Tag Archives: Mobile devices

On-Demand Fuel Services Deliver Direct to Cars

Has your car ever run out of gas? Has it ever “run on fumes” while you search for a nearby gas station? For most people, these events have likely happened a few times. Wouldn’t it be nice if your car automatically had its tank filled up without needing to take it to a filling station? And maybe get oil changes and wipers replaced without needing to spend hours at a repair shop? Well, a new company named Yoshi has the answer to this dilemma.

Yoshi is an on-site refueling and car maintenance service that brings gasoline and other services directly to your car. Using an app, drivers can schedule fuel deliveries and select maintenance services. Yoshi’s trained mechanics pump the gas and handle maintenance while the car is parked at work or at home.

Refueling can be scheduled once ($7/delivery), or on a regular basis ($20/month). Additional services include oil change, car wash and detail, repairs, windshield fluid, wiper blade changes, window cleaning, and tire air check and fill. The service is currently in 12 cities and is also used by companies to keep their car fleets fueled up and ready to go.

Fill ‘er up.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of clearly defining a target market.
  2. Poll students. Ask who would be interested in a system to automatically refuel their cars.
  3. Show Yoshi’s site: http://www.startyoshi.com/
  4. Show video of the service: https://youtu.be/xmqrZ2DvwVE
  5. For Yoshi, what is the target market? Consumers? Corporations?
  6. Divide students into teams and have each team develop a profile of a target market for Yoshi. Include demographics, psychographics, behaviors, values, attitudes, etc.
  7. Based on the target market profile, what makes this product unique for these customers?
  8. Debrief the exercise.

Source: Harlow, T. (1 March, 2018). New on-demand fuel service will allow Twin City drivers to skip the gas station. Minneapolis Star Tribune.

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TED Talk: China and the Future of Shopping

We all know that technology has changed the shopping experience. Instead of going into brick-and-mortar stores, or in addition to going into brick-and-mortar stores, shoppers now turn to PCs and mobile devices. Not only that, technology has changed our shopping behavior even when we are IN a store. This is true world-wide, but the future of shopping is here today in China.

In this TED Talks video, Angela Wang, a retail expert with firm BCG, explores the broad range of shopping services available online in China. In China, everything takes place on smart phones; 500 million Chinese consumers regularly use their mobile devices for purchasing goods and services. Think about that number – 500 million people. As Wang states, that is the combined population of the U.S., U.K, and Germany! And, all this has happened in only the last five years.

China’s technology firms are also powerhouses. Alibaba and Tencent own 90% of China’s e-commerce market, 85% of its social media, 85% of its Internet payments, along with diverse digital content, video, movies, literature, gaming and more.

Key trends that Wang sees in China shopping patterns are a growth in spontaneity, co-creation of products, ultra-convenience, and social shopping. Using WeChat, the mobile shopping journey in China far surpasses the U.S.

Marketers can learn a lot of lessons from this informative talk.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss with students that while the buying process may vary slightly for different products and target markets, the basic 5-step process is problem recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision, and post-purchase behavior. Is this still the correct model?
  2. Discuss the changes that the students have made in their own shopping behavior. How do they use mobile devices to shop? Map the journey on the board.
  3. Show the TED Talk video. Make sure students pay attention to the end of the talk when the shopping journey is explained (9:00 minute mark): https://www.ted.com/talks/angela_wang_how_china_is_changing_the_future_of_shopping/transcript
  4. How does the Chinese shopping journey compare to the traditional U.S. consumer model?
  5. For a product, have students work on the actions taken in each of the five steps in the traditional model. Then have them work out the steps of the Chinese model.
  6. Debrief the exercise.

Source: TED Talks

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World’s Largest Online Retail Shopping Event: 11/11 Singles Day

Once again the world’s biggest shopping event has occurred. And, no, it’s not Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the U.S. By far, the biggest shopping day of the year was on November 11, Singles’ Day, in China. (The holiday originally began in 1993 as a celebration for people who are single, chosen because of the connection between singles and the number ‘1’. November 11 now serves as an occasion for single people to party – and shop!)

This year, sales reached more than $8.6 billion in the first hour and passed 2016’s total sales by noon! By the end of the day the gross merchandise value tally was more than $25.3 billion, an increase of 39% from 2016 sales! Even more impressive though is that a whopping 90% of sales were completed from mobile devices (compared to 82% in 2016). At its peak, Alipay processed 256,000 transactions per second.

Singles’ Day is by far the largest shopping and entertainment festival in the world. Consider that it is 18 times bigger than Amazon Prime Day, and 2.5 times bigger than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. This year there were more than 15 million products from 140,000 top brands and companies. Top countries selling to China included Japan, U.S., Australia, Germany, and South Korea.

Singles’ Day has become an event on its own, including celebrities, fashion shows, TV galas, virtual reality, and augmented reality shopping. Companies engaged in a “Catch the Cat” augmented-reality game that engaged customers and offered discounts. There were other games as well, including an interactive trivia game on Tmall and Taobao apps. In addition, Alibaba offered viewers a televised gala that featured international stars including Pharrell Williams, Nicole Kidman, Jessie J, Maria Sharapova, LeBron James, and Zhang Ziyi.

Why is it so important for global brands to enter this shopping day? Consider that there are roughly 300 million middle-class shoppers in China, rising to an estimated 500 million in the next 10-15 years. While Singles Day may have originally started for lonely Chinese consumers, the shopping day now is seen as critical to driving China’s – and the world – economy.

If you are not familiar with Singles Day, there are a number of Web sources with information about the event and Alibaba, including the following:

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Most students will not have previously heard of China’s Single Day. Discuss the shopping holiday and its importance in China.
  2. This is likely the first time students have heard about Singles Day. There are a number of videos that can help explain the event:
    1. What is 11/11?  https://youtu.be/bRv9qG75x2c
    2. Singles Day: https://youtu.be/uDDy50RP67A
    3. An American at Alibaba: https://youtu.be/7ZxM_HaEWBI
    4. News reports: https://youtu.be/gwGGrLpUkdg
    5. What is Alibaba: https://youtu.be/gk69hV6LEgI
  1. Discuss how this holiday compares to Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the U.S.
  2. How should U.S.-based companies participate in Singles Day?

Source: Brandchannel.com (2017, Nov. 13). Alibaba’s 2017 11.11 global shopping festival passes $25B.

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