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Page 14 JULY 2018 | RETAILERS FORUM MAGAZINE

For Late-Breaking Industry News Visit: www.retailersforum.com

If It Affects Retailing We Report On It!

In Bed With Papa John

WELL it is no surprise to any astute retailer that the landscape we are in is changing on a light

speed basis. Not too long ago the head of Papa John Pizza dropped out and the NFL cut ties with

the chain over the ongoing nonsense of standing, sitting, kneeling and what not. The move did hurt

pizza sales and the chain did what any good businessperson would do and went to their marketing

department and worked on new ideas to juice up the sales. And I have to say the marketing team, and

I assume they are well paid, came up with a unique idea to "pepperoni-up" sales! Every pun intended.

PAPA John's has teamed up with the furniture company Raymour & Flanigan and is offering a year

of free pizza (cheese only, one a month) when customers buy a mattress from one of its 120 stores.

Yes, you read this right. Buy a mattress - get a pizza. Because nothing says pizza like a pillow-top

queen.

ALAS the marketing team did have some tag lines to have this all make sense, eluding to buyers

should only buy pizza in a box, not beds. Their new ads will show a Raymour & Flanigan delivery guy

removing a persons old mattress and setting up the new one. And of course the commercial ends

with the happy couple eating their free cheese only pizza on the bed. Nothing says home furnishings

like hot juicy pizza.

THE furniture chain has been hit by online sellers like Casper, Leesa and other brands that sell

their products in boxes shipped to buyers homes. Although some of those brands are now offering

optional inside delivery and set up. But so far none of them have teamed up with Domino's to throw

a pizza in the mix. And why not? I think with the right marketing they can blitz it by offering one free

topping on the pizza and undercut Papa John's cheese only deal.

WE will see how this turns out for both the sellers in this case. Papa John's is looking to get some

national exposure and recover from falling sales leaving them #4 in the pizza chain business. The

furniture store has their battles with online sellers. It's left to see how much dough will be made.

Marketing To Younger Buyers

HERE'S some shocking news, the teenagers coming of age in 2018 don't like human interaction all

that much! They prefer texting and doing things online rather than a phone call or physical contact. If

you have one of these teens you know what I am talking about. If you don't have your own little "prize"

than read on so you will understand how to sell to them.

FIRST and foremost they grew up in the digital age and were the earliest adapters of emerging

technologies. They are typically non-verbal and have no patience to wait for answers and responses.

They need immediate assistance and they demand it 24/7. So, retailers have been turning to chatbots

to engage with these clients.

A chatbot is simply a mechanism that provides automated, onscreen assistance and can hold

simple conversations with customers. Younger people have no problems with chatbots because they

can get immediate satisfaction with no verbal or physical engagement. The chatbots work around

the clock to engage with prospective buyers and customers. In fact, Microsoft has been working

on breakthroughs that will allow a more natural conversation between the chatbots and users. This

is the future folks and if you want to play in the retailing game you will need to be online as well as

provide this type of service.

NOW, call your mother....or rather her chatbot.

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