|By Kevin Benedict||
|June 24, 2014 09:45 AM EDT||
Retailing has always been hard, but it is getting even harder. Brick and mortar stores are struggling to get people into their buildings to see and buy their products. Even when customers enter the store and look at the products, they often reach for their smartphone to check prices and opinions from other locations on the Internet. Retailers are being digitally disrupted in all kinds of ways. In many cases this disruption is via mobile devices, but that is not all of the story.
Amazon is often listed as the top digital disruptor in retailing as they are gobbling up market share in all kinds of categories. Today, they announced their own smartphone. Why? The smartphone is a data generation engine. It can provide massive amounts of data about you, your location, browsing, shopping and research interests.
My colleague, Peter Abatan has been pondering the struggles of traditional retailers and shares his insights with us here.
Recently, Tesco announced a third consecutive quarterly drop in profits and suffered its worst slump in 40 years, similarly, Sainsbury's announced its second consecutive quarterly drop. Having lived in the UK for a considerable part of my life, and being a holder of loyalty cards from both grocery chains, I wonder if these supermarkets really understand who I am, and what I like to purchase? I also ponder why it is so difficult for these behemoths to connect with me on a social level?
If ever a business or organization should be at the forefront of personal Code Halos strategies, it should be Tesco and Sainsbury's. Code Halos strategies are the information that surrounds people, organizations, and devices. Every click, swipe and view, every interaction and transaction generates a halo of code that's robust, powerful, and rich with meaning and insight. The data they hold on an individual is enough to make some basic assumptions about that person, giving them the opportunity to upsell or down-sell products and services depending on their spending patterns. For example, what a person buys can help determine whether the person lives in a one-person household or a multiple occupant household. It can indicate whether a person has realized a rise in income or an economic set back by the type and quality of products purchased. Purchases can hint at birthdays, weddings, babies, religious practices and holidays, and ethnic food preferences.
These economic trends associated with the individual can enable these grocery chains to help the customer stay loyal, by targeting special offers and deals specific to that customer's needs. For example, these grocery chains can offer a product regularly purchased by the customer, as an occasional treat to help retain loyalty. As the price cut chains like Lidl and Aldi continue to eat away at the market share of the big five in the UK, the survival of the fittest will depend on these grocery chains maximize the use of personal Code Halos to their advantage in order to engender loyalty from their customers.
I shop at any of the big 4 grocery chains because I feel none of them do really understand who I am as a customer. I have come to the conclusion that it is the ability to create a relationship with the customer that is essential to engendering loyalty. If Tesco can say to me, "Mr Abatan, we noticed that you bought the ingredients for a coconut cake, did you know that apart from making a coconut cake you could also make coconut flavored bread and here is the recipe to make it." Now that is a relationship that could last for a very long time. Another example is, "Mr Abatan we noticed that you have not bought petrol from us for a while. If you do so before the end of the week we will give you £4.00 off your next purchase."
Code Halos are about using technology to enhance relationships with the customer and to help the organization to grow in the midst of very stiff competition. There are supermarkets like ASDA that do not use loyalty cards, and use demographics to determine what products will sell in a particular area, and which ones would not. Cut price supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl probably use the same model, but I believe this is not sustainable. They all have to start to understand the individual customer and their needs, likes and dislikes.
By understanding my Code Halo, supermarkets can specifically target products that meet my needs. For example superfoods that can help me lose weight or run faster. It can begin to understand when I am likely to run out of a product and generate a shopping list that ensures that I do not forget something essential next time I visit the supermarket. These grocery chains need to connect with their customers via social media if they are to understand what their likes and dislikes are because it all goes towards understanding the personal Code Halo of every single customer.
Loyalty cards like Nectar for Sainbury's, Clubcard for Tesco and the latest edition myWaitrose by Waitrose are a great start, but these businesses need to recognize and fully understand every customer's personal needs and find a way to connect with those needs one customer at a time. As Malcolm Frank et al state in their book titled "Code Halos", "We can find meaning-making potential almost everywhere; the information surrounding every individual, product or organization is fantastically rich with clues and cues about past behavior, current needs and future possibilities". The authors go on to say ""Decoding" your customers' Code Halos - understanding in fine-grain detail who they are and what they value - is becoming the new way to win in business."
There is no doubt that Code Halos are now transforming all our lives and the lives of organizations as well. It will help us to achieve our goals faster, more efficiently and in a non-intrusive way. In essence, grocery chains need to think differently beyond price cuts and price wars, and begin to build solid meaningful relationships with each customer one-at-a-time.
Code Halos: How the Digital Lives of People, Things, and Organizations are Changing the Rules of Business by Malcolm Frank, Paul Roehrig and Ben Pring.
(Published by Wiley 2014)
Writer, Speaker, Editor
Senior Analyst, Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work Cognizant
View my profile on LinkedIn
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Browse the Mobile Solution Directory
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies
Recommended Strategy Book Code Halos
Recommended iPad App Code Halos for iPads
***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effici...
Dec. 2, 2016 08:30 PM EST Reads: 4,965
"We are an all-flash array storage provider but our focus has been on VM-aware storage specifically for virtualized applications," stated Dhiraj Sehgal of Tintri in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 2, 2016 08:30 PM EST Reads: 328
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
Dec. 2, 2016 08:15 PM EST Reads: 1,546
The cloud competition for database hosts is fierce. How do you evaluate a cloud provider for your database platform? In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Chris Presley, a Solutions Architect at Pythian, gave users a checklist of considerations when choosing a provider. Chris Presley is a Solutions Architect at Pythian. He loves order – making him a premier Microsoft SQL Server expert. Not only has he programmed and administered SQL Server, but he has also shared his expertise and passion with b...
Dec. 2, 2016 07:00 PM EST Reads: 3,906
"IoT is going to be a huge industry with a lot of value for end users, for industries, for consumers, for manufacturers. How can we use cloud to effectively manage IoT applications," stated Ian Khan, Innovation & Marketing Manager at Solgeniakhela, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 2, 2016 06:45 PM EST Reads: 3,976
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
Dec. 2, 2016 06:30 PM EST Reads: 1,472
Without a clear strategy for cost control and an architecture designed with cloud services in mind, costs and operational performance can quickly get out of control. To avoid multiple architectural redesigns requires extensive thought and planning. Boundary (now part of BMC) launched a new public-facing multi-tenant high resolution monitoring service on Amazon AWS two years ago, facing challenges and learning best practices in the early days of the new service. In his session at 19th Cloud Exp...
Dec. 2, 2016 05:15 PM EST Reads: 358
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, provided an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data professionals...
Dec. 2, 2016 05:00 PM EST Reads: 4,072
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
Dec. 2, 2016 04:45 PM EST Reads: 2,100
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Onalytica. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
Dec. 2, 2016 04:45 PM EST Reads: 1,968
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
Dec. 2, 2016 04:15 PM EST Reads: 355
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
Dec. 2, 2016 04:15 PM EST Reads: 334
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and G...
Dec. 2, 2016 04:00 PM EST Reads: 1,862
"We are a modern development application platform and we have a suite of products that allow you to application release automation, we do version control, and we do application life cycle management," explained Flint Brenton, CEO of CollabNet, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 2, 2016 03:45 PM EST Reads: 645
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
Dec. 2, 2016 03:30 PM EST Reads: 3,190