The Death of the Checkout Line?
Who likes to stand in line for the privilege of buying something? How many times have you just walked away when the lineup was too long? Ever walked into a store, seen the lineup, and walked right back out again?
While many stores like to keep the human touch at the retail checkout, technology and smart phones are moving us away from the lineup. Check out the Apple Store near you. Just about every sales person on the floor is also a cashier. You bring your product to them, or ask someone to get it, and they check you out over their iPhone and email you the bill.
And, I'm sure that right at their fingertips, they have your entire purchase history, very useful in offering me something that they already know I would be interested in. I haven't seen them do this at the Apple Store, but I bet they are setting up for near field communications (NFC). See this post for more on NFC.
Long cashier lineups cause stress, anxiety and even bouts of rage —and it can stay with you for hours. The last thing that commissioned sales people want to see is their hard-earned sale balking at the lineup and abandoning the purchase. And who wants to abandon their purchase after spending all of that time being sold? Lineups used to be a fact of life, but now people can find other options.
Mobile payments on the floor will stop those sales slipping out the door. You see a move in that direction at Costco, where they will scan your items while you are in line, and then you merely pay at the till. Kroger, a US grocery chain, has installed infrared cameras that track the number of customers in line by their body heat. Software tells managers how many cash registers are needed now and in a few minutes from now. They have reduced average waiting times to 26 seconds. But I'd bet that their labour cost is up.
Migrating over to mobile payments will only make it easier for retailers to bridge that gap between retail outlet and online shopping. It will help build stronger relationships between sales person and customer and it will help keep shopping gratifying by taking away the mind-numbing exercise of waiting in line.
Attachment to Social Media Brands
Facebook is on top in a new survey by UTA Brand Studio and uSamp in the category of "attachment to a brand". That refers to the degree to which people believe a brand is like themselves and the degree to which thoughts and feelings about a brand come to mind. Research from USC Marshall School of Business suggests that attachment is a better predictor of customer loyalty and customer evangelism.
Instagram came in second, unless you are over 45, where it's fifth and Youtube is second. Instagram is actually number one for the 25 and under crowd. I guess that's why Facebook bought Instagram.
The most surprising find was with Twitter. In the 25 to 44 age group, it ranked tenth, but six of ten people say they use it. Also surprising to me is how low Facebook ranks among men.
Predictably, Youtube scored well. It's hard not find videos to "attach" to on Youtube, which would cause people to rank it higher.
Brands that show the most potential based on Brand Dependance values were Reddit, Snapchat, Tumblr and Vine.
Take a Moment
- Dec 18, 2013
- Posted in: SEO, Self Improvement, Public Relations, Online Marketing and Social Media, Office Culture, News, Marketing Strategy, Lifestyle, Focus Testing, Design, Business, Branding, Advertising
At Christmas time things can get very hectic. At Fusion, we are working like little elves to get everything done before we go on our much deserved Christmas and New Year's break.
To help you get back into the spirit of Christmas and everything else we celebrate at this time of year, have a look at these great quotations. To see a handy list of cultural and religious celebrations by date, click here.
My family celebrates Christmas. Merry Christmas.
Does your business do social media – or are you a social business?
(BTW - it's not just semantics)
The distinction is VERY important. Whereas option #1 is merely something you do when you can spare a moment or maybe go out and hire a student to do, option #2 is something you must actually become - it's transformational and it's the missing piece in the social media puzzle. Finally!
We've been very busy in the social marketing space over the past couple of years and have learned a lot - not only how to manage it, but, more importantly, how to make it succeed and we're happy to share that knowledge.
So, next week we're unleashing our very own Barrett Peitsch to share how social branding could actually determine the future of your organization. As part of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce’s Chamber U, this October 15th lunchtime learning opportunity will take the focus beyond ‘just’ social media to the underlying consumer dynamics and resulting strategies that translate into critical competitive advantage and new opportunities.
Barrett will demonstrate what it means to be a social brand with examples from our catalogue of brand-building success. He’ll share what we've learned in a way that translates into practical advice, tips and approaches you can use to create success for your business.
Register at: http://www.winnipeg-chamber.com/wcevents/eventdetail.aspx?eventid=56800
Not the same old, same old.
The other day, I was talking with one of my colleagues at Fusion about how much things have changed in our industry over the last decade.
We’ve read articles about serious challenges that face the advertising agency and particularly the threat of Google and technology and how clients will be able to do it all themselves, eliminating the middle man.
The word agency essentially means middle man. An ad agency was actually the middle man in the early days when agencies made all of their revenues from media commissions. Advertising agencies began as “agents” of newspaper ad space. They would buy the ads at an agency discount and sell them to the client at the rate card rate.
The US's first ad agency. (interesting story here)
The rise of digital marketing and social media was said to spell the end of the marketing middle man. Now, a company can speak directly to their market, hear what they have to say and promote themselves. They can do their own Google Pay-Per-Click or place their own Facebook ads. They can get their brand’s creative messaging done with crowd-sourcing, or “desktop publish” in-house (another harbinger to the death of the ad agency twenty years ago).
Instead, as the world of advertising changes, it has become incredibly more complex. The number of marketing channel choices has grown faster than anyone could have imagined and it continues to increase daily. Instead of simplifying marketing as was forecast, the digital age has brought waves of new data cascading down on the business. And smart strategies are only made by comprehending all of the data. Decision paralysis ensues.
Larger version here (click on it).
We used to come up with cool ideas with cool design and decide whether television, radio, print or outdoor was best. Standing out was most of the battle.
Equity research firm Pivotal Research Group mentions in a recent overview of ad agencies: "As marketers have come to face more and more choices for their marketing strategies, they increasingly rely upon external and ostensibly neutral partners—such as agencies—to both filter ideas and support the socialization of initiatives or process changes across the broader organization. This factor is the most critical one which explains why agencies face no credible threat of disintermediation from technology-driven marketing or media platforms."
Traditional advertising agencies will die if they don’t change. But I don’t see many businesses, because it is now easier for them, taking on what we do to create a strategy and sell a product. It is much more difficult than it ever was. You need experts in all of the many alternative traditional and digital channels, and experts in messaging within these channels to get heard and be considered. And you can’t crowd-source a penetrating message without a keen analysis of all of the data, without the experts on the hundreds of channel choices and without the experts who know how to work within them.
We are changing all the time. Things are happening so fast that we are doing things here at Fusion that we didn’t do last year and dropping things that we did last year. Change is a great thing. Advertising has become so much more dynamic and exciting. And it has become a true science. I love it.