Calling 'next game'

Retail futurist Doug Stephens, founder of Retail Prophet talks about ordering a New York Yankees baseball cap from eBay Now and having it delivered to him on a New York City park bench (for the complete interview, visit DrugStoreNews.com/Audio/ebay-now-and-demand-greater-consumer-convenience). I snapped this picture (far right) of an eBay Now deliveryman about a block from my house during Labor Day weekend.

There is no question that the way people shop has changed. Here in New York City my apartment building has a special block of refrigerators in the lobby to handle FreshDirect deliveries when residents aren't home.

For years, when I would tell people that I sometimes shopped for groceries that way, many chalked it up to some crazy urban fad that really wouldn't play outside of Manhattan. While FreshDirect may control about 80% of the local market its biggest competitor here, Ahold's Peapod division, is growing its footprint significantly throughout the mid-Atlantic and New England regions. By the end of August, the company was up to 47 in-store pickup locations: 20 in Giant Food stores and 27 in Stop & Shops (for more photos visit DrugStoreNews.com / Photos.)

This isn't a fad — it never really was. It's getting harder and harder to get customers to engage with your brand. In this issue, DSN takes a look at how savvy retailers and CPG companies are utilizing game-based technologies to grow trips, build brands and help move the customer relationship from a transaction-based to a consumer-engagement model.

Does your brand have its game face on? Tell me how your company is using gamification to engage customers or grow talent. Email me at reder@lf.com.


Rob Eder is the editor in chief of The Drug Store News Group, publishers of Drug Store News and DSN Collaborative Care magazines. You can contact him at reder@lf.com.

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