Eason Lin

Business Analyst

January 28, 2016

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Mobile payment: from data collection to trade zone analysis

KFC, McDonald's to accept Alipay in China

KFC alipay

KFC China fast food restaurants accepted Alipay mobile payments since July 2015. McDonald’s China also adapted Alipay in September 2015. Consumers now can use unique Alipay QR code in their smartphones to pay for the orders, which transactions will take only two seconds or less. It will be more convenient and efficient for both customers and cashiers. All KFC restaurants in the country only accepted cash payments in the past 27 years. Though Alipay simplifies the payment process, yet the benefit of creating consumer behavior database has been the main reason to accelerate the cooperation of these two industry giants.

For retailers in food and beverage or FMCG industry, knowing consumer behavior and target customer segments for different trade zones is as important as improving product and service quality. Classify customers into different groups in terms of different needs and characteristics to optimize its products and marketing mix for store performance improvement.

Usually, brand owners could pull out consumer behavior data from CRM database. Yet it’s hard to attract people to sign up for the membership program without big incentives such as discounts or exclusive deals. Now collecting consumer data through mobile payment makes it easier. Using big data technology to build customer profiles, to forecast the spending potential from purchase orders. Specify demographics like age, gender and behaviors like product-purchase interests in local areas. Identify high potential customers regarding different trade zones to enhance sales promotion and market strategy planning for better store performance. Different target segments in different trade zones could also be a good reference for the new store location selection, sales forecast and lease negotiations.

Mobile payment not only provides superior customer shopping experience, but supports the demands of O2O commerce. Retailers could also use big data analysis to find out who are the most desirable customers, and then create personalized offers which they are likely to buy.

 

Featured image credit : pintu360.com

 

 

Ethan Li

Project Manager

December 4, 2015

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Bank 3.0 : What’s the Holdup?

Challenges bank might face to hold back technology innovation

businesswoman hand holding a phone with mobile wallet onlain sho

Nowadays people are getting used to use bank service via all kinds of digital channels, such as online websites or apps. Bank 3.0 is an inevitable trend as the evolving of technological advancements. Instead of walking into a physical bank branch, waiting in a long line to open an account or deposit money, consumers use banking services much like they shop online. From bank management’s perspective, moving toward digital services could also help to branch out touch points of reaching more customers but reducing operating costs.

However, what are the constraints to hold back the innovation of bank 3.0? Following are some unspoken challenges:

  1. High IT security requirements: The requirement of accurate financial numbers, near real-time system updating frequency, and high firewall security in banking industry is much higher than other businesses. Bank IT departments tend to be very cautious of any new upgrade within its current operating system. They will ask for formal documentation to thoroughly understand technical details before rolling out to the organization, which will help reduce unexpected “surprise” and ensure compatibility with existing technology after implementation.
  2. Paradigm shift in mindset: Besides technical issues, the mindset of some managers remains traditional. Some are unwilling to embrace the digital banking concept. It’s difficult to transform the whole organization immediately. Evangelizing the old schools gently about the new trend could be the best way to convert people.
  3. Organizational politics: It’s never easy for an enterprise to develop new processes across multiple divisions without a long painful transition. The larger the organization is, the tougher the change would be. Therefore, how to implement the new technology smoothly is truly a leadership challenge internally that solution providers could do little as an outsider.
Ethan Li

Project Manager

August 7, 2015

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Success with Location-Based Mobile Marketing

Stores use geofences to push e-coupons and target nearby customers

Shoppers_on_Dundas,_near_Yonge

With the omni-channel trend rising, retail and bank industries keep on looking for new ways to boost their competitiveness, and differentiate themselves with others remain traditional. Geofencing is one of key technologies practically utilized in Location Based Marketing. It is an application in a software program that uses the global positioning system (GPS) or radio frequency identification (RFID) to define geographical boundaries. Geofencing creates a virtual fence around a specific area= which could be flexibly defined based on the store catchment or ad campaign area.

How does it work? When marketing team decide to set up a campaign in high-foot traffic area for one or two months , to attract new potential customers  to visit physical stores nearby. Traditionally, marketers would hire temporary interns to distribute hardcopy flyers during rush hours. Yet they never know whether the efforts are helpful or not. With geofencing approach, marketers can easily track events results.

 

Push discount favors when consumers walk into certain areas

Marketers can generate a defined-radius catchment around multiple stores all at once in the very beginning. They can even freehand draw boundaries within the territory of competitors in digital maps, and then schedule better daypart together or individually, to activate the digital marketing campaign in minutes systematically. While potential customers enter these defined geofencing boundaries at the right time, either near the stores of theirs or competitors, apps with embedded SDK installed in the smartphones will trigger the pop-up banner or message. These promotion ads notify customers e-coupon or discounted products, which would lure them to walk into stores. Additionally, marketers can further calculate redemption rate precisely in terms of visit counts of customers using these e-coupons in the back-end system.

On the basis of many authentic experiments and studies, geofencing LBS advertisement drives much more cost profit ratio than the traditional flyer distribution . Therefore, it is important to consider how to apply the application in your operation and marketing campaigns.

 

Featured image source

originally posted to Flickr as Alone/Together

Ethan Li

Project Manager

April 23, 2015

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Leverage the Best of O2O Retailing to Win Customers

Deliver the Omni-channel, consistent shopping experience

Starbucks,_Westport,_CT_06880_USA_-_Feb_2013

With the smartphone penetration rate rising, the customer shopping behavior in retail market has changed dramatically and impacted the traditional business model. According to a survey on online retail market in UK, mobile commerce has increased 254% between 2010 and 2011, and risen by a further 300% between 2011 and 2012. 69% of tablet owners make a purchase on their devices every month. The trend happens in emerging markets right now. Consumers have gradually adopted the new Omni-Channel shopping approaches, such as ordering from online shopping websites or App portals.

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Sam Ho

SVP, Data Intelligence

March 6, 2015

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Simple Retail Trick to Push Consumers Shop

Leveraging location-based technology to pump up revenue

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The goal of the marketing is always to send the right message to the right people at the right time on the right spot. Location-based marketing or geo-marketing seems trendy now but it is not a new idea at all. Traditional billboard ads at “selected” locations, or “regional local” TV commercials are also applying “location-based” concept in marketing campaign since it is broadcast the message to certain target audience by selected areas.

In the earlier web era, marketer used email or other web site to do promotion electronically but had not much choices on location or target segments. It was just a transformation from printed format to electronic format and was still a blind and massive way to push “unappreciated” message out to consumers.

Location-based marketing helps target consumers more precisely

Sending out the “right” message to target consumer is always the challenges to the marketers. With new technology and mobile device wildly adoption, it is now possible to capture where and when the consumer is, which presents consumer’s lifestyle as well as the product preference or interests. In short, location-based marketing can be more precisely target the potential clients to raise the campaign success rate. There are two main technologies used in location-based marketing currently:

  • Geofencing – It is the application or software that use GPS technology to establish a virtual perimeter or boundary around a physical geographic location, which requires satellites and cell phone towers to communicate with mobile devices. It is used in outdoor and larger areas to identify consumer’s proximal location.
  •  Beacon – It is a device by using bluetooth technology to constantly emitting a signal to the receiver (mobile device) within a very short distance to trigger an application. It is usually used indoor to know more precise location of the consumer.

With those two technologies, marketers can track the consumer no matter they are indoor or outdoor, and hold different marketing activities to consumers based on the locations and time.

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Nowadays Location-based marketing usually involves the four elements:

  1. Smart phone/ tablet device – It is the central media to interact with consumers. Without the device, it is impossible to make the campaign happen.
  2. Proximal location identification technology – As described above, it is to get where the consumer are in real time.
  3. Campaign APPs – All the promotion idea and objective of the campaign are delivered through the APPs, which is the most critical part of the marketing activities.
  4. Consumer’s behavior database/ model – No matter it is real time analysis or pre-set model, marketer needs to know what the consumer is interested or care, so that the appropriate message/ actions can then be brought to consumers.

More and more retailers are using location-based marketing campaign and getting good results from it. It is not just the trend but seems like an essential element to involve location component on all service to bring customer with better experience on shopping.

Below are some interesting and successful location-based marketing cases:

  1. Paul Bakery in Prague, the Czech Republic, 2012: Sending the SMS message to those people within 1-km radius at lunch time for free croissant and coffee. It is the most direct way of using geofencing technology for campaign.
  2.  The Montana Bureau of Tourism, USA, winter of 2013-2014 : Pre-setting targeting consumer and analyzing demographics, sending out the relevant ads to those people who have visited ski-related store or locations in that season. This campaign combined consumer analysis in-advanced.
  3.  American Eagle, USA, 2013: Shopkick roll out 100 AOE stores with iBeacon trial plan. Customers will get message of the specific promotion of the store righter after they walked in the door.
  4.  Macy’s, USA, 2013-2014: in 2013, Macy’s applied iBeacon with opt-in app to track customer in store for promotion, and it seems play a big role for the 2013 black sales. In 2014, Macy’s combined the Apple pay to enhance customer’s shopping experience and convenience in store.
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