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maryann johanson, ruining movies since 1997

the unexpected way smartphones are helping to kill print

supermarket tabloids

From the Department of Unintended Consequences, via Bloomberg Businessweek:

Shoppers’ ‘Mobile Blinders’ Force Checkout-Aisle Changes

For years, publishers could count on bored shoppers waiting in the checkout line to pick up a magazine, get engrossed in an article, and toss it into their cart alongside the milk and eggs. Then came “mobile blinders.”

These days, consumers are more likely to send a quick text and check their Facebook feed than to read a magazine or develop a momentary craving for the gum or candy on display…

Leo Burnett worked with Coke on adding new single-serve drink coolers away from the front of the stores. It’s natural for companies to look for alternatives to impulse-buying at the checkout counter, Jones said. Marketers placed magazines and candy there in the first place, he notes, when they saw an opportunity for making extra sales.

“The smartest marketers are looking at user behavior” and adapting, he said. “People will have to find those kinds of insights for the 21st century.”

The checkout process itself may change radically in the next few years, and again, mobile phones are to blame. Soon, shoppers could simply scan their items and pay with their phones, with no waiting in lines, Jones said.

I haven’t noticed the lack of chewing gum and crappy magazines at checkouts. I’ve been too busy checking Twitter.

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