Big Data Is Not Just About Watching Us Shop

By VLAD ANDRIANOV, ADMA

Jaw-dropping! Over 35 hours of uploaded YouTube videos per minute, 12 terabytes of tweets and 2.5 quintillion bytes of information per day – the world’s data is growing at an unprecedented rate. IBM says that 90% of it has been created in the last two years alone.

Yes, some of it is harvested to track our buying habits and length of time in the store and online, raising some privacy concerns. But Big Data is not just another euphemism for Big Brother. It’s been pushing forward scientific discovery for years and it’s being used by governments to improve security and public services. Continue reading

Secrets to Success for Award Winning Online Retailer

By Mark Capps, CEO and Co-Founder, Sneaking Duck

These days, it is not only necessary to understand what your customers want but also to think outside the box. To become more effective and achieve greater results, you need to add creativity and fun into the equation and exploit the power of available technologies. Mr Capps explains, “we want to create the best possible customer experience for buying glasses. And technology allows us to not only match, but beat, the offline offer. We launched our try-on at home product as an innovative way to get products into peoples’ hands. For us it’s not about online or offline, it’s about how to make the experience great, and using technology to achieve something amazing.” Continue reading

Crazy or Creative?

By Ginger Conlon, Editorial Director, 1to1 Media

Remember the automat? Walls of vending machines stocked with sandwiches, snacks, and drinks; cafeteria-style dining. Popular in the early 1900s, they began to fade in the 1950s. When Horn & Hardart closed its last automat (on 42nd Street in Manhattan) in 1991, it seemed that gone were the days of getting any food but chips, crackers, and Pop Tarts from a vending machine. But in what seems to be a move to address the snacking needs of today’s impatient, on-the-go customers, gourmet cupcake bakery Sprinkles has gone retro. The chain launched recently a Cupcake ATM.

cupcake-atm.jpg

According to an article on CNNMoney, Sprinkles is planning to roll out the Cupcake ATM to its 10 locations and then to other, stand-alone locations. Each machine can hold 600 cupcakes, which sell for $4 each.

After reading about Sprinkles’ Cupcake ATM, I started to wonder about how well the bakery’s management knows its customers and prospects. I imagine bank managers had similar thoughts when presented with the first cash ATM.

I wonder: Will customers buy $4 cupcakes from a vending machine? (I would.) Does anyone really “need” access to cupcakes 24/7? (I do.) Personally, I think the Cupcake ATM is ingenious. Will it catch on–and will we soon see vending machines for macarons, or whatever the trendy snack du jour is? Will we see Sprinkles’ Cupcake ATMs in airports and at the mall? (I hope so.) Or will the cupcake-buying consumer prefer assisted service over self-service? As long as each cupcake is packaged with a napkin, Sprinkles has one future self-service customer for sure (that’d be me).

What do you think? Would you buy your next red velvet cupcake from a vending machine? Or do you prefer assistance with your cupcake purchase?

This article was written by Ginger Conlon, Editorial Director, 1to1 Media, which is a part of the Peppers and Rogers Group.

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The “Undercover Boss” should also play the role of the customer

bY BILL BROHAUGH

Recently, I was having a bit of trouble getting into the website of one of the loyalty programs I belong to. When I typed in my username and password, I learned that “Your username is not recognized” on several tries. OK, it’s been a while since I’ve used the site, I thought, and I’m probably mis-remembering this particular username. So I
decided to create a new account–using the same username. Which I couldn’t do
because “That username is already in use.” In use, but not recognized?

Continue reading