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Industry News - January 20th 2014



Home Depot Expands PayPal POS Pilot to 51 Stores

The five-store Home Depot pilot of PayPal's point-of-sale solution that began in Q4 2011 will expand to 51 stores this week, primarily in the San Francisco Bay Area. John Donahoe, CEO of PayPal owner eBay, promised even more expansion later this year, both with Home Depot and in other national retailers' stores.

"PayPal customers will be able to easily and quickly pay for purchases in the [pilot stores] by either swiping their PayPal card, or simply entering their mobile phone number and PIN," said Donahoe during a recent conference call. "You can shop without your wallet, without your credit cards or even your mobile phone, just pay with PayPal."

PayPal is moving aggressively into the brick-and-mortar payments arena. In addition to exhibiting at this week's National Retail Federation Big Show, PayPal's own Shopping Showcase in New York demonstrates its payment solutions in retail-like environments. More than 100 retailers have visited the Showcase since it opened in November 2011, according to Donahoe.

"We anticipate [the PayPal solution] will give consumers better shopping experiences and more flexible payment choices," Donahoe added. "And for retailers, we believe this will give them opportunities to not only engage consumers at checkout, but also throughout their entire multichannel shopping experience."

PayPal is also increasing its presence in the m-commerce payments market. In 2011, "our mobile payment volume hit $4 billion, more than five times the volume of the year before," noted Donahoe. "The number of PayPal customers regularly making a purchase through their mobile phone more than doubled during the second half of the year. Simply put, consumers are shopping more frequently via mobile and merchants who adopt PayPal Mobile Express Checkout are seeing significantly higher conversion. We expect PayPal's mobile growth to continue, with mobile volume in 2014 estimated to hit $7 billion."

Best Buy Canada Pilots Mobile POS

Best Buy Canada will pilot mobile point-of-sale capabilities in select Future Shop and Best Buy store locations by summer 2014. The mobile POS solution will be implemented on a service-oriented architecture (SOA)-based Stella Nova Mobile Retail Framework.

This Mobile POS solution is architected to keep POS functionality independent of the mobile device and its operating system, a design that will enable the retailer to adapt to future shifts in mobility trends and technology. The solution's two key components are the Mobile Retail Framework, a suite of core transaction services built on the Microsoft .NET Framework, and the Mobile Client User Interface, offered on multiple handheld, phone and tablet formats and enabled on operating systems including Apple iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 7.

The solution can be accessed either through in-store wireless networks or global wireless communications through the cloud, and can also be extended to enable transactions on customers' own mobile devices.nt movie-going audience through a vehicle that is fresher and more in-depth than the traditional trailer loops.

H&M Website Crashes Again After Second Versace Launch

H&M didn't learn from its mistakes as the apparel retailer experienced its second website crash in three months after the launch of its online exclusive Versace Cruise 2014 Collection. The initial launch of its Versace collection in November 2011 resulted in a crash that made the list of the 7 Most Stunning Website Failures of 2011.
The collection, which was launched on Jan. 19 and sold out almost immediately, caused the retailer's website to go down and elicited a strong response from its customers. H&M sent out a tweet stating "We're very sorry for the tech problems during today's #VersaceforHM launch. We're working on expanding capacity for more visitors."
A few followers replied to the tweet to voice their dissatisfaction with the company's e-commerce strategy. One reply read, "@hm your website and online ordering service/delivery is one of the worst I've used!" and another recalled the retailer's previous site crash, sarcastically saying "@hm Big surprise. BIG surprise."
In an official statement to Fashionista about the technical difficulties, the company explained how the unexpectedly high and immediate interest from its customers caused the crash.
"Due to the high volume of customers shopping the Versace Cruise collection our website was down for a few hours," said H&M in the statement. "We have been working hard to solve the technical problems that occurred to avoid that this will happen again in the future. We of course hope that as many customers as possible had the possibility to shop. This is a limited, one-off collection which is supposed to sell out in a couple of days but the interest from our customers highly exceeded anything we could have expected."
The company, which has been behind on getting a fully functional e-commerce site up, also announced on its Twitter that it will launch an online shop in the US this coming fall. The launch was postponed in order to "launch the best possible shopping website for our customers!"


Pizzeria Venti Rolls out Tablets for Tableside Ordering

VentiCorp, a Georgia-based franchisor of Pizzeria Venti restaurants is rolling out Presto tablets developed by Silicon Valley technology company E la Carte, Inc. The rapidly expanding Italian casual dining chain also has plans to deploy the Presto tablets at their La Cucina di Venti and PV Piccolo Express foodservice concepts during the 4th quarter of this year.

The iPad-like touch screen tablets allow guests to browse detailed menus with mouthwatering pictures, place orders, split checks, make payments, and play interactive games – all from the comfort of their restaurant seats without having to wait.  

"We've found that E la Carte's Presto tablets significantly enhance our guest satisfaction, and therefore improve our brand as a restaurant that prides itself on both authentic Italian cuisine and superior service," says Joseph Gallina, vice president of Operations for Pizzeria Venti.

"We've been waiting for a technology like this to come along and found that the MIT team of E la Carte were the ideal partners to meet our needs. For our guests, no more waiting is a wonderful thing.”
The Presto tablet has been proven to assist in the efficiency and profitability of deployed restaurants.  It has shown an increase in sales by 10% by capitalizing on diners’ urges through impulse orders, up sales, and personalized recommendations. Wait times have been reduced by an average of 7 minutes per party, allowing restaurants to seat more guests on a busy evening by streamlining operations.
After testing the revolutionary technology in their Mountain View, California location, the restaurant group was sure they had found what they were looking for.


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