OMNI-CHANNEL RETAIL JOURNEY SCENARIO 1 Discover Online | Interact In-Store | Purchase & Transact Online | Repeat Purchase Online | Phone Support | Return & Exchange In-Store In this scenario, the consumer chooses to start their retail journey with an online product research ➜ in-store / in-person product evaluation (experiential retailing) ➜ online ordering (for…

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Introduction to holistic retail Customer Experience (CX) program – Part 1

This segment briefly introduces holistic customer experience (CX) program and outlines its correlation to product & brand experience as it pertains to today’s omni-channel retailers

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One way retailers can address these challenges is by developing a holistic retail CX program that unifies all of their channel specific CX initiatives seamlessly at every one of the consumer touch points that traverses the retailer’s omni-channel footprints Read the full article

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As a starting point retailers would need to identify a range of factors (both common & unique to eChannel) that have the potential to influence their eCommerce platform’s CX These influencing factors may be derived from key consumer interaction points across their eShopping journey and furthermore; retailers may choose to categorize them under key business…

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Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) Service Model Example

Potential D2C Service Model One potential solution for CPG/FMCG brands would be to develop a D2C service that complements their existing B2B2C channels’ offerings with focus on mutually exclusive product portfolio + Value Added Services (VAS) Read the full article

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Exploring Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) Service Model for traditional CPG/FMCG brands – (Part 4)

This fourth segment explores a D2C service model as it pertains to food/beverage CPG/FMCG brands; aspects of which; may also be applicable to a multitude of other product categories & service industry verticals

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Blockchain benefits to telco carriers/operators

Blockchain: From Connectivity Pipe → Smart Contracts! In addition to exploring diversified VAS opportunities, telco Carriers are also seeking to cut costs, achieve transactional efficiencies and better facilitate transparency &  accountability within their (complex) multi-faceted operation… enter Blockchain! Blockchain will enable telecom carriers/operators to realize these goals (& more), in part due to the platform’s inherent traits – namely – shared ledger, near-real-time immutable updates, cryptographic security and auditable smart contracts For example, a blockchain platform could aid Carriers in seeking out valuable cost savings; particularly from within their multi-party transactional operations (e.g. Supply…

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Developing variations of reference holistic Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) solution framework – (Part 3)

This segment aims to outline how traditional CPG/FMCG manufacturing brands could develop variations of the reference holistic D2C solution framework Quick Note: Despite commonalities inherent to the industry; each CPG/FMCG brand is relatively unique (size, geographic reach, product/SKU mix, long-term goals, partnerships, etc.) and as such their D2C solution strategies too would be reflective of their individual goals & capabilities Part 2 briefly…

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Designing a reference holistic Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) solution framework – Concept

There are numerous ways in which brands can build their version of a holistic D2C solution framework… although… …a typical D2C solution framework would comprise of varying combination of initiatives across 3 key (D2C) modules – Core Interface, Channels and Products & Experiential Services Read the full article

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Designing a reference holistic Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) solution framework – (Part 2)

Continuing from Part 1; which introduced the benefits and concept of holistic D2C solution; this segment outlines one of the many ways traditional CPG/FMCG manufacturer (and other) brands could design their holistic D2C framework Designing a Typical Holistic D2C Solution Framework – Concept There are many ways in which brands can approach building their version of a D2C solution……

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How traditional CPG/FMCG brands could benefit from building a holistic Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) Solution – (Part 1)

Meandering through the endless aisles at a local supermarket only to discover my favorite chips & dips were out of stock… again! Only if there was an option to seamlessly purchase (hybrid frictionless) them directly from the food & beverage manufacturing brand? Perhaps traditional food & beverage manufacturing brands too could benefit from building a holistic…

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eSIM benefits to telco carriers/operators

eSIM: Capitalizing on SIM strengths & IoT/M2M growth eSIM (embedded SIM) platform has already been benefiting the commercial M2M/IoT segment; enabling enhanced device provisioning, management & billing services… BUT… recently has trickled into select number of consumer devices as well (e.g. Tablets, Smartwatches, etc.) Many Carriers are worried that if OEMs (en-masse) began shipping smartphones with eSIM, it would lead to higher subscriber churn (impacting revenues)… BUT… are gradually…

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NGN (5G), eSIM & Blockchain – A Trifecta for Telco Carriers/Operators

Wireless Carriers transforming from being (traditional) Connectivity Provider → (trusted) Connected Solutions Partner / Architect are best positioned to play a lead role in the Connected Life & Industry 4.0 era This first post in a multi-segment series introduces 3 key initiatives that will support Wireless Carriers through their transformative journey   Many Carriers bring to the table substantial industry expertise, existing network infrastructure & assets, extensive consumer reach, robust distribution network as well as the ‘trusted entity’…

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To measure a smartphone/brand’s performance look beyond the shipments metric

One question I’ve often been asked is – “How do you measure a smartphone (model / brand’s) performance or success?” There are many metrics by which a smartphone’s (model / brand) performance (or success) can be measured; the most common of them being the unit shipments Quick note: Different entities (Carriers, brand, retailers, etc.) & teams within (procurement, marketing, pricing, channel ops, etc.) the smartphone’s value chain will have different goals and…

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Key touch points across typical shopper/customer retail journey

6 key Consumer Touch Points The number of touch points retailers will have with consumers / shoppers / customers will depend on several factors (business model, product range, complexity, omni-channel spread, etc.) Taking a simplified view, consumer journey typically traverses through the following 6 key phases (analogous with the Zero, First & Second moments of truth) Product Discovery: The touch point where consumers…

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How smartphones are evolving in an AIaaS era

This post aims to highlight few ways the humble smartphone is evolving in an era where consumers are seemingly shifting their focus away from iterative hardware improvements and towards enhanced services the device enables (AIaaS, VR/AR, etc.) AIaaS takes center stage Rapid advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and myriad of underlying AIaaS (Artificial Intelligence-as-a–Service) solutions are promising unique user experiences as well as limitless opportunities to its value chain players Use cases range…

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Loyally Rewarded – View on loyalty/reward programs (Part 2)

Continuing from Part 1, this post explores some of the delivery mechanisms of loyalty/reward program models as well as key metrics to track their effectiveness and success Loyalty/Reward Delivery Mechanisms Aside from the back-end systems to support the loyalty/reward platform, it is equally imperative for businesses to implement an extremely friendly and intuitive front-end User Interface (UI) and Customer Experience…

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To integrate supportive friction within shopper/consumer purchase experience or not?

To integrate supportive friction or not? For any retailer, the decision to integrate supportive friction (& how much of it) could broadly be based on a combination of 4 key factors – Read the full article

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‘Wiifm’ stages of Consumer Engagement

1-2-3 stages of Wiifm – Consumer Engagement Journey (IoT) Regardless of the IoT offering (standalone device / comprehensive solution), consumer engagement could be achieved by provisioning of relatively simple insights though to autonomous actions and/or ongoing tangible rewards Stage 1: INSIGHTS In the short-term, insights-as-a-benefit from the underlying IoT device (or solution) would help in keeping consumers engaged 1.1 Primary Insights: Relating to insights generated from the direct activities of the…

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Retiring the L-wallet… One m-Transaction at a time

The following post focuses on the In-Store m-Transaction component of the broader m-Pay & m-Commerce solutions within emerged markets (particularly U.S)… examples of which include Apple Pay, Google Pay, LoopPay, et al. The dreaded ‘F-word’… …Fragmentation is a familiar ‘problem’ whenever a new trend is initiated from within the technology sector – Contributed by an excess of Start-ups and Established players wishing to develop ’The Ultimate…

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How addressing the 1-2-3 stages of ‘Wiifm’ could enhance consumer engagement

That thought when you clean the drawer only to discover that long-abandoned wearable – “Why did I abandon this again? Oh yeah… it never addressed my Wiifm needs” This post explores how consumer IoT value chain players could address one of their crucial ongoing challenges – enhancing consumer engagement (translated: prevent high abandonment rates) Oh Wearables… what…

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Ready to share your in-store (offline) Whole Foods shopping behavior with Alexa?

Amazon didn’t waste any time getting it’s prized product – Alexa-integrated Echo – into Whole Foods stores across the nation… and seemingly at a discount too (read: subsidy). Read on for the quick bite take… So why the rush on this one SKU from it’s broad portfolio of Fire & Kindle products? For Consumers The key…

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Seeking mutual benefits, Google & Walmart partner up

2 days ago Google & Walmart announced their partnership in what is widely seen as a counterweight to the eCommerce juggernaut – Amazon It’s all about Mutual Benefits Quick summary Google brings to table it’s platform – namely Google Home (voice assistant) & Google Express (delivery) <–> Walmart makes available it’s extensive catalogue on the platform (products) The…

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All wireless carriers/operators will offer 5G… but only those offering better CX will stand out of the crowd

All things being equal, robust consumer experience (CX) initiatives could help Carriers differentiate in a democratized 5G era All Carriers will offer 5G… now what? As Wireless Carriers gradually roll out their versions of Next Gen Network (5G) towards full commercial deployment by 2020; they also need to prepare for the fact that their competitors would offer similar 5G…

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Internet of Warranty could be the next big disruption!

“A thought struck me as I switched on my TV after a few days of hiatus… I’ve barely used the thing more than a few hrs./week on an average… yet it is Out of Warranty! …Now if only there was Internet of Warranty” We know that Warranty periods differ vastly by Manufacturers, Product categories, type,…

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Why $1500 iPhone would be a gift to Wireless Carriers

$1,500 Anniversary edition iPhone could actually be a gift to Wireless Carriers… The post aims to look past the rumored technical specifications and into key impacts an ‘Anniversary Special Edition’ iPhone 8 would have on these types of Carriers Tis’ that time again… Again! Like clockwork, the iPhone rumor mills are in full throttle this year…

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Exploring revenue potentials of the Connected Vehicle segment

Continuing from Part 1, where we explored the monetization framework for Connected Vehicles, Part 2 dwells into the key segments & extended IoT monetization potentials Concept of CSAP The Connected Solution Aggregators & Partners (CSAP) provides the industry with an End-2-End solution…which includes hardware (sensors), connectivity (wireless), support (dealer network, 24X7 roadside maintenance, call center access) and predictive insights as a Simplified Solution…

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Network Slicing – What is it?

What is Network Slicing? As the name implies; Network Slicing is a process by which Wireless Carriers can ‘slice-up’ a single (physical) 5G network into multiple virtual (End-2-End) networks that are individually optimized to service the requirements of various Connected IoT devices Key Benefit of Network Slicing? 5G is set to serve broad range of IoT use cases with varying degree of network requirements… from autonomous vehicles requiring continuous…

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Why you’ll have to wait at least until 2020 for 5G

By now, you’ve probably heard of how NGN – Next Generation Network – (marketed as 5G) will soon become the backbone of connected everything in the near future Despite the endless ‘5G’ buzz from Wireless Carriers to network vendors and everyone in between; wide scale commercial 5G deployments aren’t expected until at least 2020 Fragmentation… the one key challenge to address…

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Self Healing Network – What is it?

What is Self Healing Network? Is a future network state where advanced AI & Machine Learning work in unison to not only proactively monitor network patterns & predict potential issues but also possess the ability to fix itself with optimally-suited solution in real-time… all with little –no human intervention… thereby reducing costs & maximizing network uptime Today The amount of time…

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Yes! One vulnerable smart camera can wreck havoc across the entire smart home

The topic of securing consumer IoT devices has been on the wider industry’s mind for a while but has recently gained mainstream attention; in part due to the recent spate of high profile & publicized attacks 1. Threats to Consumer IoT are real… and rising Once thought to have been confined within industrial / enterprise…

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Challenges facing traditional sales proposition (high-end/flagship/discretionary product category)

3 Challenges facing the traditional sales proposition (high-end/flagship/discretionary product category) Overall TV purchase experience hasn’t changed much over the years… entailing: Consumers walking into their nearest retailer / clicking online ➜ viewing in-store demo (model comparison) ➜ selecting the right TV(s) ➜ haggling / price matching (if applicable) ➜ paying by cash/credit card/ 3rd party…

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How 365 brand could benefit from Amazon’s Whole Foods purchase

For $13.7B; Amazon could be getting 2 distinct companies! Amazon’s $13.7B bid to purchase Whole Foods (WF) is seeing a flurry of analysis & speculations alike… from wall street analysts through to Retail pundits and even supply chain gurus this topic is unlikely to subside anytime soon. And why should it? After all, in what…

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How an IoT button could enhance QSR Drive-Thru customer experience (Part 2)

This second segment briefly explores the IoT button design concept, user interface (UI) & experience (UX) and potential peripheral opportunities this concept may present to value chain partners in the long run The 2nd installment continues from the first segment that introduced the how the concept of an IoT button could enhance Drive-Thru experience for…

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Want to boost Premium TV sales? Take a page from the Smartphone Industry

Every time I wander through the TV section across various retailers; a similar thought surfaces – Whilst TV technology has certainly come a long way from my grandmother’s B&W 14″ CRT… it’s overall value proposition; particularly the purchase & ownership experience hasn’t seemed to change all that much! Surely the rapid commoditization of the broader…

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How Amazon Go could benefit… Amazon

Amazon hasn’t been an e-Commerce entity for a while BUT actually an omni-service provider that is one step closer to becoming an omni-lifestyle entity To me; Amazon Go is a clear indication of the importance of Retail Ecosystems; a topic that I would share my thoughts on in more detail at a later date But…

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Revenue Potentials from Connected Vehicles (Part 1)

So you’ve been reading… … that Connected Vehicles are no longer bound to Hollywood movies… but in fact have moved beyond the imaginative rides of Herbie the Love Bug, Knightrider’s KITT & Dark Knight’s Tumbler into the realms of reality The newswires are abuzz with – – Gartner predicting that by 2020 there would be around 250 Million…

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How IoT-button can enhance Drive-Thru customer experience (Part 1)

Smartphones & broader tech has been changing nearly every facet of the quick-service (fast food) industry… and now it is IoT‘s turn to do it’s bit From the success of smartphone ordering through to Geo-fence based coupons and even smart fryers; the fast food industry is hard at techifying every part of it’s store operations…

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How smart bulbs help the assisted living

IoT devices & solutions that are ‘nice-to-have’ for some… could actually be ‘need-to-have’ for others! Consumer IoT – A tale of ‘nice-to-have’ vs. ‘need-to-have’ Consumer IoT products are akin to most other cyclic / discretionary product sets where the user’s purchase intent often has to pass the infamous ‘nice-to-have’ vs. ‘need-to-have’ test Where Smart Bulbs are…

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5 Emerging Trends – Smart Home Security

For the purposes of this post, Smart Home Security is a part of the broader Consumer Internet of Things (IoT) solutions; as opposed to Industrial IoT solutions 5 Emerging Trends 1. Smartphones & Apps are enabling adoption of simplified Home Security solutions Pop quiz: What does it take to build a basic home self-monitoring system? Answer:…

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Benefits of upgrading your smartphone frequently

Another year… Another Smartphone Like clockwork latest iterations of flagship smartphones are being launched by Apple, Samsung, LG, HTC, Moto and many more vendors on an annual basis In a never-ending race to differentiate their products & maintain consumer momentum in saturated markets; vendors are constantly ‘tweaking’ their smartphones Sure enough; these latest smartphone iterations…

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Commercial Drones – Role of 5G and Wireless Carriers (Part 2)

Continuing from Part 1, the following post aims to explore key connectivity protocols required for a successful commercial Drone paradigm and peek into the potential role of Wireless Carriers Connectivity Initially; Commercial Drones are expected to operate within visual range (by a manned pilot); ultimately though; greater cost & process efficiencies could only be realized through the deployment of a fleet of BVR/BLoS (Beyond Visual Range/Line of Sight)…

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Commercial Drones – Key Deployment Scenarios & Challenges (Part 1)

Drones; akin to almost every other emerging Industrial IoT solution (different from it’s Consumer IoT brethren); present virtually endless commercial applications due to their relatively small size and ability to be piloted remotely (autonomously or with the aid of a pilot) Part 1 focuses on 5 commercial drone deployment scenarios and related challenges Aside from it’s traditional use within the Military segment, Drones have also proved quite popular with…

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Marketers – Which Millennial are you targeting?

The internet is abundant with Millennial related articles & studies; particularly their impacts on broader socio-economic changes to come The vast majority of these studies & articles we come across today seem to focus on the overall Millennial segment and their generalized attributes These include social causes, social media, spending behavior, environmental concerns, affinity towards shared economy and so on…

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Partnerships key to viable Connected Health solutions

So you’ve been hearing lately Analysts are predicting healthcare to be one of the largest vertical markets in the IoT/Connected space with CAGR of ~38% between 2015-2020; mobile health would become the fastest growing segment Usage Based Insurance (UBI) providers have said that an effective UBI solution has the potential to reduce claims cost by 40% …and many more M&A, Innovation and Optimization initiatives across the healthcare sector are…

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Emerging Trends in Consumer IoT Solutions

For the purposes of this post, the conversation refers to Consumer connected Internet of Things (IoT) solutions; as opposed to Industrial IoT solutions Challenges to Consumer IoT adoption  1. Connected Fragmentation & Isolated Ecosystem A plethora of entities have been investing in consumer connected IoT solutions; in some cases with their own ‘isolated ecosystem’ as a differentiator The very fact…

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McDonald’s – 3 Strategic Initiatives to attract ‘Newer Segments’

For most on this planet, one of the most recognizable brands in the world is undeniably McDonald’s or Mickey D’s or Macca’s (or any other lovable local name it has picked up globally) The golden arch symbol has come to become a permanent member of the elite club; shared by it’s peers Coca Cola ribbon, Apple’s bitten apple…

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Robotics & Autonomous Solutions in Customer Facing Environment

Autonomous & Robotic solutions have been making human’s lives easier since a better part of the 20th century Industrial Robotics are the mainstay of Manufacturing, Logistics, Supply Chain & Warehousing industries who depend on their high precision, low error margins, cost effective alternative & ‘tireless’ operation relative to their human counterparts Adding to the long list of benefits are robots…

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Millennials & Retail

One Segment – Different Millennials Vast majority of the articles we come across tend to focus on the similarities the millennial segment exhibits… such as mobile-centric, omniscient grasp of prices & promotions, expectation of x-channel shopping experience, social influence, buying less cars, proponents of shared economy, environment friendly, higher degree of social responsibility, et al.…

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Role VR/AR play in Retailer’s Digital Transformation

One of the most explored technology today is Virtual / Augmented Reality Both VR/AR aim to bring an immersive & interactive experience of the virtual world to the user in their own ways With VR, the user is ‘teleported’  into a virtual world wherein all of their interactions provide a ‘realistic feel’ with that fabricated environment With AR, users can interact with virtual objects in the real world around them In…

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12 Retail Facelifts

Physical Retail is not dead… …it is merely undergoing a facelift! According to PwC’s global survey, approximately 40% of consumers still make purchases in-store at least once a week, compared to just 27%  for it’s online counterpart Another research from eMarketer forecasts a significant growth of worldwide online purchase share from 5.9% in 2014 to 8.8% in 2018; yet it would…

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‘Loyally Rewarded’ – View on loyalty/reward programs (Part 1)

Loyalty/Reward Programs – Why? Acquisition vs. Retention studies say… statistically speaking the cost of acquiring new customers could be anywhere in the range of 5X – 15X vs. that of retaining existing ones – According to Bain & Co., 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75% – Gartner says that 80% of a company’s future revenue will come from…

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5 ways to repurpose an old iPhone (or any other smartphone)

If you are like me; you probably fell in love with your iPhone from the moment you unwrapped it; enjoying it’s premium glass and metal feel as well as everyday experience…up until the very moment Cupertino unveiled it’s next best thing… …A New iPhone!! After a few weeks (or even months) of waiting; it was love all overagain with the larger space grey metal unibody and ‘new…

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To beat ‘show-rooming’ effect… become a Showroom

Sounds oxymoronic right? But it is one of the numerous diversified strategies Retailers can adopt to actually beat the ‘Show-rooming’ effect (one where consumers visit physical retail stores only to purchase elsewhere online) We now know that product & in-person interactions are one of the best trump cards brick & mortar Retailers have  over their ‘e-commerce only’ counterparts… thus, it is imperative for Retailers to educate…

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