Showrooming Becomes A Problem For Retailers

The way that people shop is changing and some larger retailers like Target don’t like it. A new trend that they’re seeing is “showrooming”, which is when a shopper goes into a brick and mortar store like Target to check out certain products (think TVs, toys, appliances, furniture, etc.), finds what they like and then goes online to do price comparisons and make the actual purchase (usually from somewhere like, eBay or other e-commerce stores).

The Wall Street Journal’s Ann Zimmerman wrote up a great piece on showrooming and how Target is trying to deal with it. Target was the focus due to an urgent letter they sent out to their vendors as a plea to help them fight the battle against savvy shoppers taking advantage of the time and money they spend on creating a great retail environment, only to be cut out of the equation when they end up buying online instead of in one of their stores.

Last week, in an urgent letter to vendors, the Minneapolis-based chain suggested that suppliers create special products that would set it apart from competitors and shield it from the price comparisons that have become so easy for shoppers to perform on their computers and smartphones. Where special products aren’t possible, Target asked the suppliers to help it match rivals’ prices. It also said it might create a subscription service that would give shoppers a discount on regularly purchased merchandise.

I think this is an interesting new behavior that shoppers are doing and it’s cool to see how Target is dealing with it. Target has to compete with the online retailers and really the only way to do it is through stronger relationships with their vendors (which basically means making them drop their prices and making the supply chain more efficient like Wal-Mart). It’s a competitive world out there and I think we’re just starting to see the effects that the efficiency of the web is bringing into the retail market.

I’ll admit that I’ve showroom’d before and I know it’s not going away anytime soon and it’s going to be up to Target (and their vendors) to adapt to the speed at which the web is changing the ways that we all shop. No matter what happens I think the end result is always going to be better prices for all of us consumers, so I guess we don’t have a lot to worry about.

Good luck, Target.


SOPA and PIPA Explained

The SOPA and PIPA bills that everyone has been talking about (and that all of the sites have been protesting against) can be pretty confusing depending on who you’re talking to. That’s why I’m going to make it easy for you.

Here’s a video of one of the geekiest of the geeks (and smartest of the smart), Clay Shirky, talking about what SOPA and PIPA really mean and how it could affect the collaborative web that we’ve grown to love so much. [view on YouTube]

Also, it looks like Hollywood fought the internet and the internet won.


Hustling At Home For The Holidays

My body feels all out of whack and I think I just had my first good night’s sleep in about twelve days. No, I don’t have insomnia and I wasn’t forced to burn the midnight oil thanks to some tight deadline at work. Believe it or not, I was on vacation. Christmas vacation.

You see, when Stephanie and I head back to Indiana for Christmas and New Years it’s always an amazing time, but it’s also a marathon that starts when we get off the plane in Indianapolis and stops the night before we leave. It’s no surprise that it’s like this, it always has been since we’ve starting making the annual trip back to our home in the Midwest after moving to California nearly four years ago. We go, go, go and it doesn’t stop. To he honest there’s really no other way to do it and it’s something that we’ve just had to get used to.

During the days we’re focused on getting to see as many family members we can squeeze in. The amount of time we have to visit with them is usually dependent on how late we stayed out the night before with our friends. It’s all about family during the day and it’s all about friends at night. And when I say night I sometimes mean morning. I can remember at least three or four nights that didn’t end until four in the morning and those don’t make for very early mornings.

One packed day with the family went something like this:

  1. Waking up in Pendleton at my parents house after hanging out with our friends the night before.
  2. Meeting Stephanie’s parents at their church in Noblesville at 9:30am.
  3. After church we ended up driving to Greenfield to hang with my side of the family.
  4. After hanging in Greenfield for a few hours we drove to Greencastle and to hang with Stephanie’s side of the family.
  5. After hanging out in Greencastle for a few hours we then drove back to Noblesville to crash at Stephanie’s parents house.

Here’s what a full map of where all we drove that day looks like — it turned out being about four hours total round trip.

View Larger Map

Overall it was an awesome trip home and it was so good to see all of the family and friends that we were able to squeeze in while we were there. Was it exhausting? Oh yeah, but it’s always totally worth it.



Mac Lethal Covers Look At Me Now…I’m Making Pancakes

I was sent an awesome video this morning from my friend Bobby and it’s of a rapper Mac Lethal (a self-proclaimed “Nerdy White Kid”) covering Chris Brown’s Look At Me Now, which includes a ridiculously infamous verse that’s rapped by the one and only Busta Rhymes.

The cover by Mac Lethal takes an interesting approach by focusing the entire rap around making pancakes (don’t worry, it’ll make total sense once you see it).

This email was sent out by Bobby because he knows how much Stephanie loves to rap this same song, which I also happen to have on video. Have I mentioned how much Stephanie loves to rap?

Here’s the original if you want to check it out, too. It’s always worth a watch.

Pins and Needles

I can’t be the only person who has been affected this way due to the unlimited supply of mobile entertainment on our smart phones, iPads or whatever other personal electronic device is your drug of choice. It’s sad, but true — my once fairly brief rendezvous in the bathroom has now become an opportunity to view all of the top videos on YouTube and to see what’s hot on Reddit.

The result? A slightly uncomfortable experience for a few minutes once the blood starts rushing back to my lower extremities. I also get a slightly shameful feeling once I realize that I’m going to do the same exact thing again the next time I go to the bathroom because I need to do a number two. It’s a vicious cycle and not exactly something I’m proud of, but there’s still no way that I would ever go back to reading shampoo bottles. That’s just weird.


Suit And High Tops

Even the lawyers have style in San Francisco. This was taken in the Hall of Justice while I was checking in for jury duty. This guys kicks caught my eye, so I had to snap a quick pic. It’s not every day you see high tops teamed up with a suit. Personally, I felt like the guy pulled it off well.

Editing on the photo was done in Picnik.