Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for November 16th, 2012

Holiday Shopping Chatter

leave a comment »

If you’re interested in gaining some insights into the upcoming holiday retail madness, you need to mark your calendar.

This coming Monday, November 19th, the IBM Smarter Commerce team, in partnership with Direct Marketing News, will host a Twitter chat.

Featuring IBM’s holiday retail analytics prognosticator, Jay Henderson, IBM’s Enterprise Marketing Management Global Strategy Program Director, and Richard Feinberg, Purdue University’s Professor of Consumer Sciences and Retailing, the Twitter Chat will be held Monday from 1:00-2:00 PM EST via the #smartershopping hash tag.

Allison Schiff, web editor for Direct Marketing news, will moderate from the @DMNews handle.

The topic? Key retail holiday trends, ranging from online sales to mobile and social trends, which Jay has already predicted will become even more dominant this holiday shopping season.

No need to line up outside your Apple store, or navigate the mobs at your local Wal-Mart.

Just open up your favorite Twitter client and follow the online retail mob into the far reaches of all things holiday shopping.

Jay’s already pulled out and dusted off his holiday shopping crystal ball in a post for the IBM “Building a Smarter Planet” blog.

In it, Jay posed some key questions we might just expect to get some answers for in the coming chat, such as whether or not mobile shoppers will continue take the lead this holiday season, and whether or not they’ll expand their use of social media.

Jay also mentioned that the latest IBM Retail Online Index for Q3 showed renewed growth with overall online sales increasing by 3.1 percent over the second quarter.

But to keep those numbers growing, Jay writes that consumers will expect personalized shopping and tailored promotions this holiday season, and those retailers “who can deliver an easy, integrated and personalized shopping experience both in-store and online” will be the ones who cash in on holiday cheer this year.

Follow the conversation Monday starting at 1:00 PM EST at #smartershopping

As a prelude, check out my interview with Jay at IBM’s recent Smarter Commerce Summit in Orlando, Florida, where Jay explained how marketing is in chaos and some of the course corrections retailers can make to adapt to this rapidly-changing consumer-centric world.

The World’s Last Twinkie

with one comment

I awakened today to some disturbing news on the consumer packaged goods front: Hostess, longtime maker of Ding Dongs, Twinkies, and Wonder Bread — all three of which provided me sustenance through much of my mispent youth — is going out of business.

In a Wall Street Journal

Irving, Texas-based Twinkie maker Hostess looks to be going out of business after a recent and extended labor dispute. Texans everywhere are now crying out in wonderment at what possible replacements they’ll have to fry at their annual Texas State Fair. First Big Tex burns, and now no more Twinkies…it’s too much for most Texans to comprehend.

story earlier today, it was reported that the “maker of iconic treats such as Twinkies” and other products is shuttering its plants and will “seek to liquidate the 82-year-old business.”

The story goes on to report that a work stoppage that began on November 9th affected about two-thirds of Hostess’s 36 plants, and made it “impossible” for the Irving, Texas company to continue producing baked goods.

It’s hard to imagine a world without Twinkies.  Or Ding Dongs, for that matter.  What are we Texans going to fry at the Texas State Fair, if not Twinkies???

Of course, what woke me up today was the endless barrage of helicopters.  The F1 Grand Prix race weekend has arrived in Austin, and some 200,000 race fans are expected to make a pit stop here to check out the race.

This is the first Grand Prix to be held in the U.S. in some five years, and though an F1 may not seem very Austinish, I say bring it on.

It’s expected to have an economic impact of some $220 million, and hey, it helped bring Aerosmith and Cheap Trick to town for a concert tonight, so it can’t be all bad!

I just hope folks using the Apple Maps apps are able to find their way out to the track, because Google’s new Map App for Apple devices is still in test mode.

I never thought I’d write that we may be finding ourselves not in a great browser battle, but rather, the Great Mobile Map Wars of 2012.

Kind of has a nice ring to it, eh?

Let’s reflect on the tick tock: Apple released the new iOS 6, in which it replaced the Google Maps app that was preinstalled with its own mapping software.

People complained they couldn’t get where they were going with the new Apple map app. Apple CEO Tim Cook said he was sorry, then fired his software lead, Scott Forstall, after he refused to say he was sorry.

And now we wait.

Both for the new Google map app (which is said to have turn by turn directions), and the improved Apple map app.

Me, I think I’ll stop by the truck stop on the way out to the F1 track this weekend and just pick myself up an atlas.

I just hope it will provide good enough directions to lead me to the world’s last Twinkie.

Written by turbotodd

November 16, 2012 at 3:58 pm

%d bloggers like this: