Archive for October 7th, 2009

Future Retailers – What need to be changed?

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009 by Mariana Lopes Ribas

According to news I have been reading, the current financial crisis is responsible for a change in customers’ behavior and it has slowdown consumer spending. The future retail stores need to adapt to changes that are going to define who can survive in the market in the next decade.

Providing fast and quality service along with the ability to attune to individual taste will be vital. Retailers may need to change their business models significantly.

Retailers must adapt to a number of changing factors:
1.The new generation of consumers contains more tech-savvy and more diverse groups with different values if compared to the previous generation .
2.The one-size-fits-all approach of the mass market chain store format will not be a viable one. Stores able to respond to individual tastes will become dominant.
3.The belief that bigger is better will break down—aggregation of small will be the new big. The new consumer will be more intent on quality than quantity. Mass production models will not succeed.
4. Ability to keep close contact with customers through mobile devices will be important to maintain quality of service and product as well as receive customer feedback.
5. The still large group of Baby Boomers will remain active in the economy. However, their demands will shift from goods to service and healthcare.
6. Retailers may also expand in developing economies. These growing markets have much more room to expand along traditional modes than developed nations. “

The future retailers need to react quickly to consumer trends, to treat the client as one single person (personalized services and products), make fast contact , personalised offers and be technologically updated; mobile devices are going to be one of the most important communication tools.

More at  http://www.pwc.com/en_US/us/retail-consumer/assets/retailing_2015.pdf

The prototype of web OS – LifeIO

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009 by Jim Shen

After Alex’s sharing of LifeIO(input and output of life or Life io, both seems make sense for the name), I took the chance to try this trendy service. The concept of LifeIO is brilliant and practical, but already not new in the market. These kind of web application tends to gather and to combine all your digital life in one single frame. Which includes your email, chat, social network, personal feed, shopping information. It’s really convenience to have a place that you can organize all of these without navigating between different pages.

Here are some of my personal opinions after using LifeIO several days. The integration degree is the top challenge for this kind of web application. They have to try their best to be compatible with most famous web services. For instance, I started using LifeIO from social network function. It is designed to be easy work with Twitter and Facebook. At the beginning, I tried it with Facebook Connection. They asked for my agreements to gather information from other web services. But making it work without asking my account and password was a little bit frightened for me. I suppose this process came from Facebook Connection. Honestly, this is not enough for security and privacy issue for sure. Can you and I trust this?

The second step in LifeIO was email account setting. LifeIO also offer the chatting function for your Gmail, MSN, AOL. But they just make your MSN account with chatting function but not email. I’m struggling again here. Since I still couldn’t find where is my MSN contact window in LifeIO, and also couldn’t receive message when I asked my friend for testing. Well, forget about MSN, I have another Yahoo email account which is supported by LifeIO. Here I was disappointed by LifeIO again. Because I don’t have a VIP Yahoo email service, and LifeIO couldn’t accept my Yahoo account without going through POP setting. It is appears that the email function in LifeIO was particularly designed for Gmail or other email accounts with POP/IMAP capability.

There are still some other flaws I discovered from my LifeIO journey. But back to what I said at the beginning, the concept is not exactly new and the top challenge is the integration degree. In this overcrowded area, LifeIO have to make things as simple as possible and have to make them work as they declared.