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New tools to help SMBs create more streamlined shopping experience
The launch of Apple's Passbook mobile payment tool and a new offering from Monetate are likely to help merchants large and small better engage shoppers - in store and online.
From Monetate, the new Merchandiser tool is set up to help merchants create a more relevant online shopping experience. The tool delivers product recommendations, visual site search and product/video badging to help create a simpler online interface for shoppers. The platform also offers endcapping options and a more streamlined checkout process.
"The consumer cannot purchase what they cannot find," said Kurt Heinemann, Chief Marketing Officer at Monetate. "Merchandiser helps online shoppers quickly find products relevant to them and their shopping experience. This better customer experience leads to increased purchase events and increased average order value for online businesses."
Meanwhile, a new infographic from ConstantContact posits the idea that mobile payment options are all about loyalty. Loyalty programs have taken off in the last few years, in 2011 surpassing the 2 billion mark for the first time in history. Meanwhile, 73% of shoppers say they've used a mobile device while shopping. Every 8 seconds, the data shows, a loyalty card is converted to a mobile device; 10 million loyalty/rewards program members, meanwhile, access their programs via mobile device.
With the advent of mobile payment options, the fact that more people are using mobile while shopping raises the idea that checking out via mobile could be another way to streamline the process. Added to that, Apple has released their version of a mobile payment option - Passbook - with the new iPhone offering.
"Passbook will be another addition to the merchant arsenal in leveling the playing field against national chains," said Andy Miller, Director of Mobile Products, Constant Contact. "Mobile loyalty and in-store mobile purchases are forecasted to become primary facilitators of the optimal retail experience. As Passbook evolves and small businesses take advantage, this will no longer be a luxury that only large brands can afford."
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