Using Smartphones to Save Money on Instore Purchasing

Using the smartphone looks and ideal aid for older people looking to save money by extending comparison shopping into the instore arena.


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Calling the Season Now

It's ten days to Christmas and we're already two days into Hanukkah, so I'm ready to call the season's retail sales:

  • The worst performing stores and brands will often evidence the "best" advertising, only the results won't be their fault.
  • The best sales results will come from businesses that offered low prices, and they won't get credit for any marketing success.
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Keep a Friend Home on Black Friday

I can all but guarantee that someone you know and care about is planning to go shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. You need to intervene.

Black Friday is a contrived, customer-hostile, bait-and-switch, potentially deadly symptom of what's wrong with bricks and mortar retailing. A handful of grotesquely low prices on a smaller handful of products are advertised as "doorbusters," and we've been subjected to years' worth of propaganda intended to associate the day with shopping deals, however imaginary. 

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Banners, Search Ads on Retailers' Sites

Interesting. So Walmart must be making more money with the display ads it serves on its home page through the last year's deal with Yahoo than it would've made by promoting its own merchandise. The entire site served over 900M pageviews in August (Compete Pro data).

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To Motivate Front-line Employees: Don't Just Thank Them, Use Their Insights

Sylvia Ann Hewlett blogged at Harvard Business Review that leaders need to inspire lower-level employees. She writes:


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Role of Retail in Sustainability

Recently I was in the market for a new laptop, so I headed over to Best Buy and a few other places to check out their selections. And of course since I’m in the business of sustainability, I was looking for a bit of education on “green” electronics: which manufacturers were leading and lagging in this area, and which PCs I should be considering for energy savings, recycled materials and recycling programs, and reduced or eliminated toxic material like PCBs?

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Customers Are Talking: Retailer Zara Relies on Ground-level 'Specific Knowledge' to Forecast Sales

Andrew McAfee’s blog is a great place to learn about how businesses can gain competitive advantage by their use of IT. But yesterday he took a left turn and discussed business situations where data crunching is not helpful to decisionmaking, and I loved it.

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Best Buy in the House Pt. 2

by: Jonathan Salem Baskin

Yesterday, I wrote about how I didn't necessarily understand (or believe) Best Buy's plans to expand significantly its private label technology products business, and its hopes that incorporating customer feedback would let it make simple improvements that the big name brands might miss.

I think there's a far bigger, far more radical, and much more likely sustainable opportunity for the company to pursue:


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Best Buy in The House Pt. 1

by: Jonathan Salem Baskin

Best Buy plans to expand significantly its private label technology products business, believing that customer feedback in its stores will let it make simple improvements that the big name brands might miss.

Such vertical integration might be torn right from Capitalism 101, but I'm not sure that I buy it.

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The Future of Retail: Meet the Japanese Innovators

by: Dominic Basulto

This month's issue of Monocle magazine (a cross between the Economist and Wallpaper magazine) takes a closer look at the future of retail, focusing on the "smartest shopkeepers, best buyers, happiest consumers and sharpest ideas on the street, in the aisles and online." If you think the smartest ideas are coming out of the U.S. or Western Europe, think again.

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