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This groundbreaking patent should have both retailers and manufacturers losing sleep at night

Last month, Amazon was granted a patent for a technology described this way: “The technology can identify price comparisons, coupons, special offers, interest within a second location, and availability of the products. It can then counter offer the in-store visitor a lower price or incentive in the form of a coupon or offer through text message, email, or push notification.”  In layman’s terms, this means your retail store and product’s appeal better be more than just price alone.

By now we all know that Amazon is trying to own and sell the world, not only with dry goods, but with fashion and groceries as well. Furthermore, their introduction of a Hispanic Amazon site as well as discounts on Amazon Prime membership for low-income members are expanding its reach toward retail domination. However, this new technology, if introduced, takes things up a notch. Or two. It would immediately redirect shoppers to their site, no matter where they shop.

You can’t compete on price alone!

Why should I go to your store rather than shop online?

  • You have fashion advisors. Does everyone know that?
  • You have classes in photographing children at home. Who did you tell?
  • You have a deli that makes the freshest sandwiches. Is that clearly noted outside your store and in your ads?
  • You sell exclusive, imported ice cream. How would ice cream devotees know this?

These enticements could mean extra visits and increased spending in your store.

Do you really believe in your product? Why? How do you communicate these features to your intended shoppers?  Your packaging should do more than just be “noted” on the shelf. It must instantly portray superiority (better taste, higher quality ingredients, better cleaning capabilities, longer lasting, etc.)  on critical attributes. If this is only portrayed in copy on the package, then unless your consumer is engaged enough to pick it up and study your claims, you are just more expensive than the Amazon-hyped brand.

What is your image in your advertising and marketing? Are you “cool”? Are you what everyone should be looking for? While the shelf (or computer screen) might be the last second of decision, personal product biases are well-established before the “moment of truth.” It’s not just whether they recall your ads, it’s whether they were impacted by your message regardless of ad zapping, ad clutter, streaming video, and competing pop-up ads.

Don’t wait for the train to hit. Move the tracks now.

As a retailer or manufacturer, you have the power to make your stores and/or products fun, unique, and desirable. But you have to do the homework now, before it’s too late.

I can be reached at 201.569.4800 or dan.morris@pretesting.com.

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