So, what the heck does “the Internet of things” actually mean? According to Michael Higgins, vice president of marketing of Hussman Corporation FMI Connect, it’s actually “the Internet of your things.”
And your “things” are mainly smartphones. They are connected and embedded not only in our daily lives, but also with all other electronics, software and sensors. Because so many people have a mobile device these days, and more often than not, have it with them while shopping, smartphones offer a multitude of data for retailers.
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Digital gifting is becoming a much more prevalent way of gift giving and more retailers are jumping on this trend. It enhances retailers’ brand awareness, it’s cost effective and gives them the ability to connect with the customer. Customers need a speedy and convenient way to purchase or interact with their favorite brands or stores, so they turn to their phones, which are almost always in their hands.
Mobile loyalty benefits merchants because it can attract new customers, reduce churn and improve brand affiliation. Consumers find it easy to earn and redeem awards, there’s no hassle of carrying around a physical card and they can share rewards with friends.
Customers want options when they’re out shopping. They want to check their phone to see if their purchase could be cheaper at a different store, if they can get a better deal by buying it online or if there are any coupons available.
SessionM, the self-described market leader in mobile data management and engagement tools, recently conducted a survey of more than 50,000 randomly selected mobile users. The purpose of the study was to gain a better understanding of how using our mobile devices impacts and influences decision-making while shopping for consumer packaged goods (CPG).
I was surprised to read that 82 percent of people still prefer to shop for CPG in store. Going to the store seems like such a hassle when I can get everything delivered to my home, but there is more of an instant gratification attributed to in-store purchases. Regardless, one-third of those surveyed said they planned to make a purchase via their mobile device this year, so perhaps that percentage will be lower next year.
Retailers offer so many different means of purchasing, from in-store to online to smartphone apps and more. So much so that retailers are getting bogged down in the complexity this creates throughout the supply chain. Their data and metrics get mixed up and this makes it harder for them to figure out what’s working and what isn’t.
To make retailers’ lives easier, FusionOps has introduced its newest analytics suite, FusionOps Retail, designed specifically for the retail industry. This cloud-based analytics platform is meant to give retailers complete end-to-end visibility of their supply chains, so they can streamline their operations, improve finances and optimize customer fulfillment. FusionOps is a leading provider of cloud-based supply chain analytics, so offering a retail option was a natural fit. Thanks to the cloud, retailers can deploy their solution in weeks instead of months and they can see the immediate impact.
Are you ready to use your skin as a touchscreen? To have your brain signals measured by a wearable meditation device?
At FMI Connect this week in Chicago, the Technology Pavilion offered a number of interesting technology-driven topics to give retailers greater insights and hopefully make their lives easier. They also offered a look into the sorts of devices that might become part of our lives in the very near future.
As viral video and video engagement become standard in our social media lives, more companies are utilizing its potential. Walgreens recently announced that it was partnering with social media competition app Challenged to drive social engagement and boost beauty sales. Walgreens believes mobile and social are important components to connecting with its customers in today’s socially driven marketplace.
The Challenged app delivers a creative experience for people to challenge their friends or compete in challenges from celebrities and companies. This is Walgreens’ first foray into utilizing the app.
Through the app, Walgreens is challenging users to “bring their best summer beauty tip to life” by creating a 12-second video using CIRCA Beauty or Nonie Crème Colour Prevails, brands and products available exclusively at Walgreens. The challenge runs from June 9 to July 8.
With popular titles such as How to Train Your Dragon and Shrek, DreamWorks is already a household name. But now it’s teaming up with LA-based creative company, Omelet, to completely reinvent its retail strategy and engagement. The four-year deal gives Omelet all the rights to promote DreamWorks’ intellectual property with retailers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Latin America, utilizing both physical and digital experiences. Omelet has a diverse background and has been responsible for many successful retail campaigns, such as the customized Game of Thrones season three DVD box sets given to celebrities, Whole Food’s “Love Local” program to connect larger brands with local communities and the Xbox One commercials featuring Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul.
Apple is jumping on the music streaming service bandwagon with Apple Music. I’m honestly surprised it took them so long, considering they practically pioneered on-the-go listening with iPods. (Not counting Walkmans and portable CD players, of course.) You’d think that streaming services would come naturally to them. But Apple announced at WWDC that it would be releasing this service on iOS devices come June 30, along with its next iOS update. Android and Apple TV users won’t get it until the fall.
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