Monday, March 31, 2014

Facebook Is No. 1 for Social Commerce

Recent research by Shopify found that Facebook was the top social commerce site worldwide. According to Q3 2013 polling, Facebook drove nearly two-thirds of social media visits to Shopify-operated stores and claimed about 85% of all orders from social media—a year-over-year increase of 129%.

However, Facebook was not the leader when it came to average order value—not even landing in the top three. Polyvore led the pack here, with an average order value of $66.75. Instagram ranked a close second, at $65.00 per order, and Pinterest was No. 3 ($58.95). Facebook had the fourth-highest average order value, with $55.00.

3 Ways Merchants Can Gain More Visibility on Google

There are far more than 1 million Google advertisers. Even if your products are priced competitively, you have flawless SEO, and your PPC campaigns (Product Listing Ads Campaigns and text) are optimized, you have some steep competition on Google.
Here are some easy ways to get a leg up on your competition that don't require too much work.

1. Highlight Google Special Offers

Highlight Google Special Offers
Google special offers (merchant promotions), are the promotions you see next to products or merchant sites on Product Listing Ads and on Google. Merchants can use to promote store or product sales, which is an easy way to increase conversion and click-through rates, drive traffic to your site, and differentiate your listings.

If you aren't familiar with Google Special Offer promotions,check out how to get started here.
Recently, Google updated the functionality on Google Shopping comparison pages so shoppers can filter the comparison page by special offers. This filter option shows merchants who are running a special offer first, then all other normal listings.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

16% of TV audience is second-screening

According to the latest study from the Council for Research Excellence (CRE), 16% of a television audience is using social media at the same time. 

Less than half (7%) of that segment is engaging in social media related to the actual show they’re watching.

The survey is based on a sample of 1,665 respondents between September and October 2013.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

What do we get out of brands interacting with each other on Twitter?

What about us little guys, huh?
One of the surprising results of brands adopting social media as a marketing channel is the creation of an unpredictable little corner of Twitter known as ‘that weird thing that happens when brands talk to each other’.
As a child of the 80s and therefore a survivor of the Cola Wars, it feels inexplicable that two corporations would even acknowledge each other’s existence, let alone engage in friendly banter with each other in a public setting.
Bitter rivals, divided by capitalism, hurling rocks at each other from behind the safety of multi-million dollar television ad campaigns is what we’re used to. 
View image on Twitter

What the hell is this? A next generation console manufacturer pausing briefly to congratulate its next generation console manufacturing rival? It’s disgusting and wouldn’t happen in my day.
You can almost feel the twisting of Sony's arm and grinding of teeth behind this tweet sent in reply a week later.
Microsoft won the PR war by being the 'better man' first. Especially after Sony's wilfully sarcastic jab in Microsoft's ribs from six months prior.
This brand interaction has also led to another bizarre little trend. An entire category in the recently announced Shorty Awards (as if an awards ceremony devoted to the best celebrities on social media isn’t already a tenuous enough proposition) called Best Use of Social Media by One Brand Responding to Another Brand.
Full Article here

Over 70 Percent of Marketers Fail to Target Consumers With Behavioral Data [Study]

Image representing Clickz as depicted in Crunc...
Although more and more companies have realized the importance of using data to target consumers and deliver real-time experiences today, 76 percent of marketers have failed to use behavioral data in segmentation analysis and targeting execution, according to The State of Always-On Marketing Study.
The study was conducted by Razorfish, a global interactive marketing and technology company, in collaboration with Adobe. In the study, Razorfish defines Always-On Marketing (AOM) as data-driven and content-led experiences that are delivered across channels and devices in real time. It reveals that very few businesses are capable of using critical behavior data to deliver AOM, as 76 percent of marketers surveyed are unable to convert behavioral data into segmentation analysis and targeting execution. And of the 24 percent who are using behavioral data, less than 20 percent have the technology, creative execution, and integrated data to deliver a targeted experience to a recognized customer across channels.

Friday, March 28, 2014

How retailers can make the most of Pinterest tools

Pinterest users are showing more passion than Facebook users do, as its content iss shared more often and has a longer shelf life.

Marketers should be adding content such as videos to their pinboards on a regular basis, and Pinterest is rolling out tools that make it easier for brands to showcase their products.
If Facebook is still at the top of your list of social channels for your marketing efforts, you may want to rethink your priorities, or at least make sure that Pinterest has a prominent spot on the list.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Mobile Devices to Account for 50% of Paid Search Clicks by December 2015 [Study}

If you're investing in search advertising, the time is now to understand your mobile audience. In its latest research, online advertising platform Marin Software forecasts that mobile devices will comprise 50 percent of all paid search clicks by December 2015 at the current rate of growth. 

Marin sampled its "Global Advertising Index" composed of advertisers across the globe who invested more than $6 billion in annualized spend to reveal other key findings like:

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Using Big Data Still a Challenge for Marketers

When KPMG asked CFOs and CIOs around the world about big data and business strategy last summer, more than half said it was changing everything. How is that happening—especially when marketers report struggling with actually using big data?

The KPMG survey found that the top change to business strategy the C-suite was making was just along those lines: Nearly half were simply increasing their capacity for dealing with big data, whether that meant adding human or physical capital.
Management buy-in was important for about two respondents in five, but a comparatively small 25% were actually putting any big data-related insights into practice.

The data revolution: will it be consumer led?

cheap energy clubData is a hot topic. It always has been. But now there’s way more of it.
For all those tired of the talk of big data, which is changing services, there’s also a backlash, a sort of arts and crafts movement in statistics (no offence intended)  with a focus on using ecommerce product and customer data efficiently, now that it can be looked at it in high fidelity. 
Perhaps the biggest boom area in marketing technology at the moment is CRM. But aside from companies getting their houses in order, building them on the rocks of data collection, triangulation and testing, there’s talk of a further revolution. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Diversity of Strategies Drives Media Mix, Performance of Offers

The couponing strategies and tactics of individual marketers at retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies in 2013 had more variety than the proverbial box of chocolates, producing different results across product categories, companies and retail channels.

“With so much diversity among individual marketers, ‘you never know what you’re gonna get’ at the total market level,” said coupon expert Charles Brown, using a line from the movie Forrest Gump. Brown is Vice President of Marketing at NCH Marketing Services, a Valassis company. 

But NCH’s topline 2013 Coupon Facts report shows that these diverse approaches to marketing with coupons came together to yield an overall increase in the distribution quantity and higher average values. But they also produced overall shorter offer durations and an evolving coupon media mix being used to promote new and existing products. 

“The net result was that many companies were able to expand their use of coupons while keeping their coupon redemption costs in check,” said Brown.

Statistics show that coupons remain highly popular with consumers. The number of coupons issued to consumers for CPG products increased, on the whole, by a healthy 3.3%, bringing the total to 315 billion coupons distributed. Additionally, consumer interest in coupons remained strong. The 2013 Valassis Shopper Marketing Survey found that the share of consumers who reported using coupons regularly in 2013 remained steady at 80.9%. And among those who reported using more coupons than the year before, 45.7% said they found that more coupons were available to them.

Four things to avoid when creating a tablet experience for customers

Nothing frustrates the mobile consumer more than forcing them to view your desktop site on mobile.
Today’s consumers are educated and nimble on mobile and their expectations are significantly heightened when engaging a brand on tablet.
With 43% of tablet users spending more time on tablet than on desktop, companies are increasingly optimizing tablet browsing and shopping to make it easier for consumers who want a seamless experience across all channels.
To create an experience that is engaging and contributes to the bottom line, brands need to consider how to optimize for tablet.
Here are four insights into what consumers want on their tablet, and how to offer a seamless experience on this critical device.

1. Don't ignore what consumers want

If you travel, you already know that today’s consumers take their tablets with them wherever they go. 
With tablet shipments reaching 150m in 2013, consumers are actively choosing to browse the web on these devices, and brands need to craft an appropriate strategy tailored to this channel. 
Customer research into tablet engagement preferences point to the fact that consumers value tablet experiences that are relevant to their context of use.
When it comes to satisfaction when using tablet, there are three primary factors that customers demand:
  • Ease of browsing.
  • Consistency of content from desktop experience.
  • Ease of purchasing. 
These are all a direct result of crafting a tailored tablet experience with context in the forefront of planning.
For example, 2013 was the first year that consumer spending on tablets surpassed mobile phones, and during the most recent holiday shopping season, 19% of purchases took place on tablet devices.
Consumers are making an active choice to shop on tablets as opposed to other channels.
Users will respond better if your tablet experience takes user preference and context of use into account.

2. Do not short-change UX

77% of consumers report that having a poor or unsatisfying experience while trying to use a website on their tablet will affect their willingness to purchase from that brand.
To this extent, brands need to keep UX top of mind. Here are the top must-haves:
  • Tablet site design needs to be visually clean and simple without excessive copy, links, or pathways to other sites. This is where traditional desktop sites do not perform well on tablet. 
  • Consumers need to be able to navigate a site seamlessly, as they are often using their tablets on the go. Companies must make the tablet experience simple, yet effective. Easily lead customers to wishlists, shopping carts, and purchase pages.
    Remember that navigation on tablet is not hierarchical but fluid, and users expect key journeys and page views to be optimized for tablet device capabilities, such as how the presentation adapts based on device orientation.
  • High quality images are a must. 70% of consumers say that the quality of photography and design of a tablet site influences their decision on whether to make a purchase.
    Tablet web users value the aesthetic of the tablet experience, as the device is also used for activities that entertain, like watching videos and gaming.
  • Touch and gesture-based interactions are essential. Users do not use a tablet in the same way as a smartphone.
    There should be no requirement to pinch and zoom, rather, brands should prioritize swiping and scrolling through visual displays and content.
Users prefer an optimized tablet UX that is tailored to the unique characteristics of the device. Creating a intuitive, touch-based experience that is easy to navigate should be a top priority on tablet.

3. Do not mistake consistency for continuity

While users want the same content on tablet that is available on desktop, they want that content displayed in a way that is true to the qualities and capabilities of the tablet device.
Text-heavy desktop experiences on tablet are not effective as it looks cluttered and disorganized and could end up scaring off browsers and shoppers.
It’s a delicate balance to provide content similar to the desktop experience, while also presenting it in such a way that is optimized for context, user goals, and device capabilities.
When it comes to content, brands need to always keep in mind the end goals: seamless experiences, ease of browsing, and ease of purchase.
UK-based online retailer Avenue 32 is a great example of a brand that saw noticeable sales results after optimizing for tablet. With more than 20% of overall web traffic coming from mobile devices, Avenue 32 realized it needed to create a more compelling tablet experience.
The brand introduced a mobile and tablet experience combining product with a strong editorial focus. For its tablet experience, Avenue 32 created visual content paired with text that offered customers relevant product information and inspired them to stay longer and visit more pages.
Overall, mobile and tablet traffic for Avenue 32 rose 74% since launch and the brand reached a notable 89% increase in mobile and tablet conversion rate since the sites went live.

4. Don't ignore the power of multiple channels

We live in a world of multi-tasking. Consumers choose to engage with brands in different ways, on different devices and different screens, and they demand the ability to move seamlessly between each device to complete tasks.
Research shows that a combined 42% of consumers already use their tablets more than either their smartphone or their desktop computer to make purchases.
Home Decorators created a tablet-specific site after noticing that customers visiting the full ecommerce website on a tablet were converting at a much lower rate than shoppers visiting from a PC.
The company created a unique tablet web experience that not only had large visual navigation and UX to make it easy to discover new products, but also emulated a more catalogue-like experience. 
After rolling out the tablet site, conversion rates were about 15% higher on the tablet optimized site than the rate for consumers who just visited the regular desktop site from their tablets.
Additionally, the average order value was about 20% higher and pages per visit 10% higher on the tablet-optimized site compared to when consumers use the desktop site on the tablet.

Customers deserve a unique tablet experience

The key to creating an effective tablet strategy starts with paying close attention to how your customers are using tablet devices to connect with your brand, and using that knowledge to influence user experience design choices.
A successful tablet strategy will go beyond larger buttons and resized images (although those are essential!)  to creating an experience that is user-centric (first and foremost,) and delivers what users want on tablet.