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October 2017

Hooked on Starbucks? That app's probably not going to save you money

When Starbucks was spreading across the country, I was really excited about its culture and the way it makes it easy for people to hang out, but I could never get used to the coffee. "Dark roast" always tastes burnt to me. And they serve everything too hot for me to drink in the first 15 minutes. I still go when a friend really wants to meet there. 

Anyone interested in understanding innovation in loyalty programs should sign up for their rewards mobile app. Just be aware that it's among the most manipulative in the business. I'm not sure who is more dedicated to milking their customers: Apple, Amazon or Starbucks.  

I really enjoyed this Lifehacker article, and I will probably bring my own cup the next time someone wants me to meet them at Starbucks. 

Lifehacker: The Ultimate Guide to Paying Less at Starbucks, 2017-Oct-23 by Nick Douglas

Wean Yourself Off Frappuccinos

They’re the least bang for your buck, says Consumerist. To satisfy your sweet tooth, add syrup to a basic drink. Multiple shots of syrup cost the same as one shot.

Bring Your Own Cup

If you use your own cup, you get ten cents off, no matter the drink size.

Don’t Use the Drive-Thru

The drive-thru has to charge you for every add-on, says Consumerist. But face-to-face, baristas can give you extras for free....

Use the App With Caution

Order your drinks through the app and earn loyalty rewards. But if you’re the type of person easily tricked by an upsell—if, say, you’ve ever spent money in Candy Crush—the rewards system will backfire. Starbucks will dangle “extra” rewards points in front of you if you buy baked goods or promoted drinks. Don’t be a sucker.


Zadok Jewelers upgrades technology for better customer experience

Independent retailers like Zadok are finding it easier to provide the same level of CRM and customer service as the big chains. 

Press Release

Mi9 Retail, a leading provider of omni-channel retail software, is pleased to announce that Zadok Jewelers has selected the Mi9 Retail end-to-end jewelry suite to modernize and enhance its operations. This fully integrated, cloud-based solution includes Mi9 Mosaic POS, Clienteling, CRM, Mobile Inventory Management, Order Management, and Repairs. It also includes Mi9 Intelligence, the advanced analytics and business intelligence solution built on the Mi9 retail data warehouse.

Zadok Jewelers has been celebrated as Houston’s premier luxury jeweler for over 40 years. As a sixth and seventh generation family-run business, Zadok Jewelers is one of the last independent jewelry stores in the nation. Their Houston showroom is among the largest in the country, and their loyal customers span the globe.

Zadok decided to migrate their existing system to the newest Mi9 Retail platform to take advantage of its mobile POS, CRM, and modern clienteling technology to foster increased sales and an even greater customer experience. The addition of role-specific dashboards and the advanced analytics in Mi9 Intelligence will enable the company to be even more agile and responsive to market and customer needs. This BI platform gives Zadok Jewelers access to data-driven insights that are typically only available to the largest retailers...


Nordstrom leverages more advantage from its mobile app

I used to think that websites are pivotal for customer experience, but for retailers, mobile apps are clearly displacing the web site. Shopping for clothing and anything with a high-touch component moves the pivot point to mobile, where a user can be interactive online and in the store at the same time. Nordstrom is pulling ahead by addressing this issue. 

&THEN: At Nordstrom, mobile plans integral role in connecting in-store and online experiences, 2017-Sep-6 by DMA (Direct Marketing Association)

“We realize that customers want to shop on their terms,” Shea Jensen, senior vice president of customer experience at Nordstrom, told GeekWire. “Reserve & Try In Store is a way to help make the shopping experience easier for customers who like to touch, feel and try on items before buying them. We hope it helps combine the convenience of shopping online with a quick and efficient in-store experience.”

As noted by RetailDive, an app-using Nordstrom customer can set a preferred store, browse items available in that store, and then select “Reserve & Try In Store” to confirm a time to find out how the clothing looks and fits.

Nordstrom allows up to 10 items to be reserved through “Reserve & Try In Store” and notifies a customer within two hours (during store hours) by text message when items are ready to try on, according to RetailDive. The clothing is held in reserve until the store closes the next day.

“The combination of our physical and digital assets represents a competitive advantage,” Blake Nordstrom told Wall Street analysts. “Our local-market assets — our stores, salespeople, product and services — are the core of our brand and play an important role in engaging with our customers. Nearly 80 percent of customers who shop with us across multiple channels began in our stores.”

Nordstrom has seen positive results from its digital assets. In the second quarter of 2017, the retailer reported slightly more than $1 billion in online sales, up 21.2 percent from the same quarter last year. Overall, online accounted for 27.4 percent of sales in the second quarter, up from 23.4 percent in the year-ago period.