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?
We like to keep an eye on the text-to-buy space. Now someone’s come up with Fresh List "a text-based marketplace” designed to help people buy and sell fresh, local produce in real time. The app makes it possible for sellers to list their inventory and buyers to access the lists (20 apples, anyone?). When the buyer wants to make a purchase, the seller receives a text with the buyer’s number. GPS tells them where each other are located.