Loyalty Programs
Nike to add perks to super-successful customer loyalty program
Nike is ramping up its loyalty program as it finds that customers who use its app are not just loyal but also big spenders. The brand is testing several new perks to its Nike Plus app — including vending machines that disperse free stuff — as it finds that those users spend 40 percent more than other customers, according to Nike’s global vice president of direct stores, Cathy Sparks. Indeed, about 50 percent of the transactions at its two flagship and Shanghai — which both opened last fall — are coming from customers who use its app, Sparks said.
 
Payments
Apple's tap-and-go Express payments come to London public transport
Paying for daily necessities using your phone might feel like the future, but the reality can sometimes be slower as mobile payments require authentication that can take time to approve. To combat this issue, Apple has brought its Express feature to London, making it far quicker and easier to use Apple Pay on services like the Tube. Apple Pay typically uses biometric data like Touch ID or Face ID to authorize payments, which makes it slower than competing service Google Pay. Now, with Express Mode, customers can choose a default card, so they don't need to authenticate the payment each time they board a bus or walk through a barrier.
 
Corporate Social Responsibility
PetSmart Offers Pet Parents Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season
PetSmart's Chance & Friends Holiday Philanthropic Collection of stuffed toys is back for 2019. Shoppers can choose from a plush dog, cat, bunny or unicorn, complete with a squeaker, that will delight pets and kids alike. For every in-store or online purchase of a commemorative toy, PetSmart will donate 10 percent of the sale to PetSmart Charities to fund animal-assisted therapy programs at children's hospitals. Shoppers who feel they don't need another plush toy at home can still make a difference through PetSmart's annual holiday toy drive. Every PetSmart store across North America has selected a local charity and invites customers to purchase and donate one of the plush toys to their toy drive. The toys are then delivered to organizations such as children's hospitals, police departments, animal shelters and other nonprofit organizations in their community.
 
Retail
Retailers Revamp Staffing as Fewer Shoppers Visit Stores
Early data show that online shopping will once again account for a larger percentage of total holiday sales compared with previous years. Foot traffic to U.S. stores fell about 6.2 percent on Black Friday, as more people ordered online or went to stores on Thanksgiving Day, when visits increased 2.3 percent, according to ShopperTrak, which uses cameras to count traffic in a range of U.S. stores. Retailers are trying to adapt to a world where shopper behavior is changing and competition for online spending is fierce. Online sales reached $7.4 billion on Black Friday, up from $6.2 billion last year, according to Adobe Analytics, which tracks hundreds of retail websites. E-commerce is expected to account for about $170 billion of the roughly $730 billion in total holiday spending this year, according to National Retail Federation estimates.
 
JCPenney Announces Chief Digital Officer
J. C. Penney Company, Inc. announced Karl Walsh, an executive with more than 18 years of eCommerce expertise, joined the Company on Dec. 2 as senior vice president, chief digital officer, to lead strategic advancements of the Company’s digital platforms and bring the customer experience to life, most notably in its flagship store jcp.com.

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