Tuesday, September 27, 2011

US mobile phone usage - hyperconnected youth

There aren't many digital and media stats that make my jaw drop. Sure, Facebook's stats are staggering, but its walled garden business model has helped it create a near monopoly on family social networking.

Then along comes a Pew Internet study that shows that:

Young adults are the most avid texters by a wide margin. Cell owners between the ages of 18 and 24 exchange an average of 109.5 messages on a normal day—that works out to more than 3,200 texts per month—and the typical or median cell owner in this age group sends or receives 50 messages per day (or 1500 messages per month).

An average exchange of 109.5 text messages per day.

That made my jaw drop. Maybe because now that I'm 30 i'm considered a mobile senior citizen or maybe I just don't have many friends.

Consider the time it would take to receive then send that many messages and then add other social networking activities such as Facebook and Twitter. That is dedication to connection.

The Pew Internet and American Life Project contains plenty of informative research, have a good read.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Development continues in multi-touch

I was pointed towards an article about a mob called Visual Planet that has developed a thin film that is able to turn any screen into a multi-touch screen.

It's definitely an interesting concept (if it is affordable) that could possibly take large format multi-touch a little more mainstream than it currently is. Although I imagine the software and creative development is still fairly costly.

Amnesia have been keeping tabs on the development of multi-touch on their blog which is well worth a read. It goes to show that with the level of development in this space there must be some bright sparks that see that it has a mainstream future.

But my favourite multi-touch application is still Johnny Chung Lee's multi-touch Wii-remote hack. It goes to show with a little ingenuity and a lot of creativity anything is possible.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Here's to Myer's online strategy - I hope it works.

Finally, some positive news out of Myer!!!

As an ex-Myer stock boy it has a small place in my heart and I want to see it succeed, and with the news today that it is pumping $9 million into a re-vamped eCommerce site I can now smile.

Presumably there will be tight integration with their MyerOne program which accounts for two-thirds of sales. It'd be great to buy online using my points and not have to carry around plastic gift cards.

Now, I must sound out a word of warning though. While they say that they will increase SKU availability on the site to 250,000 by November, I hope that these will be meaningful and new SKUs - not just the same old thing.

Myer needs to remember that an online store is not just like building another department store - an online store should be a global hub of products. A department store competes with its close physical competitors, an online store competes with its global competitors.

Myer, if you want your online store to take my hard earned, you'll need to offer me what I want - and what I want isn't currently one of your 250,000 SKUs.

For your book department - have a look at Book Depository because that's where the books I buy are. For clothing, check out Asos or Urban Outfitters. And for electronics, I'm afraid to say you're competing with a zillion online retailers that compete on rock-bottom price.

Unfortunately with the high Australian dollar it's probably not an ideal time to start a domestic online store. Hell, even with $40 shipping, overseas purchases are usually cheaper than domestic department stores. But you have to do it.

Just remember - you're competing with the world. eCommerce means speed to market - if it's available in the US/Europe then you need it to be on your store too. eCommerce means variety - brands/sizes/colours.

Basically what I'm saying if you want to be an online department store in the modern day then you have picked a shit of a fight with a retail market that is fragmenting at light-speed. You want to be everything to everyone? I wish you the best.