Tag Archives: retail

Social Media Continues to Grow

Social networking has rapidly become a staple activity in consumers daily live.
While the growth rate of social networks maybe flatting out, it’s because people are abandoning the platforms, it’s because social networking might be reaching the point of diminishing returns.

social-media● Currently, there are over 180 million social networkers in the U.S – that’s nearly 70% of consumers
● Over the past 2 years, the number of social media users grew by 9%
● By 2019, its estimated there will be over 200 million social networks
● While there are more Caucasian social networkers (113 million / 72.5%).
Those of Hispanic origins make up a higher percentage of users (32 million / 76.6%).

What Does This Mean To You?

If social media is not part of your marketing strategy, you are not only leaving potential sales – you are likely helping your competitors create a loyal customer base. Think of social media as a holistic media – not a one shot sales message. Your social presences should be an engagement point, a conduit for you to connect with potential customers.
The first step in creating a loyal audience is developing content your targets would be interested in.
The next thing you need to do is interact with those who comment on your content. Social media is a conversation. By communicating back with commenters, you build engagement.
If the comments are negative, don’t ignore them. But don’t get into a war. You won’t win it, you won’t be teaching people a lesson. Take criticism constructively and you might actually win customers out of it. Positive feedback is should be nurtured. They are a tool to grow business. . For more information on how to use social media to create more opportunities, please contact:


Sources: eMarketer;


Where Mobile Users See Ads

Last week, we posted information on the mobile functions that consumers use most. Knowing the activities that potential customers engage in on their mobile devices can help you create more effective campaigns and help you develop more engaging tactics. Today, we’ll look into the places people tend to see ads on their mobile devices.

shutterstock_111684566● Over 80% of adults said they have noticed ads on their smart phones and tablets
● Nearly 60% said they saw advertising in apps that they regularly use
● One in three reported that they noticed ads on video websites
● 26% said that they saw an ad while visiting a retailer’s site

What This Means To You

Consumers are conscious of advertising across all the platforms they utilize. For the most part, they don’t find advertising content intrusive. Noticing an ad is the first step towards recall and purchase intent. If a consumer didn’t notice ads, it could be a tree falling in the forest situation.
Inside apps is the place where a majority of consumers notice ads. Also, it’s a great place to reach a targeted consumer. Targeting could take place through demographic, lifestyle, or purchase behaviors. If you are interested in promoting your brand inside apps, go beyond apps that are just product based. If your brand is in the health marketplace, don’t just investigate health related apps. Are the majority of your customers women, look at apps that are target towards content for women. Are you at a price point that would be more likely put your product in the hands of affluent consumers, look for apps that are targeted toward professionals. Targeting can take place on many levels, the key is make the ad relevant to the audience. The more relevant it is with prospective shoppers, the more likely they will be to use your product. The same argument for relevance can be made with prefill video on video websites. Look for opportunities to target via video categories.
For more information on finding your target audiences and the most effective ways to put your message in from of them, please contact:

Al Fiala

Sources: Decision Fuel; 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

Roadblocks to Mobile Payment

Our last few posts have dealt with the next phase of mobile interaction. The latest reports show us that some consumer segments are using mobile devices to make point of sale payments and the types of items that are most likely purchase via mobile wallet. While consumers rely on mobile devices for ever increasing functions, point of sale payments is one that hasn’t caught on en masse. Today we’ll look what, in the consumer’s mind, is keeping them from moving toward mobile payments and what you can do to encourage it.

Blog-Pic-mobilepayments-2● 46% of consumers who won’t use a mobile wallet because of security concerns- Security of mobile payments
● Nearly 40% believe that it’s easier to pay with credit cards, cash or debit cards
● Almost one-third never even thought about using their mobile device to make payments
● 18% do not see a benefit in using a mobile wallet
● Less than 10% site either not having the necessary features on their phone or think it would take up to much time to set up

What This Means To You

Corporate security breaches have made many consumers weary of the security of their data. There is also a fear that if they lose their phone, their banking information is at peril. But, once more people start using mobile payments those fears will most likely subside.
As a business, you may not be able to affect consumers view on security, but you can prove it’s value.
One of the main reasons behind mobile taking over so many functions that were reserved for desktops and laptops is convenience. Using a mobile device saves consumers time. The information they need and the actions they need to take are in the palm of their hand. Consumers are conditioned to never be far from their mobile device.
Show how mobile payments can make checking out easier – tap and go, scan and go, click and go. One of consumers’ biggest pet peeves is waiting in line. Show how paying with their mobile device can get them out of your store faster. You also need to promote the fact they can pay with a mobile device. One in three consumers never even though about paying at the register with a mobile device. Not all of them will, but knowing they have the option could make them more amenable in the future. To get consumers to set it up and possibly download an app, you may need to incentivize the behavior. Mobile payments can make it easier on your accounting, register security and be an added convenience to shopping to people who shop at your location. In today’s businesses environment, you need to take advantage of every opportunity to separate yourself from the competition. For more information on how mobile can give your organization a competitive advantage, please contact:

Al Fiala

Sources: BrightLocal

What Are The Most Common Mobile Retail Activities

On average, consumers look at their mobile devices 100 times a day. Since mobile is becoming such a big part of the retail messaging, have you ever wondered what mobile retail activities most often take place?
A new report has come out that provides a snapshot of the most common
mobile retail activities. This information can help your mobile messaging
tactics be more effective and efficient.

shutterstock_98997599● Just over one in four consumers have tracked a package using a mobile device
● 25% have researched a product on a mobile device before going to a store
● Over 20% have researched products while in a store or checked to see what inventory might be on hand
● Roughly one in five have opened an email from a retailer and then made an in-store purchase. Over 20% have also opened a retailer’s email and then made a mobile purchase
● 18% have called, emailed or texted a friend /family member to get feedback on a purchase they are considering
● Approximately 15% have either posted product reviews from a mobile device or used a mobile device to contact customer service
● Under 15% have either reserved a retail product through a mobile device for pickup at a later time or purchased products as the result of a text message

What This Means To You

While many consumers are using their mobile devices to research and purchase retail products, a good deal are also using them for customer service functions. Whether it’s checking inventory, directly contacting customer service or tracking purchases, consumers are leaning on mobile devices for functions that may not be fully transactional in nature. These activities give you the opportunity to create new sales or extend existing ones.
If a consumer is tracking a package, you most likely have a good deal of information on that customer and can make product recommendations based on past purchases
If a consumer is checking inventory, they are most likely interested in purchasing that product. It’s an excellent time to get them to either enroll in a loyalty program or make product suggestions associated with the item they are checking on.
Mobile is also becoming a major instrument for feedback. Shoppers are using their devices to post feedback and solicit the opinions of the people they trust. Use reviews to your advantage – both about the products you sell and your business in general. Sometimes reviews can be hard to read on mobile devices so be sure you test them. Also, give consumers the ability to post reviews as well. For more information on taking advantage of mobile consumerism, please contact:

Al Fiala

Sources: UPS; comScore; eMarketer

Are You Sending the Right Message

SMS/Text has been around for 20 years. For much of that time, marketers were unlikely to uses SMS as a channel because of the pay structure of SMS and perceived intrusiveness.
Though consumers have warmed to the idea commercial SMS messages, brand execution has left much to be desired.

main.png● Two-thirds of consumers have received a text message or mobile alert from a brand in the past 6 months
● Less than half of consumers found them useful
● Over half of consumers felt the messages were too “spammy”
● 46% said they were not relevant
● One-third thought the messages had no value

What This Means To You

It’s not that text based marketing is taboo, it’s the messages that are bad. A worthless offer is a worthless offer no matter what the platform is.
Over 40% of consumers said that would share demographic or location based information if given relevant offers or coupons.
They not only want the offer, they are willing to give you the information that will make it valuable.
The key to a successful SMS campaign lies in customer information.
If you know what they buy – deliver offers for those products and services.
If you know where they live – promote the locations near their home.
Integrate your CMR program into your loyalty program and messaging strategy.
If you don’t have a CMR program, ask customers to fill out information about their favorite brands and products through your loyalty program. Let customers know that you are asking for this information so you can provide them with way to say money of the brands and products they love most. For more information on increasing customer affinity, please contact:

Al Fiala

Sources: MediaPost; HipCricket

Mobile Shoppers Haven’t Abandoned Brick and Mortar

Mobile has certainly transformed the buying process, everything from where they shop to how much they are willing to spend. But that doesn’t mean they are just buying things from their mobile device. It has led to deeper consumer research before they purchase and that has boosted some in-store shopping.

shutterstock_76847077● While more than three quarters of shoppers have “showroomed”, nearly 90% have used a mobile device to research products before they buy in-store
● The top mobile activity consumers engage in before buying from a store is finding the lowest price (75% of consumers)
● 72% of mobile researchers will compare products and 71% will conduct product research before buying in store
● The top categories where consumers prefer to shop in-store vs online are grocery products, home furnishings and health & beauty products

What This Means To You

The decision to buy in-store vs. online is based on many factors, not just price.
Convenience is another big factor – but it’s one that cuts both ways.
There is a convenience is shopping when you want, where you want and the ability of having it shipped directly to you. There is also a convenience in getting the merchandise immediately and not having to wait on shipping or paying for expedited shipping.
Many consumers want to touch and feel a product and purchase the exact one they have experienced vs. buying a similar item online.
Selection can be a major factor to lead people to shop online but ease of return often moves people to shop in-store. The more convenient you make the shopping experience, the likely consumers will be to shop at your location vs. shopping a virtual competitor. For more information on leveraging your strengths, please contact:

Al Fiala

Sources: MediaPost