customer loyalty

blogs as shops eretailing

In the last several years there has been a trend where personal media outlets ( blogs, twitter feeds, youtube channels ) are starting to outperform traditional media outlets and websites.  The web has become alive, and with equal access to cheap content generating tools, content and personal flare have helped certain indy channels thrive.

The next trend I am observing is that these same personal programming channels are expanding into e-commerce / e-retailing. I frequently visit for their careful curation of art / creative news, and I was surprised to see they opened up a store. Although this seemed odd at first, its a logical progression for content curators. Why stop at curating and reviewing content if you can give people the option to buy those same items and take a cut.  I have observed many influential bloggers sponsor bundles on fab, or quarterly, and even have their own branded channel on opensky.    And thus we enter the Rise of Personal Storefronts where everyone becomes a prosumer.

All the traditional factors of customer loyalty, the right prices, and great product selection exist, but the only main differentiators become trust and human connection.  Also certain things I would rather buy from certain organizations.  I do trust a handful of bloggers with my daily news, but I am not sure I would want to buy vitamins from them. What is the future of stores on Facebook ? Or instant deals on Twitter?  But I am very optimistic on how this new trend will push innovation and inspire new models of creating content accompanied by related items that I might like.  However, I am also aware that this might create a awareness bias of outlets where the pressure to sell vs. write news articles could shift the culture and identity of the outlets I came to trust.

And then there might be certain companies like Pinterest who if slightly altered their business model, could be one of the largest curated stores on the planet.  I would imagine the personal endorsement of products with a trusted layer of delivery and procurement could be the future of how we buy things online.

Only time will tell.




Wearable Analytics – My nike fuelband experience

digital sport nike



I’ve been using nike fuelband for about 5 months now, and I love it. However, I am starting to loose momentum.  The goals start to be more of a stretch, and I start wondering what the purpose is to begin with?  And then I remember why I got it and what the real purpose of the fuel band is.

Self Awareness to Intention.  

I find the key to maintaining your momentum for any digital sport program is finding the right balance between rewarding mediocracy and relying too much on goals.  The beauty of the fuelband ( besides being an awesome watch ) is that is constantly makes you aware of the intention to be physical.  Not based on the numbers alone, but the fact that you have put on a badge that you are going to try and stay in shape. It becomes part of your identity.

From an analytics perspective, having your personal data is very valuable. You cant track and trend your habbits, optimize your schedule, and engage with yourself to become 2.0. Although we are all athletes in a way, the bigger question is what kind of athlete do you want to be – and do the goals and constant pings help propel you to the next level, or do they serve as a reminder for something you want to avoid. Goals can either motivate or demotivate depending on the scope. Gamification can help, but it can also serve as a distractor to the idea that people need to individually set their goals, or have the power to select what auto setting goals are appropriate for them.

Thus, as I look down at my nike fuelband, and note that I am 1/3 of my daily quota, I remember that every day I am more active then I was a year ago. I am self aware and I strive to do better.  2000 fuel points is not too far away.  Thus awareness moves to intention.