Monday, October 31, 2011

Men Shop More Socially, Study Says

Men use social, shopping, and deals sites more than women to research and compare products, according to a study of active social network users. Fifty-seven percent of men research products on deal sites compared to 40 percent of women surveyed for the study from performance marketing firm Performics.

Not all gaps between men's and women's shopping behavior were quite so wide; however, the study reveals some distinct differences between the sexes. In researching products, 63 percent of men used shopping sites compared to 52 percent of women. And 54 percent of men used social networks to research products compared to 43 percent of women.

Also, according to the Performics Social Shopping study, 62 percent of men compare products on shopping sites and 50 percent of women do so. Fifty-six percent of men compare products on deal sites while 41 percent of women do.

Men are more apt to compare prices while at retail locations, too; 62 percent said they use their mobile phone occasionally or frequently to conduct competitive price searches while in a retail location, and 45 percent of women do so.

Read more of this report here. This studies findings are online with the finds of the SOGS report published recently which highlighted the trend of men doing more number of online grocery shopping transactions as against women.

You can read / download the SOGS report from here.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Shopkick, CPG Power Brands Sign First Check-in Partnership With Grocery Chain

Shopkick, the mobile rewards check-in app that allows registered users to earn points for simply walking through a retailer’s doors or scanning bar codes, has signed its first deal to reward shoppers for actually buying selected CPG products at a grocery chain.

The partnership with the Giant Eagle Supermarket chain will let Eagle customers who belong to Eagle’s loyalty card program input their account number to get started. After that, every time they enter one of Eagle’s 228 stores, they will receive a notice that purchase-based rewards, or “Kickbuys”, are available in that store, and can see a list of the products in the offer. If they buy any of those products, their Shopkick account will then be credited with a specified number of “Kickbucks”. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

How consumer get influenced by reviews and recommendations.

We all know that we get influenced by the 3 R’s that people publish on the Social Web: reviews, recommendations and ratings. Now, there is some more proof with the study “2011 Cone Online Influence Trend Tracker” by Cone Communications. 

Positive and negative information found on the Social Web have the same massive impact on how people change their minds after having received purchase recommendations. 

The study shows that more than 80% of users change their minds after reading reviews whether positive or negative. Interesting to note that the earlier studies done prior to the domination of social media on life, when predominantly it was the last mile in the store which use have an impact on brand swings - it was said that 70% of the brand decisions where made in the last mile.

The 2011 Cone Online Influence Trend Tracker states that positive reviews confirm the process of consumer decision making. 87% of the respondents agreed that a favorable review confirmed their decision to purchase. While a negative recommendation can also turn down a recommended purchase. 

1 in 3 Online Consumers Perform Mobile Research

Approximately one in three online US consumers have performed one of several mobile shopping research activities in the past three months, according to a study from the e-tailing group and PowerReviews.

Data from “The 2011 Social Shopping Study” indicates that a leading 33% of online consumers have both checked for sales and specials and looked up store information such as hours, location and maps via mobile device in the past three months.

Other Top Line Findings for Product Researching include:
  1. Consumers invest greater time researching but shoppers are on a mission to find the best price
  2. Search engines serve as the shopping point-of-origin when researching product
  3. Customer reviews continue to wield the greatest influence on buying behavior
  4. Google Shopping features see strong early adoption
  5. Mobile usage relative to shopping is mostly centered on competitive pricing
Download the full report from here.

Wal Mart and the idea of 21st Century Community

When I talk to my clients about social, I tend to throw around the concept of “21st Century Community”.  The idea here is that between working more and longer hours, the two-career family, and over-scheduled children, tools like Facebook have evolved to fill a need that’s been usurped (time-wise) by our busy lives.  

We no longer have the time to build the direct relationships with our pharmacists, our grocers, and the other members of our physical communities with whom we would have interacted on a daily basis 40, 30, or even 20 years ago.  80% of commerce is conducted within 15 miles of the home, but it’s done in a largely nameless, faceless manner.  

Now that communication and interaction can exist – Facebook allows interaction and participation within your community (for both citizens and businesses), though on a time-shifted schedule, or on-demand, schedule.

Wal Mart wants to lead that charge – at least at the brand level.  It has recently announced that it is building a Facebook page for each US location – quite interestingly – in partnership with Facebook.  Says Stephen Quinn, EVP of Wal Mart’s US division, “This allows us to make our stores relevant on a local level,”  during a media conference call late Monday. “This addresses our `next-generation’ customers who are using a lot of social media. A national message is often not as relevant.” 

Read more of this wonderful & insightful article by here

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Online CPG Ads Increase In-Store Sales

The amount of consumer packaged goods (CPG) sales conducted online may still be small—about 2% of the overall category, according to Nielsen—but that doesn’t mean that online advertising should be low-priority. In fact, display ads have a lasting impact beyond a web browsing session. Their influence continues in-store.

A joint comScore and dunhumbyUSA study conducted over a two-year period found that there was a median 21% in-store sales lift among shoppers who had been exposed to online ads for CPG brands compared to those who had not seen them. Nearly one-quarter of campaigns received a boost of more than 40%.

Read more here

Grocery Stores Go Head-to-Head With Popular Name Brands

With the economy sputtering, grocery stores have continued to expand their private-label offerings to take business away from more expensive brands.

"There's a lot of competition going on between national brand and private brands to recapture their customer base," said Bill Bradshaw of Buxton, a leading retail industry research company.

He said private-label manufacturing is exploding because of the economy and product improvements.
"The quality has become so much better over the years, and once you get people to try the product, they understand that the quality is just as good, but it's less cost," Bradshaw said.

He said many domestic grocers are eying how European groceries have created specialty lines.

"They have about 40, 45 percent of market share compared to private-label penetration here in the U.S., which is about 20 percent," he said.

Private labels represent one of the largest long term threats to national brands. Read more of this report here.

Understanding the Purposes – and Weaknesses – of Online-to-Offline Discounting

Ben Eddleman, who is an assistant professor at Harvard Business School, writes about the purposes and weaknesses of Online-to-Offline discounting.

"I’ve watched with interest as scores of online marketers have promised to transform local commerce. It’s exciting to bring the efficiencies of online marketing to retail commerce, particularly for sectors like restaurants and leisure where static websites, search ads and banners have proven a poor fit. Initially, services struggled to get consumers interested. “Daily deals” services solved that problem by offering discounts that often exceed 50%, mobilizing millions of consumers spending billions of dollars. Yet this model faces growing resistance, particularly from merchants concerned that “deals” offers are unprofitable. The natural question: When and how are large discounts sustainable?"

Read more here

Countering the Groupon effect and linking tactics to strategy

Deep discounting in groups is a marketing mechanic that has been around for a long time (think Home Shopping Network). But it has been on every retailer’s mind since Groupon and other online group discounting sites began popping up. 

The basic model is based on volume discounts where the retailer offers dramatically reduced prices for a large number of customers within a given time window.  

Deep group discounting is a proven tactic for immediate bumps in cash flow, but it is not without its pitfalls.  

What follows is a discussion of these pitfalls, and a case for mobile marketing – direct marketing through the use of mobile devices – as a strategic approach to building loyalty and how it counters the “Groupon Effect.”

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The one constant is point of purchase.

GfK Interscope recently completed some interesting research looking at the challenges of shopper marketing in the digital media era.  Shopper Marketing analyzes the path to purchase - all of the information sources, influences and steps the consumer takes prior to purchase.  While it's often associated with in-store activity, as well as being called by a variety of names, shopper marketing has been the beneficiary of loads of attention as the path to purchase no longer means go into a store, buy in-store, nor research online, buy online.

More often, the path to purchase has transformed from a linear process to something more convoluted these days - a combination of ROBO (research online, buy offline) activities, buy online pickup in-store, word of mouth driven activity or any combination you can imagine.  What we know, and GfK confirms, is that there are more places to stop and learn, compare or price products, and that impacting the prospect along that route, or shopper marketing, is more important than ever.
The GfK study of executives in the retail and manufacturing sectors illuminated some key points:
  • 80% said the emerging discipline of shopper marketing is vital to their company's success.
  • Half reported that shopper marketing is driving innovation within their companies.
  • 76% indicated their companies were devoting 5% of their total marketing budgets to shopper marketing.
  • 47% indicated their companies would be increasing these budgets in the next two years.
  • Moneys are being shifted from more traditional media budgets - TV and print - to fund shopper marketing initiatives.
While GfK points out that just five years ago, these budgets didn't even exist, they note the proliferation of channels and points of purchase as making it harder to break through to prospects.

Mobile Life is an annual investigation from TNS designed to provide a deep understanding of today’s global mobile device consumers and the future impact mobile will have on our digital landscape.
34,000* interviews with mobile users across over 43 countries (including the BRIC countries, Indonesia and several key African markets) provides real insight into how consumers across the world are using and interacting with mobile technology and delivers a holistic understanding of the end-to-end consumer experience and how this will change in the future.

It is a must-use tool for brands planning a mobile based marketing strategy to however, how and when the devices are used. 

6x is the "web-influenced sales" of the actual online sales.

Web influenced sales - are sales in local stores that are generated through online marketing and research. As per Forrester Research and as shown in the trend forecast above, the web influenced sales is about 6 times the actual purchase online and the combined impact is about 50% of total retail sales. 

This report further collaborates the ZMOT research conducted by Google across industry, which refers to the online research (which Google refers to as the Zero Moment of Truth), that the consumer undertakes prior to the FMOT (First Moment of Truth) when the consumer actually picks up the product in the store. 

These cross-channel shoppers illustrate the importance of online-influenced sales. To effectively capture and manage these cross-channel shoppers, brands should dedicate a portion of their web strategies to tactics that include lead capture, interactive help, and cross-channel application completion.

Web-Influenced Sales

"Web-influenced sales" are sales in local stores that are generated through online marketing and research. 

One critical reason for the growth of sales at the local stores has been to save on shipping costs. However the consumer of the 21st century has another important desire: instant gratification. This is the age of the here and now, and shoppers are as impatient as anyone else. If they want a product, chances are they want it now, not in the five days -- or longer -- that it could take to ship across the country.

The most important reason consumers shop at local stores, according to a Forrester Research report, is that they don't want to wait for their product to arrive (51 percent). The second most compelling reason is that they want to see a product in person before purchasing (42 percent).

This fact was further collaborated by the recently published State of Online Grocery Shopping by AaramShop, which reports that upto 85% of the orders received are for the same day delivery - something which has been enabled by the hybrid model followed by AaramShop & it's network of independent neighborhood retailers. 

These things seem logical to the brick-and-mortar retailer. Though technological improvements can allow shoppers to see every angle of a product through online videos and demos, nothing can provide the same comfort and experience as actually holding a product and trying it out before deciding to buy it. Having the opportunity to try the product for yourself also alleviates the likelihood of having to send it back, thereby spending twice the amount on shipping.

The way consumers use the Internet has evolved, transitioning from Web-based sales to what Forrester calls "Web-influenced sales" -- sales in local stores that are generated through online marketing and research. These Web-influenced offline retail sales are growing by billions of dollars a year in the United States.

Research Online and Buy offline.

Rajan Anandan, VP-Sales & Operations at Google India, speaking at the VC Circle E-Commerce Forum, held in Delhi last week, emphasized on the fact that Indians go online to search for product information and believe in Research Online and Buy offline. He gave an estimated breakup for various product categories:

- Auto – 33% Research online Buy Offline and 3% Research and Buy Online
- Healthcare- 39% Research online Buy Offline and 5% Research and Buy Online
- Media and Entertainment- 26% Research online Buy Offline and 16% Research and Buy Online
- Retail – 65% Research online Buy Offline and 19% Research and Buy Online
- Technology Products- 72% Research online Buy Offline and 21% Research and Buy Online
- Internet Banking: Google also found that the weekly queries for Internet banking have gone up 200 times in the last 18 months, which shows a lot of Indians want to bank online.

The ROBO behavioral trend assists the hybrid retail model of AaramShop, where-in the consumer can choose grocery / FMCG / CPG brand preference online, then choose a neighbourhood retailer who fulfills the order and delivers the products to the doorstep of the consumer.  

AaramShop features on the Global Innovation Report

GDR CREATIVE INTELLIGENCE, UK featured AaramShop in it's Global Innovation Report. The report is a subscription based publication. The report aims to keep the subscribers to date with the latest happenings and innovations around the world.

Commerce 3.0: Online Research, Offline Buying

The way consumers use the Internet has evolved, transitioning from Web-based sales to what Forrester calls "Web-influenced sales" -- sales in local stores that are generated through online marketing and research. These Web-influenced offline retail sales are growing by billions of dollars a year.

Technological advances have empowered consumers and given them the ability to make the Internet work for them. Through the process, a new consumer trend has emerged. We now see consumers researching products online and accessing all the reviews and information they need, but then purchasing those products at their local brick-and-mortar stores.

This phenomenon has driven the explosion of commerce 3.0 -- the convergence of offline and online shopping. Driven by technology, customers are once again changing the game -- focusing less on the global online marketplace and more on local neighborhoods. 

AaramShop Selected as a Red Herring Top 100 Asia Tech Startup

Hong Kong, China - Red Herring announced its Top 100 Asia award in recognition of the leading private companies from Asia, celebrating these startups’ innovations and technologies across their respective industries.

Red Herring’s Top 100 list has become a mark of distinction for identifying promising new companies and entrepreneurs. Red Herring editors were among the first to recognize that companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo, Skype,, YouTube, and eBay would change the way we live and work.

“Choosing the companies with the strongest potential was by no means a small feat,” said Alex Vieux, publisher and CEO of Red Herring. “After rigorous contemplation and discussion, we narrowed our list down from hundreds of candidates from across Asia to the Top 100 Winners. We believe AaramShop embodies the vision, drive and innovation that define a successful entrepreneurial venture. AaramShop should be proud of its accomplishment, as the competition was very strong.”

Red Herring’s editorial staff evaluated the companies on both quantitative and qualitative criteria, such as financial performance, technology innovation, management quality, strategy, and market penetration. This assessment of potential is complemented by a review of the track record and standing of startups relative to their sector peers, allowing Red Herring to see past the “buzz” and make the list a valuable instrument of discovery and advocacy for the most promising new business models in Asia.

"We are thrilled that AaramShop was picked up for the Red Herring Top 100 Asia Award this early and we see it as a deep validation of our business model which revolves around making the neighborhood retailer competitive and engaged with his shopper" said Vijay Singh, the CEO and Managing Director of AaramShop.

The easy grocery.

One of the most interesting sectors of the retail market today is the grocery segment, and even in the grocery segment it is online grocery or e-grocer which is most profitable. E-kirana have come about to be known as servicing the neighbourhood with groceries being delivered to your home on a phone call. Growing interest of consumers to click and point their way through nearly all aspects of daily life has fueled the internet economy and has impelled the development of online services and selling of products online even in areas that were once the sole preserve of traditional businesses, such as grocery stores. 

“In India we already have the neighbourhood kirana stores that are close to the consumer, stock all the grocery products that a consumer needs, and are already providing home delivery to their consumers, so, we thought that the way ahead for us should be a hybrid e-commerce model whereupon we are leveraging the existing presence of neighbourhood retailers for delivery,” says Ashutosh Malik, Director & COO,

Some of the reasons why increasing numbers of consumers are likely to turn to online grocery are the same as those driving other internet purchases; better prices, larger selection, convenience, and time savings. Home delivery of items purchased online is appealing to those for whom going out to shop is difficult for various reasons, such as paucity of time, the need to care for young children, the lack of adequate or convenient transportation or busy lifestyle. The top 5 categories in the daily-consumed goods make up 54.98% of the total value of products ordered online according to sources.

Diwali bash! Retailers feel pinch of growth slowdown

It's been a year of slow growth for retailers. Apparel retailers have clocked just 10% growth, against last year's 30%. Consumer durable retailers are averaging a growth of just 15%, reports CNBC-TV18's Nikita Rana.

It all began with a double whammy early in the year -- high cotton prices, and a 10% excise duty on apparel forced garment manufacturers to hike garment prices by 10-12%. This stopped consumers from reaching for their wallets. So except for the July- August discount sale period which went well for most retailers, sales targets over the rest of the year have barely been met.

Read more here:

11 Ecommerce Holiday Revenue Forecasts for 2011

Keeping track of holiday shopping trends, research and statistics gives small business ecommerce site owners a solid foundation to plan a retail strategy to optimize for holiday shopping. The following 2011 holiday ecommerce research and statistics are from trusted industry sources and experts in the field of retail and electronic commerce.  

Industry analysts are predicting a good -- but not great -- 2011 holiday shopping season for retailers. Overall spending is down and consumers are expected to be more conservative and controlled when it comes to spending on gifts and seasonal goods this year. Here are the top industry research reports and ecommerce revenue forecasts so you know what to expect in ecommerce sales this year.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Differences between Female & Male Shoppers

Female and Male online buying behaviour is being studied the world over by organisations to make their sales & merchandising efforts more effective.

AaramShop's first State of Online Grocery Shopping (SOGS) Report: India, came across some interesting differences in the buying behaviour of female and males, when they shop for groceries and daily essentials online.

It has been observed that males seem to be more inclined to shop for groceries online, with women contributing to only 37% of the buyers. However, in terms of spending, female shoppers come out on the top. So, while females form a lower percentage of overall buyers, they are the larger spenders online.

Further, it is interesting to note that for both the sexes, people from 22 to 45 years of age constitute over 85% of the online grocery buyers. So online grocery buying does not seem to be a “youth” activity.

The difference between male and female buying behaviour also reflects from the range of age of people buying most online. So for women, it is the 36 to 45 year olds who contribute the largest buyer segment; while within the men, it is the 22 to 35 year olds.

According to an article in InternetRetailing, the research agency Shoppercentric has recently come up with a study that found that 54% of men browse online, compared to 47% of women, spending, on average between 30 minutes online - the same length of time as women. Shoppercentric research suggests that male of the species is often overlooked but a key market for retailers.

n that time they are likely to visit between one and five sites (84% of men and women), and they rate price as the most important factor in where they shop (53%), followed by product choice (15%) and quality (14%) of products. Only 4% of men said they never shop online, compared to 6% of women.

Men have a very different way of shopping, according to the report, which draws on online discussions with 40 men and quantitative interviews with 1,001 UK adults. It found that 49% of men prefer to shop only when they know what they’re going to buy (38% for women), with 49% also saying that shopping is about getting in and out quickly (32% of women). They dislike overcrowding or long queues, and 20% visit local independent stores once a week, compared to 19% of women.

Read more here:

1. State of Online Grocery Shopping (SOGS) Report: India

2. Overlook male shoppers at your peril: report

e-grocery takes root.

Hindustan Times discusses the e-grocery models that are operating / starting up in India in a lead story today and uses the State of Online Grocery Shopping Report: India of AaramShop as the central theme.

"e-Kirana, or online grocery services, is the latest to join the e-commerce bandwagon. At least a dozen self-funded e-grocers have sprung up to capitalise on India's growing internet base. Though Indians are not too comfortable shopping online and many are unwilling to use credit cards online, e-grocers are luring in customers to sample the service with the cash-on-delivery option."

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Saw it online; bought it in the store.

Online marketing campaigns contributed to an in-store sales lift of 21%, according to an analysis of multiple consumer packaged goods online ad campaigns that was released last week by ComScore and DunnhumbyUSA. According to the report, 5-of-every-6 online campaigns generated a positive sales lift among exposed households. Approximately 70% of campaigns generated a double-digit sales lift, and more than 40% generated lifts of at least 30%. 

The research validates the much needed integration between the First Moment of Truth for brands (FMOT) with the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) -a strategy which has been further enabled by AaramShop for CPG / FMCG brands.

"Effective advertising has always been about increasing awareness, favorability and purchase intent in order to increase in-store conversion," stated ComScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. "After several years of conducting advertising effectiveness research for [consumer packaged goods] brands, we are learning how digital campaigns can lift sales in retail stores. It's now clear that online ad campaigns should be an integral part of any CPG marketer's integrated communications strategy."