Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mobile playing a key role in deciding what brands shoppers buy

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 08:  In this photo...

Mobile is playing an increasing role in driving consumer choice as to which brands they buy when they go shopping, with 59% of UK shoppers having not decided on the brand they will purchase before researching new products or heading out to the shops, suggests a study commissioned by RichRelevance and Bazaarvoice, and conducted by Forrester Consulting in September.

According to the study, nearly half of UK shoppers (42%) have used their mobile phone while shopping, 16% of which used it to compare prices with other stores. The study – the first of its kind to measure mobile shopping habits – also indicated that most UK shoppers (82%) will visit more than one website before purchasing a product; 17% will visit as many as four.

The study also revealed that shoppers rely on three types of content when making buying decisions: product details, user reviews and personalised recommendations. 86% indicated that they used user ratings and reviews for online purchases, while the majority of those surveyed (84%) had researched or purchased products online using recommendations, and 42% of UK shoppers made a purchase that was recommended by an online retailer.

Read more here;

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Consumers reaching for their mobiles when they see TV adverts.

Research by the Internet Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) mobile arm has found that 40% of consumers reach for their mobiles when they see an advert, with 3pm to 6pm being the hottest times for at home mobile shopping. But, while 27% of consumers are choosing their mobiles as the best way to access content and services, they are tending to do this not through apps but their mobile browsers.

The research uncovers that there are some 18 mobile usage occasions per day, with mobile internet being the dominant method of access, and more than two thirds (66%) of those asked saying they ‘can’t live without their mobile’ and more than half (58%) believing that their mobile device makes their lives ‘more organised’.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Consumers embracing digital technology on the high street, but to check for cheaper competitors.

A quarter of smartphone users have used a bar code scanning app while in store to see if they can get them cheaper elsewhere, showing that retailers are going to be forced into looking at how they differentiate their businesses for an increasingly mobile savvy in-store audience, finds the latest eCustomerServiceIndex (eCSI) results from eDigitalResearch and IMRG.

The study, published late last month, also suggests that shop floor staff are also starting to make more use of mobile technology – typically smartphones and tablets – to help consumers who aren’t packing a smartphone to check on stock levels and order out of stock items in store.

The report also reveals that 40% of people surveyed have given feedback digitally about a high street store after seeing a survey URL in a store or on a receipt – but of those people, 88% gave their feedback via a PC whereas only 7% use their smartphones to give immediate feedback: so its not all bad news then.

Read more here;

Survey: Online Consumers Prefer 'Social' Sign-in

Three out of four consumers who use social networking sites say they would rather leave a site that requires that they register in order to access that site than comply, according to a recent survey.

What's more, 76 percent of consumers said they have purposely given inaccurate or incomplete information when required to register for a site, and 45 percent have left a website rather than reset passwords or answer security questions when they have forgotten their login information.

In addition, two-thirds of those polled want sites they visit to support "social sign-in" (SSI), using a single sign-on technology like Microsoft Live ID or Facebook to let consumers use their SSI, to automatically log them into sites.

The survey of 657 consumers who use social media was commissioned by Janrain and conducted by researcher Blue Research. The survey was conducted from Dec. 6 through Dec. 23, 2010.

While you can read more here; at AaramShop "social" sign-in is a built in feature of the platform, ensuring ease of use and enabling social commerce.

Monday, February 21, 2011

How Social Media Can Make Online Shopping Less Lonely

Shopping, which was once highly social, is increasingly solo. You can “do errands” from your sofa at home. With mobile and wireless technology, you can shop from anywhere, at any time of day. Food, clothes, furniture and electronics are delivered to your doorstep. You don’t even have to speak to anyone while making a purchase.

For younger consumers, shopping online is practically second nature. According to a recent Harris Interactive poll, a quarter of American adults say that, in the past year, they’ve increased the amount of time they spent shopping online. Adults who use social media, younger Americans, and more highly educated Americans are more likely to have increased their time shopping online.

read more

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Social Objects and CPG Marketing

If you asked someone "What is it that anchors a brand, product, or service-oriented online community, or other social application?" what would they say? If they answered, "the brand, product, or service..." you'd be right to question it further.

It's not a trick. It's a realization that brands, products, and services - and the things related to them that you want your customers to know about may not be the same things that they are interested in socializing around. Product spots on TV aren't "social;" they're an interruption to the things that are themselves social. That they feature a product and make the case for why someone might consider it further is the entire point of the interruption.

Read more here;

FMCG brands prefer TV ads

For the top FMCG advertisers in the country like Hindustan Unilever (HUL), Reckitt Benckiser, ITC, Procter & Gamble (P&G), Cadbury, Coca-Cola, L’Oreal, Pepsico and Nestle, television reigns as the dominant medium in their media mix.

“Television is and will continue to be the leading medium of advertising for all brands of Reckitt Benckiser since its reach continues to be the highest,” said Chander Mohan Sethi, chairman & managing director, Reckitt Benckiser.

Read more of this FC article here;

Friday, February 18, 2011

Certified AaramShop PRO Program.

Starting May 2011 a brand professional can choose to attend our one day knowledge program and get comprehensive understanding of how he / she could leverage his brand's presence on AaramShop.

The program will comprehensively cover all features of AaramShop that a brand should use to leverage it's presence on the retail platform (including a preview of some of the upcoming features), analytics and intelligence management systems and sessions to understand the possible co-marketing campaigns which the brands could undertake for marketing of their products.

The attendance in the program is open to brand-owners and their affiliate agencies and the certification program is a paid program.

If you wish to attend the program, please contact us or sign up at the Brand Engagement Center and we will be in touch with you on dates and locations of the certification program.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How To Keep Your Products On Shelves When Retailers Slash SKUs

In a time when private label rules, big CPG companies need a strategy for keeping branded products in stores.

A phone call comes in from your largest customer. Unannounced, he informs you that his company is throwing out your entire range of consumer packaged goods because "it no longer meets the needs of our customers." At first, you aren't quite sure how to respond. Then, you think that maybe he's firing for effect, and that there is still a punch line to come. But without much dialogue, and with silence on the other end of the phone, you realize that he means business--and a huge chunk of your revenue is about to go away.

Shopping For Value In The Rebounding Retail Sector

There has been asurge in consumer spending over the past few months. U.S. retailers have recently reported surprisingly solid January revenue gains. Some of the companies leading the recovery are luxury retailer Nordstrom, which posted a 4.8 % gain and apparel retailer Limited Brands, which reported a 24% gain in revenue. Encouraging signs that momentum will continue through 2011.

We ran a screen to find value in the rebounding retailing sector. These companies have price to sales ratios of 1 or below and consensus analysts expect sales and earnings per share to grow 10% or more in the upcoming fiscal year. Here are five companies that may have been overlooked: Read them here;

Wal-Mart Could Get Wounded In Grocery Wars

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 08:  Wal-Mart customers ...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
Wal-Mart is the largest retailer in the world based on revenues and competes with other retailers like Costco, Target and Amazon. Our price estimate for Wal-Mart’s stock stands at$65.42 which is about 19% above market price. We estimate that U.S. Wal-Mart stores constitute a little over 60% of the company’s value, while another 32% comes from international Wal-Mart stores.

A significant portion of Wal-Mart’s sales come from groceries, an area expected to see increasing competition going forward. Should the retail giant be concerned by this trend? According to one analyst, Wal-Mart commands about 33% share of the grocery market. The chart below depicts the proportion of Wal-Mart’s sales broken down by product category.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The modern trade vs The brands - the saga continues.

I read with a lot of interest the series of recent articles carried in Economic Times on the ongoing and perpetual battle between the brands at one end and the modern retailers on the other. It started a few days back with the news that Reckitt was keen on reduction of margins for the modern retail outlets (by about 2% or so).

What made it particularly interesting for me was that about 2 years back (thats when modern trade was really modern in India), I had a longish meeting with the then brand custodian of one of the Reckitt brands who was spending majority of her marketing funds on "creating"a category for her product at the modern trade. We discussed issues around eventual private labeling, shrinking margins, cost charged towards display, lack of traditional trade focus etc. however, perceived higher and better quality of consumer engagement ensured that she stuck to her decision of pouring very serious monies in modern trade to create a category - irony was that the largest amount was on the Future Group.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Holiday Retailers Win Facebook Friends and Social Influence with UGC, Promotions: Study

According to new results from social marketing agency Media Logic, online retailers racked up a lot of new friends in Facebook and Twitter this holiday season. And many of them did so by building a strong social appeal into their regular promotions and lead-gen contests in an effort to get more customers to “like” them.

Those conclusions come from an update ofan earlier report from the agency on the social strategies employed by 100 leading U.S. retail brands in four categories: specialty apparel, discount/ department stores, recreation, and specialty hardlines (mostly electronics, hardware and home goods/furnishings). The original report tracked those brands’ social initiatives from mid-July 2010 to mid-September. The just-published update follows the Facebook fates of those same brands from mid-November 2010 through January 2011.

Coupons, E-mail, Self-checkout Big Winners in Digital Shopping: Study

Digital shopping technologies are changing the dynamics of shopping. Some, like downloadable coupons have made strong gains in influencing purchases, while others, like social media, are lagging.

These findings are part of a new comprehensive benchmarking study commissioned by Catapult Action-biased Marketing and conducted by Forrester Research to better understand how shoppers—across all demographics—use and view these technologies, which ones “move the needle” and how marketers and retailers can maximize their use.

The most successful technologies, including Internet coupons, e-mail, online ratings and reviews and self-checkout, must provide three benefits: value, help in making decisions and improved ease of shopping, the study found.

read the detailed report here;

Retail: Good News for Private Labels

Private label brands have been steadily gaining ground over name brands, showing off more shelf space and siphoning money away from top brands. In a recent survey, more than half of moms said they will buy fewer brand name items, with more than four in 10 planning to buy private labels. And with 58% of moms expecting to scale back dining out for the rest of this year and nearly two-thirds planning to cook more at home, that bodes well for the more profitable private label brands. (Source: Bohan Advertising and Marketing)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

CPG Marketers Drop 18 billion More Coupons in 2010 First Half

Marketers continue to dish out millions of coupons and consumers are redeeming them at a fast pace.

During the first half of 2010, consumers saved nearly $2 billion with coupons, a 37% increase over pre-recession levels, NCH Marketing Services.

Marketers offered 18 billion more consumer packages goods coupons in the first half of 2010, up 11.4% from a year ago and 24.8% from mid-year 2008.

As consumers continue value-oriented shopping habits that originated during the recession, overall redemption volume has increased 7.9% year-to-date, with a higher growth rate (+12%) coming from the health and beauty care segment in 2010.

Today's Empowered Shopper: Connected and in Control

Today’s UK shopper is an “empowered” consumer. This new breed of consumer is changing the rules of engagement for retailers simply by the power they possess in managing their own shopping experiences. Shoppers can easily access competing stores, brands, and products as part of their product research—whether it be online or on their mobiles.

These new consumers are also shopping across channels; it is now common for shoppers to discover and evaluate products in one channel and then buy them in another. In fact, 44% of all UK shoppers have “channel-switched”—researching a purchase online then buying it in astore.

Reckitt threatens to cut retailers' margin

Glass bottle of DettolImage via Wikipedia
Reckitt Benckiser, maker of Dettol antiseptic and Harpic toilet cleaner, plans to cut margins of modern retailers by 10-15% to partly offset rising input costs.

In an e-mail sent to retailers such as Reliance Fresh , Reliance Super, Aditya Birla Retail's More and Bharti Enterprises' Easy Day last Friday, Reckitt Benckiser said it had two options - to increase sticker prices or cut retailer margins - and the company is opting for the latter.

Interestingly, an industry official said, Reckitt has still not asked Future Group's Big Bazaar to take a margin cut. That maybe because the country's largest retailer's private brand, Clean Mate, outsells Harpic in Big Bazaar outlets. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, however, said the two companies have a meeting scheduled for next week and that may be to negotiate margins.

Superstores to Grow, Retail Shelf Choices to Shrink: Nielsen

Consumer packaged goods (CPG) marketers should get ready for the acceleration of two major trends, according to two separate studies by The Nielsen Co.: the growth in share of sales by the shopping club, big-box supercenters and e-commerce; and a continuing trend by retailers to cut back on the assortment of brands they offer—to the disappointment of consumers.

Both studies were presented independently at Nielsen’s Consumer 360 Conference in Las Vegas this week.

The first, Nielsen’s Retail 2015 Forecast, foresees big expansion over the next 10 years in the share of U.S. shopper dollars spent at mass supercenters and in e-commerce. Together with shopping clubs, those categories are expected to increase their share of spending from 23% points in 2009 to 29% in 2015.

Read the report here;

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Lessons Learned.

When every product—from soap to toilet paper to insurance—is fighting for a space in the overcrowded consumer’s mind, staying the course just isn’t an effective strategy.
To come out ahead—to be heard—means taking risks.

The "Connected Store" and the future of retailing

Intel and a number of partners, including Adidas, Procter & Gamble, Best Buy, Kraft Foods and the MIT Media Lab, are showcasing a two-story, 2,400 square foot "Connected Store" at this week's National Retail Federation Convention in New York. Intel is using large flat-panel, touch-sensitive displays to showcase how its processors can be used to improve the retail "experience".

The Adidas demonstration uses three displays to showcase Adidas' entire shoe line. Shoes that aren't in stock can be delivered to the store for pickup or directly to the customer's home within 48 hours. The Best Buy demo, built in conjunction with MIT's Media Lab, enables customers to get a demonstration of any product on any vertical surface in the store.

Private Labels vs National Labels

Frozen foods at the Real Canadian Superstore i...Image via Wikipedia
National-brand frozen food companies have been keeping an eye on the rearview mirror as private label sales have grown during the recession’s penny-pinching days. Store brands have made gains in several frozen categories. However, while tough times may have changed the shopping lists of some consumers, the times have not frozen out national brands, which continue to command 80 percent of frozen food sales.

In 2008, private label frozen foods represented one-fifth of total department sales of $29.4 billion (The Nielsen Co., 52 weeks ending Dec. 27, 2008). Over the past few years, statistics show store brands have increased their share in several frozen categories, including ice cream, desserts/fruits/toppings, juices, ice and, in particular, vegetables.

Grocers have followed private label sales increases with interest. “Categories where we have seen significant store-brand share growth include ice cream, vegetables, pizza, bread and dough products, toppings, and fruit,” says Chris Hardin, director of store brands for Tyler, Texas-based Brookshire Grocery Co. “Our store brands lead in volume in several categories, including fruit, ice cream and vegetables.”