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Category: Social Media

Can Cyber Stores Save the High Street?

by Kate Enright

www.vonbismark.com

In July of this year Audi launched their first Cyber Store. The difference between this and a regular showroom? Well, the lack of any cars.  Audi City is a “digital dealership”, where virtual cars are displayed on screens on the walls. Consumers then simply walk in and browse the models using interactive panels controlled by touchless gestures or footsteps. One-on-one touchscreens then allow users to add, remove and change their selected model’s specifications and essentially build their own dream car in front of their eyes.

Audi City

Audi City

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High Street Stores Work Towards a Digital Future

by Kate Enright

www.vonbismark.com

2012 was truly the year in which the fashion industry began to look to technology as a means of securing a place in the digital future. We saw brick-and-mortar brands particularly strive to claw back some of the revenue that online-only stores have been dominating of late through the use of some innovative ideas. It seems the idea of multi-channel retail and the viral popularity of tech trends actually got through to those at the top, and the creative juices began to flow!

Fashion week saw several innovative projects launched by labels and retailers alike in order to target the tech savvy younger generation and give their brands some leverage in the marketplace. Topshop did so using live streaming (the latest craze to swiftly dominate the world of online marketing). The brand decided to merge the physical with the digital by streaming their fashion show live on their site. The interactive purchase window updated in real time allowing users to click on looks they liked, browse all of the colour options and add it to their cart, all without pausing the livestream. This was a really innovative and clever idea which used the serendipity (ecommerce buzzword of the year) factor to influence consumers. What they did here was make it easier for viewers to purchase at the exact moment of longing – no taking time to think it over, no sleeping on it, no forgetting about it, just Like – Click – Buy. And this is marketing genius.

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Topshop Runway to Website

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Facebook Take Another Shot at Ecommerce

by Kate Enright

www.vonbismark.com

Facebook began dabbling in ecommerce about 3 years ago when 1-800-flowers set up the first Facebook virtual storefront and began selling through the social media giant. The idea of “F-Commerce” then began to take off in early 2011 with many large brands deciding to take advantage of large fan bases on the site. Few doubted the success of selling to Facebook fans, but those who did, slated it from the beginning. The doubters were proved right when at the start of 2012 a list of big names pulled out of the F-Commerce game due to lack of return on investment. Gamestop, one of the largest retailers on Facebook closed its store saying it was “not a place to sell”. It turned out that people did not want to buy from their “favourite” retailers through Facebook. But now Facebook have changed tack and come back to the ecommerce table with a whole new game plan. Gifts.

Facebook Gifts

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Making Social Networking Physical

by Kate Enright

www.vonbismark.com

So we’ve all heard of online “friend finders”, dating sites and of course our favourite social media sites, Facebook and Twitter. Millions of us use these tools to connect with people every day. We log in to our online profiles, we search for people we know, barely know, just met, haven’t yet met…and we find out everything there is to know about them. from their physical appearance to their likes and interests even their relationship status (don’t deny it).

But what about taking this data and using it in the physical world? Making all this information available as part of our reality. Well we can now do just that with a flexible little wristband called Amico. Amico was developed by a startup called Trovare as a way of bringing Facebook into the real world. All those online connections and details we have access to can now be used in real life to help us connect with people who have the same interests as us and face-to-face too (imagine that)!

Amico Wristbands in Green

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Wearable Tech Hits the Runway

by Kate Enright

www.vonbismark.com

Google Glasses – NY Fashion Week 2012

Your eyes do not deceive you, this is in fact a runway at New York Fashion Week and those are Google Glasses on those super models. Looks like the final gap was bridged between geek and chic when Diane Von Furstenburg added Google’s augmented reality headgear as part of her Spring 2013 collection this week.

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Showrooming: Don’t Fight it – Get Proactive

by Kate Enright

http://www.vonbismark.com

“Showrooming.” It is a word that strikes fear into the hearts of retailers worldwide, many worry about it being the end of conventional stores as we know them, while others say it is blown out of all proportion. One thing is for sure, there is no denying the figures, and it is well and truly on the rise. Showrooming is the ever-growing practice by shoppers of checking out products in stores and then going online to buy them at reduced prices. And the growth in smartphone ownership (sales up 58% 2010 – 2011 – 1.08 Billion users total) has made it much easier and more accessible from any location. Mobile use in fact has driven some retailers to paranoia, wondering who in their store is a customer and who is just there to see an item in person, and checking out the price on Amazon on their phone.

The Pew Internet and American Life Project  tell us that during the last Christmas period in the US, 52% of shoppers used their smartphones to research products on mobile devices while physically in retail locations. Of those who used their smartphones for online price matching, 19% purchased the product online thereafter.

Currently, it is calculated that overall, 44% of shoppers use their mobile phones while shopping day-to-day (McKinsey Report 2012).This is quite a high figure, and it means this trend is definitely not to be ignored.

So what are consumers doing on their phones in-store exactly?:

  • Visiting the store’s website: 20% (2010) –  43% (2011)
  • Using a Price Comparison App: 37% (2010) – 38% (2011)
  • Scanning Barcode: 15% (2010) – 17% (2011)
  • Using Online Coupon: 17% (2010) – 25% (2011)
  • Visiting another stores website: 32% (2010) – 40% (2011)
  • Photographing product – social recommendations: 18% (2010) – 16% (2011)

McKinsey provided some clever combative tips to go with their data:

  1. Connect Locally: Local Blogs, review sites, and offers targeting your local market to get them into the store.
  2. Make Targeted Digital Offers: Discounts, rewards, or price matching
  3. Mobilize Your Sales Team: Use tablets to help customers and teach them about store apps.
  4. Sell Unique Products: Offer private label merchandise, tailor products to customer groups, and provide distinctive packaging.

McKinsey Infographic Excerpt

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Today’s Multichannel Consumer

by Kate Enright

www.vonbismark.com

Today there are an increasing number of channels for consumers to complete purchases. Some take advantage of these and some don’t, but which type consumers make a more significant value increase for the retailer? First of all, let’s take a look at what’s out there. Currently, we have the traditional “brick-and-mortar” high street stores, the old-school brochure ordering systems, ecommerce sites, social media platform integration, in-store online installations, and mobile commerce is exploding with mobile sites and apps becoming increasingly popular for smart shoppers. So what most retailers want to know is; is it worth their while investing in multiple channels? And if they do, will it increase sales and improve loyalty?

Agos’s Multichannel Campaign was a triumph of true multichannel

Accounted for 43% of revenue in 2009

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Lifting the Hood for Small Businesses – Retail Analytics & The Cloud

by vonbismark

Statistics rule the world, but analytics can allow you to rule your business in the most efficient and productive way! Since the inception of the first IBM digital EPOS systems, large retailers the world over have enjoyed access to highly specific, detailed analytics from a variety of providers. Metrics like this can help drive a business forward, by citing product trends, consumer behaviors and trading history to ensure that marketing and trading practices run in tandem, to boost sales and efficiency. What you end up with is a roadmap for your business cycles based on months or years of useful and attested patterns. But, what about harnessing this for your small business?

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Social Recommendation and Likeability

by Kate Enright

http://www.vonbismark.com

Making it easier for your customers to socially interact inside your store is essential for ensuring that you are making the most of your access to the ever growing world of social recommendations. How you do this could make all the difference. Sure, they can use their smart phones to take pictures of items they are interested in and text them to a friend, but this is cutting out a world of free promotion for you on social networks. They also have the option of using social shopping apps like ShopWithIt but often these can end up driving customers away from stores by giving price comparisons upon scanning the bar code. They can be advised, for example, that Amazon has the product cheaper online and give them the option to order it. In order to steer away from this, why not provide the method of sharing yourself? This just means that while in your store, your customers can login to their social network of choice, add a picture and your store location will not miss out.

Shop With It Price Comparison

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A little village of 900 million

by Kate Enright

www.vonbismark.com

“Our fan page has 1 million Likes”, if you’ve ever heard this and thought, that’s pretty impressive, you’re not alone. We have all come to regard high figures like these as the holy grail of popularity, especially those of us who run social media sites. We are impressed by a page’s fan-base or a brand’s follower numbers or pin stats. But, what does it really mean? Is there more to it than just collecting figures, more than simply rolling up the counter? Or are these numbers a good enough indication of  what to expect as regards custom and loyalty?

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Matt Rhodes, Strategy and Planning Director at London-based social media agency, FreshNetworks, thinks that we are missing the point completely and not thinking about what is really important in social media (and for the record, Matt hates that term). I agree completely. Let me fill you in on the back story.

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