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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Cable and Telephone Bundles Cost Savings - Cord-shavers et all

Guess what?

Millenials dont bother with cable or telephony as the older crowd understands it.

You are 22 years old and moving into a condo you are renting or just bought

You will get Internet but thats about it

Your cellphone is your telephone and your TV is your PC or Hulu box

You may use the wall screen TV and hang a rabbit ear off it to get local news on free to air TV (wait isn't that what we got with a TV antenna back in 1969?)

These consumers are the "cord-nevers" who have never paid for cable TV and never will

The "cord-cutters" are those looking to cancel their existing cable TV or Pay TV  service and are installing antennas on their roofs for HDTV. They are also dumping the $20/month movie channel bundle and using Netflix for $8/month. These people are called "cord-shavers"

I like the fact my cable based telephone service has reliable 911 service, I watch TV mostly in real-time but make a lot of use for the PVR to time shift and I "shaved" my bill by not paying for extra channel bundles when I get a better customer experience on Netflix.

Which one are you?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Tech Generation Gap

As seen in the New York Times Sunday June 21, 2015

I dunno but we boomers have it over the millennials. I had an Atari, I had a Commodore PET, I had an Apple and yeah I had the 2 line Blackberry

1948 The first LP Record
1954 The First transistor radio and Colour TV
1963 The first cassette tape player
1972 The first scientific pocket calculator  (its an HP)
1975 The first consumer VCR
1979 The Sony walkman
1982 The first consumer CD player
1984 The first cellular telephone and Apple macintosh
1994 The first web browser ( its Netscape)
1998 The BlackBerry with email
2001 The Apple iPod
2004 Facebook
2007 Amazon Kindle and the Apple iPhone
2010 The iPad from Apple

I took a quick look and I have all of these devices in my home today including the Palm Pilot


Thanks to this wonderful research from THE Forrester group

Does this explain the loss of market share of GAp to Zara....maybe?

JUNE 1, 2015

Retailers should stop obsessing over Millennials and instead turn their attention to older generations with greater financial power, writes Forrester's Sucharita Mulpuru in new research. She argues that many of the opportunities and challenges Millennials present to retailers are overhyped, debunking three common myths that drive retailers' obsession:
1. Millennials are fundamentally different from other generations because of their exposure to technology.
Every generation over the last several decades has experienced some extraordinary change during its youth.
2. Millennials have very different tastes and habits, which is why marketers and brands struggle to attract them.
Millennials are not fickle; rather they're financially strapped and consequently frugal.
3. Millennials are headed toward economic catastrophe because they are in unprecedented debt.
The future isn't entirely bleak — today's youth are making major life decisions that traditionally affect income at an older age.
The reality, Mulpuru writes, is that there is no such thing as "a customer for life." Most retailers do not need to fret over this younger generation.

Millennials, those consumers born in the 1980s and mid-1990s who are ages 18 to 34 — a group that has grown up with online shopping, smartphones, and social media. Forrester identifies two groups of Millennials: younger Millennials (ages 18 to 24) and older Millennials (ages 25 to 34). Technology has shaped much of their lives, and they have become the early-adopter generation. In 2014, more than eight in 10 online Millennials used a smartphone and almost half used atablet. They are also the first group to adopt emerging technology like wearables. This demographic overview highlights how this group uses technology and how Millennials like to engage with companies.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Google - Sidewalk Labs Project

Google created a Sidewalk Labs Project that would look at developing a grounds up approach to improving city life This is a good thing

The areas of improvement are as follows:


Use big data to design personalized treatments to improve medical outcomes


How to avoid gridlock


Use sensors to manage electrical consumption

Law Enforcement

Use Data Analytics to understand the patterns of crimes and be proactive


How do we make and build better housing?


How can we modernise the current water system that can improve efficiency and water quality

Google is committed to improving to our urban and it will take time

"Turn city dwellers into sensors and data points to gather data about city life and use that data to improve and create new possibilities"

Google will take advantage of new pervasive new technologies that will use smartphones and the cloud to improve our urban lifestyle

Monday, June 8, 2015

Little stuff generates big stuff

I have two big box retailers near me and they are both competing for the local business

So I go to Big Box A looking for a hardware item and some screws and maybe a new cordless tool set

The item is not in stock (well they actually stock what looks like to be 5 items of that SKU) and has been so for several weeks

The screws I needed in the length were also not in stock but I could buy a super contractor package for $$$ (Do I need 1200 of these screws?)

Cordless tools on sale? yep

So now I go the next day to Big Box B which a brand news store freshly stocked

After hide and seek with staff and not able to find a hardware specialist on duty in their assigned aisle I strike out again...they do not have it or they do have it but no one knows where it is

I am lucky that they have the screws I need but they do not have the ones designed for decks. I need the screws to not rust and must be strong enough to be drilled without the Robertson head becoming round when driving in with a cordless drill. (trust me the quality have hardware has been on  a long decline)

I also thought that maybe the hardware item I needed was in the trailer section. "Sorry we do not have any trailers or parts" Are you sure because your competitor does....."let me go check"...after about ten minutes I figure i will just leave and I bump into the CSR and ask him again "Oh Ok let me go check!" wait did i not just ask you that 10 minutes ago....."blank stare"

I am starting to understand why people may just buy online and let the Big Box guys figure out where all the customers have gone

Now here is the secret from a few expert online shoppers I know that constantly tell me how they haven't been in a store for a long time

If you buy online you can save a bunch of money and get free shipping too once you know what you want. Crowdsourced product reviews become your friend and you save time as well

Big Box retailers will survive but only if they train staff, help staff become more knowledgeable, have staff excited to help customers, have staff go a bit extra to help you, train staff, have staff become more interested in your buying journey, have staff in the store to help customers.

When a customer comes in your store they are there to buy and if they cannot buy they go elsewhere and may never come back

Many customers that shop at the Big Box stores actually need help in making a buying decision so have staff to help them and the cash register will ring on the way out.

I am a visual touchy feely shopper so if i am going to spend hundreds of dollars on a new cordless tool kit then I should not only get to try the product out, handle the product and be able to ask questions from knowledgeable staff.

I understand manufacturers are already thinking that they can improve their margins buy selling products on-line direct to the consumer and cutting out the retailer directly. The retailer offers no value except for a website landing page. The Big Box retailer doesn't have to worry about have trained staff anymore.

If I want to buy a Johnny 20V BRP Tool combo then i can just get it from and save 25%, get free shipping, be able to talk to experts and maybe buy an extended warranty at the same time. Do I really need to go to the Big Box anymore? If I want to engage with live people then this is a great way to buy stuff.

Now if I was that manufacturer I could also bundle a special Big Box discounter bundle and the in-person shopper could go there and make their purchase in the morning, charge up the batteries over lunch and start working on their home improvement project all within the same day.  I can them put the $200 savings in the Family Trip jar

You cant do that with an online sale and you cant do that with a Big Box retail store if no one can help you while you stand in the aisle looking around perplexed

so electronics Big Box A buys electronics Big Box B and (shuts down the other store in the same plaza) and focuses on Ecommerce as well

soon hardware Big Box A buys hardware Big B and focuses on eCommerce as well

soon hardware manufacture A and hardware manufacture B decide that the stock price can improve if we just eliminate the middleman and focus on improved Ecommerce

soon the new merged Big Box has less stuff to sell and finds that a Mid Box or Small Box store is the new shopping experience....this becomes the rage across North America

So now we are back to where retailing started where consumers drove down to the local small format hardware store to talk to Bud and get what they needed, some advice and some valuable help and left $1000 in that cash register as a token of their appreciation.

As my dad once said "if you want to buy bread then you go to the bakery where its still warm from the oven and the baker is happy to see you or go to the grocery store where it was made the day before, pay the same price and no one is happy to see you"

Goodbye Voice Mail Goodbye Sales Revenue

Large corporate organisations are making the news these days touting how they are shutting off their voice mail systems. Apparently, no one uses them anymore...really?

Many use speech to text to unify the mailbox to a email or text that translates the voicemail into a text based for me and many others.

I left tree voice mails recently to a sales person for a purchase I was hoping to response!

I also followed up with a couple of emails....again no response!

I zeroed out and called switchboard and "yes let me transfer you as he is sitting at his desk and it goes straight to voice mail (since he is on the telephone).......

So I give up and after talking to the customer service rep for the product manufacturer I am now going to try my luck with another retailer.

Its been almost 3 weeks now and I still have not been able to buy any product.

Lets see if they have voice mail

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Working Remotely Productivity Tips

As we move from the office cubicle to the remote home office, a number of distractions can come into play preventing you from getting work done. Remote workers can be at home, a customer office, a hotel room or even a coffee shop.

Here are some tips to stay productive and ON track:

  1. Get dressed for work and stick to your routine as if you were going to the office. PJs are not correct remote worker attire

  2. Have a specific tables do not count...

  3. Keep in contact with office staff

  4. Time to stop work at the end of the day and recharge. Don't work 12 hour days all the time as you will get burnt out