etailer does good ecommerce, All things Facebook, Ultimate Parties, Book Publishing Innovation, Gloves that Talk and Spying Mannequins

Best of Me – Newsletter

With 25 days till Christmas, the end of the year is right around the corner. I’m under this illusion that December / January is traditionally the “quiet time” in communications, yet, year after yearI find myself busier than ever year after year (without involving gift buying).  It’s usually during this time that I reflect on what has been, what’s about to come and how I can make the most of the next 12 months. I don’t have any insights to share with you as yet, but I will do soon, as we at Zuni conduct a strategic review of our own business to assess what we can do to continually improve ourselves. Sounds exciting doesn’t it! While you wait, there’s plenty below to keep you busy.

Retailer does ecommerce with target audience in mind

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It’s a novel idea for many, but it’s refreshing to see this retailer in the UK relaunching their website with an ecommerce offering, with the target audience in mind. Bonmarché’s attempt at a multichannel strategy actual isn’t too bad, whilst there are some improvements to be made, they have addressed each of the key criteria required when going down the ecommerce path. From check out buttons, total price calculations and delivery policies, there is a lot to learn from the implementation basics in this Econsultancy posting.

All things Facebook

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Mixing Ultimately Time Poor with Ultimate Party

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Party planning for Christmas right through to your sibling’s wedding is time consuming, stressful and at times fight inducing. In a time poor world what could be better than an company that organises it all for you? Enter Postbox Party. They offer 8 different themes including Christmas, Picnic Party and Lovely Ladies. All include everything from fun to essential items like balloons right down to table games & plastic glasses. Fantastic idea to de-stress in your role as party/event planner.

Book Publishing Innovation

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I’m not entirely convinced that publishers can monetise this innovation, but I think this Polish creation would be worth a shot. There are sensors printed onto paper in the books, hidden below the content, to tell the software what page the reader is on and what they are doing with the book. Using a USB input, readers can click through to the relevant site and unlock additional content. It’s quite a nice extension of flicking pages in a book and surely would come in handy when you’re reading The Lord of the Rings and just want an interactive map of Middle Earth to work out where you are!

iPads stealing jobs

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Not something new, but definitely on the increase, is the fact that tablets are becoming more and more efficient at performing the tasks of customer facing roles. Companies such as The Robot Pub Group have begun using such devices to allow their patrons to help themselves. The Reception Messenger iPad platform aims to do the same for admin, allowing visitors to check themselves in and select reason for visit, enter details and who they wish to speak to. While this is a great extension of a very handy device, only 20-30% of a receptionists role are face to face requirements and the rest of their time is spent as an extension of PA/support stuff. Love it or leave it?

Gloves translate sign language

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My husband and I have taught our 3 year old daughter how to sign, as she doesn’t yet speak (she’s not deaf, she just can’t string vowels and consanants together). I can see her frustrations when she’s struggling to be understood by those not familiar with her sounds or sign. Over the weekend I found myself saying repeatedly “she just signed thank you“. Enter: a glove that translates sign language into speech. For the deaf community, this is an outstanding leap in technology to enable communication globally. This award winning design could change lives for an affordable USD $75.

Spying Mannequins

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They look like they’re watching you, and in the case of Benetton, they are. Stores with EyeSee mannequins are gathering data on shoppers age range, gender, race, and time spent in the store, plus data on window shoppers’ volume and time spent. When we talk about the impact of big data, this is a great example of leading edge technologies to enable smart insights – with high street retailers adjusting their window displays, store layouts, and promotions, in order to gain more customers and sales.

Bits & Pieces

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  • I heard about a male following of My Little Pony earlier this year and wasn’t quite sure it was real – but alas, it’s here, Bronies are making up 4-6% of the US population! And they’re doing good things too, like raising money for worthy causes.
  • Ikea admits using political prisoners to help make its products.
  • A dutch engineering firm Tauw are currently considering using heat that is generated during the summer months by bikers zooming down the bike paths to de-ice and warm the paths in winter!
  • The Hero Button is a new development by IFTTT that will allow smartphone owners to get notifications about literally ANY data they so desire. You could select a notification for whenever a particular tweeter tweets or select an alert for those shoes you are loving but are waiting for the price to come down. Check it out!

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