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Voice activated "What can I help you with?"

Voice search AI and local business strategy

Artificial Intelligence is the ability of a computer system to perform tasks of human intelligence. Conspiracy theories about what Artificial Intelligence is, can do, or what it’s used for are all over the place. Humans are naturally fearful of what we don’t fully understand so we create adverse ideas and scenarios to rationalize our fear. Whether you harbor suspicions about AI or not it’s already here and making things easier. As I write this blog Google’s Smart Reply just identified the text in an email and provided me 3 options to use in response with the click of a button…boom just saved twelve keystrokes. Speaking of saved keystrokes, AI has made huge strides in the voice activated virtual assistant channel. Virtual assistants are in-home devices like Alexa and Google Home, but they’re also available on your mobile devices like Siri and Cortana. Virtual assistants recognize voice commands in many different languages with only a 5.9% error rate; meaning they understand the same amount as you or I do in a conversation now. When using a virtual assistant you are utilizing…

Illustration on geo-fences

Geofencing

Geofencing is the use of GPS satellites, Bluetooth or WiFi to create a virtual boundary around a specific location from which you can trigger an event for your mobile device. This technology has been used in apps to help parents locate their child or lost pet and in professional environments to communicate location with employees working in the field. Imagine you’re driving home from work, caught up in the details of what happened at the office, keeping an eye on traffic and you forget to make that stop at the grocery store to pick up what you need for dinner that night. Here’s how geofencing can help. As you’re approaching the exit ramp to the local grocery store, your phone is tracking your location and it also gets a signal that a grocery store is nearby. Your phone then alerts you with a reminder to pick up dinner. Grocery store owners, you can go a step further by sending advertisements for your store and specials as a prospective customer enters your geofencing area. A customer who would normally stop at…

Gary's Foods about us photos

“About Us” on your website

Everyone loves a story. People have been telling stories since… well, since people have been around! What do campfires, drawings in the sand, music, movies and your website have in common? All of these tools can help make telling a story easier. The About Us page can attract your customers with a story they can relate to. The more your customers identify with you, the more they will trust your store. The content on this page is also good to share via links in social media. Read this About Us example >> You may not think your story is interesting, but it only seems that way to you because you lived it. You lived the long version, day by day. Believe it or not, millennials prefer the story of how a business came to be rather than having big bold SALE! messages crammed down their throats. These stories tend to be read on mobile devices during down time, like during the commercials while watching TV or waiting for a Dr. Apt. Write about the stories you hear over and over at family get…

Sliders: Grow Bigger & More Important

Photo sizes for digital marketing has grown dramatically. For older websites, photo size requirements were smaller, so some images must change or they will become blurry after enlarging. Not sure what I mean? Take a look: Why’s This Happening? 1. Retina screens: Even when 2 screens are the same size, the number of pixels increased in devices with retina screens for a more detailed image. 2. TV screens are used more for online viewing. 3. The pixel count for TV screens and desktop computers continues to increase. 4. Cameras on mobile phones take bigger and more detailed photos. Why do responsive images need to be bigger when mobile screens are smaller? One image needs to meet all requirements for all devices. While mobile screens are still smaller than desktop screens they could be viewed on a retina or tv screen. What should your sliders be about? Anything in your store that you want customers to know about: Community/Charity events: Food drives, employee athletes/heroic acts or awards, sponsored school events, fundraisers, holiday events, open house, apples for students, fund raising coupon books, hot dogs in the parking lot,…

The Local Trend

Food trends come and go, but one seems to be in it for the long haul: local products. A survey from the National Restaurant Association last year found that local food trends are dominating the market, with three of the top five trends related to local products. This isn’t a new development; however, the trend has been steadily growing for quite some time and 75 percent of Americans say eating local foods is the norm. The sustainability of the trend is evident through the number of farmer’s markets popping up in the last twenty years: from 1992 to 2014, the number has risen 350 percent, from 1.755 to 8.144. Clearly the demand for local products is growing, but is it worth carrying these products in your store? Recent research says, “YES,” and there are a multitude of reasons to carry and emphasize more locally resourced products in your stores. If you carry it, they will buy it. Consumers will buy local products if you put them on the shelves. From 1992 to 2008, direct-to-consumer food sales increased from $404 million…

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