Unilever to Test Mobile Coupons

by Deepak Sharma on Friday, May 29, 2009

Unilever is beginning a trial to test a new technology that lets consumers redeem digital coupons by having a supermarket cashier scan their mobile phones. Interest in Mobile coupons is growing day by day and these tests will allow Unilever to understand the use of them.

Unilever to Test Mobile Coupons - WSJ.com

The test, being conducted at a ShopRite store in Hillsborough, N.J., will include discount offers for some of the Anglo-Dutch packaged-goods company's most popular brands, including Breyers ice cream, Dove soap, Hellmann's mayonnaise and Lipton tea. Samplesaint, a Chicago mobile-technology firm, developed the system.

"This has been a Holy Grail thing that people have been trying to figure out," says Marc Shaw, director of integrated marketing at Unilever, the first major marketer to test such a service in the U.S. "I think this is on target for where consumers' heads are at right now."

To get the coupons, customers must visit the Web site Samplesaint.com, from which they can transmit the Unilever discount offers to an Internet-enabled cellphone. At checkout, the cashier scans the bar code on the phone's screen, redeeming the coupon and deleting it from the phone. The test will run for four weeks, and Mr. Shaw says he hopes to see it extended to other stores after that.

12 Worst Mistakes in Retail Technology and How to Avoid Them

by Deepak Sharma on Sunday, May 24, 2009

Watch Retail Speaker & Retail Consultant Jim Dion talk about 12 worst mistakes in Retail Technology and how to avoid them.

Retailers continue to invest in future development despite recession

by Deepak Sharma

According to a recent survey from SAP (done in conjunction with British Retail Consortium), more than 51% retailers are looking at different channels to increase revenue and are moving online in a big way. Another big outcome was the fact that 54% of respondents to the survey believe that focusing on improving the customer experience will be the key driver to surviving the downturn.

Read More: Improving the customer experience is key to surviving the downturn

More competition to Pharmacies from Wal-Mart

by Deepak Sharma on Monday, May 04, 2009

WSJ.com is reporting that Wal-Mart is offering businesses low-priced drugs if they sign up to buy directly from Wal-Mart's network of in-store pharmacies, rather than contracting to buy drugs through third parties known as pharmacy-benefit managers. This will heat up competition for other Pharmacies and Retailers by increasing footfall to Wal-Mart stores. And you all know what happens when you visit a store like Wal-Mart, you tend to buy lot more than what you go in for.

Apparently the Pilot companies have already seen benefit from buying directly from Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart began a trial of its program in September with heavy-equipment maker Caterpillar Co., which provides prescription coverage for 70,000 employees and their dependents. Wal-Mart negotiated a fixed markup over its cost for the drugs it sells to Caterpillar's employees under the heavy-equipment maker's in-house insurance. Though Wal-Mart doesn't reveal the costs to Caterpillar, they are verified by a third party. The markup guarantees a profit for Wal-Mart, while reducing the cost to Caterpillar.Todd Bisping, who manages Caterpillar's drug-benefits program, said the company was able to reduce its drug costs enough that it waived copayments on generic prescriptions bought from Wal-Mart.