Sports and Energy Drinks, Website’s Supply Chain Costs, and Mobile Coupons and Payment Systems

Highlighted Marketing Stories:

The Crowded, Caffeinated Soft Drink Sector: Who Will Bubble Up to the Top? (Knowledge @ Wharton) – Red Bull and Gatorade are probably the most well known brands in the sports and energy drink segments of the beverage market.  But there are many more and this story discusses what competition may have in store for brands in this segment.

The so-called “functional soft drink sector,” which includes sub-categories from sports and energy drinks and other health-oriented beverages, grew by 48% between 2001 and 2008 to reach sales of $30.3 billion.

Which segment is likely to be more competitive as the economy recovers, the sports drink segment or the energy drink segment?

 

The Hidden Costs of Clicks (Strategy+Business) – As pointed out in this story, online marketers often fail to consider the full cost for driving traffic to their website. Beside the obvious costs associated with advertising there can be extensive supply chain costs.

The issue, as eBags discovered and as many online vendors have yet to understand, highlights the fundamental operational challenges of Internet retailing. It centers on a concept common in the business-to-business realm but rarely employed in a business-to-consumer context: cost-to-serve.

What other types of consumer products not discussed in this story remain difficult to sell online due to high supply chain and operational costs?

 

Coupons You Don’t Clip, Sent to Your Cellphone (New York Times) – Here is a technology that has been talked about for years but has so far been difficult to implement. Maybe now things might finally get rolling.

Mobile coupons — usually text messages with discount codes sent to a cellphone — are becoming the blue-light specials for the digital age, promoting last-minute clothing sales, two-for-one entrees and cheap tickets to the theater.

How long will it take before the big name retailers agree to accept coupons delivered through mobile devices?

 

Mobile Payments Are Taking Off. But Which One to Use? (FastCompany) – And speaking of using mobile devices for purchasing, here is another angle for using these during a transaction.  Not only using cellphones to get a discount but using these to actually pay for the full purchase.

Mobile payments services work in two ways: some allow you to buy stuff from online retailers using your phone, while others allow you to send money to your friends.

As with the mobile coupon question, how long before the big guys accept payment in this form?

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