Contactless Transit - While contactless has lots of benefits, it sure seems to have problems with customer usage. NYC has the contactless credit card option on the turnstiles as part of a 6 month trial, and while the benefits seem obvious, there are few takers according to this NYT video. Why would consumners opt to go to a vending machine, charge a declining balance card, and then use that card to pay for their ride? Consider the benefits to users:
- One card will do where two were once needed – no need for separate Metro Card
- No need to recharge a card at a Metrocard Vending Machine = no waiting and reduced time spent on purchase
- The turnstile opens and closes just as quickly
- No need for an advance outlay of funds
- No more lost coins or cash jingling in your pockets – though the cash option may be what drives the recharging of cards depending on your population.
Yet still little usage based on their informal survey in the subway. Most likely problem: they’ve not been advertising it strongly enough in person as part of this trial. For self service to succeed someone at the site needs to be there telling New Yorkers why this is a benefit. Technology isn’t enough on its own. The general population needs to be shown, shown again, and then shown another time – highlighting the benefits in a brief, clear manner.
Walmart Loyalty - While a perennial holdout in the many loyalty schemes available here in Canada, Walmart Canada will be offering loyalty points on their new credit card to be released as part of their newly chartered bank. This should shake things up a bit.
Mobile Movie Marketing - As part of the upcoming release of the Steve Carell motion picture Despicable Me, the Best Buy Movie Mode mobile app will translate the nonsense jabber of little characters called minions during the end credits of the movie while users are in the theatre. This idea certainly provides an interesting cross pollination for retailers like Best Buy to the movies, and we can certainly expect them to extend it to other films. Now we will have public service announcements at the end of the movie to remind us to turn ON our mobile. Like that was necessary.