Brand Loyalty
 
McDonald’s and Uber Eats’ Latest Contest Is Another Play to Build More Brand Loyalty Online
 
If Thanksgiving leftovers aren’t your thing, consider entering McDonald’s latest contest, which gives Twitter users the chance to win free late-night food for an entire year from Uber Eats. To enter it, fans must tweet two menu items they want delivered and include the following tags: #McDelivery, #Sweepstakes, @McDonalds and @UberEats. The grand prize is one year of free late-night delivery awarded as an Uber Eats promo code, along with a bundle of weird McDonald’s swag that includes, among many other items, a massage chair. That’s a lot of burgers and fries, but in the bigger picture, this contest isn’t about free swag or even free food. It’s about McDonald’s and Uber Eats finding new ways to brand themselves in a restaurant industry that’s increasingly moving online. McDonald’s and others are simply tweaking the concept to meet their audiences online, where they have the greatest chance of boosting brand loyalty.
 
 
Data
 
Online Brands Tap Customer Data to Create Pop-Up Shops
 
What exactly is a pop-up shop? It is a strategy spreading quickly across digitally native, also known as online-first, brands. As they look to broaden their customer base with pop-ups, they are using the data they get from customers—age, location and purchasing history, for instance—to focus their efforts and give themselves the best shot at strong sales. Pop-up shops are “absolutely” a force to be reckoned with among less nimble, larger brands, says Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at NPD Group, because they allow brands to experiment with concepts quickly and build closer connections to customers with personalized service. “This is going to be an integral part of the future,” he says. And in this environment, “digitally native brands have the advantage about having a keen sense of their consumer base, with a keen focus on connectivity.”
 
 
Retail
 
Shoppers are demanding more ways to return purchases—and they’re getting their way
 
Consumers want more convenient and flexible choices, including more in-store returns for online purchases and designated locations to pick up and drop off packages, according to a global online survey by Narvar. Narvar found that 13 percent of the shoppers surveyed in the U.S. dropped off a package at a designated location, and 52 percent of those shoppers did so because it was convenient. Some retailers are already experimenting with these options — Target and Walmart allow customers to return online purchases in their stores, and Kohl’s accepts returns for “eligible” items purchased on Amazon at all its stores. In July, UPS announced a new partnership with Michaels stores to expand its “Access Point,” which allows customers to pick up or drop off prelabeled packages at various brick-and-mortar locations, including CVS and Advance Auto Parts stores.
 
Walmart adds Siri ordering for grocery pickup, delivery
 
Walmart is partnering with Apple to allow customers to order online groceries with their voice on Siri. Walmart Voice Order, introduced earlier this year, will let customers add items to a Walmart online grocery cart just by talking to Apple's Siri voice assistant, which is available on the iPhone and other Apple devices. Customers can launch the order by saying "Add to Walmart" and then tell the voice assistant which items to order. The order will be fulfilled by Walmart personal shoppers, and customers can either pick up the order or have it delivered to their homes.
 
Audi To Cut 9,500 Jobs to Fund Shift to Electric Vehicles
 
Audi has revealed it will cut 9,500 of its 61,000 jobs in Germany by 2025 to free up funds to invest in electric vehicles. The Volkswagen-owned luxury car brand says it will create 2,000 new jobs, specializing in digitalization and electric cars, and save $6.6 billion as part of the shakeup. Rival Daimler, which owns Mercedes-Benz, announced plans earlier this month to cut more than 1,000 jobs.

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