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Sunday, November 25, 2012

CoinStar and DVDs in Retail

At the recent CFO Dimensions conference in Chicago I was able to interview a number of CFO participants for the CFO Intellectual Exchange Network (IXN)..   One that I was particularly interested in was Coinstar, the retail located kiosks that let you convert coins to cash or to gift cards.  The interest stems from our own interest in kiosk style interaction in retail spaces.  We examined things like the behavior of shoppers in front of and in back of checkout and the implications of linking the interactions with services beyond that store.  Also a number of issues linking to the ROI measure by square footage in the store, maintenance implications and the implications of trust in any system that uses personal information.

I interviewed Saul Gates, Corporate SVP, Finance and Chief Accounting Officer, Coinstar.   Prior to Coinstar, he held various roles at Microsoft Corporation including treasury controller; director, financial compliance; and most recently as director, corporate financial planning and analysis.

We discussed a number of delivery aspects of the use of kiosk interaction in retail.  In particular, the ability the use the same Coinstar platform to interact with the consumer.  Here you have twelve square feet of potentially valuable space, what else can you sell there?   In particular, one thing that is being done  is DVDs via its Redbox DVD rental services. Yet DVD rentals in general continue to decrease in sales.    More on the current status of DVDs here.

SAP is also being included to provide predictive analytics services to drive specific rentals,  SAP has the ability to deliver retail analytics capabilities that can combine near real time interaction with data from their myCoinstar personalization and methods.   In addition there may be opportunities of cross selling with other promotions in the retail spaces.

As we increasingly become a world that is working with digital streaming rather than with physical DVDs, the ability to link selection with online consumption is also a key consideration.  Another place for the use or predictive analytics and promotional connections.

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