Tag Archives: shopping

No More Cash or Credit Cards. Instead: “Do you take palms?”

When you shop, how do you pay? Do you use cash, credit/debit card, check, or mobile? And, when you enter campus buildings or work, do you use an access card or code? Ever wish there was an easier way to do these things so you don’t have to worry about carrying a wallet or cards?

Well, if Amazon One gets adopted in the marketplace, then you can pay for items and access buildings using just your palm. Yep, that’s right. Put your hand right there and access is granted.

Amazon is now using its palm-scanning payment system in a Seattle (Wash.) Whole Foods store. This expand the testing of Amazon One beyond Amazon Go and Amazon Book stores, and the company says thousands of customers have signed up to use the new service.

How does it work? The palm-scanning device analyzes “the minute characteristics of your palm – both surface-area details like lines and ridges as well as subcutaneous features such as vein patterns” to identify customers and use palms to pay. But first, customers must register their palms at a kiosk in the Whole Foods store and link a credit/debit card to the payment. Easy. Since palm prints are unique, and your hands are attached to your body, only you can unlock the payments. And, in the times of contagious diseases such as Covid-19, the payment is truly contactless – you don’t touch a thing at checkout.

Amazon is also exploring selling the technology to other companies, so perhaps you will see this at a store (or office) near you next year. However, there are concerns about security and privacy as the data is stored on a cloud.

Raise your hand if you’re willing to use palm recognition systems.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: How do they pay for most of their shopping? Cash, check, credit/debit card?
  2. How would they feel about using palm prints as payment/recognition systems?
  3. Show the Amazon One website and video: https://one.amazon.com/
  4. Show news video: https://youtu.be/rf7por-57yI
  5. Discuss the importance of developing a clear, concise message for launching new products.
  6. Use a pyramid model to build the key messages: Top of pyramid – most important message that the customer wants to hear. Middle of pyramid – how the product achieves its value for the customer. Bottom of pyramid – proof points used to validate claims.
  7. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop a key message pyramid for Amazon One Palm Payment service.
  8. When debriefing the exercise, make sure to emphasize to students the difference between what a company wants to tell the market, and what a customer wants to hear about the product.

Source: Reuters; The Verge; other news sources

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Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2020

Since we wrote about November 11 – Singles Day in China, it seemed only fitting to next cover U.S. shopping over Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And, while the gross revenue sales in the U.S. fell well beneath the 2020 Singles Day record of more than $75 billion in purchases over an 11-day period, U.S. shopping still hit record levels of roughly $9.6 billion on Black Friday, an increase of 21.6% from 2019!

Black Friday shopping was followed by another strong shopping day tallying $10.6 billion on Cyber Monday. To many marketers, more interesting than the dollar amounts are the shifts in habit to online shopping. In particular, sales on mobile devices accounted for an estimated 40% of purchases for a total of $3.6 billion, an increase of 23% compared to last year. Mobile is where it’s at these days.

Some additional shopping highlights:

  • People spent an average of $312 on holiday purchases between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday.
  • Americans spent 116.6 million hours shopping online.
  • Consumers spent $6.3 million per minute online.
  • Average spending per consumer online was $27.50.
  • Biggest categories were electronics, clothing, and toys.
  • In-store shopping on Black Friday declined 37% .
  • Online shopping on Black Friday increased 8%.

Consumer shopping habits are certainly changing. Now marketers have to keep up!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the changes in U.S. consumers’ shopping habits.
  2. What new shopping habits have the students formed?
  3. Where do they shop? Why? Online and in person?
  4. Show video about the changes in store for Black Friday shopping: https://www.wsj.com/video/the-end-of-the-mad-rush-how-2020-is-reshaping-black-friday/FD19834F-9701-46E9-A6D5-14A1AE2F9601.html
  5. Poll students about their shopping over Thanksgiving Week – Cyber Monday. How much was spent, which products were sought after, etc.?
  6. Divide students into teams.
  7. Considering the increasing use of shopping on smart phones, have students develop a marketing campaign specifically for mobile devices.

Source: AdWeek; CNBC; New York Times; Wall Street Journal; other news sources

 

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Digital Commerce Continues to Grow

More than any single factor, the pandemic has impacted virtually all industries, but it has most impacted how consumers shop. Prior to 2020, consumers may have shopped online for many different products and services, but since mid-2020 buying habits have changed significantly. Consumers now feel more comfortable buying what were once in-person purchases such as cars, food, and medical or health care needs.

A recent survey by McKinsey & Co. highlighted that since the pandemic began, three out of four people have tried new shopping and delivery methods. More than half of the consumers surveyed intend to continue to use curbside pickup or delivery services after the pandemic ends. Roughly 70% of those consumers intend to keep buying online. Among the changes are increases in online streaming, grocery delivery, restaurant curbside pickup and delivery, and store curbside pickup. Consumers are going online not just for shopping; they now go online for medical appointments, fitness classes, tutoring, and more.

While these changes are good for digital commerce providers, they are not so good for traditional brick-and-mortar retailers. This year will likely see a record of store closings, bankruptcies, and liquidations. And, retailers have had to shift how they deliver services, including more online experiences such as digital events, contactless payment methods, virtual online services, and curbside pickup.

Overall, ecommerce in the U.S. rose to 16.1% from 10.8% a year ago. New shopping habits also extend to a decline in cash and an increase in credit and debit card use.

To quote Bob Dylan, “the times they are a changing.”

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. As class begins, poll students about their shopping.
  2. What are the last three websites they visited? Did they buy anything? Why or why not?
  3. How have their shopping habits changed this year?
  4. Do they have new online shopping habits?
  5. Will they keep these new habits once the pandemic is contained?
  6. Show video about how pandemic has changed shopping habits: https://www.wsj.com/video/the-future-of-retail-how-will-the-pandemic-change-how-we-shop/526ADB88-F6D1-4B77-AA97-BAA323496D4D.html

Source:  Wall Street Journal

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