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Dec 22, 2014

Top 5 Holiday Ads of 2014

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When we think about the best ads on TV, most of us automatically jump to the Super Bowl. While the Super Bowl will probably always take the cake on the best ads, I think that some of the holiday ads are just as good and deserve some recognition as well. So, take a break from all the craziness of holidays to come in the next few days and enjoy watching my top 5 favorite holiday commercials of 2014.

Samsung – Home for the Holidays

I have loved Dax Shepard and Kristin Bell ever since I saw Kristen on Ellen sharing a video of Dax surprising her with a sloth for her birthday. (If you haven’t seen this video, watch it here. It’s hilarious!)  So, this year I was excited to see them in a commercial for Samsung. Not only is it just a lighthearted commercial, it also displays many of the hottest Samsung products and their uses in just 2 minutes.

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Dec 17, 2014

Starbucks Mobile Order & Pay

 

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These days at almost any store you check out at, you’re asked if you have that stores loyalty card, and if not, if you would like to open one.  I will admit that I am a sucker for all the loyalty programs especially at stores I shop at a lot because it usually means you will get a discount or free product at some point. I do get annoyed by all the emails and direct mail advertisements that I receive once I sign up but it is nice to be updated on new products and what else is going on in the store.

One of my favorite loyalty programs is from Starbucks – My Starbucks Rewards. If you’ve never heard of it, here’s a basic overview of how it works. You load money onto a Starbucks gift card, use that gift card to pay for your purchases, and once you make it to 30 stars you receive the best thing of all, a Starbucks Gold Card. While it’s just kind of awesome to say you have the status of a Gold Card, it also comes with some perks. Once you have a Starbucks Gold Card, for every 12 purchases, users receive a voucher for a free drink or food item, you also hear about special promotions going on and sometimes even discounts.

My personal favorite part of the Starbucks Reward Program is that you can do everything from the Starbucks app on your phone. You can reload your Starbucks card with money and even pay for your purchases just through scanning your phone screen at the register. It makes transitions so much smoother and I get rewarded for it.

Thanks to all the sponsored tweets in my Twitter feed, the other day I noticed a new sponsored ad from Starbucks that said: “Order Ahead. Walk in. Pick up your drink. Smile hugely. #PortlandOR” I was instantly intrigued by this because:

  1. Had Starbucks somehow found a way to make the ordering process even simpler?
  2. They hashtagged Portland, OR which is only a few hours away from the SheerID in Eugene – why would the randomly hashtag Portland?

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Dec 9, 2014

Making Big Data Fun… Again!

 

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A few months ago we wrote about how Spotify was making big data fun since they released the data on what songs were the most popular on different college campuses around the country. Not only did this make for an interesting read, but it also drew attention to their student discount on a premium prescription. Well, Spotify has now made big data fun again, and this time it doesn’t just relate to students and what they listen to.

Spotify has released the Spotify Year in Music, giving music lovers an overview of the hottest and most popular music for 2014. Not only are the graphics on the website awesome, it’s also very interactive, making for a great user experience. Here’s an overview of the statistical categories that they released:

  • Top 5 male artists
  • Top 5 female artists
  • Top 5 groups
  • Top 5 breakout artists
  • Top 5 albums
  • Top 10 songs
  • Most popular icon
  • Most dedicated fans
  • Most viral song
  • Top throwback
  • Most addictive
  • Most popular songs by season
  • Breakout genre
  • How we… trained, studied, partied, took a break
  • Tracks each country loved

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Dec 3, 2014

Subject Lines… What’s catchy, what’s not?

 

With Christmas only 22 days away, I repeat 22 DAYS AWAY, we are all now being bombarded with ads everywhere promoting all the hottest gifts of emails2014 and sales that are hard to pass up. Anytime you turn on the TV or radio you hear your favorite holiday tunes with store names sneakily added into the lyrics, and some of the songs are so catchy you might even find yourself singing along. Another place that we get bombarded with advertisements is in our email. While I hate receiving annoying emails just as much as the next person, I do find it interesting to see what techniques retailers are using to set their email apart from the rest of the hundreds of emails in our inboxes. Here’s a few of the email subject lines that caught my attention, this Black Friday/Cyber Monday, enough to open up the email and see what their message had to say .

  1. Beyond the Rack – “10 Best Trending Gifts…”
  2. Sephora – “We’ve Got a Surprise For You”
  3. Crate & Barrel – “2 Very Merry Offers”
  4. Redbox – Text Now For a Surprise Deal”
  5. Zappos – “How To Look Holiday Fabulous with Michael Kors”
  6. Victoria’s Secret – “OMG Free PINK Socks With a PINK Purchase – Starts Tomorrow!”

I believe that these specific subject lines caught my attention for two reasons:

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Nov 26, 2014

Black Friday Shopping Made Easier

3065194050_41ee69f153_b (1)Black Friday – it’s kind of like the Super Bowl of shopping. Shoppers spend hours upon hours reading the advertisements received through direct mail and email, planning which stores have the best sales and the order that will give them the best luck of getting the items they want. If you don’t have a plan, you are extremely brave for facing the insane crowds filling the malls and stores. While the thought of getting all my Christmas shopping done in one fell swoop, with all the items being on sale, sounds amazing, the overwhelming amount of people is enough to keep me in bed instead. Although I will not be out among the crowds this Black Friday, I still like to know what the newest and hottest trends will be on Black Friday and I think I found what’s hot for 2014.

Over the past few years, the presence of mobile devices being used to shop has increased. During the 2013 Black Friday shopping events, mobile traffic grew to 39.7% which was a 34% increase from 2012. Mobile usage is expected to make an even bigger appearance during the 2014 Black Friday and holiday shopping events. Other than making purchases using a mobile device, another major reason mobile usage while shopping has increased is due to consumers webrooming and wanting to find the lowest possible price on the items they need. While webrooming is beneficial and can help to save money, it can be a tedious task to check out a handful of websites in order to compare the prices. Well, thanks to Google, webrooming has become even easier starting this week.

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Nov 20, 2014

What The Biggest Retailers Are Saying About SheerID

IMG_2324Since consumers want more meaningful interactions with the brands and retailers they purchase from, retailers now have to find ways to make customer’s experiences more meaningful. While there are various way to connect with customers, here at SheerID, we think the best way is through offering exclusive discounts. Exclusive discounts not only help to connect retailers and brands with new markets that they might not have reached otherwise, but they also help to connect with the consumers and make them feel like you care about something they are involved with, for example giving a military discount.

Many of our clients wanted to offer exclusive discounts but didn’t know how to protect them from fraud, so they looked to SheerID services for help. Since integrating SheerID software, our clients have expressed how using SheerID has helped their company to offer exclusive discounts and what they like about using our verification software. Here are a few examples of what they had to say:

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Nov 11, 2014

We love Starbucks… and not just because of their coffee!

Yesterday when I stopped to get my chai tea latte at Starbucks, I noticed this very starbuckspatriotic themed stand next to the register. In honor of Veterans Day, Starbucks was donating to Onward Veterans for every purchase of the book “For Love of Country” or a special edition veterans Startbucks gift card. For those of you who don’t know, Onward Veterans is an initiative to support and empower veterans and their families as they transition to civilian life. I was so glad to see that even a few of the customers that were standing in line with me had picked up the book to purchase it. Since the SheerID team works with veterans every day, I was intrigued about Starbucks support of veterans and decided to research it a little more.

For many years now, Starbucks has been giving out a free, tall brewed coffee to all U.S. military veterans and active duty service members, as well as their spouses on Veterans Day. Offering a small token of appreciation to their customers has allowed Starbucks to create a positive image within the military community. In fact, 94% of present and past military members say that they are more likely to notice a company when they are military friendly and will continue to have a positive impression of that company.

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Nov 4, 2014

New military discounts for Veterans Day 2014

veteransday2014It gives us the warm fuzzies to see how businesses, restaurants, and retailers are rallying this year to honor veterans and military service members by giving them discounts, free meals, and special treatment this Veterans Day. The number of discounts and freebies that are being offered has doubled this year, and we’ve heard that almost 50,000 restaurant locations are offering some sort of military deal.

This week, six brands have announced new military offers for Veterans Day using SheerID’s military verification platform to keep their offers exclusive.

  1. AARP: From October 30th to November 13th, anyone can enjoy 20% off AARP membership dues, and when a membership is purchased or renewed, AARP will use a portion of the dues to deliver RealPad™ computer tablets, through a veteran organization to help vets stay connected. http://www.aarp.org/thankavet.  AARP also offers a 20% off year-round membership discount solely for men and women of the military who are 50+ years of age, including veterans, active duty, military retirees, National Guard, reservists, and military spouses. https://veterans.aarp.org/ 
  2. Musicians Friend: 15% off one item of $199 value or more for veterans, reservists, National Guard, active duty and their immediate family members http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pages/military-appreciation
  3. Newegg: From November 1 to November 21, Newegg is offering 10% off site wide (up to $20) to all military personnel verified through SheerID on Newegg.com. The promotion is available to active duty, reservists, National Guard, veterans and their immediate family members who visit http://www.newegg.com/militarydiscounts Read More…

Oct 28, 2014

What’s up with Nordstrom, Gap and Office Max?

For many of us, online shopping has revolutionized our shopping experiences. We have 24/7 access to basically any store we want and we can shop from the comfort of our own home – it can be seriously dangerous. While I really try to stay away from the temptations of online shopping, sometimes I just have to give in and recently I’ve been noticing some new additions to the online shopping experience. Here’s what I’ve noticed…

With all this access to stores Price matchingand online shopping, we are all guilty of webrooming. You compare prices, read reviews on the items and maybe even about the service the store provided before you make your ultimate decision.  I’ve always known that stores like Walmart and Target will price match, but sometimes it’s not even worth it since you have to be in a physical store, wait in customer service lines and have proof of the lower price.

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Oct 22, 2014

How’s Your Customer Service?

Recently, I was having an issue with my Jawbone UP! band syncing with my iPhone. When I discovered the issue I immediately started dreading the process of contacting Jawbone, including the long wait on the phone and customer service advice that would most likely will result in a charge for some new part or a new band in general. After finally mustering up the courage to call, I was completely shocked at the amazing customer service I received over the phone. Not only did I get the information I needed in order to fix my band, but the representative also gave me an email address that will allow me to directly contact her if I had any other questions. This experience not only left me in a good mood (which is rare after calling a customer service line) but it also left me with a positive image of Jawbone, a desire to purchase more Jawbone products in the future, and telling my friends, family and even co-workers about the amazing customer service I had received. So, kudos to Jawbone.

While I was thoroughly impressed with Jawbone’s customer service, I can’t say the 6237893181_50a87ec8df_bsame for many other companies. Every one of us could list off at least five companies we have had a horrible customer service experience with and regardless of how long ago it happened, that negative encounter has probably had an effect on how you view the company. According to Edelman, 87% of people want more meaningful interactions with brands, but only 17% think brands are actually delivering that. So, if customer service is so important to consumers, we’re all left wondering why businesses are not providing it.

Here at SheerID, we are committed to having superior customer service for both our clients and consumers looking for discounts. We encourage and welcome our customers to give us feedback on how their experience was. While we are not perfect, many of our customers are satisfied with the customer service they received. Here’s a few examples of what customers liked about our customer service in particular:

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