Tag Archives: global marketing

Your Smile Pays for Shopping

By now, nearly everyone has heard about Amazon Go stores where shoppers can skip the check-out lanes and are automatically charged for what they purchase. But, Amazon isn’t the only company that offers stores without cashiers. The latest entry is from Alibaba at its new Futuremart store in Hangzhou, China. The store sells a wide variety of Alibaba merchandise. Customers enter the store using a facial recognition app and scan a QR code with their Taobao, Tmall, or Alipap apps so they can shop.

But wait – it doesn’t end there! The store also uses a facial recognition program – a “Happy Go” happiness meter – to measure how happy the shopper is right now. A big smile can earn discounts!

Similar to Amazon Go, at Alibaba, when leaving, facial recognition and RFID technology recognize the shopper and the items being purchased. Alibaba and Amazon may be in the forefront of the new shopping technology, but others are close behind. Panasonic is also working on an automatic checkout using a walk-through RFID solution at a store in Japan.

Go ahead and walk-through the store – but don’t forget to smile big!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Would they like to be able to shop without a cashier payment step? Why or why not?
  2. Discuss the new ways in which technology is impacting retailing, such as Amazon Go and Alibaba.
  3. Show Alibaba video: https://youtu.be/FGtRXi8eRKI
  4. Show Amazon Go video: https://youtu.be/NrmMk1Myrxc
  5. Show the Panasonic RFID video: https://youtu.be/VD_FJzio3wo
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team reimagine the shopping experience using technology. What are their findings? Will consumers accept these innovations?

Source: Brandchannel.com. Alibaba test smile-and-pay facial recognition shopping.

 

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Let Your Fingers do the Paying

Have you ever forgotten your credit/debit card or money when buying something? It’s certainly embarrassing for the consumer, and not only that, the retailer then loses the sale. Wouldn’t it be nice if one could pay by using a different form of identification? Well, there is a new possibility brought to consumers from Nets, a Nordic payment provider.

Nets has launched a service called ‘Fingopay’ – a biometric payment system that uses a consumer’s finger-vein reading system to access credit cards and PIN numbers, while still maintaining a person’s security. The system uses infrared lights to scan the consumer’s prints, creating a 3D map of the veins in the whole finger (not the fingerprint). This can be registered as a preferred payment method, linking the finger tips to the bank account. The biometric signature is a one-of-a-kind identifier. It can’t be stolen, forged, or damaged. If the vein print matches the registered pattern, the sale is made!

Fingopay is now in use at the Copenhagen Business School and at Brunel University in London. Readers are installed at points of sales in the campus store and cash-free transactions ensure that purchases can be made, even without wallets or phones!

Purchasing is now at your finger – really!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: How many have forgotten their wallets or id recently when trying to make a purchase? What happened?
  2. Show Fingopay’s Web site: http://fingopay.com/
  3. View the video on the site that shows how the system works.
  4. Another video on U.S. news: https://youtu.be/bwDvUolnf8Y
  5. Poll students: Would they use this system? Why, or why not?
  6. For all the objections to using the service, have teams of students develop promotional tactics that could counteract the objections.

Source: Trendhunter.com.

 

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The Ultimate Vending Machine Contains Cars

What was the last item you purchased from a vending machine? Most consumers purchase convenience items such as drinks and snacks at the ubiquitous machines. Maybe in an airport or mall there might be a vending machine for electronics such as headphones and chargers, movies, or prepared meals for people on the go. And, speaking of “on the go”……..

Alibaba’s Tmall recently unveiled what is possibly the world’s largest vending machine, for the world’s largest car market. The product sold in the machines? Cars!

The automobile vending machine, located in Guangzhou, China, is a partnership between Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba and American car manufacturer Ford Motor. The program offers a three-day test-drive to potential customers shopping for a new car. The giant vending machine contains more than 100 vehicles, including small cars, family cars, sports cars, and SUVs. Cars include those made in China as well as imported from the U.S. The goal for the new program is to improve the car buying process for consumers.

The process starts with a mobile app (of course) called the “Super Test-Drive” app. Consumers use the app to research, browse available models, and select a car and pick-up time. Snapping a selfie picture provides facial recognition that is used to confirm the booking and borrow the car from the vending machine. And, if the customer’s credit score is good enough, then the three-day test-drive is free.

This sounds a lot more fun than just getting a snack from the local vending machine!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Where are vending machines? What do they buy form vending machines? Why buy from vending machines?
  2. View video of the process: https://youtu.be/zFDDcTOFkEA
  3. While the buying process may vary slightly for different products and target markets, the basic 5-step process remains the same: problem recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision, and post-purchase behavior.
  4. Does this vending machine fit the model? Or does the model need to change?
  5. Consider assigning different student groups to work on different target markets. Then the process for the different target markets can be compared and contrasted.

Source: Brandchannel.com (26 March, 2018). Alibaba and Ford launch China’s first Tmall car vending machine.

 

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