Should Zappos take steps into the hospitality world?

"When people talk about Zappos, it’s not just about the great pair of shoes they scored, but the awesome customer service they received. It truly has become a tangible asset that is synonymous with the Zappos brand. In extending the brand to hotels and beyond, the customer satisfaction bar will be set high. Execution will be key to protecting the brand’s equity. Also I could see some Amazon (the parent company) products and services being a part of this." ~Shawn Harris

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Saks, Ralph Lauren lure customers with upscale services.

"As discrete service offerings, both Ralph Lauren’s “taxi” and Saks’ merchandise delivery service would be of value to shoppers, as they should help to save a shopper’s time or otherwise bail them out in a time of need. However, they must be a part of a coherent strategy of driving footfalls that includes digital engagement. These services should feel like a natural fit to the overall experience, as opposed to feeling like a disjointed one-off." ~ Shawn Harris

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Bed Bath & Beyond’s Membership Model #retail #marketing #membership

Is this Everyday Low Price (EDLP) spun as a membership program?  Will the elimination 0f the 20% Coupon's "scarcity," remove BBBY's greatest customer activation trigger, or will the $29 annual fee create the "shop here first" behavior that Amazon enjoys with its Prime Members? The Amazon Prime comparisons always gets me as none of these membership programs come with all of the other value-adds that Prime does, (i.e.video streaming, cheap unlimited music). To truly compete, I think more complementary partnerships are required to enhance the value of these initiatives (e.g. discounted Uber/Lyft rides, Care.com services, etc [requested through the BBBY app] ), plus the extension of this membership's benefits to the other BBBY subsidiaries. All in all, I do like BBBY's willingness to test bold initiatives like this.

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AmazonFresh lowers annual subscription via a $15 monthly rate. #Retail #Grocery

"I recall one of my first lessons in grad school, “cash flow is king.” I think that a lot of people feel the same about how they manage their home finances. Though there is only a $20 annual net savings, I think that the $14.99 per month fee will significantly lower the barrier to adoption for many Prime members. I think that this pricing move, and the recently announced push for both AmazonFresh pickup locations and perishables-focused convenience stores will position them to continue to grow their online grocery business and grow share.

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Will customers give Amazon the keys to their smart homes?

"I completely believe that this is a concept that could see wide adoption. Airbnb has helped in resetting the idea of what personal space means and blockchain technology will allow for secure, immutable, one-time access to home IoT locks. Delivery person tracking and home tracking (cameras, mobile device and presence sensors) will play an over-the-top role for auditing behavior. Insurance will cover the rest."  ~ Shawn Harris

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Is Omnichannel Even Possible?

I believe that 97.5 percent of today's traditional retailers will NOT survive the earthshaking transformation that is currently occurring in their industry. Changes in the customer shopping behavior and preferences, rise of on-line shopping, local and state government push to increase minimum wage, and uncertainty in the global economy have placed quite a few obstacles in front of retailers.

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