Tag Archives: retail

Digital Disruption: My latest on itbusiness.ca

Sport Check's flagship store
Sport Chek’s flagship store

Earlier this week my latest article for itbusiness.ca was published.

Earlier in the month I had the opportunity to represent Catalyst and attend the Dx3Canada conference and trade show in Toronto. One of the biggest trends that everyone seemed to be talking about and discussing was the role of technology and digital in the retail space. This was highlighted by the Retail Collective space and the keynote by Duncan Fulton.

I invite you to read my full article on digital disruption in the retail space and even leave a comment! Thanks.

thirdoceanTV: Gail Gabrielle Ordogh from RealSports

As a partner with a Toronto-based social media agency I have the opportunity to interview the various personalities in the industry on a regular basis. The following interview first appeared on our agency blog last week. I hope you enjoy the conversation.


Our guest today is Gail Gabrielle Ordogh who is the community manager and host for RealSports.

In our conversation we talk about:

  • Social media and e-commerce initiatives at RealSports
  • How RealSports adapts to work stoppages and impacts experiences at e11even, a casual fine dining restaurant at Maple Leaf Square.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UG6J2vY9xZA?rel=0]

Show notes:

  • 0:19 – Karim introduces Gail
  • 1:18 – Gail shares how she got into social media and what she’s learnt through her experiences
  • 5:15 – Social media users’ expectations online and how it influences the relationship between the customer and the company
  • 8:07 – Social media management through Gail’s personal Twitter account and it’s influence on the brand’s overall reputation
  • 10:33 – The impact of work stoppages (hockey strike, NBA lockout, etc.) and how it was handled on social media on RealSports
  • 14:30 – How to cater to different needs under one collective brand
  • 15:40 – Using Twitter as a conversion tool to increase foot traffic and purchases
  • 18:49 – What type of content resonates with RealSports fans
  • 23:49 – How RealSports e-commerce platform impacts social media initiatives
  • 25:33 – Working with a consumer popular brand and if it has made Gail’s social media efforts easier than it would for an unknown startup brand
  • 27:16 – How has e-commerce at RealSports impact experiences at e11even, and how such experiences will come to the social media savvy crowds at RealSports. Gail also shares the pilot project for RealSports apparel that started last year – a thirdocean exclusive!
  • 29:27 – Karim wraps up.

itbusiness – Is credit card alliance Foursquare’s saving grace?

The following post was originally posted on itbusiness.ca last week.

By now you’ve probably heard that Foursquare had initiated a retail program that allows users to check in to locations and save money with their Visa or MasterCard. In fact, it’s been almost two years since Foursquare created this initiative with American Express.

The most recent announcement is quite interesting as Forbes opined at the beginning of the year that Foursquare was doomed for failure in 2013. Which leads me to ask this question: Will this latest initiative with Visa and MasterCard help Foursquare become relevant, profitable and an important ally of retailers?

Time will tell but I think it is not too early to say yes.

  1. Immediate ROI. Retailers (and all businesses for that matter) have been concerned about the value of social media ever since it was determined that one could actually measure social media. Participating retailers will find ROI from this program just by plugging in. However, they will still need to actively engage and communicate with their community and potential audience members. Now that this opportunity has been handed to them how innovative will retailers become to attract people via social media in general and Foursquare specifically? And what active role will Foursquare play in this? Will we see sales offices open up similar to their social media cousins such as Facebook and LinkedIn?
  2. Huge big data opportunity. Big Data is going to continue to be huge in 2013 and this is just one example of why. Foursquare and the credit card companies are the biggest winners here. For years, credit card companies have been harvesting data on the purchasing habits of customers. Foursquare has been compiling data (although not as rich) for a few years now. This marriage of sorts will – for the first time – now combine consumer behaviour and social media. In fact, I believe that American Express’ recent partnership with retailers and Twitter is a direct result of lessons learned (and data obtained) from their Foursquare initiative of two years ago. Look for Visa, MasterCard and American Express to use this data to offer special services, insights and even products to their corporate and consumer clients in the very near future. Also look for Foursquare to continue working with retailers and credit cards companies to be their social media partner.
  3. The importance of the check-in. Many retailers still rely heavily on their store fronts for the majority of their revenues. This partnership with Foursquare shows the importance that bricks and mortar still plays in today’s digital economy. However, I believe that Foursquare will now start to develop a GetGlue-type solution by offering consumers the ability to virtually check in. Why? in 2010, e-commerce accounted for $15.3 billion in sales in Canada. And it’s growing.

For Canada the question is when will we see this initiative north of the 49th? Don’t hold your breath. The Amex initiative is still not available in Canada after two years. So the chances of Foursquare opening up this program anytime soon in Canada is unlikely.

thirdoceanTV: in conversation with Melody Adhami COO of Plastic Mobile

The following article originally appeared on thirdocean.com/blog last week.

My guest last week was Melody Adhami who is the COO of Plastic Mobile. This is the second time that I have had the opportunity to interview Melody. Visit here for our first conversation.

Plastic Mobile is an award-winning mobile marketing agency, working with some of North America’s leading brands such as Pizza Pizza (20+ awards including a Webby Award Winner), Sportsnet, and Mazda among others.

They are industry leaders for many first-of-their-kind mobile initiatives, including launching the first radio iPhone app and video iPad app in Canada.

In this conversation Melody and I talk about:
o Mobile marketing trends among retailers and big brands
o Plastic Mobile’s new developments

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYX1cMFLR7w?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

Follow Melody @melodyadhami and Plastic Mobile @plasticmobile and on the web Plastic Mobile.

Follow me @karimkanji and thirdocean @wearethirdocean and on the web thirdocean.