consumer

How Restoration Hardware Made ‘Showrooming’ An Asset Instead Of An Enemy

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/restoration-hardware-uses-showrooms-2012-12

restoration hardware furniture

Many retailers are terrified of turning into a showroom. They fear consumers will come only to test out the products they’ll later buy online. 

Furniture store Restoration Hardware decided to approach “showrooming” differently by accepting and encouraging it, reports Joan Solsman at The Wall Street Journal

Many stores, including Restoration Hardware’s rival Pottery Barn, fought showrooming by “rushing to lower prices,” Solsman writes. 

But Restoration Hardware decreased its number of physical stores and used the remaining ones as showrooms. Sofas, tables, rugs and other decor were meticulously arranged with an emphasis on the aesthetic. Customers could find even more merchandise online or in catalogues while shopping in the stores.

The tactic is working. Direct-to-consumer now makes up half of Restoration Hardware’s business, and the retailer has reported double-digit sales growth for 10 quarters, according to Solsman.

Restoration Hardware’s model probably wouldn’t work for Best Buy, the most prolific victim of “showrooming,” Solsman cautions. 

Furniture and decor, unlike consumer electronics and other items, aren’t easily searchable by specifications,” Solsman writes. “A highly fragmented market, home furnishings sellers benefit from many players having proprietary merchandise, which stunts online competitive threats.”

DON’T MISS: The Fabulous Life Of The Mysterious Billionaire Behind Zara >

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Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 news No Comments

1 in 3 Online Consumers Want to Interact With TV Shows Via a Second Screen

Source: http://www.marketingcharts.com/wp/television/1-in-3-online-consumers-want-to-interact-with-tv-shows-via-second-screen-25264/

Verizon has released new data from its “Borderless Lifestyle Survey,” exploring consumer attitudes to an always-connected lifestyle. Of the many findings, attitudes towards real-time interaction with TV shows prove particularly interesting, as emerging technologies provide another potential activity for so-called “second screeners.” Specifically, 35% of respondents indicated an interest in real-time games and challenges with […]

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Sunday, December 9th, 2012 news No Comments

Imagination Technologies snaps up CPU designer MIPS in an attempt to wrestle ARM

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/11/06/imagination-technologies-scoops-up-chip-designer-mips/

Imagination Technologies snaps up CPU designer MIPS in an attempt to wrestle ARM

Looks like we can kiss goodbye to any lingering politeness in the rivalry between these two UK chip houses, because the smaller one has just embarked on a cheeky expansion. Having been known mainly for its PowerVR graphics processors, not least in many Apple products, Imagination Tech could potentially push into the CPU arena too, through its $60 million acquisition of MIPS Technologies. Just Like ARM, MIPS designs low-power RISC processors for consumer electronics, but it has generally focused on smaller chips for devices like routers and TVs rather than smartphones and tablets. In addition to a portfolio of 82 exclusive patents, a squad of 160 MIPS engineers will now be transplanted to Imagination, where they’ll no doubt be debriefed and reassigned to conquering the world. Meanwhile, in some sort of flanking move, ARM has paid a far higher sum of $170 million to gain access to a number of other MIPS patents.

[Thanks, Michael]

Imagination Technologies snaps up CPU designer MIPS in an attempt to wrestle ARM originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 06 Nov 2012 06:41:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tuesday, November 6th, 2012 news No Comments

The Small Screen Boom [Slide Deck]

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/mobile-video-the-small-screen-boom-2-2012-10

Ooyala_Mobile_Video

We at BI Intelligence have built on our recent mobile video report to put together a comprehensive presentation on the mobile video revolution. 

Mobile video is quickly becoming a mass consumer phenomenon, much as digital photos were earlier in the smartphone adoption cycle.

In Mobile Video: The Small Screen Boom, we explore what is driving this massive mobile video growth, examine who watches mobile video and how they watch it, and look at the mobile video monetization opportunity. 

We’ve posted the deck here. We hope you enjoy it. 

BI Intelligence is a new research and analysis service focused on mobile computing and the Internet. Subscribers can download the entire deck as a PDF or PowerPoint, as well as any of the individual charts from the presentation. Please sign up for a free trial here.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Monday, October 29th, 2012 news No Comments

Google Is Now Doing Same-Day Shopping Delivery (GOOG)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/google-is-now-doing-same-day-shopping-delivery-2012-10

Larry Page Google

Google has started testing a same-day delivery shopping service in San Francisco, according to the New York Times.

This could be huge for Google’s mobile consumer intent targeting strategy (dominated by search, currently).

The move puts Google in direct competition with Amazon, which has a more prominent reputation among consumers for online shopping.

It also strengthens its Google Offers product, by implication (which, in turn, is a threat to Facebook Offers).

Put same day delivery in context with Google Maps, which increasingly feature Google’s Zagat shopping results … and you can see how mobile same-day shopping might suddenly become a thing for Google — and the advertisers who want to promote products in that space.

Disclosure: The author owns Google stock.

 

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Sunday, October 28th, 2012 news No Comments

Kodak dropping out of the consumer inkjet printer business in 2013

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/09/28/kodak-dropping-inkjet-printer-business-in-2013/

Kodak dropping out of the consumer inkjet printer business in 2013

More gloomy news from Kodak: the company just announced that it will stop selling consumer inkjet printers in 2013 and instead focus its efforts on commercial printing products. This decision hardly comes as a surprise: Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year and attempted to auction off a stockpile of patents valued at up to $2.6 billion. The company stated on Friday that it expects to take a $90 million hit due to its floundering inkjet business. Kodak’s garage sale attracted interest from unlikely alliances in the form of Apple and Microsoft versus Google and Samsung, but reportedly only reeled in disappointing offers under the $500 million mark. Hoping to rebound next year as a “lean,” mean, successful machine, we’ll just have to wait and see what develops for this fallen photography frontrunner.

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Kodak dropping out of the consumer inkjet printer business in 2013 originally appeared on En gadget on Fri, 28 Sep 2012 15:50:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sunday, September 30th, 2012 news No Comments

How Mobile Phones Are Killing The Magazine Business

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-how-mobile-phones-are-killing-the-magazine-business-2012-9

Kantar Media

Total U.S. ad spending increased just 0.9 percent in Q2 2012, to $34.4 billion, according to Kantar Media, but that marginal increase masked the disproportionate damage suffered by the magazine sector.

Magazine ad sales declined -2.7% percent in the quarter, with across-the-board declines at consumer, business and Sunday magazines. The only magazine sectors to post growth were niche publications like local and Spanish language magazines, according to Kantar.

The report doesn’t say why the declines occurred. The ad economy has been growing in fits and starts for about three years now, and magazines ought to be benefiting from that. But the Kantar numbers offer a clue that mobile phones may be killing the magazine business.

Web display advertising also declined in the quarter, by -5.4%. Kantar only measures display, and not search or other forms of digital adspend. The one thing we know about digital adspend is that money right now is pouring into mobile ad delivery, and lowering prices as it does so. The effect of that is to reduce the total amount of dollars spent on internet display ads — which is probably why you’re seeing web sales declines in Kantar’s numbers.

Now put that together with the way people use their phones and tablets. The iPad and the Samsung Galaxy S III are used by consumers in an almost identical way to how they use magazines: Portable delivery of entertainment and news.

The Kantar numbers also show a continued decline in the newspaper business, where ad revenue sank another -3.1%. The web, famously, killed the newspaper business.

It looks like mobile will do the same for magazines.

Related:

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Monday, September 10th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

An Enormous Chinese Price War Backfired For Everybody Involved

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/an-enormous-chinese-price-war-backfired-for-everybody-involved-2012-9

china, retail, store, looking, wonder, think, thought, curiuous, explanation

Some of China’s largest retailers are facing an official investigation for deceptive sales practices after a recent price war spiraled out of control.  

At the Wall Street Journal, Laurie Burkitt reports that one company’s promotion drove a race to the bottom. From the piece:     

Beijing Jingdong sparked the latest price war last month after Chief Executive Liu Qiangdong said on his microblogging site that he would dispatch 5,000 agents to check prices at rival outlets and would undercut their prices at least 10%. Suning and Gome responded by agreeing to offer consumers lower prices on the companies’ e-commerce sites.

It worked at first; Beijing Jingdong’s 360buy.com sold upwards of 250 million yuan worth of goods in three hours.

But then the competing offers spread to Chinese social media and snowballed to the point where companies were apparently unable to offer stated discounts and ran out of items, sparking widespread anger. 

China has many consumers, but not much in the way of consumer protection. Pressure on these retailers from slumping demand and rising inflation mean they occasionally resort to dubious pricing practices.

It’s a sign what’s at times still an awkward hybrid economy, even as China moves towards surpassing the United States as the world’s largest economy. 

Rapidly changing prices are becoming an inevitable part of online retail. Combining that with brick and mortar outlets and the sheer size of China’s burgeoning consumer class created a complete disaster.

See also: Here’s What Led To Explosive Growth For Chinese And Indian Entrepreneurs

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Thursday, September 6th, 2012 news No Comments

Desperate For Revenue, Facebook Turns To The Gambling Business… (FB)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-gambling-2012-8

winstar world casino table

Facebook is going into the gambling business.

Starting today, report Christopher Thompson and April Dembosky of the FT, Facebook will allow users in the UK to play bingo for real money. Real-money slot machines will soon follow.

Gambling is much more socially and legally acceptable in the UK than in the US, where legislators pretend that it’s immoral to gamble outside of Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and some Indian reservations. The same legislators have no issue with lotteries, which encourage citizens to throw hard-earned money down rat holes to raise additional state tax revenue.

But still, gambling is a risque behavior to cash in on, especially for a mainstream consumer company like Facebook.

Industry insiders have long expected Facebook to turn to gambling at some point, and they have high hopes for it. Earlier this year, in Europe, one insider predicted that gambling would eventually turn Facebook into a $100 billion business.

Facebook’s Bingo gambling will be conducted in partnership with a company called Gamesys, one of the UK’s biggest online gambling companies. The game will be called Bingo Friendzy.

Facebook will presumably collect a ~30% “vig” from the money spent to play Bingo on the Facebook platform, the same way it collects a portion of the virtual goods revenue its social-gaming partners generate in the U.S. This revenue will help fortify Facebook’s “payments” revenue stream, which has recently been crippled by the collapse of Zynga! .

Meanwhile, one company that appears to have been left out in the cold here is Zynga, Facebook’s big game partner in the US. Zynga has also been eager to cash in on the online gambling craze. But it will apparently be watching this Facebook move from the sidelines.

SEE ALSO: INSIDER: When Gambling Is Legalized, Facebook Will Become A $100 Billion Business

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Tuesday, August 7th, 2012 news No Comments

Retail Counterfeiting Has Grown Into A $600 Billion Industry

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/retail-counterfeiting-has-grown-into-a-600-billion-industry-2012-8

knock-off-brands-china

Counterfeiting is one of the fastest-growing and most profitable industries in the world, experts say.

Product piracy applies to just about every type and grade of consumer goods: Shampoo, cosmetics, cigarettes, food, DVDs, perfume and pharmaceuticals are just some of the recent targets.

Accounting for 5 percent to 7 percent of the world trade market, phony products are a $600 billion industry.

And it’s an industry that can be hazardous to the health of your business as well as your own health.

Often made in developing companies with lax regulation and controls, knockoff products have been linked to organized crime or criminal activity, posing serious threats to consumers and companies alike while draining economies, say the experts at Acsis, a supply-chain logistics company. Counterfeiting has become the crime of the 21st century, Acsis says.

More than 1 million counterfeit electrical products have been recalled in recent years, including extension cords, power strips and batteries—products that not only can destroy electronic devices but pose a serious fire hazard, says the Electrical Safety Foundation International. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 64 percent of counterfeit electrical products are purchased from legitimate shops and retailers. However, many illegitimate power adapters continue to be sold online.

Counterfeiting becomes an even more insidious problem when it involves pharmaceuticals, including products that have been diluted, are falsely labeled or contain no active ingredients. In January 2010, the Food and Drug Administration warned consumers of counterfeit Alli capsules (for weight loss) sold over the Internet. Rather than orlistat, the active ingredient in Alli, the counterfeits contained a controlled substance called sibutramine, a potentially dangerous medication that officials say should not be used without a doctor’s recommendation.

While it would seem simple to warn business owners to stay away from seemingly shady deals and encourage them to buy from only reputable manufacturers and distributors, it’s not that black and white, Acsis’ chief technology officer said.

“In an economy where everyone is trying to save money, it is often hard to pass up what looks like a great deal,” said company CTO John DiPalo. “It’s important to remember that in nearly every instance, counterfeited goods are often made with inferior materials and not held to the high standards as the original. Despite this well-meaning intention of trying to spend less, in the end, it’s just not worth the risk.

“In an age when all parties are responsible for the product once it leaves their four walls, it’s no surprise that true product visibility throughout a supply chain is not only a necessity but a means of survival.”

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.We’re also on Facebook & Google+.

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Thursday, August 2nd, 2012 news No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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