Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year 2014

This post may not be the most innovative and creative of all, but I wanted to wish to all of you a happy new year 2014. 2013 has been a difficult year. Indeed, like other economic experts, I believed that 2013 would be the year that will mark the end of the crisis which started in 2008. Despite clear improvement, we can still say that the world is struggling. And I really hope that 2014 will be the year of sustainable change.

I have started couple of weeks ago a new job, and 2014 will also be for me a big change. I will discuss about that in my next blog notes.

I wish to all of you the best 2014 year possible.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Discovering the Homes-up.com Store Concept : When Showrooming Is Pushed To Its Extreme

French magazine LSA is publishing a series of articles about retailers all around the world that masters cross channel retailing (Internet – point of sales). One ofthe them got my attention: homes-up.com.

Homes-up.com is mostly an online retailer, but own a boutique in Shangai. The concept is that it is a 100% showroom store, where the different products the company sells are displayed. In order to get those products, the company have 2 computers in the middle of the store, for the shoppers to order the goods he wants. Then they will be delivered home.

LSA considers that it is a pity the store does not propose to purchase the products and hence to take them out with you. I actually don’t think so. We may have a consumption that showrooming is bad for business, and that it is important to find new ways to generate both squarefoot sales, and in store profitability.

But actually, homes-up.com is defining a totally new business model. A business model I envisioned years ago. This model has a lot of strength:
  • ·         You maximize the display room, as there are no stocks.
  • ·         You have very low wages costs, as you don’t cash in (either by mobile devices or the computers of the company). And same thing, you save space as there is no cashier desk.
  • ·         Your salesperson can focus on advising, and can be stress free concerning the fact that the customer is going to indeed purchase the goods online.

This is a new business model that I am sure will spring up in the next couple of years.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Apple Acquires PrimeSense: How It Will Impact Microsoft

Apple hasrecently acquired Israeli startup PrimeSense for $345 millions. The name of PrimeSense may not ring your bell, as I did not know either about the company, but it is the company that was behind Microsoft’s Xbox Kinnect system.

 As a user of the Kinnect, I must admit that the product is a hit. I have always been surprise to see how advance the technology was, especially because there has not really been any mid technology in between.

Apple has made a smart move. Obviously 3D sensing technology is the future media of interactions between electronic devices and humans.  And probably they are looming on using this technology for their TV devices they have been willing to launch for the longest time.
But Apple may also have some sneaky ideas behind this move: Indeed, the Xbox system is one of the major success of Microsoft those past few years. Microsoft is still struggling to find a new OS which would allow him to get some marketshares back, they are also experiencing problems with their Windows phone, but the Xbox is rocking.
 By acquiring the company that gave Microsoft an edge over the competition, they may master the cost of the technology, and hence have an impact on the Kinnect profitability. I can’t help thinking that Apple thought about it while discussing with PrimeSense.

Tim Cook hit the headlines with his wishes, writing about some highly innovative launch. I don’t think he was speaking about a larger Ipad, but probably that this innovation will include some of PrimeSense technology.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Playstation Strategy of Stockout During Christmas

Like every other year when a new video game hardware is released for christmas time, the stores run out of stock in no time, leaving customers in cries, wondering how they could get the precious new gear.

This year is exactly the same. Both Playstation 4 and Xbox one are impossible to be found 2 weeks before Christmas celebrations.

Some will say that this is a strategy, and that suppliers are actually planifying this stockout in order to raise the demand.

Obviously, one customer eager to purchase a Playstation 4 has no intention to by any other hardware, so there are little chances the customer will turn to a competitor.

But still, is it a good thing to leave customers unsatisfied like that? Also Sony is going through a retailer to sell those, and creating stockout is something retailers hate ( customer disatisfaction, loss of sales...).

Also Sony has hence never been able to experience 100% full potential of its launch sales, and therefore it is difficult for Sony to have clear data on the level of missed sales.
Probably Sony has hard time to produce that many hardware in such a period of time but they must anticipate.

This is the reason why I don't think Playstation is making the right call, and that this stockout strategy is actually bad for the company.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Thoughts On Ecommerce: How Big Will Ecommerce Become?

I would like to write an article about an interesting article I found online about Ecommerce sales figures. According to the article, Comscore estimates Ecommerce has generated $50 billions in the US for the second quarter of 2013. That counts for 5,5% of the whole commerce sales. Even if its share in the whole commerce pie remains pretty small:
  • It does not stop getting bigger.
  • It counts for most of the growth of commerce.
  • It still has the bigger growth potential.
Nevertheless, I still believe that Ecommerce as we know it will never be the biggest part of business. The human interface is too important to live without it 100%. 
Also, another important data of the article is the sales figures of mobile commerce: $4,7 billions. But the issue with that stats is that it probably counts the sales generated via tablets. And to me, there is a difference between buying with a mobile device outside home, and buying with a mobile device home. Hence, it is difficult to say that we see a real rise of mobile phones retailing.