Tag Archives: shopping

Sam’s Club Now Goes Cashier Free

Amazon isn’t the only company working on reinventing the retail experience. While the Amazon Go stores have captured consumers’ attention and shoppers at its cashier-less grocery stores, it’s not the only retailer interested in using technology to improve the customer shopping experience. Walmart recently announced that it is opening Sam’s Club Now, also cashier-less, in Dallas. The company describes its new store as a “technology lab that doubles as a live, retail club.” At 32,000 square feet it isn’t quite a compact store, but it is significantly smaller than the typical Sam’s Club store.

Similar to Amazon Go, in order to shop at Sam’s Club Now, members will need to use a Sam’s Club app that allows customers to scan UPC codes as they shop and check themselves out when done shopping. The app also includes smart shopping lists, in-store voice search and maps, augmented reality for new in-store experiences, and one-hour pickup.

Employees don’t go away – they instead shift to a new role called the Member Host. These associates are the face of the company and will use technology to help them serve Sam’s Club members better. Sam’s Club stated that the “future of retail is as much about people as it is about technology.”

If you’re in Dallas, check it out.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the use of innovation throughout retail.
  2. Review Sam’s Club Now announcement and video: https://corporate.samsclub.com/blog/2018/10/29/sams-club-now-reimagining-the-future-of-retail
  3. Compare this with Amazon Go: https://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=16008589011
  4. What are the similarities, and differences, between the two services?
  5. How should the two companies position against each other?

Source:  Advertising Age, New York Times, other news sources

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Target Launches New Brand – “Smartly”

Not all innovation requires high-tech. Sure, shiny robots, drones, talking home pods, and self-driving cars get a lot of coverage in the innovation spot light. But there is plenty of innovation around in even the simplest of household items. The key is to make sure the innovation meets the needs of the customers.

A very simple new product line innovated and launched by Target this fall is called ‘Smartly’. Smartly is a new, low-price brand with more than 70 items priced below $2.00. That’s right. Two dollars. The products include household cleaners, razors, hand soap, paper plates, and toilet paper.

And it’s not just a low price point. Most of the products are sold as single-items, or in small multi-packs. This is ideal for space- and budget-conscious consumers, such as students and young apartment dwellers starting their first jobs.

Going along with the reduced packaging, prices are roughly 70% lower than traditional brands such as Tide, Gillette, and Charmin. And, the Smartly line even undercuts Target’s own Up & Up brand by about 50%.

Simple innovation can equal smart innovation.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of clearly defining a target market.
  2. Explain the use of a product-market grid to determine market segments.
  3. Show Target’s new Smartly product line: https://www.target.com/c/smartly/-/N-r4rpp#?lnk=snav_rd_smartly
  4. Read Target’s announcement of the new line: https://corporate.target.com/article/2018/10/smartly
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team build a market-product grid by identifying five market segments that shop at Target, and five categories of product groupings sold at Target.
  6. Where does Smartly fit in the product groupings? What market segment is the best one for Target to pursue with this new product line?
  7. Finally, how should the company promote the product line?

Source:  New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Target, other news sources

 

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What Women Want (from Cars)

It’s an age-old question: What do women want? While the answers to this question could fill a set of encyclopedias, let’s limit the question somewhat and just discuss what ‘cars’ women want. Last year, Edmunds.com researched this topic and came up with a list of cars that almost no women drive. Can you guess which car was at the top of the list? It’s a sports car, very pricey, very fast, and starts with “L” ….

Yep, you guessed it. Number one on the list was Lamborghini with male owners accounting for 93% of the buyers (tied with McLaren also at 93%), Ferrari at 92%, Maserati at 84%, and Tesla at 83%. Indeed, 90% of ALL sports car buyers are men. Although men seem to prefer loud, fast, impractical cars, this is a problem for automotive manufacturers as women play a significant role in roughly 85% of all car purchases.

So, what cars do women buy? Overwhelmingly, women prefer cars that are affordable with good fuel economy – and these tend to be mostly from Korean automakers such as Kia and Hyundai, along with Japanese automakers Nissan and Mitsubishi. These findings are based on automotive research company iSeeCars.com which analyzed 54 million car sales and more than 500,000 consumer inquires over a nearly three-year period.

The average price of the top 10 cars preferred by women is $14,870 compared to the average price of cars on the top 10 list preferred by men at $49,224. Let’s compare.

The top five cars women want:

Rank Car Ave. Price Inquiries by Women
1 Hyundai Tucson $16,722 66.2%
2 Nissan Versa $12,144 64.0%
3 VW Beetle $18,179 63.9%
4 Kia Forte $13,730 62.8%
5 Ford Fiesta $13,237 62.8%

 

The top five cars men want:

Rank Car Ave. Price Inquiries by Mean
1 Nissan GT-R *40,450 99.1%
2 BMW Me $35,763 92.2%
3 Porsche Cayman $43,303 91.9%
4 Porsche 911 $65,081 91.5%
5 Lexus GS 350 %33,004 91.3%

 

There are no overlaps on the top ten list. Lest we think this is an inconsequential difference, consider the size of the automotive industry. There isn’t any car company that wouldn’t like to increase the size, and diversity, of its customer base.

Think about it – what do women want?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Ask students about their car preferences.
  2. Divide the class by gender. Ask women what cars they think the men will prefer, and what cars they prefer. Ask men what cars they think the women will prefer, and what cars they prefer. Why these choices.
  3. Ask the women to list the factors they look for when buying a car. Ask the men the same question. Compare the findings on the board.
  4. Still in gender-based teams, have the teams examine the marketing mix of the top companies, and adjust the mix to attract the opposite gender.
  5. Debrief the exercise.

Source:  Ad Week, Edmunds.com, Market Watch, iSeeCars.com

 

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