Cold Is Cool For Retai
In certain cities, winter has made its presence known. From the wild winds whipping down the city streets to the snow and sleet pounding the pavement. While summer and spring weather pushes people out of the big cities, winter keeps them in. City dwellers tend to stay close to home and spend quite a bit of time indoors, which has helped the delivery industry thrive. From meals to groceries to fashions to even flat screen TVs—practically anything can be delivered right to your apartment. Technology has also stepped in making it easier than ever to order via text, online, or with the swipe of an app. As more and more companies dive into this delivery realm, the consumers are the ones that will ultimately benefit from the competition. And the Urbanist, will bring these stories right to your doorstep all winter long (with no delivery fee).
Dig in, discover. @_The_Urbanist
Use VR To See The V-8
Audi is taking a page out of the video-game industry with their new VR experience. Virtual reality headsets are now being used in the sporty car giant’s showrooms to literally put its customers in the driver’s seat. Potential buyers wearing the headsets can view all Audi models as well as different features (from the leather seats to the infotainment system). A camera is designed into the VR gear to track the user’s eye movement so it can correctly adapt the image. Plus, the headset comes complete with Bang & Olufsen headphones to allow customers to virtually hear how the audio system will sound.
For customers, the VR experience brings car shopping to life in a way like never before. For dealers, this new technology doesn’t take up any extra space in the showroom, which is a big positive for urban locations. Plus, the virtual experience is an extra enticement for the customer which could mean more real sales.
New Campaign With Lots Of Bark
The Hush Puppies shoe brand is now leveraging its adorable brand mascot for its latest marketing campaign. Random streets are featuring signs with a cuddly, cute little basset hound attached to it. The messaging on the signs entices people to take the dog for a walk. Each basset hound is trained to be a type of doggie GPS and literally walks its walker right to the local Hush Puppies store. Once the potential consumer enters, they are welcomed with a coupon surprise. Using these four-legged friends helps not only with the disruption factor, but also strikes an emotional chord with the intended target. Plus, the dogs serve as mobile billboards without the need for a power source—except for some doggie treats.
Online All Over
FreedomPop has unveiled a new service that is sweeping the nation, literally—$5 wifi practically anywhere. For a monthly fee, members will have access to over 10 million hotspots across the country. The service will roll out with Android first and then to Apple devices. Using this service allows people to use their smartphones without needing a phone plan, just the device. It also offers the opportunity to increase the incidence of showrooming on a greater degree because people will be able to use their wifi-enabled tablets where they weren’t able before. And that could lead to an increase in mobile purchases. For businesses, more mobile users simply means moreopportunities to market their products.
More and more Millennials are doing their shopping online as opposed to heading to the local mall or shopping downtown. Because of this storeless generation, BOPIS (Buy Online Pickup In Store) has had a surge in popularity. Canadian company Penguin Pick-Up is capitalizing on this trend by creating its own BOPIS system. Shoppers can now buy from all different types of stores online (from groceries to electronic goods.) Then, instead of sending all of the packages to the shopper’s home, Penguin Pick-Up has designed kiosks where people can pick up all of their orders grouped together. Users that opt into the program receive a text, email, or call when all of their items are ready to be picked up at a kiosk. Right now, Penguin Pick-Up locations can be found in Toronto, Scarborough, and Vaughan, but more are on the way. While it does offer convenience for consumers, it also helps smaller online retailers be part of a seamless, one-stop shopping scenario, which can help incentivize purchase.
Gender Blending In Retail
Unisex wear is the latest fashion trend making a scene on runways as well as being embraced by iconic designers like Stella McCartney, Hermès, and Rick Owens. The idea behind this fashion-forward concept is designing clothing that can be worn by both men and women. Retailers, too, are starting to test the androgynous waters by featuring the lines in their stores. In London, Selfridges Agender is devoting two floors for this gender-neutral wear. It is even going so far as to remove its gender-specific mannequins from the window. Linda Hewson (the store’s creative director) told the press, “We will explore the relationship between gender and retail physically, digitally, and in all of our stores.” This is a move that shows how retailers are working with fashion designers to help ensure these trends seamlessly translate from the runway to retail.
Mobile Marketing 101
Mobile is the future—proven by the fact that, for the first time ever, analysts are predicting tablets to outsell laptops and desktops in 2015. Another staggering indicator is that, last summer, 55% of all online searching was done on mobile devices. Phones accounted for 44% of that percentage, with tablets at 11%. However, this increase of mobile users doesn’t mean an increase in commerce. When it comes to the final purchase, smartphone shoppers spend 18% less than tablet users and 88% less than computer users and shoppers in-store. The reason being—the frustrations of mobile websites. KISSmetrics reported that 40% of shoppers will ditch a site if it takes more than three seconds to load. 39% of people surveyed also expressed a concern with security. To help alleviate these issues mobile commerce, businesses are adopting the following marketing techniques.
Make it simple: Be short and to the point with all mobile communication.
Keep the customer intrigued: Feature games, and/or promotions on your site
Top of mind: Send reminders to customers who visit, but don’t purchase
Coupon Incentive: Lure potential customers to your mobile sites with special price deals.
While mobile is the future, online and in-store are still leading as far as final purchases go, which is important to keep in mind when developing a strategy in which mobile, online, and in-store can work seamlessly, together.
For more urban trends & insights, check out next month’s issue.
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