Retailers need to sell where the customers are. Wind back quite a few centuries and markets would probably have been the predominant shopping channel. As towns built up, the high street came to dominate as a convenient place to shop. Then came the shopping centres.
I was at a conference the other day and, whilst awaiting the first speaker’s presentation, I was chatting with the lady next to me. I am not sure how it came up in conversation, but the subject we started talking about was customer loyalty programmes and their associated loyalty cards.
I quite often give presentations explaining the characteristics of our future consumers – Generations Y and Z. Actually, they are just about all grown up now. Gen Y were born around 1977 to 1995 and are referred to as the Millennials. Generation Z were born roughly from 1996 onwards to 2012. After them comes the current newbies, Generation Alpha.
Quite a few years ago (pre-Internet) I was commissioned to carry out a feasibility study for a large telecommunications organisation. The idea was to test the concept of an electronic transport marketplace (ETM) covering the whole of mainland United Kingdom.
Catalysed by the recent hive of activity surrounding GDPR, a few strands of thought from the past and present have come together in my mind to extrapolate a view on how our personal information might be managed in the far future.
The news that Etihad passengers will be able communicate with the airline via WhatsApp got me thinking about my own messaging apps. I use quite a few. On my mobile I have Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Viber and good old SMS. Apart from SMS, they all provide global communication for free.