Tag Archives: shopping

Snack Robots are Invading Campuses

Robots are invading! Ok, maybe they aren’t exactly invading the entire nation, but they do seem to be infiltrating some college campuses. Rest easy though – these robots seek not to dominate, but instead to satisfy students’ craving for delivered snacks.

The self-driving robots are being tested for “last mile delivery” courtesy of PepsiCo, and have been deployed to serve students at the University of the Pacific’s campus in Stockton, Calif. The robots, developed by robotic company Robby Technologies, carry a variety of healthy snacks and drinks from Pepsi’s ‘Hello Goodness’ product line. Ordering and delivery on campus is easy using an app that is available to all students with a University of the Pacific email address. With a single charge, the robot can travel 20 miles to find a multitude of consumers eager for a quick snack.

The robots do have a normal work hour shift of 9-5 (sorry, no late night munchies) and deliver products to 50 areas around the campus. The robots are equipped with cameras and headlights so that they can navigate in rain and darkness. And, with six-wheels and all-wheel drive, curbs, rough paths, and steep hills can be handled with ease.

Students – are you hungry now?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the impact of robots and drones on marketing.
  2. Show a video of the Pepsi SnackBots: https://youtu.be/skUbYVmRogI
  3. More information can be found at Pepsi’s Website: https://www.pepsico.com/news/press-release/pepsicos-hello-goodness-snackbot-is-off-to-college01032019
  4. Information on the robots from Robby: https://robby.io
  5. Discuss how to build and use a SWOT analysis grid: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (internal and external factors).
  6. Break students into teams and have each team build a SWOT analysis grid.
  7. Based on the analysis, what are the issues and risks that might occur?
  8. Debrief by building SWOT analysis grid on the white board.

Source: Ad Week, other news sources

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Christmas is in the Air!

Can you smell it? It’s that time of the year when Christmas is in the air! Oh, lift your face and smell the scent of fir trees, pine cones, fresh cold air, and KFC fried chicken in the air! Wait, what, KFC fried chicken in the air? That’s become a Christmas scent?

Yes, KFC decided that Christmas needs more food smells, particularly its famous fried chicken with 11 herbs and spices. To that end, the company recently sold out of its five-pound fire logs that were scented with fried chicken. Relax though, no chickens were harmed and none are burned as part of the fire logs, which are made out of recycled materials. The logs burn up to 2.5 to 3 hours and have a caution applied – burning it may result in a crazing for fried chicken (plus it may attract hungry bears or neighbors).

KFC isn’t the only company applying scents to the holidays. General Mills is also using scents in movie theaters to entice consumers for its Pillsbury cinnamon rolls. General Mills is using scent machines at 200 theaters to push out a subtle scent of freshly cooked cinnamon rolls during pre-show commercials.

Why the emphasis on scents in marketing? Studies have indicated that smell is strongly linked to memory recall. Consumers link scents to memories, making them more inclined to purchase products that generate happy memories.

What smells do you like?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What are the scents of Christmas?
  2. Show the KFC yule log site: https://www.kfc.com/fire-log
  3. Show a video about KFC logs: https://youtu.be/b-4Yh8_4vZI
  4. Show the Pillsbury cinnamon theater commercial: https://youtu.be/z_ie4wdXyXM
  5. Divide students into teams.
  6. Have each team develop a marketing tactic using “scents” to improve branding and sales.
  7. What are the drawbacks to this type of marketing?

Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune, Entrepreneur, Ad Week, Fox News, other news sources

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New Shopping Records: Black Friday and Cyber Monday

If you are reading this, congratulations. It means you survived the busiest shopping days of the season: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And, busy is an understatement. Shoppers took to the stores and online in masses, scoping up deals and getting started on holiday shopping for loved ones (and their selves).

The numbers are nearly as staggering. According to Adobe Analytics:

  • Shopping dollars from Nov. 1 – 26 totaled $58.52 billion
  • Black Friday accounted for a record-making $7.9 billion, including $6.22 billion spent online
  • Top products included Fingerlings, L.O.L. Surprise, Nintendo Switch, Laptops from Dell & Apple, LG TVs, drones, and Amazon Echo
  • Sales traffic vs. revenue by device type:
    • Desktop: 42% traffic for 61% of purchases
    • Smartphones: 49% of traffic for 30% of purchases
    • Tablets: 8% of traffic for 9% of purchases
  • Buy Online, Pickup In-Store (BOPIS) increased 50% from last year
  • Cyber Monday sales reached $7.9 billion, the largest single shopping day in the U.S.
  • Sales from smartphones also hit an all-time high of $2 billion

What did you buy?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students about shopping over the Thanksgiving weekend.
  2. What did they buy? How much did they spend? Gifts or personal purchases?
  3. Did students shop in stores, online, or both?
  4. Purchase volumes by type?
  5. Review the data and charts from Adobe site: http://exploreadobe.com/retail-shopping-insights/
  6. Additional information CNBC Article and video: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/24/black-friday-pulled-in-a-record-6point22-billion-in-online-sales-adobe.html
  7. Other video: https://youtu.be/DDhk6O5TSN0
  8. Given the results from holiday shopping, what are three things that retailers must do to continue to meet customer needs?

Source: Adobe Analytics, CNBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, other news sources

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