Thursday, January 31, 2013

Five trends that will drive FMCG growth in 2013

Consumer spending reached an eight-year low in the September quarter of fiscal 2013. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint
India, Asia’s third largest economy, saw urban consumers spend less in calendar year 2012 due to high inflation, muted salary hikes, and slowing economic growth that affected both real wages and sentiment.
Yet, the fast moving consumer goods index (the BSE FMCG index) was the third biggest gainer among sectoral indices on BSE, surging 47%, while ITC Ltd figured among the top 10 best-performing stocks, rising 43.64% in the period.
Compared with other sectors, the consumption story remains intact, though the pace of growth has slowed compared with previous years.
Consumer spending reached an eight-year low in the September quarter of fiscal 2013 (FY13). Private final consumption expenditure (PFCE), an official estimate of consumer spending, slowed to 3.68%, according to India Ratings, a part of the Fitch Group. That’s not an isolated number—in the last six quarters, four recorded the lowest PFCE growth rate seen in the last 34 quarters, India Ratings said in its January report.

MVCs: five metrics for identifying your most valuable customers

A business can't thrive without customers, and for that reason, the efforts of marketers are often focused on new customer acquisition.

Unfortunately, many companies neglect their existing customers and one of the reasons this happens is that they don't ask a simple question: who are our customers?
The good news is that companies are increasingly interested in learning more about their customers and, of course, identifying the most valuable customers (MVCs). Thanks to Big Data and more increasingly sophisticated analytics tools, that's often easier to do today than it was just a few short years ago.
And the potential pay-off is big: when you know who your most valuable customers are, you know who is most important to retain and you can focus your existing customer marketing efforts on the customers with the greatest potential.
So what metrics can companies use to segment their MVCs? Here are five.

Consumer trust and the new dynamics of buyer behavior

Against recent years’ difficult economic background, consumer buying behavior has changed dramatically, leading to an increase in customer acquisition costs via “traditional marketing”.
Today’s buying journey is more accurately represented by a walk of multiple paths as opposed to the still used but now outdated “purchase funnel”.  
Today’s purchase journey combines in-store visits; research conducted online and via mobile web, search queries, visits to comparison websites, visits to brand and retail websites; and, critically, consulting trusted reference sources such as customer reviews and the opinions of friends and family.
What’s more, consumers now expect to engage directly with brands, facilitated by the rapid rise of social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.
Marketers and advertisers have been forced to adapt and rightly have been caught up in the buzz around Facebook “likes” (and soon to be “wants”), as a way of attempting to engage with consumers, drive brand awareness and ultimately, secure high-quality referrals.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Facebook drives most social B2B traffic, but Twitter is top for conversions: report

Despite the huge attention lavished on social media, it still accounts for only a fraction of the traffic and leads for US B2B websites according to a new report from Optify.

Overall, social accounts for 1.9% of traffic compared to 41% for organic search, however there is potential for it to become a more important and effective channel.
This is a topic we touched on recently in a post about how to use social media to widen your sphere of influence in B2B and in an infographic looking at how B2B companies are currently using social.
Optify’s report found that companies that actively manage social media campaigns (as measured by companies who had more than one lead from social or more than 10 visits per month) have seen comparatively high conversion and engagement rates.
That said, the number of companies able to get these results is low, which Optify suggests shows an immaturity in the use of those channels.

The future of email marketing and three ways it must evolve

Email has been around for a while now, and it’s done us all proud. The ubiquitous method of communication is so pervasive as a communication method that not having one is even more unusual than not having a telly (brave souls).

It’s difficult to talk about a new communication channel without comparing it to email, and for email to remain relevant it needs to evolve to give consumers what they now expect from digital communication channels.
1. Become geographically and time aware
The trouble with email is that it is dumb to all the technology that is available to it. As email marketers you are used to understanding when, how, on what and where people are checking their emails – but the clients themselves aren’t using this information to produce a richer email consumption experience.

Seven things customers demand online

Improving your online store requires many things, but nothing is more important than understanding why people buy.
Online retail psychology, while different from the psychology of instore shopping, is an age old subject with people at the heart. 
Recent research from MIT, Facebook, Google and Target has analysed the core reasons people shun instore and buy with a click.
The seven most popular reasons for conversion are...
  1. Value - 75% said prices were more competitive.
  2. Open - 63% highlighted the ability to shop at any time of the day.
  3. Delivery - free delivery scored high at 59%.
  4. Speed - the element of 'next day' came in at 55%.
  5. Ease - 48% noted online shopping is simply easier.
  6. Range - stock availability at a glance won the hearts of 46%.
  7. Choice - 40% cited the ability to buy new or otherwise unavailable.
Let's look at each of these in more detail 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Consumers increase time spent in retailer mobile apps by 525%: report

In the debate over mobile websites versus native apps, native app detractors frequently make a seemingly good point: there are just too many native apps, so you can't expect consumers to install and use yours.

For companies hoping customers and potential customers, that assumption has a significant implication: if your mobile strategy is native app-centric and you don't have a mobile-friendly website, you might be missing out on the mobile opportunity.
But interesting data released last week by mobile analytics firm Flurry suggests that the barriers to mobile app adoption, including app clutter, aren't impeding retailers from growing adoption of their mobile apps.
In looking at a variety of shopping apps available through the Apple App Store and Google Play, Flurry discovered that time spent in apps offered by retailers such as Walmart, Macy's and Saks 5th Avenue surged by a whopping 525% between December 2011 and December 2012.

66% of smartphone owners are worried about privacy

Two-thirds (66%) of smartphone owners are more worried about privacy on their device than they were a year ago, according to a new survey from TRUSTe.
Furthermore, 79% of respondents said they would avoid using smartphone apps that they don't believe protect their privacy online.
This tallies with findings from a previous Webcredible study, which found that security and safety of information were among the main barriers holding back mobile commerce.
Most of the participants in the study were worried about security issues such as having their phones hacked, or infected with viruses that could lead to their personal details being intercepted or stolen.
There were similar concerns about safety when entering card details on the phone in public where other people can see.
TRUSTe’s online survey of 2,006 adults found that 88% of British internet users worry about online privacy – this is largely unchanged from the 2012 survey when the total was 90%.
Similarly, 43% of users do not trust companies with their personal information (up 6% on 2012) while 91% of respondents said that they avoided doing business with companies they don’t believe protect their privacy.
Online shopping proved to be the activity that consumers are most concerned about, with 88% worried about their privacy, followed by the use of social media (86%).

The high street and ecommerce: friends, foes or something in-between?

English: Millets, Llanarth Street, Newport Wit...

Given the surge of ecommerce and the collapse of Blockbuster, HMV and Jessops, it seems bricks and mortar shops may eventually disappear.
As technology and delivery mechanisms improve, will we become a nation that stares at a screen, clicking away with a cup of tea?
Online shopping is convenient and simple. The way we research and buy online may be changing, but the High Street can still play a major part in this development.
Technology can enhance and rejuvenate bricks and mortar shopping, creating an interactive and enhanced shopping experience. 
According to Econsultancy’s Multichannel Retail Survey,  just 14% of people surveyed believe retailers do not need to operate across the various channels; brands need to start promoting their technology and channels effectively, or risk losing profits to those who are.  

Monday, January 28, 2013

Social Commerce and Graph Search: Opportunity to Reinvent Group Buying

Looking beyond the obvious – Facebook search ads linking to e-commerce sites (search results from looking for a friend of a friend who’s an interior designer in Miami would include search ads for One Kings Lane and local decorators…), there is an opportunity for Facebook – or more likely one of Facebook Developer partners – to disrupt and reinvent the $5bn+ Group Buying market.
Group Buying has it’s roots in the Chinese social shopping tradition of Tuangou, where people search for other people who want to buy similar things and then hatch a plan together, which usually entails descending, en masse, on some poor unsuspecting retailer and demanding a substantial discount for buying together in bulk. This Tuangou group buying is very popular in Asia, and usually works for the consumer and the seller (better sell 20 units at 10% profit, than 1 or 2 at 40%); it’s people-powered collaborative commerce.

Mobile, Local & Search: 5 Sources of Innovation & Investment in 2013

Just three full weeks into 2013, and we're already off to a bang. Facebook's Graph Search is just one example of the many impactful things we can expect in fast moving tech and media marketplaces.
Likewise, you can expect an action packed year at the intersection of mobile, local and search. But what will be the biggest trends to drive this activity?
Based on lots of evidence, there are five areas where I believe innovation and investment will branch from. Some are concrete or quantitative predictions while others pinpoint the trends or sectors worth keeping an eye on and revisiting throughout 2013.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Evolving Circular

As digital circulars continue to evolve, Safeway president of marketing Mike Minasi cautions marketers to not get ahead of themselves – nor their shoppers. 

Digital has not fully “arrived,” he says, and print circulars have not gone away, even though some marketers seem to want the transition to happen more quickly.

According to a supermarket media usage study released by Valassis in April 2012, 87% of retailers said print media was the best way to achieve weekly sales goals five years ago, while 75% said print is the best channel today.  

Top 20 Trends in 2013 Forecast - 2013 Trend Report

Three Things to Watch in Shopper Marketing for 2013

The momentum behind shopper marketing continues to grow. Here are three things we're keeping our eyes on this year. 
  1. Sophisticated Data Sharing and Usage. As retailers and brands get smarter about collecting shopper data and using it to create a more personal experience, shoppers are still reluctant to give up their personal information without knowing they're getting something in return. Even in this age, shoppers are still protective of their privacy and becoming more discerning about what they share on their social networks. In 2013, we're interested in seeing how retailers and brands will use data to achieve greater shopper loyalty and compromise with shoppers on sharing data in exchange for reward.

Kantar Media Reports Free Standing Insert Coupon Use For New CPG Product Introductions Grew 23% in 2012

Kantar Media reports that more than 274 billion Free Standing Insert (FSI) coupons were distributed in 2012 which represents a 0.8 percent increase in activity versus 2011.  

FSI pages increased 1.4 percent overall with the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) and Franchise sectors increasing 2.4 percent and 10.2 percent respectively, offsetting an 8.0 percent decline in the Direct Response sector.  

FSI coupon support for new products within the CPG sector increased 23.2 percent versus 2011 while retailer FSI promotion pages also increased 5.2 percent.

Google's search market share drops below 90%

UK internet users made 2.7bn visits to search engines in December 2012, an increase of 400m visits compared to December 2011.

This represents a 17% increase year-on-year, and confirms that it was a particularly strong Christmas period for search.

Interestingly, the data from Experian Hitwise also shows that Google’s market share dropped below 90% for the second month in a row to 88%; its lowest point for five years.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Trends 2013

The Future of Advertising 2020

The Year of the Connected Brand

Branding in 2013: Convergence, Content, Gaming, Big Data and Other Big Trends.

The end of each year brings with it a flurry of predictions and prognostications for the next year. They come from genuine and self-appointed pundits in every area imaginable and from every corner of the globe. So why should brand marketing be any different?

This year, the pundits are seeing one word in their crystal balls:convergence. It's obvious to most marketers that "traditional" marketing has already converged with digital marketing, but In 2013, "convergence" will take on new meaning in the brand marketing world.

Rs 500-cr missed call biz in India: FMCG cos & more use this tool for customer feedback

The Rs 500-cr missed call biz in India: Banks, FMCG cos, political parties use this tool for customer feedback
That next-door-boy character who gives a missed call to the police to report his stolen car — as popularised by primetime spots — is no more the epitome of miserliness.

For, the Great Indian Missed Call — the weapon of choice for perpetually broke pre-paid users like students and migrant labourers — is turning out to be a Rs500-crore business opportunity for banks, FMCG majors, even political parties.

While individual consumers, especially of the pre-paid variety — 96% of India's 900 million mobile user base — give a missed call to pass on mundane information like 'Have reached destination', or 'Call me back,' companies use this as a kind of Morse Code for customer feedback, saving millions of rupees in call-centre charges and telephone bills.

For instance, banks have adopted the missed call to find solutions to most common query of their customers — account balance. ICICI Bank customers can give missed call to a particular number and get their account balance status as a text message, instantly. Dial another number, you'll get mini-statements delivered to your inbox.

"Dialing is the simplest action that can be executed on the mobile. It is device-agnostic — one does not need a smartphone for dialing a number," points out Sanjay Swamy, who cofounded ZipDial mobile solutions in 2010, the largest player in the missed call business. The company has grown by 600% in last year, charging Rs10 lakh to Rs1,000 to customers such as Procter & Gamble, Forever Diamonds, Gilletteand others, for surveys or sales leads. And all that cash has come in from some very personal experience.

At AaramShop, we implemented the missed call solution for Glade. Customers could give a missed call to get a list of retailers who stock glade products in area.

Five dynamic pricing issues retailers should consider

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...

From social media sentiment analysis to digital ad buying, faster is increasingly seen as better, or at least necessary.
So it's no surprise that the ability to generate lots of data and analyze it rapidly is changing the way products and services are sold.
Last year, Orbitz raised eyebrows when it was revealed that the online travel site rearranges the order of hotel search results, displaying more expensive lodging options to users it had reason to believe, based on data analysis, were more likely to be willing to pay a premium.
In the retail space, a similar data-driven approach to product pricing is increasingly being employed. Amazon is perhaps the best and most widely-known user of dynamic pricing, where the prices of products changes regularly over short intervals, if not in real-time. But as detailed by AdAge's Kate Kaye, Amazon is hardly alone. Other retailers are jumping on the dynamic pricing bandwagon too.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Personalisation and tablets will dominate changes to ecommerce in 2013

At the end of 2012, we saw record numbers in online shopping over the holidays and that is only going to increase as our ecommerce experiences improve.
This will only happen if we increase personalisation and make our shopping experience more relevant. 
Also as we increase to use new devices in our day to day lives, those retailers and companies who ensure their sites and shopping experiences extend into tablets and mobiles will be ahead.
This year may see more of this especially when it comes specifically to tablets.
But what are some of the experts saying about the changes that will happen to ecommerce in 2013?