Wednesday, December 5, 2018
Emails with personalized subject lines have stronger open rates. Consumers are more likely to purchase from a retailer that recognizes them by name and recommends products based on previous purchases. In other words, countless studies have come to the same conclusion: people prefer personalization.
Personalized marketing is a way for brands to take consumer data to use it to help curate the vastness of the Internet. And as long as it’s relevant, people generally don’t mind. Netflix has more content than anyone can possibly watch in a lifetime; its sophisticated recommendation engine keeps people from experiencing choice paralysis, ultimately saving the company $1 billion each year.
Personalization is crucial for digital marketing, but the vast majority of sales still take place in brick-and-mortar stores. And savvy retailers like Best Buy, Target and H&M are bringing it there.
Smart speakers, TVs, Rokus, video games: They’re all items you can purchase at Best Buy. They’re also all featured on Amazon’s Gift Ideas, a round-up of popular gifts that updates daily. One advantage Best Buy has over the ecommerce juggernaut is the ability to bridge on- and offline personalization.
Best Buy is another retailer that utilizes its app in that regard. Walk into the store and the app enters “local store” mode, sending relevant push notifications and tailoring the experience to that location’s inventory. There’s also an On My Way feature that lets sales associates know when someone is on their way to pick up an online order.
Last month, Nike opened a new flagship, a 68,000-square-foot store in Midtown Manhattan designed to be as personalized as possible. The sportswear giant offers NkePlus members one-on-one stylists and the ability to create customized products.
Smartphones factor heavily in brick-and-mortar shopping; they influence 56 cents of every dollar spent in physical stores, according to Deloitte Digital. Nike plays into that by making the app the centerpiece of the experience. App users get access to exclusive features and content, and even recommendations directly from Nike+ Experts. Those products based on people’s individual style and sports preferences, and they can be scanned for more information, purchased or reserved to a fitting room, all via app.
H&M uses data and artificial intelligence to customize the merchandise mix of individual stores, reducing inventory pile-up. The Swedish retailer also uses technology to let consumers customize their own shopping experiences.
At its Times Square flagship, H&M has voice-activated mirrors created by Microsoft and a pair of Stockholm-based agencies. Look at the mirror long enough and facial recognition “wakes it up,” offering personalized style advice, as well as QR code-activated discounts and selfie opportunities.
Clienteling is a well-established practice for higher-end retailers. Technology allows them to make that experience digital, both at home and in-store. Sales associates use Style Boards to create personalized outfit recommendations for their clients. Earlier this year, Nordstrom acquired BevyUp and MessageYes, a mobile clienteling and conversational commerce tool, respectively, to improve its in-store personalization capabilities.
Nordstrom was already strong in that department, thanks to its use of beacons. When someone runs the app in-store, beacon technology transmits messages about items on sale that may be of interest. If they’re lucky, they’ll also get coupons for the items in their abandoned shopping carts.
Last October, McKinsey found that the two aspects of personalization shoppers value most are relevant recommendations they may not have thought of on their own and communications with brands when they’re in shopping mode. Nothing says “shopping mode” more than being inside a store, and the 2014 acquisition of Pittsburgh start-up Powered Analytics helps Target hit both of those at once.
Powered Analytics combines mobile technology, location data and machine learning to connect retail apps to in-store shopping. That helps the retail giant pinpoint someone’s exact location in a store, delivering product recommendations based on their personal preferences, as well as the section they’re in.
The post How Best Buy, Nordstrom and Nike bring personalization to physical stores appeared first on ClickZ.
Sunday, December 2, 2018
Well, that escalated slowly.
The CEO of “AriseBank,” who CCN previously reported as the target of an SEC injunction and civil proceedings in January, was arrested by the FBI this week without incident on charges of fraud to the tune of around $4 million, according to a press release from the Department of Justice. The arrest comes on the heels of a California US District judge giving some resistance to an SEC request for an injunction against another ICO against which it has a civil suit.
The actions of 30-year-old Jared Rice Sr. are particularly egregious in contrast to those of Reginald Buddy Ringgold III, in that he is alleged to have actually gone on a spending spree even while his unregistered and unregulated security offering was in progress. As DOJ tells it:
“Even as he touted AriseBank’s nonexistent benefits in press releases and online, Mr. Rice quietly converted investor funds for his own personal use, spending the money on hotels, food, clothing, a family law attorney, and even a guardian ad litem.”
A History of Scamming and Domestic Violence
According to public records and the Grand Jury indictment, Jared Rice was previously charged with tampering with government records in Texas for forging the Secretary of State’s seal and signature on incorporation documents. In the same case, which dates back to 2015 and was related to another attempted internet venture, Rice was charged with stealing – in that case, investor funds. This would have been something an ICO reviewer might have come across with any degree of research.
To add a bit of TMZ-style flair to his case, Rice decided to use some of the proceeds of the AriseBank scam to fund his family attorney and a guardian ad litem, which are items related to his apparent domestic problems. In the photo to the right, he is under arrest and held on $15,000 bond for assault on a family member. The domestic violence arrest appears to have been after the charge of defrauding the previous investor, who is not named in the Grand Jury indictment document nor is immediately apparent in other methods of inquiry.
It seems that in all his spending, he did not think to pay to scrub his arrest records, not even with the prospect of millions of dollars more.
The case brings to mind the much more successful scamming of crypto mining executive Josh Garza, who was eventually sentenced to federal prison.
Here is the full indictment:
Jared Rice Indictment by on Scribd
Featured Image from Shutterstock
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