Technology on food

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Merging technology with the food you eat, could sound rather intimidating you might say. But I assured you it is not. Interestingly, QR codes and it’s applications have been on the rise. This is also a sign that the technology is getting prevalent and as more and more consumers are starting to be tech savvy, they sought to their mobile for advice, tips and solutions. Taking this as an opportunity, Harney Sushi’s chief, Robert Ruiz decides to name each of the sushi with edible QR-codes. The codes store information about the respective sushi. It would provide information with regards to the origins of the fish as well as the other ingredients. Thus, letting the customers be more informed of what they are eating. He describes the process as printing the the sushi with water-based ink on rice wafers with the same inking that is used for birthday cakes. It is evident that we have once again witness another innovative approach on technology and seeing it change our daily routines. Of course, we ask the question again; “Is this approach relevant?” Let me know what you think of this new way to consume sushi.

Make friends the easy way!

Clearly there is no better way to make friends than to do it over a toast! This is truly a brilliant idea from Budweiser. You can now scan the Buddy Glass, which has a chip at the bottom of the glass. By scanning, the chip now contains your Facebook information and every time it touches another glass, the two chips will be connected on Facebook with a friend request for friendship on the social platform! Imagine the amount of friends you would make should you go around toasting everyone! You do not need to exchange business cards or save yourself the hassle to go through the introduction phrase anymore. Now, all you need is to toast! What if you could use this glass to ‘tag’ someone? What if you toast the same glass two times and you get to ‘check-in’ with that person in the event? This idea has potentially opened up doors to more possible channels of networking. Very nice.

Mobile payment is all about the experience.

Given a choice, would you choose to make a purchase using physical currency or digital currency? It is a norm to purchase an item using physical currency or cards. As the technology for mobile wallets are slowly taking off, it would soon revolutionize the in-store retail experience for shoppers. An article on reports on the 2013 MultiScreen Summit with a MasterCard executive claiming that focusing on payments is only the beginning of the consumer journey for mobile and digital wallets to take off. I totally agree with his statement.

“At the end of the day, the opportunity before us is about the consumer, the purchase and the experience,” said Ken Moy, U.S. emerging payments lead at MasterCard, Purchase, NY.

What we want to achieve would be the experience of having something so personal, so important and so special. One you would not leave home without it. There are so many ways to purchase an item. Instead of having to mull over which of the long queues to join at the cashier, there are many other ways to make purchases now. You could avoid the long queues and buy apple products from the apple store through the wireless credit card terminals that the store assistants had on hand, or tap your phone using NFC to purchase a can of coke off the vending machine or even scan QR codes to fuel your mobile payments. There are much more available options out there right now, which are both interesting and convenient for customers. Of course, it is extremely vital that extra effort must be made to reassure new customers of the benefits and security of using mobile payments.

I believe with the introduction of more innovative ways to make payments, the entire shopping experience would definitely be more enjoyable. More creative ways of making purchases will improve the way people shop and ultimately believe in technology and creativity to enhance their lives. Apart from benefitting just customers alone, the use of technology also has its advantages for businesses. A customer’s buying behavior and pattern would potentially influence their next purchasing decision. According to Scott Hendrickson, head of advertising solutions at PayPal, San Jose, data is core to nailing mobile payments. This data would eventually allow businesses to predict and implement marketing strategies that would deliver more relevant promotions to their customers. Thus, increasing their sales substantially.

Humans tend to be less receptive to changes. The implementation of mobile payments and digital wallets would definitely require greater adoption and education. It would be really cool to see a global acceptance to this new form of payment and it being the tacit approval every time a customer is prompted to make payment.



Boost your brand loyalty with mobile loyalty


As I mentioned before, it is vital to built great mobile experience. To complete that experience and boost a longer relationship with your existing customers, it is almost a must to take great steps in building mobile loyalty. Take this as an investment for potential future gains. Mobile has dramatically enhanced the loyalty experience for consumers and this is a FACT. It is critical that marketers learn to understand how leveraging on mobile could create incremental touch points as well as compelling value adding opportunities for loyal customers. 
Remember, the key to a purchasing decision depends a lot on your interaction and communication to your consumer. The more your customers engages with your brand, the higher the chance of acquiring purchases. So exactly how does mobile loyalty compel your customers to continuously engage with your brand?

Give them the opportunity to be part of a community – Sense of belonging
Humans are not solo animals. We love to be bonded together in a group to share, love and communicate. The basis of a loyalty program is to provide incentives for a community. You need to make sure you make it extremely easy and fun being with you. Hence, people will start pouring in and be your ‘friend’. Mobile loyalty is now made easier with the introduction of several innovative technology like QR codes, online coupons and social media. The key is to make it so much fun and enjoyable being with your brand. Remember, do not wait until the customer leaves the store as this generally lowers conversational opportunity. Deploy possible shopper marketing techniques and strategy to boost in store conversion opportunities as well.

Give them a reason to love you more and more
The formula here is “more and more”. How do you make someone love you more and more? The answer is to continuously add value to enrich their daily routines or make an impact every now and then. Examples of extra services that brands could provide that would help customers to reduce shopping woes would definitely score brownie points. Assuming you have a loyalty program going on and by keeping receipts customers could then redeem prizes. You would like to have a great online log in system where they could keep track of their data at the same time sending latest offers to them. You could even send them a “Welcome” or “Thank You” note upon their visit to your store as a friendly personal gesture. This shows that you take them seriously. Understanding your consumers’ shopping behaviors is absolutely important. You could even prompt them through sms asking if they would need help to carry large items to the carpark.

Give them a great in-store engagement
Customers in the store gives you the highest possible chance to acquire a potential purchase. Do not miss this chance to make a difference! Leverage on social media to give them more enticing deals which helps promote a better store experience. Run in store promotions that are prize friendly so every customer walks out a happy customer. Tendency of them posting on social media after leaving your store is also potentially high as they now have something to talk about or a picture to take based on the gift they received. Not neglecting the fact that observations could be made by profiling your customers and understanding their buying patterns to build intelligent consumer profiles.

Lastly, mobile loyalty builds your brand affinity and a longer relationship with your customers.