Use The IKEA Effect To Ramp Up Shopper Engagement

Michael R. Solomon

Jul 17, 2018, 12:00pm

Source from Forbes


Activity stores like Build-A-Bear Workshop (despite its recent PR fiasco) hint at the potential for retailing co-creation to build shopper engagement — for adults as well.   (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images for Build-A-Bear)

Marketers these days hear so much about ROI that this simple acronym probably haunts them in their sleep. Sure, short-term return on investment is important, but perhaps also a bit shortsighted. In the long-term, there’s another kind of ROI marketers should dream about: Return on Involvement. The biggest marketing challenge today is how to engage the jaded or distracted (or both) shopper.

The Holy Grail is to create brand resonance where the product, service or store becomes part and parcel of the customer’s “life project,” i.e. it plays a key role that helps him or her to define some aspect of social identity. Sneakerheads who covet the latest Air Jordans understand this; as do iPhone aficionados, wine connoisseurs, MAC Cosmetics fanatics, Corvette collectors, loyal members of Beyoncé’s Beyhive, or hard-core Red Sox fans.

That’s all well and good for manufacturers. How can retailers maximize Return on Involvement as well? Can we also think about creating shopping resonance in addition to brand resonance?

There are several paths to resonance that I will cover in other columns, but let’s focus on one now: retailing co-creation. Sometimes this path goes by another name: The IKEA Effect. Researchers know that when we build something ourselves, the value we attach to it increases because our own labor is involved. Of course, there may also be that unsettling feeling when you finish assembling a bookcase and there’s still one part left over, but the pride of accomplishment lingers on…

We usually think about co-creation in the context of product design, where companies enlist their customers to suggest ideas for new items. For example, DeWALT supports an insight community of over 10,000 tool users who submit ideas.The co-creation model really made its mark in fashion following the success of the Threadless platform, where aspiring designers submit ideas that the community votes on.

The idea of crowdsourcing product design is an exciting new model that I’ve written about elsewhere. But we tend to forget that our co-creators (i.e. customers) don’t just want to brainstorm about cool new ideas with the companies they follow. They also want to get their hands dirty by participating in the literal creation of what they buy. And that bring us to co-creation at the point of purchase (aka the retailer). After all, in today’s “always on – click here” digital retail environment, what value-added does the physical store bring to the table? Hint: A lot, if you think about your store as more than a place to display and sell inventory.

As my Forbes colleague Nikki Baird pointed out last year, a few retailers such as the Samsung 837 concept store in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District get the idea that shoppers want to actively engage when they browse. We can also point to a few other examples, but other than perhaps REI and a few other outdoor products retailers, most focus on keeping kids engaged rather than grownups (I’m looking at you, American Girl and Build a Bear).

Hey, adults want to do more than push a cart down the aisles also! As Carol Tice, another Forbes colleague noted, in the franchising world “paint ‘n sip” concepts are doing quite well. We also see a lot of “make your own pottery” places popping up around the country. Crafts retailers like Michaels Stores offer classes as well (again, mostly for kids).

Clearly, consumers like the idea of doing arts and crafts – and they’re willing to pay for the privilege. But painting while under the influence is only the potential tip of the iceberg. As many bricks-and-mortar retailers teeter near life support, why don’t more embrace the idea that the store is really an educational institution with a lot of “learning supplies” lurking about for “students” to buy?

These merchants might take a page from the rapidly growing DIY (do it yourself) trend. Analysts project that this market will grow by about 6% per year over the next several years. Lowe’s cleverly offers Upskill Workshops to teach people how to use all the tools they sell – but these take place in the stores’ parking lots and only at limited times. A great concept, but signing up for a scheduled class may eliminate many potential shoppers who aren’t quite motivated enough to build such activities into their calendars. Perhaps more spontaneous in-store – and hands-on – demonstrations will entice the more casual Harry (or Harriet) Homeowner to ramp up engagement with shopping for pliers and drywall.

The DIY craze is related to the Maker’s Movement consumer trend. A makerspace is a collaborative workspace inside a school, library or separate public/private facility to create, learn, explore and share. As part of this movement amateurs learn about electronics, 3D modeling and printing, 3D modeling, coding, and robotics, in addition to low-tech skills like woodworking.

Retailer can take a page from the flood of makerspaces that are opening to engage consumers. (Photo by Joerg Koch/Getty Images)

Typically a healthy dose of entrepreneurship gets thrown in as well, as makerspaces double as incubators for business startups. Some spaces such as TechShop are themselves turning into businesses, as they expand the number of locations where DIYers can access their sophisticated tools for a modest membership fee. Makerspaces already are pouring out success stories, such as DODO case that uses a space in San Francisco to build its popular line of covers for phones and laptops.

The notion of offering in-store activities is not new. But perhaps this approach needs to be taken to the next level to engage today’s jaded shopper. It’s great for a store like Williams-Sonoma to offer the occasional food sample or cooking demonstration – but what about a dedicated teaching kitchen and perhaps even a pseudo-game show like a version of Chopped that challenges contestants to best one another?

To be sure, there are some great early movers out there – several of them in Manhattan:

The Adidas store on New York’s Fifth Avenue provides a set of bleachers for customers to watch games on, a print shop where guests can customize clothing, and a miniature track where shoppers can field test their new kicks.

Casper on Broadway allows customers to check out mattresses the real way – they can actually close a door and take a nap on one.

Lululemon’s concept store offers a meditation studio and “Zen pods.”

Maybe more retailers can get inspired by these innovators and bring the experiential model to the heartland as well. When home furnishings customers can attend an in-store seminar on the history of design, collaborate on ideas for furniture designs, and perhaps watch a lucky shopper win a home makeover, we’ll know we are witnessing a real IKEA Effect.



FASHION INNOVATION Fashion Industry Awaits Its ‘Uber’ – Disruptive Innovation

FASHION INNOVATION Fashion Industry Awaits Its ‘Uber’ – Disruptive Innovation

ByLaurenti ArnaultPosted on 16th July 2018

Source from WT VOX

Disruptive Innovation

Fashion Industry Still Awaits Its ‘Uber’ – Where’s The Disruptive Innovation? I hear every day about another new invention that is ‘for sure’ going to disrupt the fashion landscape. In most cases, it is either a new innovative technology such as graphene-based textiles, able to gather the wearer’s body electricity, new 3D printing techniques that output cotton-like materials, immersive e-commerce platforms running on augmented and mixed reality, or some sort of style-matching artificial intelligence powered fashion assistant apps.

Disruptive Innovation - fashion market 2020

The truth is, disruptive innovation starts when a product, a market, or an industry is replaced. Disruption is by definition destructive. To change for the better, it has to disrupt before it creates. Disruptive innovation has to disrupt jobs, businesses, industries. See the disruption caused by Uber and Airbnb, for example. Many jobs were lost, but many more jobs were created.

Disruptive Innovation – The Landscape Is Ripe

For that, while pushing for market changes, technological innovation alone does not have the power to disrupt. Any technology needs people. It needs consumers, to adopt and use it en-masse. To date, all technological innovations in the fashion industry did not disrupt but instead enhanced it. To disrupt the fashion industry, we need products, markets, and services unseen before.

The global fashion market is a multi-trillion business with massive potential for disruption. The fast adoption of sustainable, innovative materials, the use of augmented reality and artificial intelligence in fashion designs, style predictions, and retail, shows that the landscape is ripe for disruptive innovation.

Disruptive Innovation - augmented reality in fashion retail

Disruptive Innovation – But What To Disrupt?

The industry of apparel and accessories sees constant changes as it is in its nature to be fashionable, to remain trendy. However, let’s not confuse style and fashion changes with disruptive innovation. By redesigning a jacket, you are not disrupting an industry. By bestowing garments with smart sensors and wearable technology, you are not disrupting but rather improve the garment. You are not creating a “new fashtech industry that will run in parallel with the ‘traditional’ fashion industry”, but rather participate in the augmentation of the overall apparel industry and the evolution of the global fashion landscape.

Thus, you become an active participant in the process of maintaining its fashionable nature by keeping up with the times and consumers’ demand. You help it grow; you enhance it.

According to Statista,  the global fashion market is expected to reach $3.4 trillion by 2020. Just like food, everybody needs clothes; it is something that we all need every day. The question is, what will you do to disrupt the fashion industry? Moreover, what do you intend to disrupt? Products? Services?

Disruptive Innovation - 3d printed shoe with smart sensors / blue

Disruptive Innovation – The Uber of fashion

As the Internet-based fashion commerce is growing, its share of the market against the classic retail stores, consumers’ expectations are also changing. This is your chance to rethink what the future fashion store will look like. Online? Offline? Channel convergence? Mixed reality? What about the tactile feedback?

Similar Read: Fashion Technology Couture – We’ve Passed The Gimmick Stage

Also, around the world, more fashion consumers are asking for a smarter use of resources and reduction in the emission of pollutants, requiring companies to create more sustainable products, from environmentally-friendly materials. Is your startup designing a new type of sustainable material that replaces cotton, leather, and plastic while retaining their physical properties? Then you’re on the cusp of disruptive innovation.

Disruptive Innovation - sustainable fashion golden outfit

However, while the required technology is already here, the fashion industry is still waiting for that disruptive innovation to reshape it. Do we go for renting luxury, subscription boxes or wait to see if cheap 3D printing technologies mark a boom in crowdsourced fashion? Is your startup the next Uber for the fashion industry? Let’s see what you’ve got!


Retailers face some barriers to entry when it comes to 3D

Retailers face some barriers to entry when it comes to 3D

Special to Furniture Today

Guest Contributor, July 9, 2018

By Julie Knudson

HIGH POINT — New technology continues to drive much of the furniture retail industry, and 3D is one platform gaining a foothold through augmented and virtual reality tools.


                                                                Photo by Alexandra Gorn

Consumers have growing access to solutions that not only give them 360-degree views of the furniture products they’re considering, but now they can even drop chairs, tables and lamps directly into their unique floorplan.

Successfully deploying any new technology takes careful planning, and small, mid-size and even large furniture retailers should understand the resources that are required to make 3D a good investment.

Start with modeling

When it comes to leveraging 3D technology, modeling is among the first activities that must be completed. Determining who does the modeling — who creates the images and other visual assets — can be confusing, especially since many of the industry players are still figuring out how this puzzle comes together.

Beck Besecker, CEO of Marxent, a technology and software provider for home furnishings retailers, said that vertically integrated brands are leading much of the charge in this early stage.

“If you’re a retailer and a manufacturer, it solves that problem,” he said. “The good news is, a lot of those are big manufacturers, and they sell elsewhere.”

Even if the models aren’t available immediately, retailers who have partnered with these manufacturers will likely gain access to 3D assets as time goes on.

But even if a retailer can’t get 3D content from its manufacturers, Maximilian Aue, a solutions consultant and territory manager, North America, for HomeByMe (a 3D home planning provider and a Dassault Systemes company), said that investments in 3D modeling can often be applied across other parts of the marketing stream. Retailers are already spending money on fresh content through photography sessions, for example, and those 3D assets can be used for more traditional marketing content, too.

“It’s about understanding the full value of 3D in furniture retail,” Aue said. “It can substitute a lot of other costs that we haven’t linked yet because 3D is such a new thing in the furniture space.”

For now, Andy Wolf, president and CTO of Blueport Commerce, a Cloud e-commerce platform for furniture, sees much of the modeling cost sitting at the retailer level, as retailers typically feel more of the pain of needing — and paying for — high-quality product imagery.

“The manufacturers hear it from the retailers, but they rarely produce high quality images. The best images are being produced by retailers,” Wolf said, adding that he expects 3D modeling to follow the same pattern. However, he does believe that manufacturers, particularly those who already have CAD design tools and other assets at their disposal, will be a bigger part of the process in the long run.

“The most forward-thinking and advanced retailers will be the leaders in the space, and then the manufacturers will play catch-up as the retailers demand it,” he said.

The pricing structures for modeling still haven’t been standardized, but retailers may find ways to dip their toes in the water without too much financial pain.

Juan M. Del Rio, community manager and lead support for HomeByMe, said that single-model costs of around $100 are available in the marketplace, and that includes up to 250 finishes such as different colors and materials.

“As long as the size doesn’t change, if you have a sofa in four different colors, you’re then paying $25 to have each color created,” he explained. That’s a per-model price, but Del Rio said, “Better pricing is available for scaling up to more models.”

Infrastructure, other costs

Some technology infrastructure may be required to properly support a 3D platform. In addition to providing associates with tablets or other mobile devices to aid in the sales process, retailers should also give some attention to their Internet bandwidth.

“Probably the No. 1 bottleneck is in-store connectivity,” Besecker said.

Most organizations already have workable solutions in place, and a quick review can help optimize the experience for customers and the associates who may be helping them. To avoid sucking up the store’s bandwidth as customers evaluate different products and drop them into place on a floorplan, Besecker suggested installing a server in the store to house the content locally.

Cloud services are increasingly popular, and it’s the model HomeByMe uses, which means retailers don’t need to host anything within their own system.

“As long as they can provide a browser in-store, that’s all that’s needed,” Aue said. “We host everything on our servers.”

The ability to support cross-promotional marketing campaigns and branding may also be a consideration if the retailer doesn’t already have a platform in place for those activities.

Retailers may choose to offer discounts to customers who come into their brick-and-mortar store with a fully furnished floorplan, for example. In that instance, a marketing automation platform that can generate unique coupon codes for those consumers and track their usage might be a wise addition.

Make costs worthwhile

The cost-benefit analysis will be different for every retailer, and justifying the expenses and effort depends largely on where and how 3D technology fits into the sales funnel. “I wouldn’t say it’s as much a threshold number as does it make sense from a sales strategy for that retailer,” Del Rio said.

Rather than focusing on how many consumers take advantage of 3D, retailers may instead leverage the technology to increase order values. “That’s because people go from shopping for a single piece of furniture to furnishing their entire house or apartment,” Del Rio explained. “The threshold is more about how much do you believe in 3D.”

The awareness of the value of the technology across the entire sales and marketing realm could greatly impact where the cost-benefit ratio falls on a per-retailer basis.

Many of a retailer’s decisions about investments in 3D also will depend on its long-term image strategy. Some retailers select a unified look for their product images and tend to stick with that, while others prefer to follow industry and consumer trends and change up visual assets more frequently. The choice will influence how much money is spent on 3D technology over the long haul.

“It’s also a question of how much of your catalog you want to feature,” Wolf said. “Will it be all new products, or only certain top sellers that you really care about? It depends on your utilization of your models.”

One of the biggest complaints Besecker hears from consumers is that many 3D platforms don’t have enough content. It’s something retailers should consider as they work to determine how to provide their customers with the best experience.

“If you’re a typical 40,000-square-foot furniture retailer, you may have 5,500 to 7,500 products,” Besecker said. “You want to have 1,500 to 2,000 of your best-selling products available to make it a decent experience.”

Once the initial batch of models is available to consumers, a retailer can then assess the benefits and incrementally add content as it deems appropriate.




This family just moved in to a 3D-printed home. Can a 3D printer make a house a home?

xinwenThis family just moved in to a 3D-printed home.

Can a 3D printer make a house a home?

Current news from C/ NET (posted on JULY 6, 2018 1:46 PM, by KAITLIN BENZ)

France is famous for its wine, cheese and two-week bicycle race. Now, it’s going to be known for shaking up the construction industry with 3D-printed houses.

Nordine and Nouria Ramdani, as well as their three children, moved in to 1,022-square-foot, four-bedroom house on June 29, according to Ouest France. The Ramdanis moved in after two other families reportedly declined offers to live in the house.

The project was a collaboration involving the Nantes, France city council, a housing association and the University of Nantes.

The house cost $207,000 (£176,000) to build and required a scant 54 hours to print, according to BBC News. Builders needed another four months to add windows, doors and a roof.

The BBC estimated that a home built with conventional construction techniques would have cost about 20 percent more.

This video shows how the 3D printing process works:

How 3D printing works

Printing a home gives architects greater creative freedom since it lets them use free-flowing shapes in their design, Benoit Furet, a professor at the University of Nantes who spearheaded the project, told the BBC. The home in Nantes, for example, was built to curve around a 100-year-old tree on the property. The house is also environmentally friendly because the building process doesn’t create as much waste as conventional construction processes produce.

Furet is working on a project to 3D-print 18 houses in Paris, as well as a 7,500-square-foot commercial building.









Make a cornea with a 3D printer.


We imagine a future where a 3D printer is equipped on the corner of the operating room so that the doctor can print out the cornea as it draws ink from the shelf.

우리는 수술실 한구석에 3D 프린터가 갖춰져 의사가 선반에서 잉크를 꺼내 끼워 넣으면 각막을 프린트할 수 있는 미래를 상상할 수 있게 되었어요!


#Blueprintlab #3dprinting #3dprinter #doctor #surgery #cornea #future

Soft robot made by folding like paper stacks, dance to music

Demonstrating ‘audio-animatronics’ that create soft-robots of human faces, move naturally according to the film ambassador, and flexibly adapt to music such as opera.
The researchers said the technology could be used to make soft robots cheaper and easier than existing methods. It is possible to make animals or dinosaurs such as amusement parks as naturally moving robots, or to make animated movie robots.
사람 얼굴 형태의 소프트로봇을 만들어 영화 대사에 따라 말하듯 자연스럽게 움직이고, 오페라 등 음악에 맞춰 유연하게 동작하게 하는 ‘오디오-애니메트로닉스'(audio-animatronics)를 시연했습니다.
연구진은 이 기술은 기존 방식보다 더 저렴하고 용이하게 소프트로봇을 구현할 수 있다며 영화·엔터테인먼트 사업 및 예술 분야까지 활용범위를 확장할 수 있다고 설명하고 있어요. 놀이공원 등의 동물이나 공룡을 자연스럽게 움직이는 로봇으로 만들거나 애니메이션 영화용 로봇 제작에도 활용할 수 있겠죠?
#Blueprintlab #audioanimatronics #3dprinting #4dprinting #moive #flexible #soft