Showing posts with label Shopaholics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shopaholics. Show all posts

August 20, 2019

Shopping Vs Psychiatrist

This sign had a pretty good point:
"Shopping is cheaper than a psychiatrist."

Plus it's more fun and you get to take the junk home that you buy.

For many, shopping truly is a form of mental/stress relief--almost like medicine. 

Unfortunately, if you think about it, things don't really make a person happy...rather people do and doing good does. 

But industry wants you to think a lot more superficially and materialistically than that. 

Hence the notion that if you take your daily dose of shopping, maybe you can skip the shrink! ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 4, 2019

Selling CRAP

I just thought this was an interesting acronym that Amazon uses for selling unprofitable knick knacks.

They call it:
CRAP

It stands for:

Can't Realize A Profit. 

Sometimes, you see people buying stuff, lots of stuff, and it's not important--often, it's all a lot of junk. 

But they like to shop--bordering on shopsholics' compulsion. 

Maybe they don't even have a lot of money for this stuff.

However, just the act of buying it--of having some control in their lives and some freedom of the purse--makes them feel good and buy and hoard more and more things. 

Likely it ends up in Goodwill, recyclables, the attic, or the trash. 

Is it crap?

Well you can't make realize a profit on it. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 22, 2018

Black Thursday For Shopaholics


So Black Friday Shopping extravaganza that used to happen the day after Thanksgiving has now turned into Black Thursday mega-shopping on Thanksgiving Thursday.

The huge Sawgrass Mills Mall in Sunrise, Florida is open 10 AM to 1 AM!

The mall was packed with people and the deals were pretty fantastic.  

Under Armour was 50% off!

True Religion was buy 1 get 1 free!

Almost every store seemed to be 1/2 price off already reduced prices.

What I liked in this video I took here was the WOW! display around the entire entrance to this Century 21 apparel store.

Watch the whole thing...it is really cool what they did with this frontage real estate for this store. 

Great job on the marketing and very inviting!

So lots of compulsive shopping, but not so much turkey today. ;-)

(Source video: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 3, 2012

The Information High


Kids_and_technology

A new article by Andy Blumenthal called "The Information High" at Public CIO Magazine (29 November 2012).

"In addition to being slaves to our things--including technology gadgets--we are also addicted to the data and information they serve up."

Hope you enjoy! ;-)

Andy

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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April 27, 2011

Smartphone Apps For Shopaholics

Shopping

In the old Ginsu commercials, they used to say "In Japan, the hand can be used like a knife...but this method doesn't work with a tomato."

Now, in the the United States and elsewhere, the smartphone can soon be used like a wallet, and this does work with tomatos or anything else you want to purchase!

Electronic payments are taking on new meaning as we go from paying with traditional credit and debit cards or even payment services like Paypal to actually using our smartphones to make those payments.

Wired Magazine (November 2010) reports that "Google's newest iteration of its Android phone OS will include a wallet that lets you use your phone to make payments by tapping it against a cash register."

According to Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, he envisions that "This could eventually replace credit cards."

"Like the technology built into debit cards that can be used to make a payment by bumping against a reader at a store or gas pump, Android 2.3 devices that have the right on-board chip will be able to make payments using stored credit card numbers or other payments systems such as Paypal."

Payment technologies coupled with context-aware computing (such as location awareness) will enable your local merchants to send shopping suggestions, reminders, coupons, loyalty programs rewards, and targeted deals to customers--all over their smartphones.

Aside from e-Payments, retailers are looking to up the ante in their competition with online merchants.

According to the Wall Street Journal today (26 April 2011), stores and malls are "threatened by the rapid growth of online retailing", where merchants are able to offer everything from product search, free shipping, easy returns, often no sales tax (like Amazon) and broadcast deals over the social networks like through Groupon. And while "online sales still account for a just a fraction of overall retail sales, they are growing rapidly gaining 12.6% last year to $176.2 billion."

Therefore, brick and mortar retailers are looking to offer a host of app functions for everything from creating online shopping lists, in store product search, you-are-here location functions, mall directories, parking-spot markers, reward programs, and display promotions.

So aside from iPhone plug-in for taking credit card payments on the smartphone (the topic of a prior blog), there are a lot of smartphones Apps and OS features coming that will make shopping easier, friendlier, and generally more convenient.

So in case you needed another excuse to go shopping and indulge...try out some of the new smartphone apps that will make your experience even that much more decadent. ;-)

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November 5, 2010

Turning Consumerism Into Collaboration

I’m sure you’ve noticed that we are historically and fundamentally a consumerist society.

We spend a lot of time and money shopping and buying things—many of the things that we buy, we acknowledge that we don’t even need—just check your attic lately? :-)

Many compulsive buyers have even self-proclaimed themselves “shopaholics.”

Aside from being somewhat obsessive compulsive in the way we treat buying and owning things, we tend to be pretty wasteful in buying and throwing out things, often from individualized, single use servings—think fast food, as one example.

The result, according the Environmental Protection Agency (per WiseGeek), the average American produces 4.4 pounds of garbage a day or 1,600 pounds a year (and that doesn’t include industrial waste or commercial trash).

On the flip side of all the tossing out we do, are “hoarders” or those with the tendency to keep lots of things, often piled high in every corner of their homes and offices; there is even a show called by the same on A&E television dedicated to this.

So we shop a lot, spend a lot, buy a lot, and then consume it, hoard it, or toss it. And we do this with enormous volumes of things and in ridiculously rapid cycle times—for example, how many times a week do you find yourself in the stores buying things or then taking out the trash generated from it? (I can practically hear the lyrics of the Hefty commercial playing: ”Hefty, Hefty, Hefty—Stinky, Stinky, Stinky…”)

Overall, it’s a crazy system of conspicuous consumption driven by perceived needs for materialism, highly refined and effective marketing and advertising techniques, and people’s feelings of relative deprivation.

Yet despite these, there is movement underway to change from a society obscured by habits of personal ownership and consumption to a more healthy and balanced approach based on sharing and reuse.

And this is approach for sharing is happening not just in terms of personal consumption, but also in terms of our organizational use of technology, such as in service-oriented architectures, common and enterprise solutions, virtualization, and cloud computing.

We see change happening as a result of the huge financial deficits we have piled on individually, organizationally, and as a nation; the depletion of our vital natural resources (including concerns about our future energy supplies and other limited raw materials like precious metals etc.); and the fear of pollution and the poisoning our planet for future generations.

An interesting article in Wired called “Other Peoples Property” (Sept. 2010) talks about how we are moving finally toward a model of sharing through peer-to-peer renting sites like at www.zilok.com (with 150,000 items listed including cars, vacations, tools, electronics, cloths, and more) and other swapping sites for books, CDs, video games, etc. like www.swaptree.com. Of course, Zipcars and property timeshares are other fashionable examples of this new way of thinking!

Further, the article references a new book by Rachel Botsman called “What’s Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption,” about how we are moving to a new consumption model that emphasizes “usefulness over ownership, community over selfishness, and sustainability over novelty.”

With new technologies and tools there is more opportunity than ever to share and reuse, for example:

  • Online repositories of goods and advanced search capabilities provides the ability to find exactly what we are looking for.
  • Embedding everyday items with microprocessors, networking them, and aiding them with geolocation, enables us to get self-status on their presence, health and availability for use.
  • E-commerce, electronic payment, and overnight shipping, gives us the ability to have the items available when and where we need them, and we can then return them for someone else to take their turn to use them.

If we can get over the stigma of sharing and reuse, perhaps, the day is coming when we can think of many non-personal items more in terms of community use and less in terms of mine and yours, and we’ll all be the richer for it.


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July 28, 2010

Newer Isn’t Always Better

I love new technology as much or more than the next guy, but...

Last month, I came across an article in USA Today called “Army Ditches Velcro For Buttons,” which chronicles how after deploying high-tech, “space-age Velcro” in uniforms in 2004, the Army found that the good old button worked better on keeping pants packets closed. The Army is now substituting three buttons for Velcro on the cargo pockets of its pants to keep them from opening up and spilling out.

To me, the point is not whether we use new, newer, or even the newest technology out there (like space-age Velcro), but whether we are right-fitting the technology to our organization (in this case, the button met the needs of the soldier better).

I’m sure you may have noticed, as have I that certain technology enthusiasts like, want and literally crave the “latest and greatest” technology gizmos and gadgets, whether they fully work yet or not.

These enthusiasts are often the first to download a new (still buggy) app and the ones that line up (often bringing their own lounge chairs) the night before a new iPhone or other “hot” consumer technology product goes to market.

Similar, and perhaps well-intentioned, enthusiasm for new technology can end up in pushing new technologies before the organization is ready for them (in terms of maturity, adoption, change, priorities, etc.). In other cases, newer technologies may be launched even before the “ink is dried” on IT purchases already made (i.e. the technologies bought are not yet implemented and there has been no return on investment achieved!).

At the extreme, organizations may find themselves with proverbial IT storage closets full of still shrink-wrapped boxes of software and crates of unopened IT hardware and still not be deterred from making another purchase and another and another…

I remember in graduate school learning about shopaholics and those so addicted to consumerism that their behavior bordered on the abnormal according to the Bible of psychiatry, the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM).

This behavior is in sharp contrast with organizations that are disciplined with technology and strong stewards with their organization’s investment dollars—they tend to follow a well-thought-out plan and a structured governance process to ensure that money is well-spent on IT—i.e. it is requirements-driven, strategically aligned, ROI-based, and technologically compliant with the architecture.

In such organizations, responsibility and accountability for IT investments go hand-in-hand, so that success is not measured by whether new technologies get identified and investments “go through,” but rather by how beneficial a technology is for the end-user in doing their jobs and how quickly it actually gets successfully implemented.

This latter organization model is the more mature one and the one that we need to emulate in terms of their architecture and governance. Like the Army, these organizations will chose the old fashioned button over the newer Velcro when it suits the soldier better and will even come out saving 96 cents per uniform.

New technology is great--the key is to be flexible and strategic about when it is needed and when it is not.


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