Content about Tech Bytes

April 7, 2014

The recent introduction of Retail Site Intelligence (RSI), a store technology platform based on the ZigBee wireless standard and collaboratively released by Kroger, EInfochips and Wincor-Nixdor, reinforces the coming explosion of sensing technologies in retail.

March 31, 2014

At the recent Oracle Industry Connect Conference held in Boston, a number of speakers from prominent retailers including Kohl’s, Hot Topic, and C. Wonder extolled the virtues of “vanilla” implementations of enterprise systems.

March 25, 2014

iBeacons, the Apple iOS 7 technological feature that uses low-frequency Bluetooth transmissions to help mobile devices track their position relative to stationary beacons, are getting quite a bit of attention from retailers and the IT vendors who serve them.

March 17, 2014

When preventing the type of data breaches that have recently gotten the names of several major retailers in the news for all the wrong reasons comes up, the discussion focuses almost exclusively on what type of technology should be employed to prevent them.

March 10, 2014

In recent years, the retail industry’s view of technology has expanded from something only the IT department needs to be concerned about to something that other departments, such as marketing and finance, also share an active interest in.

March 3, 2014

As I have previously expressed in this column, I am a Bitcoin skeptic. The recent news that major global Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox suddenly disappeared, possibly due to losing as much as $350 million to fraud allowed by a computer glitch, reinforced my reservations about Bitcoin and similar electronic currencies.

February 24, 2014

Recent news that Starbucks will soon start offering a feature on its Square payment app that automatically prompts customers to leave a tip for appropriate purchases and also calculates “basic,” “better” and “best” tip amounts serves as a reminder of the three rules of modern CRM. Automate, automate, automate.

February 18, 2014

In recent years, retailers have aggressively implemented in-store systems to track customers’ every move from the moment they enter till the moment they leave (hopefully including a trip through a checkout lane).

February 10, 2014

It’s no secret that today’s teens and twenty-somethings have grown up on social media and see it as an extension of their everyday lives.

February 3, 2014

As we look back on the first-ever outdoor cold weather Super Bowl, there are several lessons digital retailers can take away from how the NFL, Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks all prepared for what many said was an impossible or foolish undertaking.

January 27, 2014

In recent years, customer engagement has become much more of a mission-critical function for retailers. While nobody would argue that retailers must engage their customers in a way that recognizes the disruptive effects of leading-edge technologies like social and mobile, there is a priority that looms even larger. Namely, data security.

January 20, 2014

As always, the NRF Conference & Exposition went by in a blur, but looking back on three jam-packed days of industry insight and networking, a few trends kept coming up again and again.

January 13, 2014

The NRF 2014 Conference & Exposition kicked things off Sunday, Jan. 12 with sessions examining both how social media will continue to evolve as a dominant means of customer interaction and how the brick-and-mortar store will remain a highly relevant part of the retail environment in the 21st century. Let’s look at a few highlights from each session.

January 9, 2014

You’ve got to hand it to Amazon.com. While consistently turning a profit has eluded Amazon for the past 18 years, the company has consistently taken a lead in disrupting retail.

January 6, 2014

Last week, I looked back at 2013 and how the biggest single trend in retail IT was customers using connective technology to take control of the shopping experience. This week, I look forward to the new year of 2014, when the biggest single trend in retail IT will be customer disruption.

December 23, 2013

We have reached the time of year when everyone wonders whether they made the “naughty” or “nice” list. Here are a few suggestions for omni-channel retailers who want to ensure Santa (and your customers) place you firmly on the nice list.

December 16, 2013

It has been a rough start to the holiday season for the closeout retail sector. Building #19, a New England-based closeout chain that became something of a local institution, recently closed its doors after 50 years in business (though it plans to reopen a few locations as specialty rug stores).

December 2, 2013

Bitcoin, the nearly anonymous, peer-to-peer online currency, has been getting attention lately. The attention has not been necessarily positive, as bitcoin was the preferred currency of the recently closed down Silk Road “darknet” site that served as a virtual global marketplace for narcotics and other illegal goods.

November 25, 2013

Many retailers are no doubt entering Thanksgiving week with trepidation at the prospect of keeping all systems go during what has become a six-day frenzy of “Black Friday” activity that now runs from the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to the Monday after.

November 18, 2013

Workforce management data, such as time and attendance and payroll, is generally seen as information pertaining to the back end of retail operations.

November 11, 2013

Information technology outsourcing (ITO) enables organizations to cut labor and infrastructure costs, improve operating efficiencies and increase flexibility in the IT department.

November 4, 2013

As both founder of legendary 1960s rock group The Velvet Underground and as a solo artist, recently departed singer/songwriter Lou Reed was noted as a visionary and a curmudgeon.

October 28, 2013

For many retailers, Halloween has become one of their favorite times of year. Spending on Halloween-related costumes, decorations, candy, etc. has grown to the point it represents the second-highest consumer spending holiday, only trailing Christmas with NRF estimates of this year’s spending total reaching $6.9 billion.

October 21, 2013

I have now been in my role as senior editor of Chain Store Age, specializing in retail IT coverage, for six months.

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