I have visited hell, ladies and gentlemen, and it’s Westfield Stratford two weeks before Christmas. The crowds. The rising sense of panic at the fact I’ve been here two hours and still haven’t bought anything. The sodding Pogues.
However, I recognise I am in the minority on this (as in most other things). So given now ‘tis truly the time of peace on earth, goodwill to all men and seasonal trading statements, this final DD of the year is all about my least favourite activity: shopping.
Payment as advertising
Payment has long been the least sexy part of the purchase process. Fulfilment just hasn’t been terribly, well, fulfilling.
But 2012 has seen the development of new ways to pay that say as much about the brand you’re buying as the packaging, advertising or distribution channel.
I’ve covered in previous emails the hoo-haa around Square – a fun way to pay that just seems a lot more 21st century than those slow, painful debit card machines.
Don’t show me the money
But 2012 wasn’t just about Square.
Take Barclaycard in the UK. This year’s festivals saw the debut of the lovely Barclaycard Payband.
Charge up the cash before you go, then use the band on your wrist to pay for stuff as you go around the festival. No risk of leaving your wallet on the bar as you order your tenth cider and wonder where the hell all your mates have gone. Nice.
Or Nike in Mexico. Their ‘pay with your sweat’ campaign got customers to bid for trainers on the Nike Facebook page with their real-world sweat as currency. Simply bid for trainers using miles run on your Nike+ app, outbid the competition by out-running them and the shoes are yours. I like.
There are many more examples I’m sure. Given there’s barely a brand or cause in the world that doesn’t use online fulfillment in some way or other, should 2013 be the year when how you pay becomes as important as why you should in our communications plans?
This will be my last Digital Distraction of the year.
Have a tip-top Christmas,