Delivering a personalized experience is more important than technology

Posted by Ed Anderson on Nov 28, 2014 11:01:00 AM

Location based marketing is the term used to describe the use of in-store technology like Bluetooth LE, Visible Light Communication (VLC) or security cameras to determine the location of a shopper while in the store. Technology is relevant, but business purpose trumps technology...and it's very important for retailers to decide where they are going before they argue about how they get there.


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How Millenials are using mobile devices for shopping.

Posted by Ed Anderson on Oct 31, 2014 1:17:00 PM

Nuggets on How Millenials Shop This Holiday Season:

  • Percentage of Millenials shopping directly from mobile devices
  • Biggest frustrations with mobile shopping apps
  • Percentage of Millenials using multiple mobile devices to shop
  • Preferences between a native app and a browser on the mobile device
  • Percentage of Millenials who abandon slow mobile device loading

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How does your chain compare to the top 100 retailers in mobile use?

Posted by Ed Anderson on Aug 8, 2014 10:23:00 AM


We know that retail leaders are interested in transforming their business. But for many, the specific path is not yet well defined. For some, it's about omni-channel. For others it's about digitizing offers and rendering them on smart phones. AppLovin asserts push notifications and email will play a role. Lastly some think personalization is central to transformation. This infographic from AppLovin allows you to compare where you stand vs the the top 100 retailers in the use of mobile apps, mobile commerce and improving the shopping experience. They titled it "Retail Brands Who Don’t Go Mobile Lose Out on Billions."

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Start with your shopper in mind when considering iBeacon rollout plans

Posted by Ed Anderson on Jun 9, 2014 10:29:00 AM

In our last blog post, we created a sample set of pilots to test alternate ways to improve in store conversion, and cross selling frequency and quality as a means of improving the overall shopping experience through enhanced personalization. With visibility into what your shoppers like about iBeacons and what they use the most, you are ready to roll out chain wide. 

The question is one of context: Is your frame of reference: (1) what is ready technically or (2) what will make it easy for your customers to get acclimated to personalization, as well as delivery of deals and product information at the shelf of the brick-and-mortar store? We would argue that if doubt exists, it is always better to focus on the customer rather than the technology. The following chart highlights a recommended rollout plan:

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Craft several pilot tests when beginning the iBeacon journey

Posted by Ed Anderson on Jun 5, 2014 10:30:00 AM


In our last post, we concluded that now is the time for retailers to increase ad spend through their mobile apps at the shelf. Many retailers have wanted to digitize and personalize their brick-and-mortar stores for some time, but lacked a promising delivery process. Today, however, emerging mobile platforms uniquely offer the possibility of solving both the fundamental challenges of personalization and conversion.

The emergence of Bluetooth Low Energy sensors, now often referred to as iBeacons, has fundamentally altered our ability to present offers and product information to shoppers at the shelf in a much more engaging way than before…a way that is analogous to the best practices of personalization in e-commerce, but delivered in the brick- and-mortar store.

Kurt Salmon has created a particularly interesting measurement methodology to assess the improvement in traffic, conversion and cross sell resulting from 1:1 personalization:

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Retailers will increase ad spend in their mobile apps at the shelf

Posted by Ed Anderson on May 27, 2014 4:39:00 PM


In a prior post, we asked the question: Is the mobile ad spend among retailers too low?

The traditional staples of retailer advertising are freestanding inserts and paper coupons. As the following chart shows, however, newspapers are in a steep decline in terms of revenues. Classified advertising left printed newspapers years ago and now we see a continued decline in 2013 print advertising below the 1950 spending level:



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How smart beacons seamlessly weave mobile with brick-and-mortar

Posted by Erik McMillan on May 20, 2014 1:20:00 PM

The challenges that today’s retailers face for building revenue and profitability are widely and vigorously discussed; however, the solutions have remained elusive in recent years.

  • E-commerce continues to leech sales from traditional retail stores.
  • Growing numbers of retailers have downsized or disappeared entirely.
  • Reliance on free standing inserts and paper coupons remains, but today’s shoppers view them as increasingly impractical.

In contrast, when shoppers buy online, retailers know who they are and provide highly personalized offers. Shoppers have easy access to ratings and reviews about products that interest them, and can instantly determine whether the product they hope to buy is in stock and available.

It’s clear that a bold response is needed by physical retailers. The following chart asks the question, which of these would you miss the most?


The responses highlight the fundamental challenge and – if you look closely – the most viable solution for physical retail.

Over the next 10 years, the predominant segment of shoppers (today ages 16-44) will use smartphones or go online and, secondarily, watch television for product and shopping information. They won’t much miss newspapers and magazines or the radio.

Smart beacons make store aisles digitally interactive.

To weave mobile and brick-and-mortar together, a new technology strives to make the retail shelf more interactive and engaging – smart beacons, such as Apple’s iBeacon. Smart beacons at the retail shelf that communicate with smartphones are ready for prime time based on their ability to deliver relevant information and opportunities to shoppers, including:

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How Much of a Pivot is Needed to Market to Gen Y?

Posted by Ed Anderson on Mar 17, 2014 10:30:00 AM

The refrain, “Who are those guys?” is from the 1969 movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. It debuted at a time when Baby Boomers were coming of age and the question was asked over and over by the film's stars, Robert Redford and Paul Newman in reference to the unknown lawmen persistently on their heels.

It is a question that makes considerable sense again today in the retail segment, as the lion's share of purchasing power transitions from Boomers to what we now know as Gen Y.

Who are the Gen Y ers? Within the world of retail, Gen Y will be the largest U.S. buying segment in 2017. They are mostly the children of Boomers, and those two groups represent the biggest segments of the US population. The most important question, however, is not so much about the size of Boomers and Gen Y, or the date on which buying power switches from one group to the other; the bigger question is how do they differ behaviorally and how should brands and retailers pivot their marketing to appeal to Gen Y ers?


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iBeacons Can Make a More Relevant and Personalized Shopping Experience

Posted by Ed Anderson on Mar 6, 2014 3:08:00 PM

We asked one of our advisors, Haley Rushing, to give us her opinion about the future of retailing. She has worked in a local ad agency in Austin for 16 years and much of that time was dealing with retailers. She has been involved in hundreds of focus groups with customers of her clients. So her opinion on the future of retailing is well grounded in feedback from shoppers. Here is what she had to say:

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Carpe BLE'm: Offer Deals to Shoppers with iBeacons

Posted by Ed Anderson on Feb 13, 2014 10:30:00 AM

Shelfbucks can make shopping more engaging: iBeacons enable the retail shopper to get offers in a more convenient way. Not intrusively. Not by push. Not by planning your trip by store circular or clipping paper coupons. Not by invading your space while you are driving by the mall. But by opt-in…when your retail customer is ready to buy in her favorite store.


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Use Cases for iBeacon in Brick and Mortar stores

Posted by Ed Anderson on Feb 11, 2014 10:30:00 AM


Bloomberg and GigaOm, think retailers should be interested in micro location marketing with iBeacons. What problems do they solve for retailers and shoppers?


 What are the use cases for iBeacons in retail stores?

  1. Visibility into circular deals
  2. Loyalty program deals
  3. End of season markdowns
  4. Open box return deals
  5. Cross selling of related products


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Topics: Best Practices for use of Beacons in Stores

Is Mobile Ad Spend Too Low?

Posted by Ed Anderson on Jan 30, 2014 10:30:00 AM


Ever hear the old saw, “Fish when the fish are running”?

Another way of saying this is you need to be where your prospect spends his/her time.


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