Setting up shop on Social Network, don’t cozy upto data

by Deepak Sharma on Thursday, May 27, 2010

StoreFrontBackTalk has a blog post today talking about how Social Networks (SNs) are evolving and Retailers setting shop on Social Networks like Facebook should not cozy upto the data considering the changes these SNs are bringing in. Case in hand is Facebook Privacy changes. While most of the article adds fear in Retailers mind with respect to their strategies for SNs, the last para sums it up well.

That all said, it’s probably a fine idea to set up shop wherever—and everywhere—you can. But don’t get too used to whatever data you’re getting from those areas today. It may be short-lived.

Cool Retail Demo utilizing Microsoft Virtual Earth

by Deepak Sharma on Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Check out this really cool Retail demo depicting Sales Dashboard on a Map. The color coding on the map and the ability to add details by using layers make it even more interesting. You can drag any asset from the map to the right side details tab and see even more finer details like picture of the store, product revenue etc. The demo utilizes Microsoft SharePoint Server, Virtual Earth and some nifty Flash animation.


Retailers don’t buy Technology, they buy Solutions

by Deepak Sharma on Sunday, May 23, 2010

The above is a quote from the Video embedded below where Microsoft Industry Solutions Director David Gruehn talks about Innovation and how it impacts retailers.

Not only are retailers dealing with the new economy, they are dealing with an exponentially increasing tech savvy consumer who expects always on, always connected, always right and your next round of employees may be just as demanding of the technology they expect to have access to in your store. Microsoft Industry Solutions Director David Gruehn, and former retail CIO, talks about innovation and how it is impacting retailers.

2010 US Retail Store Openings

by Deepak Sharma on Saturday, May 22, 2010

If Store openings are any indication, retailers are surely looking forward to a better year and that recession is over. maintains a complete and ongoing list of the store openings announced for 2010 by US Retailers. Good source to track the Retailers that are bullish on the market.

Engaging Teens on Mobile

by Deepak Sharma on Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Some great advice on engaging Teens using SMS…

Teens + Mobile + Retail = $

As many of us know, teens spend an inordinate amount of their waking hours connecting via text messaging (most people can't fathom how the average teen can write 100+ text messages/day), but this doesn't mean that teens want to be marketed too via text. Receiving a retailer's jargon-filled, stiff text message while conversing with a friend can be jarring. So how do we get their attention, while still making it personal and relevant?

The article discusses the following five steps to get Teen’s attention:

STEP 1: Ask the teen for permission to speak with them via their phone. Teens need to feel in control.

STEP 2: In the first month, ensure you share with them the best promotion you have to offer, so you maximize your chances of building a positive exchange through the mobile channel.

STEP 3: Be conscious of the "voice" you are using in the mobile channel.  If your brand comes stomping in with a third-person corporate voice, it will stick out like a sore thumb.

STEP 4: Determine the mobile promotion for your business that makes teens say yes. The messages must convey maximum value and relevance.

STEP 5: Develop an in-store experience that engages.

Luxury Market in China growing

by Deepak Sharma on Monday, May 17, 2010 China Tracker Blog has a blog post on the growing Luxury Market in China. According to the post, China is currently the fastest-growing and second-largest luxury goods market in the world, second only to Japan. It is expected to reach the number one spot by as early as 2015. In 2009 Chinese consumers purchased 27.5% of the world’s luxury goods at a total of 9.4 billion USD, in comparison to 2004 when their total was only 2 billion USD. Some great insights from the article:

On average Chinese Luxury Consumers are roughly 20 years younger than their counterparts in the U.S., Japan and other developed nations.

Not all luxury consumers in China actually have the salary to support such purchases

In general foreign luxury goods are preferred, with top purchases being automobiles, clothing, cosmetics, purses and watches.

Augmented Reality in Shop Windows

by Deepak Sharma on Sunday, May 16, 2010

Came across this great example of Augmented Reality where shop window displays allow shoppers to try on virtual 3D watches.

From Touch-screen Selfridges window displays allow shoppers to try on virtual 3D watches:

Passers-by outside the Oxford Street store will be handed paper wristbands which, when shown to a camera built into the display, will allow them to view an image of themselves “wearing” any watch they select on the touch-screen.

The “virtual watch” is created by real-time light-reflecting technology that allows the consumer to interact with the design by twisting their wrist for a 360 degree view.

Shoppers will be able to “try on” 28 different watches from the Touch collection by the Swiss watch maker Tissot, and can also experiment with different dials and straps.

Each watch will show the correct time and date and shoppers will also be able to try their touch-screen functions such as compasses and thermometers.