Archive | September, 2011

Retailers revamping shops to compete with online outlets

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RETAILERS are fighting back against online competition with upmarket makeovers in their latest bid to lure shoppers through the doors.

conditions, many are vamping up internal and external shop fit outs with multi-million-dollar redesigns as a way of attracting customers.

Major retailers, including Myer, are turning to architects to create something “that is way is beyond just a store to buy something, but an experience or destination”.

Roger Nelson, principal at NH Architecture, says stores have to think beyond traditional bricks and mortar to create an  X-factor.

”If the store hasn’t got something to offer and hasn’t got something to be generous with, then why are you there?”

NH Architecture was commissioned by to complete the $225 million redevelopment of Myer’s Bourke Street store.

”It was not just a redevelopment – it had to be something that would really reposition Myer back at the forefront of retailing in Australia.”

”It was really about cementing Myer’s role in the daily life of the city so it would transcend the vagaries of other things that come and go, whether it’s seasonal, the weather, economies or even other forms of transactions.”

Mr Nelson said the impact of technology was demanding a more compelling physical environment with ”a more human aspect to it, one that actually activates and stimulates the senses and is multidimensional”.

Regional retailers are also revamping stores to attract shoppers.

North Queensland’s Hibiscus Shopping Centre is currently undergoing a 2.5 million make-over to deliver enhanced retail options in time for Christmas.

That’s the prediction from international shopping centre guru Bruce Shaw, who says shopping centres are reinventing themselves, adding bars, gourmet restaurants and more live entertainment to attract customers.

Mr Shaw, the managing director of architecture and interior design company Buchan Group, has long been at the cutting edge of shopping mall trends, having been on the development team for London’s first Westfield shopping centre and Sydney’s Chatswood Chase.

“A lot of things have been added with hotels, residential and office space so they’re going to become more a mixture of eat, work, live, play destinations,” Mr Shaw told news.com.au.

While the first mega malls were built to be shopping destinations, entertainment and food outlets could be their saving grace, with the retail industry still reeling from a drop in sales since the global financial crisis.

Beginner’s Guide to QR Code Marketing

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While your own Web enterprise may not have the resources of a Best Buy, Target or Home Depot, there is a highly accessible marketing tool that all three heavyweights and countless other retailers are currently relying upon to expand their audiences and increase customer engagement. It is called QR code marketing, and here’s what you need to know to get started.

What are QR codes?
If you haven’t yet utilized one as a marketer or used one as a consumer, you have surely seen one of these two-dimensional black and white barcodes inside a magazine, on a menu or a business card, or on any number of physical goods ranging from cans of dog food to cereal boxes. Short for Quick Response, QR codes were originally popularized in Japan by a local subsidiary of Toyota as a tracking device for the automobile manufacturing industry. The ability for business owners to allow customers instant access to online coupons and other marketing content through the use of scanning applications on their mobile devices has led to the widespread adoption of QR codes in many parts of the world, but the trend has been slower to gain traction in the U.S.

What’s the value for marketers?
Right now, the potential is unlimited, which is why top retailers such as the three mentioned above are taking full advantage of this opportunity to instantly connect with their millions of mobile customers. Whether the QR code is placed on a print advertisement, a physical product or distributed through various forms of digital media, the code ensures real-time access for mobile users to the marketing message of a business owner’s choice. These messages can include the notification of a time-sensitive offer, the announcement of a new Facebook contest or a YouTube video, an alert for a highly anticipated product just received or an update to a store’s revised holiday hours of operation.

How do I create QR codes?
Simply by crafting the message intended for your customers and entering the URL onto one of the many QR code-generating sites, which include Delivr, Kaywa, Qurify, Kerem Erkan, uQR.me, Dynotag, BeQRious and Jump Scan. Best practices include making your QR codes big enough for users to see and properly utilize – meaning a bare minimum of 1-inch by 1-inch; knowing the preferred channels for reaching your target audience, and making sure to test each code’s functionality before launching a widescale distribution.

How do my customers use them?
To successfully read your messages, recipients will need to enlist the use of a QR code scanning application on their mobile devices, of which some of the leaders include Qrafter, I-Nigma, Optiscan, QuickMark, QR app and ScanLife. These apps range in price from free to a couple of dollars apiece, and many of them provide code-generating functionalities as well as serving as readers. Qrafter, by the way, was the first QR code app designed for the iPad as well as the iPhone, having been updated earlier this month.

Am I forgetting anything?
One of the most important keys to success in QR code marketing is sending your customers to a mobile-friendly site through the link provided in the barcode. Knowing that users will be accessing the codes primarily through their smartphones and to a lesser degree through other mobile devices such as tablets, to link them to a standard website that challenges their mobile capabilities would be futile if not downright damaging to your business and brand. Once you have conceived a smart strategy for an offer or promotion with the use of QR codes and created the codes themselves, ensure that you are sending your customers to the most effective landing page for closing the deal.

10 Websites For Mobile Web Design Inspiration

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Mobile web browser capability today almost like a desktop browser, like support css, javascript, flashplayer. For web designer they must immediately adapt their websites to these new devices, and must know the limitation of the device, like screen resolution, gesture touch features, etc.

With mobile web framework like jquery mobile or sencha touch we can make a mobile web application look a like native mobile app. Maybe these sites can be one of your inspiration when designing user interface, whether for native mobile app or mobile web.

CSS iPhone

visit cssiphone

Mobile Awesomeness

visit mobileawesomeness

Refined Mobile

visit refinedmobile

eMobile Gallery

visit emobilegallery

Moblly

visit moblly

jQuery Mobile Gallery

visti jquery mobile gallery

Tap Fancy

visit tapfancy

Ember App

visit ember app

Tapp Gala

visit tapp gala

iOS Inspires Me

visit ios inspires me

Google Plus Could Become Luxury’s Platform of Choice

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Buzz about Google Plus is fading as concerns about traffic decreases take hold, but a steady concentration of traffic from affluent demographics could create the perfect conditions for luxury marketers.

According to a recent study by Experian Hitwise, “prosperous, middle-aged married couples living child-focused lives in affluent suburbs” make up 2.9 percent of site visits on Google+. By contrast, this same demographic (profiled in the word cloud below) makes up less than 0.7 percent of Facebook visits.

 

Facebook will undoubtedly maintain its lion’s share hold over the social media market for the time being, but the prospect of a platform with such a comparatively high concentration of affluent users is worth noting.

The affluent demographic pictured above is more than four times more likely to visit Google Plus than the rest of the Internet population overall. Google’s release of brand pages will ultimately determine the fate of luxury’s fit on the platform, but early signs of seamless multimedia interaction and a minimal interface seem to bode well for the platform.

Even if Plus takes third place in social networking prominence behind Facebook and Twitter, luxury brands shouldn’t dismiss the platform as another social networking fizzle from Google.

Relative Activity on Social Media Platforms

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2011 introduced a very strange new word to digital marketing – the “Plus One” or +1 from Google. I’m not sure that is even a word – more like when the singer Prince renamed himself in the 1990s to a symbol (which everyone referred to as TAFKAP – The Artist Formerly Known as Prince). I don’t like typing +1, because it requires me to hit the Shift key and remember where the Plus sign is on my keyboard. Hint – it is way up on the top right – next to the overused Backspace button. It is very awkward to hit. You have to twist your hand around to keep the Shift Key down and hit the Plus sign simultaneously. Google may find itself the target of class action lawsuits from people who get advanced carpal tunnel syndrome trying to +1 their favorite content.

+1 joins the Retweet and the Facebook Like as the lexicon of consumer engagement with Web content – both on search engines and on social media networks. If consumers like something on Google or on a Web page – they can +1 it. If they like a piece of content, they can retweet it or Like it on Facebook. These actions are being studied closely for clues as to what they might mean to marketers regarding how they drive customer loyalty.

There are a couple of reasons for this. First, it is no mystery that social media usage is on the rise – and by “social media” I really mean Facebook. Probably the most interesting statistic I have seen on this is that Facebook has about 750 million registered users, and 70% use the system occasionally, and nearly 30% use it actively. Twitter, by contrast, reports about 150 million registered users, but less than 5% use the system more than once per week and far less than 1% are considered Active.

The Facebook Developer Garage Program

To further support our developer community, we’ve created a Facebook Developer Garage video to help share the Facebook Developer Garage history and provide a tribute to our developers worldwide.

We want to empower developers to educate their local communities and build engaging products using the power of Facebook Platform and Connect.

Prime Time Hack: The Birth of Facebook Video

At Facebook, a new idea can lead to a huge impact. In our regular Hackathons, engineers spend the night coding and hacking away at new product ideas. Watch how one of those all-night projects turned into Facebook Video and led to people viewing over a billion videos every month.

Moving Fast: How We Built Facebook Platform

Moving fast is one of our core values: Its how we constantly launch and improve our products. On the two-year anniversary of Facebook Platform, watch how the team behind it helped make the Web a more social place by enabling developers to build applications that had never been possible before.

Small Team, Big Impact: The People Behind Photos

At Facebook, its common for small teams of three or four people to work together in creating products that are used by millions of people around the world. Watch how the team behind Facebooks Photos application helped it become the most popular of its kind on the Internet.

Connecting the World: How We Translated Facebook

The people working at Facebook are constantly asked to tackle complicated problems on a large scale. Our approach to translating the site is just one example of what happens when you give people the power to think creatively.