you eat out as frequently as restaurant critic Byran Miller, you may not realize
just how big an impact digital technology is having on the
experience. Miller gives a “professional” user’s perspective
in this WSJ article and points out how restaurants are responding.
Has “if you build it, they will come” worked for mobile
wallets and payment systems? Some surprises are unfolding as this plays out. First, 68 million unbanked Americans could could turn out
to be key players. Second, it's not even certain who's going to stay in the race.
Costco is bucking the self-service trend by removing self-checkouts from their stores. Long ago they decided their employees were important to their success, so leveraging this asset makes sense -- but the self-checkout trend will probably continue to expand with others.
Did you see the negative shopper comments
about self-service mobile scanning in this recent MediaPost blog? The comments are understandable, but everything
we see tells us that “the sky’s the limit” for mobile self-service.
Combining two businesses in the same “asset” is a proven,
powerful business model. Now ShopCube combines online retail with casual gaming
to launch what it calls the world’s first tournament shopping site.
Alibaba, the privately held Chinese
ecommerce giant, is mainly a marketplace rather than an online retailer. Sales
pass through the company vs. Alibaba selling their own products directly to
customers. The Economist speculates that it could become “one of the
world’s most valuable companies” within five years.
At Hointer former Amazon technology VP Nadia Shouraboura
aims to combine the best features of online and brick-and-mortar shopping and
“get rid of the worst.” Shouraboura is working hard to “eliminate the friction
points,” and she calls Hointer “truly and experiment in innovation.” The Seattle store is interesting on so many levels and definitely worth your time to learn more about.
Betzaleli’s distinction between retailer-owned and shopper-owned POS capabilities draws attention to the fact (and opportunity) that with mobile scanning and shopping, it’s not always necessary for the retailer to invest in the actual hardware. It’s about giving digitally-empowered shoppers the choices they want for self-service.
The recent Tweet to Buy promotion for discounted American Express gift cards is a great example of why the shift from Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) to Customer Network Value (CNV) is important understand and apply when evaluating digital marketing.