As of February 2013, more than 25bn songs had been downloaded from the iTunes store, averaging over 15,000 songs per minute.
There is no denying the power and ubiquity of Apple’s digital music service, after all it has transformed the way that everyone on the planet consumes music.
Unfortunately iTunes is a deeply flawed experience. It's impersonal and slow, with lack of support for different file formats, a stubbornly rigid price model and no browser access.
In this ongoing series I’ll be checking out the competition to see if we can find a digital music platform that can finally trump iTunes.
Previously I looked at 7digital, this time I’ll be taking a look at Amazon MP3.
Conversion rates from mobile commerce remain extremely low when compared with desktop and tablet, as people often prefer to use smartphones for research rather than purchases.
However, I’ve recently come across data which shows that smartphone apps are an exception to this rule, and in fact convert at a rate that’s closer to desktop than the mobile web.
Data from mobile commerce platform Poq Studio shows that in November and December 2013 conversion rates from smartphone apps was 1.8% compared to 2.4% on desktop and 0.73% on the mobile web.
This is indicative of the fact that mobile apps are generally used by loyal customers, as the data also shows that 78% of apps users were return visitors, compared to 40% on mobile sites.
Furthermore, former ASOS director James Hart previously stated that the company’s apps saw a “much higher” conversion rate than the mobile web.
Here’s a joyously surprising list brought to me by Andrew Warren Payne.
The headline is entirely factually correct, these websites are not responsive. Whether they should be or not is a matter for debate, and I hope one you will take up in the comments section.
There are pros and cons of going responsive and each organisation should be aware of its own ideal site strategy. I’m sure many of our readers know the UX and hence search boost of going responsive is now growing large enough to prove worthwhile, even in the face of much development time.
See what you think of this list.
Consumer electronics shoppers usually spend a lot of time researching products before they eventually make a decision, which typically involves looking at upwards of 14 sources of information.
This includes searching for advice from consumer publications such as Which, comparison sites and customer reviews.
Organic and paid search is therefore an extremely important tactic for gaining brand exposure during the purchase journey.
There is a mix of competition within this sector as manufacturers, specialist suppliers, ecommerce brands and multichannel retailers attempt to improve market share.
A new report examining which brands achieve the highest visibility for consumer electronics has found that Amazon.co.uk comes top for both organic and paid search, which probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise.
As a relative newcomer to the digital marketing world, I've decided to write a series of 'beginner's guides' to uncover what is meant by certain terms, trends and technological advances in digital; being both a travel guide and a personal investigation.
Here I’ll be answering the following questions: What is scarcity? Why should you use it? Are there good and bad practices? In a tone of voice that has been described as both 'helpful' and 'not too rambling'.
Scarcity in marketing means to use the fear of shortage to sell more.
It’s a fairly simple psychological premise. “We don’t have many Furbies left I’m afraid, you’ll have to buy it now if you don’t want to ruin your child’s Christmas” is the simplest and most extreme example.
However if we think of scarcity in terms of providing transparency about how much stock is left of a particular item, then it’s a very helpful, positive tool.
Scarcity can also increase the perceived value of the item or service you’re providing.
Your products can become that much more precious in the eyes of a customer. The fear that there is only a limited supply will make the customer purchase faster and possibly with less thought.
Which leads to the argument that scarcity can also be manipulative and in some circumstances, exploitative.
Before we get to the more frustrating end of scarcity, let’s take a look at some of the positive uses.
Russia is currently in the spotlight, preparing to host the Winter Olympics, with all the associated negative press for its government.
But whatever the irregularities of Vladimir Putin, Russia has the third highest economic growth rate in the world.
Although online sales in Russia account for just 2% retail sales, this is estimated to rise to 5%, or $46bn, by 2015 according to Morgan Stanley.
And Russian internet users are in thrall to overseas brands. In 2013 the top 25 brands searched for on Yandex, the top Russian search engine with 61% share, were all overseas fashion brands.
So what are international ecommerce outlets waiting for? Shouldn’t everyone be importing into Russia?
One new hurdle to expansion into Russia is increased complexity in shipping since new import laws were implemented in December 2013.
What do you need to know about Russia, who’s already taking advantage and how can you follow suit? This post and our Russia Digital Market Landscape report can help.
There are many brands who have not considered selling on marketplaces like eBay and Amazon, let alone Ozon, Tmall and Allegro.
But it’s an opportunity only the foolish would dismiss out of hand. For many brands it can bring in another big chunk of revenue if done well and a customised page on eBay for example, doesn’t necessarily devalue a brand’s image.
BMW is one example of a company that successfully dipped its toe and then plunged into marketplaces. In fact, BMW used eBay before it had any of its own ecommerce functionality.
I attended the MetaPack Delivery Conference this week and heard from Al Gerrie of We Are Pentagon about the advantages of selling on marketplaces and what brands should look out for.
He also gave some detail on emerging marketplaces in growth areas such as Russia and China.
So what is there to know?
With searchers choosing Amazon over Google for product searches and eBay resurgent, will Google have to launch its own marketplace to keep up?
Online retailers are a major source of advertising revenue for Google but shoppers are increasingly turning to Amazon as their shopping first port of call.
In 2010 24% of shoppers began researching on Google verses 18% on Amazon, however in 2012 this had almost completely reversed with 30% on Amazon and only 13% on Google.
Google is clearly aiming to be the destination for product searches with the launch of Product Listing Ads (PLA). However, some industry experts are wondering whether to win in this space Google will need to go beyond simply advertising products and launch a fully-fledged marketplace.
I’ve been thinking a lot about mobile apps in retail recently. I’ve been thinking about which retailers need an app and whether in fact we’re seeing a bit of a backlash against the app, fuelled by mobile optimised and responsive websites.
Retail apps still have their place in a mobile optimised world, but they’re increasingly characterised as devices for customer retention. Loyalty programmes and coupons keep regular customers feeling loved.
Of course, there are still some successful shopping apps, too, often for retailers big or pervasive enough to demand smartphone real estate (supermarkets, Amazon and the like).
So, here you go, here are 10 apps that I think have made a difference for customers in retail.
Agree? Disagree? Tell me in the comments.
The lack of guidelines or general wisdom as to which retailers should actually have a mobile app and which shouldn’t can be confusing.
In this post I’m going to start writing those guidelines myself, if you’ll stick with me.
There is definitely a burgeoning anti-app movement, fuelled in part by the move to adaptive or responsive websites. On top of this, the growth in app downloads is in sharp decline and we seem to be reaching market maturation for apps, in those countries that have highest smartphone adoption.
But what should retailers do? Should some still be entertaining the idea of a new app? There are certainly some great success stories out there.
Some feel that the consumer has no interest in using many different retail apps, whereas others think the goal of consolidation is often unrealistic, with consumers happier using a range of options.
Where should apps lie in a priority list of ecommerce to-dos? Which apps are succeeding and which aren’t? How do customer base, product range, internationalisation and other factors affect the decision whether to build an app?
Well, these are the questions I’ve been attempting to answer. Read on to see what I dug up. If you make it to the end of my investigation, you’ll find my own criteria for apps in retail.