Off the Shelf provides a platform for Retailers and Consumer Packaged Goods companies to discuss and gain insights on the pressing problems, trends and solutions.

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October 22, 2012

Are you Game?

I was intrigued when my son walked up to me with a request to order a pizza he had made on ipad game app from Dominos. The fun and excitement of playing the game coupled with pride of self-accomplishment was inescapable in his eyes...we did order the pizza and it was clear that Dominos now had a new Gen Y consumer.

Retailers have begun experimenting with gamification - a process of utilizing game mechanics like points, levels, badges, status, rewards, leaderboards for effective consumer engagement and participation across channels. Starbuck and foursquare awards users with virtual points and badges for visiting retails stores. Travel industry has long been using Frequent Flyer program to award priority access and redeemable points to loyal customers playing miles game.


Gamification enables businesses to encourage desired consumer behavior and actions by providing commensurate rewards and incentives. For example, a retailer looking to increase consumer involvement and loyalty can turn a visit to their store or website into a fun game.  Consumers would get points for different activities like store check-in, sharing the latest product pictures on Facebook , signing up for newsletter or clienteling, attending  store events , watching new product  videos , becoming brand ambassador etc .Consumers redeem earned points for purchases or gift cards or exclusive offers. As consumers compete with others in ecosystem and level up, they can unlock badges which give them privileged access like insider view into latest product releases or special promotional giveaways valued by consumers.

Looking closely, gamification enables brands fulfill human need for competition, achievement, exploration, status and fun during consumer interactions. In return, brands benefit with improved product intimacy through meaningful product interactions, increased loyalty through fun and rewards and above all, active user involvement and participation. It also enables brands to tie in online behavior like watching a product video clip to actual purchase which can be used for extensive customer analytics and targeted marketing campaigns.

Gamification is still new but is gaining traction in powering loyalty programs and marketing campaigns. Samsung has launched a loyalty game called "Samsung Nation leveraging gamification principles. http://www.samsung.com/us/

Gamification strategies work best when they are aligned with business goals and consumer interests. Do you see brands leveraging gamification strategies to drive consumer interaction across channels in coming years?

October 1, 2012

Ecommerce needs an E-Lift

Imagine the convenience of indulging in Grocery shopping right at your home - and not being bothered

by the weather, clock, rush hour traffic, POS queues and coupon clutter.  I am not trying to make a case

for ecommerce here but want to make a case for enhancing it completely so that it becomes a

compelling experience for the Grocery shoppers - powerful and personalized yet simple.  With the

advent of 4G, ubiquity of high resolution tablets, 3D technology - I do not think this is a big ask. Of

course the retailers will be pushed to their limits -supply chain and distribution network will now need

to be more agile, inventory management and forecasting more accurate, business intelligence and

analytics more dependable but this will also benefit them from additional product advertising

revenues, predictability in orders, cross sell & up sell opportunities, better shrink management,

collaboration opportunities between retailers, new product categories - personalized items  and of

course the store will be now open 24X7 for business! The Brick and mortar could well be replaced by

intelligent "break pack" distribution centers  which are no longer cost centers and the fleet owned and

operated by a third party, round the clock.  Am I dreaming?

 

Posted on behalf of Thomas Mathen

Grocery Ecommerce - The Next Big Thing?

Imagine the convenience of indulging in Grocery shopping right at your home - and not being bothered by the weather, clock, rush hour traffic, POS queues and coupon clutter.  With the advent of 4G, ubiquity of high resolution tablets, 3D technology - Ecommerce can now be enhanced completely so that it becomes a compelling experience for the Grocery shoppers - powerful and personalized yet simple.  A typical shopping basket consists of items which are recurring purchases and shoppers typically do not change brands very often. This predictable nature of Grocery shopping is similar to prescription refills and can be easily fulfilled via an ecommerce model versus Brick and mortar. Of course the retailers will be pushed to their limits -supply chain and distribution network will now need to be more agile, inventory management and forecasting more accurate, business intelligence and analytics more dependable and all this will require a more scalable, secure and high performance IT  infrastructure. But the retailers will in turn also benefit from additional product advertising revenues, predictability in orders, cross sell & up sell opportunities, better shrink management, and new product categories - like "Shoppers Recommendations", "Personalized items". In addition ecommerce will be a more powerful medium for new product launches, marketing promotional items, trigger impulse buying and building brand via Social Media and to top it the retailer will be now open 24X7 for business! Grocery Ecommerce will also open up significant collaboration opportunities between the retailers - as an example the retailers could share a transportation fleet or use a third party operator. The Brick and mortar could well be replaced by intelligent and "mobile", "break pack" distribution centers. Grocery Ecommerce will soon emerge as a significant channel of commerce for the retailers. From a cost perspective one could argue that Grocery Ecommerce will push more cost into the system but then many of us may be willing to pay a premium for this convenience.

 

Posted on behalf of Thomas Mathen