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Leave No Trace with the Trailblazer Pop-Up Firepit

Building a campfire built on the ground scorches the earth, leaving behind ash and burnt debris. Not a good look on Mother Nature. Also illegal in lots of spots. The go-anywhere Trailblazer firepit/camp stove solves this burning issue with a lightweight, portable design that lets you bring the warm glow of a campfire anywhere, and no trace left behind. It features a collapsible aluminum frame, a food-grade 304 stainless grill grate for cooking, and stows in a ballistic nylon case for transport.

Reblogged 8 hours ago from www.werd.com

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Ace Jewelers celebrates its 45th anniversary with Nomos' most famous watch, the Tangente

For their 45th anniversary, Amsterdam’s Ace Jewelers is celebrating with Nomos’ most famous timepiece, the Tangente. Continuing the color theme of their previous collaborations, the 37.5mm watch features a stainless steel case with a matte black dial surrounded by a white minute track, three red …

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Reblogged 15 hours ago from www.acquiremag.com

Today’s Steals (5.26.2020): Everlane The Trainer Sneaker – 50% Off ++

Communication is key: Stay close to customers today to stay relevant tomorrow

30-second summary:

  • Communication with customers is critical during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Businesses must brace for the next normal if they want to remain relevant.
  • Brands should look for ways to make communication meaningful through video.
  • Not all video platforms are created equal, nor do they serve the same purposes.

Coronavirus has changed the lives of everyone forever. What businesses thought they knew before the epidemic – and what they need to know now – has changed.

In the coming weeks and months, parts of the world are slowly opening back up. However, this doesn’t signal a start to business as usual. People are nervous, cautious, and still uncertain about what the future holds.  

The unprecedented shock of what the world has experienced has created an impact that will forever change it. And there is no going back.

Spending patterns are different, priorities have shifted, and the need for meaningful communication is more critical than ever. Companies who want to remain relevant tomorrow should be talking to their clients today.

Why communication is key right now?

To stay ahead of the curve, it’s time to create meaningful conversations with clients. People are at home. And they are evaluating everything – from the way they work to their interactions with the world.

Priorities have shifted, and they will continue to do so for the unforeseen future.

Brands must understand these shifts and anticipate their clients’ needs and desires moving forward. The lens of the future is still cloudy, but those who wait until the vision is clear will be left behind.

Now is the opportunity to engage with customers – to show them you care and offer genuine support during this time. Research shows that 64% of customers purposefully choose socially responsible brands – and that number is growing.

Companies that connect and build trust with their clients today can get a pulse on what they’re thinking now and moving forward. This allows them to shift along with their customer base, even if it requires relearning because life isn’t going back to the way it was.

The future will be different

As the world gradually begins to reopen, there’s still an eerie feeling across the globe. At the time of this article, there are over 3 million confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide. And many have lost people they care about.

There’s no denying it’s never going to be the same. Supply chains are shifting, consumers are turning to online stores and services more, and people across the globe are reevaluating the way they live, spend, and work.

The World Economic Forum cites resilience and agility as key drivers for businesses to succeed in a post-pandemic world. McKinsey and Company also says that resilience is a vital necessity moving forward, and it points out that:

“Opportunities to push the envelope of technology adoption will be accelerated by rapid learning about what it takes to drive productivity when labor is unavailable. The result: a stronger sense of what makes business more resilient to shocks, more productive, and better able to deliver to customers.”

But in order to bounce back, seize future opportunities, and serve customers well, companies need a clear understanding of how their perspectives have changed. Communication is essential to success in a post-coronavirus world. 

Communication must be meaningful

There’s a difference between communication and a meaningful conversation. Emails, online chats, and social media may offer some insights, but video has become the most powerful way to connect.

With video, there’s more to the communication than just words. Video offers insights into body language, voice inflection, and facial expressions, and it allows businesses to establish a real presence and connection with the clients they serve.  

Video conversations build trust, strengthen relationships, and provide extremely valuable insights – if they are well-structured and smart. A smart conversation starts with the understanding that customers are more complex than the typical customer journey implies. 

It deepens the connection between a brand and its customers. And it goes beyond identifying what, where, and how to uncover clues that lead to the “why.”

The “why” is changing for many people in a post-COVID-19 world, and meaningful video communication today will help brands respond with relevance now and in the future.  

Not all video tools are equal

With social-distancing and stay at home orders still in effect across much of the world, people are already turning to video chat tools for everything from digital cocktail parties to medical consultations. However, not all video tools are designed for the same purposes – nor are they always effective.

Virtual happy hours need a platform for members to see each other in Brady Bunch-like fashion while they laugh and sip their latest COVID concoctions. A simple video connection allowing them to enjoy each other is all that’s required here.

Companies that want to have conversations that matter with their clients need something more robust than that.

Yes, a connection is the first step to remaining relevant in the next normal,but to get ahead of the curve, and possibly even influence it, companies must be able to turn these conversations into valuable insights that drive business decisions moving forward.

The meeting room of the future is one that not only enables you to connect with anyone, anywhere in the world- it allows you to create meaningful conversations that are secure, structured, and inform strategic business decisions.

In this future meeting room, companies will go beyond just capturing conversations to analyzing them and creating intelligence at scale. They will highlight key points, categorize and transcribe information, and virtually share it with other team members anywhere – and in different languages.  

Businesses who look past the basic platforms to an enterprise-level smart video platform can hold meaningful and structured conversations that produce a level of business intelligence that does not yet exist within current enterprise video conferencing tools.

The first step is to stay close to customers today so that you remain relevant to them tomorrow. Those businesses who are early to adopt a smart video platform will be the ones that gain an advantage here and in the post COVID-19 world. Will you be one of them? 

The post Communication is key: Stay close to customers today to stay relevant tomorrow appeared first on ClickZ.

Reblogged 17 hours ago from www.clickz.com

Cardlytics’ spend report shows consumer spending beginning to recover

30-second summary:

  • To address the uncertainty around consumer spending in the age of COVID-19, ClickZ hosted a Peer Network webinar with Michael Akkerman, the Chief Product & Strategy Leader at Cardlytics.
  • Through their ad platform, Cardlytics has visibility into half of all card swipes in the continental US. This gives the company a complete view into more than $3 trillion in consumer spending each year and is the basis for their State of Spend report.
  • Weekly monitoring revealed spending from March through the end of April was in decline, reaching a max decline of about 35% across all retail categories.
  • By the end of April, Cardlytics to see the trend in declining spend begin to decrease, with spending down about 21% at the end of April and down about 14% as of this past week.
  • Grocery purchasing has fueled some of this recovery, with grocery prices increasing by about 3% due to disruptions in the supply chain (the biggest monthly increase since the 1970s).
  • Cardlytics has seen ecommerce leading the way across nearly all verticals with increases in key categories including grocery, beauty, restaurant delivery, office supplies, and gaming.

COVID-19 has brought unprecedented opportunities — as well as huge threats — to retailers, making it difficult for advertisers and marketers to understand what’s happening with consumer spending.

To address this uncertainty, ClickZ hosted a Peer Network briefing with Michael Akkerman, the Chief Product & Strategy Leader at Cardlytics, a company that we profiled earlier this month.

Cardlytics enables advertiser-funded offers within native banking applications. They partner with some of the largest banks in the US and UK including Chase, Wells Fargo, BMA, Lloyds, and Santander, to provide personalized cashback offers to consumers, which drives loyalty for the bank’s incremental sales.

Because Cardlytics is linked to consumers through their bank accounts, they are in a unique position to understand the current shifts in consumer spending behavior. Their network reaches about 140 bank customers in the US.

For his Peer Network presentation, Akkerman discusses the big shifts in consumer behavior and spend based on the work they’re doing with some of the top global brands who drive commerce and growth.

An early glimpse into COVID-19’s impact on consumer spending

Through their ad platform, Cardlytics has visibility into half of all card swipes in the continental US. This gives the company a complete view into more than $3 trillion in consumer spending each year, which is nearly $6 million every minute.

This is the basis for Cardlytics’ State of Spend report which they debuted this month.

Says Akkerman, “We have a thriving advertising platform channeled into banks’ native apps which sits on top of a rich data set that allows us to make our clients’ offers personalized and relevant while gleaning interesting insights both for specific businesses and the macro economy environment as a whole.”

In March, Cardlytics was already seeing early signs of declining consumer spend in industries like travel within distinct metro areas in New York and California. In response to this, their analytics team created a COVID-19 dashboard that allowed them to understand the week over week state of consumer spending.

Weekly spending from March through the end of April was in decline, reaching a max decline of about 35% across all retail categories.

By the end of April, they began to see the trend in declining spend decreasing, with spending down about 21% at the end of April and about 14% as of this past week.

consumer spending COVID-19Change in consumer spend by week — source: Cardlytics

In-store recovery is driven by the purchase of consumer essentials like groceries and pet supplies. Grocery purchasing has fueled some of this recovery, with grocery prices increasing by about 3% due to disruptions in the supply chain (the biggest monthly increase since the 1970s).

Says Akkerman, “The price of eggs has gone up 16%, so not only do you have people shifting their buying habits online and focusing very much on staples, but the price of those staples is also increasing.”

Ecommerce leads the way forward

Cardlytics has seen ecommerce leading the way across nearly all verticals with increases in key categories as follows:

  • Grocery (+27%)
  • Beauty (+40%)
  • Restaurant Delivery (+65%)
  • Online-only brands (+34%)
  • Gaming (+33%)
  • Streaming services (+24%)
  • Office supplies (+100%)

“I think it’s really interesting that we saw smaller DMAs embrace online shopping and ecommerce much faster than larger cities,” explains Akkerman. “Larger cities have more optionality to go in store, because not everything was shut down, whereas once you get out into the suburbs, you didn’t have that kind of optionality.”

consumer spending COVID-19Smaller DMAs embrace online shopping—source: Cardlytics

Cardlytics’ COVID-19 dashboard

To help their advertisers understand rapidly changing consumer spending habits, Cardlytics created a COVID-19 Dashboard with a three-pronged approach that addresses rising, retaining, and returning customers.

Says Akkerman, “For example, while focusing on retaining customers, the dashboards help our brands understand the customers who are spending, which ones are one-time customers, which ones are light shoppers, etc., over different regions.”

Each week, Cardlytics works with advertisers to help them expand their targeting and become smarter about where they want to put their dollars.

The dashboard helps advertisers that have been hit hard by COVID-19 in categories where consumer spending changes have made it necessary for them to pull their marketing spend.

“We will eventually get beyond COVID-19,” says Akkerman. “So, we are helping clients that have pulled spend to be well positioned as consumer confidence and spending return.”

The platform enables these advertisers to continue connecting with consumers by targeting only consumers that are actively spending in a category.

“Our clients are able to provide bank rewards to consumers that need savings right now, so being able to forge that relationship has been helpful. When we do get beyond COVID-19, they will be in the best position — from a marketing standpoint — to regain the foothold that they once with consumers,” says Akkerman.

A light at the end of the tunnel

As we head into the latter half of May, overall year over year spending is down 14%, but there are glimmers of hope — some early signs of recovery. All retail categories are beginning to see their rate of decline diminish compared to the previous weeks.

Cardlytics aggregated statistics across every retail category and created a recovery leading indicator that shows, at an aggregate level, that spending is going in the right direction even for lower ticket and discretionary items like casual dining and apparel.

“We are cautiously optimistic that we will continue to see spending shift more positively in the weeks to come,” explains Akkerman. “We’ll be watching at the state and DMS levels to see how things begin to unfold for advertisers. We’re excited to be partnering with all of our advertisers to help them get through this unprecedented and interesting time within human history.”

The post Cardlytics’ spend report shows consumer spending beginning to recover appeared first on ClickZ.

Reblogged 17 hours ago from www.clickz.com