Tuesday, July 28, 2015

No Aisle Recall At The Drive-In Groceries

A soon to be tenant in a Sunnyvale, California strip mall named has asked the city’s zoning department for approval on a retail use where users would pre-order groceries online then select a 15-minute to 2-hour pick up time horizon. According to the applicant, the customer either can drive into a designated pick-up area with parking stalls, where the purchased items will be delivered to their cars, or they can arrive on foot or bicycle and pick up their items in the store.

Yes, this is the same Seattle-based ecommerce giant where many Americans purchase everything from toasters to cars.

Imagine that. It used to be all about bricks and mortar retail businesses going digital to expand its markets and facilitate transactions for its customers. Have we gone full circle? Has ecommerce become so strong that it now can create and sustain bricks and mortar businesses? Apparently, Amazon thinks so. Capitalizing on its understanding of the on-the-go American consumer, with little time to waste, it believes it can leverage its brand equity and the consumer’s need for speed to deliver an online groceries order product.

Would you buy fruits and vegetables without holding them in your hand or gently squeezing those soft spots? I’m sure they’ll offer an opportunity for returns and/or alternative selections once you arrive on site and have an opportunity to inspect what you’ve purchased. Nevertheless, for all of the success and equity this brand enjoys, the groceries business does seem like somewhat of a hard nut to crack.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Apples, Galaxys and Razor Currency

Once just the hassle-free electronic payment arm of eBay, PayPal is now a publicly-held, standalone company traded on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange. Its top business strategy is to become the uncontested leader in the mobile commerce space.

With great brand recognition, it already has a huge head start. It’s also transforming to mobile in an environment where consumers are hungry to be able to use their mobile phones to complete retail transactions, not having to worry about having cash or credit card in hand.

That’s especially true of the Millennials and younger generation of consumers who don’t have the same online security fears as their generation predecessors. And to make it more enticing to all consumers, PayPal is expanding its one-click purchasing feature, called One Touch, to make payment processing faster and thus more attractive.

But that’s not the only way it plans to capture the mobile commerce space. With retailers looking for ways to engage shoppers who are already in their store, PayPal wants consumers flip open their phones, not wallets, to pay for their purchased merchandise at the register.

In-store mobile payments can make in-store shopping even more attractive, if the experience is user friendly, reliable and fast. So if trends continue, you’ll soon be able to leave your Washingtons, Lincolns and Jeffersons at home, in favor of your Apples, Galaxys and Razors.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Pay At The Car Dashboard

Imagine ordering your family’s fast food at the drive-thru lane and actually paying the bill before you pull up to the window to get your bags of food. Or how about paying for the parking meter before you even get out of your car?

These are just some of the applications that “connected vehicle commerce” will enable you to do. Visa is testing a service that will bring mobile payment capability into your car. Why? As a payment servicer, Visa has the potential of unlocking a whole new platform to entice more customers to use their payment service networks. And since Visa gets paid by transaction, imagine how many more pay days it will have.

While Visa is focusing on making sure the system will be a secure form of payment, as security issues are a huge factor for consumers, the service will potentially be used at various retail facilities, including all of those fuel stops at gasoline stations.

This new car commerce technology has the potential of streamlining certain retail transactions. Just think about what it could have done to ease that long entrance line at the “Drive-In Movies” or help improve transaction times at today’s Sonic drive-in fast food restaurants.

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