Bill Payment & Cellular Service. Encouraging Innovation in Retail Technologies!
How can retailers reduce their risk when adopting innovative new technologies?
I think most of us would agree that innovations in technology enable innovations in retail. Whether they drive increases in sales or reductions in cost, they hold the promise of generating additional capital to allow retailers to compete more effectively.
There are mature solutions in the market that would benefit many retailers today because they allow them to be more effective pursuing the detail of retail. However, to be successful, retailers need to follow their own vision in their marketplace. And that may warrant consideration of new solutions that specifically enhance their competitive positioning.
Be very selective in building your own functionality for market differentiating capabilities
Selectively customize packages from solutions providers who are active in your segment of the retail market
Partner with an early stage solutions provider who shares a common vision with you about how your business can win in your market
There are pros and cons for each and arguments for combinations of the above. But I want to focus on the 3rd option because it is most frequently counted out as an option.
Instead of the knee jerk reaction that says "I'm not going to be the one to pioneer these new systems and take the arrows while the vendor then sells it to the rest of the world and leaves me high and dry with an unsupportable early release of the system," lets ask the question, "Under what circumstances would you, as a retailer, take the risk of being an early adopter for a solution that would provide you with competitive edge?"
Think about it. If someone came to you and offered to sell you a solution that (a) you knew would give you a leg up in the market, (b) was not currently available by any solutions providers, but (c) was not currently installed at a major retailer’s site, what criteria would you want to satisfy to reduce the risk involved in this offer? And please, you need to be reasonable because many of these young companies are comprised of people like you and me who have mouths to feed and mortgages to pay.
Think about it. Are there standards they should adhere to? Are there financial commitments they should make? Should they partner with or be sponsored by more mature solutions providers or integrators? Should there be guarantees of support for periods of time?
Think about it. What role should you as the retailer play get the most benefit out of working with an emerging technology company?
Research, analysts and rumors say 2005 and beyond is going to be the year of wireless. The sentence probably assumes a different meaning in different places, but no matter where you hear it… it doesn’t lose its relevance.
Wireless is (in Asia and Europe) and is becoming (in the North America) a part our everyday life. With mobile phones we can check our bank account, take and send pictures, purchase a plane ticket, pay the parking fee, watch the goals of our favorite football team and (even!) get in touch with other people. Although, from a linguistic point of view it might sounds like a paradox, wireless connects our lives, as Nokia brilliantly states: “Connecting People.”
It’s called “mobile,” but this world of business opportunities is here to stay and to become more and more strategic for carriers, content providers and brands. Yes, brands. Because wireless, like any other media, could also be a powerful marketing means.
Wireless Marketing Magic Words
Let’s go straight to the point. It’s not difficult to understand why marketers should like so much wireless: it allows a direct, and personal communication, hypothetically anytime and anywhere. Direct and personal, in particular, are the magic words every marketer likes to hear.
But, since they are magic, they must be handled with care. As you might have (also) learned watching The Lord of the Rings, what is magic is usually powerful but very dangerous if used in the wrong way. Wireless marketing is no exception. It can either please or annoy a consumer; it can consolidate but also destroy a relationship between a brand and a prospect.
Wireless devices provide marketers with powerful tools to connect with their target public, but they need to learn playing by the rules. Avoiding this fundamental assumption, the risk is to compromise forever a promising communication channel. And with more than 159 million mobile users out there (by the end of 2004, according to eMarketer), this is a kind of risk no brand can bear to take.
Let’s explore in detail the characteristics of this media that make it so appealing to marketers.
Wireless Communication Is…
Personal. A mobile phone is a very personal object. People like personalizing it with ring tones, screensavers and logos and rarely lend it to others, not even family members. But most of all, the phone number is like an ID card, it identifies an individual, providing marketers with the possibility of a precise message targeting like never before.
Direct. Wireless communication is person to person, or, in this context, it’s a company-to-person communication. There is no intermediation: there is no press, no distributor, no retailer between the brand and its consumers. What you say is what they get, almost immediately.
Immediate. It depends on the number of messages you send out and on the traffic level on the carriers’ networks, but it’s usually a question of minutes, even seconds. As soon as you send out a message, users receive it. It has a point of no return, but you can also take an impressive advantage by the speed of this communication, delivering the right message at the right time (and to the right person, of course…).
Reliable. You have the chance to know and monitor when a message is delivered. It can be an expensive solution, and it will double to cost of your campaign (because you pay also for the communication from the user’s mobile phone to your system) but it if you really want to know it, well… you can.
Two-way. Like on the Internet, wireless allows a two-way communication: you can talk and you can listen to your costumers, and you can even engage them in a relationship with your brand through a direct and personal interaction.
Measurable. Wireless provides you with means to monitor your campaign with extreme precision. You can quickly measure the response rate and also the response time, and you are therefore able to immediately evaluate and adapt your messages and marketing strategies.
Whether you are a small business retailer or a large retail chain store, Prepaid Wireless Direct has the SMART solutions for you and your customers. Retail licensing provider of walk-in electronic bill payment services for financial Banking Bill Payment Institute Cellular Services Technologies Systems. Services provides convenience for anyone wanting to pay any bill and recharge topup prepaid cellular phones Phone: (1-877-WireLSS) or 877-947-3577
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
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