KFC is asking consumers to fund its creative

Image result for KFC is asking consumers to fund its creativeKFC is taking a new approach to its marketing: crowdfunding.

For its latest stunt, the fast-food chain is asking people to pitch in and fund, via Indiegogo, one of five ideas in a so-called Innovation Lab. Customers can also offer creative advice. (Well, they are forking over money).

Should a project become fully backed by supporters, KFC will produce the funded idea. For smaller contributions, the company is offering KFC Innovations Lab-branded swag, such as sweatpants or a … 3-D puffy sticker pack. If a project doesn’t reach its target goal, all contributions will be refunded to individual supporters.

The ideas that people can contribute to include “Kentucky Fried Hot Tub,” which, as of Tuesday afternoon, had raised $95.

Another is “Colonel on Ice,” an ice-skating show that would tell the story of how Colonel Harland Sanders founded the chain with only a 6th-grade education ($45 so far).Image result for KFC is asking consumers to fund its creative

People into geo-tracking might be drawn to “Little Colonel Locator,” which as of Tuesday afternoon had raised nearly $600. It features a location-tracking necktie (it works if the person wearing it is within 100 feet of a smartphone).

KFC worked on the lab with its agency, Wieden & Kennedy Portland.

The chain is already well known for stunts. It’s currently running a campaign featuring Colonel Sanders as RoboCop to protect its secret recipe. It has even offered free bowl haircuts in Brooklyn, New York to promote its $3 Famous Bowls meals. And it has created items such as Colonel Sanders-styled pool floaties and a log that smells like fried chicken while it’s burning.

[“source=adageindia”]

Tablets Are Displacing Personal Computers with Consumers

tablet pc

Customer interaction and payments to your website are more and more likely to be taking place from a tablet or other mobile device.

A continued decline in the number of PCs being shipped and presumably bought worldwide shows that tablets are displacing them with consumers, especially in emerging markets.

What the Numbers Say

A recent report from Gartner Inc. shows a 10.9 percent decline in PC shipments in the second quarter of 2013. It is the fifth consecutive quarter of decline, the longest sustained decrease in shipments in the industry’s history.

Meanwhile, a separate report from International Data Corporation suggests an even more precipitous dropin PC shipments for the second quarter of about 11.7 percent. But IDC insists total shipment were actually higher than projected.

What This Means

This doesn’t mean small business owners will necessarily be using tablets instead of PCs to operate their businesses. But it could mean that most of your customers especially outside the U.S. might be mobile.

In a prepared release, Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner explained:

We are seeing the PC market reduction directly tied to the shrinking installed base of PCs, as inexpensive tablets displace the low-end machines used primarily for consumption in mature and developed markets. In emerging markets, inexpensive tablets have become the first computing device for many people, who at best are deferring the purchase of a PC. This is also accounting for the collapse of the mini notebook market.

At the same time, tablet shipments have seen a sustained increase, going from 18.7 million in the first quarter of 2012 to 40.6 million in the first quarter of 2013.

Sales generated from mobile marketing continue to increase as well. For example, in the U.S. alone, those sales are expected to increase by 52 percent by 2015 to an estimated $400 billion.

Small business owners must make sure their websites are mobile and able to take mobile payments to prepare for this growing demand.

Tablet Consumer Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Restaurants and Consumers Benefit from a Mobile Ordering App

Restaurant and Consumer Benefits of a Mobile Ordering App

Mobile ordering apps have changed the food delivery and pickup game for the better. With more and more retailers and restaurants adopting for these kinds of apps, consumers are placing fewer delivery and pickup orders over the phone and instead are opting to use a mobile app. Why? Because these mobile ordering apps offer a number of key benefits that more traditional methods of ordering over the phone or waiting in line cannot match.

Consumer Benefits of a Mobile Ordering App

Consumers are certainly downloading mobile ordering apps at lightning speed. When Chick-fil-A released its first app, it reached No. 1 in the app store during its first three days. These apps are popular for several reasons:

  • There’s no more waiting in line or getting put on hold.
  • Ordering ahead provides convenience during a busy day and allows you to pick up food on the go.
  • You get the whole menu right at your fingertips, including items you may not have known existed.
  • Loyalty reward points are easy to track directly through the app and lead to big savings if you order frequently.

Restaurant Benefits of a Mobile Ordering App

While these apps may be created for the customer, they achieve a number of important objectives that can greatly help out the restaurant or retail store as well.

  • They can handle more orders; Chipotle claims it manages six more orders an hour when placed through a mobile app, as no one has to stop what they are doing to physically take the customer’s order and engage in small talk.
  • Customer’s spend more through an ordering app than in person because they have more time to make a decision, the whole menu is in front of them and they typically want to score more reward points.
  • Ordering accuracy improves — it is easy to misunderstand a complex order when someone is calling or even talking to you in person, but that doesn’t happen with a mobile app order because it is printed just how the customer placed it.
  • Integrated loyalty programs ensure customers keep returning.

What to Remember When Designing Your Own Mobile Ordering App

Chances are you’ve used at least a couple mobile ordering apps in your lifetime. Designing them may seem easy and a simple matter of converting your physical menu into a mobile environment that allows for ordering. In large part, it is. However, there are a number of design elements to look out for and consider when designing your own mobile ordering app.

Product Mix: Is your mobile ordering app going to include the whole menu or just part? You may jump to offering your entire menu, but that can easily make your app look cluttered and overwhelming. Sometimes too many features results in fewer users. By example, Starbucks does a good job by including most of its menu on the coffee chain’s app, but not all of it. Instead, Starbucks sticks to the most popular and frequently ordered items, which keeps the app looking clean and refined. However, including too few items can have a dramatically different effect.

Additionally, you have to consider further menu options like when and how to ask if someone wants an order of fries or how they can nix the pickles on their burger.

Loyalty: Combining your mobile ordering app with a loyalty or rewards point program makes too much sense to ignore. But, if you don’t already have some form of loyalty program, creating the foundation for one on your mobile app may take some time. You have to determine how points are earned and how quickly and then what those points can be used for. While most companies connect rewards to discounts or freebies, you can get even more creative with it.

Location: While some consumers don’t like the idea of sharing their location with apps, it is important for mobile ordering because it ensures that the customer’s order is placed at the nearest possible location. If there are multiple locations nearby, there has to be an option that allows the consumer to pick which one. Otherwise, they could go to their preferred spot without realizing their order is at the sister location.

Payment: The questions that should be on your mind, in terms of of payment, are things like whether the app is compatible with Wallet or Apple Pay? Or, will it only use credit cards? How will payments be processed? How will loyalty points factor into charges. All of these questions are going to sculpt your payment approach. Most of them will likely be answered by your company’s consumers, as you are trying to cater to their needs. If many of them prefer using a mobile payment app, then you may have to adjust your payment policies to meet that need.

Updates: Any app developer will tell you that updates are an absolutely essential part of delivering a successful mobile app. Even if your menu or offerings don’t change, the preferences of your customers might. For example, they may go from disliking Apple Pay to preferring it. Not to mention, new Apple Store guidelines dictate that apps need to be routinely updated to stay present on the market. Updating your app can also help its success. The most popular apps are updated 20 to 25 times a year, according to a report by Business Insider. And, apps with fewer than nine updates a year are rarely awarded above-average ratings.

Conclusions

With more and more people turning towards mobile ordering instead of picking up the phone to dial their favorite stores and restaurants, it is becoming more and more critical for these businesses to have a functioning and innovative app that caters to the current and future trends and needs of their customers. Knowing how to design and utilize such a mobile app will allow you to stand out among the competition and help achieve current and future business objectives.

Restaurant App Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

New rules, 100% FDI in e-commerce give short shrift to consumers

Photo: iStockphoto

Photo: iStockphoto

New Delhi: The government on Tuesday allowed 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) in marketplace e-commerce companies. While this may bring regulatory clarity to the existing and future online retail sellers in the country, it may hamper consumer interest on several accounts.

First, the government has now prohibited any discounts to consumers by e-commerce companies. Though online retailers like Flipkart, Snapdeal and Shopclues never admit it, most of their sales are driven by deep discounts funded through enormous amount of money raised from private equity players. Though the guidelines are meant to provide level playing field to offline retailers, it goes against the basic principles of a market economy where the government has no business dictating prices, that too in a case where it helps the consumers to partially beat inflation.

Also Read:

  • Govt defines e-commerce marketplace rules, allows 100% FDI

  • Will Flipkart, Snapdeal, Amazon, Paytm have to stop online discounts?

The problem is that the decision was taken after the government was boxed into a corner, though the government may like to brag it as yet another economic reform. Offline retailers had approached the Delhi high court, seeking a ruling against the government and online retailers, alleging a lack of level playing field. They complained that while the government has given a free hand to online retailers to flout existing FDI policy which only allowed foreign investment in online wholesale trading not online retail trading, it prohibited brick-and-mortar retail chains from accessing FDI.

And now to give the offline retailers level playing field, the government has barred the online retailers from giving deep discounts. The ideal way would have been to also allow the offline retailers access to FDI, but for the political opposition of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government. While the earlier United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had allowed 51% FDI in offline multi-brand retail stores, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government has put its implementation on hold, abiding by its commitment to small traders in its 2014 election manifesto. The fear that small retailers would be badly impacted by allowing FDI in multi-brand retail is an outlived argument. More so after the government in its latest budget permitted 100% FDI in marketing of food products produced and manufactured in India, thus partially allowing foreign supermarket chains to set shop in India and compete with your neighbourhood shops in selling food items. A government’s job should be to remove the barriers in the economy that hamper consumer interest, not create fresh hurdles that advisedly affect consumers.

Second, the government notification says post sales, delivery of goods to the customers, customer satisfaction and any warrantee/guarantee of goods and services sold on online platforms will now be the responsibility of the seller and not the e-commerce company. So, now if you didn’t get the delivery of an order in time, you can no more tag Flipkart or Amazon on Twitter and rant about it. They will easily shift the buck to some vendor in some distant part of India who may or may not respond to you. This will only add to the agony of the consumer and create huge credibility issues at a time when claims of fake items on e-commerce platforms are already high. The mental comfort that if you got duped by a vendor on an online platform, you can always reach out to the e-commerce company for grievance redressal who in turn will help you out for its own credibility is no more there.

And this, for a nascent e-commerce market like India with huge potential is neither good for the consumers nor for online retailers.

[“Source-Livemint”]