Posts Tagged ‘retail’
Friday, July 26th, 2013
Want more online shoppers? Make it easier and faster for your customers to buy your goods or services. How fast? Five minutes or less.
Survey results released today show that over four in ten (44 percent) consumers would shop more online if it were faster to make a purchase, while nearly three-quarters (72 percent) agree that the overall experience of surfing the web could be better.
The vast majority of online shoppers (84 percent) expect an online transaction to be completed in five minutes or less. Website optimization and testing platforms make the conversion funnel quick and help businesses realize online revenue faster than ever before.
The survey, conducted online between June 4-6, 2013, among more than 2,500 US adults by Harris Interactive, kicks off an effort by Optimizely,a global website optimization platform, to educate online retailers about current trends in online shopping behavior.
The company launched a new website and infographic to help their customers and online businesses use an A/B testing tool to build a successful testing strategy in preparation for the holiday season. Optimizely has over 5,000 global customers including GoDaddy, Foot Locker, and Electronic Arts.
- Nearly half of consumers would shop more online if it were faster to make a purchase (44 percent)
- The vast majority of shoppers expect an online transaction to be completed in 5 minutes or less (84 percent)
- 72 percent of consumers agree that the overall experience of surfing the web could be better, while 39 percent agree that many of the websites they visit feel outdated
- Younger consumers (aged 18-34) are more likely to strongly agree (29 percent) that the overall experience of surfing the web could be better, when compared to those ages 35+ (18 percent), and male consumers are more likely to strongly agree with this than women (25 and 16 percent, respectively)
- Younger consumers (ages 18-34) are more likely to spend more time on websites that feel fresh and new than those ages 35+ (70 vs. 50 percent)
- Overall, 93 percent of US adults indicate that they shop online
Online retail undergoing radical change
The findings suggest that online retail is undergoing some radical changes, and encouraging online merchants to differentiate themselves in more meaningful ways. Today, consumers’ time is now worth more to them; they need more compelling shopping experiences, unique or personalized product selection, or better customer service.
Personally, as a longtime ecommerce shopper, we gravitate toward the sites that make buying quick and easy (such as Amazon, Tiger Direct). We have and continue to abandon attempted purchases at sites that are slow, where the buying process is complicated, convoluted or time-consuming. This study does not address this particular point, but some ecommerce sites even hide their buy buttons – if I have to hunt for how to buy, I buy from another retailer. (Editor, Allan Maurer).
“Just two percent of visitors across the web convert into customers,” says Dan Siroker, CEO and co-founder of Optimizely. “That means there is a massive opportunity to convert the other 98 percent. Increasingly, online retailers must differentiate by providing a superior web experience. With Optimizely, they can use data to streamline the shopping experience and engage consumers by making it more enjoyable and hopefully increase revenue as well.”
Tuesday, May 21st, 2013
SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) has extended the focus of its third annual Mobile
Commerce Guide to help sectors such as retail, consumer products and utilities companies navigate the new market opportunities that mobile commerce technology and solutions can bring in both developed and emerging markets.
The Mobile Commerce Guide includes articles, case studies, key learnings, views on the competitive landscape and a look at the not too distant future, from over 40 industry leaders, innovators and analysts including the GSMA, Accenture, IDC, MasterCard, Cisco, PayPal, Dutch-Bangla Bank and RBS Citizens.
“Mobile has the power to trigger a fundamental shift in commerce because consumers already live their lives on mobile,” saidDiarmuid Mallon , Global Mobile Marketing Solutions and Programs, SAP. “The insights provided in this year’s Mobile Commerce Guide show how companies can harness mobile to deliver value and provide customers new visibility into the services they use and the payments they make.
Banks are encouraging the unbanked to use their mobile wallets as instruments that allow them to save money and plan their financial futures; mobile operators are sharing infrastructure and best practices to reach and educate customers faster; and as mobile commerce opportunities naturally extend into retail, consumer products and utilities sectors, this guide helps these sectors understand and include mobile in their customer engagement and loyalty initiatives.”
The first and second editions of the guide, released under SAP Mobile Services, a division of SAP, have closely followed the evolution of the mobile commerce business. In 2012, the guide focused on successful deployments of mobile commerce services and the impact of mobile commerce on consumer behavior. The 2011 edition placed greater significance on the transformation of commerce via the “fourth screen” concept of mobile devices.
Download the guide at: sap.com/mobile/commerceguide.
Monday, May 13th, 2013
Ecommerce sales keep rolling up record numbers.
Q1 2013 U.S. retail e-commerce sales. Q1 2013 sales grew 13 percent year-over-year to $50.2 billion, marking the fourteenth consecutive quarter of positive year-over-year growth and tenth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth, according to digital measurement service comScore.
It was also just the second quarter on record to surpass $50 billion in spending.
|Retail E-Commerce (Non-Travel) Growth Rates
Excludes Auctions, Autos and Large Corporate Purchases
Total U.S. – Home & Work Locations (excl. Mobile)
Source: comScore, Inc.
||E-Commerce Spending ($ Millions)
||Y/Y Percent Change
“The first quarter of 2013 was fairly strong for online retailers, with total e-commerce sales surpassing $50 billion for only the second time on record,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni . “While the year-over-year growth rate of 13 percent remained healthy, it was a point or two below that of the preceding quarters.
One potential explanation for this mild deceleration is the payroll tax increase, which went into effect in 2013 and which removed some disposal income from Americans’ wallets. That said, as long as job growth continues and consumer sentiment remains positive, the outlook for e-commerce in 2013 remains bright.
However, one wild card is the possible enactment of legislation requiring state sales taxes to be collected on every e-commerce transaction — which would reduce the Internet’s traditional price advantage and possibly dilute the channel’s growth rate.”
Personally, we’re not so sure that not paying sales taxes is why people shop online. We shop online for just about everything except groceries and fast food and we do it for convenience. Also, Internet discounts are often better than in-store even without sales tax breaks.
The real deal-maker for many Internet sales is free-shipping, according to many studies we’ve seen here at the TechJournal.
Other highlights from Q1 2013 include:
- The top-performing online product categories were: Digital Content & Subscriptions, Apparel & Accessories, Sport & Fitness, Consumer Electronics, and Consumer Packaged Goods. Each category grew at least 20 percent vs. year ago.
- E-commerce accounted for 10.6 percent of discretionary dollars spent, the highest share on record.
- comScore’s new m-commerce spending estimates revealed that Apparel & Accessories was the highest grossing mobile (i.e. smartphone & tablet) product category with nearly $1 billion in Q1 sales.
- Nearly half (48 percent) of time spent in the Retail category occurred on mobile devices, with smartphones (34 percent) outpacing tablets (14 percent).
Friday, May 10th, 2013
More than two-thirds of Americans prefer to shop in traditional, brick and mortar stores than online commerce sites, according to a survey conducted by Instant.ly on behalf of Synqera , a global technology startup that uses big data to bring personalized digital experiences to the physical retail store.
The survey found that shoppers gravitate towards retail locations that offer customized shopping experiences but that checkout remains the number one pain point for 73 percent of U.S. consumers.
Personally, we suspect many who say they prefer those in-store shopping experiences may forego them for the convenience of online shopping anyway.
With competing, online-only retail ecosystems gaining customer loyalty, physical retailers have faced the challenge of changing business models and retention tactics in a multichannel world to combat showrooming.
Checkout is the primary deterrent for in-store shopping
Synqera develops technologies that bring personalized online shopping experiences to physical retail stores, creating a more compelling in-store experience for consumers and greater customer loyalty and increased sales opportunities for retailers.
“Synqera found that at the most basic level of commerce, the point of sale in brick and mortar retailers is the primary deterrent for consumers shopping at stores,” said Filipp Shubin , Synqera COO.
“We also discovered that coupon usage increases if they were immediately accessible and personalized to each shopper that walks into the retailer’s store. If the consumer is actively engaged the entire time they are in a store, the better they feel about the shopping experience.”
Here at the TechJournal, we’d be willing to bet that other factors also deter in-store shopping, such as the cost and time involved in travel, the lack of items on shelves, and not infrequently, higher mark ups on products.
So we’re skeptical about the validity of some of these findings.
Other key findings from the survey:
- More than two-thirds of Americans prefer to shop in store versus online
- 82 percent of respondents believe the point of sale checkout process can be improved
- Nearly three-quarters of Americans find waiting in the checkout line their least favorite aspect of in store shopping
- 76 percent would find the checkout process more enjoyable if they received personalized coupons at checkout
- 66 percent of Americans are more likely to shop in a store where they receive personal suggestions while shopping, and over 75 percent of total respondents would rather receive personalized coupons
- 8 out of 10 Americans are more likely to shop in a store that provides an overall customized shopping experience
“Showrooming is very real and very damaging for retailers that can’t compete with e-retailers,” continued Shubin. “In an effort to combat it, insights like those that Synqera found can help pinpoint where retailers should focus their innovation, even in the most unlikely or shockingly obvious places, like the checkout line.”
The data for this survey was collected between April 22-26, 2013 via Instant.ly, with 72 percent of respondents ages 18-54. You can the survey results in their entirety here.
Wednesday, September 26th, 2012
Showroomers exhibit more loyal behavior than non-showroomers, making them an ideal target for retailers, according to a study from Aimia, a global leader in loyalty management.
Retail showrooming behavior, whereby consumers browse for items in-store before using their smart phones to find a lower price online, is propelled by Millennials (age 19-29) with three quarters of US showroomers coming from that generation.
However, according to Aimia’s “Through the Looking Glass” retail brief released today, showroomers are also active participants in loyalty and reward programs, thus making them an undervalued consumer audience for retailers.
“Showroomers are more likely to participate in loyalty programs, are more willing to trade personal details for rewards, and are more interested in mobile commerce,” said Rick Ferguson, Vice President, Knowledge Development, Aimia. “Retailers should take advantage of these behaviors to transform showroomers to become loyal – and paying – customers.”
Retailers have an opportunity to harness showroomers’ greater willingness to engage in reward program memberships. Aimia’s research shows the typical showroomer is male, owns at least two digital devices, is active in social media, and is excited by mobile commerce. The research also found American showroomers are:
- 67% more likely than a non-showroomer to participate in a travel reward program membership
- 20% more likely than non-showroomers to participate in a retail reward program membership
- Three times more likely than non-showroomers to respond to a location-based mobile offer
“The solution to embracing showrooming behavior lies in retailers leveraging their shopping data to get consumer insights that will help shape their marketing strategies and drive in-store purchases, ” said Ferguson.
“The tools of loyalty management provide unparalleled insight that can help retailers reinvent retail and build stronger relationships with consumers.”
Retailers can influence showroomers by leveraging the tools of loyalty management including:
- Using hard benefits to reward desired behavior – offer in-the-midst showroomers to join your rewards program with a rich bonus offer on their first purchase
- Linking soft benefits to upper-tier smart phone users – identify showroomers within the upper tier of your most valuable customers, and lavish them with soft benefits such as exclusive access, special benefits, experiential rewards, location-based offers and other privileges that resonate with your target audience
- Stealing the online thunder – offer a showrooming app through your own loyalty program, allowing you to hold on to customer insights
- Deploying an aggressive partner strategy – work with and share opt-in data with partners and suppliers to combat showrooming together
See infographic at http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnfull/20120925/NY80300-INFO
Tuesday, July 17th, 2012
IgnitionOne, which sells digital marketing solutions and cross-channel attribution analysis, says its research shows the effect of media types and exposure paths on the speed of conversion and on the average order value (AOV).
It found, among other things, that display advertising early in the conversion path is quite effective for retail, while paid search works best for travel, and email campaigns can be a drag on travel order values.
The research involved marketing data from US and European travel and retail firms over a two month period. IgnitionOne looked at the types and number of media exposures, latency (the amount of time between the first exposure and when the conversion occurred) and the exposure paths that led to conversions.
Key findings in the report:
- For travel, paid search is the key driver in getting customers to spend more money. Outside of organic search, it drives a 71% higher average order value (AOV) than any other single-channel path. Within multi-channel paths, when paid search follows an organic search click, the AOV is 18% higher than the average multi-channel path.
- Email campaigns are a drag on travel order values and increase the time to convert when part of conversion paths. Across single-channel conversion paths, email drives a 56% lower AOV and takes over 250% longer to convert a user than on average. Across multi-channel conversion paths, when email is the last exposure, it results in a 36% lower AOV and 100% more time to convert than on average.
- When email is the first exposure, it results in a 39% lower AOV and takes a user almost 150% more time to convert than on average. This can be explained by email campaigns being traditionally very promotional in nature, which lowers the AOV.
- Email campaigns are also more heavily dominated by existing customers who may not be currently in the market for travel and/or are more discerning among promotional offers.
- Display is an effective channel for retail, especially early in the conversion path, feeding the top of the funnel. Even on its own, display drives a 29% higher AOV than other single channel paths.
- Combined with search channels (both paid and organic), it drives a 16% higher AOV when it’s at the top of the path and converts users 43% faster than other multi-channel paths. At the end of the path, latency tends to be higher but AOV is 36% higher than other multi-channel paths.
“By better understanding how different media interact and assist along the path to making a purchase, marketers can more efficiently leverage advertising dollars,” said Roger Barnette, president of IgnitionOne.
“These types of insights are possible when marketers take advantage of advanced attribution models and move away from last-click models.”
This report is the latest in a series of reports from IgnitionOne reviewing trends across the online advertising landscape.
This and previous reports can be downloaded athttp://bit.ly/ignitiononeresearch
Monday, July 2nd, 2012
Can you guess what the most searched for item is on a major discount coupon search engine? Bet you didn’t guess toilet paper. Also in the top ten, other consumables such as laundry detergent, coffee and butter.
And when they search, consumers looks for stores and specific products far more than they look for brands.
In fact,62 percent searched for store-centric deals, 24 percent for product-specific coupons, while only 14 percent search specifically for brand name product discounts online, according to ShopAtHome.com, the largest coupon search engine in a report of consumer search habits on the site.
Nearly half of U.S. consumers – 88.2 million – will use online coupons and codes during 2012, according to a recent analysis done by eMarketer.
By the end of 2013, 96.8 million U.S. adults will have used such discounts.
“Consumers are really creatures of habit when it comes to looking for coupons – they go where they know they can consistently find the best deals,” said Marc Braunstein, co-founder and CEO of ShopAtHome.com
An analysis of the Buy-havior Report shows the following:
- Savvy spenders are creatures of habit: 73 percent of consumers using ShopAtHome.com used it between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., regardless of the day of the week. Only 18 percent used it after 6:00 p.m.
- “Toilet paper” was the most-searched term on the site and has been for the past two months.
- Consumers are more likely to be searching for deals on items they consistently buy. Half of the top ten searched terms were for consumable goods like toilet paper, laundry detergent, coffee and butter.
- Following toilet paper, “laundry detergent” was the next highest search, with 16,307 consumers looking for online savings.
- Animal lovers were equally fond of discounts, with 13,120 of online coupon and savings searches done for pet food and supplies.
- Of the 62 percent of consumers looking for store-centric savings, Wal-Mart was the most-searched for retailer followed by Kohl’s and Target respectively.
- Sony was the most-searched for brand out of the 14 percent of consumers searching for brand names. It was searched three times more than the next brand on the list: Swiffer.
- New York City residents used the site most followed by Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles and Denver respectively.
- The average ShopAtHome.com user receives $41 in cash back per month. As much as 10,000 checks are mailed out each month to users.
ShopAtHome.com differentiates itself from other coupon sites with its cash back incentives. Unlike coupons, which are provided by the retailers, all of the cash back offers on ShopAtHome.com come directly from the site itself and show up right alongside the coupons.
To make things even easier for shoppers, last month, ShopAtHome.com launched its free Coupon Codes Plus app for the iPad. The app lets consumers shop for the best possible price at over 18,000 retailers, as well as offering some exclusive app-only deals.
For more information, go to the full June 2012 Buy-havior Report.
Thursday, June 7th, 2012
Half of Fortune 500 companies do not translate their online content, according to a study from One Hour Translation. The data from the study was particularly alarming, given that 70% of people using the Internet are not native English speakers.
Specific data pointing to the lack of alternative languages, including Spanish, the second most common language in the US, indicates not only potential revenue losses, but in some industries such as pharmaceutical firms and healthcare companies, a possible safety and health risk.
The criteria used to determine whether a website was determined to be localized or not was based on the availability of the website’s content in at least one language other than English.
According to the study, in many cases, Fortune 500 websites were only translated into one other language, if they were translated at all.
“In today’s global marketplace, it’s really astonishing how few Fortune 500 companies have made their content available in other languages,” said Ofer Shoshan, CEO and co-founder of One Hour Translation.
“The cost of translating web content is affordable for even small businesses today, which is why the fact that 48 percent of the Fortune 500 companies haven’t translated or localized their websites is so shocking.”
The study revealed several industry specific insights including:
- 66% of Fortune 500 retail company websites are not translated
- 65% of Fortune 500 healthcare company websites are not translated
- 1/3 of Fortune 500 insurance company websites are not translated
- 83% of Fortune 500 energy/utility company websites are not translated
Industries that scored 100 percent across the board included airlines, auto manufacturers, consumer banks, and investment banking houses.
“A company that doesn’t translate their corporate or consumer facing website into other languages or localize their content is losing sales and investment opportunities,” says Shoshan. ”
According to Common Sense Advisory, an analyst firm specializing in translation services, 85% of Internet users won’t make important purchasing decisions unless the sales product is expressed in their native language.”
Tuesday, October 25th, 2011
The National Retail Federation today asked the Commerce Department to delay implementation of a controversial plan to vastly expand Internet domain names, saying retailers and other businesses need more information before moving forward.
“The single comment we are hearing most often from retailers is that they wish they had more time,” NRF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Mallory Duncan said. “Whether they’re for it or against it, everybody agrees that there has been too much uncertainty around this process. Right now, uncertainty reigns.”
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a non-profit that administers Internet names for the Commerce Department, plans to launch a program in January that would go beyond traditional three-character “top level” domain names such as “.com” and “.org” to include word-length domains such as “.retail” or “.shop” and also allow business names such as “.NationalRetailFederation” to be used.
Guidance is lacking
The plan has been under consideration since 2009, but “its scope and consequences have largely flown under the radar of most commercial businesses,” Duncan warned in a letter to Lawrence Strickling, head of the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration. “To adequately plan, businesses need some level of clarity,” Duncan said. “To date, that guidance is lacking.”
Duncan said retailers have a wide range of brand identity issues and legal concerns to address before deciding whether to seek the new domain names. But ICANN has been unclear on information as basic as how many names will be available, citing numbers ranging 300 to 1,500.
In addition, the organization has told some businesses the new domains assigned in 2012 will be all that will be available for the foreseeable future, while telling others new rounds of assignments will be made every few years. Such details are important so businesses will know whether they need to move quickly or will be able to wait, Duncan said.
While some retailers believe the plan will offer new marketing opportunities, others are concerned that they could be forced to spend millions of dollars to protect themselves against “cyber-squatting” by registering multiple variations of their names to keep competitors, critics or unauthorized users from doing so.
Application fees for each of the new domains have been set by ICANN at $185,000, but NRF expects most companies to spend $250,000 per name when legal fees and consultants are included, plus another $50,000 to $100,000 a year to manage the domains thereafter. In some cases, assignment of a domain sought by more than one party would be decided by auction, further driving up costs.
Thursday, May 5th, 2011
MIAMI, FL – Retailers believe demand forecasting capabilities to be critical to their operations but struggle to incorporate demand forecasting insights deeper into their businesses, acccording to RSR Research’s latest report, “Crystal Ball 2.0: The State of Retail Demand Forecasting, Benchmark 2011,” RSR’s first annual benchmark on the topic.
These findings are based on a survey of 83 retailers between January-April 2011.
“Retailers have made significant investments in optimization technologies, particularly around price and labor, and demand forecasts come hand-in-hand with those capabilities,” said Brian Kilcourse, Managing Partner at RSR and a co-author of the report. “But the forecasting engines that create those inputs into optimization tools can often be completely different in terms of assumptions, time horizons, models. It adds sophistication to retailers’ capabilities, but also creates some challenging complications – building up internal siloes instead of knocking them down.”
“With more channels to manage and more leading indicators to demand, such as social media and consumer intent, retailers need all the help they can get in forecasting and managing demand,” adds Nikki Baird, the report’s co-author. “The challenge isn’t that the crystal ball is cloudy but retailers just have too many forecast engines, each with a slightly different prediction than the next. Companies have yet to figure out how to reconcile them all.”
“Crystal Ball 2.0: The State of Retail Demand Forecasting, Benchmark 2011″ contains analysis of the business drivers, opportunities, and organizational constraints surrounding demand forecasts, as well as recommendations for creating successful demand forecasting capabilities. The report is part of RSR Research’s ongoing efforts to provide market intelligence on retail technology trends, and can be downloaded here: www.retailsystemsresearch.com/_document/summary/1280
Thursday, January 20th, 2011
LANHAM, MD -Lanham, MD-based Optoro has closed a $1.85 million Series A financing from Durham, NC-based SJF Ventures, QED Investors and Phil Pfeffer of Treemont Capital. Optoro sells comprehensive asset recovery solutions for the distressed inventory of retailers, manufacturers and 3rd party providers.
Optoro was founded in 2004 to remarket the idle assets of businesses by leveraging the buying power of millions of online shoppers. It evolved from exclusively an eBay reseller to multi-channel online asset recovery with proprietary software and remarketing algorithms. Currently, Optoro provides our scalable solutions to clients ranging from mid-sized online retailers to large publicly-traded manufacturers.
Optoro specializes in direct-to-consumer remarketing of customer returns, overstock and refurbished products. Its services include reporting & analytics, warehousing & fulfillment, inspection & testing, research & marketing and eco-friendly product disposal.
Optoro says its solution recovers significantly greater value than through a traditional liquidator and is scalable for clients ranging from mid-sized online retailers to large publicly-traded manufacturers.
“Optoro is quickly becoming a leading direct-to-consumer remarketing platform for the reverse supply chain,” said David Griest, managing director at SJF Ventures.
“With over $100 billion of distressed inventory annually in the U.S., Optoro is disintermediating the conventional middlemen and providing higher returns with fully transparent visibility and data analytics for its clients.”