tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/commerce Latest Commerce content from Econsultancy 2016-12-01T14:56:00+00:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68587 2016-12-01T14:56:00+00:00 2016-12-01T14:56:00+00:00 Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2016 ecommerce stats bonanza Nikki Gilliland <h3>Black Friday 2016 breaks US online sales records</h3> <p>Adobe has revealed that this year’s Black Friday shopping frenzy broke online sales records in the US, with $3.34bn being spent online and a 17.7% increase on sales last year.</p> <p>It also found that retailers who invested in mobile, email and social saw 30% more sales on average than those concentrating on just one or two channels.</p> <h3>Black Friday traffic up 220% on a normal day</h3> <p>Confirming the success of this year’s event is Qubit, which has analysed more than 50m visits from 120 UK and US retailers to discover how consumers reacted.</p> <p>The results show a huge increase in both traffic and revenue.</p> <p>When comparing Black Friday to a normal Friday, it found traffic was up 220%. Similarly, traffic increased 155% on Cyber Monday when compared to a normal sales day.</p> <p>The same goes for revenue, which was up 240% and 380% on the Friday and Monday respectively.</p> <h3>Lego is the top-selling toy</h3> <p>Adobe’s results from Black Friday show that Lego is still a hot favourite this festive season, with Lego Creator Sets coming out as the top-selling toy.</p> <p>This was closely followed by Razor electric scooters, Nerf guns, DJI Phantom Drones and Barbie Dreamhouse. </p> <p>With items under $300 being 20% more likely to sell out, this gives us a good indication of the toys parents need to snap up if they still want to get them in time for Christmas.</p> <p>The five bestselling electronics from Black Friday were Apple iPads, Samsung 4k TV’s, Apple’s MacBook Air, LG Televisions and Microsoft Xbox.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1970/Lego.JPG" alt="" width="536" height="345"></p> <h3>Travel companies see greater interest than in 2015</h3> <p>Data from Sojern shows that consumers spent more on travel this year than last, specifically taking advantage of Cyber Monday.</p> <p>On the Monday, there were 32% more searches for flights from the US compared to the week before. </p> <p>Similarly, while 2015 saw an increase in bookings of 9%, this Cyber Monday resulted in a jump of 21%.</p> <p>Out of the most searched for destinations, Italy, Japan and Colombia were in the top 10, while Canada, Haiti and US Virgin Islands were among the most-booked.</p> <h3>Consumers embrace mobile shopping</h3> <p>According to PayPal, Black Friday demonstrated the enormous growth of mobile shopping and its popularity with consumers.</p> <p>On Black Friday, one third of all PayPal payments were made on mobile devices, as PayPal handled $15,507 in payments per second.</p> <p>Cyber Monday resulted in similar activity, with PayPal seeing over 50% year-on-year growth in global mobile payments.</p> <p>Based on the data, it is also expecting more than 40% year-on-year growth in total payments.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1972/mobile_shopping.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="370"></p> <h3>Brits more confident in shopping on mobile</h3> <p>While results show that mobile overtook desktop as the most preferred shopping channel overall, data from ChannelAdvisor suggests that Brits are more at ease than US shoppers when it comes to following through on mobile purchases.</p> <p>Throughout the five-day sales period, 75% of shopping searches in the US took place on mobile devices, however, mobile accounted for less than one in two purchases.</p> <p>Meanwhile, despite the percentage of UK shopping searches on mobile platforms being slightly lower, more than three in five sales conversions took place on mobile.</p> <h3>1.2m app installs on Black Friday</h3> <p>Continuing the mobile trend, it seems there was a significant increase in retailers targeting consumers via mobile apps this year.</p> <p>According to Urban Airship, retailers sent 56% more holiday notifications in 2016 than in 2015.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1966/App_notifications.png" alt="" width="624" height="469"></p> <p>The big difference this year was retailers embracing targeting, with 88% of notifications being highly targeted to shopper’s locations, preferences and behaviours. Only 12% of messages were broadcast to everyone.</p> <p>The data also shows daily app installs averaged more than 696,000 per day in November, up 24% from the average daily rate in October. </p> <p>On Black Friday itself, there was a peak of more than 1.2m app installs.</p> <h3>Gilmore Girls generates more excitement than Black Friday on social</h3> <p>The latest data from Spredfast shows that there was a huge increase in noise around Black Friday this year, with the event racking up 2.4m mentions on social media - over 1m more than in 2015.</p> <p>However, insight suggests this could be due to more interactions on social overall, rather than direct interest in the shopping event.</p> <p>Despite Black Friday trending in many of these countries last year, the hotly anticipated return of Gilmore Girls, and the hashtag #GilmoreGirlsRevival, came out on top in France, Italy, New Zealand, Ireland and Germany.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">When everyone is hyped for black friday but you've been waiting 9 yrs for this day and it's because the <a href="https://twitter.com/GilmoreGirls">@GilmoreGirls</a> revival is today!!</p> — frayadawe (@frayadawe44) <a href="https://twitter.com/frayadawe44/status/802047855955505152">November 25, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Rise in footfall to UK high streets</h3> <p>Springboard has analysed where UK consumers did their shopping on Black Friday, measuring both online sales and footfall in high streets and retail parks.</p> <p>It found that, while online transactions rose on Saturday by 1.9%, they had dipped by 5.5% on Sunday compared to last year. Footfall also dipped by 0.6%.</p> <p>In terms of the entire weekend, online transactions rose by just 2.3%. </p> <p>Footfall declined by 0.5%, however the 1.4% uplift in footfall to high streets apparently demonstrates the increasing importance of leisure-based trips to retail destinations.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1967/Footfall.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="176"></p> <p><em>For more on this topic, read:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68432-black-friday-2016-how-are-uk-retailers-optimising-search-landing-pages/"><em>Black Friday 2016: How are UK retailers optimising search landing pages?</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68573-seven-examples-of-black-friday-email-marketing-from-retailers/"><em>Seven examples of Black Friday email marketing from retailers</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68577-the-whisky-exchange-increased-prices-on-black-friday-did-it-work/"><em>The Whisky Exchange increased prices on Black Friday: Did it work?</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68568 2016-11-29T11:42:12+00:00 2016-11-29T11:42:12+00:00 Three reasons behind Dominos’ digital sales boost Nikki Gilliland <p>So, what’s behind the boost?</p> <p>Here’s a few reasons why Domino's is still taking a fairly hefty slice of the takeaway market, even in the face of competition with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68206-ubereats-vs-deliveroo-a-comparison-of-the-app-user-experience/" target="_blank">Deliveroo and UberEats</a>.</p> <h3>Embracing innovation</h3> <p>You might have seen Domino’s partaking in a number of unusual stunts this year. </p> <p>Despite occurring in other countries, many have resulted in UK media coverage due to their innovative and experimental use of new technology.</p> <p>The latest stunt involved a New Zealand couple getting their Domino’s pizza specially delivered by a drone - a result of the brand’s partnership with drone company, Flirtey.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1812/Domino_s_Drone.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="471"></p> <p>Described by Domino's Group CEO and Managing Director, Don Meij, as a way to "avoid traffic congestion and safely reduce delivery time and distance" – it offered an exciting glimpse into the possibilities this type of tech could present in future. </p> <p>In a similar event in Australia, Domino’s trialled an autonomous robot designed to deliver pizzas at street-level without the need for human navigation. </p> <p>While it seemed even more gimmicky than the aforementioned drone example, it still demonstrated Domino’s intent to push the boundaries of fast-food delivery.</p> <h3>Utilising social</h3> <p>As well as large-scale technology, Domino’s has been ramping up efforts to make ordering as easy as possible through everyday social platforms.</p> <p>It created its very own <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68184-domino-s-introduces-dom-the-pizza-bot-for-facebook-messenger/">social media chatbot, Dom the pizza bot</a>, allowing users to order via Facebook Messenger with a single word or emoji.</p> <p>This is not the only example of Domino’s capitalising on its large social following. </p> <p>It’s also been making use of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67808-10-pioneering-examples-of-brands-using-facebook-live/" target="_blank">Facebook Live</a>, recently offering users the chance to win a year’s supply of pizza in a special art-themed online auction.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FDominosPizza%2Fposts%2F10157732659530453%3A0&amp;width=500" width="500" height="646"></iframe></p> <p>Part of its campaign for the new Italiano range, it also allowed the brand to align online and offline marketing by transforming its stores into 'Pizz-Art Galleries'. </p> <p>Both of these examples show how Domino’s is keen to capture interest and excitement in the online spaces that its audience use the most.</p> <p>While it might not have generated many actual sales through Dom, the awareness it (or should I say he?) created was certainly valuable.</p> <h3>Improving mobile </h3> <p>Mobile is big business for the takeaway food market. <a href="https://www.comscore.com/Insights/Data-Mine/How-Food-Delivery-Services-Have-Kept-Customers-Reaching-For-The-Phone" target="_blank">Comscore reported</a> that 11m Brits visited one of the top three food delivery sites via a mobile device or PC during March of this year. </p> <p>What’s more, out of Domino’s 3m monthly users, around 70% are said to be mobile-only.</p> <p>Luckily for these customers, the brand made its website fully responsive in 2015 – a move that helped to <a href="http://internetretailing.net/2016/07/amazon-dash-dominos-pizza-online-changing-takeaway-food-delivery/" target="_blank">increase mobile conversions by an impressive 62%</a>. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1813/Dominos_mobile.JPG" alt="" width="200"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1814/Dominos_mobile_2.JPG" alt="" width="200"></p> <p>As well as this, it has introduced even more features to its popular mobile app, such as a one-touch ordering button for extra ease.</p> <p>Domino's also allows users to order via their Apple Watch or Amazon Echo device, taking an overarching ‘convenience-first’ approach rather than just a mobile one.</p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>Despite the popularity of Deliveroo and Just Eat, Domino’s Pizza has retained its appeal to fast-food lovers.</p> <p>Combining an increasingly innovative approach to delivery with a confident social media strategy it remains in a strong position, with the online sales to prove it.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68560 2016-11-28T11:31:38+00:00 2016-11-28T11:31:38+00:00 Five compelling reasons to offer free Wi-Fi in-store Nikki Gilliland <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1743/WIFI.png" alt="" width="300" height="517"></p> <p>What can I say? I’m a consumer cliché - and a great example of why retailers should be offering Wi-Fi in-store.</p> <p>Despite many retailers introducing it quite a few years ago, a suprising number of others have failed to do so.</p> <p>Here are five reasons to explain further.</p> <h3>Immediate affinity with a brand</h3> <p>According to research, more than <a href="http://www.retailtouchpoints.com/topics/mobile/more-than-90-of-consumers-use-smartphones-while-shopping-in-stores" target="_blank">90% of consumers now use their smartphone</a> while shopping in-store.</p> <p>So, first and foremost, that is a huge percentage of people walking through the door that a retailer could potentially target. </p> <p>If a store does not have Wi-Fi, I doubt it would impact the customer’s perception too negatively. </p> <p>But on the flip side, customers are much more likely to have a positive response towards those that do.</p> <p>Regardless of what I used it for, I certainly appreciated Anthropologie allowing me to log-in whilst perusing their irresistible over-priced candles.</p> <h3>Aids the path to purchase</h3> <p>So why would a person use Wi-Fi in-store, other than to check their WhatsApp messages? </p> <p>SessionM's 2015 study found that approximately 54% of consumers use their smartphones to compare prices, while 48% and 42% use it to search for product information and read reviews respectively. </p> <p>You’ve probably heard of '<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62447-13-ways-for-retailers-to-deal-with-the-threat-of-showrooming/" target="_blank">showrooming</a>' – a phrase that refers to when a customer browses in-store before buying online. However, ‘web-rooming’ is apparently becoming even more popular, meaning to browse online before buying in-store. </p> <p>Rather cringe-worthy terms, I know. </p> <p>But the point is that Wi-Fi enables both. Even a combination of the two.</p> <p>John Lewis is one retailer that introduced Wi-Fi into stores a few years ago, with the aim of facilitating this new type of consumer behaviour.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1739/John_Lewis_Wifi.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="487"></p> <p>By making it easier to shop in-store, and ensuring transparency, the retailer is able to deliver on its famous promise of being ‘never knowingly undersold’.</p> <h3>Encourages more time in-store</h3> <p>Unsurprisingly, Wi-Fi means that customers are more likely to linger in a store for longer.</p> <p>More importantly, around 50% are likely to spend more as a result.</p> <p>With many people using Google Maps and various apps to find where they can access Wi-Fi, it also has the potential to increase foot traffic, acting as a great incentive to enter a store.</p> <p>While this has been standard practice for coffee shops and cafés for a while, only the biggest department stores and flagship shops tend to have it as standard.</p> <h3>Marketing opportunity</h3> <p>Many Wi-Fi solutions allow brands to create custom-made landing pages before a user even signs in. This is a great promotional opportunity.</p> <p>Whether it’s a current deal or or simply a nice bit of copy saying 'welcome' – it allows the retailer to engage with the customer at this first point of contact.</p> <p>Retailers can also use it to promote special or unique services that are exclusive to in-store shoppers only.</p> <p>The Foyles branch on Charing Cross Road is a great example of this. </p> <p>On opening the WiFi, users are met with a map of the store that allows them to find specific books as well as search the store to check if an item is in stock.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1740/Foyles_map.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="552"></p> <p>While my colleague Ben found both <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65096-can-bookshops-like-foyles-benefit-from-digital-in-store/" target="_blank">positives and negatives to the in-store digital experience</a> when it first launched, it is still a great example of how to increase value for consumers.</p> <h3>Captures customer data</h3> <p>Lastly, one of the most obvious reasons a retailer should offer Wi-Fi – the opportunity to retarget customers once they have left the store.</p> <p>With many people more than willing to enter an email address in exchange for the service, retailers can easily follow up with related offers or promotions depending on what a customer did or didn’t purchase.  </p> <p>Likewise, valuable customer data such as demographic information and dwell time can help retailers gain a much better understanding of exactly who is walking through the door.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68554 2016-11-23T11:00:00+00:00 2016-11-23T11:00:00+00:00 How retailers are targeting Generation Z Nikki Gilliland <p>A <a href="http://www.shoppercentric.co.uk/trends" target="_blank">new report by Shoppercentric</a> suggests that Generation Z – those between the ages of 15 to 24 – are set to shape the future of retail. </p> <p>So, move aside millennials, here’s a closer look at how this ‘communicative, confident and complex’ consumer shops - as well as a few ways retailers are targeting them.  </p> <h3>Social media scanning</h3> <p>Unlike older generations who have gradually incorporated social media into their lives, Generation Z has grown up digitally-savvy.</p> <p>The prevalance of smartphones means that social is intrinsic to the way this age group shops.</p> <p>According to the Shoppercentric's research, 50% of Generation Z use Instagram, compared with 17% of older shoppers. 41% of these Generation Z Instagrammers also regularly use the network to contact retailers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1693/Digital_DNA.JPG" alt="" width="294" height="544"></p> <p>Instead of viewing social media solely as a way to keep in touch with friends and family, many young people don’t think twice about engaging with a brand online.</p> <p>A retailer like ASOS is incredibly clever in how it capitalises on this.</p> <p>With a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62038-how-asos-uses-facebook-twitter-pinterest-and-google/" target="_blank">heavy presence on all social channels</a> – and specifically those with a teenage user-base like YouTube and Tumblr – it is highly visible to the eyes of young users.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1684/ASOS_tumblr.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="526"></p> <p>Alongside their 'always on' nature, this also taps into the way Gen Z views shopping as a fun activity as opposed to a necessity.</p> <p>With 62% of young people agreeing that online shopping is a great way to prevent boredom – ASOS knows that if they're 'always on', they're always open to buying.</p> <h3>Inspirational browsing</h3> <p>Today, one in two young consumers (53%) agree that smartphones enable them to get better information to help them buy in-store.</p> <p>While spontaneous buying is also prevalent, this type of considered and thoughtful shopping is becoming all the more common, with younger shoppers typically searching online to gain inspiration.</p> <p>Likewise, having been around to witness the 2008 recession, Gen Z are also unafraid to shop around for the best price as well as the best quality product.</p> <p>Essentially, they are said to be much more open and inquisitive – responding to retailers that are able to validate their choices and instil confidence.</p> <p>Missguided is one brand that appears to do this well.</p> <p>Again, it <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67600-missguided-launches-tinder-inspired-app-experience-review/" target="_blank">uses mobile</a> and social media to ensure it is present in the spaces that young shoppers spend their spare time, but more specifically, Missguided encourages user generated content to inspire purchases.</p> <p>Its blog regularly features other bloggers and social influencers, promoting how they shop and style Missguided.</p> <p>Combining <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65722-18-highly-effective-examples-of-social-proof-in-ecommerce/" target="_blank">social proof</a> with editorial inspiration - the brand is a great example of how to use online content to engage a target market.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1686/Missguided.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="764"></p> <h3>Shopping with a social conscience </h3> <p>One of the most striking statistics from Shoppercentric’s report is that fewer than one in five of Generation Z feel that retailers <em>don’t</em> think they are important – compared to one in three of the general population.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1694/Gen_Z.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="363"></p> <p>This shows that younger generations recognise their own value, and in turn, have higher expectations when it comes to how they are treated by brands.</p> <p>Alongside this confidence, Generation Z is increasingly empowered when it comes to social matters.</p> <p>23% strongly agree that “we can make a difference to our future” – and this is reflected in how many companies are beginning to focus on social good.</p> <p>Lush is one retailer that is typically loved by a younger generation, having <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67953-how-lush-cosmetics-uses-word-of-mouth-marketing/" target="_blank">built upon its cult status</a> in YouTube haul videos and blogger reviews.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/n3dcxsTY9eU?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>It also happens to be one of the most ethically-aware brands out there, only using fair-trade ingredients and setting up a number of charitable initiatives. </p> <p>Nicely combining this with a decent <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68308-four-things-to-appreciate-about-lush-s-new-app/" target="_blank">digital presence on mobile</a>, Snapchat and Twitter - Lush ensures its young audience is well aware of its stance on important issues.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Pod goals Margaux and Liz from <a href="https://twitter.com/MC_org">@MC_org</a> have made ending the captivity of dolphins and whales their lives' work: <a href="https://t.co/eMSAuPcfu0">https://t.co/eMSAuPcfu0</a></p> — LUSH Cosmetics UK (@LushLtd) <a href="https://twitter.com/LushLtd/status/781448723989692416">September 29, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Looking for brand-led experiences</h3> <p>Generation Z are said to shop in-store an average of seven or eight times a month.</p> <p>In contrast to older generations, shopping is also seen as more of a social activity than anything else. </p> <p>Consequently, retailers are beginning to focus on the in-store experience in order to meet this demand for fun and immersive shopping.</p> <p>MAC make-up is one example of a brand to do this, designing stores that are specifically tailored to younger consumers.</p> <p>Instead of focusing on sales or transactional elements, MAC’s youth-targeted stores are designed to be spaces that teens want to hang out in.</p> <p>With dedicated hubs for make-up testing, taking selfies and generally spending time in-store – it encourages shoppers to linger and become immersed in the MAC world.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1691/MAC.JPG" alt="" width="591" height="393"></p> <p>Lastly, this also falls in line with the trend for younger shoppers displaying intense loyalty towards the brands they love. </p> <p>Whether it’s MAC make-up, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68536-how-glossier-has-used-instagram-to-create-a-cult-following/" target="_blank">Glossier</a> or Converse, brands typically loved by Generation Z - and that deliver on the aforementioned factors - tend to reach ‘cult’ status.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1692/Starbucks_Converse.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="472"></p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>While Generation Z is by no means the only demographic targeted by the likes of Missguided and MAC - it is clear that they are becoming more of a priority for retailers.</p> <p>With an open-mind and a digital-first mindset, it is up to brands to deliver the kind of experiences they expect.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68470 2016-10-28T14:27:34+01:00 2016-10-28T14:27:34+01:00 10 of the finest digital marketing stats we've seen this week Nikki Gilliland <p>This week’s roundup includes news on adspend, Halloween search, global ecommerce spend and lots more good stuff.</p> <p>Don’t forget to download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium/" target="_blank">Internet Statistics Compendium</a> for further insight. </p> <h3>Time change expected to trigger boost in travel spend</h3> <p>The clocks are set to go back an hour in the UK this weekend, and as a result, online search relating to travel is expected to skyrocket.</p> <p>Data from Lastminute.com shows that searches for international flights shot up 22% overnight when the clocks went back in 2015 - clearly a result of people wanting to escape their winter woes.</p> <p>With a 43% rise in searches, New York topped the list of the most-searched for destinations, followed by Milan, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Las Vegas.</p> <h3>1 in 3 customers are disengaged due to online billing</h3> <p><a href="https://www.echo-ms.com/knowledge-centre/research-resources/the-secrets-of-better-billing" target="_blank">New research</a> from Echo Managed Services has uncovered conflicting consumer views over online billing practice.</p> <p>Despite 70% of consumers preferring to view their bills online, a quarter of people would like greater clarity over their billing.</p> <p>Moreover, from a survey of over 1,000 consumers, 77% said they had experienced poor billing practice including inaccurate bills, incorrect tariffs and hard-to-understand documents.</p> <p>In order to become more in touch with their bills, 27% said they would like to receive alerts in advance to warn them of unusually high payments.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0872/Online_Billing.JPG" alt="" width="503" height="480"></p> <h3>India predicted to become the world’s second biggest ecommerce power</h3> <p>Worldpay’s Global Payments Report has predicted that India will overtake the US as the world’s next biggest ecommerce power, coming second only to China. </p> <p>While India currently accounts for less than 1% of the world’s ecommerce spend, the report predicts the value of the market will reach $2,039bn by 2034.</p> <p>This prediction comes on the back of wages in India rising 10% this year – combined with increased internet usage and the fact that 70% of the population are under the age of 35.</p> <h3>Harley Quinn is the UK’s number one searched-for Halloween costume</h3> <p>Data from Hitwise has revealed what the nation will be dressing up as this Halloween.</p> <p>Suicide Squad's Harley Quinn is the UK’s top costume search, followed by Disney’s Moana, Matilda and Deadpool.</p> <p>Unsurprisingly, searches for Donald Trump and Kim Kardashian have also been on the rise this year, coming out on top as the most searched-for celebrity costumes overall.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0873/Halloween.jpg" alt="" width="454" height="164"></p> <h3>57% of consumers expect companies to innovate</h3> <p>A new SalesForce report, the State of the Connected Customer, has revealed the extent to which customer expectations are rising alongside innovation in mobile technology.</p> <p>Now, customers expect that companies will anticipate their needs, with a personalised experience across all channels becoming standard.</p> <p>According to the report, 57% of consumers expect companies to innovate. In turn, 45% of consumers and 57% of business buyers are likely to switch brands if a company doesn’t anticipate their needs.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0874/Salesforce.JPG" alt="" width="633" height="308"></p> <h3>Eight out of 10 UK consumers are willing to provide personal measurements when online shopping </h3> <p>New research by Tryzens has shown that confusion over variation in size and fit is driving the rise of the ‘serial returner’.</p> <p>As a result, 68% of consumers say that they would be willing to provide their measurements to online retailers to ensure a good fit.</p> <p>With the estimated average cost of handling returns being £15 per order, this would be a win-win for both retailers and consumers alike, reducing business costs and improving customer experience.</p> <h3>GBBO winner backed by social media fans</h3> <p>It’s been the talk of Twitter for the past 10 weeks, and the latest data from Spredfast has revealed who was this year's most popular contestant from the Great British Bake Off.</p> <p>*Spoiler alert*</p> <p>Reflecting the final results, winner Candice Brown led as favourite throughout the series, garnering nearly 12,000 fan tweets overall.</p> <p>Andrew Smyth was a close second, with Jane Beedle’s popularity failing to take off.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0875/GBBO.png" alt="" width="780" height="396"></p> <h3>Mobile predicted to account for 75% of internet use in 2017</h3> <p>From analysis of 60 key markets, Zenith has predicted that mobile devices are expected to account for 75% of global internet use in 2017 - rising to 79% by 2018.</p> <p>The Mobile Advertising Forecasts report also found how quickly mobile has grown over the past four years.</p> <p>Accounting for just 40% of internet use in 2012, it rose to 68% in 2016. </p> <p>In terms of countries with the highest mobile internet use, Spain tops the list, followed by Hong Kong, China and the US.</p> <h3>45% of consumers have reportedly been a victim of cybercrime</h3> <p>According to new research from MarkMonitor, one in six people globally are said to have lost money due to cybercrime, with 20% losing in excess of £1,000.</p> <p>The most common type of fraud is false requests to reset social media account passwords, followed by emails from people attempting to solicit personal information.</p> <p>When it comes to consumer confidence, mobile banking apps and online shopping websites are rated the most trustworthy, both scoring over 50% in terms of trust.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0877/cybercrime.jpg" alt="" width="600" height="400"></p> <h3>US TV adspend fell 5.8% in September</h3> <p>According to data from Standard Media Index, overall TV adspend in the US declined 5.8% year-on-year this September, with broadcast TV seeing a particularly steep fall of 13.2%.</p> <p>Insight suggests that this is due to advertisers holding back on upfront spend in September, after committing a large proportion of the budget to the Summer Olympics. </p> <p>As a result, upfront spend decreased 25% while scatter spend was up 32% YoY.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68415 2016-10-14T11:26:53+01:00 2016-10-14T11:26:53+01:00 The low-down on Facebook Marketplace: Is it any good? Nikki Gilliland <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0303/notification.PNG" alt="" width="640" height="219"></p> <p>While people have been buying and selling on the platform for a while, the activity previously took place within separate Facebook Groups. </p> <p>Now aiming to streamline the process, as well as open up items to millions more users, Facebook is hoping its marketplace will rival the likes of Craigslist and eBay.</p> <p>So, is it any good?</p> <p>And more to the point, will anyone actually use it?</p> <p>Here’s a closer look.</p> <h3>How does it work?</h3> <p>The premise of Facebook Marketplace is pretty simple, and like the rest of the app, it is pretty easy to use.</p> <p>If your location service is enabled, on entering the marketplace you will automatically be shown what people are selling nearest to you.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0306/buy_and_sell.PNG" alt="" width="300"></p> <p>The top header is split into sell, categories, search and 'your items' - where you can view anything you have bid on or are selling.</p> <p>The amount of categories is quite vast, with everything from bikes to books on offer.</p> <p>There's even a classifieds section for housing.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0307/categories.PNG" alt="" width="300"></p> <p>Since the launch of the app, there's been a lot in the press about people using the app to sell drugs and other dodgy stuff.</p> <p>While I've not come across anything too bad, I have seen a few strange items, including the recent trend of selling the new £5 note.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0308/five_pounds.PNG" alt="" width="300"></p> <p>If anything, this just shows how easy the feature is to use.</p> <p>It only takes a few minutes to set up an item to sell, so, naturally people are also using it as a solution for their own boredom.</p> <h3>How easy is it to buy and sell?</h3> <p>To find out just how simple it is, I decided to sell a rather charming backgammon set.</p> <p>I managed to post it within the space of about two minutes.</p> <p>I took a snap, included a description as well as my location, and that was that. As easy as updating your status or posting a photo.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0309/selling.PNG" alt="" width="250"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0310/ted_baker_set.PNG" alt="" width="250"></p> <p>Nobody has responded just yet, though I can see how many people have viewed the item. </p> <p>Buying - or at least bidding on something - is just as easy.</p> <p>Clicking onto any item, you are met with the seller's location as well as a very basic profile.</p> <p>Here you can ask questions about the sale or place a bid.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0311/location.PNG" alt="" width="250"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0312/profile.PNG" alt="" width="250"></p> <p>At this point, it is entirely left up to the buyer and seller to negotiate the final details.</p> <p>There is no involvement from Facebook about how you pay or collect the items, meaning the process involves quite a bit of negotiation in Messenger.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0313/notifications.PNG" alt="" width="300"></p> <h3>Will people use it?</h3> <p>As well as issues relating to privacy and safety, the main issue about Facebook Marketplace is whether people will actually follow through with purchases.</p> <p>Without an in-built payment feature, users are more likely to abandon items. </p> <p>Having this option would also encourage more spontaneous buying as well as take away the negotiation aspect.</p> <p>Without it, the experience has the potential to become frustrating and less than clear-cut.</p> <p>Another feature it could definitely do with is some sort of review system.</p> <p>As it stands, users can only see what items a person is selling - there is no indication of how successful or reliable they actually are.</p> <p>On the flip side, there is also nothing to reassure sellers that a potential buyer is not leading them on.</p> <p>All in all, it feels like a bit of a gamble.</p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>If Facebook figures out the aforementioned issues, Facebook Marketplace has great potential to disrupt the likes of Craiglist and eBay.</p> <p>The real-time element, combined with the unbeatable convenience of living inside the app itself, means that it could easily become the first port of call for buying and selling locally.</p> <p>Until then, you know where to go if you're in the market for a £5 note.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68253 2016-09-01T11:16:08+01:00 2016-09-01T11:16:08+01:00 Four key talking points from our mobile marketing roundtable Rob Thurner <p>However I can say that the session was joined by marketers from a variety of industries, including financial services and travel.</p> <p>Each of the brands get more than 50% of their site traffic from mobile, and each has at least one native app.</p> <p>As the moderator I’ll use this blog to pick up on the main challenges the group face. We split the session into four topics: developing strategy, video content, driving value from apps and managing efficient mobile advertising campaigns.</p> <h3>Mobile strategy – are you managing expectations? </h3> <p>The group agreed that mobile strategy is all about “creating mobile experiences which consistently provide value to the user, and using analytics to learn where users are finding most value.”</p> <p>Whether managing apps, responsive sites or messaging platforms, the real challenge is deciding who owns the strategy, and making sure both marketing and development teams have a shared vision of what customers like or dislike, and how to provide the best user experience.</p> <p>This group was well versed in using analytics to track the features which users love most, but there was a surprising lack of face-to-face focus groups to get feedback direct from users.    </p> <p>Managing expectations is the big issue here – particularly when managing app projects.  </p> <p>If the chief executive expects to see all app investment deliver big returns (e.g. additional sales, repeat usage) it’s important to push back and point out that essential maintenance and responding to feedback is equally important - to keep users on board, and to get the best ratings and reviews.   </p> <h3>Video content – one size fits all or personalised video?</h3> <p>With Mary Meeker predicting that 74% of all internet traffic will be video by 2017, and with mobile watch time on YouTube already surpassing desktop, video was sure to feature in our discussion.  </p> <p>Developing ideas for branded content and coming up with ways to create trully customer-oriented content is the easy bit.</p> <p>We heard about an excellent personalised video created by Thomas Cook with staff at a Greek hotel recording a thank you video for their guests, ending with an invite to come back next year. That works wonders for repeat bookings.</p> <p>[Editor's note: Thomas Cook gave us permission to break the Chatham House Rule on this occasion]</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8684/thomas_cook.png" alt="" width="556" height="418"></p> <p>The group has got to grips with streaming services like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67808-10-pioneering-examples-of-brands-using-facebook-live/">Facebook Live</a> and Meerkat, so video is delivering on many fronts.  </p> <p>But one wrinkle exists – download speeds and data costs still prove a barrier to video adoption, particularly for users abroad, and those with no WiFi access.  </p> <h3>Driving value from apps </h3> <p>We started by discussing the business case for developing native apps – what can a native app deliver that can’t be delivered through the browser?  </p> <p>Developing a stellar app is just the start. What sets apart the successful apps with a long lifespan from those which hit an early retirement is an engagement plan to reward users for their time and loyalty.  </p> <p>We heard an example of newly launched app supported by a search, PPC and YouTube campaign.</p> <p>Download results were rapid and could be clearly attributed to the app marketing channels used. The success was rewarded with an eight-fold uplift in marketing spend.  </p> <p>Other apps lacked marketing support, and saw usage numbers flatline.</p> <p>In the retail space, app commerce company Poq tracks the most effective ways to boost engagement and spend in its <a href="http://poqcommerce.com/app-commerce/2016/07/poq-app-retention-report/">App Commerce Report</a>. </p> <p>For example, adding a ‘Wishlist’ button can inspire repeat purchases. Users who add items to their wishlist have a 1.8x higher conversion rates than average, and spend 3.6x longer browsing.</p> <p>Furthermore, adding share buttons can boost referrals.</p> <p>Shoppers who use social sharing are twice as likely to keep using the app, and deliver over 3x higher conversion rates than the average.</p> <h3>Managing efficient mobile advertising campaigns </h3> <p>Of the topics discussed, mobile advertising presented the widest range of views.  </p> <p>While some saw the obvious upside in carrying ads on their sites and apps, there was a strong sense that the spread of pre-roll video ads and interstitials are invasive, and not welcomed by their customers.    </p> <p>We ended by <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68026-programmatic-advertising-why-the-trend-for-moving-it-in-house/">weighing up the case for outsourcing mobile ads</a> to third-party trading desks and building in-house capabilities, which stirred <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65860-13-interesting-quotes-from-our-programmatic-marketing-panel/">recurring questions about transparency and trust</a> with agencies and trading desks. </p> <h3>Last word </h3> <p>We’d love to hear from you with recommendations for video compression tech and partners.  </p> <p>If you can share experiences of app marketing which builds loyalty and revenue, please leave your comments.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68088 2016-07-26T14:26:00+01:00 2016-07-26T14:26:00+01:00 How can digital brands adapt content strategy for high growth markets? Marco Veremis <p>With three billion content-hungry consumers, high growth markets offer exactly this. In fact, according to Upstream’s <a href="http://www.developingtelecoms.com/tech/apps-content-ott/6483-amazon-eyes-up-emerging-markets-for-next-growth-opportunity.html">2016 Developing Markets Mobile Commerce report</a>, there is an estimated $70bn revenue opportunity on offer.</p> <p>Not only is there a desire for digital services and a willingness to pay, but with the purchasing power of consumers also increasing, emerging markets are a truly viable option for brands.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/netflix-expands-to-190-countries-1452106429">The expansion of Netflix</a> to a further 130 countries earlier this year suggests these markets are beginning to be identified for their revenue potential, but digital content brands still have a long way to go before they are truly maximising the opportunity available.</p> <p>Whilst Netflix recorded <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2016/4/18/11454362/netflix-q1-2016-earnings-81-million-subscribers">double the number of subscribers in Q1</a> this year compared to 12 months earlier, it has also projected a slowdown in new subscribers for Q2, suggesting more needs to be done to engage consumers.</p> <p>Understanding the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-the-quest-for-mobile-excellence/">mobile-first markets</a> and the habits and preferences of those within them is critical. For the likes of Netflix, it’s clear that taking a one-size-fits-all approach based on the practices followed in Western markets is not going to deliver long-term success.</p> <p>Whilst there is an appetite for digital content services, this is simply not enough to drive revenue growth. Recognising the environmental and cultural limitations and adapting accordingly is going to be key for any brand looking to extend its reach.</p> <p>So, how can brands such as Amazon Prime and Netflix ensure they approach high growth markets fully prepared, to maximise the viable revenue opportunities on offer?</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9222/Screen_Shot_2015-02-06_at_11.13.14.png" alt="netflix" width="615"></p> <h3>Make digital services affordable</h3> <p>The economic intricacies of each emerging market means digital providers will need to adopt <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67699-how-online-retailers-can-improve-price-optimization-strategies/">pricing strategies</a> that take into consideration the huge gaps in GDP, compared to developed markets in the West.</p> <p>The total cost of services needs to be affordable, taking into account both the initial cost of purchasing the service and the ensuing on-going cost of using it.</p> <p>In terms of the initial cost for purchasing its service, for example, while Netflix introduced pricing in Brazil that is 39% lower than that in the US, it is worth bearing in mind that the income differential in other emerging markets can be as much as 94% lower compared to the US.</p> <p>It is therefore necessary for brands to set pricing in line with purchasing power, adjusted to the local currency.</p> <p>In addition to the initial cost of purchasing a digital service, streaming and mobile data charges are also costs consumers need to bear. For the average consumer in an emerging market, streaming costs use five times more of their monthly income, compared with the corresponding percentage of the average US consumer’s monthly income.</p> <p>Therefore it should come as no surprise that the majority (87%) of consumers accessing digital services on mobile devices in high growth markets, demand lower data charges.</p> <p><a href="https://media.netflix.com/en/company-blog/netflix-introduces-new-cellular-data-controls-globally">Netflix just released a new tool</a> to help people avoid costly bills for high data use when viewing streamed television shows on mobile devices, which indicates that it is taking steps to overcome this.</p> <p>Another approach brands can take is to create an affiliation with local mobile operators to offer bundles that reduce charges for consumers. Brands may also need to reconsider monthly subscription offers in emerging markets as pay cycles can be much shorter, often weekly.</p> <p>Understanding the specifics of the market will enable brands to develop a proposition that suits the behaviour of the consumers they are trying to engage.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7461/cellular_data_usage_netflix.png" alt="netflix data usage feature" width="450"></p> <p><em>Netflix's new cellular data usage tool</em></p> <h3>Keep content ‘Lite’ to make it accessible</h3> <p>Digital brands that make their content as accessible as possible on mobile devices can perform better in developing markets.</p> <p>In high growth markets, 61% of consumers report internet connectivity as still being slow and unreliable, with intermittent Wi-Fi, which means accessing digital content is reliant on mobile data. One option for brands to consider is to provide ‘lite’ versions of services, which use less data.</p> <p>Additionally, it’s important to remember that digital commerce isn’t solely focused on apps. Research shows that consumers are accessing content via mobile web browsers more than apps (43% vs 40%).</p> <p>SMS and MMS messages <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67108-is-sms-the-most-underrated-and-overlooked-dark-social-channel/">also still play a role</a> for some services, so shouldn’t be discounted.</p> <p>With this is mind, brands should not be too reliant or restricted to apps but instead deliver content through multiple delivery channels where possible to ensure they reach 100% of the population.</p> <h3>Deliver localised content</h3> <p>Before launching digital offerings in emerging markets, brands must first do their due diligence to understand what type of services are missing and develop content that truly meets consumers wants and needs.</p> <p>Providing content and services that are compelling, have a local feel and are available in native languages will be important for brands.</p> <p>Whilst there is a demand for international content in emerging markets, 76% of consumers have a strong preference for content and services to have a sufficient local feel, in terms of language and cultural nuances.</p> <p>Netflix recently announced a move towards <a href="http://www.businessfinancenews.com/25950-netflix-inc-to-cater-to-indian-market-with-original-bollywood-content/">producing exclusive Bollywood content</a> for the Indian market and also added <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2016/03/26/inside-netflix-how-reed-hastings-is-building-the-first-global-tv/">Arabic, Korean and Chinese</a> to the 17 other languages it already supports.</p> <p>This willingness to adapt to the local market and deliver content that appeals to the consumers is something digital brands such as Amazon Prime will have to prioritise if they hope to truly take advantage of the $70 billion digital opportunity on offer.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67809 2016-05-04T14:27:00+01:00 2016-05-04T14:27:00+01:00 Five digital trends for retail in the next five years Nikki Gilliland <p>Try sticking that in your supermarket trolley.</p> <p>Ovum and Criteo’s <a href="http://www.criteo.com/resources/ovum-future-ecommerce/" target="_blank">Future of Ecommerce</a> report recently predicted the biggest trends to impact retail in the next five to ten years.</p> <p>Brace yourselves as we take a look at some of the biggest:</p> <h3><strong>1. Shopping as an immersive experience</strong></h3> <p>From virtual changing rooms to in-store selfie competitions, brands are becoming more intent on creating a shopping ‘experience’ to remember.</p> <p>With the rise of virtual and augmented reality, this looks set to explode on a whole other level. </p> <p>In future, technology will allow us to build on the likes of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63574-augmented-reality-the-ikea-catalogue-and-beyond/" target="_blank">Ikea’s AR app</a> and <a href="http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/dior-eyes-vr-fashion-show-headset-news/" target="_blank">Dior Eyes VR</a>, creating experiences both at home and in-store that blur the lines between the digital and physical world.</p> <p>Of course it is important for brands to ensure an intrinsic benefit for the consumer, otherwise there is the risk of this technology being used as merely a sales gimmick.</p> <p>Advantages also lie in resolving practical issues, such as reducing the likelihood of returns by allowing us to ‘try before we buy’.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4607/dior_eyes.jpg" alt="" width="770" height="403"></p> <h3><strong>2. Brands know where you live</strong></h3> <p>Thanks to the likes of Uber and Deliveroo, we’re used to giving away our location on a regular basis.</p> <p>In future, the world of ecommerce looks set to utilise this behaviour to build on the ultimate curated shopping experience.</p> <p>As well as using algorithms to monitor what we’re browsing, brands will be able to find out where we are doing it, meaning timely and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67418-what-is-location-based-advertising-why-is-it-the-next-big-thing" target="_blank">ultra-targeted marketing</a> being sent direct to our mobiles.</p> <p>So, if you regret not buying that shirt you saw on sale, don’t worry, Bluetooth Low Energy technology (BLE) means that the brand will know exactly how long you spent debating it.</p> <p>In turn, this means you will probably receive a reminder or even an offer tempting you to make the purchase long after you’ve left the shop.</p> <h3><strong>3. Pop-ups are here to stay</strong></h3> <p>Pop-up shops have been popular for a while, however until now they have been seen as the hallmark of the new or independent boutique brand.</p> <p>In future, both online retailers and established brands will utilise physical space to maximise resources and build awareness around a particular product or release.</p> <p>A great example of this is Lidl’s ‘Duluxe’ restaurant – a pop up designed <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65423-four-reasons-to-admire-the-lidlsurprises-campaign/">to promote the supermarket’s Christmas range</a>.</p> <p>During its short run, diners were invited to sample the food without prior knowledge of where it was sourced from.</p> <p>With both surprise and interactive elements, the pop up succeeded in attracting new audiences as well as creating hype.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4600/pop_up_shops.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="560"></p> <h3><strong>4. Mobile-first for advertising</strong></h3> <p>Further to brands marketing directly to mobiles, it is predicted that by 2019 global mobile advertising revenues will increase from $22.64bn dollars to an impressive $63.94bn.</p> <p>Why the big leap? Up until now, most of this revenue has stemmed from basic mobile web advertising, however in future it will continue to be integrated into messaging platforms.</p> <p>With this type of in-app advertising, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67767-will-conversational-marketing-become-a-reality-in-2016/">direct conversations between the brand and the consumer</a> will become the norm.</p> <p>And the good news is that it won’t only benefit the retailer – it could also help improve service, delivery and general levels of customer satisfaction.</p> <p>On another note, the use of mobile for payments is also predicted to sky rocket, increasing from an estimated $452.78m to $2.07bn global users by 2019.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4610/Mobile_Advertising.PNG" alt="" width="784" height="405"></p> <h3><strong>5. The rise of digital assistants</strong></h3> <p>If your feelings towards Siri or Cortana are neither here nor there, you might grow to appreciate the digital assistants of the future.</p> <p>In an ever-expanding world of online retail, it can often be hard to find exactly what we’re looking for. Do we even know ourselves? </p> <p>By filtering out wrong sizes or products we’re unlikely to purchase, digital assistants will be able to help us hone our shopping activity in a more streamlined and ultimately successful fashion.</p> <p>Of course, with concerns over privacy, initiatives like <a href="http://www.gsma.com/personaldata/mobile-connect" target="_blank">GSMA’s Mobile Connect</a> – a tool that allows users to control how much data they share – are likely to also gain in popularity.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4606/digital_assistants.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="532"></p> <p>For more information on the future of ecommerce, check out our report on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-transformation-in-the-retail-sector" target="_blank">Digital Transformation in the Retail Sector</a>.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67768 2016-04-22T09:41:33+01:00 2016-04-22T09:41:33+01:00 How to gear towards mobile commerce success Georges Berzgal <p>While the US tech giant had already launched Apple Pay for in-app purchases on iOS mobile apps and physical stores last year, this move will make mobile shopping even easier.</p> <p>It enables consumers who shop online using an iPhone or iPad Safari browser to make a purchase at the push of a button with Apple Pay and TouchID.</p> <p>It points to a world where consumers can shop from wherever they are without the frustration of filling out fiddly forms on a phone or having to wait for lengthy security checks processed over slow network connections.</p> <p>Ovum predicts that <a href="http://www.shopsafe.co.uk/news/significant-mcommerce-growth-predicted/11552">2bn m-commerce transactions will take place globally</a> in 2019, 452m more than in 2014.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4219/mobile_commerce.jpg" alt="" width="848" height="566"></p> <p>Closer to home, a major tipping point was recently reached.</p> <p>For the first time ever, UK online retail sales made through smartphones and tablets <a href="http://internetretailing.net/2016/03/tipping-point-more-than-half-of-online-sales-made-on-mobile-says-imrg/">exceeded those made over desktop and laptops in Q4 2015</a>, according to IMRG.</p> <p>Figures like this mean that retailers cannot afford to merely ‘experiment’ in mobile or ignore it entirely.</p> <p>And we must be aware that consumers expect us to cater to whatever device they’re using or even the accessories they’re wearing while on the move.</p> <p>In addition, when referring to mobile, we can no longer limit the conversation to phones or tablets.</p> <p>We have to include smartwatches and even the latest car models, featuring screens with access to the internet (e.g. <a href="http://www.apple.com/uk/ios/carplay/">Apple CarPlay</a> or <a href="https://www.android.com/auto/">Android Auto</a>).</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ht8yzpIV9M0?wmode=transparent" width="615" height="346"></iframe></p> <p>So what does being mobile-ready entail and require of a retailer? Commerce marketers might want to consider the following:</p> <h3>1. Be mobile responsive</h3> <p>It wasn’t so long ago that all web content was designed with a laptop screen in mind.</p> <p>Today, one of the biggest mistakes a brand can make is not being mobile responsive.</p> <p>Many retailers are now catering to mobile, so if your website and emails aren’t mobile-ready and easy to navigate, customers aren’t going to persevere and will go to a competitor.</p> <p>Research found that if your email doesn’t look good on a mobile device, <a href="https://litmus.com/blog/the-how-to-guide-to-responsive-email-design-infographic">80% of customers will simply delete it and 30% will actually unsubscribe</a> from future correspondence with you.</p> <p>By optimising the look of mobile websites and emails, you will enhance the overall user experience, drive more click-throughs, improve conversion rates, and reduce unsubscribes and spam complaints.</p> <h3>2. Be inclusive</h3> <p>With such a diverse range of mobile devices now available, it’s important to cater to every consumer, whether they’re using the most basic feature phone, smartphone or tablet.</p> <p>Retailers should recognise these preferences and run a multi-part campaign, which sends emails in a text and an HTML version.</p> <p>Many brands also drive substantial value from transaction-based services over SMS, or push notifications in apps.</p> <p>For example, a customer receives an order confirmation via email, followed by an SMS with the expected arrival time or dispatch information.</p> <p>Some brands like to go one step further, using both SMS and email simultaneously to ensure the optimal <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics/">customer experience</a>, no matter which device the consumer is using.</p> <h3>3. Adopt a ‘mobile first’ approach to the customer experience &amp; integrate it with the wider business</h3> <p>It’s crucial that mobile is connected to the consumer’s full experience with a retailer.</p> <p>For example, if a consumer responds to an in-store promotion and sends a text in order to receive a discount, the brand needs to acknowledge this and personalise the communication that follows.</p> <p>Initially, this means referencing the shop that the text was sent from in future emails.</p> <p>As more data is collected about the individual, the communications should become more targeted, reflecting device usage, personal preferences and shopping behaviour. </p> <p>Linkages between device usage (mobile, laptop, desktop) should be seamless for the customer. Connect online and offline activities and merchandising.</p> <p>For example, ensure that your high-street stores are aware of any promotions you launch for mobile users.</p> <p>If your stores are unaware of a current campaign and refuse to accept a promotion code, it will result in a very negative experience for the customer.</p> <p>Retailers that are geared up for mobile customers are the ones that are best placed to secure sales.</p> <p>If you are going to invest in mobile, don’t do it half-heartedly.</p> <p>Be mindful that consumers are still using a range of devices and channels to make purchases and continue to cater to the shopping preferences of all customers.</p> <p>Interestingly, we have just polled 2,000 UK consumers about their multi-device shopping habits and found some exciting results which I will share in my next blog post. So stay tuned!</p>