Tag Archives: ecommerce

How Consumers Learn About Apps

Over the past few days, we’ve posted information on the importance of mobile and apps are to small businesses. One of the biggest concerns among SMBs without a mobile solution is that they don’t know how to build a mobile app. Before embarking on any new tactic, you need to develop a marketing plan. Spending time and money to create something without figuring out how you are going to attract an audience to it will likely cost you a large amount of time and money on the back end. A recent study shows how consumers find out about mobile apps. This type of information is key to developing a successful mobile app strategy.

shutterstock_100334786● More than half of all consumers said they learned about an app they downloaded from friends, family or colleagues
● 40% found apps through browsing through an app store
● 27% discovered apps through search engines
● Nearly 25% said they learned about a download app from the company’s web site
● Just over 20% said they found out about an app they downloaded from the Television

What Does This Mean To You?

A majority of people found out about apps from the people around them.
This cyclical situation means that you definitely need an audience
development strategy.

Before developing any marketing plan, you need to ask yourself 2 questions:
● Who is my target audience
● What are my objectives/goal for this project or campaign
Both of these need to be actionable. That means that everyone is not a target
audience and make money is not a quantifiable objective.

In the case of spreading the word about an app. Start with telling consumers what the value you is. Sell them on the why, then tell them the how.
Promote it through your current loyalty programs and through social presences.
If you are a physical store, create signage promoting that you have a app.
Don’t forget about your current web site, create a direct link from your page to
whatever download portal you are using. It might be a good idea to create a
micro site to promote your app. Talk to your web developer about adding tags to
that site to drive specific app publicity traffic.
Once you’ve created a buzz, the next hurdle is getting people to download it.
For more information on creating a strategy to increase your visibility and
profitability, please contact:


Sources: MarketingCharts.com; Ipsos MediaCT


Mobilizing Small Businesses

Recently, we posted information on how small businesses are missing out on consumer’s shift to mobile. Nearly 80% of SMBs said they do not have a mobile solution. Nearly 85% of non-mobile small businesses said they plan on having some kind of mobile solution in the next 3 years. With that in mind,, we’ll look into the factors that small businesses should be cognizant of when creating a mobile solution.

shutterstock_87972136● Half of all non-mobile businesses expect to have a mobile solution within a year, 22% said that they will be focusing on mobile in the next 1 to 2 years and 14% said it will be at least three years before they could implement a mobile solution. 16% said they would never invest in mobile
● The biggest factor that businesses investing in mobile should consider is device and platform capability – 60% of currently mobile small businesses answered this way
● Nearly half said that the ease of content authoring and content management was very important
● 46% said that personalization and easy customization should be considered
● 38% indicated that integration of external social media platforms was key
● Almost one-third remarked that CRM integration was vital to a successful mobile solution
● 22% said that adding video capabilities was significant and another 22% thought including push notifications was important

What Does This Mean To You?

There is no slowing down mobile. The technology continues to evolve and consumers are becoming more dependent on it. It more than just consumers use it for shopping, consumers mobile for virtually everything.
● The average US consumer uses a mobile device for over 8 hours per week
● The US smart phone owners have an average of 36 apps on their device
● Only 25% of apps are used on a weekly basis
Creating a mobile app is the first step, getting consumers to find the app, download the app and use the app is another challenge.
That’s something we’ll discuss tomorrow. For more information on increasing the visibility of your business, please contact:


Sources: eMarketer, Edurance; MarketingCharts.com

Small Businesses Missing Out on Mobile

Consumers are fully engaged with mobile technology. Recent studies show
that 75% of US consumers own a smart phone and nearly half of US
households have a tablet. Recently we’ve posted articles on the growth
of the mobile only consumer. While national and regional businesses are
taking advantage of mobile visibility, small businesses are not as involved
with this key consumer medium.

smartphonedollarNearly 80% of SMBs don’t utilize mobile, here
are some of the factors preventing them:
● 50% said they don’t know how to build a
mobile app
● 23% said they were too busy running their business and can’t maintain a mobile app
● 22% said it’s too expensive to develop a
mobile app
● 5% are worried about the security risks
associate with mobile


What Does This Mean To You?

Mobile commerce continues to grow. Last year, Mcommerce reached over $200 billion, this year it’s expected to hit nearly $300 billion. By 2018, mobile will account for nearly half of all Ecommerce. Also, desktop/laptop penetration is deteriorating. Some studies are showing that mobile device use eclipsed desktop/laptop use last year.
All this adds up to one thing – by not including mobile in their portfolio, small businesses are cutting off a potential revenue source. Mobile technology continues to evolve and everyday new functionality that is developing that can drive consumers to your business.
The growth of mobile has made it cheaper to have a mobile solution that small businesses don’t have to build and are easily maintained.
Lots of businesses were weary of developing online solutions. How many of these businesses that did not adapt to online are still operational?
Consumers see mobile technology as an extension of their lives. By not embracing mobile, these small businesses are at risk of putting a barrier between themselves and customers.
For more information on how small businesses can better compete with regional or national competitors, please contact:


Sources: eMarketer, Edurance

What are The Biggest Holiday Shopping Inhibitors?

Last week, we posted information on factors that can increase in-store sales. Today we are going to look at new information on the dynamics that can cause consumers to avoid making purchases in-store.

christmas shopping cart● Long lines were the top answer, 40% of consumers cited line length as a reason not to shop in-store
● Roughly one in four consumers said that too much traffic on the roads, lack of preferred merchandise and slow checkout were other factors that cause to consumer not to shop in-store
● One in five shoppers said that distance to stores were causes to avoid in-store shopping
● 16% said that lack of parking and out of stock items were factors that inhibit making purchases in-store
● 13% cited gas prices as a motive not buy things in-store
● Other things that moved people to avoid going to the stores to shop for the holidays were inconvenient store hours limited store associates and the lack of knowledge among store associates

What This Means To You

The majority of reasons why consumers don’t want to make their holiday purchases in-store is inconvenience. Digital platforms give shoppers the ability to research, compare and purchase on their timetable, not the stores. There are things you can do to mitigate these roadblocks and overcome the three basic buckets of inconvenience
Checkout: No one enjoys standing in line, that’s why checkout objections ranked so high. It can be frustrating to go through the time to brave the crowds, find the items you need and then wait around to pay for items. Mobile technology can help you overcome this objection. Mobile payment and mobile checkout are two. Many companies are just beginning to enter the mobile payment pool. Early results show that mobile payment does create a quicker, easier checkout procedure when the store associate is properly trained on procedures and can assist customers newer to mobile payment use. Before rolling out mobile payment, it is important to make sure your entire store employees are up-to-speed and comfortable with mobile payments. Mobile checkout is something else companies are trying when customers are buying larger items that may not need to be bagged. Many point of sale systems are fully capable of integrating with a tablet and credit card reader to for another checkout station that can be deployed throughout your store. Another idea to investigate is online order and payment with in-store pickup and implementation of express lanes.
Logistics: Traffic can be very bad with holiday travel and parking lots can be a mess. Getting consumers to travel to your store might require additional offers if you are in a distant location.
Free shipping has emerged as the offer most likely to entice customer traffic. Besides offers, customer service can be your biggest weapon. Also, offering gas cards for purchases about a predetermined amount can overcome some objections about cost of getting to your store.
Some larger powercenters and malls are employing trolley services to alleviate parking lot headaches. As an official sponsor, you could get the opportunity to have one of the drop off points be adjacent to your location or have the ability to coupon the riders.
Inventory: One of the reasons consumers don’t want to shop in-store for the holidays is out of stock items and not carrying items that consumers want. Your mobile and digital presences can help with this. By having the ability to check stock on any platform can encourage shoppers to visit your location. Some organizations are using “holiday wish list” functions to help consumers not only make sure items are in–stock but help locate where the items are in-store.
Beacon technology can direct customers who have your app on their smart phone to particular areas of your store. Your loyalty program can assist in reinforcing your message and remind them your have the merchandise they tend to purchase.
If your want to become a shopper favorite destination, look for opportunities to save consumers the one thing they can’t buy – time. For more information on how to increase your visibility and gain shopper traffic, please contact:


Sources: Deloitte

Email: Do You Know When to Send?

Recently, we posted information on how important email can be for customer retention efforts. When developing email campaigns, lots of time and thought go into the offer, how it displays and your list. These are very important and have a real bearing on whether your campaign delivers for you. The one component that companies often don’t think about at all is when to send email campaigns. Sending customers an email when they are more prone to open them can give your email campaign a boost.

email-marketing● Thursday has the highest send rate for email. Nearly 20% of commercial emails are sent on Thursdays.
Wednesday and Thursday are tied for number two at 18%
● Saturday and Sunday have the lowest send rate at 7%
● Saturday has the highest unique open rate at 18.3%
● Tuesday ranks second at 17.9% and Sunday is third at 17.5%
● Emails sent on Saturday and Sunday have the highest transaction rate at .09%
● Saturday has the highest average order delivery as well. The average order for an email opened on Saturday is $201. Tuesday is number two at $193

What This Means To You

Think of the world we live in; we are a 24 hour a day, fully connected society. Email is rapidly becoming a mobile first function. The majority of emails are opened on a mobile device before they are opened on a desktop. No longer do people have to be in their office or at work to access email.
By constricting yourself to only a five day window for promoting your goods and services limits the amount of business you can do. Even if your business is closed on the weekends, promoting yourself on weekends puts your message in the hands of customers while they are planning for the week. It also puts your communication in a smaller pool where it doesn’t have to compete with as many other messages for attention. The fact that Saturday has the highest open rate and highest revenue potential speaks for itself. Being successful means taking advantage of every opportunity that presents itself. Think of the weekend as one of those opportunities. For more information on gaining a competitive advantage, please contact:

Al Fiala

Sources: TrackMaven; Experian Marketing Services; eMarketer

Pet Peeves of Online Shoppers

In the US, there are over 190 million digital shoppers. Ecommerce represents roughly 15% of total retail sales. While digital shopping offers a bevy of conveniences there are some things that drive online shoppers’ nuts. A new report is out that looks into the biggest pet peeves of those buy online.

shutterstock_50695516● Far and away the biggest gripe among online shoppers is shipping costs – 68% named it as a pet peeve
● Nearly 40% said getting merchandise that looks completely different than it
did online
● Roughly 15% responded that they wound up on a retailers mailing list when they didn’t want to be, and having to order the same item in two sizes because they weren’t sure if the item would fit
● Just under 15% get upset about the long period of time that the exchange or return processes take
● 10% of shoppers did not like the fact that online shopping took business from local retailers
● Another 10% said that the missed the gratification that they get from shopping in a store, loss of signal during the shopping process was also cited by 10% of consumers

What This Means To You

While we still may be in the dog days of summer, it’s never to early to start planning for the winter holiday season. It was less than a decade ago that the winter holidays showed retailers how powerful ecommerce could be. Three years ago the winter holidays gave a glimpse what the impact of mobile would be. We’ve all gotten busier and streamlining your online and mobile shopping functions can give you a leg up on the competition.
Free shipping has always been a major influencer in where people shop online. While it may be difficult to offer free shipping, you may want to investigate it. If it doesn’t make sense, look at the possibility of reduced shipping costs after consumers spend a target amount. This could encourage them to spend more on your site.
Better pictures can help make sure that consumers are not disappointed
in the items they buy and sizing guides can help shoppers decide how things
will fit them
You can’t do much about where your physical location might be (if you even have one), but partnering with a charity could help overcome the hurdle that some consumers see as taking something away from the local community.
If consumers run into these pet peeves, they are likely not to finish the transaction or shop on your site again. They are also likely to tell their friends about the problems they had. One a negative persona has emerged, they are hard to overcome.
The biggest thing you can do is promote the things that set you apart. The online space is more crowded than in the past and there are more platforms than ever before. Take every advantage to tell your story. For more information on how to successfully brand your business and create traffic, please contact:

Al Fiala

Sources: Harris Interactive; eMarketer

Are Your Checkout Procedures Costing You Sales?

Online purchasing is no longer a niche activity. Many consumers consider buying products and services digitally a normal course of doing things. For many businesses, e-commerce has transformed them from a small shop to a vibrant 24-7 international operation. One area that is concerning is the rate at which consumers are abandoning their shopping carts. New research has come out that provides data on why so many customers do not complete the sale.

shopping-cart-abandonment-2011-300x225● Today, the online shopping cart abandonment rate is just over 70%
● In the past 4 years, it’s risen nearly 25%
● 36% of customers did not complete the sale because they thought the total cost, including shipping, was too high
● 27% did not finish the sale because they wanted to comparison shop before finalizing their purchase
● 41% abandoned their cart because of return policies

What This Means To You

Businesses put a good deal of time, effort and money into attracting customers to their digital storefront. It’s a shame that so much money is lost on the way to purchase. As frustrating as cart abandonment may be to you, imagine it from the consumer’s point of view. They’ve spent time researching products, making a purchase decision and selecting items only to have a roadblock (even just a perceived roadblock) stop them. How likely would you be to return to the online store another time? On average there are 5.6 pages from cart to checkout. In the majority of checkout processes, consumers did not see the shipping costs until the third page.
People shop online for convenience, while you may not stop them from comparison shopping, you can make the processes as painless as possible.
10% of online sites required registration before customers could complete the sale. This can be a major hurdle to overcome. The data you get can be invaluable, but at what cost? Offering a discount for registering or providing data gives you the ability to get then data but does not hinder the consumer.
Most sites tell consumers how many steps there are to checkout. This is important, if a consumer thinks that the process will go on for a long time, they are more likely to abandon the cart.
Besides streamlining the ordering process, also streamline the return process. The easier you make it to return an item. The more likely consumers are to purchase it.
For more information on developing more online revenue, please contact:

Al Fiala

Sources: Center for Media Research; Forester Research: MarketingSherpa, Paypal, comScore