Path to Purchase Toolkit (May 2019)
A roundup of technology-driven tools that drive consumer understanding, engagement and conversion on every step of the path to purchase.
- In what might have been more exciting than the 2019 Super Bowl itself, PepsiCo/Frito-Lay’s Tostitos livestreamed a bowl of tortilla chips and salsa for 53 straight hours leading up to the kickoff of the game. The brand hosted the livestream on Tostitos.com, claiming the livestream length as the “unofficial world record.” The bowl of chips and salsa were filmed inside the Tostitos Cantina onsite at the Super Bowl in Atlanta. Fans could approach the bowl and eat. Current and former NFL players appeared too. Consumers who tuned in to the livestream were encouraged to comment using #TostitosLiveBowl in order to change up dips during the video and win free jars of product or bags of chips.
- London-based Kino-Mo and its HYPERVSN brand has launched two new 3-D holographic tools for brands and retailers, beginning with a display screen that is 80% larger than its previous LED screen and runs 3-D visuals at 30 frames per second. The other is an online portal called the HYPERVSN 3D Studio, which enables brands using the service to create their own customizable holographic content. Kia Motors leverages display help from HYPERVSN, and the company has rolled out displays for M&M’s World Store and Nike in Seoul, Korea.
- Chicago-based InContext Solutions, at the forefront of mixed reality solutions for brands and retailers, announced it is merging its technology with the category management solutions from JDA Software, Scottsdale, Arizona, that are powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence. Together, InContext’s Shopper MX platform (which enables brands and retailers to visualize product in stores or store layouts virtually) will be incorporated into JDA’s category management portfolio, including the JDA Category Knowledge Base to help stores test and develop stronger product mixes for locations.
- Kroger developed a mobile wallet solution of its own called Kroger Pay that blends a shopper’s loyalty card information and credit card information into one quick payment over the mobile phone. Shoppers using the Kroger app on an iOS or Android phone unlock the pay feature with a pin code and then simply scan a QR code at checkout for a quick pay that includes the promotional offers and the loyalty information. To go with the announcement of the payment solution, Kroger also created a Kroger Rewards debit card to help shoppers earn fuel points and more grocery rewards.
- With the help of Microsoft and its Microsoft Azure cloud-driven platform and Azure AI technology, Kroger is piloting a connected store experience in two locations (Monroe, Ohio, and Redmond, Washington). The effort centers on smart shelves synced to the Kroger app that provide shoppers with personalized offers, and digital shelf tags that update pricing, promotions and nutritional info in real time. The shelves connect with Kroger’s current “Scan, Bag, Go” guided shopping experience while collecting data for store staff to manage out-of-stocks and curbside pickup orders. CPGs can purchase ads to run on the shelves and personalize them to shoppers in-aisle based on demographics.
- Gemr, Nashua, New Hampshire, is a social site and mobile app for collectors that is a few years in and gaining some traction. The company likens its social network to Facebook meets eBay, a place for collectors to find and connect with likeminded collectors, seek and buy product they’re collecting, post and share new finds, discuss collections with fellow fans, and discover new trends. The site has worked with brands that feed off the collector scene (such as Nintendo and Cabbage Patch Kids) to engage with fans, so for the right brand it has a direct avenue to loyal fans and shoppers.
- Acquired by Walmart’s Jet.com more than two years ago, Vancouver-based Shoes.com is an e-commerce site that manages footwear transactions for Jet.com and is working with Walmart’s incubator Store No. 8 and its Jetblack service. (New York shoppers enrolled in Jetblack can buy personalized items over text for quick delivery.) Recently, Shoes.com teamed up with Slyce, Toronto, to integrate visual search technology into the Shoes.com mobile app (which goes by ShoeBuy, based on the original name of the company). Through Slyce’s 3-D mobile image recognition platform, mobile users can take a photo of an actual pair of shoes or grab a pic of shoes in a magazine ad and the platform will search for those shoes or the closest matching pair to purchase.
- In 2016, Procter & Gamble’s Olay launched its Skin Advisor tool, a web-based tool that leverages artificial intelligence to recommend skin products to consumers based on a photo they supplied and how they answered questions. At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2019), the brand updated the platform with new tools including “Olay Future You Simulation,” a mobile digital tool testing in Asia that enables a consumer to receive a visual simulation of what they will look like in 20 years and also provides a personalized skincare regimen to aid the process. Another tool for the China market is a “Skin Decoder,” a camera attachment for the smartphone that amps up the resolution of images to provide a more detailed skin diagnosis for a user to track over time. Olay also presented a small device called the “Olay Smart Wand” that works with the Olay Skin Advisor mobile app. Consumers point the wand to their skin and electromagnetic technology inside can identify skin issues to treat. Lastly, P&G rolled out a standalone device called Setlist, similar looking to a voice unit, that is an AI-driven, personal-tracking IoT tool that helps track routines and skincare goals.
- The denim smart jacket called Jacquard from Google and Levi’s revamped the smart technology within its threads to send pertinent tracking alerts and notifications to its owners. Now, when wearers wander too far from their jackets, an alert will automatically be sent to their phones indicating where that jacket is. Additionally, if people wearing the jacket tiptoe too far from their phones, the smart devices on the sleeve will blink an alert. If a wearer leaves the jacket at a restaurant, for example, the location feature will also enable the user to find the jacket’s last known location through the phone. Users can control how many alerts they receive and can control what kind of light or vibration alerts they receive on the coat sleeve. Other new notifications on the jacket include a blink when an ordered Lyft or Uber is arriving, as well as when the phone is receiving a call.
Dan Ochwat, a P2PI contributor for nearly two decades, has been on the lookout for digital path to purchase tools since 2011. Send comments and P2P Toolkit inquiries to [email protected]