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The explosive growth of transactional and online shopper data means consumers are swamped with information. In just one internet minute, there are now 2m Google search queries, £83,000 in sales on Amazon.co.uk, 100,000 new Tweets and 6m Facebook views.
The retail industry is no exception. Whilst in-store product ranges are limited by the physical constraints of shelf-space, online retailers can display ten times the amount of products on their sites.
This leaves consumers with overwhelming choice. Yet research shows that most products are going un-noticed. As highlighted in a study undertaken by RichRelevance, only 44% of products online are getting attention; leaving 56% bypassed.
Furthermore, just 10% of products on an online retail site garner 75% of page views.
Bringing this back to the in-store metric, this is leaving over half of the shopping aisles in the dark.
Showrooming probably isn't going to make it onto a list of retail executives' favorite words any time soon. After all, the notion that the significant amounts of money required to operate physical stores is increasingly going to waste as consumers use stores to check out products they'll buy cheaper online isn't a pleasant one.
But is all of the fear around the showrooming really justified? According to a study published by Ipsos MediaCT and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), the answer may be no.
At the end of 2012, we saw record numbers in online shopping over the holidays and that is only going to increase as our ecommerce experiences improve.
This will only happen if we increase personalisation and make our shopping experience more relevant.
Also as we increase to use new devices in our day to day lives, those retailers and companies who ensure their sites and shopping experiences extend into tablets and mobiles will be ahead.
This year may see more of this especially when it comes specifically to tablets.
With the UK being rocked by the closure of major retail chains such as video rental chain Blockbuster and music store, HMV, it's an important for us all around the globe to look at what the face of retail will be in 2013 and how shopping needs to continue to change with technology.
Some retailers like Nordstrom are already aware of the need to innovate. Major retailers can't sit back any longer and watch their competitors crumble without thinking they could be next.
Brick-and-mortar retailers may face challenges in competing online, but pure-play online retailers that think they've won the ecommerce game shouldn't count out their old-school competitors.
In fact, in some product categories, brick-and-mortar retailers are starting to beat out pure-play retailers.
With fast internet, reliable technology and a strong dollar, Australians are increasingly shopping online, a topic that continues to dominate the news; especially in the context of international e-commerce sites trumping local retailers.
However, recent data from a Commonwealth Bank study points towards an emerging shift of Australian stores starting to gain back market share from international competitors.
It's hard to find a market today that isn't being impacted by the rapid growth in mobile usage. Smartphone penetration continues to hit new milestones and executives in just about every industry are trying to figure out how to capture the mobile opportunities that increasingly seem within reach.
Just how big are these opportunities?
Industry observers and analysts have been predicting that mobile commerce would have a bright future for nearly a decade, but it wasn't until recently that those predictions started to look like they might be accurate, if still poorly timed.
The latest source of confirmation that mobile commerce is real: eBay's CEO John Donahoe.
Some have questioned the effectiveness of Facebook as a commerce platform, but can you dismiss an ad and marketing channel with 800+ million users?
Here are some tips for increasing the opportunities for commerce on Facebook.
Recently, Bloomberg published an article about several retailers, J.C. Penney, Nordstrom, Gap and Gamestop, who all closed their Facebook stores in 2011.
As a consultant implementing s-commerce (Social Commerce) solutions for my clients, I am writing to let you know that Facebook commerce (f-commerce) is alive and well and customers are making money selling products and services via Facebook.
As of mid-December 2011, six of the largest online spending days ever in the United States had been seen during the holiday shopping season.
So it's not surprising that the holiday shopping season of November and December of last year proved to be the biggest ever.
According to comScore, the total haul for online retailers was a whopping $37.2bn, up 15% from the prior year.
With an increasing proportion of marketing budgets being spent on digital or online channels, print is often seen as something of a dated way to reach consumers.
However, the numbers suggest that investment into print can seriously pay off for multichannel retailers.
The inclusion of a humble catalogue or glossy magazine into your multichannel campaign may consume a big chunk of your budget, but many companies maintain that print can engage with consumers in ways other channels cannot.
TopShop remains the most popular UK retailer on Facebook, with more than 1.5m fans, while ASOS is one of the fastest growing, adding around 400,000 new followers since April.
The Social Media Benchmark study by eDigital Research (registration/survey required), looks at follower numbers and growth on Facebook and Twitter.
Here are some highlights from the study...