Vending mimics shopping & gets more interactive

Digital Vending MachineDigital fronts – in place of glass fronts – may soon make vending machine purchasing feel more like regular shopping. We came across this WDM Group interview with Dr. Michael L. Kasavana at FoodDigital. He’s a NAMA-endowed professor at Michigan State University’s School of Hospitality Business, and he highlights changes being tested by the industry. We like how many are aimed at creating interaction with shoppers - not just servicing a transaction.

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A growth manifesto for a slow economy

seedling hands 2I’ve been in retail a long time, and I believe its time to accept that for the foreseeable future the economy will grow more slowly than it used to – and also that it’s time to adopt a new mindset towards growing retail. So here’s a growth manifesto for a slow economy. It involves finding better ways to create value for shoppers. This isn’t easy, but it can be done.


Where is Facebook’s real value to retail?

The recent Facebook IPO raised expectations and initial market reaction has tempered them.  Where  is the real value to retail?  The recent BMC original paper Making Facebook Work for Retail looks at three practical ways Facebook can create value for retailers beyond being an advertising vehicle.  The concepts of attracting, engaging and involving are not new; however, the reason to focus on them now is that only a few have put them into action. Many are missing this opportunity. The paper shows how taking action to attract, engage and involve can yield “new found money.” Who would walk away from that?


Making Facebook Work for Retail

FacebookSquareLogoFacebook's IPO has generated another round of speculation about it's value as a business – and whether or not it has value for retailers who are trying to use the platform to connect with customers. In this paper, David Bishop looks at several of the things retailers are doing right as they work to attract, engage, and involve customer-fans.


Technology may change, but people stay the same

Smile Graffiti 2Jon Steel delivered a talk at The Store Conference in Sydney on March 9, 2012, titled "Basic Instinct: The Human Truth About Retailing in a Digital World." In it, he takes a trip in the retail and customer feedback time machine to illustrate that commonalities and human tendencies do not change, even though technology gives us different and perhaps bigger walls to post our opinions on. He uses humor and his dry British wit to deliver some calm, cool advice . . . 

Lookout, Brian Wong, and emotions

Brian WongFrom BMC Black Belt Dan Seliger: “Check out - this is really a next-level look at mobile advertising. Basically it delivers in-game rewards (i.e. a coupon) as the user climbs levels. Instead of Pepsi placing a banner (ineffective, interruption), they reward the gamer for completing a level with a discount. Add location to the mix, and you could have something very interesting. Could this be the next wave of mobile advertising?”


Bluetooth, Couche-Tard and Mac's, and proximity marketing

Bluetooth1Canada'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 . . .


Can Groupon invent a new retail platform?

GrouponGBMC 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.  


Shopper marketing: Frameworks for the future

Shopper Marketing CoverShopper 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.


Kroger's low-cost convenience entry

Shop24News 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 food industry.