Tag Archives: Retail

Boom or Bust – The Future of Proximity In-Store Marketing

Boom or Bust – The Future of Proximity In-Store Marketing

Proximity Marketing

Not too long ago I tested out a number of proximity based apps in a few of New York’s larger retailer stores. As consumer habit continue to move towards mobile tech integration business are looking to get as up close and personal with shoppers as possible. Tailoring your in store experience based on where you are comes with a number of potential benefits. Below is the opening excerpt of a great piece discussing In-store proximity marketing. Check it out then hop over to the full post at the end.

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Today’s constantly connected consumers are using smartphones in-store more than ever. A recent Google survey states that a staggering 80 percent of shoppers are using smartphones to make purchasing decisions. Retailers and start-ups have taken notice, and the concepts of mobile location analytics and proximity marketing are emerging out of that.

Publications like Techcrunch and Adweek have articles of retailers launching Bluetooth beacon pilot programs almost on a daily basis. Some recent examples includeTarget, Country Market and Urban Outfitters. But when you clear away all the buzzwords, what exactly is this shift we’re seeing? It’s the world customizing itself to you. The world is reacting to your presence, specific to you as an individual.

Proximity marketing is an exciting concept, but a lot of people are worried they’ll be inundated with spam if they opt in.

That is an exciting concept. Talking about this out in the world will get you varying reactions, from concerns about privacy issues to the idea that your phone is going to spam you with Viagra ads non-stop, but if you boil down the idea, there are some really compelling concepts here.

Personalization Is A Key Benefit

Let’s take a look at a form of personalization we all know about today. A husband and his wife have individual key FOBs for their car. When the husband gets in the car, the mirrors adjust, the seat slides back, and the radio station changes to his favorite morning radio station. When his wife uses the car that evening, the car returns to her preferences. That’s an example of very useful personalization. Now, imagine if a retail store could do that for you.

We’ve seen online personalization become more and more sophisticated over the past decade with platforms such as Google AdWords and the Facebook Audience Network, and the addition of proximity marketing technologies is making it possible to expand that personalization in-store, effectively bridging the gap between digital and physical environments. There are both exciting and scary possibilities to this.

So, why can’t retailers live without it? The retailer will now be able to understand shopper behavior beyond POS data. Retailers currently have the ability to analyze traffic patterns, deliver personalized offers, measure dwell times, build on customer loyalty profiles and even A/B test physical displays. And what does the shopper get? By integrating this technology into a retailer’s app, the shopper gets an ultra-personalized experience through customer-specific offers, location-specific coupons and contextual information such as maps and menus.

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But the question that keeps coming up is: Will shoppers adapt to this kind of experience? If users don’t adopt the technology, hockey stick graphs will never happen for retailers. I think of a Sheryl Sandburg story I’ve heard during her presentations several times. When Caller ID first came out, users were scared by it. They thought the concept of knowing who’s calling before you picked up was creepy. Now, 20+ years later, we don’t pick up our phones without knowing who’s calling.The user’s perception of the technology completely flipped over a couple of decades.

It seems a general consensus among investors and marketers that someone will figure out and win the proximity marketing race.

***See the full Article Here via Topal.com***

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Is The Public Ready For In-Store Proximity Marketing

Is The Public Ready For In-Store Proximity Marketing

toptal-blog-image-1450087121382-e513be9a5d23fb6f50483503af5ab290

Back in 2014 I did some early work with iBeacon technology at Duane Reade. This tech is location-based and used to notify users of information tied directly into where they are. Imagine your favorite store app sending you real-time discounts and promotions for the aisle you are walking through.  That movement is continuing and picking up steam. Brands want to be in your pocket and have easy access to your preferences.

Check out the material below and the link to the full article that dives in heavy to the field of Proximity Marketing and location-based technology.

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A recent Google survey states that a staggering 80 percent of shoppers are using smartphones to make purchasing decisions. Retailers and start-ups have taken notice, and the concepts of mobile location analytics and proximity marketing are emerging out of that.

Publications like Techcrunch and Adweek have articles of retailers launching Bluetooth beacon pilot programs almost on a daily basis. Some recent examples includeTarget, Country Market and Urban Outfitters.

But when you clear away all the buzzwords, what exactly is this shift we’re seeing? It’s the world customizing itself to you. The world is reacting to your presence, specific to you as an individual.

Proximity marketing is an exciting concept, but a lot of people are worried they’ll be inundated with spam if they opt in.

That is an exciting concept. Talking about this out in the world will get you varying reactions, from concerns about privacy issues to the idea that your phone is going to spam you with Viagra ads non-stop, but if you boil down the idea, there are some really compelling concepts here.

Personalization Is A Key Benefit

Let’s take a look at a form of personalization we all know about today. A husband and his wife have individual key FOBs for their car. When the husband gets in the car, the mirrors adjust, the seat slides back, and the radio station changes to his favorite morning radio station. When his wife uses the car that evening, the car returns to her preferences. That’s an example of very useful personalization. Now, imagine if a retail store could do that for you.

But the question that keeps coming up is: Will shoppers adapt to this kind of experience? If users don’t adopt the technology, hockey stick graphs will never happen for retailers. I think of a Sheryl Sandburg story I’ve heard during her presentations several times. When Caller ID first came out, users were scared by it. They thought the concept of knowing who’s calling before you picked up was creepy. Now, 20+ years later, we don’t pick up our phones without knowing who’s calling.The user’s perception of the technology completely flipped over a couple of decades.

***View The Entire Article Here***

 

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The Ultimate Shopping Experience via the New #DRMobileApp w/ iBeacon

The Ultimate Shopping Experience via the New #DRMobileApp w/ iBeacon

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a
social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. #CollectiveBias

 #DRMobileApp

New Yorkers are quite familiar with the efficiency, quality and “on every corner” presence of Duane Reade. I’m never more then a street or 2 away from anything I find myself in need of. That brand faith now gets a major shot in the arm as Duane Reade has just introduced the new #DRMobileApp version 2.o with iBeacon. I was really excited to check this out once I received word of it from #CollectveBias. For the store that is everywhere and has everything you can now expedite your time with Duane Reade’s new app. With an array of features on deck you’re relationship with Duane Reade now is no longer limited to being in the store or on the home website.

The App layout is simple and clean with very user friendly interface. You log in with the same account info from the home Walgreens/Duane Reade website. Your info transfers over to the mobile app. From there you can do a number of things to make your trips to Duane Reade more time effective. You can directly edit and order images to be printed or turn those pictures into cards, calendars and more via Quick Prints. Similarly you can browse the store to create shopping lists on the fly. Along with that the app allows you to order some items for fast timely delivery or you can just go pick up your order.

#DRMobileApp

Visit iTunes to download the new #DRMobileApp Version 2.0

The health aspects this app can deliver you may be the great element yet. Prescription management, refills and even walk-in medical appointments can all be accessed through the app. The Rx options include the ability to save your specific info by directly scanning the barcode, using the prescription # or even the QR code. Again this is ideal for that person on the go that may have the habit of forgetting when their own their final pill. The app’s reminder and refill functions should eliminate those struggles.

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In regards to wellness the Walk with Walgreens program that has now been renamed Steps has been imported as well so you can keep track of your progress from your mobile device too. That also links into your Rewards Points which you can check here as well. You’ll see your present points total and how far you are from the next goal level. There is also an option for store activity. What makes this so useful is that you can pull up previous purchases and add them to your shopping list for future visits.

#DRMobileApp

Finally, with the new #DRMobileApp comes the inclusion of new iBeacon location-based notifications. Starting in a few central Manhattan stores this new technology via the apps reads your proximity and once in the store sends a prompt to start-up the app and see what discounts are taking place in that respective store. This on site feature also reads what coupons you’ve digitally clipped from the weekly flyer and reminds you of what you have so you don’t miss even more savings. I almost forgot to save 55 cents on the Glade air fresheners I needed but was reminded when the iBeacon notifications for the app kicked in. On a side note, people have asked me my thoughts on security with this app. People don’t like the sound of something retail based reacting to your movements. What I tell people is to view this as reverse Foursquare. Instead you checking into the store to unlock deals, once you’re app enters the iBeacon field the store checks in with you.

In watching Duane Reade continue to embrace full interactivity with their customers makes this new mobile step no real surprise. This app succeeds in creating a fully robust customer relationship from web site to mobile to in store. Don’t be surprised when more businesses start implementing this type of tech as the digital movement marches towards more mobile activity. Make sure you visit iTunes to download the free #DRMobileApp and try all of this out for yourself. Expect an Android version in the near future.

Jason Francis | The Social Media Samurai

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Online Business 101 – Email Etiquette w/ the Samurai

Online Business 101 – Email Etiquette w/ the Samurai

Etiquette

I really sat and wondered if I was going to share this, but then it happened again earlier this week in a different capacity and that forced my hand to write. We live in an amazing time for business and communication not only is it easier to find people but distance and long distance fees no longer limit the ability instantly speak with some one. Unfortunately as this communication has gotten easier some poor attitudes towards handling it have emerged. Let me share a short story…

One day I get an email from a company that deals in healthy natural body wash products. I check them out and things look good. They tell me that they’ve seen my work with a major retail store they are selling in and want to work with me. They bring the idea of a product review to me.  I’m cool with this as a few to help the brand I’m already working with and aid this smaller company as well. The initial email also stated they would reimburse me for the products I’m reviewing.  At this point I reply back stating my interest in working with them but that I need to know if there is an ability to compensate me. I appreciate the “in return we will promote you on our social networks” offer but that truthfully doesn’t equate to the time spent in creating the product review or the reach I already have via the brands I work with. Continuing to express a desire to find a middle ground I offer a discounted negotiable rate. To this day I have received no reply.

No one answered and said sorry we don’t have the budget for that but thank you. No counter offer was made. They didn’t hear what they wanted and essentially said “Well forget you.” I thought about replying back to point out this level of unprofessional communication. I considered mentioning them here by name but elected not to. What I will pass on to anyone planning to do business with a blogger and/or social media professional is to have multiple plans of attack and be prepared to not get what you want. You’re professionalism should not be determined by if you get your way or not. Also having a basic respect for the time and work of others helps too. This company took some time to see what I was doing and who I was doing it with yes, but clearly they should have known I get paid for the same thing they were asking me to do for free. What’s the point of the work I’ve put in to build my still my growing brand to a point of earning money just to accept freebies? I’m always down to try and make things work but this was just rude.

This is what I have to deal with. No complaints but people still don’t see the need to apply basic codes of business conduct and etiquette to what people like me do. Perhaps one day…..

#UnitedNude Event by Clique Vodka & Chelly

#UnitedNude Event by Clique Vodka & Chelly

#UnionNude

Soho was the place to be this past Wednesday night as the #UnitedNude shoe store on Bond St played host to music, shoes and drinks via Clique Vodka. If you’re not familiar with #UnitedNude then make sure you get yourself down here to knock out some of your holiday shopping . With footwear for the ladies and a few nice items for the men too your shoe obsessions will be satisfied. As for the party, it was a dope gathering of NY fashion insiders, media and music folk networking and having a good time to the tunes of Dj Fugi Slim and Sony Records Recording artist Chelley.

#UnionNude

Clique Vodka had the open bar in full effect so all was well in the world. Photographer Kim Soo Jin has more images from the night that you can check out here.

#UnionNude#UnionNude

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jason Francis | The Social Media Samurai

Jay-Z Releases Update on Barney’s Profiling Matters

Jay-Z Releases Update on Barney’s Profiling Matters

Barney's

While the attention of many has moved away from the Barney’s issue (surprise surprise) Jay this evening just released an update statement as to the current status of his dealings with the high end retailer.

In the past several weeks two separate investigations were launched as a result of the wrongful detention of Trayon Christian and Kayla Phillips. My team has been privy to the status of the Barneys third party consultant investigation. In continuing our research, we also contacted the New York State Attorney General’s office for the status of their investigation into both Barneys and Macy’s. Those findings are not yet available.

While I await the findings of the Attorney General’s Office, I have agreed to move forward with the launch of BNY SCC collection under the condition that I have a leadership role and seat on a council specifically convened to deal with the issue of racial profiling. I am in a unique position to use my voice to affect change to this disturbing issue. The easy position would have been to walk away and leave policy making to others hoping that someone addresses the problem. I will not leave the outcome to others. I will take this into my own hands with full power to recommend, review and revise policies and guidelines moving forward. I am choosing to take this head on.

As I previously stated, the collaboration with Barneys has always been about giving and The Shawn Carter Foundation. From this collection, the Foundation will receive not only 25% of sales, it will now receive the additional 75% of Barneys’ sales, totalling 100% of all sales from BNY SCC. Along with 100% of sales from the collaboration, the Foundation will receive an additional 10% of all retail sales from Barneys New York stores nationwide and Barneys.com on November 20th. – Shawn “JAY Z” Carter

For many Jay-Z’s position to not walk away from Barneys will have a negative meaning. For others they’ll see a positive in it. In the end, in my opinion regardless of Carter’s own business moves have we changed? Are we giving our money to the same retailers today that we were 2 months ago? Once the immediate media focus fades away do we live up to the standards we place upon others? The Holiday season is here so if ever there was a time to show the power of where and who you purchase from it’s now.

Jason Francis | The Social Media Samurai

Macys Launches New NYC Men’s Store

Macys Launches New NYC Men’s Store – #MacysMensNYC

Macys

Let’s be honest. When you first mention shopping to me I think of women. Women statistically spend more time and money and understandably retailers put more focus on the female shopper to get them in those stores as often as possible. It was because of this that I was pleasantly surprised when I received an invite to the opening of Macy’s new men’s store in Herald’s Square. This wasn’t just a simple store opening with a few discounts sprinkled around. Teamed up with GQ magazine Macy’s threw a full on men’s geared event with live models (which the ladies enjoyed), DJ provided music, open bar, grooming stations and more. It was one of the best major retail events I’ve ever been to.

MacysMensNYC (31)

The event kicked off at 6:30pm so it was perfectly timed for that after work crowd to do a little shopping and relax a bit. I helped myself to a few screwdrivers (orange juice and vodka) while browsing the store. The Holiday shopping season is already in effect and I saw a number of things I’ll be returning to Macys to pick up. What really sold me on the night were the men’s specialized stations placed throughout the store via GQ mag. If you’re a men of the old school mind-set that certain levels of grooming are not “manly” then this event wasn’t for you. There were areas for eyebrow grooming and manicure work which had the longest lines all night. Along with that there was a tie tying professional giving tutorials on various knots and a live cigar roller as well. I helped myself to 2 fresh cigars courtesy of Cigar Flavors and I stopped to get a much needed manicure done.

They don’t happen that often but events like this are great and equally needed to let men know their enjoyment as well as their money is appreciated. Something I heard many times last night was other women saying how nice it was to have a retail experience they could share with a guy.

Salute to Macy and GQ magazine for this and I’d definitely direct folk to check out the Herald’s Square Macys men’s store for themselves. For more images from the night visit my Google + album and make sure you follow me on Twitter at @Trueomeganexus.

Macys

Jason Francis | The Social Media Samurai