Who Started It? Customer and Firm Initiated Contact


Let’s assume after graduating from BIM we have just begun working at a newly formed Online Marketing Department for an online retailer and our boss wants to use digital analysis to better understand our customers. Secondly, we also want to give back to our customers by correctly interpreting the valuable data they produce for us. Together with their data and our insights, we want to  co-create a better shopping experience for our customers.

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The power of social video engagement on social media platforms

At one point, you are really working hard on your business idea report for ccdc, but then you accidentally click on your Facebook tab and start scrolling your timeline. Facebook has implemented the great feature that it plays videos automatically when you scroll near them. At the end you are hooked, watching videos on Facebook voor several minutes. I am sure this happens to almost everyone.

According to Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg, every day more than 100 million hours of video content is being watched on Facebook worldwide. This video content ultimately leads to more engagement on the social media platform. People are liking and sharing video content with their friends. This creates online conversations and a increased popularity of the platform and more time spend on the platform. Which ultimately leads to more value creation for the platform.  Social videos might be the new social media trend in 2016.

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Same day delivery with ‘crowd logistics’

Over the recent years, (almost) all the large e-commerce retailers started to offer same day delivery to their customers. These services are generally carried out by third party logistics providers. With the emergence of same day delivery, new third parties that provide this service also emerge. An example of such a company is Deliv. The goal of the company is to close the last mile gap between retailers and customers. The main way in which Deliv differentiates itself from competitors is that it crowdsources same day delivery. This is done by using a network of on-demand drivers. This creates the advantage for the company that the investments are relatively low in comparison to large competitors. An example is Amazon, which has to invest in expanding the network of distribution centers to enable same day delivery. This while Deliv has no inventory and no fleet of vehicles. This is the reason why Deliv is able to provide the service for $5, which is a relatively low fee in comparison to competitors. Another way in which Delives differentiates itself is that it sells the service to stores and malls instead of directly to customers. Deliv partnered with malls because over 85% of the largest retailers are located in malls. By doing this, Deliv created its own distribution network (Halzack, 2012).

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How about finally having a weekend?

Have you ever considered how you should do so many small tasks at home? You need to clean the house, you need to unpack, and you need to assemble an IKEA cupboard. Also, you might need to pick up your clothes from dry cleaning, do groceries and cook. Also you need to send a package, walk the dog, iron the clothes… Find a wedding photographer, tax lawyer and delivery guy. Since the list can go on and on and the time does the same, on Sunday evening you ask yourself where did your weekend go and feel horrible about lost time to life duties.

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The future of reviewing: Videos!

“59% of customers believe that reviews influence their buying behavior.”

(Xu et. al, 2015)

….You can only imagine the influence reviews have on product sales and what a valuable asset they are to businesses!

Especially for experience goods, the generation of reviews ensures quality and provides social control. Throughout the past weeks, the elective on ‘customer-centric digital commerce’ has shed light on the underlying motivations of users to post reviews, the possibilities to structure them and how (not) to respond to them. We have realized that format and style can have significant effects on consumers’ perceptions and buying behavior.

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Social media is just like high school… How popular are you?

Were you popular in high school? If yes, do you still experience the perks you had back then? Can you still sit at the best table, and receive higher grades because you’re the teacher’s pet?

Probably not, because as you’re thinking, we’re living in the real world now. However, in the digital world the high school popularity contest is still relevant. A social media analytics company called Klout tells you exactly how popular you are based on a score ranging from one to a hundred. I thought it would be fun to check my Klout score but the ‘fun’ ended soon – I’m down to a score of 10. Of course I only have myself to blame, as I haven’t tweeted anything in four years and my Facebook profile only exists out of tags and a couple birthday congratulatory posts. Linking my WordPress account surprisingly also didn’t do the trick for at least moving my score more to the average.

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Project Fi – Revolution in mobile data billing and availability

What is Project Fi

Project Fi is a pre-paid service, which concentrates on simple and cheaper billing of a data, which you use on your phone. Project Fi belongs to Google, more specifically under their new branch Alphabet. You pre-pay data, get a sim card and a software into your phone. With Project Fi, your phone will switch between the data availability from T-Mobile and Sprint and further your phone will automatically switch between free available Wi-Fi, therefore making the billing cheaper. The phone will automatically switch between those while you are calling without any interaction of the phone call. Google has made available to sign up since beginning of March for the service called Project Fi. 10 months ago this service has been only available based on invite and nowadays is available in US though an easy sign up. You also receive one new phone number to which you can link all of your devices and forward all of your calls and texts from other phones.

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What makes you do it?: Incentives for social media contributions

Over the recent years, social media has conquered its position as the most powerful and popular source of information, created by and for consumers that want to learn more about products, persons, brands, and basically everything. Social media has transformed the way we do business and the success of social media websites is highly dependent on their users. Some users may now also say that they owe their success to social media, as they have become well known celebrities due to their contributions on social media websites. Beside this highly unlikely carrier prospect, it is still debatable what people exactly benefit from social media and for what reason they would contribute.

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NearST – Changing how we buy online?

Retailers have a hard time surviving in these times. More and more brick-and-mortar stores are closing and shopping centers have high vacancy levels. According to PBL (planbureau voor de leefomgeving), shop vacancy levels in 2013 amounted to 7.8% of the total retail brick-and-mortar shops in the Netherlands (Buitelaar et al., 2013). One of the main drivers that is a huge threat for the brick-and-mortar shops is e-commerce. Online retailing, e-tailing, is growing very fast and more people are purchasing goods on the internet (molenaar, 2011).

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I want your spot! I’ll give you 50 dollars!

The term “sharing economy” is one of the biggest buzzwords out there. The sharing economy, also known as the peer-to-peer economy, is a socio-economic ecosystem that evolves around the sharing of resources (Matofska, 2015).. The sharing economy has developed very strongly over the past years due to the development and wide-spread availability of information technology. It has produced many interesting new business models, of which some have disrupted many traditional industries. Examples are of course UBER and AIRBNB. Another very interesting example of the sharing economy is Shout; a marketplace for “spots” in the form of a mobile application (Medium, 2016)!

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M-Commerce – Creating new opportunities?


Mobile commerce is growing rapidly and at a faster pace than e-commerce (Brohan, 2016). Currently, mobile commerce accounts for one third of total e-commerce sales. This percentage is expected to exceed the 50% mark soon. In other words, mobile commerce optimization is not a competitive advantage anymore, but a competitive imperative for companies (Roggio, 2016). Due to mobile commerce, you can buy everything you want, whenever you want. What would you buy via your mobile device? Do you have any wishes on your shopping list?

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Kraftwurx – The World’s Platform For 3D Printing In The Cloud

In my last blog-post I introduced some terms and some types of 3D printing platforms. I explained what kind of types of co-creation there are, and how they relate to some 3D printing platforms. In this blog-post I would like to look further into the 3D printing service activity called ‘Design crowdsourcing’’. To refresh your minds, design crowdsourcing service offers a platform where user can ask the crowd to help design a detailed described project. We already know this kind of platform, it is called Werkspot in the Netherlands.

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Let’s start mapping and exploring the world together!

Similar to a lot of things we take for granted these days, a couple of years ago it was unthinkable what Google Street View now offers to its users. It does an incredibly good job in capturing the world and letting us explore places all over the world while enjoying a warm cup of coffee in our comfortable sofa. So far, no other company has been successful in reproducing the content Google Street View has captured. However, a Swedish start-up, Mapillary, is trying to do things differently since its inception in September 2013. Instead of constructing a representation of the world on their own, they are building a crowdsourced competitor of Google Street View by making use of pictures taken by their community of passionate contributors.

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Do you like to question everything? Then you’re welcome here

In the today’s world of internet people are surrounded by lots of information often leading to an overload of information. It is even more problematic to identify the right information from the wrong or redundant one.  This overload of information can often lead to unanswered questions which we may face in our day to day lives. Is organic healthy? Should I eat GMO food? What are gravitational waves? Are vaccines reliable? A simple google search can yield results which offer contrasting arguments and you just do not know what to believe. Introducing the Skeptics Guide to the Universe,  http://www.theskepticsguide.org/. An online community of users and experts which tackle these day to day questions and provide answers based on logic, science and analytical reasoning. It is also an award winning science podcast with over 500 episodes.

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Massive Open Online Courses: The future of education?

MOOC’s, short for Massive Open Online Courses, are a real trend these days. With costs of education rising in countries like the US, UK and even the Netherlands, alternatives are gaining in popularity.

What is a MOOC?

There are several aspects that define online courses to be actual MOOC’s. Firstly, they are Massive, with some of the most popular courses guiding 100.000+ students. The first massive course was Stanford’s artificial intelligence course in 2011 with 150.000 students! More defining are that these courses are online and open for everyone. Even though some of the courses ask a fee for a verified certificate with your name on it, the basic learning is free and everything is accessible.

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Philips Healthcare Community [Case Study]

Following the Accelerate! program by 2014 Philips split in two stand alone companies: HealthTech and Lightning Solutions (Philips, 2014). The HealthTech company integrates technologies and designs into people-centric solutions. To do so they have to be at the center of thought leadership and connected to their key audiences to make them aware of Philips B2B healthcare offerings. From this, the challenge emerged how to generate insights from their key audiences and increase brand affinity and engagement (LinkedIn, 2011).

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Creating shows by data: an unstable house of cards?

Today, the long wait is over. Netflix finally broadcasts the fourth season of the House of Cards. The great success story about Frank Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey, aiming to run again as president of the United States, is the ingredient of a promising new season. But how did House of Cards become such a success? Netflix invested 100 million dollars in House of Cards before they made one single trail episode. Was it an investment in uncertainty of 100 million dollars? Or did Netflix know that its success was an understatement?

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Man versus Machine: Deep learning and its applications

What do the stock market prediction, medical diagnosis, employee selection, electrical demand prediction and personalization all have in common? They are all labor intensive. But do they have to be?

Deep Learning (DL) could be – and to some extent already is – the answer to various human labor intensive tasks. Deep learning is a subsection of machine learning that “focuses on computational models for information representation that exhibit similar characteristics to that of the neocortex”. (Arel et al., 2010).

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Remote coffee brewing with the help of your smartphone

One of the main challenges for companies is creating and optimizing the positive consumer experiences. Creating unique experiences will differentiate a company from its competitors. The internet of things, a concept you are probably all familiar with, is an enabler companies often use to increase the positive consumer experiences. The Internet of Things is about connecting any device to the Internet. Nowadays, more and more applications are getting connected with each other. A toothbrush with Bluetooth, which tells you on your smartphone how to brush, an application on your phone which makes it possible to start heating up your house when you are on your way home or turning the lights on and off on your tablet or smartphone.

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Virtual Reality: Marriage proposals, Virtual Girlfriends & More.

future-dating-644x250Since the rise of Virtual Reality, I got really curious about the progress of the technology  I decided to keep a close eye on its development. My main observational point was to understand to what extent it can replicate the actual reality, and how it can surpass itself in the near future. To this present, I have observed VR in online shopping, fitting rooms, video games and even household tasks.

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