Tag Archives: online

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Amazon’s Latest Idea: Shipping your goods, before you know you want them!

Amazon knows what you want. So well in fact, that they intend todownload start shipping before you even place your order. In December 2013, the Seattle-based retailer took out a patent on the idea of shipping out goods before an order has even been placed. Items will be shipped based on previous orders, viewing history and other factors.

The idea is to remove the fear of important deliveries arriving late due to being shipped from a distance, encouraging online shopping; specifically from Amazon whilst also discouraging them from visiting physical stores.

This new formula for predicting orders to be placed could significantly reduce delivery time and greatly increase customer satisfaction. In the patent document for this formula, Amazon speaks of the delay between buying and receiving an item online and how it “may dissuade customers from buying items from online merchants”. The patent implies that items could wait to be shipped from the shipper’s trucks or storage hubs.

The patent shows different ways of deciding which items to be shipped to where, using factors from your wish list and search history to your returns and even how long you hover your cursor over products you view. All this is in a direct effort to cut down on delivery needs and to become the leader in a growing trend among businesses; to identify and meet consumer needs before even the consumer themselves do.

Amazon have added next day delivery recently by expanding on their warehouse network and also, in 2013, announced that they would be using unmanned drones to ship out packages in order to decrease delivery time by taking small packages directly from warehouses to the consumer’s door. In the patent, Amazon create the idea of filling out partial addresses or ZIP Codes, and using this to keep the item closer to the potential purchaser, with the rest of the label being filled out in transit.

It is unclear whether or not this new delivery tactic has or will been deployed, as no further comment  has been made, but what it does is it shows just one way which Amazon is willing to manipulate their vast knowledge of their customers in order to leap ahead of competition.

However, the algorithms is not without flaws and in times of error the patent states that customers may be given discounts, or even receive the package as a gift in order to build strong customer-client relationships.

What are your thoughts of Amazon’s latest efforts to stay ahead of the competition? Let us know @4pm

Big Data- it’s taking over!

Technology Tips

Companies are consistently confronted with change, and one of the key aspects of a successful company is their ability to adapt to change and embrace it. One of the biggest factors effecting companies in this generation is technology- for example the introduction of the internet. The last buzzword in the world of technology was ‘mobile’. Everything was going mobile whether it was a phone, computer, PlayStation etc. The latest buzz word is ‘Big data’ and this is a massive one that’s going to be a game changer. Big Data is our next frontier for innovation, but what is it? Big Data can be difficult to pin-point a definition for but it’s basically our ability to collect and analyse the enormous amounts of data we are generating in the world. Our ability to extract such vast amounts of information is transforming the way we look at the world and how we understand it.

Think about reading a book- in the past, no external data was gathered. Today on a Kindle information is gathered on how often you read, what you read, and how long it takes you to read.
Your smart phone collects information on where you are, what you’re listening to, how often you listen to it, what apps you use, what websites you visit, and who you contact.

Combine all of this information with the vast amounts of web searches, wall posts, likes and comments on Facebook, the 400+ million tweets sent on Twitter per day and the 72 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute- and there you have it: BIG DATA.

  • More than likely you have heard of Wal-Mart, a company from the United States. Wal-Mart are able to take information from your previous buying habits, their stock information, social media, your mobile phone location, and external weather information and analyse this in a matter of seconds so that it may contact you with an offer via text for a barbecue cleaner- but only if your phone says your within a 3 mile radius of a Wal-Mart, that has it in stock, it’s sunny out, and you have purchased a barbecue previously. It’s a custom tailored advertisement- but it didn’t require someone sitting at a computer and looking you up. It’s automated.
  • Another example is Tesco who now has what they call Clubcard TV. Similar to Netflix, this is an online service that will allow you to watch shows and movies. The purpose is to mine data from its loyalty card program to enable brands to customize advertising based on the individuals spending patterns.

It’s quite scary how much information they are able to gather about you, and how personal the buying experience is going to become- or is becoming. It will be interesting to see how companies further use big data in order to compete.

That’s all from 4pm today! Let us know your thoughts on BIG DATA!!

3 Simple Things You Should Know About QR Codes

1. What are QR Codes?

QR code example
QR Code

QR codes generally consist of black square modules on a white background. The QR stands for ‘Quick Response’, as they are designed to be uncoded quickly and easily. The un-coding is done by a QR code scanner which can be downloaded on to your smartphone in App form.

 

2. Why Use A QR Code?

QR codes are becoming increasingly popular with businesses as they offer a quick and easy way to direct customers to your website among other things. Importantly, it offers a simple and innovative way to send your customers information.

Any customer with the right App and a camera on their phone can read a QR code and be brought directly to your website, contact information, sms or an email. This allows you to bridge the gap between online and offline.

QR codes are extremely easy to generate and can be simply added to your offline marketing materials.

 

3. How Are QR Codes Being Used For Marketing

Currently QR codes are generally used on billboards, posters, print ads. direct marketing, packaging, restaurant menus, to name but a few. In general any marketing materials that a customer comes into contact with and can get close enough to scan is an acceptable place to put a QR code. So far QR Codes have been seen to be particularly effective in the retail, fashion and real estate industries.

Some companies have even taken QR Codes to the next level and developed creative QR codes to entice customers. For example Guinness put QR codes on Guinness glasses which would only work and become visible when Guinness was poured in, due to it’s colour.

 

Example of Guinness and QR Codes
Creative Use of QR Codes by Guinness

 

QR codes can also allow you to build a community and can enable sharing.

An App called Likify can allow you to enable your customers to like, tweet and share your products through a PR code. This engagement with your customers through Facebook and Twitter all contributes towards building a community of loyal customers.

QR codes allow the consumer to go directly to your website.

When you just place your website URL on your marketing materials, there’s a pretty good chance the reader will forget or have to go out of their way to make note of the website, which even then they could forget about. By having a QR code present on your material, the viewer can instantly go your website for further information or even purchase. Just bare in mind when sending a customer from a QR code to your domain, you must have interesting content on your site! So send them to a special offer or a particularly interesting blog piece or even your Facebook or Twitter page (social media is usually more inviting that a corporate website).

 

Do you use QR codes and how are you using them?

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Email: charlotte@4pm.ie

Phone: 01 4978671

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Reasons for Your Business to Use Social Networks


Social networking is now a crucial element for most Irish businesses as they offer a more interactive platform to engage with your consumers.
Cost efficiency – Social networks can generate greater exposure for your products and services in a cost efficient manner which allows smaller companies to compete on a more level playing field against their larger counterparts.
Authority – As well as being cost efficient social networks can allow you to display and position yourself as an authority in your industry, which gives your existing and potential customers the impression that they are dealing with a reputable business.

 

 

Viral potential – Social networks allow your message to reach a large audience, creating new fans and followers as well as sales prospects. To utilise this you need to ensure your content is relevant to the particular audience you are trying to engage. For example, real estate agents could post information and tips for first time buyers.
A more engaging communications platform – Social networks can add value to the company/consumer relationship, as they enable consumers to express themselves. This is beneficial to your company as you can quickly discover who is interested in your products or services. Additionally, customers can write about their positive experiences with your company (electronic word-of-mouth), which has been proven to positively influence other customers.
Commercial potential – Being able to subtly push your products/services through social networks raises awareness of your brand.
Reputation management – You have the ability to be part of the conversation to resolve any issues customers may have as well as having the ability to steer the conversation away from negatively into more positive directions.

 

 

 

 

 

Consumers who use Facebook and Google+ at least once a day, by age. (ROI, July, 2012)

 

(Source: Mintel)

 

 


As the table above suggests a significant proportion of the population use social networking sites daily.It is vital that your company is present on at least one, but preferably all of the largest eg. Facebook, Twitter, Youtube as well as maintaining a blog if possible.
To find out more about how your company can utilise social networks get in touch with us today!

 


Email: charlotte@4pm.ie
Phone: +35315252177