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jerryking : kiosks   14

Best Buy’s Secrets for Thriving in the Amazon Age
SEPT. 18, 2017 | The New York Times | By KEVIN ROOSE.

Here are the keys to Best Buy’s turnaround, according to Mr. Joly:

1. Price, price, price

The most worrisome trend in big-box retail was “showrooming” .....To combat showrooming and persuade customers to complete their purchases at Best Buy, Mr. Joly announced a price-matching guarantee....Price-matching costs Best Buy real money, but it also gives customers a reason to stay in the store, and avoids handing business to competitors.

2. Focus on humans

Mr. Joly also realized that if Best Buy was going to compete with Amazon, which has spent billions building a speedy delivery system and plans to use drones to become even more efficient, it needed to get better at things that robots can’t do well — namely, customer service & customer experience....Best Buy fixed its internal product search engine. It also restored a much-loved employee discount that had been suspended and embarked on an ambitious program to retrain its employees so they could answer questions about entirely new categories of electronics, such as virtual reality headsets and smart home appliances.....Customers had always loved Best Buy’s Geek Squad.....sometimes, people needed help before they bought big and expensive gadgets. So it started an adviser program that allows customers to get free in-home consultations about what product they should buy, and how it should be installed....a pilot program last year, the service is now being rolled out nationwide.

3. Turn brick-and-mortar into showcase-and-ship

Best Buy’s online ordering system was completely divorced from its stores. If a customer placed an order on the website, it would ship from a central warehouse. If that warehouse didn’t have the item in stock, the customer was out of luck.....Mr. Joly realized that with some minor changes, each of Best Buy’s 1,000-plus big-box stores could ship packages to customers, serving as a mini warehouse for its surrounding area. Now, when a customer orders a product on Best Buy’s website, the item is sent from the location that can deliver it the fastest — a store down the street, perhaps, or a warehouse five states away. It was a small, subtle change, but it allowed Best Buy to improve its shipping times, and made immediate gratification possible for customers. Now, roughly 40 % of Best Buy’s online orders are either shipped or picked up from a store.

Best Buy also struck deals with large electronics companies like Samsung, Apple and Microsoft to feature their products in branded areas within the store. Now, rather than jamming these companies’ products next to one another on shelves, Best Buy allows them to set up their own dedicated kiosks. (Apple’s area inside a Best Buy, for example, has the same sleek wooden tables and minimalist design as an Apple Store.) It’s a concept borrowed from department stores, and it’s created a lucrative new revenue stream. Even Amazon has set up kiosks in Best Buy stores to show off its voice-activated Alexa gadgets.

4. Cut costs quietly

Almost every business turnaround plan includes cutting costs. Best Buy has used the scalpel as quietly as possible, gradually letting leases expire for unprofitable stores and consolidating its overseas divisions, trimming a layer of middle managers in 2014, and reassigned roughly 400 Geek Squad employees within the company. No public rounds of layoffs, which can crater employee morale and create a sinking-ship vibe.

Best Buy has also found more creative penny-pinching methods. Once, the company noticed that an unusually high number of flat-screen TVs were being dropped in its warehouses. It revamped the handling process, reducing the number of times TVs were picked up by a clamp lift and adding new carts to prevent TV boxes from falling over. The changes resulted in less broken inventory and bigger profits.

5. Get lucky, stay humble and don’t tempt fate

It’s lucky that the products it specializes in selling, like big-screen TVs and high-end audio equipment, are big-ticket items that many customers still feel uncomfortable buying sight unseen from a website. It’s lucky that several large competitors have gone out of business, shrinking its list of rivals. And it’s lucky that the vendors who make the products it sells, like Apple and Samsung, have kept churning out expensive blockbuster gadgets.

“They’re at the mercy of the product cycles,” said Stephen Baker, a tech industry analyst at NPD Group. “If people stop buying PCs or they don’t care about big-screen TVs anymore, they have a challenge.”

Mr. Joly knows that despite Best Buy’s recent momentum, it’s not out of the woods yet. To succeed over the long term, it will need to do more than cut costs and match prices. Walmart, another big-box behemoth, is investing billions of dollars in a digital expansion with the acquisition of e-commerce companies like Jet and Bonobos, and could prove to be a fierce rival. Amazon has been expanding into brick-and-mortar retail with its acquisition of Whole Foods, and is moving into Best Buy’s home installation and services market....
“Once you’ve had a near-death experience,” he said, “arrogance, if you had it in your bones, has disappeared forever.”
penny-pinching  Amazon  Best_Buy  big-box  CEOs  turnarounds  pilot_programs  nationwide  brands  kiosks  cost-cutting  luck  Wal-Mart  Jet  Bonobos  pricing  showrooming  price-matching  customer_service  search_engines  in-home  BOPIS  Samsung  Apple  Microsoft  store_within_a_store  consumer_electronics  product_cycles  customer_experience  contra-Amazon 
september 2017 by jerryking
DigitalSignageToday.com: 10 'Big Ideas' from ICX Summit 2016
June 6, 2016 | Newstex Trade & Industry Blogs, | by Christopher Hall

1. Media has become the store, so the store has to become the media

How many websites or digital signage or kiosk screens ha...
Doug_Stephens  metrics  retailers  kiosks  digital_signage  experiential_marketing 
august 2017 by jerryking
Amazon’s Next Big Move: Take Over the Mall
November 14, 2016 | Technology Review | by Nicholas Carr .

What’s Amazon doing with Amazon Books?...Wall Street analysts and tech writers have filled the void with conjecture. The stores are all about selling gadgets, goes one popular idea, with the books there just to lure customers. The stores are data-gathering machines, goes another, enabling Amazon to extend its tracking of customers into the physical world. Or maybe the company’s secret plan is to use the stores to promote its cloud computing operation, Amazon Web Services, to other retailers....The theories are intriguing, and they may contain bits of truth. But the real impetus behind the stores is probably much simpler: Amazon wants to sell more books....Not long ago, the common wisdom held that Amazon would remake the book business in its own image. Its Web store would kill off bookstores, and its Kindle would render physical books obsolete. ...
“Pure-play Web retailing is not sustainable.”Bezos underestimated the allure of bricks and paper. With his bookstore chain, he now seems to be admitting that if Amazon is to expand its share of the book market, it will need to invest in bricks as well as bits....Having come up short in its plan to supplant books and bookstores with digital alternatives, the company is taking its revenge by attacking traditional bookshops on their own turf. Unlike the mom-and-pop independents, or even the struggling Barnes & Noble chain, Amazon has the scale and the cash required to wage a war of attrition. It can sustain losses on its stores for a long time.....Amazon Books may be just the vanguard of a much broader push into brick-and-mortar retailing by the company. In October, the Wall Street Journal revealed that Amazon is planning to open a chain of convenience stores, mainly for groceries, along with drive-in depots where consumers will be able to pick up merchandise ordered online. It has also begun rolling out small “pop-up” stores to hawk its electronic devices. It already has more than two dozen such kiosks in malls around the country, and dozens more are said to be in the works.

Even after 20 years of rapid growth, e-commerce still accounts for less than 10 percent of total retail sales. And now the rise of mobile computing places new constraints on Web stores.At the same time, the smartphone, with its apps, its messaging platforms, and its constant connectivity, gives retailers more ways to communicate with and influence customers, even when they’re shopping in stores. This is why the big trend in retailing today is toward “omnichannel” strategies, which blend physical stores, Web stores, and mobile apps in a way that makes the most of the convenience of smartphones and overcomes their limitations.....Beyond its expertise in Web sales, Amazon brings distinctive strengths to an omnichannel operation. Its vast, efficient network of warehouses and distribution centers can supply outlets and process returns. It has, thanks to the largesse and patience of its investors, a reservoir of cheap capital that it can draw on to fund a building spree. And it has a much-admired brand. What Amazon lacks is experience in the touchy-feely world of traditional retailing (e.g. merchandising??). The company’s proficiency in software and data crunching is unquestioned. Its people skills are another matter..... another of the store’s goals: to promote the Prime program, which is central to Amazon’s strategy of locking in customers....I feel let down. I had convinced myself that I was going to witness something fresh and unexpected at Amazon Books. What I found was an annex to a website—a store that, despite the bricks and paper, retains the coldness of the virtual.
e-commerce  shopping_malls  Amazon  Amazon_Prime  books  sterile  soulless  Nicholas_Carr  Amazon_Books  bricks-and-mortar  Jeff_Bezos  pure-plays  bookstores  omnichannel  strengths  smartphones  mobile_applications  loyalty_management  impersonal  people_skills  Achilles’_heel  weaknesses  convenience_stores  pop-ups  kiosks  voids  merchandising  AWS  physical_world  mom-and-pop  coldness  touchy-feely  cyberphysical  emotional_connections  empathy_vacuum  Amazon_Go  cashierless  locked_in  distribution_centres 
february 2017 by jerryking
McDonald’s Table Service: Fast Food Redefined - WSJ
By JULIE JARGON
Nov. 18, 2016

More McDonald’s Corp. customers across the U.S. will be able to choose table service inside restaurants, in an attempt to provide something beyond what a traditional fast-food chain offers.

It is part of an effort central to revive the burger giant’s sales, which have flagged in recent quarters. Franchisees and analysts have been wondering what else McDonald’s would do to drive interest in a brand that has been struggling to re-establish its relevancy in a market where consumers have more choices than ever to get food, including burgers.

The company that derives nearly 70% of its sales from the drive-through is hoping changes to the restaurants themselves will help lift sales, according to McDonald’s USA President Chris Kempczinski.....If the restaurants aren’t able to keep their stores clean and offer friendly service—two challenges that have plagued the company—having table service isn’t going to enhance the experience, said Darren Tristano, vice president at restaurant consulting firm Technomic Inc.

In addition to table service, the company is also installing free-standing kiosks inside the restaurants, which have proven successful in overseas markets including the U.K., France and Australia, according to the company, which said people tend to order more food when they don’t feel pressured to order at the counter. Customers can pay for their food at the kiosk and indicate whether they want table service.
McDonald's  fast-food  QSR  self-service  drive-throughs  kiosks  restaurants 
january 2017 by jerryking
Brands Get Creative with Holiday Pop Up Stores - CMO Today - WSJ
December 3, 2014 | WSJ | By NATHALIE TADENA.

SC Johnson’s Glade, the maker of air fresheners and home scents, is using its first-ever pop-up boutique in New York City’s Meatpacking District to “sell feelings” that are inspired by the brand’s fragrances. Visitors to the pop-up, which opened last month and runs through Dec. 23, can lounge in one of five interactive areas that are designed to embody feelings associated with Glade scents – the red honeysuckle nectar-scent inspired “Energized” room, for example, features an Oculus Rift virtual thrill ride. There’s also a “Scent Lab,” decorated with a mosaic wall made up of 1,500 scented candles, for visitors to sample scents up close.

“We’re continuing to transform Glade into a lifestyle brand, in part by appealing to a new generation of Glade customers with memorable experiences like the Glade Boutique and unexpected partnerships,” said Kelly Semrau, SC Johnson Senior Vice President Global Corporate Affairs.

Pop-up shops give brands that may not have its own year-round storefront the physical space to “really do something extraordinary and breakthrough,” noted Dan Katz-Golden, strategy director at branding firm Siegel+Gale. Many marketers are turning to pop-up shops for brand-building purposes rather than to boost sales, giving brands the luxury to create a unique in-store experience without having to worry so much about the nuts and bolts of selling products, he said.
pop-ups  brands  Christmas  retailers  customer_experience  kiosks  uniqueness  lifestyles  in-store  breakthroughs 
december 2014 by jerryking
THE PROPERTY REPORT: Malls Make Room for Start-Ups - WSJ.com
AUGUST 3, 2011, 12:40 A.M. ET
By A.D. PRUITT

Mall owners trying to keep their space filled amid the economic downturn
have found an unexpected source of relief: demand from newly minted
retailers.

With the unemployment rate persistently high, people suffering from lost
jobs, foreclosures and other hardships are turning to selling such
merchandise as jewelry, calendars, sunglasses or seasonal fare for
Christmas and Halloween. During the boom years, many mall landlords had
little incentive to take chances by providing these start-ups with
space.

But mall owners have become more willing to lease kiosks, carts and even
empty stores to these entrepreneurs of necessity. So-called specialty
products now make up one of the fastest-growing segments of the retail
industry, (reference John Corless)
shopping_malls  kiosks  pop-ups  retailers  economic_downturn  start_ups  hardships 
august 2011 by jerryking
Pop-Up Stores: the New Marketing Trend of Temporary Brand Environments | TalentZoo.com
June 8, 2005
Pop-Up Stores: the New Marketing Trend of Temporary Brand Environments
By: Jim Anstey
marketing  trends  pop-ups  kiosks  branding 
february 2011 by jerryking
Style Insider: Balenciaga Goes East - WSJ Magazine Daily - WSJ
May 28, 2010 | WSJ Magazine Daily | By Andrew Lutjens. Pop-up
fever has struck East Hampton with Balenciaga’s first seasonal store
ever. Located on Main Street, the 1,000-square-foot space will carry an
assortment of women’s accessories including handbags, shoes, sunglasses,
belts and jewelry. The store was developed by Artistic Director Nicolas
Ghesquière in collaboration with French artist Dominique
Gonzalez-Foerster and will carry on the look of other Balenciaga stores
with their “2001: A Space Odyssey” aesthetic.
kiosks  pop-ups  luxury  women  accessories 
january 2011 by jerryking
Pop-ups present tenant issues
Dec. 20, 2010 |Financial Post | Drew Hasselback.
If you're a commercial landlord, you may have wondered about granting space to pop-ups. They may broaden your shopping centre's product range, but they don't come with the polish you expect from your long-term tenants. The rapid appearance and exit of pop-up stores at holiday times raises some unique legal issues and requires a frank discussion between the landlord and the tenant before any rental deal is signed. Each side needs to understand the other's objectives, and those understandings should be spelled out in writing to prevent future conflicts.
kiosks  retailers  shopping_malls  pop-ups  short-lived  clarity  commercial_real_estate  landlords 
december 2010 by jerryking
Do Believe the Hype - NYTimes.com
Nov. 2, 2010 |NYT| Tom FRIEDMAN..."the single most important
trend in the world today: globalization — the distn of cheap tools of
comm. & innovation that are wiring together the world’s citizens,
govts., biz, terrorists — is going to a whole new level."....EKO India
Fin Services' founders, Abhishek & Abhinav Sinha , began with an
insight — that low-wage migrant workers flocking to Delhi from poorer
states like Bihar had no place to put their savings & no secure way
to remit $ home to their families. India has relatively few bank
branches for a country its size, so many migrants stuff $ in their
mattresses or send $ home through traditional “hawala,” or hand-to-hand
networks...The brothers' idea: In every neighborhood there’s a
mom-and-pop kiosk selling drinks, cigs, candy & groceries. Why not
turn each one into a virtual bank? They created a s/ware prgrm allowing
a migrant in Delhi using his cellphone, & proof of identity, to
open a bank acct. registered on his cellphone txt system.
India  entrepreneurship  start_ups  Tom_Friedman  banking  mobile_phones  low-wage  globalization  flat_world  insights  text_messages  urbanization  remittances  microfinance  fin-tech  underserved  unbanked  kiosks  neighbourhoods  internal_migration  mom-and-pop  the_single_most_important 
november 2010 by jerryking
Tech's Future
SEPTEMBER 27, 2004 | Business Week | by Steve Hamm. Developing
countries require new business strategies as well as new products. .. A
new class of businesses -- tech kiosk operators -- is emerging to
provide computing as a service. With cash often in short supply,
pay-as-you-go programs are not only boosting cell-phone usage but are
catching on with computers and Web access as well. When these
technologies cycle back into the mature markets, it could change
everything from pricing to product design. To succeed in the developing
world, devices and software have to be better in many ways: cheaper,
easier to use, extra-durable, more compact -- and still packed with
powerful features. The resulting improvements will ultimately benefit
everybody from New Delhi to New York.
HP  BRIC  C.K._Prahalad  Bottom_of_the_Pyramid  kiosks  new_businesses  new_products  pay-as-you-go  developing_countries 
december 2009 by jerryking

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