Thirty-three years ago, in 1988, in Washington, Missouri, the first Walmart Supercenter opened its doors. The store concept itself took a page from the European hypermarkets, which had begun dotting the suburban landscapes there in the mid- to late-1960s — a vast physical store footprint that sold everything from general merchandise to groceries, offering ample (and free) parking.
When Walmart reported its Q4 2020 earnings last week, CEO Doug McMillon described a very different “super” concept at the center of Walmart’s future: the “super app.” …
An article published in the Harvard Business Review in August of 2009 posed a question that many airline and travel industry CEOs are pondering 11 years later: Will videoconferencing kill business travel?
The answer in 2009 was, probably not. The answer in 2021 is far less clear.
Eleven years ago, video conferencing tech was in a very different place, even though the technology itself had come a long way from the commercial launch of Bell Lab’s Picturephone in 1964.
It was expensive — an investment that only big companies could afford to make, and mostly did so to make it…
The problem with a lot of “big” New Year’s predictions is that they’re really pretty small.
Neither one goes out on much of a limb to predict what might be coming down the pike in 2021.
Of course, there’s a lot to be said for playing it safe. …
You can see it in the quarterly earnings reports this year of just about every publicly traded company and among the list of companies that have either gone public one way or the other or have filed S-1s because they plan to do so soon.
You can see it in how investors are putting money to work in both consumer-facing and B2B startups, and how startups and incumbents are forging new partnerships to move innovation faster to market.
And you can see it in the hustle by retailers and brands large and small to pivot their businesses and business models…
In June of 2019, PYMNTS asked a national sample of 1,037 smartphone users about their interest in having a single app that would make their everyday activities easier to access and manage.
The study described the app’s functionality as a more seamless way for consumers to keep tabs on how to plan, manage, spend and send their money, and to receive funds from other sources. The app would include reminders and alerts across a variety of activities — bills to be paid, appointments to be kept, deliveries to be received, important dates to remember, what friends are doing, etc. —…
On the same day that COVID-19 cases in the U.S. topped 10 million and hit 50.5 million globally, the world got news that Pfizer and BioNTech had successfully completed Phase 3 trials of a COVID-19 vaccine on 43,000 people — and achieved an astounding 90 percent effectiveness rate.
It was a day that medical scientists and epidemiologists had been awaiting for eight long months, marking a significant scientific breakthrough for the virus that hobbled the world. And it was a stunning result.
It’s one year from today: Nov. 9, 2021.
It’s been 18 months since the coronavirus swept the world and changed everything about it. But finally, the citizens of the world are ready to re-engage in the physical world the way they did in January 2020.
A widely available vaccine and FDA-approved therapeutics have given consumers the confidence that sitting together indoors, in a crowded restaurant, carries little to no risk. Neither does cheering on their favorite sports teams in a crowded stadium or booking that long-awaited vacation with family to a faraway destination.
And, boy, after 18 months of so…
“Membership has its privileges” was the nine-year ad campaign launched by American Express in 1987 to persuade consumers that it was worth it to pay an annual fee for one of its charge card products. Then, those privileges included travel, dining and hotel benefits, statement credits and spending reward points perks, along with preferred access to concert and theater tickets. As the slogan implied, being an American Express cardmember was the only way to unlock those benefits.
“Whose customer am I? And who’s going to take care me?”
Those are the questions I asked myself last week when trying to resolve an online order gone astray.
In my case, the answers were “I don’t really know” and “no one,” as far as I could tell.
As digital platforms decide what to do themselves, what to delegate to others and what businesses to fold in, they should make sure they can give their customers the right answers — which are: “you are my customer” and “I’ll look out for you.”
Won’t You Please, Please Help Me?
Consumers crave certainty, and they work pretty hard to minimize the risk of making a bad choice. That’s why once consumers find something that works, they stick with it. And it’s why other people’s thoughts and actions factor so heavily into their decision to try something new.
According to the theory of social proof, if consumers see enough people doing the same thing, others will feel comfortable following along.
Product recommendations are an…