Tag Archives: merchandising

The Joy of Books (for kids)!

Remember when one of the joys of being a kid was getting a box delivered to you that was filled with surprises? Even when the box contained books?! I remember it and the pleasure that reading brought (and still brings) to my life. When kids read, new worlds open up to them. And, building a love of reading early can lead to a life-time love of reading and learning.

In a new service geared to young readers, Amazon is starting a new service to send a monthly box of books to kids based on their ages and interests. The Prime Book Box service uses the tag line “The Love of Reading, Delivered” and delivers a curated box of books every one, two, or three months. The service is priced at $22.99 per box, an estimated 35% discount from the cumulative list prices.

Books can be selected for various age groups: Baby to two year olds, three to five year olds, six to eight year olds, and nine to 12 year olds. Each box contains either two hardcover books or four board books. The selection may include classic books as well as new books selected by the editors, and customers have options to swap out books and substitute from a selected alternative list. The service also takes into account a customer’s purchase history in order to avoid sending a book that you had previously purchased on Amazon.

Reading and getting surprises in the mail – it makes kids happy!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the power of reading for kids.
  2. Poll students: What do they remember about getting books as a kid? What were some of their favorite books?
  3. Show Amazon’s Prime Book Box service to class: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072J4QS9F
  4. Pricing is usually a complex topic. Discuss the six steps for pricing (determining objectives, estimating demand, determining cost/profit relationships, select price level, set list price, and make adjustments).
  5. Discuss the various pricing models in class: demand-oriented, cost-oriented, profit-oriented, and competition-oriented.
  6. Which strategy is Amazon using for the new service?
  7. Will this be effective?

Source: Brandchannel.com, other news sources

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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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Will You Be My Valentine?

Love is in the air. And, it is also in the aisle (store aisle that is). When true love is on the line, Americans are ready to spend. According to the National Retail Federation, spending on Valentine’s Day this year is projected to be nearly $19.6 billion! That’s an average of $143.56 for each American.

What kind of love tokens will be given? Well, roughly 19% will give (and receive) jewelry for a total of $4.7 billion, and 35% of us will go out for a romantic dinner. Sigh…

Other statistics that show how much we love:

  • 55% give candy to loved ones (especially chocolate)
  • 114 million Valentine’s cards will be given
  • 9 million marriage proposals offered

And it doesn’t stop with our beloved partners. It extends to schools, where we spend an average of $7.26 on children’s classmates and teachers, and on our pets who receive $5.50 worth of goodies. Even our co-workers get in the action with an average of $4.79 spent.

Finally, “gifts of experience” such as concert or event tickets are popular and 24% of people plan to give such a gift. Lest we forget about mobile, more than 50% plan to use their smartphones to help with decisions, and 36.9% will use smartphone to research gift giving.

What did you give and receive?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What did they give, and receive, on Valentine’s Day?
  2. Show a video on spending for Valentine’s Day: http://cnn.it/2Bsoigt
  3. Show NRF graphs on spending: https://nrf.com/media/press-releases/nrf-says-consumers-will-spend-near-record-196-billion-valentines-day
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop a unique promotion for a Valentine’s Day experience gift.
  5. Have students vote on the most creative idea.

Source:  National Retail Federation

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