Marketing, customer satisfaction and loyalty
Satisfied customers will follow you everywhere
Retail: Levita’s levitation of objects in the shop window
Dec13

Retail: Levita’s levitation of objects in the shop window

Always looking for new trends in the retail world, this year we returned to interactive window displays, which are increasingly used by brands to differentiate themselves from their competitors and offer a unique experience to their customers and attract shoppers. Today, two magicians (Clément Kerstenne and Philippe Bougard) put their tricks in-store and create shop windows that levitate objects. Philippe and Clément tell us about...

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You can shop at Sephora without being disturbed
Dec11

You can shop at Sephora without being disturbed

The consumer is becoming more and more independent and has less and less need for salespeople for his purchases. Sephora has understood this well and has even developed an ingenious system to ensure that customers are not disturbed. A paradox as it goes against most beliefs on the subject, that contact between salespeople and customers makes it easier to sell. But we have to admit that behaviours are changing.  Has the time come when...

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FMCG: consumers’ purchase behaviors are increasingly different
Sep18

FMCG: consumers’ purchase behaviors are increasingly different

In our last article, we showed how new tools, based on “data”, allow large FMCG groups to keep up with market developments and consumer expectations. In today’s article, we reveal the effects of the evolution of the FMCG (“Fast-Moving Consumer Goods”) market on consumers’ purchasing habits. A recent study (August 2019) by the University of Chicago unveils an unexpected phenomenon: the rise of niche...

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Gmail: a friend who wishes you well (but who will not let you go)
Jul29

Gmail: a friend who wishes you well (but who will not let you go)

Gmail has just launched a new feature: dynamic emails. This new feature, described in a Google blog post, introduces a subtle innovation that contributes a little more to the creation of an ecosystem from which we cannot leave. Under the guise of improving the Google user experience and its multiple subsidiaries seek to keep users captive at all costs. Explanations in today’s article and feedback on the featured snippets...

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How smartphones have changed our lives and enslaved us
Jul22

How smartphones have changed our lives and enslaved us

You probably won’t read this article up to the end. And that’s because of smartphones. Smartphones have changed our lives. For the good but also for the worse. This article is not about the positive contribution of smartphones to our lives, it’s about its pervasive effects on our behavior and in particular on how it changes the way our brain works. “I want my life back” was the starting point of my quest...

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Evolution of alcohol consumption and the market for de-alcoholisation
Jun12

Evolution of alcohol consumption and the market for de-alcoholisation

The evolution of alcohol consumption in Europe is leading many industry players to rethink their offer. In this article, we return in particular to the initiative launched by Philippe Stassen and the Meurens brothers who are joining forces to propose a new de-alcoholisation offer in the Charleroi region. Alcohol consumption in Europe In France, alcohol consumption has been on the decline for nearly 80 years. While a Frenchman consumed...

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A new generation of electric bicycles: the match between France and Belgium is being replayed
May22

A new generation of electric bicycles: the match between France and Belgium is being replayed

After the marketing of electric bicycles and the spread of electric scooters in large cities, it is time for connected and high-end electric bikes. As this sector is trendy and entrepreneurial projects are multiplying in the field, we thought that a look at 2 significant players could help those who are still at the market research stage. In today’s post, we compare two electric bicycles: Cowboy on one side and Coleen on the...

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Music streaming: the primary source of income for the music industries
Apr05

Music streaming: the primary source of income for the music industries

While the sales physical formats are suffering, the SNEP (National Union of Phonographic Publishing) report reveals that only the sales of vinyl’s are on the rise in France, attracting consumers to their vintage and authentic side. More and more music lovers are using digital platforms such as music streaming platforms to listen to their favourite artists and music while discovering new musical creations. Summary What is Music...

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What are the habits related to money withdrawals in Europe?
Feb27

What are the habits related to money withdrawals in Europe?

Withdrawals of money from ATMs are, for many Europeans, the most efficient way to obtain cash. Recent events with the Bpost Bank in Belgium prove that consumers are very attached to their money habits. This article aims to understand the differences in money withdrawals across Europe and continues the report that we have written on payment methods in the countries of the European Union. Summary The Connection to Cash The Conditions...

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Market research: who are the customers of ride-hailing applications?
Feb26

Market research: who are the customers of ride-hailing applications?

Travel options are changing, and many American consumers’ habits are also changing. 10 years after the creation of Uber, what is the status of private transport and ride-hailing applications? Who uses this type of application, how and why? In this article, we propose to analyse the evolution of transport applications for private individuals according to their consumers. As most of these applications originate from the United...

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Interactive showcases: the innovative tool that retailers have always dreamed of?
Feb20

Interactive showcases: the innovative tool that retailers have always dreamed of?

The creation of attractive storefronts is an integral part of the marketing plan in the retail sector. In the digital age, retailers are moving towards interactive displays. Storefronts that adapt to their environment and create interaction with this environment while keeping essential functions such as displaying the brand’s new products, promoting ongoing discounts, and much more. In this article, we will review the status of...

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Facebook’s hidden strategy to increase your addiction
Jan18

Facebook’s hidden strategy to increase your addiction

As part of my good resolutions for 2019 I decided to further reduce my use of social networks which take my precious time away. Banning Facebook during the month of January was my first step to achieve my objectives. To resist the temptation I logged out from all my devices to make it more difficult to access Facebook. In 2018 I also drastically reduced the number of notifications to avoid those temptations. It seems however that...

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Recommendation systems: a scientific investigation of user inaction
Oct31

Recommendation systems: a scientific investigation of user inaction

One of the most interesting researches at RecSys 2018 was for me the paper on user inaction by Qian Zhao, Martijn Willemsen, Gediminas Adomavicius, F. Maxwell Harper and Joe Konstan (full title: “Interpreting User Inaction in Recommender Systems“). We are so focused on interpreting signals that we often forget to take the absence of signal into account. Yet, as this paper shows, lack of information is already a piece of...

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Retail: arrange products attractively to make customers buy more
Sep28

Retail: arrange products attractively to make customers buy more

In an earlier article we started dealing with examples of attractive visual displays in the retail industry. We argued that product arrangement influences information processing by customers and in return purchase decisions. Ensuring that products are displayed next to each other in an homogeneous way makes information processing easier for the customer. During our retail tour in Berlin we spotted a few of this well-designed products...

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2/3 of value lost in 18 months: future of Snapchat doesn’t look good
Sep10

2/3 of value lost in 18 months: future of Snapchat doesn’t look good

What is Snapchat’ future? Will Snapchat still be alive in 5 years from now? In the light of the latest financial results investors can be doubtful. We predicted this downturn 3 years ago when most people were seeing Snapchat as the next Facebook, the best social media to capture the attention of the younger generations. Snap Inc. has lost 2/3 of its value in 18 months Snap Inc., the company that owns Snapchat, was introduced on...

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Market research : the combined effect of music and light in the retail sector
Aug13

Market research : the combined effect of music and light in the retail sector

Sensory market research has focused mostly on the effects on consumer behavior of specific cues: light, scent, temperature, … Some of those cues are always present in a retail setting (light, temperature) and past studies have therefore investigated the effects of the variations of those cues (higher/lower temperature, more or less light) Company industry atmospherics charcateristics purpose abercrombie & fitch clothing loud...

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Societal and ethical issues of digitization: are emotions covered by GDPR?
Jul04

Societal and ethical issues of digitization: are emotions covered by GDPR?

An academic paper by Royakkers et al. (2018) is currently available from “Ethics and information technology” magazine that offers an interesting overview of the societal and ethical issues of digitization (hence its title). Digitization issues are analyzed along 6 axis : privacy autonomy safety and security balance of power human dignity power It’s not my intention here to sum up the whole paper; I’d rather...

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We live in a technocracy : technology is driving behaviours and law
Mar30

We live in a technocracy : technology is driving behaviours and law

The inaugural 2018 FAT conference was opened in New-York by one of the most influential academic researchers on privacy and computer science : Latanya Sweeney. In her keynote Sweeney showed how technology is driving behaviors and new laws. Here’s what I think is a very compelling series of examples that clearly show that innovators are always ahead of lawmakers. In today’s world, driven by technology and data, this poses...

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Cambridge Analytica scandal: it’s the user stupid !
Mar26

Cambridge Analytica scandal: it’s the user stupid !

The Cambridge Analytica scandal is one of a one-of-a-kind size. It attracted the attention of many and resembles a wake-up call. Yet also triggers some very hypocritical reactions from people who “seem” to discover that Facebook collects an awful lot of data and makes it available to, basically anyone who asks for it. Zuckerberg, king of the hypocrites Everyone seems to discover that the most personal data is being...

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Retail: here’s how you can make it easy for people to buy more
Mar07

Retail: here’s how you can make it easy for people to buy more

How do you make sure your products are visible among a larger assortment and immediately attract shoppers’ attention ? By using visual salience. Summary Highlighting products in supermarket shelves Help the shopper’s brain make decisions What can be done to increase in-store purchases? Conclusion Supermarkets make it impossible for shoppers to understand the assortment Supermarkets organize products by departments and by...

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Retail : here’s how Lego ensures customers buy more
Mar02

Retail : here’s how Lego ensures customers buy more

Supermarkets used to earn a lot of mony just before checkout. All the gums, sweets, … were there to tempt customers and add fat money to the bottom line. With the advent of smartphones retailers were surprized to see their sales plummet; consumers were too busy looking at their smartphones’ screens and impulsive behaviors were suddenly stopped. The Lego store in London found a way to counterattack. A checkout path was...

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Online market research reveals the #1 factor to reduce showrooming
Feb07

Online market research reveals the #1 factor to reduce showrooming

Showrooming is a massive problem for brick-and-mortar retailers. Customers visit stores but eventually make their purchases online. Operating a brick-and-mortar point of sale becomes more and more difficult. A scientific research reveals the #1 thing retailers should do to avoid showrooming. And it’s not about price. Showrooming in context and phygitalisation  Showrooming is a symptom of the tug-of-war between the offline and...

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The history of media resistance : from printing to social media through TV and radio
Feb05

The history of media resistance : from printing to social media through TV and radio

Throughout history people have shown remarkable resistance to new forms of media, be it books, cinema, radio, TV or Internet. Today social media addiction leads to a new form of resistance. A new book by Trine Syvertsen sums up remarkably the history of media resistance. The electronic version of the book is free and can be downloaded here. Here are some highlights from the book followed by thoughts on the evolution of media...

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The 3 benefits of the new “Tap To Go” Ahold no-checkout supermarket
Jan31

The 3 benefits of the new “Tap To Go” Ahold no-checkout supermarket

Since Amazon has launched its no-checkout Amazon Go store (see our article here), other retailers are keen on experimenting the same type of innovation. Ahold Delhaize is currently testing its “tap to go” system in a “Albert Heijn To Go” store of Zaandem where the headquarters of the group are located. Clients need to enroll first in the program and will receive an “instant payment” card equipped...

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Advertising : limiting cookie lifetime will destroy value
Nov20

Advertising : limiting cookie lifetime will destroy value

Preliminary information : there are two competing rules for setting up maximal cookie lifetime. The European Commission (based a.o. on a proposal by CNIL) suggests to limit lifetime to 360 days whereas Google proposes 720 days. One year vs. two years is basically what you have to chose from. In no case it should be more than that. Yet, as Miller and Skiera explained at the 2017 EMAC conference, lifetimes of up to 8000 years have been...

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Nudge strategies : 5 variants of the Amsterdam urinals
Nov10

Nudge strategies : 5 variants of the Amsterdam urinals

It is usually considered that the interest for nudge strategies really took off when the case of the Amsterdam Schipool airport urinals became known. If you don’t know the story of these special toilets, it goes like this. A man by the name of Aad Kieboom is believed to have introduced the idea of having a fly printed on the urinals as early as the 1990’s. The fly serves the purpose of a target that men unconsciously try...

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Market research : authentication on media website, a growing trend
Nov08

Market research : authentication on media website, a growing trend

As announced in an earlier article of this blog, I organized a 2-day conference on Single-Sign-On at RTBF (read more here). From a market research perspective this conference allowed participants to clearly understand that SSO was a growing trend among public service broadcasters. We had the please to listen to 9 amazing speakers from very different organizations and horizons : Tim Rowell (Piano.io), Ben Sekhon (Gigya, leader on the...

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behavioral economics : how beliefs influence consumers’ behaviors
Nov06

behavioral economics : how beliefs influence consumers’ behaviors

As you all know the purpose of behavioral economics has been to show how irrational consumers’ behaviors can be as opposed to the assumption of rationality from the economics field. This has resulted for instance in nudges as a sub-discipline (see an example of nudge here and another there). In today’s article we’d like to explain the results of an amazing academic study by Dan Kahan (read the whole paper here) which...

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A nudge at Brussels airport : WWF Panda wins charity competition
Oct13

A nudge at Brussels airport : WWF Panda wins charity competition

We talked about nudges this week on this blog (see our article on the Icelandic nudge to promote public safety). Today I’d like to give you another insight into behavioral economics and show you how human behavior can be influenced by a picture.   The story of an unexpected nudge Last month I was at Brussels airport and tweeted about something strange I had observed in the arrivals hall : 4 charity boxed one of which...

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An interesting example of nudge applied to public safety in Ísafjörður, Iceland
Oct09

An interesting example of nudge applied to public safety in Ísafjörður, Iceland

I’ve developed an interest for the study of nudges after reading the book by Dan Ariely. Nudges can be considered a sub-discipline of behavioral economics (founded by George Lowenstein) and already wrote about it on this blog (see one example here). To define a “nudge” using my own words, I’d say it’s a design that leads a person towards a particular action. That action should be beneficial for the...

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When excitement influences consumer behavior
Oct04

When excitement influences consumer behavior

One chapter of the book by Dan Ariely is dedicated to how consumers behave when they are excited. Ariely describes an experiment he did with students whose decisions under sexual excitement were measured and assessed. The conclusions were crystal-clear : excited students were much less able to make appropriate decisions. I experienced this myself with a recent big purchase I made. Those who have followed this blog for a long time know...

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Customer satisfaction is all about expectations : a real example
Sep18

Customer satisfaction is all about expectations : a real example

My good friend (and former customer) Patrick Mascart is in the photo/video business and has also become an expert in aerial photo and video services. Through his agency he has worked for prestigious clients like the European Commission and many other large organizations. The other day he posted on Facebook the transcript of a phone call he just received. You’ll learn a lot about customer satisfaction. Read further. The story...

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Consumer behavior : why do we leave online reviews?
Sep14

Consumer behavior : why do we leave online reviews?

On the occasion of the RecSys 2017 conference I was fortunate to attend Prof. Lowenstein‘s inaugural talk that offered an inspiring overview of behavioral economics applied to recommendation systems. In particular Prof. Lowenstein explored the psychology of information sharing which is crucial in data science because it relies so heavily on users’ ratings (explicit feedback) to produce predictions.   The talk by...

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The right to failure doesn’t exist with artificial intelligence. This is terrible.
Jun26

The right to failure doesn’t exist with artificial intelligence. This is terrible.

Artificial intelligence, algorithms based on machine learning, have turned our lives into one of efficiency where failure doesn’t exist anymore. For algorithms an error doesn’t exist ; it’s just a prediction that hasn’t worked because of missing data points. This statistical “accident” will be taken into account to improve predictions a step further. In the field of algorithmic governance failure is...

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Big Data and Ethics : first sucessful meetup at DigitYser in Brussels
Jun21

Big Data and Ethics : first sucessful meetup at DigitYser in Brussels

On 15 June 2017 my friend Philippe Van Impe gave me the opportunity to organize the first meetup in his newly opened Big Data temple in Brussels : DigitYser. And what a success ! The topic of this first Meetup at DigitYser was “Big Data and ethics“, an important topic in data science yet insufficiently covered. The idea for this meetup popped up during my talk at the Data Innovation Summit where people started tweeting...

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Ugly vegetables look more natural and give stores a better image
Jun12

Ugly vegetables look more natural and give stores a better image

Consumers perceive “ugly”, misshappen vegetables, as more natural. Moreover communication campaigns promoting these “abnormal” products benefit also the stores , such campaign convey indeed a positive image in the minds of the customers. Those are the results of a study by Mia Birau and Corine Faure (University of Grenoble) which was presented at the latest EMAC 2017 conference in Groningen (The Netherlands)....

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