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Posts Tagged ‘mobile’

Flashy mobile free-prize messages creep out consumers

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

By Matthew Swayne-Penn State

Mobile devicesGimmicky contest ads and flashy free-prize messages appear to be an instant turnoff for mobile users, researchers say.

In a study, a tempting offer of a free-prize drawing for registering on a mobile website led users to distrust the site, said S. Shyam Sundar, Distinguished Professor of Communications and co-director of the Media Effects Research Laboratory. S. Shyam Sundar, a communications professor at Penn State.

Sundar said that in an increasingly information-loaded world, people tend to lean on cues, such as icons and messages, for decision-making shortcuts, called heuristics. However, some cues may elicit user reaction in the opposite direction of what most marketers would anticipate.

“Even though we turn to our mobile devices for instantly gratifying our need for information, we may not be persuaded by advertising appeals for instant gratification,” he said.

  Raises red flags

 

“It’s a boomerang effect—marketers may think that they are activating the instant gratification heuristic when they display time-sensitive offers, but what they’re actually doing is cuing red flags about the site.”

“It could be that an instant gratification message makes mobile users, who tend to be more tech savvy, leery about the site,” said Sundar.

Even though free-prize ads are ubiquitous on the internet, marketers may want to seek other ways to reach mobile customers, according to the researchers.

The researchers, who presented their findings at the Association for Computing Machinery’s Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, also tested a warning cue that seemed to prompt more conflicting reactions from users, says Sundar.

Four mobile sites tested

The researchers recruited 220 participants to test four different mobile sites. The participants were first asked to navigate to a mobile site. One site included a caution symbol and a security warning that the site was insecure and another site contained a gift box icon with a message that the user could win a free prize for registering.

A third site showed both a warning and an instant gratification message, and a fourth site, which featured neither alerts, served as the control in the study. Except for these cues, all other content in the four sites was identical.

Participants could choose how much or how little personal, professional, financial, or social media information they provided in the registration form, which served as a measure of their information disclosure behaviors. After registering, they filled out an online questionnaire about their impressions of the mobile website.

When a security alert—a caution icon with a warning message—appeared, users became more worried about security, as expected. However, users were willing to reveal more information about their social media accounts after viewing the security prompt.

The privacy paradox

One possible explanation for this behavior is that the security cue makes the users distinguish more carefully between public and private information.

“People may feel that the social media information is already public information, not necessarily private information, and they are not as concerned about revealing social media information,” said Sundar.

“The ‘privacy paradox’ of giving away information when we are most concerned about its safety may not be all that paradoxical if you consider that the information we give away is not quite private.”

Source: Penn State

 

For insights into mobile and digital technology, marketing and much more, join top thought leaders from brands that include Google, Yahoo, and Twitter – as well tech icon Steve Wozniak at the upcoming Digital Summit Atlanta, May 20-21.

Most retailers expect holiday sales growth with mobile driving revenue

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

Most retailers are expecting their upcoming holiday revenue to grow more than 10 percent, according to a survey by Baynote, a leading provider of personalized customer experience solutions;

Results from its inaugural 2013 Holiday Predictions Survey, conducted in partnership with the e-tailing group, found that retailers are cautiously optimistic, with 60% forecasting growth in excess of 10 percent for 2013 holiday season revenue, in line with industry forecasts.

Shopping cartNot surprisingly, retailers expect mobile to play an increased role in driving sales with minimal contributions from social media. The study surveyed 77 U.S. retailers with annual revenue ranging from less than $20 million to more than $5 billion.

For detailed analysis of the data and to view the associated infographic, visit: http://www.baynote.com/infographic/retail-perspectives-holiday-2013.

Retailers are cautiously optimistic this holiday season:

  • Thirty-eight percent of respondents project an 11 to 20 percent year-over-year increase in sales, with 22 percent predicting an increase of 21 percent or more.
  • The majority expect a slow start to the season with increased momentum throughout late November and December.
  • Respondents predict that online will continue to steal market share from retail stores as the season progresses, but mobile’s influence will drive renewed store interest for omni-channel retailers.

Mobile will drive significant revenue while social continues to underwhelm:

  • Fifty-three percent of respondents expect mobile transactions to account for a significant part of holiday revenue.
  • Thirty-eight percent believe mobile will drive renewed in-store interest that will lead to increased revenue.
  • Mobile’s momentum heading into the holiday season is in stark contrast to social media, which 84 percent of respondents see as having little or no impact on sales.

mobile devices“The survey demonstrates that retailers are expecting to benefit from mobile investments made in the weeks and months leading up to the holiday season,” according to Darnell.

“By using mobile as a tool to drive discovery, in-store purchases and overall customer experience, retailers will increase customer connectivity and be able to provide information and incentives that will encourage customers to complete transactions and engage with the brand post-sale.”

Strategically timed promotions will lead to a promotion-centric season:

  • Retailers plan to offer promotions, such as flash sales, buy-one-get-one free offers and free shipping, at selective times throughout the holiday season.
  • Thirty percent of retailers will begin promotions prior to October 1; over 40 percent of retailers will wait until early November.

“While retailers have expressed cautious optimism for the 2013 holiday season, that optimism hinges on the ability to drive sales through strategically timed promotions in the fourth quarter,” said Lauren Freedman, president, e-tailing group. “Retailers have made aggressive yet realistic goals for the season, and as a result, all eyes will be on bottom-line performance.”

Focus on consumer experience is driving investment in SEO/SEM and eCommerce platforms:

  • Forty-six percent of retailers continue to make significant investments in SEO and SEM technology.
  • Nearly all retailers are investing in enhanced home, category and landing pages while 77 percent invest in enhanced site search capabilities.
  • Eighty-one percent of retailers have dedicated resources to upgrade eCommerce platforms in anticipation of the season.

“Retailers are serious about customer experience this year,” said Darnell. “The data shows retailers recognize that next-generation eCommerce platforms with capabilities to drive a truly personalized and relevant experience will empower merchandisers to achieve increased engagement, revenue and ultimately lifetime value from improved relationships with customers.”

Online, mobile M&A deals up, values down

Friday, July 12th, 2013

YahooOnline and mobile mergers and acquisition deals increased by 7 percent in the first half of 2013, but value decreased 29 percent, from $32.54 billion in the second half of 2012 to $23.16 billion.

The median revenue moved from 2.3x to 2.1x, while the median EBITDA multiple increased from 10.0x to 16.0x, according to the  Berkery Noyes mid-market investment bank, for the first half 2013 mergers and acquisitions trend report

Yahoo!, with 13 transactions, was the industry’s most active acquirer in first half 2013. Aside from its $1.10 billion acquisition of Tumblr, Yahoo! has mainly focused on small, mobile-based transactions this year.

Tumblr was Yahoo!’s largest deal in the Online & Mobile Industry since 2003, when it acquired search and internet advertising company Overture Services for $1.63 billion.

SaaS & Cloud was the most active market segment and underwent a 15 percent increase in volume, totaling 291 transactions year-to-date. M&A activity in the Communications segment improved 22 percent since second half 2012, making it the sector with the largest half-to-half year increase. One notable Communications transaction in first half 2013 was Dropbox’s acquisition of mobile email application Mailbox.

Mobile a strong driver

mobile devicesIn addition, acquirers are looking to add mobile solutions that aggregate relevant content in relation to individual users, as news is shared in real-time.

There were several deals over the past six months that focused on news summary and content sharing, such as LinkedIn’s acquisition of Pulse for $90 million, Google’s acquisition of Wavii for $30 million, and Yahoo!’s acquisition of Summly for $30 million.

“Mobile continues to be a strong driver of M&A activity in the information marketplace,” stated Mary Jo Zandy, Managing Director at Berkery Noyes. “Content delivery methods are evolving, and acquirers in general are showing more interest in semantic technologies that improve the end-user experience.”

Small merchants may be missing out on mobile business

Friday, June 14th, 2013

mobilewalletMobile consumers are knocking at the door of small merchants, but many of those businesses are not ready for them, according to a newly released research report from TransFirst, a provider of transaction processing services and payment enabling technologies, and ControlScan, a payment security and compliance solution provider.

The mobile payment acceptance survey, Small Merchants and Mobile Payments: 2013 Survey on Technology Awareness and Adoption, examines the business impacts of widespread mobile device use and the accompanying sudden increase of mobile-friendly applications.

According to the survey, 82 percent of ecommerce merchants don’t know whether a purchase on their website comes from a mobile device or a PC — yet data from those who do indicates that mobile site visitors are representing a significantly increasing portion of online sales.

Another key finding of the survey shows 49 percent of ecommerce merchants know their websites are not currently optimized for mobile devices and an additional 17 percent say they don’t know or are unsure about their site’s current status — revealing that as many as two-thirds of these merchants may be putting up roadblocks to the growing number of mobile consumers.

A plan of action needed

Ten percent of respondents to last year’s benchmark Mobile Payment Acceptance Survey said they were using a smartphone or tablet to accept credit card payments. That number has almost doubled to 17 percent in less than one year’s time.

“The mobile consumer is knocking at the small merchant’s door,” said Craig Tieken, Director of Product at TransFirst. “Business owners who aren’t already up to speed with mobile payment acceptance need to have a viable plan of action to get there.”

“The mobile payment survey findings show that small merchants have a real business need to effectively adapt to mobile technology trends,” agreed Dave Abouchar, Sr. Director of Product Management for ControlScan.

Now is the time

“Now is the time for ISOs and acquirers to embrace these trends with innovative offerings that guide their merchants toward business growth and increased revenue.”

The survey was sent to small to mid-sized businesses representing service areas such as retail and consumer goods, healthcare and human services, personal and professional services, and restaurant and hospitality. Responses from more than 1650 merchants were collected from March 18 to April 18 of this year. Three-quarters of survey respondents’ businesses have 10 or fewer employees.

The full report is available now for download. In addition, Tieken and Abouchar will present an expert review of the survey’s findings in a June 27 Electronic Transactions Association (ETA) webinar entitled “Small Merchants and Mobile Payments: Measuring Current Technology Awareness and Adoption.

New tech is critical to meeting customer logistics demands

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

According to a recent survey conducted by Intermec (NYSE:IN), transport and logistics companies around the world believe that arming their mobile workforce with new technology could cut both their pick-up times by 30% and delivery times by 29%, savings which could be crucial in boosting operational efficiency levels and meeting customer demands.

These are the principal findings of a survey by Intermec, which surveyed managers of transport and logistics firms in six countries around the world during April 2013.

“Investing the time to review current processes may seem to be a daunting task, but the benefits show this is more than worthwhile,” said Jeff Sibio, Intermec Industry Marketing Director for Transport and Logistics.

According to a recent survey conducted by Intermec, transport and logistics companies around the world believe that arming their mobile workforce with new technology could cut both their pick-up times by 30% and delivery times by 29%, savings which could be crucial in boosting operational efficiency levels and meeting customer demands. These are the principal findings of a survey by Intermec, which surveyed managers of transport and logistics firms in six countries around the world during April 2013. (Graphic: Business Wire)

The study finds that 38% of US organizations view operational efficiency as the area of most strategic importance for their business.

Same-day delivery demanded

More than three quarters (77%) of organizations across UK, US, Germany, France, Australia and New Zealand say their customers now demand same-day delivery services, and 92% of companies claim that meeting these expectations is placing significant challenges on their business to adjust.

Most feel that customer demand can best be made through automating key processes in the pick-up and delivery areas, and adopting new technology for drivers such as GPS, mobile and broadband communications. Companies anticipate that by adopting these technologies, the time taken for each pick-up and delivery can be cut by 2.68 and 2.41 minutes respectively1, providing a significant boost to the efficiency of the mobile worker.

Automate to innovate

  • The survey respondents believe broadband mobile communications (60%), integrated vehicle telematics (44%) and RFID (38%) offer the most promising return on investment to their organization.
  • The efficiency gains from new technology could extend to back office staff as well. The survey respondents report that they are receiving 6,677 calls per day from customers asking for order status updates.
  • By providing proactive shipment updates, a process enabled by location-based and mobile technologies, these same companies believe they could eliminate 24% of these calls immediately.
  • This equates to 1,602 calls per working day, a time saving that could then be used to better serve a wider range of customers.

The need to re-engineer

  • 44% of companies feel that process re-engineering is the most effective means of improving operational efficiency levels.
  • Overall, transport and logistics managers feel that a process re-engineering effort can improve efficiency levels by over 13%.
  • Yet despite this, over a third (39%) have failed to complete a process re-engineering effort in the last year.
  • Of these, nearly three quarters (72%) have not evaluated their existing processes for at least two years.

“Customer expectations in the industry are growing higher each day, putting increasing pressure on mobile workers to meet tighter deadlines,” said Sibio. “Our survey shows that the use of technology not only reduces call and pick up times for workers, it also offers customers the chance to make fewer calls.”

For more information, visit www.intermec.com

SoLoMo changing how moms interact with brands

Friday, June 7th, 2013

Shopping cartSoLoMo (Social, Local, Mobile) is changing the way people are interacting and learning about brands and products.

That’s according to industry experts Rajat Shroff, Vice President of Product Management and Business Development at Brand.net, and Barbara Liss, Director of Digital and Social Media at Quaker Foods of PepsiCo.

In the early 2000s, moms weren’t as digitally connected, spending only about one hour online a day versus more than three hours a day in 2012.  Rather, it was her family spending time online, finding products they wanted her to purchase for them.

Today’s mom now spends an average of 6.1 hours a day on her smartphone. In addition, 1 of every 3 minutes a mom spends online is on Facebook. She’s also joining online mom clubs and is more aware of product attributes than ever.

Faster, smarter, better buying decisions

social mediaToday’s SoLoMo mom is becoming aware of products on social sites, researching on parenting blogs, and then making the buying choices for her family.

Her multi-media consumption is leading to faster, smarter and better buying decisions. Shroff and Liss also discussed the differences in how media behavior, geography, culture and other demographics impact the SoLoMo mom.

Shroff heads up product strategy with a specific focus on unlocking the unique data and assets at the company to make them actionable for digital advertising.  He has also held product management leadership positions and led strategy and delivery of products for analytics, personalization, search, advertising and merchandising.

Leading to loyalty and activation

“Brands are engaging with consumers, especially with moms, in so many different ways today,” Shroff said. “Media consumption continues to grow on digital screens and the opportunities to engage with consumers innovatively across them is leading to loyalty and activation.”

Liss is responsible for driving the digital agenda across the Quaker portfolio.  During her tenure, she has spearheaded the brand’s e-commerce initiatives, enhanced Quaker’s social CRM program and overseen their entry into mobile marketing.

According to Liss, “Social, Local and Mobile are key engagement arenas for Quaker Foods to connect with the Digital mom.  We are continuously pursuing new areas to reach, engage and activate moms.  Brand.net has been open to working with us on new techniques and the early signs are successful.”

Most businesses had a costly mobile security incident

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

mobile devicesThe majority of businesses (79%) had a mobile security incident in the past year, and the costs are substantial. The new report found mobile security incidents tallied up to over six figures for 42 percent of businesses, including 16 percent who put the cost at more than $500,000.

From smartphones to tablets, mobile devices continue to cause ongoing concern for IT teams responsible for information security. Sensitive corporate information can be easily transported, leaked, or lost while the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement has dramatically increased the number of expensive security incidents.

Even so, corporate information, including sensitive customer information, are increasingly stored on personal mobile devices and not managed by corporate IT.

Based on a survey of nearly 800 IT professionals, the report quantifies the dramatic growth of BYOD, exposes the frequency and cost of mobile security incidents, and identifies the main challenges faced by businesses of all sizes.

Key findings include:

  • Surge in Personal Mobile Devices Connecting to the Corporate Network – Among companies that allow personal mobile devices, 96 percent say the number of personal devices connecting to their corporate networks is growing, and 45 percent have more than five times as many personal mobile devices as they had two years ago.
  • Mobile Security Incidents Common and Costly for Businesses Large and Small – More than half (52%) of large businesses report mobile security incidents have amounted to more than $500,000 in the past year. Even for 45 percent of SMBs with less than 1000 employees, mobile security incidents exceeded $100,000 in the past year.
  • Android logoMobile Platform with the Greatest Perceived Security Risks – Android was cited by 49 percent of businesses as the platform with greatest perceived security risk (up from 30 percent last year), compared to Apple, Windows Mobile, and Blackberry
  • Corporate Information Not Managed on Mobile Devices – Despite costly mobile incidents, 63 percent of businesses do not manage corporate information on personal devices, and 93 percent face challenges adopting BYOD policies.
  • More Mobile Devices Store Sensitive Customer Information – More than half (53%) of all businesses surveyed report there is sensitive customer information on mobile devices, up from 47 percent last year.

“Without question, the explosion of BYOD, mobile apps, and cloud services, has created a herculean task to protect corporate information for businesses both large and small,” said Tomer Teller, security evangelist and researcher at Check Point Software Technologies.

“An effective mobile security strategy will focus on protecting corporate information on the multitude of devices and implementing proper secure access controls to information and applications on the go. Equally important is educating employees about best practices as majority of businesses are more concerned with careless employees than cybercriminals.”

For a full copy of the new report, The Impact of Mobile Devices on Information Security, please visit:
http://www.checkpoint.com/downloads/products/check-point-mobile-security-survey-report2013.pdf

Mobile video growing, but users spend most time on social

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Many US women would give up sex rather than their mobile phone

Friday, May 24th, 2013

smartphonesIn an increasingly digital world, today’s ultra connected women have never been more emotionally detached.

So say the findings of the latest global study by AVG Technologies N.V. (NYSE: AVG), the provider of Internet and mobile security, privacy and optimization to 150 million active users, which charts the changing ways women are using technology to form and manage their relationships.

The study, which questioned 4,000 women in the UK, US, Canada, France, Germany and Brazil, highlighted the increasing role mobile devices and social media channels play in the dating process, and suggested that online research has displaced in-person chemistry when it comes to partner evaluation.

Nearly 35 per cent of women now use social media channels to check out dates ahead of time, prioritizing pictures followed by common friends and finally interests and comments.

Here at the TechJournal, we’re always a little skeptical of these studies, but they do provide insights on just how close we’ve become to our digital devices. This intimacy has implications for marketers. You can’t be too intrusive, for instance, and the more personal you can make an offer, the better.

Ending relationships via tech

Just as women are turning to technology to kick-start their relationships, so too have they become reliant upon it to end them. All up figures indicated that more than 50 per cent of those questioned either have or would break up with a significant other on the phone and more than a quarter have or would do so via text message.

“We all recognize that face-to-face is usually better than Facebook when it comes to relationships, but when so many of us live such busy lives it’s not surprising technology is increasingly being used as a substitute for one-on-one, in-person contact,” said John Giamatteo, COO of AVG Technologies.

“What’s more telling is the extent to which women, both old and young, are now relying on technology in matters of the heart. This study suggests an increasing level of detachment, where devices serve as agents to filter potential partners and release them when women are ready to move on. On a purely abstract note, we might even consider whether mobile devices and their trusty stream of insight will become the new primary relationship.”

When it came to the different age ranges, predictably it was 18-25 year olds who were the most likely to break up with a partner using their phone (61 per cent), by posting on Facebook (19 per cent) or via sending a text message (38 per cent). That said, the older generations were not far behind, with 45 per cent of 45-54 year olds also indicating that they would or have ended a relationship using their phone. The most dramatic differences, however, arose between nationalities.

Brazilian women the most cutthroat

FacebookThough women in the US are the most prolific users of social media channels to screen dates, Brazilian women emerged as the most cutthroat group in the dating stakes. According to the survey, not only would 58 per cent use a phone call for a break up, but 61 per cent had cancelled dates based on information they’d discovered on social media channels.

Data showed that Brazilians are also the most likely to break off a relationship over Facebook (18 per cent).

Conversely, responses indicated that the French were more traditional in their approach and the least reliant upon technology for their relationships.

Fewer than 25 per cent of French women questioned look at social media channels ahead of a date, for example, and they are also the least likely to secretly read their partners’ text or email messages (18 per cent). Again, Brazilian women topped this particular category, with more than 50 per cent of respondents admitting to some form of mobile snooping.

And finally, 57 per cent of US women would rather give up sex than their mobile device for a week, which, among other things, places mobile devices rather close to the heart.

SaaS, cloud IT, mobile reshaping the software industry

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

PwcThe emergence of software-as-a-service (SaaS), cloud, IT consumerization and mobile are expected to advance the future of the software industry, finds PwC U.S. in its annual Global 100 Software Leaders report. The report, in its fourth year of publication, highlights a deeper understanding of the underlying forces and trends that are influencing the industry.

The PwC study finds that the effects of globalization and consolidation are changing the landscape of the software sector and how companies develop, market, sell, distribute and support their products. Acquisitions are viewed as an R&D strategy as well as a key way to acquire talent and build SaaS capabilities more effectively and efficiently.

“Software companies and vendors are especially beginning to feel the effects of the software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology on their business models,” said Patrick Pugh , PwC’s U.S. software and Internet leader.

“Vendors need to continually evaluate both the changing priorities of customers and the industry because these evolving sentiments are causing deep structural changes and fundamentally shaping business models.”

SaaS racked up 40 percent of revenues

According to the report, SaaS revenue accounted for at least 40 percent of software revenue for 10 companies on the Global 100, in which nine of the top 10 are U.S.-based.

While U.S. companies lead revenue share on both the global and North American lists of software vendors, PwC finds that powerful newcomers, as well as companies from emerging markets, will increasingly challenge the dominance of the large North American vendors.

“To drive future growth, North American software vendors must prioritize transforming their business models to address the realities of the SaaS environment and incorporate social enterprise, IT consumerization and data analytics.  Furthermore, U.S. companies can find new opportunities to expand globally by tailoring their software to specific vertical markets and geographic regions,” added PwC’s Pugh.

Key industry drivers include:

  • Priority on pricing: Pricing is the paramount issue for the entire sector. With the rise of IT consumerization via low and no cost online platforms, software companies are already struggling to explain the difference in value between a low-cost mobile app and a full-strength, licensed enterprise software package.
  • SaaS is gaining traction: Although SaaS represented only 4.9 percent of total software revenues in 2011, a consistent and significant shift towards SaaS is occurring. Roughly half of 800 North American organizations confirmed they evaluate cloud based solutions when buying software. Perpetual license revenue has been shrinking since 2004 while subscription revenue (including SaaS) is forecast to grow at a 17.5 percent compounded annual rate, reaching 24 percent of total software revenue by 2016. Software companies are now closely evaluating aspects of their business models, including delivery methods, pricing strategies and sales compensation options.
  • Customer is king: With the adoption of intuitive cloud services, mobile devices and low-cost apps, CIOs are no longer the sole decision makers in the software purchasing process; end users must be satisfied in order to retain and grow enterprise sales. Additionally, customer perception of the value of software has changed dramatically.  Vendors must develop strategies to counter the expectation that software should be free.
  • Emerging hybrid models bring new challenges: There will be a range of business models, from traditional licensed software, to pure SaaS, to hybrid approaches, all of which will pose challenges for vendors in the foreseeable future.
  • Vendors will need to identify and adopt new business models while trying to maintain revenues and profits during a time when overall industry pricing is under pressure. Industry executives also worry that the new subscription-based business models will increase dependency on renewals and risk of customer turnover.

What do online, mobile, & social shoppers want? Deals

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

paragoDeal seeking has grown significantly in the past year, according to parago’s third annual shopper study, “Let’s Make a Deal.”

It is now a behavior consistently seen in shoppers from all demographics. Deal seeking is no longer just trendy or born completely out of necessity. Shoppers continue to seek out the very best prices and are willing to go out of their way to save even a little bit.

Consumers are rapidly adopting all forms of deal seeking—especially rebates—through mobile, social and online platforms.

Finding deals is emotionally rewarding

Searching for and finding the best value is a practice now cemented in consumers’ path to purchase due to several factors: greater price sensitivity, reduced perceived spending power, advancing mobile technology and easier access to deals online and via social networks.

“Finding deals is emotionally rewarding to consumers, as it makes them feel as though they are doing everything they can to maintain their standard of living. This attitude is evidenced by their willingness to work across social, mobile, print and digital resources to find the very best price,” said Rodney Mason, CMO of parago, a global incentives and engagement company.

“This study sends a clear message to marketers: shoppers’ appetites for deals and discounts can be fulfilled in a variety of ways, especially via mobile and social as well as rebates, which consumers understand offer deeper discounts than other deals” Mason added.

The “Let’s Make a Deal” shopper study can be downloaded for free here.

Key findings from the research include:

  • Price sensitivity is up significantly: Nearly 3 in 4 shoppers are more sensitive to price this year due in part to 42% of those surveyed feeling their purchasing power has decreased.
  • Deal-seeking behavior continues to grow: Before shopping, 80% of consumers look for deals, rebates and the best prices; only 69% did so in 2012.
  • The majority prefer rebates to instant discounts: All income levels believe rebates are easy to complete and worth the extra step for the deeper savings earned vs. instant discount offers.
  • Mobile deal finding jumps: This year, 46% of consumers shop where they can use their smartphones to check prices; only 11% did so last year.
  • Demand for deals in social networks: 57% of consumers would like access to exclusive values via social media.

Shopping practices

 

 

The “Let’s Make a Deal” shopper study was conducted in March 2013 via independent online delivery. More than 1,100 consumers, representative of the U.S. population by education, income and sex, responded to a 50-question survey that explored their deal-seeking behavior.

Online shopping for Mother’s Day grew 15 percent

Friday, May 17th, 2013

Shopping cartMother’s Day online shopping grew 15 percent in the week leading up to Mother’s Day, compared to the same time period last year.

Spurred by mobile commerce, mobile percentage of sales reached 17 percent, according to IBM’s (NYSE: IBM) Digital Analytics Benchmark, a cloud-based analysis of the online retail market.

Here at the TechJournal, we see this as more evidence that digital shopping – and particularly mobile – is the future of retail.

With the National Retail Federation (NRF) estimating Mother’s Day sales reaching $20 billion this year, retailers made it easier for consumers to buy for mom through their smartphones and tablets.

According to IBM’s Benchmark, mobile commerce led the way this Mother’s Day. In the week leading up to Mother’s Day, consumers flocked to their mobile devices, with mobile traffic reaching 25 percent, an increase of 43 percent year over year, with the Apple iPhone and iPad as the consumer shopping devices of choice.

As retailers are making it easier for mobile shoppers to browse and buy with a tap of a finger, customizing mobile apps and web sites for on-the-go consumers, the mobile customer experience has become a top priority for retailers looking to streamline the buying process.

In the week leading up to Mother’s Day, mobile shoppers browsed and completed purchases in three-and-a-half minutes, while desktop users took twice as long, more than six minutes, to complete their shopping session.

That three and a half minute shopping experience for mobile is an eye-opener. Does your mobile app let someone make a purchase that quickly and easily? The six-minute mark for desktop online shopping seems reasonable, although when we know what we’re looking for, it doesn’t take more than a minute at one-click sites such as Amazon.

As merchants continue to invest in upgrading support for digital shopping channels, retailers are designing for a MobileFirst market by simplifying the client experience and deepening connections to consumers.

Key findings from the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark:

  • In the week leading up to Mother’s Day, online shopping grew by 15 percent, with average order value reaching $209, representing a four percent increase compared to the same period last year.
  • Department store sales grew by more than 20 percent in the week leading up to Mother’s Day compared to the same period last year. Retailers simplified the digital buying experience for customers, with iPad conversions increasing dramatically by more than 315 percent, with iPhone conversions increasing 184 percent.
  • In the three weeks leading up to Mother’s Day, online jewelry sales steadily increased, nearly tripling with a 180.6 percent increase in that same period. In the week leading up to Mother’s Day, mobile traffic reached 42 percent, up almost 59 percent over 2012. Mobile sales reached 48 percent, an increase of 38 percent compared to 2012.
  • Online sales of gifts including flowers and chocolates more than doubled the week just before Mother’s Day compared to the week before, an increase of 140 percent. Mobile percentage of sales was up 109 percent, reaching 28 percent and mobile site traffic was up 95 percent, reaching 34 percent, in the week leading up to Mother’s Day, compared to the same period last year.
  • In the week leading up to Mother’s Day, health and beauty sales were up 40 percent compared to the same time last year, with similar mobile commerce gains. Mobile percentage of sales reached 18 percent, a gain of 16.4 percent, with mobile traffic reaching 27 percent, up 33 percent over last year.

By analyzing these trends, Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs), sales, e-commerce and customer loyalty executives can better understand and respond to the needs of customers in terms what and how they prefer to buy.

Four digital behaviors to avoid at work

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

digital devicesTechnology is one of the most effective ways to bring people together at work, but it may also be causing a digital divide, a new Robert Half Technology survey of chief information officers (CIOs) suggests. Sixty-four percent of CIOs said higher use of mobile gadgets such as cellphones and tablets have led to more breaches in workplace etiquette over the last three years. That’s up from 51 percent who said the same thing in a similar survey three years ago.

The survey is based on more than 2,300 telephone interviews with CIOs from a random sample of U.S. companies in 23 major metro areas with 100 or more employees. Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of IT professionals on a project and full-time basis.

CIOs were asked, “In your opinion, what effect has the increased use of mobile electronic gadgets — such as cellphones, smartphones, handheld devices and laptops — had on workplace etiquette in the past three years? Have the number of breaches in workplace etiquette increased, decreased or remained the same?” Their responses*:

2013 2010
Increased significantly 17% 22%
Increased somewhat 47% 29%
Remained the same 32% 42%
Decreased somewhat 3% 4%
Decreased significantly 1% 2%
Don’t know 1% 1%
101% 100%

* Numbers may not total 100 percent due to rounding.

Robert Half“As mobile devices have become increasingly integrated into the workplace, they’ve helped us become more productive, but they also can serve as a round-the-clock distraction,” said John Reed , senior executive director of Robert Half Technology. “If you’re not fully engaged in a conversation or meeting, you may spend more time replying to emails than listening, for example.”

Added Reed: “These devices can also make it easier to mistakenly offend colleagues when you fire off a communication too quickly, or use the wrong medium for the message.”

Robert Half Technology suggests avoiding these four things to remain in the good graces of your colleagues and manager:

1. Surfing while talking. Checking your email while someone is trying to have a one-on-one conversation with you is impolite. You’ll come off looking distracted and disrespectful.
2. Leaving a long voice mail. For most communications, you should get to the point quickly. Aim for a voice mail that’s no longer than 30 seconds unless it’s a delicate or complicated issue.
3. Using the wrong form of communication. Can you send a text or IM instead of calling? Along the same lines, email is better than instant message when an immediate response isn’t required. Of course, if you need to have a difficult conversation with someone, picking up the phone or talking in person is best.
4. Taking multitasking to the extreme. While it is generally acceptable to bring laptops and smartphones to meetings, you still must be an active and attentive participant. Reign in the urge to surf the Web, update your Facebook status or check your email every minute. Also set your smartphone to vibrate or turn it off completely.

Online marketing offers better efficiency than offline

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

mobile devicesTwo of today’s most talked about brand advertising categories are mobile and online video. Until now, however, brands have struggled with accurately and definitively measuring the return they are getting on their video and mobile ad spending, and deciding how to best allocate their limited marketing and advertising dollars.

MarketShare, which sells predictive analytics for marketers, has just completed one of the first in-depth analyses of video and mobile ad effectiveness as part of the larger marketing mix.

The study, sponsored by Google, quantifies the relative impact of these digital media across several major industries, including autos (entry level luxury segment), credit cards, cosmetics, auto insurance and smartphones, with implications for many others.

How marketing drives consumers

MarketShare analyzed vast amounts of data from Google, YouTube, and other syndicated data sources to establish how, at a category level, marketing drives consumers to engage with search, display, video and mobile channels, ultimately influencing their purchasing decisions.

“Through this analysis, MarketShare and Google are helping marketers better understand how search, online video, and other paid, owned, and earned marketing tactics influence consumer behavior and drive demand,” says Wes Nichols , Co-Founder and CEO at MarketShare.

“At the same time, we’ve uncovered new insights about video and mobile advertising effectiveness that many marketers haven’t seen or been able to quantify before.”

A Marketing Efficiency Index developed by MarketShare compares ad spending on different online and offline channels to actual results (sales or applications). Looking at the overall average for the industries analyzed, findings show that online marketing offers greater efficiency per dollar of marketing spend than offline.

Reallocating marketing dollars lifts sales

By reallocating marketing dollars, marketers with spending levels similar to the category averages studied could expect to generate an incremental 1% to 4% lift in sales.  Since the total marketing spend analyzed across all five categories totals more than $8 billion, the stakes are significant.

“Through our efforts with MarketShare, we were able to develop unique category-level models for analyzing digital and traditional marketing channels more holistically, helping us better understand the full value of marketing investments,” says Gunnard Johnson , Advertising Research Director at Google.

MarketShare’s analysis of category-level marketing activity sought to measure how consumers are influenced throughout their “purchasing journey.”

YouTube 4By including not only paid marketing investments, but also other intermediate outcomes in the purchase journey such as a consumer’s Google queries and content views on YouTube related to a brand (both brand-uploaded and content related to a brand), this analysis went deeper into drivers of brand performance than traditional marketing allocation efforts.

A few key takeaways for marketers include:

  • While offline marketing and other environmental factors continue to play a substantial role in driving demand in the categories modeled, digital spending appears to have substantial upside for greater marketing efficiency, particularly for smartphones and auto insurance.
  • Desktop search continues to warrant a significant percentage of marketing allocations. In addition, mobile search is an aspect of marketing investment that this study has identified as important, especially in larger categories such as Cosmetics, Credit Cards and Auto Insurance.
  • Online video investments via YouTube in the range of 1%-4% of total media budget seem appropriate for high-spend categories, with more considered purchases (e.g. luxury autos or handsets) perhaps even higher. All in all, the model suggests that current levels of brand spend in YouTube appear to be consistently underinvested.
  • Quantifying the impact of other consumer touchpoints highlights the importance and potential for paid advertising to influence owned and earned contributions. In particular, the analysis was able to determine the value YouTube “owned” and “earned” content views represent, highlighting their significant overall sales contribution.

Mobile barcode scans hit record in Q1

Friday, April 26th, 2013

mobilephonesAre you seeing more of those barcode scans intended for mobile users? We sure are – and smartphone users are pointing their devices at them in record numbers.

Mobile users conducted more than 18 million scans of QR Codes and UPC mobile barcodes in Q1 2013, according to Scanbury’s quarterly trend report.

The month of March 2013 garnered more than 6.7 million scans alone, the highest-generating month registered since the report began in 2009.

“Mobile engagement is on the rise,” said Mike Wehrs , CEO and President of Scanbuy. “Marketers and brands are continuing to strategically integrate commercial grade QR Codes into their campaigns, providing consumers with relevant and timely content that lead to consumer loyalty, relationship cultivation and transactions, as well as gaining business intelligence for creating long-lasting customer engagements.”

Scanbuy’s Q1 2013 Trend Report highlights the following statistics:

  • More men scan mobile barcodes, accounting for 65% of the scans, with women accounting for 35% of the scans
  • 57% of scans came from the Android OS compared to 41% on Apple iOS devices
  • McDonalds, Publix, Tim Hortons , Kohls and Coca-Cola were the most “liked” brands according to data from the ScanLife app
  • The United States ranks highest in volume of scans, followed by Spain, France and Brazil, respectively.

In the study, Scanbuy analyzed thousands of scans that were generated from the ScanLife App or the ScanLife Mobile Engagement Platform. The traffic analysis was performed on all ScanLife processed user activities providing a detailed view across numerous verticals and geographies.

To access the full Mobile Trend Report infographic click here: http://content.scanlife.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Trend-Report_Q1.2013.pdf

Remote workers expose firms to cybercrime

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

mobile devicesResults of new remote access security research show half of companies with a remote workforce had their websites compromised in 2012, over a third had passwords hacked, and twice as many companies with remote users were victims of SQL injection attacks.

Conducted by Webroot, a leader in Internet security as a service, the new study indicates that data theft is the primary goal in new types of mobile attacks. Scenarios include malicious threats that use e-mail, SMS and mobile Web browsers to launch an attack, then silently record and steal data.

Top-level corporate study findings:

  • 64% of companies allow remote access to servers for 25% to 100% of employees
  • 90% of companies agree that managing the security of remote users is extremely challenging
  • 71% of Web security professionals who say managing remote users is highly challenging experienced Web-borne phishing attacks in 2012

The proliferation of mobile devices for business use and the need to grant remote user access exposes corporate networks to high rates of malware threats, including phishing attacks, spyware, keyloggers and hacked passwords.

While allowing such devices to access company resources aids productivity, the potential for new exploits to compromise businesses creates significant security risks to the organization and private data. Enabling remote access to corporate servers requires sensible policies and controls to ensure network security.

The study, which surveyed Web security decision-makers in the United States and United Kingdom, found that companies with 25% or more of their workforce using remote access experience higher rates of Web attacks due to a lack of such protection measures.

“These days, there is so much risk involved from a corporate perspective that remote access protection must be part of all basic tool kits. Vulnerabilities in mobile Web browsers pose a major threat to mobile device security and our latest study shows that they have led to an increasing number of successful attacks in 2012,” said David Duncan , Chief Marketing Officer at Webroot.

“Mobile browser security is essential to reduce the vulnerabilities from websites containing malware and stop phishing attacks. This should be mandatory if employees are to have remote access to any corporate network or other corporate online resources via their mobile devices.”

What can organizations do?
The new “Remote Users Expose Companies to Cybercrime” report provides a comprehensive analysis of the current mobile Web browser vulnerabilities and includes steps to secure browser controls and reduce the risks associated with mobile browsing. You can view the full report at http://www.webroot.com/remote-security-report-2013 or visit Webroot at InfoSecurity Europe 2013, held in London in booth #D60, April 23 through 25, 2013 for a complimentary copy.

Digital ad revenues climb to milestone high

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

IAB mobileDigital advertising revenues climbed to a milestone high of $36.6 billion in 2012, according to theIAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report for the full-year of 2012.

That historic number marks a 15 percent rise over 2011’s full-year number, which itself had been the highest on record, at $31.7 billion.

The news suggests, along with other reports, that marketers and companies realize that digital advertising offers numerous advantages over traditional channels. That doesn’t necessarily mean advertisers should abandon those channels, however, says BrandSprout Principal Joellyn “Joey” Sargent.

Sargent, who is among the dozens of speakers headed to Atlanta next month for TechMedia’s Digital Summit, says that while digital is increasingly important, it works best in an integrated campaign that includes traditional and offline marketing.

 

The report, released today by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and prepared by PwC U.S., additionally reveals that 2012’s fourth quarter numbers, at $10.3 billion, rose by 14.9 percent from $9 billion in the final quarter of 2011.

These 2012 Q4 figures represent an uptick of 11.6 percent over Q3 2012, which came in at $9.2 billion.

“As Smartphones get smarter, cellular networks get faster and user penetration of smart mobile devices increases, the combination of personalization and location will have tremendous appeal to marketers”

Other highlights include:

  • For the second year in a row, mobile achieved triple-digit growth year-over-year. The past year saw the mobile category surge 111 percent to $3.4 billion, pivoting off of 2011’s record-breaking 149 percent year-over-year rise to $1.6 billion. Mobile accounted for 9 percent of total internet ad revenue in 2012.
  • Digital video, a component of display-related advertising, brought in $2.3 billion, marking a significant year-over-year increase of 29 percent in 2012, compared to $1.8 billion in 2011.
  • Search revenues in 2012 totaled $16.9 billion or 46 percent of 2012 revenues, up 14.5 percent from $14.8 billion in 2011.
  • Display-related advertising revenues in 2012 totaled $12 billion or 33 percent of 2012 revenues, up almost 9 percent from $11 billion in 2011.
  • Retail advertisers continue to represent the largest category of internet ad spending, accounting for 20 percent in 2012, followed by financial services, which is responsible for 13 percent of the year’s revenues.

Mobile soared

“These record-breaking numbers represent a paradigm shift when it comes to marketers recognizing the role a multiplicity of screens plays in effectively reaching today’s consumers,” said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO, IAB.

“Mobile, in particular, soared due to its ubiquity and intrinsic ability to serve as a powerful digital dashboard that travels with you from morning commute to nighttime video viewing and beyond. The significant increase in digital video also underscores the importance of the upcoming Digital Content NewFronts and the vitality that sight, sound and motion play for both consumers and advertisers in the digital era.”

“As Smartphones get smarter, cellular networks get faster and user penetration of smart mobile devices increases, the combination of personalization and location will have tremendous appeal to marketers,” said David Silverman, Partner, PwC U.S. “We are just at the tip of the iceberg.”

“For the third consecutive year, digital media ad revenue has racked up double-digit growth, demonstrating the strength of interactive advertising and marketers’ commitment to be where consumers are,” said Sherrill Mane, Senior Vice President, Research, Analytics, and Measurement, IAB.

Here are the results from the full year in comparison with last year’s numbers:

Full Year
2011
Full Year
2012
% $ % $
Revenue (Ad Formats)
Search 46.5% $14,768 46.3% $16,916
Classifieds and Directories 8.1% $2,580 6.6% $2,430
Lead Generation 4.8% $1,522 4.6% $1,689
E-mail 0.7% $213 0.4% $156
Mobile 5.0% $1,596 9.2% $3,370
Display-related
-Digital Video Commercials 5.7% $1,809 6.4% $2,330
-Ad banners / display ads 21.5% $6,811 21.1% $7,721
-Sponsorships 3.5% $1,121 2.3% $845
-Rich media 4.1% $1,315 3.0% $1,113
Total display-related 34.8% $11,056 32.8% $12,009
Revenue (Pricing Models)
Impression-based 31.3% $9,926 32.0% $11,709
Performance-based 64.6% $20,491 65.9% $24,093
Hybrid 4.2% $1,318 2.1% $768

IAB sponsors the IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report, which is conducted independently by the New Media Group of PwC. The results are considered the most accurate measurement of interactive advertising revenues because the data is compiled directly from information supplied by companies selling advertisements on the internet.

The survey includes data concerning online advertising revenues from Web sites, commercial online services, free email providers, and all other companies selling online advertising. The full report is issued twice yearly for full and half-year data, and top-line quarterly estimates are issued for the first and third quarters. PwC does not audit the information and provides no opinion or other form of assurance with respect to the information.

A copy of the full report is available at: www.iab.net/AdRevenueReport.

Digital interaction with customers important to brand loyalty

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Shopping cartWith brand loyalty sinking, nearly half (48%) of people between the ages of 18-44 feel that any loyalty they feel toward brands in the future will have to stem from the types of experiences brands create for them, according to a national survey by marketing consultants Analytic Partners.

This includes interaction in the form of video/online gaming, social media and third-party expert information through blogs and articles.

In another recent study, Deloitte found that online and mobile can help bolster a brand’s loyalty.

The Analytic Partners survey of 1,000 respondents, conducted by Opinion Research Corporation, unveiled the shopping behaviors and expectations of American consumers that interact and purchase from brands regularly.

Loyalty a two-way street

“The general conclusion we can make from these findings is that people want to be loved by the brands that love them—loyalty has become a two way street,” said Nancy Smith , founder and CEO of Analytic Partners.

“No longer are the days when brands can advocate solely for themselves.  In fact, the way brands spend their marketing dollars to interact with their consumers can ultimately have a real impact on profitability. “

Mass Market Retailers & Shopping Habits
AmazonConsumers feel empowered to make purchases when they have the knowledge to make proper decisions.

According to the survey results, more than half (66%) of consumers are shopping online using mass market sites like Amazon and Walmart.com, and despite the ease of comparison price shopping, they feel loyal to the brands they buy (63%) on these sites.

Consequently the determining factor for this lies within the reviews—75% feel that the reviews they read online play a major role in the purchases they make.

Both Gender & Location Factor into Loyalty
Gender and location do play a role in brand loyalty. Of those surveyed, female consumers (68%) are generally more loyal to brands than males (55%). Results also indicated that consumers living in the south are the most loyal to the brands they buy (67%), while those living on the west coast are the least loyal (56%).

Transparency is Key for Baby Boomers
While fair pricing and excellent customer service are top of mind for most consumers, the baby boomer generation (ages 49-67) care more than any other age demographic that brands should be transparent about how their products are made (80%).

“As ecommerce continues to grow in popularity, new methods for consumer interaction are becoming a must for brands that want to strengthen retention and loyalty efforts,” continued Nancy Smith .

“Therefore it’s become increasingly important for brands to look at their data holistically to analyze and develop new ways to meet and exceed consumers’ expectations. Social media is just one of the many channels Analytic Partners considers and analyzes when seeking to understand the efficacy of marketing spend and the role it plays in the larger business scope.”

Technology distracting some from long term goals

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013
mobile devices

The plethora of electronic devices and their distractions distract some from long term goals.

The efficiency that technology affords us is undeniable. Yet around-the-clock connectivity and instant access to information is distracting millions of Americans, and having a deep impact on long-term planning, according to data from Northwestern Mutual’s 2013 Planning & Progress Study.

Nearly one in three (31%) Americans say they find the immediacy of society today (email, texting, instant messaging, etc.) distracting, and an alarming 69% say the fast pace makes it hard to stick to long term goals. While that’s a slight decrease from the 74% who said the same in 2011, it’s still a considerable majority.

How about you? Here at the TechJournal, we’re as inundated by technology’s distractions as the next person, and perhaps somewhat more, but we find discipline helps keep us on track.

“We’re living at a time of extraordinary progress and transformative change, where the tools we carry around every day allow us to do almost anything from anywhere at any time,” says Greg Oberland, Northwestern Mutual executive vice president.

“Still, many of the most important things in life can’t or shouldn’t be done at lightning speed. Having a long-term financial plan is a perfect example. There simply are no shortcuts for that.”

Mobile Usage is Up 
Two-thirds (66%) of Americans say the immediacy of having electronic devices is efficient both in the short-term and long-term, while one-third (34%) say it’s efficient only in the near-term. Given those efficiencies, it’s no surprise that usage is up.

  • More than one in three (36%) people say their usage of electronic/mobile devices (smartphones, cell phones, tablets, etc.) has increased over the past year.
  • That number is even higher for Gen Y (43%), men (39%), and parents (43% with kids under 18; 41% with kids over 18)

The Most Distracted Americans
Interestingly, older generations seem to be struggling more than their younger peers when it comes to balancing the pace of today’s society with focusing on long-term goals; but younger people report  higher levels of distraction overall:

  • Majority of Boomers (74%) and Matures (75%) say the pace of society makes it harder for them to stick with long-term goals, whereas only 61% of Gen Y and 63% of Gen X say the same
  • 35% of Gen Y and 36% of Gen X say that the immediacy of society today is distracting, whereas only 30% of Boomers and 24% of Matures say the same

“Younger generations seem to perceive themselves as strong multi-taskers, but they’re also quicker to recognize that it comes at a cost,” said Oberland. “Across all age groups, people are making sacrifices to keep up with their busy lifestyles.”

Nevertheless, studies have shown that people who multitask – even those who think they do it well – may be spreading their attention to thin. Even with all the distractions of technology, concentrating on a single task – which is what you have to do to write or edit, for instance – is more efficient in the long run.

This is consistent with additional findings from the 2013 Planning & Progress Study, showing that more than 1 in 4 (26%) people say they either “often” or “always” feel too busy to think about long-term goals. Meanwhile, 63% think their financial planning needs improvement; and among them, the No. 1 most common obstacle is not having enough time (24%).

Online and mobile can bolster brand loyalty

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

DeloitteThere are lessons galore for marketers in the latest American Pantry Study by Deloitte, some of them surprising. Baby boomer interest in mobile tech outstrips that of younger consumers, for instance.

Also, while brand loyalty continues to drop among price-conscious consumers, convenient mobile and online shopping channels can help bolster  a brand’s experience and boost loyalty.

Even as the economy improves, 94 percent of Americans indicate they will remain cautious and keep their spending for food, beverage and household goods at its current level, according to Deloitte’s 2013 American Pantry Study.

More than nine in 10 (92 percent) consumers surveyed indicate they have become more resourceful, and 86 percent say they are getting more precise in what they buy — attitudes that have remained consistent in the three years Deloitte has conducted the study, and across income levels.

Despite enduring frugal attitudes, few consumers feel they are making any compromise: More than seven in 10 (72 percent) consumers indicate that, even though they are spending less on household and grocery items, it doesn’t feel like they are sacrificing much, a seven percentage point increase in two years.

Store brands winning out

Nearly nine in 10 (88 percent) survey respondents report they have found several store brands that they feel are just as good as national brands, and few consumers plan to switch back to national brands: Only 27 percent plan to do so as the economy rebounds, an eight percentage point decline from the previous year.

“One of the most notable year-over-year trends in the study is how embedded frugality has become due to the recession,” said Pat Conroy , vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and consumer products sector leader.

“Prudent consumers and improving perceptions about store brands are squeezing national brands’ position. The gap between the few ‘must have’ brands on shoppers’ lists and others on the shelf may be widening, making it more important for brands to differentiate through innovation, quality and performance. Consumer product companies may also consolidate low and mid-level performers and shift investment to the category leaders.”

Brand loyalty declines, shoppers put experimentation on hold

As store brands become more entrenched in the pantry, brand loyalty continues to slide, however consumers appear to be selectively loyal to certain brands.

Brand loyalty dropped for the third consecutive year in the survey. When asked why certain brands are no longer a priority for their households, consumers cited “other brands are available on sale” as the No. 1 reason. However, brands to which consumers are most loyal significantly outpace their lower performing counterparts by 20 or more percentage points on attributes such as performance, experience and trust.

Consumers have also honed in on select brands they will consider. More than eight in 10 (84 percent) consumers say they have a specific set of brands in mind, and will purchase whichever one is on sale.  When using coupons, 71 percent indicate they will use them only for items they would have purchased anyway.

Shoppers are also selective about the retail channels where they are willing to purchase certain items.

Consumers surveyed shop an average of 2.5 channels in each product category, compared with an average of 5.5 channels (including grocery, mass merchandise, club, drug, convenience, dollar, neighborhood market and online) for all of their food, beverage and personal goods combined.

Loyalty cards’ importance in consumers’ cross-channel shopping has increased, as the number of consumers with three or more grocery loyalty cards has grown from 28 percent in first American Pantry Study in 2010 to 39 percent in the most recent survey.

Additionally, 58 percent of shoppers surveyed use shopper loyalty cards in grocery stores every time they shop, up 14 percentage points in two years, and 30 percent participate in a loyalty program via their smartphone while shopping in a store.  Consumers appear to feel a sense of reward from these efforts: Eight in 10 (80 percent) say it is fun to see how much money they can save by using coupons or a shopper loyalty card.

Online options in demand for household goods, grocery; Mobile shopping interest growing fastest among baby boomers

The 2013 American Pantry Study reveals an unmet demand for online shopping options, particularly for in-store pickup and at-home delivery.  While 14 percent of shoppers surveyed currently buy consumer products online and pick them up in the store, 43 percent indicate they would like to do so, with strongest demand appearing in food and beverage categories for in-store pickup.

Approximately one in 10 (11 percent) survey respondents purchase online with home delivery, and the number rises to 34 percent among those who would like to do so, primarily for household goods such as laundry soaps and tabletop disposable paper products.

“Consumers are drawn to the convenience of purchasing frequently-used food, beverage and household items online, and brand preferences will likely extend into their online buying habits,” added Conroy.

“Consumer product companies can use mobile and online channels to strengthen the functional and experiential brand attributes that translate into conversion and loyalty. They should consider aligning their digital efforts with consumers’ location and context to reach shoppers online and on their phones, blending into their list-making, meal planning, product and price-checking, family activities and health and beauty routines.

“They may also market channel-specific product offerings and use these platforms to make product suggestions based on target consumers’ prior shopping behaviors.”

Interest in mobile growing among baby boomers

The latest American Pantry Study also indicates that interest in mobile technology is growing at a higher rate among baby boomers than younger consumers.

Nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of respondents age 45 to 70 indicate they are interested in using mobile coupons they can scan at the checkout, up from 12 percent in last year’s survey, compared with  a six percentage point increase among respondents age 21 to 29.

Shoppers surveyed are tapping into their smartphones outside the store nearly as often as they do inside the store. Three in 10 (30 percent) consumers manage a shopping list or recipe while in a store, just three percentage points higher than those who do so offsite during the shopping process.

For more information about the 2013 American Pantry Study, including in-depth survey findings, please visit:http://www.deloitte.com/us/pr/2013APS