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Industry News - October 3rd 2014



wefi Reveals Wi-Fi Connectivity Trends at Leading National Coffee Chains

wefi has revealed Wi-Fi connectivity trends at national coffee chains including Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Tully's and Panera. The company analyzed Wi-Fi speeds and application usage patterns of customers at these establishments. The report found Starbucks, Tully's Coffee and Dunkin Donuts to lead in fastest Wi-Fi download speeds and highest total data consumption. Google Chrome, Facebook and YouTube are most used applications by coffee shop patrons.

The National Coffee Association reports that 61 percent of Americans drink coffee daily, making the stopover at the local brew house a popular ritual. With coffee shops becoming a popular destination for both work and play, bandwidth connectivity has become a key differentiator for businesses especially as 39 percent of Americans would rather give up coffee over Wi-Fi, according to a recent Broadcom survey. Forward-thinking coffee establishments continue to ensure that their patrons don't have to make that decision.
When looking for the fastest download speeds, Starbucks has consistently performed better than competing coffee shop chains. However, the most data consumed per device occurs at Dunkin Donuts with Facebook, YouTube and Twitter driving the most data usage. Google Chrome was by far the most popular application, with over 18 minutes of foreground data consumption (amount of time an application is open and active), per device on average, closely followed by Facebook (16.78 min.) and YouTube (14.8 min.)

Additional detailed findings include:
Coffee Shops with the fastest download speed
Starbucks (0.18 mbps)
Tully's Coffee (0.15 mbps)
Dunkin Donuts (0.13 mbps)
Coffee shops with the highest total data consumption
Dunkin Donuts (47.45MB)
Tully's (27.75MB)
Starbucks (24.26MB)

wefi collected data from more than 45 million hotspots based on the implementation of its intelligent network selection solution within multiple cable operators throughout the U.S. The metrics are based on a 30-day average of Wi-Fi speeds for each location starting from August 1 to August 31, 2014.

Capital Teas Shifts to Mobile Payments & Loyalty Program

More and more brands are making moves to leverage the rapid shift to mobile by customers in the wake of Apple’s mobile wallet announcement. Capital Teas, a specialty tea provider headquartered in Annapolis, Maryland, has selected Levelup to power its mobile payment and loyalty app. In addition to enhancing customers’ mobile experience by providing one easy place to access their method of payment and loyalty rewards, Capital Teas’ app will also place the Capital Teas card right in Passbook, just next to the customer's other payment method choices, namely Visa, Amex and MasterCard. But only when customers pay with Capital Teas’ branded card will they automatically accrue/redeem rewards.

LevelUp, the industry's leading mobile-first payment and loyalty platform, enables merchants to provide customers with a seamless loyalty and mobile payment experience, while giving brands the rich, real-time customer data they need to run a successful loyalty program.

Customers using the Capital Teas app, and integrated “Pass,” will unlock rewards each time they reach a certain spending threshold at Capital Teas. With its strong online retail presence in mind, Capital Teas also plans to incorporate in-app ordering in a second release for an even better customer experience.

The Capital Teas app is slated to launch in November and will be available as a free download on the App Store and Google Play.

Whole Foods Market to Offer One-Hour Delivery

Whole Foods Market and one-hour grocery delivery service Instacart have begun piloting one-hour home delivery in select markets. In addition, customers will be able to place orders via Instacart and pick it up at a local participating Whole Foods store.

The two companies will pilot the in-store pickup option at select Austin and Boston stores in the next month. Instacart delivers from Whole Foods Market in all of the 15 cities it currently serves, and in the coming months is expecting to expand the in-store pickup option to all of those cities.

"Instacart makes it extremely easy for our customers to buy Whole Foods Market products from 15 cities and have them quickly delivered—whether buying fresh ingredients for dinner tonight or sending healthy foods to loved ones in another city,” Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market said. “We are thrilled to add this additional convenience for our customers.”

Instacart and Whole Foods Market expect to build on this foundation of services in the coming months to create more solutions for simple, convenient online grocery shopping, delivery and pickup.  

“Instacart and Whole Foods Market are two companies that share a common vision to create great grocery shopping experiences,” Apoorva Mehta, CEO and founder of Instacart said. “Whole Foods Market is our most requested shopping destination, and we’re happy to be working together to create a seamless, quick option for customers with busy lifestyles.”

All Instacart customers receive free delivery on their first order; thereafter the cost is just $3.99 for two-hour delivery or $5.99 for one-hour delivery. Customers can also purchase a $99 annual Instacart Express membership and receive free delivery on any order over $35.

Microsoft to Open First Flagship Store on Fifth Avenue

Microsoft is set to open its first flagship store on Fifth Avenue, placing a stake in the ground in one of the most expensive and visible retail locations in the world.

The new mid-town Manhattan store will open sometime in 2015 and will take over the space currently occupied by Fendi. The location is just a few blocks away from Apple's famed cube flagship store — a clear indication that Microsoft is prepared to elevate its feud with its long-time rival.

"As our first flagship store, it will serve as the centerpiece of our Microsoft Stores experience," David Porter, corporate vice president, worldwide retail stores, Microsoft wrote on a blog on Microsoft's website. "This is a goal we’ve had since day one – we were only waiting for the right location. And now we have it."

Microsoft has been hush, hush on the details of the store only promising that the flagship location will go above and beyond they typical Microsoft store experience.

"Our Fifth Avenue location will be much more than just a Microsoft store," Porter said. "In addition to retail, there will be experiential space for Microsoft as a company to further engage with our customers and partners in new and innovative ways. This is an important milestone for Microsoft overall, our stores team and millions of our current customers, as well as the millions to come."

The company has been expanding its retail presence of late upping its total to 104 sites in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, with 10 more planned to open before the holiday season.


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