Vending Machines Are Smart, Too

Smartphones represent just one of the intelligent technologies available to consumers. Smarter-and-smarter vending machine technology is also enhancing the shopping experience.
As Fresh INFOS reports:
“Today, a lot of manufacturer companies are testing out new and improved vending machines with touch screen controls, gesture based technologies and even cashless payment methods. ‘Did you know that smart vending machines can interpret facial gestures, and can tell if you need a can of coke or a sandwich based on your expression, gender and age? The vending machine of the future will be able to view its audience and tailor make choices based on demographic. It is projected that there will be 2 million smart vending machines installed by 2016, so the future of vending technology will be infinitely different.'”
Take a look at this infographic from Westways Vending.

 

 

Posted in Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 4: Store Location Planning, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business, Part 6: Merchandise Management and Pricing, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer, Technology in Retailing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Online Tips for Small Retailers: A Video

This TV interview recently appeared on Fios1’s Money & Main$Street show. It deals with the issues surrounding small retailers and their involvement with the Web.
 

 

Posted in Online Retailing, Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer, Social Media and Retailing, Video Clips (non-career) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Tips for Getting Your Dream Job

bermanevansretail:

Live Your Dream – See the Tips! Watch the Video!

Originally posted on Evans on Marketing:

We’ve made many posts on career planning and development. In fact, we have a fullcategory on this topic– with about 200 posts.

We’d like to add to this library with a good multimedia presentation by Fortune related to “9 tips to land your dream job.”

As Erika Frey writes:

“Ah, the dream job. Just as work has been reshaped by technology and globalization, so too have our professional fantasies. While jobs atop the corporate ladder haven’t totally lost their luster, more and more Americans are seeking work-life balance. And now that leaner, recession-tested firms are hiring again, they’re looking for something different too. Given the new landscape, we asked a few ­experts —­ career coaches, headhunters, and recruiters — to weigh in with their best, most relevant tips for today. The old rules still ­apply—network, network, network!—but here’s the latest on how to land that ideal job, whatever…

View original 21 more words

Posted in Career Useful Information, Careers in Retailing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Today’s Informed Purchase Journey

Informatica is a large independent provider of data integration software. As the company notes:
“Complete, reliable, and attractive information – across every channel – is the key to a great customer experience and better sales. It’s hard to keep up with customer demands in a single channel, much less multiple channels. Download The Informed Purchase Journey, our free E-bBook (http://bit.ly/1smIxPR), getting product data right and helping your customers buy from you. The Informed Purchase Journey requires the right product, to right customer at the right place. Know your customers, know your products, know your data.”
Here are an interesting infographic and video from Informatica.

 

 

 

Posted in Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business, Part 6: Merchandise Management and Pricing, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer, Social Media and Retailing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Digital Collaboration Playbook of 13 Retail Leaders

The latest issue of Shopper Marketing includes the “Shopper Marketing Digital Collaboration Playbook.”
This is the Path to Purchase Institute’s:
“first attempt to catalog the numerous ways that top retailers are using new tools to communicate with shoppers along the path to purchase. The ‘Playbook’ is a brief rundown of the technologies and platforms – Web sites, mobile apps, social networks, etc. – that 13 key retailers are employing to drive digital shoppers to bricks-and-mortar locations or, increasingly, to get them to buy online. We’ve tried to emphasize the tools that provide marketing opportunities for product manufacturers.”
Click the image to access the playbook as a PDF file. [Note: It is recommended that you download this file. Once in  Adobe Reader, you can save the file and increase the size of the chart to read it more clearly.]

 
2014 Digital Playbook Wall Chart
 

Posted in Online Retailing, Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business, Part 6: Merchandise Management and Pricing, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer, Social Media and Retailing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Franchising Can Be Much Riskier Than Some Believe

About a year ago, we wrote about the questionable nature of the 90% success rate for franchisees (a figure promulgated by the industry).
Now, two recent Wall Street Journal articles raise even more questions about the viability of a franchised business from the vantage point of the franchisee.
In the first article (“Is Buying a Franchise Riskier Than Ever?”), Sarah E. Needleman notes that:
“Franchising has never been a more popular option — or, perhaps, a bigger risk. Over the past few years, people have been flocking to franchising, seeing it as a simpler path to entrepreneurship in troubled economic times. But over that same period, numerous pitfalls have appeared that make franchising much tougher to navigate, say many franchise attorneys and advocacy groups. For one, they say, it’s gotten much more complicated for buyers to get an accurate picture of a franchise before taking the plunge. And, they add, if people do buy into a chain, they may have less leverage over things like how they can pursue complaints against the franchise
“Of course, vetting a franchise has always been a challenge. Franchisers are not legally required to share key financial metrics with prospective buyers, such as franchisees’ first-year average sales and failure rates. Further, there’s no central regulator that checks franchise disclosure documents. But these days, many franchise systems are just a few years old and have limited track records for prospective buyers to assess.”
In the second article (“Franchise Brands With Higher-Than-Average Default Rates”), Sarah E. Needleman and Coulter Jones note that:
“Quiznos, Cold Stone Creamery, Planet Beach Franchising, and Huntington Learning Centers Inc. ranked among the 10 worst franchise brands in terms of Small Business Administration loan defaults. Franchisees of the 10 brands in the ranking defaulted at more than double the rate for SBA borrowers who invested in all other chains, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of charge-offs of all SBA-backed franchise loans in the past decade.”
“Put another way, franchisees of those 10 brands have left taxpayers on the hook for 21% of all franchise-loan charge-offs in the past decade, collectively failing to pay back $121 million in SBA-guaranteed loans from 2004 through 2013. That finding comes as franchising is booming in popularity, in part because many people see it as an easier route to entrepreneurship in an uncertain economic landscape.”

 

 

Posted in Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 4: Store Location Planning, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Revitalizing the Mall

As we have reported before (see this post, for example): “Shopping centers remain very popular in the United States — in the face of strong competition from online retailing and stores not located in shopping centers. However, this strength varies by the type of center.”
To revitalize themselves, several mall operators, such as Simon Property Group and Westfield, are doing some innovative things — as reported by Laura Heller for Forbes:
“Simon recently announced it would host mini-marketplaces in six of its U.S. malls. It’s a partnership with with Refinery29, an online site devoted to fashion. Refinery29 doesn’t sell merchandise, but its stamp of approval goes a long way toward furthering a brand or label. Simon is also creating what it calls “smart malls” by adding iBeacons to roughly 75 properties. The technology, developed by Apple, allows for the placement of small transmitters inside spaces that communicate with smartphones over a version of Bluetooth.”
Westfield malls are testing mobile ordering that lets shoppers order food from their smartphones for pick-up or delivery. The goal is to extend the service to other retail tenants. Westfield’s Labs division earlier this year, installed a life-size touch-screen mirror in a New Jersey mall that lets shoppers browse products offered by retail tenants.
Click the image to read more of Heller’s story.

 

 

Posted in Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 4: Store Location Planning, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business, Part 6: Merchandise Management and Pricing, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer, Part 8: Putting It All Together | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments