tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/augmented-reality Latest Augmented reality content from Econsultancy 2017-05-16T09:45:00+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69093 2017-05-16T09:45:00+01:00 2017-05-16T09:45:00+01:00 How WAH Nails is using VR to enhance the salon experience Nikki Gilliland <p>For WAH Nails, a London-based nail brand and boutique, a desire to speed up the process prompted the creation of a virtual reality app for its new Soho salon.</p> <p>Here's a bit more on how WAH is using VR, as well as how it fits into the brand’s wider strategy to dazzle and delight young beauty consumers. </p> <h3>Functional rather than gimmicky</h3> <p>There are thousands of options to choose from when you visit a nail salon like Wah. It’s not just colour either – there are endless combinations of designs, overlays, and shades, meaning it's difficult for customers to even know where to start.</p> <p>So much so in fact that WAH decided to create a virtual reality app in order to streamline the entire process. However, the brand’s founder Sharmadean Reid was adamant that the technology be something customers would use long-term – not just as a one-off gimmick.</p> <p>The result was the WAH Nails Virtual Reality Designer – an app that works with a Samsung Gear VR headset and on a Leap Motion device. </p> <p>When customers place their hands in front of the headset, they are able to select their skin colour and experiment with various digital designs. They can then either print it on the WAH Nail Printer, order the colours to be delivered at home, or send the designs to the in-house nail technician to use there and then. </p> <p>By showcasing designs in this way, the aim is to help customers better visualise how the nails will look in real life, as well as encourage greater experimentation. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6102/WAH_VR.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="434"></p> <h3>Extension of the experience-focused salon</h3> <p>It’s unsurprising that technology is a core component of WAH’s Soho salon. The brand has had a digital-first mind-set from the start, using its blog and social media to build on word of mouth popularity.</p> <p>The brand first began with a boutique in Dalston before expanding with a pop-up shop in Topshop. Gradually going on to establish a cult-like status, its two storey ‘salon of the future’ in Soho is a physical representation of the brand’s online presence. </p> <p>So, not only does the VR app serve a functional purpose, but it also fits in with the immersive nature of the entire salon experience. As part of the ‘play and discover’ area, it complements the bottom floor which includes a cocktail bar and hangout area for customers to enjoy before or after they’ve had their manicure.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6103/WAH_London.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="485"></p> <h3>Engaging with target demographic</h3> <p>It’s not unusual for beauty brands to use retail spaces to create immersive experiences. Estee Lauder’s flagship Carnaby Street store, Estee Edit, is just one example, using original features like a ‘selfie wall’ to engage customers.</p> <p>WAH Nails is similar. However, it is even more dedicated to reflecting the style and interests of its young demographic – typically made up of Generation Z and young millennials. </p> <p>Again, the VR app is an extension of this, taking inspiration from popular video games like the Sims and even Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. Perhaps the latter has been an inspiration in an entrepreneurial sense, too. Last year, WAH’s founder Sharmadean Reid also released a collection of ready-to-wear clothing and accessories for ASOS, reflecting Kardashian's forays into ecommerce and technology. </p> <p>Incorporating a mix of slogan phrases and luxury sports-wear, it was guaranteed to appeal to the teens and twenty-somethings who already love the brand.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6104/WAH_London_ASOS.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="314"></p> <h3>Will nail salons become even more high-tech?</h3> <p>WAH’s VR app is certainly innovative, but it is interesting to note that it’s not exactly what the brand originally set out to create. </p> <p>The initial idea was an augmented reality app that would overlay nail designs onto hands – much like Snapchat face filters. However, with the realisation that this technology did not yet exist (and with too many issues over the similarity of skin and nail colour) the VR app was the second-best option.</p> <p>While AR for nails might be too progressive at this stage, perhaps it is a glimpse of what might be possible in future. Just like nail colours, the possibilities are seemingly endless.   </p> <p><em><strong>Related articles:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69016-why-beauty-brands-are-betting-on-augmented-reality/" target="_blank">Why beauty brands are betting on augmented reality</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67834-why-virtual-reality-is-the-ultimate-storytelling-tool-for-marketers/" target="_blank">Why Virtual Reality is the ultimate storytelling tool for marketers</a></em></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68401-virtual-reality-content-marketing-s-next-big-trend/" target="_blank"><em>Virtual reality: Content marketing’s next big trend</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69049 2017-05-02T11:25:16+01:00 2017-05-02T11:25:16+01:00 The best social stories and campaigns from April 2017 Nikki Gilliland <h3>Airbnb introduces ‘humanless host’ on April Fool’s Day</h3> <p>Airbnb was just one of many brands to mark April Fool’s Day this year, using the opportunity to introduce the ultimate in home rental innovation – the ‘humanless host’. The ad features Brandon, a robot that – in Airbnb's own words – bridges the gap between ‘what is magical and what is easy’.</p> <p>Despite the convenience, it turns out technology can't always be trusted. Brandon eventually runs out of battery, proving why the human-approach isn’t so bad after all.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/vpLy4D8Tg4Q?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Instagram reaches 700m monthly users</h3> <p>Instagram hit yet another milestone last month, announcing that it now has 700m monthly users. </p> <p>The platform’s growth appears to be accelerating at a rapid rate, with the news coming just four months after it reached 600m. This could suggest that it won’t be too long before it joins Facebook and WhatsApp in the one-billion-users club. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">We’re thrilled to announce that our community has grown to 700 million. From all of us at Instagram, thank you! <a href="https://t.co/1ynZNkKf3m">https://t.co/1ynZNkKf3m</a> <a href="https://t.co/9FfCLvz4Fy">pic.twitter.com/9FfCLvz4Fy</a></p> — Instagram (@instagram) <a href="https://twitter.com/instagram/status/857218250509340672">April 26, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Pepsi criticised over tasteless ad</h3> <p>At the beginning of April, Pepsi released a controversial ad that appeared to trivialise the Black Lives Matter movement. It involved Kendall Jenner joining some kind of demonstration and magically defusing the situation with a good ol' can of pop.</p> <p>Despite Pepsi defending the ad, saying that it depicts ‘a moment of unity’, it was widely criticised for trivialising social justice in order to sell soft drinks. The ad was eventually pulled from YouTube and the campaign was cancelled.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5829/Pepsi.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="403"></p> <h3>Heineken uses real-life social experiment for ‘Open Your World’ campaign </h3> <p>In contrast to Pepsi's misjudged attempt, Heineken unveiled a campaign based on the premise that having a simple conversation over a beer can help bring people together – even those with jarring political beliefs. </p> <p>The ‘Worlds Apart’ ad involves a real-life social experiment whereby three sets of strangers with opposing beliefs were asked to complete a series of tasks together. Only later did they discover the extent of their differences, before being given a choice to leave or discuss things over a beer.</p> <p>The fact that the ad comes hot on the heels of Pepsi’s recent failure appears to be a coincidence, yet many have praised the beer brand’s mature and meaningful approach.  </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/8wYXw4K0A3g?wmode=transparent" width="518" height="301"></iframe></p> <h3>LinkedIn reaches half a billion members worldwide</h3> <p>April was also a good month for LinkedIn, as the networking platform celebrated reaching 500m members worldwide. </p> <p>Brits appear to be particularly active on the platform, with 23m members coming from the UK alone. London also tops the list for the most connected city in the world, with users having an average of 307 connections. </p> <p>This comes after the platform unveiled a (controversial) redesigned version of its desktop site, complete with new messaging and search features. </p> <h3>Dolce &amp; Gabbana receives backlash over China campaign</h3> <p>Dolce &amp; Gabbana was another brand on the recieving end of criticism. This time, it was for using stereotypical images in its D&amp;GLovesChina campaign – part of promotional activity for its first Beijing fashion show.</p> <p>Social media users argued that the brand was glorifying ‘backward’ stereotypes instead of showing the progressive side of modern China. As a result, D&amp;G quietly removed the images from its Weibo and WeChat accounts. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5828/Dolce_and_Gabbana.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="450"></p> <h3>Burger King sneakily activates Google Assistants during ad</h3> <p>Burger King released a particularly clever ad last month, designed to activate Google Assistants on viewer’s phones and home devices. The 15-second video involves a Burger King employee leaning into the camera and asking “Okay Google, what is the Whopper burger?”</p> <p>However, Burger King was perhaps a little too sneaky for Google’s liking, as reports suggest that devices stopped responding to the prompt a few hours after the ad was launched.</p> <p>Google has not confirmed whether or not it updated software to prevent it. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/U_O54le4__I?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Facebook unveils developments in F8 event</h3> <p>Finally, Facebook announced a number of developments during F8 last month, including new AR and VR technology.</p> <p>I recommend reading <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69013-what-do-facebook-s-new-vr-and-ar-platforms-mean-for-marketers/" target="_blank">Ben Davis's article</a> for an in-depth breakdown.  </p> <p><strong><em>For more on this topic, check out these Econsultancy resources:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/social/"><em>Social media training courses</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-best-practice-guide/"><em>Social media best practice guide</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69016 2017-04-25T13:00:00+01:00 2017-04-25T13:00:00+01:00 Why beauty brands are betting on augmented reality Nikki Gilliland <p>How exactly? Well it’s all down to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/5637-can-augmented-reality-be-a-commercial-success-for-e-commerce/" target="_blank">augmented reality</a>. </p> <p>Sephora is the latest brand to introduce AR into its app, with its ‘Virtual Artist’ feature allowing users to ‘try on’ different looks by overlaying make-up onto photos. A tutorials feature also demonstrates exactly how to achieve specific looks.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5543/Sephora_app.jpg" alt="" width="780" height="439"></p> <p>With brands like L’Oréal and OPI also offering users the chance to virtually experiment with beauty products, it’s becoming par for the course for big brands. Here’s just three reasons why.</p> <h4>Personalising beauty content</h4> <p>There’s certainly no shortage of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68087-six-brilliant-blogs-from-the-beauty-industry/" target="_blank">beauty-related content</a> online, with brands and influencers posting a constant stream of blogs, tutorials, hauls and ‘how-to’s. </p> <p>This means that consumers can find information about pretty much any product out there. However, what they <em>can’t</em> do is determine how it will look on their own face. </p> <p>Augmented reality introduces this concept, and along with it - real personalisation. Instead of watching an influencer demonstrate how to apply eyeliner, an AR feature like Sephora’s ‘Virtual Tutorial’ will tailor it to the user’s unique and individual features. </p> <p>Not only does this fulfil the learning aspect, but it makes the experience far more personal, which in turn, is also more memorable. </p> <h4>Adding an interactive element</h4> <p>While beauty content serves a functional purpose, it is mostly passive, with consumers merely watching videos or reading blogs to learn and discover. </p> <p>In contrast, there’s a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68059-should-pokemon-go-give-marketers-hope-for-augmented-reality/" target="_blank">gaming element to AR</a> which elevates it to something that can be purely entertaining. It also means that users can experiment with it in their own time, whether they want to use it to discover new products, learn techniques or just have fun. </p> <p>After all, there’s an experimental and nostalgic aspect to beauty that is really rather relatable. From trying your mum’s lipstick as a child to outlandish trends as teenagers – AR brings back the opportunity for self-expression and creativity, allowing make-up to become something fun and artistic again rather than a daily chore.</p> <p>It’s also time saving, of course, with technology allowing users to experiment without physically lifting a finger. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5544/L_oreal_make_up_genius.jpg" alt="" width="660" height="365"></p> <h4>Bridging the online and offline gap</h4> <p>According to Sephora, women buy the wrong colour foundation around seven times before finding the right shade. Of course, this tends to be the problem with buying anything online, with the absence of in-store help and advice resulting in poorly-judged purchases. </p> <p>AR solves this issue, allowing users to make smarter and better-informed decisions without the need to physically visit a store. </p> <p>Even better, AR also allows consumers to find products they would otherwise ignore or fail to notice.</p> <p>For instance, Iman Cosmetics has developed an app that helps users find their ‘colour signature’. As well as helping to find the right shade of foundation, this also means that it will recommend products to help match and complement unique skin tones and complexion types.</p> <p>So, will augmented reality lead to fewer beauty retail stores as a result? </p> <p>Not necessarily, because while AR certainly takes away the need for a physical shopping experience, it doesn’t remove the consumer’s desire for it. Yet with a multitude of brands demonstrating that AR technology can complement both online and offline shopping – we’re likely to see even more examples in future. </p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68689-how-the-beauty-industry-is-embracing-the-internet-of-things/" target="_blank">How the beauty industry is embracing the Internet of Things</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68371-why-travel-retail-is-big-business-for-beauty-brands/" target="_blank">Why travel retail is big business for beauty brands</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67884-seven-ways-social-media-is-shaping-the-beauty-industry/" target="_blank">Seven ways social media is shaping the beauty industry</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68969 2017-04-07T12:00:00+01:00 2017-04-07T12:00:00+01:00 Four ways technology could impact restaurants in the future Nikki Gilliland <p>Today, <a href="https://pos.toasttab.com/restaurant-technology-industry-report" target="_blank">57% of consumers</a> agree that technology in restaurants improves their guest experience. And while we’ve already seen the introduction of apps and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68800-pizza-express-launches-booking-chatbot-is-it-any-good/" target="_blank">bots from restaurant chains</a>, this only marks the start of how technology might further impact the hospitality industry in years to come.</p> <p>Of course, it might not be such a smooth transition. Oracle’s <a href="https://www.traveldailynews.com/post/consumer-attitudes-on-emerging-technologies-and-their-impact-on-future-hospitality-experiences" target="_blank">Restaurant 2025</a> report suggests that consumers could find some tech a step too far, with 40% saying that being served by a robotic machine would feel invasive or strange.</p> <p>With this in mind, here’s a run down of a few examples of innovative restaurant technology that has already arrived, as well as how it could evolve in future.</p> <h3>Voice for payments and billing</h3> <p>According to Barclaycard, <a href="https://www.thecaterer.com/articles/369040/impatient-diners-want-fast-service-and-better-payment-technology-in-restaurants" target="_blank">37% of diners</a> prioritise quick service in restaurants over menu or value for money, meaning that convenient payment options are becoming increasingly popular.</p> <p>With many restaurants introducing apps that allow customers to order and pay without the need for a waiter, this demand is being met.</p> <p>Take <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68889-wetherspoons-launches-order-and-pay-app-is-it-any-good" target="_blank">Wetherspoons’ Order and Pay</a>. This is a particularly interesting example, however, as it changes more than just the payment experience. Taking away the need for any social interaction at all, some have suggested it spells the end of traditional pub culture. A rather dramatic view, perhaps, especially when you consider how many other well-known chains, like Wahaca and Jamie’s Italian, are using similar technology.</p> <p>Meanwhile, other London restaurants like Rum Kitchen and Salt Yard are also incorporating bill-splitting apps, making payment even easier for big groups.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Click here to download our Order &amp; Pay app, available for iPhone and Android<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OrderAndPay?src=hash">#OrderAndPay</a><a href="https://t.co/sN3tSWoS6s">https://t.co/sN3tSWoS6s</a></p> — J D Wetherspoon (@jdwtweet) <a href="https://twitter.com/jdwtweet/status/842013848987148290">March 15, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>So how will this develop in future?</p> <p><a href="http://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/news/starbucks-adopt-voice-recognition-ordering" target="_blank">Restaurant Business says</a> that voice could be the next step, reporting that several San Francisco-based eateries are already experimenting with a Google-supported system involving voice and facial recognition. Instead of asking for the bill and manually paying, all diners will need to say is “I’ll pay with Google” before being automatically charged. </p> <p>With suggestions that Starbucks and McDonalds are also introducing voice recognition into their apps in 2017, it could be here before you can say ‘happy meal’.</p> <h3>Staff using wearable technology</h3> <p>While smartwatches are most commonly used by consumers to track diet and fitness, we could see more restaurants utilising wearable tech in order to facilitate better customer service.</p> <p>Recently, Danny Meyer, the founder of Shake Shack, announced a partnership with Apple Watch that will integrate the technology into front-of-house service in a New York restaurant. Managers and sommeliers will constantly be alerted and informed via the watch, with information being sent about VIP guests, menu changes and complaints. </p> <p>In future, Oracle suggests that we could also see this technology infiltrating kitchens, with the Internet of Things enabling staff to ‘talk’ to appliances while they work.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5257/wearable.jpg" alt="" width="720" height="480"></p> <h3>Robot service</h3> <p>Robots taking over the world was once the storyline for every mediocre sci-fi movie, but it could now be the reality for the modern service industry at the very least.</p> <p>Self-service machines have overtaken humans in many restaurant chains, however this could also extend to the preparation and creation of food itself.</p> <p>Last year, Momentum Machines – a tech startup behind a fully autonomous burger-making machine - applied for a permit, indicating that it is to open a robot-only restaurant. While it’s hard to find any details on its progress or even if it's going ahead, this example shows that robots have the potential to replace both servers and chefs.</p> <p>With the prediction that <a href="http://uk.businessinsider.com/machines-may-replace-half-of-human-jobs-2016-2?r=US&amp;IR=T" target="_blank">50% of jobs</a> could be at risk from robots, it could also be a scary glimpse into the future.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5258/robot_waiters.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="560"></p> <h3>Virtual reality experiences</h3> <p>Lastly, while the likes of Heston Blumenthal has been experimenting with dining as a sensory experience for years, it’s now going beyond what’s on the actual plate, with virtual reality being used to transport diners to another place entirely.</p> <p>Samsung is one of the first tech brands to get on board, rolling out its Gear VR glasses to restaurants that want to create more than just a bog-standard meal.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5259/Samsung_VR.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="339"></p> <p>Even more mind-bending is Project Nourished, a New York-based tech company which builds solutions for ‘fine dining without concern for caloric intake or other health-related issue’. In other words, it uses tech to trick us into thinking we’re eating foods we're not.</p> <p>It’s as bonkers as it sounds. But what’s even crazier is that we can do this, yet we can’t make aeroplane food taste nice. </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68930 2017-03-24T10:00:16+00:00 2017-03-24T10:00:16+00:00 10 amazing digital marketing stats from this week Nikki Gilliland <p>If that’s not enough to tickle your fancy, you can check out the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium" target="_blank">Internet Statistics Compendium</a> for more.</p> <h3>Online retail sales are up 15% while smartphone growth slows</h3> <p>According to the <a href="https://www.imrg.org/data-and-reports/imrg-capgemini-sales-indexes/sales-index-march-2017/" target="_blank">latest figures</a> from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, UK online retail sales were up 15% year-on-year in February. </p> <p>However, the rate of growth for sales through smartphone devices has roughly halved year-on-year, going from 96% in February 2016 to just 57% in February 2017.</p> <p>With tablet growth also remaining low at 3.5%, a sustained slowdown through this channel could potentially impact growth rates for online retail overall.</p> <h3>Instagram has more than 1m monthly active advertisers</h3> <p>Instagram has <a href="https://business.instagram.com/blog/welcoming-1-million-advertisers">just announced</a> that it has more than doubled its amount of monthly active advertisers in the past six months. Growing from 500,000 last September, it now with an advertiser base of 1m.</p> <p>Furthermore, there are now more than 8m businesses using a business profile on Instagram, with the greatest adoption coming from the US, Brazil, Indonesia, Russia and the UK.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4980/Instagram.jpg" alt="" width="275" height="548"></p> <h3>74% of shoppers will abandon purchases after adding items to their cart</h3> <p>Survey data from <a href="https://blog.salecycle.com/featured/infographic-people-abandon-shopping-carts/" target="_blank">SaleCycle</a> has revealed that 74% of online retail visitors who add something to their cart will leave without following through on the purchase.</p> <p>In terms of retail categories, health and beauty currently has the lowest abandonment rates of 68.2%. In contrast, consumer electronics has the highest with a rate of 78.8%.</p> <p>Overall, 34% of people are said to abandon their baskets because they are ‘just browsing’, while 23% might have an issue with shipping.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4975/SaleCycle.JPG" alt="" width="670" height="464"></p> <h3>8 out of 10 online shoppers avoid retailers after a bad returns experience </h3> <p>New data from Klarna has revealed that retailers who fail to provide consumers with a quick and easy returns service risk losing a large proportion of their customer base. </p> <p>In a survey of 2,000 UK consumers, <a href="https://www.theretailbulletin.com/news/past_the_point_of_no_return_22-03-17/" target="_blank">83% of online shoppers</a> said that they would never shop with a retailer they have had a bad returns experience with in the past. Similarly, 77% believe UK retailers need to improve their returns capabilities, while 28% said they have been put off returning items due to foreseen hassle. </p> <p>With online shoppers reportedly returning 10% of goods they buy online, and 40% deliberately ordering multiple items to send back what they don’t want, it is vital for retailers to improve returns processes in order to capture long-term loyalty.</p> <h3>Total video content views rose by 26% in 2016</h3> <p>The <a href="http://freewheel.tv/insights/#video-monetization-report" target="_blank">Video Monetisation Report</a> by FreeWheel has revealed that 2016 was a pivotal year for premium video consumption.</p> <p>The report states that content views rose by 26% from the previous year, with ad views up by 24%. Similarly, huge global events like the Rio Olympics and the Presidential election boosted video views, contributing to the general growth of popularity in live video content in the US.</p> <p>Meanwhile, as news and sport content enjoyed major growth across the pond, entertainment reigned supreme in Europe, with 93% of ad views being based on this content, as opposed to 46% in the US.</p> <h3>90% of UK agencies expect to increase turnover in 2017 </h3> <p>New findings from BenchPress suggest that, despite uncertainties over Brexit, a massive 90% of creative and digital agencies in the UK expect to increase their turnover in 2017.</p> <p>While 84% of agency owners were against Brexit, 52% have yet to notice any knock-on effect on their businesses following the referendum in June 2016.</p> <p>29% have experienced clients cancelling projects because of uncertainty around Brexit, while 11% have instead recorded increases in overseas work as a result of the devaluing of the Pound.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4976/Brexit.JPG" alt="" width="637" height="302"></p> <h3>78% of older shoppers fear a robot-run high street</h3> <p>A new <a href="http://possible.mindtree.com/SixthSenseofRetail.html" target="_blank">report by Mindtree</a> suggests that 78% of shoppers over the age of 55 are apprehensive about new retail technologies like automation, artificial intelligence and robotics infiltrating the high street.</p> <p>In contrast, 51% of shoppers between the ages of 16 and 24 are comfortable with the idea of automated technologies in stores.</p> <p>Additionally, the study – which involved a survey of 2,000 consumers in the UK – found there are differing opinions between genders, with 44% of men happy with a robotic shopping experience compared with just 30% of women. </p> <h3>Only a half of charities have a digital strategy in place</h3> <p>The <a href="https://www.skillsplatform.org/content/charity-digital-skills-report" target="_blank">Charity Digital Skills Report</a> has revealed that many UK charities are still struggling to get to grips with digital transformation. </p> <p>From a survey of 500 charity professionals, 50% said they do not have a digital strategy currently in place, and only 9% said they have been through digital transformation. When it comes to the biggest barriers, 57% of charities cite a lack of the right skills and 52% say a lack of funding. </p> <p>It’s not a case of disinterest, however, as 75% of charities think growing their digital skills would help them increase fundraising.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4977/Charities_digital.JPG" alt="" width="690" height="264"></p> <h3>26% of UK shoppers plan to spend more this Mother’s Day than 2016</h3> <p>From a survey of 1,000 shoppers, Savvy found that 66% of respondents will be getting involved with Mother’s Day this year, with 26% planning to spend more than they did in 2016.</p> <p>Despite spending more, there seems to be some negativity surrounding the type of gifts on offer. 54% of shoppers agree that Mother’s Day products presented in retail stores are ‘boring and lack inspiration’. Consequently, 45% of shoppers plan to purchase presents online – an increase of 7% on last year.</p> <p>Finally, 36% desire a wider range of gifts to suit different budgets, while 38% of shoppers want more gift ideas and inspiration from retailers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4978/Mother_s_Day.jpg" alt="" width="665" height="583"></p> <h3>44% of advertisers are considering in-house solutions</h3> <p>ISBA and Oliver have conducted the first-ever UK survey on advertisers’ use of in-house and on-site agencies.</p> <p>The findings show that advertisers are now seeking closer relationships with fewer suppliers, as just under half of brands are now considering establishing an on-site or in-house capability.</p> <p>Lack of speed appears to be one of the main reasons for this, with 68% of marketers expressing frustration over the time it takes external agencies to make decisions or turn around briefs. In contrast, this figure drops to 8% for on-site and 20% for in-house agencies.</p> <p>Other advantages cited for in-house include improved brand expertise, collaboration, operational control and creative expertise.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68893 2017-03-16T10:17:12+00:00 2017-03-16T10:17:12+00:00 Four digital priorities for retailers in 2017 Nikki Gilliland <p>Here are four key charts highlighting what’s high on the priority list for retailers in 2017.</p> <h3>Striving to become digital-first</h3> <p>While bricks-and-mortar operations drive traditional marketing activities for a lot of retailers, the quest to reach digital maturity is also growing in importance.</p> <p>The below chart shows that 48% of retailers say that digital ‘permeates most of their marketing activities’ – which is compared to 46% for non-retail respondents. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4660/Digital_in_marketing_activities.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="578"></p> <p>Meanwhile, 16% of retailers say that digital permeates all their marketing activities. Despite this figure still being fairly low – especially in comparison to other sectors such as media or gambling - it reflects a growing recognition that a strong digital element is needed to complement offline campaigns like TV ads and direct mail.</p> <h3>Targeting and personalisation remain top priorities</h3> <p>While other sectors are prioritising factors like social media engagement and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67985-what-is-the-future-of-content-marketing/" target="_blank">content marketing</a>, targeting and personalisation is now the top priority for retailers – with 33% citing it as one of their current three key areas of focus.</p> <p>Through personalisation, retailers are able to provide more of an authentic, relevant and memorable experience for consumers, in turn increasing the likelihood of repeat purchases and brand loyalty. </p> <p>As a result, we can see that budgets are expanding, with 57% of retailers now planning to further invest in personalisation during 2017.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4662/Targeting_and_personalisation.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="593"></p> <h3>Understanding mobile users</h3> <p>With retail sales in the UK alone reaching £133bn in 2016, the impact of mobile is clear. </p> <p>For retailers, however, it’s becoming more about how mobile can be harnessed as part of an over-arching customer experience strategy – rather than a standalone area that competes for both attention and budget.</p> <p>The below chart demonstrates the importance of understanding the customer journey, more specifically in terms of how mobile users research and buy products on their smartphone. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4661/Mobile_users.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="550"></p> <p>75% of retailers now agree on the importance of taking all touchpoints into consideration when mapping the consumer journey, meaning both online and offline behaviour.</p> <h3>AR and VR breaking through</h3> <p>When it comes to how retailers plan to differentiate themselves in the face of competition, 34% cite making the experience as fun and valuable as possible - above and beyond other factors like customer service and the quality of products. </p> <p>With 28% of retailers also citing <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67713-augmented-reality-vs-virtual-reality-where-should-brands-focus/" target="_blank">VR and AR</a> as the most exciting prospect ahead of 2020, many are embracing technology as a way of achieving a fun and unique customer experience. Whether it’s a virtual dressing room or an <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68732-what-makes-a-good-chatbot-ux/" target="_blank">online chatbot</a>, technology is now being utilised to strengthen bonds with consumers. </p> <p>Finally, as technology trends are predicted to dominate the evolution of retail in the next five years, it remains to be seen how retailers will successfully integrate this alongside human-centred design.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4663/VR_AR_breaking_through.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="590"></p> <p><em><strong>For further insight, Econsultancy subscribers can download the </strong><strong>latest <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-intelligence-briefing-2017-digital-trends-in-retail/">Digital Trends in Retail Report</a>.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68706 2017-01-17T10:00:00+00:00 2017-01-17T10:00:00+00:00 Ashley Friedlein's marketing and digital trends for 2017 Ashley Friedlein <p>You can <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67397-ashley-friedlein-s-10-digital-marketing-ecommerce-trends-for-2016/">read my 2016 post</a> to see whether I had any success in predicting the major trends from last year, and here are the trends that I think will have the biggest impact in 2017.</p> <h3>1. The F word </h3> <p>I believe the guiding star for marketing, and digital, for 2017 will be: Focus. </p> <p>In part, this is because the economic outlook is uncertain so there is less appetite for risk and instead a desire to focus on either fixing what is not working or doubling down on what is working and scaling that.</p> <p>Businesses want growth, brands want saliency in a cluttered landscape, but there is not the money to ‘throw a lot at the wall and see what sticks’ so focus has to be the answer. </p> <p>In part, it is also a reaction against the ever-increasing complexity and fragmentation within marketing. Both at the highest levels (What even is ‘marketing’ now? What is ‘digital’ really?) and at the tactical levels (Which new emerging platforms do we now also have to manage? Have we really nailed our responsive programmatic social video campaign? What are we doing about <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67529-the-rise-of-dark-social-everything-you-need-to-know/">dark social</a> and messaging?). </p> <p>Focus is an antidote to ambiguity and complexity. In part, I think shareholders and boards are starting to lose patience with marketing and digital strategy and execution which lacks focus.</p> <p>There are only so many times you can say “for us digital is like changing the engines on the plane whilst still flying!” or cunningly pass off what is really indecision, lack of competence or lack of operational clarity as “agile”. </p> <p>In 2017 prioritisation is the top priority. Focus on the focus. So I expect to see:</p> <ul> <li>Brand portfolios being rationalised. This started in 2016 but I expect to continue this year. Weaker brands will be killed off so energies can be focused on the strongest. </li> <li>As well as cutting some brands completely we will see more ‘zero-based branding’ thinking (cf. “<a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/01/26/why-unilever-is-right-to-adopt-zero-based-budgeting/">zero-based budgeting</a>” from 2016) where marketers revisit a brand's purpose, promise, positioning and audience. Again, to ensure clarity of focus. </li> <li>Agency/supplier relationships being rationalised. Again, in the name of focus, I expect to see brands favouring fewer, deeper, supplier relationships. This will be a challenge for mid-sized agencies. I believe it will favour the big consultancies and systems integrators over the agencies too.</li> <li>Media partners being rationalised. There will be less appetite for continual experimentation and fragmented efforts. Rather marketers will want to do better what is already shown to work. In the digital space this is good news for Google and Facebook in particular.  </li> </ul> <p>2017 will be more about refinement than reinvention for most marketers. More about consolidation, embedding and stratification than diversity and fragmentation. Time to get better at ‘operationalising’ marketing in a digital age.</p> <p>Take a cue from Google which has been busy cutting back projects to focus on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67745-15-examples-of-artificial-intelligence-in-marketing/">artificial intelligence</a>. In 2017 your hardest decisions will be about what <em>not</em> to do. </p> <h3>2. Macro trends impacting marketing in 2017</h3> <p>Following are some broader trends that are shaping marketing, and digital, through 2017 and beyond. </p> <h4>2.1 The democratisation of AI (artificial intelligence)</h4> <p>AI is <em>the</em> hot technology trend. But a bit like ‘big data’ I do not see it as a thing in isolation. <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/marketing-in-the-age-of-artificial-intelligence/">AI will permeate all aspects of marketing</a> and beyond.</p> <p>From quite specific applications like AI-powered email subject line optimisation (like <a href="https://phrasee.co/">Phrasee</a>) through smart devices and right up to Samsung-acquired <a href="http://viv.ai/">Viv</a> the ‘global brain’ and ‘intelligent interface to everything’.  </p> <p>AI is already powerful: <a href="http://www.wired.co.uk/article/alphago-deepmind-google-wins-lee-sedol">Google’s Go-winning DeepMind technology</a>, Facebook’s <a href="https://research.fb.com/publications/deepface-closing-the-gap-to-human-level-performance-in-face-verification/">DeepFace</a> facial recognition is better than a human’s etc. But the exciting opportunity for us all is that AI is becoming democratised, becoming a utility, being made available as a service. </p> <p>In 2017 you should not ‘do AI’ but you should keep on top of how AI can help make smarter things that you are already doing and make sure your suppliers and vendors are using AI to improve their services to you. </p> <h4>2.2 Conversational interfaces</h4> <p>I could have gone with bots, chat, messaging, even the ‘conversation economy’. But let us focus on conversational interfaces for now.</p> <p>Messaging, bots and smart home devices, like Amazon’s Echo, are the main actors on the stage of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67767-will-conversational-marketing-become-a-reality-in-2016/">conversational UI</a>. This is an exciting area of development, possibly even a ‘<a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4502/banned_words.png">paradigm shift</a>’? </p> <p>Conversational UIs can help remove friction in a process. Before long we will expect to say “Find me three of the best tents that sleep up to five people for under £300”, get a good answer, and then purchase, all by voice. Interfaces will have API access to marketplaces like eBay, Google Shopping, Amazon etc. </p> <p>From a brand point of view this conversational paradigm is also compelling. Perhaps we can have conversations like we used to with businesses and recapture some of the intimacy that technology to date has caused us to lose? Can conversational interfaces re-humanise technology? </p> <p>The big question for marketers and brands in 2017 is whether you choose to play directly in this space, by creating your own <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67894-what-are-chatbots-and-why-should-marketers-care/">chatbot</a> for example, or whether you figure out how best to integrate in the ecosystem of much larger players, e.g. building a ‘skill’ for Amazon’s Alexa platform <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/help/insideguardian/2016/sep/28/introducing-the-guardian-skill-for-alexa">like the Guardian</a>. </p> <h4>2.3 Realtime</h4> <p>Building on the conversational paradigm, we should also expect experiences to become more realtime.</p> <p>Whether that is messaging, live customer service, live location tracking or live video streaming, we can see expectations rising for experiences that are ‘in the moment’. Just recently Google updated its “Popular times and visit duration” information for destinations to include realtime information on how busy the place is. </p> <p>In 2017 and beyond we need to look at how we can deliver <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/customer-experience/">customer experiences</a> that are realtime which is a challenge across technology, people and process. </p> <h4>2.4 Google/Facebook duopoly unchallenged</h4> <p>I cannot see how Google and Facebook will not continue to gain momentum. This will be aided by the focus and consolidation I described earlier.</p> <p>For many marketers who need to get good at a few things that they know have scale and can work, it is much easier to concentrate on a few platforms than many. </p> <p>Over 2017 it will be interesting to see how the video wars play out between Google (YouTube) and Facebook and also the degree to which brands work more directly with Google and Facebook which threatens to relegate the importance of the agency relationship. </p> <h4>2.5 Consultancies and systems integrators steal share from agencies</h4> <p>Speaking of agency relationships... I fear agencies may increasingly lose out to the big consultancies in winning large <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/">digital and marketing transformation</a> work.</p> <p>Creativity and media planning/buying may hold out best against the consultancy attack but, as media becomes more programmatically driven, it is access to (increasingly backend) data and smart business logic that is required.</p> <p>And ‘digital transformation’ is a lot about change management, business strategy, data architecture, process, systems integration, cultural transformation etc. This is home turf to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68570-consultancies-are-buying-agencies-what-does-it-mean-for-marketing/">consultancies who have also been aggressively acquiring</a> or hiring agency talent.   </p> <h4>2.6 Identity management and authentication</h4> <p>We know devices are proliferating, we know we want to deliver personalised experiences across channels, we know multichannel marketing and (re)targeting can work if well executed and we know we want to measure ROI in a properly attributed way across channels. But we also know the sensitivities around data control and privacy.</p> <p>At the root of these challenges is how, and if at all, we can reliably identify who someone is. And even if we can, what the legal and perception challenges are around what we then do with that knowledge.</p> <p>This is another reason for the rise and rise of Google and Facebook who can address these challenges at scale and whose users are pretty much logged in all the time wherever they go online. Not a luxury most of us have.  </p> <h4>2.7 Talent</h4> <p>Yes, there is still a war for that.</p> <h3>3. Marketing trends for 2017</h3> <p>And now the key trends in marketing. </p> <h4>3.1 Marketing transformation</h4> <p>The <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68009-it-is-the-end-of-the-beginning-for-digital-but-is-it-the-beginning-of-the-end/">‘death of digital’ debate</a> rumbles on but certainly I have noticed brands talking not only about ‘digital transformation’ but also about ‘marketing transformation’.</p> <p>Usually the initial focus is a restructure of the marketing organisation, often with the (re)integration of digital marketing, and often with a new person at the top who is increasingly likely to be a CCO (Chief Customer Officer) rather than CMO. </p> <p><a href="http://theoystercatchers.com/">Oystercatchers</a> (a sister brand to Econsultancy and part of Centaur Media plc) note a trend towards clients bringing more marketing teams in house – maybe not permanently but building dream teams for specific tasks. </p> <p>Accompanying this internal transformation is a re-evaluation of supplier relationships, the likely outcome of which I address earlier, and zero-based budgeting has become more popular as another way to ‘reset the clock’. </p> <p>The area that I find most interesting is the idea of ‘marketing ops’: the operating system for marketing. This is one effective way of keeping focus but also dealing with complexity and delivering operational efficiency.</p> <p>Just as (enlightened) IT has ‘dev ops’ it makes absolute sense to me that marketing needs ‘marketing ops’. Marketing is adopting ‘agile’ from the world of technology (incorrectly in many cases, but still…) and could do well to adopt ‘ops’. </p> <p>If you want to get some insight into this emerging area of marketing I recommend you look at <a href="http://www.slideshare.net/MarTechConf/marketing-ops-is-a-philosophy-not-a-department-by-justin-dunham">this presentation on marketing ops by Justin Dunham</a> of Urban Airship.  </p> <h4>3.2 Customer experience still top of the agenda</h4> <p>Customer experience has been a hot topic for a few years now but it shows no sign of cooling in 2017. Every single piece of market research Econsultancy does into what topics marketers are prioritising, and indeed the equivalent data I have seen from other analysts, shows customer experience topping the charts. </p> <p>The drivers for this are partly just to meet customers’ rising expectations, i.e. improved experiences, particularly digital and multichannel ones, are something that you just have to do. Partly, of course, it is in an effort to improve ROI through better conversion and retention rates.  </p> <p>2017 will see more ‘<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68681-mapping-the-customer-journey-doesn-t-have-to-be-difficult/">customer journey mapping</a>’, more defining of personas and further efforts at personalisation. And, according to Econsultancy’s recent <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-the-cx-challenge/">Implementing a CX Strategy</a> research, it is the marketing function which is most likely to own CX within a business. Yet only 8% of companies view themselves as 'very advanced' in terms of customer experience maturity.</p> <p>Multichannel will remain a big focus for customer experience improvements. Amazon Go, which entirely automates the in-store experience using sensors and machine learning, shows what is possible when blending the digital and physical.</p> <p>Multichannel should not be about the distinction of physical and digital channels but about experience fulfilment: what works best for what experience and customer need.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/NrmMk1Myrxc?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>In 2017 we will move away from channel execution to thinking more about touchpoints and brand (“omni-brand” anyone?) experience.</p> <p>Rarely is there a single linear customer journey; more usually customer journeys are pretzel-shaped. </p> <h4>3.3 Data lakes and data ops</h4> <p>The move towards brands taking greater, first-party, control of their data as a strategic asset will continue. Expect to hear more about ‘data lakes’ in 2017 and dedicated ‘data/analytics ops’ teams comprising data scientists, engineers and analysts.</p> <p>The focus will be on getting better access to the data that is already available and smarter reuse of analytics assets like algorithms and models. Perhaps this year more marketers will finally be able to get a universal view of cross-channel performance.  </p> <p>In 2017 we will also start to recognise the need to use data to market to machines. We already know the value of structuring our data properly through schematic language to enhance how we appear in search results. But as personal assistants and IoT (internet of things) devices increasingly intermediate between our offerings and our customers we will need to learn how to ‘teach’ these machines with data.</p> <h4>3.4 Measurement scrutiny</h4> <p>2016 saw a lot happening in the area of measurement, performance and metrics: <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/08/30/mark-ritson-mcdonalds-zero-margin-omnicom-deal-sets-welcome-precedents-for-agency-contracts/">McDonald’s zero-margin Omnicom deal</a> setting a new precedent for agency contracts; <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68332-should-marketers-be-more-concerned-about-facebook-s-video-metrics-faux-pas/">Facebook’s erroneous video metrics</a>; the <a href="http://www.ana.net/content/show/id/industry-initiative-media-transparency">ANA’s concerning report</a> into lack of transparency in media buying by agencies.</p> <p>As a result, there will be a lot of scrutiny from senior management around how marketing is being measured. Some may reach the nirvana promised by the aforementioned data lakes, assuming they can find the talent to realise them and harness their value, but for many this year’s focus will mean having fewer KPIs but being more rigorously held to account over those.</p> <p>Marketing attribution will still be challenging (less so for Google and Facebook): according to Econsultancy’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-state-of-marketing-attribution/">State of Marketing Attribution</a> research 76% of respondents are struggling to find the right staff to deal with attribution. </p> <h4>3.5 Rethinking segmentation and targeting</h4> <p>2016 saw a lot of debate around approaches to customer segmentation and targeting. How granular is too granular? Is ‘mass targeting’ the answer? How does programmatic work in the mix?</p> <p>In 2017 we need to focus on resolving this question. As ever, the answer will be ‘it depends’. It depends not just on your product and audience but on your business strategy e.g. if you are going after market share at any cost versus focusing on profits and margins. </p> <p>Approaches to targeting are interesting in as far as they expose the sometimes differing philosophies and approaches of ‘traditional’ and ‘digital’ marketing. The former typically has a higher degree of planning and research up front and the segmentation and targeting models often built on more prescribed geo-demographic data attributes. </p> <p>Digital, meanwhile, espouses a ‘test and learn’ approach to validate hypotheses, starting small and scaling what works, and using technology and data to optimise for successful outcomes.</p> <p>For example, using programmatic advertising to optimise for sales using lookalike targeting which may not care what geo-demographic segment a prospect belongs to.</p> <p>Digital focuses on assessing potential customer value based on realtime, dynamic and contextual data variables which might include the weather right now, your precise location right now, what device you are using, what transport you are currently in, what you have just searched for, just clicked on etc.</p> <p>This year, as part of our marketing transformation (see earlier), we need to resolve these tensions between ‘traditional’ and ‘digital’. This will play out in organisational design but also in our processes, culture and capability development.  </p> <h3>4. Digital marketing trends for 2017</h3> <p>There is an increasingly blurred line between ‘digital marketing’ and ‘marketing’ but the following trends focus on the digital elements of marketing.</p> <h4>4.1 Digital Transformation</h4> <p>Econsultancy’s recent research on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-new-marketing-reality/">The New Marketing Reality</a> with IBM highlights the many challenges facing digital marketing:</p> <ul> <li>fragmentation and complexity.</li> <li>challenges in understanding the customer journey.</li> <li>challenges with organisational and data silos.</li> <li>confusion around metrics and what good looks like.</li> <li>managing both generalist and specialist agencies and vendors at the same time.</li> <li>lack of capability in areas like data and customer experience.</li> <li>lack of clarity in strategy and leadership. </li> </ul> <p>There is nothing particularly new here and there will not be for 2017. The challenges in becoming a digitally adept and mature organisation are many and will take years to work through.</p> <p>2017 will continue to see a mix of initiatives which, on the one hand, deliberately create ‘elite’ digital units (McKinsey talk about ‘<a href="http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/marketing-and-sales/our-insights/agile-marketing-a-step-by-step-guide">war-room teams</a>’) in an attempt to move at speed and, on the other hand, attempts to integrate and unify ‘digital’ and ‘traditional’ within a single marketing function. In practice most organisations will do both at the same time.</p> <p>Digital will also need better ‘ops’ (see the earlier section on marketing transformation), particularly in the area of data. Ops can help corral disjointed data and wrangle the complexity of channel silos.</p> <p>Digital will also be in the vanguard as organisations seek to become more agile and better at <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68503-what-is-design-thinking/">design thinking</a>, customer experience optimisation and product management. </p> <p>Non-Executive Directors with digital expertise will stay in great demand. There will be more Chief Digital Officers (CDOs) but the rate of growth in this job title may have peaked. </p> <h4>4.2 Data and marketing automation</h4> <p>2016 was a big year for marketing automation. Martech outshone adtech. Companies like Oracle, Adobe and IBM went on a spending spree to acquire capabilities to bolster their martech offerings across areas including programmatic, personalisation, video and social.</p> <p>Last year also saw a lot of talk about using data to optimise marketing including customer insight, personalisation, automation, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/conversion-rate-optimization-report/">conversion rate optimisation</a>, multichannel, and predictive analytics. </p> <p>2017 will primarily be about putting these things into action. For most, ‘marketing automation’ is, initially, just better <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/email-census/">email marketing</a>. Improved customer onboarding, retention or renewal sequences, more refined trigger-driven messaging, more personalisation, introducing lead scoring and lead nurturing.</p> <p>This practice is then extended into other channels as data becomes more joined up and the ‘direct marketing’ of email becomes joined to the ‘above the line’ of advertising with programmatic media. </p> <h4>4.3 Artificial intelligence </h4> <p>Earlier I noted that AI will permeate all areas of marketing so is not a discipline in itself. But it will be the digital experts within the marketing function who will be expected to take the lead in how AI is adopted by organisations.</p> <p>Indeed, Econsultancy researched our subscribers to ask who is responsible for defining the role of AI-powered marketing within their organisations and 61% stated it was the marketing function.</p> <p>The applications of AI in marketing for 2017 sit most obviously in the digital marketing disciplines: AI for content curation (e.g. smart recommendations); AI for customer service (particularly digital/social service); AI for content generation (e.g. email copy or video content); AI for sentiment analysis (e.g. social listening); AI for CRM (e.g. smarter loyalty or sales insights); AI for intelligent digital advertising optimisation; AI to power chatbots (e.g. for assistance in finding products or content). </p> <h4>4.4 Content marketing</h4> <p>As per <a href="http://www.gartner.com/technology/research/methodologies/hype-cycle.jsp">Gartner’s Hype Cycle</a>, 2017 sees content marketing moving through the slope of enlightenment and entering its plateau of productivity. There will be more focus on understanding return on investment, more refined approaches based on learnings to date, more focus on scaling the things that are working, more clarity on roles and capabilities.  </p> <p><em>Gartner's Hype Cycle</em></p> <p><em><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3103/Gartner_hype_cycle.png" alt="" width="589" height="411"></em></p> <p>Scott Brinker has an interesting view on what he terms the <a href="http://marketingland.com/4th-wave-content-marketing-marketing-apps-84108">4th Wave of Content Marketing</a> and I agree that 2017 will see more focus on interactive experiences beyond static content or even rich content like video.  </p> <p>Video, as a form of content, will still be an active area of experimentation during 2017: vertical video, shorter and longer form video, video captioning and optimisation for stream viewing, live streaming, social video ads etc. </p> <h4>4.5 Social</h4> <p>“Social” is a very broad term these days. Plenty of activity to expect in 2017 across social:</p> <p><strong>Social care</strong> – deeper integration of social channels into customer service and care.</p> <p><strong>Social CRM</strong> – similarly to customer care, social data and touchpoints will become more closely integrated with backend CRM systems. </p> <p><strong>Dark social and messaging</strong> – more <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68695-how-brands-are-using-whatsapp-for-marketing/">brands running private social groups</a>, experiments with chatbots, greater usage of messaging as a medium both internally (e.g. Slack) and externally through integrations with Facebook Messenger or trials with WhatsApp groups and, for B2B, setting up messaging groups on LinkedIn. </p> <p><strong>Emerging platforms</strong> – social is at the forefront of experimentation with emerging platforms and formats. Last year it was Meerkat and Pinterest; this year I expect we will see more activity around Snap, Instagram and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67490-10-things-you-didn-t-know-about-wechat/">WeChat</a> (even in the West). </p> <p><strong>Social answering</strong> – I have not yet come up with a name I am happy with for this... but essentially it is about listening for relevant conversations, or questions, taking place online and then participating and answering in order to drive awareness, traffic and search rankings.</p> <p>In B2B this might be answering, or commenting on, content posted to LinkedIn; if you were targeting developers you would do this but on Stack Overflow; Quora, among others, has become a much bigger driver of traffic so it is worth answering relevant questions there. </p> <p><strong>Social amplification</strong> – thankfully there is less talk of ‘going viral’ as relates to social. But 2017 should see efforts in understanding how to use social to distribute, augment and amplify content and messaging.</p> <p>There is a skillset to optimising this: the best practitioners know how to orchestrate social channels to maximise amplification. In its simplest form this is about choreographing how, and when, content is published. Enterprise social management software now allows for more sophisticated scheduling and provides the analytical insights to optimise it.  </p> <p><strong>Influencer marketing</strong> – this is not just about ‘social’, of course, but 2017 will see continued efforts to identify and understand who the ‘new influencers’ might be for your brand and then engage with them, socially, commercially and through PR. </p> <p><strong>Social media advertising</strong> – driven largely by the emerging platforms as well as increasing experimentation by more traditional media owners, 2017 will offer a whole range of new ad formats, experiences and commercial models for agencies and their clients to experiment with. </p> <h3>5. Hot topics but still not significant in marketing for 2017</h3> <p>Our own Econsultancy research says that marketers are excited about VR, AR and IoT for 2017.</p> <p>So perhaps I will get some criticism for having the temerity to suggest these are not likely to form a significant part of an average marketer’s job this year. Unless you work for GAFA (Google Apple Facebook Amazon) that is. </p> <p>My thoughts on some of these topics:</p> <p><strong>AR (augmented reality)</strong> – sure <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68059-should-pokemon-go-give-marketers-hope-for-augmented-reality/">Pokémon Go was a great use of AR</a> but most of us are not gaming businesses. AR has many great applications but it still does not feel like it will go mainstream for marketers in 2017.</p> <p>That said, the iPhone 8 release this year could change that with ‘mixed reality’ getting a big boost. </p> <p><strong>VR (virtual reality)</strong> - there is huge hype and investment around VR including from GAFAM (I have added <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68442-microsoft-s-hololens-a-review-of-the-mixed-reality-headset/">Microsoft because of HoloLens</a>) so it should go large some time. But this year?</p> <p>The hardware requirements are still too onerous, the tech and apps too fragmented, the use cases mostly gaming or too niche, for most marketers to spend much time focusing on VR this year. As with AR, VR’s adoption could be turbocharged by the iPhone 8 release this year. </p> <p><strong>IoT (Internet of Things)</strong> – there are some fantastic examples of successful IoT services, a lot in B2B, and this will only grow. But I am less convinced there is an obvious opportunity for marketers yet.</p> <p>As more products and things become connected, however, there is a really interesting customer-product relationship marketing opportunity. We should see more early examples of that this year.  </p> <p><strong>Wearables</strong> – I am still not convinced there are enough use cases for most marketers to get excited about the wearables opportunity.</p> <p><strong>3D Printing</strong> – <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2014/08/14/3d-printing-whats-in-it-for-marketers/">I wrote about 3D printing</a> almost three years ago. The technology has improved, of course, but I’m still not clear how this is particularly relevant for marketers?</p> <p><strong>Blockchain</strong> – <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68693-the-importance-of-the-blockchain-the-second-generation-of-the-internet/">important, exciting, disruptive</a>, but not clear to me how marketing can <a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4502/banned_words.png">leverage</a> this, unless perhaps for identity management and authentication.  </p> <p><strong>Beacons</strong> – still not doing it for me.</p> <p>But what do you think? Feel free to post any thoughts or links to your own digital/marketing trends and predictions for 2017. </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68689 2017-01-11T10:07:00+00:00 2017-01-11T10:07:00+00:00 How the beauty industry is embracing the Internet of Things Nikki Gilliland <p>With the recent launch of L’Oreal’s smart hairbrush, it is clear that the beauty industry is tapping into the internet of things (also known as IoT) and embracing connected devices.</p> <p>Offering the chance to create an enhanced and interactive user experience, could this technology be the next big thing to infiltrate the beauty world?</p> <p>Here’s a bit more on how brands are getting involved.</p> <h3>Development of augmented reality</h3> <p>Before we get onto connected devices, it’s worth noting that it’s not the first strand of new technology within the beauty industry. Augmented reality has also been a big trend, with the likes of Urban Decay creating their own AR apps to give consumers a chance to pre-test products.</p> <p>L’Oreal Paris is another successful example. Its AR-powered beauty app, Make Up Genius, turns iPhone screens into mirrors to over-lay make-up onto the user’s face.</p> <p>It might sound like a gimmick or <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68059-should-pokemon-go-give-marketers-hope-for-augmented-reality/" target="_blank">Pokemon Go-style</a> fad for beauty fans, but with over 11m downloads, the app has proven to be a great success.</p> <p>By giving users the ability to try and test products before they buy, it offers greater value for consumers, solving common problems like finding the right shade or type of foundation. What’s more, it also gives consumers the opportunity to get expert or professional advice, resulting in a far more personal and customised experience all-round.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2918/L_Oreal_Make_Up_Genius.JPG" alt="" width="630" height="367"></p> <p>Due to the app's popularity, it’s been suggested that Make Up Genius technology could soon be integrated into household devices like bathroom mirrors.</p> <p>This is where the internet of things comes into play, with the opportunity for beauty and healthcare brands to expand their presence into homes and everyday personal care routines.</p> <p>With the arrival of L’Oreal’s smart brush – this concept doesn’t sound too farfetched.</p> <h3>Connectivity to enhance customer experiences</h3> <p>By using sensory technology, L’Oreal’s smart brush aims to help consumers improve their haircare. It tells users about specific texture or moisture and alerts them when they are brushing too hard.</p> <p>Essentially, it is a connected device that is designed to give the user greater levels of control and expertise.</p> <p>With a price point of around $200, the brush (which is due to launch mid-2017) certainly doesn't come cheap. The question is – will consumers be willing to pay just as much for a beauty device as they would a smartphone?</p> <p>The beauty industry is clearly hoping that technology-minded consumers (and fans of luxury) will embrace it.</p> <p>Of course, let’s not forget that electronic-based beauty has been overtaking manual processes for years, with everything from electric toothbrushes to face cleansing devices becoming more popular. Consequently, integrating connectivity-based features is an obvious next step.</p> <p>As well as being electronically powered, devices like L’Oreal’s smart brush and Oral B’s connected toothbrush allow users to become well-informed – monitoring, tracking and measuring performance. It's not about necessity, but about making life easier.</p> <p>Plus, with beauty and skincare industries overlapping with health and well-being, we’re likely to see more connected devices geared around lifestyle habits and trends, ranging from sun exposure to even things like stress and pollution.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2919/Oral_B.JPG" alt="" width="630" height="400"></p> <h3>Benefits for brands</h3> <p>For brands, the ability to gain insight into customer behaviour is undoubtedly the biggest benefit of connected devices.</p> <p>IoT technology lets companies like L’Oreal track exactly what their customers are buying and, in turn, re-target them for future purchases.</p> <p>Instant feedback and opinion is also another valuable aspect, which is harder and slower to gather from online purchases. Meanwhile, IoT creates a much richer and more memorable experience for consumers, ultimately proving the value of their shared data. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">This Year's Haircare Must-Have? The Smart Brush <a href="https://t.co/O8cfhkiA9n">https://t.co/O8cfhkiA9n</a> via <a href="https://twitter.com/BritishVogue">@BritishVogue</a> <a href="https://t.co/VcLlmGXOj9">pic.twitter.com/VcLlmGXOj9</a></p> — L'Oréal USA (@LOrealUSA) <a href="https://twitter.com/LOrealUSA/status/817093281729290240">January 5, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>With the prediction that <a href="http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2905717" target="_blank">25bn connected 'things' will be in use by 2020</a>, many industries are beginning to realise the potential of IoT. </p> <p>For the beauty industry, it presents the next opportunity to revolutionise the everyday routines of consumers, ramping up personalisation and increasing value.</p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67839-how-l-oreal-uses-personalisation-to-increase-brand-loyalty/" target="_blank">How L’Oreal uses personalisation to increase brand loyalty</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/a-marketer-s-guide-to-the-internet-of-things/">A Marketer's Guide to the Internet of Things</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68612-how-the-internet-of-things-will-fundamentally-change-marketing/">How the Internet of Things will fundamentally change marketing</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68686 2017-01-06T14:40:18+00:00 2017-01-06T14:40:18+00:00 10 stirring digital marketing stats from this week Nikki Gilliland <p>This week’s dose includes news about the internet of things, TV ads, and entertainment sales.</p> <p>Don’t forget – you can download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium" target="_blank">Internet Statistics Compendium</a> for lots more.</p> <h3>Holiday shopping generates $91.7bn in online sales </h3> <p>Adobe has revealed the total number of online sales from the Christmas period.</p> <p>November 1st to December 31st generated $91.7bn in online sales - an 11% increase year-on-year.</p> <p>Mobile brought in $28.43bn in revenue, which is a 23% increase from 2015. Figures also show that mobile drove 50% of visits and 31% of purchases.</p> <p>While there was an increase in sales, shipping costs were down, going from an average of $2.60 in 2015 to $2.50 in 2016.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2866/Holiday_spend.jpg" alt="" width="760" height="411"></p> <h3>Older consumers prefer rational marketing</h3> <p>A new study by the Journal of Advertising Research has found that older consumers have a clear preference for rational rather than emotional ads.</p> <p>While 49.7% of audiences under 50 preferred a rational advertisement compared to 50.3% favouring an emotional ad, this was significantly increased among those over 50, with 63% preferring the rational example.</p> <p>Insight suggests that this should inform marketing activity, with logical and knowledge-based appeals being much more effective for prompting older consumers into action.</p> <h3>One in five digital leaders consider their organization digitally mature</h3> <p>Clearhead recently undertook a survey of 150 ecommerce executives, aiming to find out the state of digital maturity with organizations.</p> <p>The results showed that there is still a significant gap between the desire for personalization and the processes and capabilities necessary to execute it, with just one in five leaders considering their companies as ‘digitally mature’.</p> <p>What’s more, despite the obvious desire to be data-driven – with 81% of retailers having purchased or built the technology required for testing programs – just 17% of online retailers have a path to develop personalized experiences for customers.</p> <h3>36% of consumers unfamiliar with IoT</h3> <p>According to a new study by Yahoo, consumer understanding of the Internet of Things (IoT) is below par, with many in the dark as to what the term actually means.</p> <p>Despite 70% of consumers currently owning a connected device, 36% still don’t know what IoT is. </p> <p>However, it appears many are keen to learn, with 41% of survey respondents interested in expanding their knowledge of the subject. </p> <p>The group with the highest level of understanding is teens and millennials, with video games and consoles the most popular connected device.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2867/IoT.JPG" alt="" width="493" height="407"></p> <h3>Increasing importance of customer service</h3> <p>Salesforce has released its latest <a href="http://salesforce.com/stateofservice" target="_blank">State of Service report</a>, delving into how service teams are responding to increasing customer demands.</p> <p>The most interesting stats from the research revolve around how collaboration within companies is key to delivering the best customer service. </p> <p>In fact, in a survey of more than 2,600 customer service professionals, 78% of respondents agreed that every employee is an agent of customer service. </p> <p>However, despite this level of recognition, there’s still room for improvement, with just 63% of service teams having a formal process in place to collaborate with sales.</p> <p>Alongside collaboration, service teams also recognise that a single 360-degree view of the customer can lead to greater productivity, with 79% agreeing that this helps to provide consistency and continuity in every customer interaction.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2870/Customer_Service.JPG" alt="" width="596" height="474"></p> <h3>One third of consumers actively choose to buy sustainable goods</h3> <p>A new study by Unilever has discovered how sustainability affects the purchases of 20,000 adults across five different countries.</p> <p>The results found that 33% now actively choose to buy from brands considered to be sustainable, while 21% would be more likely to choose brands that clearly promote sustainability credentials on packaging and in marketing.</p> <p>Consequently, Unilever predicts that the sustainable goods market is worth an average of £817bn in untapped sales.</p> <h3>'Personal assistants' is the top marketing search of 2016</h3> <p>Microsoft’s Bing Ads has released the top marketing-related searches of 2016.</p> <p>Due to greater advances in <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67894-what-are-chatbots-and-why-should-marketers-care/" target="_blank">chatbots</a> and virtual assistants like Alexa, Cortana and Amazon Echo, personal assistants and AI saw the biggest interest.</p> <p>The top five include:</p> <ol> <li>Personal Assistants/ Intelligent Agents</li> <li>Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality</li> <li>Search Marketing</li> <li>Artificial Intelligence </li> <li>Content Marketing</li> </ol> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2868/Bing_top_searches.jpg" alt="" width="537" height="268"></p> <h3>54% of consumers plan to buy a new smartphone this year</h3> <p>After a three-year low, an Accenture survey of 26,000 consumers has found that smartphone purchases are set to rise again this year.</p> <p>54% of the consumers surveyed said they plan to buy a smartphone in the next year - a figure up from 48% last year. </p> <p>Insight suggests that this demand is largely fuelled by better security, new functions and improved performance, with 51% of consumers planning to buy a new phone to access the newest and most innovative features and functions.</p> <p>Similarly, 45% of consumers cite inadequacy of their current device as motivation.</p> <p>While there is growing demand for smartphones, purchases of connected devices like smartwatches and fitness monitors are predicted to remain sluggish, mainly due to high prices and concerns about the privacy of personal data.</p> <h3>DFS dominates TV advertising over New Year</h3> <p>TVTY has analysed more than 80,000 TV spots from the Christmas and New Year period, revealing the brands that invested the most in the medium.</p> <p>Furniture company DFS came out on top with more than 1,200 spots over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. </p> <p>With a further 900 messages on New Year’s Eve and Day, the brand totalled 2,159 TV broadcasts.</p> <p>Other dominant brands over New Year included Confused.com and Thomas Cook, which both aimed to capitalise on consumer interest in holidays and finance. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2869/TV_spots.jpg" alt="" width="226" height="467"></p> <h3>Digital entertainment overtaking physical sales</h3> <p>According to new figures from the Entertainment Retailers Association, digital sales of games, music and video are now overtaking physical sales in the UK.</p> <p>74% of game sales are digital, and 57% of music revenues are derived from digital services like downloads or streaming.</p> <p>In total, digital revenues jumped 23% to £1,309.3m in 2016.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68647 2016-12-16T11:45:20+00:00 2016-12-16T11:45:20+00:00 10 smashing digital marketing stats from this week Nikki Gilliland <p>This week’s roundup includes news about Instagram, online ads, IoT and much more. As always, be sure to check out the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium/" target="_blank">Internet Statistics Compendium</a> for further insight.</p> <p>On we go...</p> <h3>Growing recognition of emerging technologies</h3> <p>New research from Adobe has delved into how brands are using emerging technologies such as AR, VR, and AI in their Christmas marketing.</p> <p>While it seems largely limited to big brands, emerging technologies are increasingly being used by marketers to help grab the attention of consumers. </p> <p>Consumers are now cottoning on to its potential, too, with 68% agreeing that it provides brands with a competitive edge. Likewise, 32% of consumers also agree that it helps to drive customer loyalty to a brand, and 55% believe that it is useful in attracting potential customers.</p> <p>Finally, one fifth of marketers also believe VR will be the biggest trend of Christmas campaigns next year.</p> <h3>Instagram reaches 600m monthly users</h3> <p>Instagram has announced that it now has over 600m monthly active users, with 100m having joined in the past six months.</p> <p>This also means that the platform has doubled in size in just two years, increasing from 300m in 2014.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Today we’re proud to announce a community of more than 600 million. From all of us at Instagram, thank you. <a href="https://t.co/DqHwU0y2Lv">https://t.co/DqHwU0y2Lv</a> <a href="https://t.co/OUNyb08tNu">pic.twitter.com/OUNyb08tNu</a></p> — Instagram (@instagram) <a href="https://twitter.com/instagram/status/809398925417443328">December 15, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Pre-Christmas discounts reach a new record</h3> <p>UK consumers are witnessing record discounts in the run-up to Christmas, according to analysis from Deloitte.</p> <p>Discounts are currently averaging 43.3%, a figure that’s 1.5% deeper than last year, and discounts are also set to rise to 54% by Christmas Eve.</p> <p>The high level of discounting is said to be due to a number of factors, including a successful Black Friday period, unseasonably warm weather and favourable economic conditions for consumers. </p> <p>However, insight suggests that it is also an indication of nervousness from retailers, particularly in how increasing inflation will affect consumer confidence and spending. </p> <h3>Nearly half of online ads miss target audience</h3> <p>Online advertising is missing the mark, according to new research from Nielsen.</p> <p>In a study of more than 44,000 campaigns across 17 countries, only 53% of ad impressions served in the UK were viewed by people of the intended age and gender.</p> <p>The accuracy of ads also varies between sectors, with travel marketers being the most likely to reach their desired audience, closely followed by entertainment.</p> <p>Demographics also appear to be a tricky factor, with campaigns focusing on those aged 25-44 reaching the audience just 38% of the time. </p> <p>Older consumers are said to be a little easier to reach, with success 44% of the time in campaigns targeting 18-34 year olds and 58% for 35-64 year olds.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2486/Nielsen.png" alt="" width="400" height="395"></p> <h3>23% of consumers have bought a fake product online</h3> <p>New research by MarkMonitor has revealed that nearly a quarter of all online consumers have been duped by counterfeiting, with 23% unwillingly ordering a fake item.</p> <p>Surveying the percentage of people that were duped, MarkMonitor found that 71% said the experience had a negative impact on their perception of the genuine brand, with 59% being extra cautious when interacting with the company in future.</p> <p>Likewise, 12% said they wouldn’t buy from that brand again, and 29% complained to the company that owned the brand. </p> <p>Lastly, a very polite 32% took no action upon discovering they were duped.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2489/Counterfeit.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="447"></p> <h3>Eurovision is TV’s most-tweeted about event in 2016</h3> <p>Kantar Media has revealed what got us talking on social media in 2016, with data on the most-tweeted about television shows in 2016.</p> <p>The most-tweets in a minute occurred when Adele won a Brit award in February, generating 16,832 tweets in 60 seconds.</p> <p>In terms of the top broadcasts, everyone went gaga for Eurovision, with the program resulting in 1.6m tweets and 246,000 unique authors overall.</p> <p>Entertainment has been the most-tweeted about genre, accounting for almost half of tweets sent. However, current affairs saw a significant increase, accounting for almost a quarter of TV related tweets. </p> <h3>Abandonment rates drop during Black Friday sales</h3> <p>Data from SaleCycle has shown that abandonment rates dropped on Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year, with shoppers keen to follow through with their bargain hunting.</p> <p>While abandonment rates for the rest of the year averaged out at 75%, they dropped to 67% on Black Friday and 70% on Cyber Monday. </p> <p>However, there was also a 312% increase in abandonment emails sent, due to the greater volume of traffic on retailer websites.  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2487/Black_Friday_stats.JPG" alt="" width="440" height="315"></p> <h3>‘Fitness buffs’ 25% more likely to buy on mobile</h3> <p>Hitwise, a division of Connexity, has examined the shopping behaviour of consumers who typically purchase or visit websites for athletic apparel, fitness trackers or workout equipment.</p> <p>It has found that this demographic is strongly dependent on mobile, with 25% of fitness buffs more likely to purchase a product advertised on their mobile.</p> <p>Likewise, this group places a deep trust in social media reviews, being 95% more likely to pay attention to the opinions of other consumers and 94% more likely to follow their favourite brands or companies on social platforms.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2493/fitness_buffs.jpg" alt="" width="459" height="348"></p> <h3>34% of consumers say extended delivery dates would prompt purchase</h3> <p>With Christmas nearing ever closer, Astound Commerce’s latest report revealed how logistics factors will play a role in purchase decisions during the holidays.</p> <p>According to survey results, 35% of consumers say extended shipping dates would cause them to make a purchase from a particular retailer this Christmas. </p> <p>The option for in-store pick-up is also a big draw, with 34% also citing this factor.</p> <p>Lastly, the study also found that technology is of growing importance for consumers, with 81% saying that technology to help locate products in-store would be desirable.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2490/Delivery.JPG" alt="" width="578" height="268"></p> <h3>A fifth of businesses to embrace the Internet of Things</h3> <p>Big data and the Internet of Things (IoT) are expected to add <a href="http://www.sas.com/en_gb/news/press-releases/2016/february/bi-data-internet-of-things-economy.html" target="_blank">£322bn to the UK economy</a> from 2015 to 2020.</p> <p>Now, research from SAS has predicted that a fifth of businesses are planning to adopt IoT to address customer demand and drive overall engagement.</p> <p>In a study of 75 large European organisations, 36% of respondents said that IoT will have a positive impact on end-user experiences if fully embraced.</p> <p>What’s more, 29% believe it would drive them to produce higher quality hardware and services, and one in 10 cited concerns about losing market share as the biggest risk of not embracing IoT.</p> <p>Despite concerns over the time required for IoT implementation, 37% of organisations are said to be responding to these challenges - and to the persistent skills shortage - by collaborating with external technology vendors.</p>