Earnings Season Teases Retail’s Next Normal

Earnings results that rolled out from retail giants over the past week further demonstrate what our next normal will look like. Specifically, Walmart and Target both hit record numbers. This is partly a function of Covid-era circumstances, but it is also due to each retailer’s active e-commerce momentum.

The earnings validate consumer acclimation to digitally infused local shopping. What’s more, other retailers and down-market businesses will look to replicate this success. This can all therefore be viewed as a leading indicator for retail’s next normal.

Location Weekly: Walmart’s Grocery Partnership with Yahoo Mail

In this episode of Location Weekly, the Location-Based Marketing Association covers Walmart partnering to let people buy groceries through Yahoo Mail, Iceland’s Airport using sensors and AI to streamline passenger flow, a project between Trident and Instagram that can get you to the Grammy’s, and MUJI taking their products to the mountains.

Location Weekly, Featuring Co-Founders of Geofencing Platform Bluedot

In this episode of Location Weekly, the Location-Based Marketing Association covers Fit:Match teaming with Brookfield for virtual fitting rooms in malls; Walmart, Cadillac, Fairview, and others transforming parking lots into virtual cinemas; and Uber buying Postmates for $2.65B. The team also hosts Emil Davityan and Filip Eldic, co-founders of Bluedot.

With Walmart+, Retailer Combines Digital Subscription Service and Physical Stores

Regardless of which retailer comes out on top, there’s no doubt that many will see Walmart’s decision to launch a digital-first membership program as a turning point in brick-and-mortar retail and a concession on Walmart’s part that e-commerce is the way of the future, displacing rather than complementing old-school retail.

Marcel Hollerbach contends that Walmart’s decision to launch a membership program points to just how well positioned retailers with physical locations are in the current climate, with the ability to quickly facilitate things like in-store returns and same-day deliveries of items that take much longer to ship by mail.

Location Weekly: Nextdoor and Walmart Team Up to Help Neighbors Assist Neighbors

In this episode of Location Weekly, the Location-Based Marketing Association’s Asif Khan chats with Cami Zimmer, chief business officec of Glympse, and Ron Cariker speaks with Shannon Wilkerson, marketing director of Cajun Harley Davidson. The team also discusses Nextdoor and Walmart helping neighbors help neighbors and 7Eleven opening a pop-up store letting hospital workers pay with their badges.

5 Retail Tech Solutions Keeping Shoppers Safe During Covid-19

Beacons, sensors, security cameras, and touchless payment solutions are all being used in ways they haven’t been before. Technology vendors are even changing up their offerings, or in some cases pivoting altogether, to better serve the retail market during this ongoing pandemic.

Here are five examples of technology providers offering innovative solutions for enhanced social distancing and improved shopper safety during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Location Weekly: Foursquare Partners with Vistar Media, Yelp Launches Store Visits

In this 452nd episode of Location Weekly, the Location-Based Marketing Association covers Foursquare partnering with Vistar Media, Al Arabia Outdoor using Streach to measure OOH in Saudi Arabia, Walmart shutting down its Jetblack text service, Panera reaching 9.3M with AR campaign, Unilever piloting drones for ice cream delivery, and Yelp launching a new Store Visits product.

Blending Online and In-Store: The Boom of BOPIS

BOPIS — buy online, pick up in store — has become a fixture among cutting-edge retailers over the past several years. But this holiday season has made 2019 the breakthrough year for BOPIS. There’s rising demand among consumers for this handy shopping option. And retailers, seeing how the tactic benefits them as well, are stepping up to meet that demand.

LBMA Presents Location Weekly: Google Focuses on Local, DeliveryHero Buys Woowa Brothers

This week we’re discussing DeliveryHero buying Woowa Brothers for $4B, Mad Systems being granted a patent for location-based facial recognition platform, Lyft entering the car rental market for $35/day, Walmart teaming with Digimarc to make its print toy catalogue shoppable, Google focusing on local and PlaceIQ & FourthWall Media partnering to link TV ads with in-store visits.

Retailers Hoping for Record Cyber Monday to Follow Friday Windfall

US retailers set all-time records on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, wracking up $11.6 billion in online sales. Adobe predicts that Cyber Monday will also set a fresh record of $9.4 billion, pushing the Thanksgiving weekend total to nearly $30 billion.

The increasing importance of online sales has forced traditional retailers to compete with e-commerce natives like Amazon not only by offering their own robust set of deals but also by investing in delivery infrastructure and reducing friction for consumers ordering online. 

5 Innovative Ways to Use AR in Holiday Marketing

A technology that was once considered to be on the fringes of digital marketing has moved into the mainstream, as retailers around the country find new ways to use AR in their 2019 holiday campaigns. From virtual try-ons to camera filters designed to drive people into physical store locations, there’s no limit to the number of ways creative marketers can use AR. Enterprising retailers are capitalizing on the momentum as they come up with smarter ways to help shoppers contextually visualize what products will look like on their bodies and in their homes.

Let’s take a look at how five major companies are using AR for holiday marketing this year.

LBMA Vidcast: Walmart Launches Alcohol Pick-Up; Salesforce Teams with Neura

On this week’s Location-Based Marketing Association podcast: Neura + Salesforce, do it outdoors media partners with BlueBite, NinthDecimal adds Inscape TV data, Eatigo (Thailand) matches restaurant deals with customers, Yoplait using facial detection for free offers with JCDecaux, Walmart launches alcohol pick-up in 2,000 US locations.

Physical Stores May Resemble Our Newsfeeds in the Near Future

We’re currently living in a time of unprecedented change in the marketing and advertising industries. One of the most interesting emerging trends is the incorporation of new advertising opportunities within physical stores, in ways that will remind you of your social media newsfeeds.

If you’re a member of Generation X, or even an older Millennial, you probably remember walking through the aisles in grocery stores and grabbing coupons out of plastic dispensers. What we will see occurring in the future is the 21st Century’s version of the coupon machine — the personalized newsfeed-ification of physical stores.

What Retail Has Learned About AR Since Pokémon Go

Retailers are only beginning to realize the potential of AR. As a new generation of shoppers steeped in AR grows up, their expectations will exceed the novelty acts the industry has put out to date. AR features won’t just be a one-off promo or tied to a game release; they will become the basis of the in-store customer experience, one that looks nothing like the retail of today. 

FedEx Stops Ground Deliveries for Amazon, Signaling Delivery War to Come

For FedEx as for the many other companies and industries Amazon has decimated over the past 20 years, the problem in confronting Amazon may turn out to be one of margins. While FedEx needs a profitable delivery business to survive, Amazon can afford to lose money on delivery and make it up with relatively free-flowing profits from Amazon Web Services and its booming ad business.

In fact, Amazon can afford, thanks to the faith and generosity of investors, to make no profits at all. No easy task, competing with that.

How Americans Shop Today

All industries—apparel, grocery, electronics—are affected differently by the move to e-commerce, and consumers are turning to new options, including social marketplaces, disrupting what we typically think of as digital shopping. Here are some insights on major market changes, including the key to Amazon’s dominance, the industries flouting the turn to e-commerce, and a curious preference among millennials, from a recent survey of 1,000 consumers by Signs.com.

6 Companies Reimagining Last-Mile Delivery

There’s a renewed push in Silicon Valley to tackle last-mile delivery. The use of autonomous vehicles, drones, and artificial intelligence is what more and more vendors are pushing for. Last-mile delivery is the most expensive part of shipping, and increasing fees mean prices are only going higher. The company that can get goods from a transportation hub to the customer’s doorstep in the shortest amount of time will win the retail game, and technology firms are hoping that their innovative solutions will be the answer that retailers are looking for.

Here are six examples of companies that are working to innovate in the last-mile delivery space.

Consulting Firms and Agencies Are the Perfect Complement for Data-as-a-Service

External data is incredibly hard to use and make sense of. After all, it is just data. It is usually delivered via a big CSV dump or API call.  Most data companies just hand off the data to their customers and say “good luck.” In fact, a decent amount of purchased data just sits on the shelf and is never used.  

This is where the forward-thinking consulting firms and agencies come in. They have a massive opportunity to help organizations make use of external data.  

Offline Retailers See Huge Boost From Prime Day’s Online Sales

Amazon wasn’t the only retailer to see high purchase intent during its two-day event. Competing retailers saw similar successes piggybacking on Amazon’s newest shopping holiday with their own discounts and limited-time deals. This year’s Prime Day event drove a 14% spike in U.S. traffic on its first day, compared to baseline traffic from the month of June.

According to data collected by Constructor.io, an AI-first SaaS provider for ecommerce sites, among the non-Amazon companies having sales during Prime Day, search volume increased an average of more than 500%.

Retailers Are Using AI for Onboarding, Associate Retention

The retail landscape is going through an evolution, with mom-and-pop stores on Main Street being replaced by e-commerce outlets that rely on sophisticated algorithms to manage virtually every aspect of business operations.

While most headlines about the transformation of retail focus on the consumer-side of the equation, there’s even more change going on behind the scenes. Competition between e-commerce and brick-and-mortar is forcing innovation in the way retailers approach the challenges that come with onboarding and retaining in-store associates.