Monthly Archives: May 2013

Queen of shops becoming queen of flops

Queen of shops becoming queen of flops

A while back I heard of the High Street Innovation Fund, a scheme to restore the fortunes of the British high street. It was a high profile thing headed by Mary Portas, retail guru. What a great idea, I thought, but alas this seems to have gone down the tubes too.

It’s really disappointing that the whole thing seems to have been a bit of a flop. Possibly the only successful aspect has the creation of another dreary reality series. I do wish that people would just concentrate on doing a job rather than looking for opportunities to raise their personal profile.

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Clicks versus bricks again

Clicks versus bricks again

So, once again we have the old argument of where retail is going but this time thankfully we are ready to admit that the emperor has no clothes. No expert is standing up to say it’s going one way or another. The ‘clicks’ folk defend their territory as do the ‘bricks’ folk. I was trying to look at the underlying drivers. For many of us the convenience of online shopping is great, saving time, saving a trip into town, not having to deal with the hustle and bustle of daily life and yet I wonder if we have been missing something. For those of us who live in Europe or Asia the open market is still something that many of us have an experience of. We must not forget that the market has been part of our social existence for thousands of years, the US model  emerging just after the Second World War. So if we look at things from a cultural perspective we (as social beings) still need some kind of physical interaction when we exchange goods and services. The behavioural scientists confirm that the process is a intricate one where we have strong emotions associated with the act of exchanging goods and money.

I may be missing something but I have a feeling that although digital will continue to grow, the rate of growth will stabilise as the bricks and mortar retailers take their offering from a sales one to that of providing experiences. 

A nice example of a person’s insights in decision making when purchasing a new laptop

http://www.forbes.com/sites/janetnovack/2013/05/08/reverse-showrooming-amazon-best-buy-and-customer-service-in-the-age-of-internet-sales-taxes/

This is a really nice little article about this writer’s personal experiences when buying a new laptop. It’s outlining the less frequent phenomenon (if you really count it as one) of reverse show rooming, but what I like is that it’s really nicely written with the feelings of the person as she goes on her path to purchase. We’ve always got to remember that instant emotional responses so easily change the course of our purchase behaviour.

Eye-tracking everywhere

Eye-tracking everywhere

I think the advances in eye-tracking are fascinating from a marketer point of view. The impact of being ‘tracked’ instore is now being minimised with unobtrusive headset, and the costs are coming down so it’s not just the big manufacturers that can afford to use this research tool. Everyone can! As with everything there is a fine line between useful and invading your privacy. Personally I am not for progress for progress’s sake and can’t see myself using google glasses either. Call me old fashioned, but looking someone in the eye and realise they are looking at something else on their screen is an experience I don’t want. Does anyone remember the etiquette around mobile phones? These days nobody bothers and half of your audience is fiddling with their smartphone.

The fine line gets crossed however when your information goes out of becoming a research tool and into being a tracking tool and where your facial parameters are merged with your personal data, or get into a situation where they can be. Once that connection has been established you have no privacy and someone somewhere has access to it.

For now though, lets revel in the facility we have in our hands as a great research tool.

Wifi at Man U’s stadium

Wifi at Man U’s stadium

Firstly I refuse to call a football stadium by the name of a brand. I know the papers call it the Etihad stadium but honestly I cannot get used to it. In Formula one you only hear the name of the company sponsoring the race on the captions but I think this goes too far. 

Well done on making the stadium ‘connected. But I just wonder what it will look like as spectators spend more time on their smart phones than watching the game. That will happen of course – albeit a little bizarre.