Attention Shoppers!

Yes you looking at the Ragu!

We have all be using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) for some time.  We started this journey with Garmins, Tom Tom’s and other devices specific to on dash installation.  They worked pretty well but you needed to continuously update the street files to get the most out of these devices.  Then the car companies started to install in dash navigation systems.  I do not know about you, but these interfaces always seemed complex and unusable to me.

Then of course, these capabilities became part of our smartphone applications.  We first had Google Maps, MapQuest, AmAze and of course Apple Maps (Much better now)  Then we were introduced to social GPS with Waze, but they were purchased fast by Google. All great apps and all free.  Are you spending any money on Garmins or Tom Tom’s anymore?  Not me 🙂 And of course our phones themselves have Location Based Services, so retailers and the like know where you are and can send you advertising and other content

Now we are moving this indoors with Apple’s iBeacon technology.  What is iBeacon?  It is an indoor positioning system; a network of devices used to wirelessly locate objects or people inside a building.  Apple has already rolled this technology out to their retail stores.  It uses Bluetooth technology, which by the way is of course enabled on all smart phones.  Now there is a coincidence 🙂 This technology will provide the retail store with your exact in-store location, enabling them to communicate directly in the moment of your purchase decisions.  Yowsa!

On Monday, iBeacons were introduced with supermarkets Safeway and Giant Eagle.  inMarket’s (The company providing the solution) iBeacon Mobile to Mortar platform sends out a variety of information to iPhone-owning store visitors, so long as they’ve opted in to use the service via one of its compatible apps, such as CheckPoints.  By enabling the service, shoppers can expect to receive notifications to their Apple handset such as discount coupons, loyalty rewards, and reminders about what to pick up.  The technology was previously introduced in Macy’s through a relationship with shopping application Shopkick.

We are no longer lost in the supermarket.  We know where you are, always.

Webman

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Are you awake?

Focused on expanding my horizons the last couple of week by reading about some topics that I am not familiar with.  One I focused on was the concept of being awake, living in the moment. Being awake you say?  But I am awake 12+ hours a day you say!

Are you really awake or are you just going through the motions?  Do you live in the past, present and future all at the same time? When you are engaged in a discussion, are you thinking about something that has previously happened or other things that you need to do? Or are you truly focused in the moment with all attention on that one idea, thought, person or event?

Initial thoughts:

  • Focus solely on what you are doing – this will not be easy at first but keep trying
  • Look people directly in the eye and listen hard to what they are saying – As my friend Brendan says, God gave you two ears and only one mouth, so listen twice as much as you speak
  • Give the gift of attention – focus on the present/the moment

I will spend more on this topic moving forward.  If you want some further information now, please visit http://freedomfromtheknown.com/living-in-the-moment/

And for you music lovers, let’s go to a song that you can sing and remember as you embark on your new journey of focus.

Enjoy the day and your new found focus 🙂  Wake up!

Webman

Your iPhone Just Got Better

In case you missed it yesterday, Apple had a few new products to share with you yesterday.  As usual, the company continues to just crush it and will be providing you with new and more productive ways to leverage and use all of the Apple technology that you have.  Apple announced a major iOS 7 redesign, with countless iOS 7 features that are rolling out in the iOS 7 beta today.  They are also going directly after Pandora with their new iRadio service and killed a few competitive apps by just including these capabilities in the operating system, like the flashlight.

So in case you missed the announcements yesterday, here are a few nuggets for you.  Change is good.  But remember, as Woodrow Wilson once said “If you want to make enemies, try to change something.”  So this will identify the positives around the announcements.  Someone else can write about what they hate about Apple.  Not me.

Apple New Design

  1. Control Center – In iOS 7 Apple adds a Control Center, which allows users to swipe up from the bottom of any screen for access to toggling WiFi, Do Not Disturb, Brightness, controlling music playback, AirPlay and more. There’s also a flashlight built-in and shortcuts to apps.
  2. Swipe to Go Back – When in Safari or other apps, if you need to go back, don’t bother looking for the back button, swiping in from the left will go back.
  3. Scrolling App Folders – The new app folders in iOS 7 aren’t limited to a few apps. If you want to put all your games into a folder you can now do that and scroll through apps in a folder.
  4. Better Sharing Menu – The new iOS 7 sharing menu includes a scrollable list of apps and other iPhones to make sharing photos and more simpler.
  5. Great New Look – Apple changed the look of IOS, from the font and dock up to the status bar at the top of the iPhone. This is a brand new look that many users are already excited to try out.
  6. New Multitasking With Previews – The new iOS 7 multitasking uses the full size of the iPhone 5 display to let users see what’s going on in apps. Users can also swipe up to kill an app, instead of long pressing on it.
  7. Siri Voice Options – In iOS 7 Siri offers a new female voice and a male voice for the first time.
  8. More Control of iPhone with Siri – Siri can now control more of the iPhone. In the demo Siri on iOS 7 controlled brightness, returning calls and controlling iRadio.
  9. iOS 7 Looks Change to Match Your Background – When you change the background of the home screen, elements of the IOS system will change to match the colors. This includes the dialer and other parts of iOS 7.
  10. New Camera App – iOS 7 features a new Camera app that includes faster access to panorama, a new look and much more.

These are just 10 of the great new things developed by Apple and announced yesterday.  Thanks to the folks at Gottabemobile for the summary.  An additional 40 new items can be found at http://www.gottabemobile.com/2013/06/10/50-ios-7-features-youll-actually-care-about/

And the hits just keep on coming.  Speaking about hits, here is one of my favorite summer songs from The Alarm:

Webman

Go Inside

“If you are not on the inside, your are on the outside”

Gordon GekkoWall Street

Well apparently Apple wants to be on the inside.  The last mile in the marketing, promotional, geo-location part of the food chain. There is still one slightly uncharted territory that will — without question — be the last mile in marketing. It is the ability for a brand to deliver contextual and highly targeted marketing at the local retail level. We may be inching ever-closer to this reality.

On March 23rd, 2013, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple acquired a company called WiFiSLAM for an estimated $20 million. WiFiSLAM is GPS for the indoors. It is able to triangulate the location of consumers, track their every move and deliver contextual marketing messages to them while capturing a tremendous amount of consumer data.

For Apple, this may be the next big thing. Some speculate that Apple will try to grab the mapping of the inside spaces while Google continues to map the oceans and the arctic. Google is just as busy trying to capitalize on this idea of mapping the inside of spaces as well. But it’s not just a game for Apple and Google. Amazon has been hard at work capturing tons of consumer information at the retail level.

A little Eve 6 for you.

Look no further than their Price Check for iPhone app that enables consumers to scan a barcode, snap a picture of a product or use text/speech search to find out how much the product is on Amazon. This business of showrooming has become a contentious talking point in the retail sector, as more and more consumers are using their smartphones and tablets to find a better price at the physical location. These consumers are using the stores as a showroom, but completing their purchases on their mobile devices and having the products shipped to their homes. What we don’t hear much about is the data and information that Amazon is capturing about consumers, how they walk through stores, what they’re price checking, the price variances from store to store, trends in merchandising and more. All of this (and more) is being captured, each and every time a consumer uses the app to find a better price. While it’s not real-time information like WiFiSLAM is offering, Amazon still has tremendous information about consumers and how they make their way through many different retail environments.

It looks like stores are going to become as dynamic and intelligent as their e-commerce counterparts. So long as retailers seeks permission from their consumers and use this technology to drive more value to the consumers, these types of technologies could well be the linchpin that secures the future of retail.

Inside game is now officially on.  Just as spring arrives.

Webman

Hello, Hello

You say “Yes“, I say “No”. You say “Stop” and I say “Go, go, go”. Oh no. You say “Goodbye” and I say “Hello, hello, hello”. I don’t know why you say “Goodbye”, I say “Hello, hello, hello”. I don’t know why you say goodbye, I say hello. I say “High”, you say Low”. You say “Why?” And I say “I don’t know”. Oh no. You say “Goodbye” and I say “Hello, hello, hello”. I don’t know why you say “Goodbye”, I say “Hello, hello, hello”. (Hello, goodbye, hello, goodbye. Hello, goodbye.)

From the Beatles – Hello Goodbye

hello

So hello everyone.  Thank you for your patience.  I said a new blog was coming soon, but a long time has passed.  Well today is the day and I am thrilled to be back in the blog saddle.

The power of saying hello.  Such a simple thing to do, so why don’t more people do it?  Are you a person that says hello or just walks by?  Saying hello to a stranger on the street is one thing, but how about your co-workers?  How many times have you walked past a co-worker in the hall/corridor and said nothing, even if you know them?  How many times does this happen to you?  Do you wonder, why didn’t he/she say hello to me?  Did I do something?  Are they pissed at me or the world?  Do you even care? Do they even care?

While a simple gesture, like saying “hello” or “good morning” daily to your colleagues can help to reinforce a respectful (and friendly) workplace, there’s more to it than that. Taking the time to acknowledge and learn more about your co-workers is what turns a workplace into a community.

Saying hello makes people smile.  Sure we are all busy; sure we all have too much to do; but, whatever happened to common decency and respect?  You’re thinking about that impending due date or that e-mail message you probably shouldn’t have sent. You’re thinking, I have to go to another useless meeting. To accomplish daily goals and get where we’re trying to go, we feel that we have to block out the stimuli around us. We put on perceptual blinders to conserve mental energy, allowing us to focus on the task at hand.

But these blinders also leave us less aware of what’s happening around us. You’re less connected to other members of your community/workplace when you walk briskly down the hall, head down, lost in thought, thumbing through your iPhone or looking at your computer.

Whether or not we mean to, we send a message when we do this. While you know that you’re a friendly and welcoming person (Maybe you are not :)) who’s just temporarily busy, distracted or running late, passersby form less generous impressions. And, thus, a company full of personable and warm individuals inadvertently becomes less hospitable in the aggregate—particularly in the eyes of anyone who already had doubts regarding his or her own social/intellectual identity at work.

So this week, make sure to say hello. Say it to the casual acquaintance, the co-worker, even to a person that is sitting in a meeting that you do not know.  Walk straight up to them and say “Hello”. In those few minutes before your meeting starts, don’t use the time to fire off one last email; instead, make the minimal effort required to introduce yourself to the guy/girl next to you.

So Why Does Saying “Hello” Help?

1. It boosts our own self-esteem when we take the time to acknowledge others.
2. It esteems and values others when we recognize and acknowledge them.
3. It reinforces relationships and the willingness to help each other.
4. When coupled with a smile, a simple “hello” can’t help but put the greeter into a good mood.

Try It Today

Say “hello” (with a smile) to at least 3 people at your workplace and see what happens!

A little tuneage for you to start the week.

Webman

Mobile – Muy Importante!

We often talk about what is happening in mobile.  Well, with the holiday shopping season now in full swing, we will cover some of the more recent trends in mobile shopping and the ever increasing impact of how these little hand held devices are changing everything we know about how people shop.

I found a great new web-site, Quartz, www.qz.com, that covers a variety of interesting topics including mobile.  The facts below were provided in an article by Christopher Mims.  He is the science and technology correspondent for Quartz. He believes that the most interesting things about the universe have yet to be discovered, and that technology is the primary driver of cultural change.

  • 55% of mobile users buy products on their devices, but 80% research purchases on them
  • Less than half of top retailers have a mobile site and app
  • 88% of mobile users engage in some kind of mobile commerce
  • 72% of consumers aged 20-40 in US and UK will use mobile devices to compare prices in-store
  • 48 million US shoppers will use their smartphone as an “on-demand aide-de-camp” in stores
  • $43.4 billion is what US holiday shoppers are expected to spend online this season, up 17% from last year
  • 14% of people with mobile phones have used them to make purchases while drunk
  • 23% of holiday shoppers in the US will spend more online than offline
  • 28% of US adults with a mobile device will use them to shop on Thanksgiving, vs. 16% last year
  • 32% of smartphone owners plan to download a shopping app for the holidays
  • 89% of all website traffic from tablets comes from iPads
  • 61% of all website traffic from smartphones comes from iPhones
  • 1 in 3 US consumers is thinking about buying a tablet computer this holiday season
  • 388 million Chinese access the web through their mobile phone, more than do so via PC
  • There are 260 million mobile connections in Brazil, higher than its population

So are these smart devices that we are using really that important?  You bet!

  • 90% of 18-29 year olds sleep with their smartphones
  • 1 in 3 people would rather give up sex than their phone
  • 95% of people use the phone for something just before going to bed
  • Half of people check their phones immediately if they wake up during the night

The game has changed.  What game are you playing?  If you are a retailer without a mobile strategy, time to make a change and get one.

Webman

The New E-Mail Champion

Where are people opening their e-mails?  This is a critical piece of information for all e-mail marketers today.  E-mail access has changed radically over the last couple of years with the rapid emergence of mobile and of course new devices such as the iPad.  Well, we have a new number 1 in where people access e-mail.  And the winner is:

In a recent study completed by Litmus, www.litmus.com, a leading e-mail testing and marketing analytics company located in Cambridge, MA, the iPhone and the iPad now represent 28% of all opened e-mails.  The results of this study were sourced from over 1 billion e-mail opens from Litmus’ global e-mail analytics solution.  Take a look:

Even more amazing is that mobile is now the number 1 platform for opening e-mails:

And yes, Apple dominates mobile:

So for all companies using e-mail to drive business and customer satisfaction, what is your responsive design strategy to capitalize on this rapidly changing trend?  Your competitors are surely looking at this opportunity with a keen eye.

Thanks to the folks at Litmus for the awesome analysis and infographics.

Webman