in retailers’ best interest for consumers to redeem gift cards, as they can often result in an increase in sales over the gift card amount. Over Valentine’s Day, we saw the largest increase in virtual and mobile gift card sales to date for just about all of our clients – some going up 300-500 percent. However, one of the major complaints from consumers is losing or leaving their gift cards behind, a problem easily solved by accessing their digital gift cards any time and via any digital device such their smartphones, online or emails. With traditional plastic gift card programs, purchasers and recipients are completely anonymous to retailers. Digital gifts (emails, mobile and Facebook) provide insight into specific consumer behavior, opening up opportunities for highly targeted, successful offers and more satisfying interaction with brands.

Retailers need to start planning now to take advantage of the many benefits mobile commerce and marketing provide. When selecting a technology partner, retailers should consider the following:

  • Multi-Platform Capabilities – from plastic to mobile – technology should enhance current programs (plastic, Internet) and provide a path for new opportunities (Facebook, mobile).
  • Few in-house dedicated resources – not all technology solutions require extensive in-house resources to implement. Find those companies willing to fit in to your existing structure including your existing POS technologies.
  • Customer intelligence – one of the most crucial benefits, culling specific intelligence about customers for more compelling programs and offers.
  • Easy-to-use interface and complete brand control – staying true to your brand’s look and feel while being able to deliver a compelling and unique brand experience.

Do retailers “get” mobile commerce? By and large, the answer is yes. However, it’s not yet a number one priority and, like most things, it’s a cost-benefit analysis. Many retailers have misconceptions that any move into the space will require extensive resources so they’re taking a wait and see approach. Don’t wait too long! The technology is coming of age and it’s poised to take off this year. Those who aren’t making plans now will likely see their market share suffer as these demanding mobile consumers let their mobile wallets do the talking.

A New Wave of Mobility

February 28th, 2011 | Category - Industry Insights

Greensheet.com – February 11, 2011

In late 2010, Transaction Wireless launched wCharge, an on-demand mobile POS terminal application targeting small mobile merchants and enterprise-class businesses. Recently, we’ve gone through our reseller partners, and we’ve been opening up enterprise customers, said Steve King, Director for Transaction Wireless. “Hence, we’ve had to evolve our mobile environment.” The company charges a monthly fee for its service.

Read the full article

Facebook Credits, The Future of Mobile & Online Purchases

February 28th, 2011 | Category - Industry Insights

Mybanktracker.com – February 3, 2011

As consumers wait, and analysts guess who will lead us into a world of virtual wallets and mobile payments, it may be the company that currently helps us post to our friends wall, tag them in photos and update our status. With over 600 million users, Facebook and their currency platform “Credits” is poised to be the future of how we pay for both virtual and physical goods.

Read the full article

Shopping by Smartphone

February 28th, 2011 | Category - Industry Insights

Connectedworldmag.com – February 18, 2011

Retailers should take notice of the responses associated with mobile gift cards from the Accenture survey. When asked what they would do should they receive a coupon to their mobile phone for the equivalent of a US $10 gift card (expressed in the local currency) for a store where they do not usually shop, 77% indicated they would redeem the coupon at the store that issued the card for the full amount. This reveals that mobile couponing could be a powerful way for retailers to attract new crowds to their stores.

Read the full article

Does Facebook Hold the Future of Mobile Payments in Its Hands?

February 28th, 2011 | Category - Industry Insights

Mobilecommercedaily.com - February 17, 2011

With more than 200 million mobile users, Facebook and its currency platform Credits is poised to be the future of how we pay for both virtual and physical goods. How can Facebook’s Credits change the mobile payments arena? It is important to first highlight, that for any mobile payments system to work, consumers will need to open some form of application to allow users to connect the phone to complete the payment. To date, Facebook sees over 200 million unique users accessing the social network through a mobile devices each month.

Read the full article

Mobile Transactions Will Total Nearly $1 Trillion by 2014

February 28th, 2011 | Category - Industry Insights

Giftcardpartners.com – February 22, 2011

The predictions around mobile payment are pretty robust. eMarketer states that mobile transactions will total nearly $1 trillion by 2014. Yankee Group <http://www.yankeegroup.com/> predicts the worldwide transaction value of mobile payments will move from $162 billion last year to $984 billion by 2014. This includes transactions from mobile banking, international and domestic remittances, contactless cards, mobile coupons and near-field communications. eCerts and mobile gift cards is a sliver of this transactions pie, but the trend towards paying with mobile will surely make gift cards more accessible and it will open up a new delivery method for the worldwide corporations and remote companies involved in B2B gift cards. http://blog.giftcardpartners.com/

Global Mobile Revenues to Top $1 Trillion in 2013

January 15th, 2010 | Category - Industry Insights

Research firm predicts booming mobile data services growth will more than offset declining voice revenues.

Global mobile service revenues will exceed $1 trillion for the first time in 2013, driven by surging mobile data revenues.

According to new forecasts announced by Informa Telecoms & Media on Friday, mobile data revenues will surge to $330 billion by 2013, up from an estimated $208 billion in 2008.

Credit Card Processing Solutions

January 14th, 2010 | Category - Industry Insights

It is easy for a business owner to get overwhelmed by all the information that’s available regarding credit card processing providers. The merchant services market arguably has more middlemen than any other industry in America. But it is important to keep in mind that business owners don’t necessarily need to learn everything there is to know about credit card processing. Like many other things in business (and in life), the secret to choosing a merchant services provider is to keep it simple. Many companies have become successful with the help of one of many simple credit card processing solutions.

Read the full article»

Mobile Marketing Association Forecasts 2010 Trends for North America and Celebrates 2009 Accomplishments

December 15th, 2009 | Category - Industry Insights

The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) (www.mmaglobal.com), a global organization leading the way in promoting the development and sustainability of mobile marketing, today announces its top 10 industry predictions for mobile marketing in North America for the coming year. As 2009 comes to a close, the MMA also celebrates several significant milestones that will serve as a solid foundation moving into the new year.

Visit Website Read Full Story»