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Pile of change.

Coin Counting Kiosks, Worth It?

How accurate are coin-counting machines? If you are like me you tend to question almost everything. So why not question the accuracy of a coin counting machine. It’s your money and it should be counted with as much accuracy as possible. I searched for articles or studies on just that and what I found wasn’t exactly what I expected. An Action News Special Investigation done by channel 6 ABC tested 3 separate options for coin counting kiosks. They tested TD Bank, PNC Bank, and Coinstar kiosks. Out of the 3 only Coinstar gave back the exact amount. TD and PNC bank either gave back extra or shorted the customer. This may look like a win for Coinstar but even if they gave back the correct amount they also charge an 11.9% fee for exchanging your coins. So you either use an inaccurate machine or you pay a fee.   Why would a retailer or a consumer want a coin counting kiosk? So with all the discrepancy in the accuracy of coin counting, why would a retailer want one in their…

Associated Wholesale Podcast – Episode 5

 We are back at the VMC show talking to all kinds of people. First up is Damon Stuites (0:00) talking about Blackhawk gift cards. If you are interested in more information regarding Blackhawk email Bryan Wright. Next we talk produce with Tim Graas (5:40). Brian Moyer from Freshop sits down to talk online shopping and Chef Kit (19:31). Next is Steve Rash from Coinstar tells us about the new partnership with AWG (26:40). If you are interested in adding Coinstar to your store contact Conor Middleton Mike Daly from AWG explains how retailers can stay on top of the latest products (32:09). Finally, Chris Higgs gives us the latest news on the Shopper Engagement Platform (36:18).

The Market Hall in Rotterdam

Tips for Grocery Shopping

This morning a blog post was shared on my Twitter timeline, 50 Tips for Grocery Shopping. I figured anyone who took the time to come up with a 50 item list had put some serious thought into things. I wondered how retailers could use the tips from this family of seven to improve their shopper experience. Check out the full list, but here are some of the highlights 1. Always go with a list. If you go without a list, you may as well just throw your money away. Better yet, donate it to me — I probably need it more than you. 🙂 Seriously, though, you need to prepare a list of everything you need, pulling from your weekly menu (next tip) and checking to make sure you don’t have it in your pantry, fridge or freezer. Make sure you’re not forgetting anything. Now stick to that list. The number one tip was about list making. In fact, 10 percent of the tips were list related. How are you making it easier for customers to make lists? Most retailers…

Online Shopping

How to Beat National Chains at Online Shopping

A recent Reuters story talked about how it is hard to sell groceries online. Shoppers surveyed said they are very loyal to their local food stores and don’t want to shop for groceries online from places like Amazon. Those interviewed described themselves as “avid internet shoppers” and still weren’t interested in online grocery shopping. This runs counter to everything posted on this site for the last two years. AWG retailers can find a positive, however. Customers are loyal to their local store. They aren’t going to jump to a national chain simply because they offer online shopping. They do want to shop online. You can give that to them. The top hesitation for online shopping is picking produce. Your customers are shopping with you because they like the selection you offer. Make it clear that when they order online they are still getting the produce section that they know and love. Training whoever picks the groceries is crucial. Show them what makes a good tomato. If the customer wants three yellow bananas and three green ones make sure that is what they…

Signs, Signs. Everywhere a Digital Sign

Menu boards and posters are so 1980s that they still go roller skating. Not to mention you have to keep updating the content on them and hope that you don’t misspell Worcestershire again, which will most assuredly garner some laughter from your employees. Why not use something more engaging that can be reviewed and edited, scheduled, even animated to cater to your specific audience? Digital signage is nothing new, but it keeps gaining momentum as it reaches new eyes in stores and at events around the world. If you’re considering adding this type of marketing tool to your store, there are a few things you should know before jumping in. Be Consistent The first thing people often overlook with digital signage and its content is consistency. There’s nothing more off-putting than an unreadable font with a bright, abrasive background that makes someone feel as though they’re going blind. Keeping a simple theme throughout your digital campaigns can help to keep the attention of those in your store and will also prevent them from screaming in pain as your neon-green banners…

Pokemon Go Logo

Gotta Catch ‘Em All: Using Pokemon Go to Attract Customers

By now you’ve probably been hearing a lot about the Pokémon Go craze. Have you been hearing about how it’s helping businesses get more foot traffic in their stores but you’re a little confused about how it works? Don’t worry, you aren’t the only one! The good news is, it’s relatively simple and inexpensive to use this new game to get more current and potential customers into your store! First and foremost, Pokémon Go isn’t a game just for kids. Adults are enjoying the game too, either with their kids or even by themselves! It’s an free app you can download on your phone that accesses your phone’s camera and uses your geographic location so you can “find” Pokémon characters that are nearby. The app is an “augmented reality” game so it will superimpose images of Pokémon characters on your camera when you have the app open. As a player, you have to “capture” the characters to get points. The game uses an algorithm to place these characters in certain locations across the globe. Some locations have more characters than…

Large gift card display

Where are the gift cards!?!?

If you’re like me, and I’m sure plenty of you are, you procrastinate shopping for holidays. Or get so wrapped up in the day-to-day you forget about important events, such as Mother’s Day. Yes, I forgot about Mother’s Day. I know! I’m a bad husband and son; I’ve already come to terms with this. So it’s Saturday and Mother’s Day is tomorrow and I have no time to shop, nor any idea of what I would even shop for if I had a little extra time, which I didn’t. I needed a plan and I needed it quick. So I devise a plan to gift a $50 gift card to my Mom and wife along with a Mother’s Day card, some flowers and a nice home cooked brunch. I’m thinking this is great, I just saved my “you know what”! With that I’m off to the local grocery store because it’s really close and I’m confident it’s a one-stop-shop for all my needs. I have a small window of time to gather my goods, get back home and put everything…

Woman Holding Purse and Shopping Bag on Smartphone

Using Retail Technology to Create a Personalized In-Store Experience

With the ever-changing technology landscape for the retail industry, have you ever stopped to think about how you can use this technology to create a better in-store experience for your customers? Some retailers wrongly assume that because so much of our everyday lives have become dependent upon technology, retail technology is slowly replacing the brick and mortar store. In fact, retailers can (and should) use digital platforms to enhance the in-store interactions with their customers. During last week’s Coffee with CART, the discussion revolved around several articles highlighting the ways in which retailers are using technology to enhance the in-store experience. For example, Street Fight magazine explained how the designer denim company, True Religion, is providing their in-store customers with a more personalized shopping experience that involves the brand’s Apple Watch app. Associates working in the store are alerted on their Apple Watch when a member of the brand’s loyalty program have entered the store. The app pulls pictures of the customer from their social media profiles so the associate will be able to recognize the customer and greet them…

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