Canada's largest convenience store operator is counting how many Bluetooth-equipped devices pass near their 1,300 Mac and Couche-Tard stores daily, and the count is up to 900,000. The next step is to start broadcasting to and interacting with those people using short-range antennas. When potential customers pass the store, they'll receive offers and information. They're working with Toronto-based iSign who has tested similar system in Singapore. Read Steve Smith's MediaPost blog for more on the project. David Bishop, BMC Black Belt and Covenience Segment leader says . . .
BMC Black Belt Andrew Stein has developed a challenging and farsighted perspective on Groupon that we think is worth reading. In this scenario, Groupon uses its customer and retailer data to build a platform that is capable of monitoring and reporting on retail activity in real time. Such a big data-driven window would give retailers an unprecedented tool with which to see what's happening in the marketplace NOW, in contrast to the rearview window nature of nature of traditional analysis.
Those in the food industry might be shocked to learn how central their products are to social media discussions. Facebook, Twitter, and others really matter to these businesses, but for many, the reasons why are obscured by some key myths. Exposing those myths is a good place to start understanding social media.
Shopper marketing's influence is growing as retailers increasingly embrace multi-channel models. We recently checked out the 2nd edition of Shopper Marketing: How to Increase Purchase Decisions at the Point of Sale. With essays from 37 professional practitioners that explore definition, strategy, and action, the book does a good job of providing different conceptual frameworks for extending shopper marketing practices across many retail segments, offline and online.
Our online and offline lives have become so intertwined that it’s time
for retailers to think about a store’s digital capabilities the same way
they think about plumbing and electrical infrastructure – as regular
part of the facility. What’s at stake? Well, in the increasingly
multi-channel world of retailing, if you don’t plan for a robust digital
infrastructure, you may miss an opportunity to engage the “new
commerce” shoppers before your competition does.
Chain restaurants and 7-Elevens can use a new business called Plink to build loyalty
among Facebook users. Every time you eat at one of your favorites like
Quiznos or Dunkin Donuts, Plink awards you virtual currency you can use
to buy internet music downloads, movies, TV episodes, and virtual goods
in Facebook games.
News coverage and curiosity continue about Kroger’s entry into
near-location convenience at Northern Ohio University. While the Shop
24 robotic kiosk concept isn't new, the involvement of a major retailer
like Kroger is, and it signals to BMC the following trends we're tracking within the
Some retailers, RedBox, and ATMs are already emailing digital receipts. Now SF-based Proximiant is beta testing technology that makes it possible for shoppers to collect itemized receipts to smartphones with a single tap at the register via NFC.
Some BMC Conversations are just too good not to build out, so we’re hitting the “refresh” button on November’s question. Here, the ideas and insights that surfaced converge on answers to four important questions about how and when retailers adopt new technology. Special thanks to all who participated in the lively, month-long discussion, including BMC Black Belts Dave Carlson, Tom Lemke, and Ray Stone, and readers Lance Jacobs, Ray Goodman, and Larry Mortimer.
Here’s a challenge I see: Every retailer needs to decide how they are going to deliver more value in the “new normal” marketplace, a place where shopper expectations are high, limits on disposable income are real, and technology delivers nearly limitless possibilities. A CEO I respect said not long ago, “It’s not yet clear to me which way to take our company.” I sense many of his peers are in a similar situation. There are no maps, and without some guidance, we’re likely to wander around for a while. One way to establish direction is to go back to a familiar reference point and modify it to work better in today’s world. I suggest we update the shopper value equation. Here’s a draft set of ideas about what’s needed to deliver value to 21st century shoppers for discussion, feedback, and improvement.
Something new is happening in retailing – to retailers. Shoppers still
want easy access to products they want to buy when they want to buy them.
What’s new is that innovators are aggressively rethinking some basic elements
of the retail business model. Here’s what I’m seeing: retailers rethinking
access, retailers responding to new demand drivers,
and retailers taking new approaches to availability.
To me, there are enough connectable dots to indicate that we’re approaching a
major expansion in the range of ways we serve
shoppers. Do you see what I see?