As I travel throughout the U.S. it seems that no one in the airport is without a mobile device. Whether they’re 8 or 80, they are all using mobile devices of some sort!
Just 10 short years ago, in 2002, smart phones were a twinkle in the eye of early providers like RIM, who released the Blackberry in 2003. This first edition smart phone was embraced by business people for its larger screen size and full keyboard, making it easier for on-the-go executives to type emails, read documents and in general, conduct business while they were out and about. Believe it or not, Blackberry had about four years to dominate the market before Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007. Android was rolled out two years later, in 2009, and by 2010—just eight short years—over 297 million smart phones had been sold worldwide.
In 2011, that number increased by about 40% with a total of 491 million smart phones sold last year alone. It’s estimated that by 2015, nearly 1 billion smart phones will be sold, adding to an already large population of smart device owners. If we figure in some tablet numbers (i.e. iPad), the number of smart mobile devices in the market is nearly staggering.
So, what does this mean for you? It means, that “if you don’t have a mobile strategy, you don’t have a future strategy,” as Ian Carrington Director of Mobile & Social Advertising Strategy for Google was recently quoted as saying.
The good news is, with the increased number of units on the market, the number of opportunities for businesses of any size to have a mobile presence has risen dramatically as well. Whether it’s placing banner ads on targeted mobile sites or apps, creating and promoting your own app or working with a partner like DROSTE CONSULTANTS to make turn-key apps work for you and your customers, you can get on board the mobile train. Which is good, because as you can see, it’s moving full steam ahead.
If this past holiday season taught us anything it’s that we’re addicted to our mobile devices.
- U.S. smartphone penetration is up to 44% and 57% of those owners access the mobile web and download apps on a regular basis
- Time spent with mobile devices has also risen to 65 minutes per day, which is second only to TV
- Fifty-six percent of smartphone owners have looked for store information on their device while 32% have actually made a purchase
- By 2015, it is estimated that m-commerce transactions will amount to $670 billion
Is your business ready for the mobile revolution? At DROSTE, we are releasing our first client-branded Mobile App, DROSTE iOrder and we know this is the wave of the future. As smartphones get smarter (hello, Siri), businesses must advance their thinking as well. Having a readily accessible app that delivers a stellar mobile experience is the key ingredient to capturing a portion of these m-commerce dollars.
Not convinced? A recent survey indicated that 2 out of every 5 shoppers who have a negative mobile experience with a brand will not come back. They won’t try again on a laptop or desktop computer, won’t make their way to a brick and mortar retailer, they won’t even try accessing the mobile application again. Imagine if you lost two out of every five customers who came into your store. Scary, right?
While getting an app launched is time-consuming there are some interim steps you can take. Ensure that your location can be found on other mobile-heavy applications such as Foursquare, Shopkick or Yelp. Make it easy for customers to find you and you’ll make it even more enticing for them to shop with you. And don’t forget that having a website that can be accessed on a mobile phone is very different from having a mobile-enhanced website. Mobile is our future and it’s time for businesses to jump on board.
If you’d like to know more about DROSTE iOrder Deli/Bakery Pre-Order Mobile App, please visit the link on the site or contact us at 978-686-5775. We’d be happy to show it off and discuss ways we can help you join the mobile revolution!
Sources: M-Commerce Booming On Tablets, Online Media Daily, November 2011; 2 in 5 Mobile Shoppers Penalize Retailer for Unsatisfactory Site, Marketing Charts, November 2011
We have to evolve. As human beings, as individuals, as a species, as a group, as the universe, we must evolve, become more than we are this minute so that we can become more than we are in the next and so on.
Nowhere is this forward momentum more necessary than in business and, more importantly, technology. Over the past 100 years, technology has experienced a massive growth spurt, taking it from an infant learning how to crawl to a full-blown young adult, who is probably gearing up for a quarter-life crisis. Without this growth, we would still be riding in horse-drawn buggies, sending messages via a telegraph and using encyclopedias to look things up.
Instead, we are experimenting with electric and solar-powered cars, using electronic messaging as our primary method of communication and carrying around pocket-sized computers (i.e. smartphones) so that the Internet, the modern-day encyclopedia, is never further away than our back pocket.
All of this can be credited to innovation. At DROSTE, we’ve been riding the wave of innovation, often being the first in our industry to create new technology or apply previously developed tech in a new way. As our software has evolved, we’ve reinvented the way our clients handle their business, migrating manual processes to automated ones and often increasing efficiency by removing a step or three of the process.
While some companies have embraced innovation whole-heartedly, it is actually consumers who have adopted it with a vengeance. We’ve seen more and more customers willing to learn and adapt to this new method of living, conducting business and interacting at a startling rate, often surpassing business’ adoption of these new processes or hardware. In many cases, consumer use has spurred companies into action, making it impossible for them to compete in the marketplace without adopting new technology.
A primary example of this is the iPhone. Designed and marketed as a personal device, upon its release, companies realized the iPhone and its operating platform had the power to transform the way they interacted with their consumers. The mobile application, now simply called an ‘app,’ became part of our vernacular and the organizations that learned how to harness this technology first were viewed not only as innovative and forward-thinking, but as invested in their customers and the customer experience. Two elements very important for success.
As we’ve done previously with software applications, we at DROSTE have developed a way for our clients to reach their consumers on their smartphones, further engaging with the customer and enhancing their footprint in the marketplace. Our first iPhone app, launched late last year, iOrder is DROSTE’S initial step into the client-consumer realm. Allowing consumers to place their deli or bakery orders before even arriving at the store and then simply swing by to pick them up, is yet another example of innovative technology making people’s lives easier. And DROSTE is helping to bridge the gap by offering cost-effective, innovative solutions that businesses of any size can take advantage of.
How innovative is your organization? Could you be more innovative? Unlike so many other things, innovation is a state of perpetual motion—moving forward so that others can move forward with us.
A few weeks ago, Kathy and I attended the Bozzuto’s Independent Retailer Conference with two of our employees, Megan and Jeff, to discuss iOrder, our iPhone app. At the invitation of Bozzuto’s, we had a small booth space down “technology row” as we liked to call it, to demo iOrder on both my iPhone and iPad.
Reception to iOrder was terrific, overall. Many folks who stopped by were very interested and as no one is really marketing apps to the retailers in this space, smaller-sized independent grocery chains, it was a great opportunity for us to showcase what iOrder can do and what an iPhone app could mean for their stores.
Many of our booth visitors however worried about the level of technology required to run the app, mainly an iPhone, while others worried that their current customer base would not be so eager to adopt this sort of technology. Let’s take a look at these concerns, as they are definitely valid.
It’s true that the iPhone, while seemingly ubiquitous, only has about 25% of the Smartphone market share in the United States. So, while it may seem like everyone has one, the truth is, they don’t. Concentrations are definitely higher in densely populated urban areas as well as among a slightly younger demographic, than other Smartphones, like Blackberry, which cater to an audience of 40+. Before investing in any technology, especially mobile, it is important to take stock of your location. A few small stores in rural Mississippi probably wouldn’t have use for this because their main customer base more than likely doesn’t have an iPhone. However, a corner market in a suburb of New York City or Los Angeles could greatly benefit from the exposure and functionality of an app like iOrder.
As far as adoption goes, it’s true that different people have widely different views on technology. While it’s easy to generalize and say that older adults don’t use technology and young adults and 30-somethings do, that’s doing a disservice to your customer base. The truth is, a 50-year-old grandmother is just as likely to have an iPhone to stay in touch with her newest grandchild, as a 20-something who relies on the technology for GPS and game-playing.
Whether your customers will embrace an iPhone app depends on a two things—one that’s out of your control and one that’s not.
1) Is the app easy to use and useful?
That’s our job, to make sure the app we’ve programmed is one that your clients will want to use.
2) Are you as excited or more excited about introducing this kind of technology than we are?
If these issues are the only things holding you back from adopting new technology like an iPhone app, there’s only one thing to do—go to the source. In the case of iOrder, that would be deli customers. Next time you’re walking the store, go visit your deli counter and ask a few customers if they’d use an app that allowed them to skip waiting in line. Or even, ask them something far simpler: Do you have an iPhone?
With the recent introduction of iPhone to Verizon Wireless, the United States’ largest wireless provider, the chance that iPhone will gain a greater piece of the Smartphone market is good. Wouldn’t it be great if you and your stores were ahead of the curve with a fully-branded iPhone app available in Apple’s App Store?
Personally, I’m a big fan of the “front” of the curve. Even better, I like to lead the way. I’ll bet you do to.
Until my next post, take care and prosper,
Wow, what a busy month. I can’t believe we’ve made it to March. I was fortunate to do some traveling in February, visiting with existing clients and also some new ones in the Pacific Northwest and California. I spent a little over a week on the “right” coast and even had time to squeeze in a few vacation days. It was a nice respite from the frigid winter we’re having in Massachusetts this year—although, truthfully, the weather was pretty chilly in California too.
I also made a stop in Pittsburgh to give a presentation on our scales software at the Consolidated Food Equipment Distributors (CFED) Regional Meeting. We’ve had a long-standing relationship with many folks at CFED as they sell scales to some of the stores that also use our software. It was nice to meet them and also get to talk about how our software can positively impact their business.
Here’s a stat that really grabbed everyone’s attention:
One store with $5,000 in deli sales per week can lose at least $150 of revenue, per week, by just having six items wrongly priced by only $0.25.
Using Droste’s PC Scale Manager, you can update all of the scales in all of your stores, simultaneously, removing the chance for delayed updating and manual entry error. It also saves you about $45 a week in maintenance time per scale per store.
So, it’s possible to save almost $200 a week or approximately $10,000 a year in revenue, just by using our software.
That realization was a big hit with the attendees.
March is shaping up to be a somewhat quieter month, although we will be attending Bozzuto’s show at Foxwoods in Connecticut next week to talk about our iPhone app, iOrder. We’re very excited to discuss this with a new set of customers! We’re still looking for our inaugural iOrder client; maybe we’ll meet them there.
Have a terrific few weeks and until my next post, take care and prosper,
Smartphones and iPads
January 2011 marks a milestone at my company: We are releasing our first in a series of iPhone Apps! Honestly, I cannot remember when I had this much fun waking up and coming into work each day. Smartphones have become a ubiquitous part of our culture, making a lot of things far easier and more convenient, including shopping. Mobile shopping is predicted to be bigger and better in 2011 than ever before and many analysts predict it will one day outperform online shopping.
In case you’re uncertain, a Smart App is a software application that runs on Smart devices, such as the iPhone, Blackberry and Android. The world of Smart Apps is where Business, Technology and Social Media merge to create a platform that allows developers to customize unique experiences onto devices that literally fit in the palm of your hand.
The recent news that Verizon will now be selling and supporting Apple’s iPhone on its network means the prevalence of the iPhone and its apps is poised to overtake the smartphone market. Verizon supports tens of thousands of customers who have expressed interest in the iPhone as long as it had a carrier other than AT&T.
Personally, I love my iPhone and my iPad. (Yes, I’m a tech junkie. What were you expecting?)_If you had a look at my iPhone, here are some of the apps you’d find:
Zagat Restaurant Guide
Personal Note Pad – Great for keeping your grocery list or ideas
Worldmate – Travel Schedule
Flight Tracker – = This app tracks flights and let you know exactly what time and gate passengers are arriving at. If the gate changes you usually know before airline employees.
Run Keeper – Uses GPS to track my actual path be it on road or off road for hiking, running or biking. Tracks my timing per mile, elevation changes and allows linking in of an iTunes play list.
Open Table – Provides me ability to make dinner reservations at dozens of the coolest hotspots
At DROSTE, our focus is to continually look for new ways to enhance your customers’ shopping experience and at the same time build customer loyalty. As our team of developers focuses on the future, we invite you to contact Droste today to discover how your business can be enhanced by the great innovations we have to offer.
As I stood in the security line at the airport during my last business trip, I saw something that caught my attention. Considering how often I fly, this is no mean feat. A guy next to me handed the security guard his phone, the guard put the phone into a little device, looked at the ID and waved the guy through. Curious, I asked the security guard what had just happened. He told me you can upload your boarding pass to your phone, thus avoiding finding a printer when you’re traveling and having to print out your boarding pass. Unfortunately, not all airports have this technology yet, but to me, this is an even bigger indicator of how far we’ve come with both mobile technology and the software that powers it.
I know things like this shouldn’t surprise me, especially since I am a product of the computer/electronic age but it did get me thinking about what a quickly changing world we live in.
Ten years before I was born, the first working computer was introduced. It was so large it needed its own room. The Army financed the research for it during World War II. Punch cards were an integral part of the operation and I remember booby-trapping my sister’s car for her honeymoon with computer punch card “confetti.” (This was before the debacle of the ‘hanging chad.’) Twenty-four years later, HP introduced a basic, programmable computer that could fit on a desktop and in 1981 the Osborne Corporation and Epson released the first “portable” computers.
In 1981, IBM sold its first PC and this is when my fascination with computers began. After three years as an Accountant, I left that job for one at a computer store and not long after that exposure, I decided to start my own business writing software programs. The rest is history and the changes in our lives that have occurred since the first PC are phenomenal.
Today we have iPhones and smartphones, which offer us the capabilities of a computer, literally in the palms of our hands. In 62 years, we’ve graduated from a room-size computer to a handheld version. Now, depending on your age, you may think this evolution happened at a snail’s pace. Yet for many baby boomers, it has happened within their lifetimes. Think of all the words relating to computers that are now a part of our daily vocabulary – word processing, video conferencing, hyper text, thumb drive, email, net book, web browsing, Google, voicemail, Wi-Fi, bluetooth are only a few. Google was even declared the word of the decade (by the folks who declare these things) and is now part of Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary. This simply illustrates that while change happens at it’s own pace, we are constantly enjoying the benefits of these technological innovations. And I love it.
Until my next post, take care and prosper.
COMING FALL 2010 – DROSTE’S FIRST iPHONE APP
“There’s an app for that™” has become as common a catchphrase as “You deserve a break today.” Apple’s iPhone is now a part of our vernacular, making smartphone integration an important piece of any company’s puzzle. Fortunately, Droste is ready.
Introducing iOrder – the latest application from Droste and the first designed for the iPhone. Even better, iOrder addresses a specific grocery need – deli ordering – and makes the process simple and painless for the customer and the store.
iOrder was written with delis in mind. It takes the process of deli ordering and puts it in an app, giving customers the ability to place orders on the way to the store and then simply pick them up once they arrive. Customers can also save their regular orders to a “favorites” list, and review the latest specials. iOrder also has the following functionality:
- Order Status Update
- Order Notification
- Store Locator
- Order History
- Latest Specials/Announcements
iOrder also provides a seamless backend user interface, providing store’s with an easy system to maintain deli menu items, receive and print orders for fulfillment, and notify customers when orders are ready.
MAKE LIFE EASY
There’s no doubt having an iPhone app is cool, but the best part of iOrder is that it serves to streamline your store operations and improve your customer experience. iOrder will reduce wait times at the deli and maximize the customer’s in-store shopping experience.
iOrder is also a fully customizable product, giving each store the chance to brand and promote it in ways that work for you. Droste will provide the technology while you get to be the hero who provides the latest in deli ordering to your customer.
Contact us today at (978) 686-5775 or via email at email@example.com if you’re interested in more information or a demo.
It’s hard to believe that summer 2010 is already behind us and in just a few short months we’ll be ringing in a new year. At Droste, the time has flown by as we prep new products to take to market, meet with new and existing customers and continue to work toward a fantastic Q4.
One of our big changes at Droste is the recent focus on marketing activities. If you know me at all, you’re very aware that my tolerance for marketing ranks somewhere near the lifespan of a fruit fly. However, I’ve come to realize the importance of marketing our products and services so that we can continue to grow.
I’m happy to introduce our most recent hire, Megan Sullivan, as our Sr. Project Manager, a role that includes marketing initiatives. Megan comes to us from sunny Los Angeles, where she migrated to complete her Master’s degree at the University of Southern California. She has worked on and off for Droste over the past three years as a marketing consultant and I’m thrilled we were able to bring her on full-time. Her initial projects will include continued maintenance and updating of our new website, introducing Droste to social media tools and working to develop short product videos that will better illustrate everything our software can do.
Megan’s coming on board at a great time as we’re hosting our annual employee dinner and everyone in the Droste family will be in attendance. We’re happy to recognize and award our employees with a great night of friendship and food as we celebrate 2010 and look forward to 2011.
Until my next post, take care and prosper,
June 28, 2010
This year’s FMI Show finished up last month. I must say that, in general, it was quieter than it has been in the past. However, there was considerable excitement around our booth as we introduced our new iPhone app.
As you probably know by now, the iPhone has taken over quite a few aspects of business. When I first got my phone, I was amazed at what it could do and I immediately began thinking how this phone could be used in the grocery business. We are always looking for ways to help our stores become more efficient and cost-effective without compromising customer service. The iPhone app Droste created is aimed at the deli section of the store. iOrder allows you to input your deli order through your iPhone before arriving at the store and then simply pick up once you’re ready. You’ll also have the capability to save your favorite or most common deli orders, making future ordering as simple as a few “touches” and even be able to check your store’s most recent sales flyer before placing your order. You’ll no longer need to pick a number and wait in line. Of course, once customers saw this app, they had suggestions as to other apps we might work on, such as an app that sends a list of the weekly specials to your phone and gives you the store location of those products. Another idea was to create a store shopping list with product locations within the store. If you have had occasion to go to different supermarkets you know that they don’t all arrange their stores in the same way, nor do they always group the same products together. This app would make shopping in a “new-to-you” store a breeze and also make finding a “new” ingredient in your usual store a quicker process. This iPhone furor has been keeping us pretty busy, delaying the post of this latest blog.
The other hot topic at this show for us was our Labor Forecasting and Scheduling software. With the economic issues today, companies are searching for ways to reduce costs and increase efficiency. In conjunction with John Connolly we have the solution that not only reduces costs and increases efficiency, it also improves customer service. That’s a combination you can’t beat. Check us out, you’ll be glad you did.
On a more personal note, Kathy and I, had a fabulous customer dinner with old and new friends at Lupo, a Wolfgang Puck restaurant. In case you didn’t know, I love to cook and experiment with new ingredients. At dinner that night, I learned that one of our customers shares that hobby with me. We had some stories to tell and a few secrets to share.
Until my next post, take care and prosper.