Don't take comfort from reports that ecommerce makes up only 5% of the
country’s retail sales. The internet’s
growing influence on purchasing should inspire retailers to bring
technology inside the store and redouble their efforts to integrate it into shopper marketing programs.
Ed Chou focuses on identifying the emotional motivations that
affect shopping decisions (be they brand choices or store choices). Taking the
emphasis off of objective motivators opens up a different way of thinking about
The new mobile app Greentape takes another step forward in
integrating the online and in-store experience by combining customer reviews with
in-store geo-location technology. We think it will work best in stores where shoppers spend
a fair amount of time considering the purchase.
How can food retailers achieve growth? Finding new markets is one way. The new
Kings store in Gillette, NJ is a great example of this strategy in action. They’re
competing with restaurants on prepared food by offering shoppers a high-quality
culinary food experience with chef-prepared foods for 20 to 30% less than
The traditional supermarket is in for increased competition from
businesses that are testing a variety of delivery systems. What’s new is that many of the e-marketers
now make available items in addition to food. Some even assemble goods from
multiple merchants to be delivered in the same order. How can a traditional supermarket effectively compete?
The new “Get This” app gives
a whole new meaning to on-demand shopping – now you can shop what you see on
your favorite TV show. It’s a great example of mobile taking another step
forward in enabling any time/any place shopping.
technology involved in Stipple Shopping might not be revolutionary, but the
user experience for digital shoppers feels like a major breakthrough. The
new service lets people make purchases directly from pictures of products, instead of having to go somewhere else to buy.
retailers are increasingly turning to dieticians as a way to differentiate
themselves now that technology has made price transparency so accessible to
recent Ad Age article tracks the trend and the drivers behind it.
It’s useful to see an argument in support of category management since
some people have already concluded that being shopper-centric requires
moving away from the traditional product/category orientation in order
to organize around shoppers’ needs for CPGs. The “net” winners
of this debate will have a significant impact on how retail analysis of data creates
value for shoppers, retailers, and suppliers in the future.
Yoke’s Fresh Market is testing a promotion system that
allows shoppers to touch an offer on an in-aisle screen, place the item in an RFID equipped shopping cart or
basket, and collect the discount at checkout where it’s printed on the receipt.
the new “Fulfilled by Sears” program, the retailer seeks to leverage their
extensive IT and distribution capabilities by offering an online marketplace
experience. Third-party sellers will be able to get exposure to “Shop Your Way”
rewards customers, and Sears will handle fulfillment. We think the new venture has a lot going for it but we also have some questions.
We think Savenia Labs is a great example of providing shoppers with additional product information before making a purchase. This independent testing lab and information services company rates and scores the energy use and carbon footprint of counter-top appliances and electrical products.
A new Economist Intelligence Unit report, In Search
of Foresight and Insight: Getting
the Most out of Big Data, explores how to better ask questions that extract
business value from data. Here are five key findings.
Food for thought: Mark Rogowsky does a nice job of defining
the challenge of keeping up with state-of-the-art 21st century retailers in his
recent Forbes article, Amazon and Safeway: Magic vs. Maddening. Rogowsky compares his Amazon experience, which continues to focus
relentlessly on shopper satisfaction, to his experience at his local Safeway,
where his frequency of visits has diminished from “regular” to “once a month or so” over the last several years.
Foursquare Labs Inc., the startup that created an app enabling people to “check-in” their current location via smartphone, seems to be positioning itself in the thick of efforts to transform the shopping experience. They’re rapidly evolving from a check-in tool into a search app that helps create new sources of value for shoppers from geo-location data.
When big data analysis gets applied to apparel returns, some shoppers are going to find out that “wear/use-and-return” scams will not be as easy to pull off. This practice costs retailers a lot of money (about $8.9 billion in 2012), but many have accepted it as a cost of doing business. See how data is making it possible to get smarter with tracking and even preventing retail returns.
The startup Storefront could change shopping dramatically by making it a lot easier for popup retailers to fill voids in high-traffic commercial real estate. We think shoppers are increasingly attracted to this kind of dynamic shopping experience.
Keep an eye on Peapod. They practically invented modern
online grocery shopping and they’re continually adapting to the changing the
shopping experience. Here
are some of the ways Peapod is working to make the shopping experience as quick
and painless as possible.
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.
Digital technology now allows retailers to take customer
service and engagement to a scale never before possible. Everyone knows that
this is important but the question has always been how do we do it well and consistently? Here's a white paper that will help.
important for grocery retailers to see and embrace how integral mobile has
become to grocery shopping for many customers, both in and out of the store. Here are some interesting stats on shoppers' use of mobile technology that make the case.
Loyalty programs are moving in the direction of coalition
vs. single operator programs. It’s easy
to see the shopper benefits - shoppers earn rewards quicker
and get multi-channel convenience at the same time. We expect, however, that coalition programs are more likely to grow
organically rather than sweeping across the market with as a
If Act I of multi-channel retail was brick and mortar moving
aggressively into digital
shopper engagement and ecommerce channels, then Act II must be the
phenomena of eretailers like UK-based Kiddicare buying 10 vacant Best
Buy stores in Britain to open physical stores.
Google’s test of a same-day service called Google Shopping Express mean they’re
serious about getting into retail?
Or are they just looking for a way to sell more online ads? Either way,
retailers need to pay attention.
Mobile is making it harder to capture shopper’s attention in
lots of ways. The challenge is particularly acute at the checkout, where wait
time is more often spent looking at a small screen than the racks of store
merchandise, magazines, and candy these days.
Walmart’s big investment in ecommerce is paying dividends:
ecommerce sales are up and the enterprise-wide technology platforms will give
both shoppers and buyers access to real-time trend information on products.
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.
Do shoppers really want/value same day delivery? When the
Boston Consulting Group asked if same day delivery improved the online shopping
experience, only young high-income urban dwellers (yes, Yuppies) responded with
enthusiasm. We’re not so sure things will stay this way though.
Raley’s social marketing twist on the venerable loyalty program is
worth a look. “Something Extra” eliminates the card and personalizes shopper
rewards – then it hooks up with social marketing via “Try It.” The move to social marketing gives Raley’s a
scalable way to both expand their strong community of shoppers and market to