Tag Archives: retail

Why Consumers Are Using Mobile Devices In-Store

In many studies, the top reason consumers are using their devices in-store is to comparison shop. This is the first step in “showrooming”. While it would be near impossible to stop customers from “showrooming”, it is not the only reason why consumers engage in mobile activity while shopping. A new report looked at reasons beyond comparison shopping and found takeaways that could help your business retain more in-store sales.

shutterstock_107546720• Nearly two-thirds of 18-34 year olds and over half of 35-49 year olds used a mobile device for shopping related activities. Even one-third of Baby-Boomers did the same

• 46% of 18-34 year olds and 36% of 35-49 year olds said it’s faster to use their mobile device to find product information than ask a store associate

• Just one in five Baby-Boomers said it was easier to get information off their mobile device vs. a store associate

• Baby boomers are four times more likely to increase their spending when assisted by an associate than by consulting self-service technology

• Overall, nearly half of consumers reported that a helpful associate motivates them to spend more in-store

What Does This Mean To You?

Customer service may be one of the keys to minimizing “showrooming”. While it will probably never eliminate it, a great consumer experience will help keep spending in your physical location. In fact, an educated, helpful staff could lead to customers spending more money.
What training does your staff undertake?
Do you have a staff training plan for ongoing learning?
How knowledgeable are they about the products you sell?
Would you consider them a helpful resource for shoppers?
An investment in training will pay off in saved sales. In tomorrow’s post we’ll look at how store associates feel about mobile, technology and its impact on customer satisfaction. For more information on the best ways your business can employ mobile solutions and keep more sales in-store, please contact your Orlando Sentinel Media Group representative or:
Al Fiala
Advertising Research Manager
407.420.5702
afiala@orlandosentinel.com
www.orlandosentinel.com/mediakit

Source: Motorola

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Holiday “Showrooming”

“Showrooming” is becoming a problem for many retailers – especially the big box variety.  Best Buy in particular felt an impact this holiday season.  Best Buy estimated that upwards of 40% of their physical store traffic has no intention of making a purchase – they are there to “showroom”.  According to a recent study, there are some interesting comparisons on how consumers used mobile devices this year vs. last year.

b7_cart_concepts_2011_b5v2• Nearly three-quarters of smart phone owners made a holiday purchase on their smart phone this year, that’s a jump of over 25% year over year

• Almost eight in 10 tablet owners made a holiday purchase this year, a slight increase of 7% from last year

• There was a slight decline in the amount of desktop machine owners making purchases – evidence suggests that they switched to a mobile device to make a purchase

• Nine in 10 smart phone owners have “showroomed” with their devices; over half of tablet owners have done the same

• Men were 17% more likely to “showroom” than women

What Does This Mean To You?

Mobile devices are a part of our everyday lives.  Every day, new apps, new functions and improved user experiences push consumers towards mobile.  While you can’t stop people from using their devices in stores, you can harness the power of mobile and use it to your advantage.
Mobile enabled loyalty programs and in-store mobile experiences can keep you competitive and your store top of mind.  Excellent customer service is also something that can give you the advantage over another store or an online competitor. In tomorrow’s post, we’ll look at why consumers use mobile in store and how some retail executives plan to use mobile to make a better experience for their customers.  For more information on creating effective mobile strategies, please contact your Orlando Sentinel Media Group representative or:
Al Fiala
Advertising Research Manager
407.420.5702
afiala@orlandosentinel.com
www.orlandosentinel.com/mediakit

Source: TechBargains; Best Buy

Digital Drove Holiday Sales

As we turn the calendar to January, we’ll take a look at the first data back on shopping this holiday season.  Much of the research pointed to how big of an impact digital devices (computers, tablets or smart phones) would have this season – particularly how consumers used them to save money.

shutterstock_85671796• Over 80% of smart phone owners used a digital device to research or browse holiday purchases this year – that’s a jump of 22% over last holiday season

• Nearly three-quarters said they made a holiday purchase via digital device, that’s an increase of 35% from last year

• Over 60% used an email offer from a retailer.  Usage of email offers increased close to 40%

• One-third used a mobile coupon this holiday season.  Consumers redeeming mobile coupons grew more than 80% compared to last year

What Does This Mean To You?

While the holidays are a once a year happening, they (on average) account for upwards of 40% of total retail sales nationally.  The reason behind the growth in digital shopping this year was convenience – Nearly 40% of shoppers said they shopped online because of the convenience and ease of it.
The trend towards online shopping continues to rise – over four in 10 consumers said they shopped more online than in physical stores this year compared to
last year.
One of the things every business needs to do is stay relevant with its customers. Making sure that it’s convenient to buy from your store vs. the competition is part of staying relevant.
Just having a mobile site or ecommerce solution is not enough.  Part of your due diligence should be to continually look at the experience your digital and mobile presences offer.
Are there things that the competitors have that you don’t?
How intuitive is the navigation?
Is it easy to find and buy products from your site?
Are you effective promoting your digital and mobile capabilities?
It’s easy to launch and forget, but if consumers have a bad experience – it’s a good bet they will not return.  In tomorrow’s post, we’ll look at what improvements consumer’s want to see from businesses.  For more information on creating digital presences that drive results, please contact your Orlando Sentinel Media Group representative or:
Al Fiala
Advertising Research Manager
407.420.5702
afiala@orlandosentinel.com
www.orlandosentinel.com/mediakit

Source: Mobile Commerce Daily; GfK Roper; SapientNitro

Maybe They’re Just Not Into Your Social Brand Anymore

The relationship between consumers and brands may be just like any other relationship. They have ups & downs and sadly, sometimes they end (Believe it or not, some recent studies found that consumers might be more loyal to the brands they follow than their significant others). The reasons these social brand relationships end are very similar to real life relationships as well.
The brand may get too clingy, the brand might not be who the consumer thought they were or maybe they brand and consumer just grew apart. Like real relationships, knowing where things went wrong can help you make better decisions in the future.

shutterstock_82998790 copy• Nearly 40% of online adults say they have rarely ended connections with brands on social media. 24% say they have never ended a social brand relationship

• The top reason that consumers have ended a relationship with a brand on social networks do so is too many updates. One in three consumers who ended a relationship indicated this

• 22% said the brand’s value was different from the initial perception

• One in five consumers who ended a social brand relationship didn’t see any value in staying connected

• Less than 10% signed up after seeing an ad but didn’t want to stay socially connected with the brand

What Does This Mean To You?

Breaking up might not be hard to do on social media – it’s as easy as clicking a button – but it can be expensive to your company. 17% of adults who follow a brand on social media check their updates on a daily basis; nearly one in four did so at least once a week. That is a great deal of potential sales that your company could be losing.
It all comes down to value and targeting. A consumer may say that they are getting to many updates – but they are often saying they are getting to many updates that they really have no interest in.
The top reason consumers follow brands is to receive discounts and offers – so leverage that to get more information. After they “like” or follow you, offer them a significant discount if give you more information. This will allow you to tailor information to their wants and needs . It will help ensure that your social message to consumers is not “spammy” and that you are continually bring value to them.
Without sounding like Dr. Phil, the most important thing is not to take advantage of the relationship. By giving the consumer what they want, you will continue to get what you need. For more information on how to maximize you brand through social means, please contact your Orlando Sentinel Media Group representative or:
Al Fiala
Advertising Research Manager
407.420.5702
afiala@orlandosentinel.com
www.orlandosentinel.com/mediakit

Source: SocialVibe; eMarketer

How Consumers Want You To Get Involved

No matter what holidays people celebrate, this time of year brings out the best in them.  While the holiday season may be coming to a close, there are things you can do to keep the warm holiday season with you all year long.  Recently, we’ve published several posts on how social causes drive sales and how consumers view businesses that are involved in purpose related organizations.  Getting involved with local charities doesn’t just help out your community; it provides awareness for your business and opportunities to create positive social reputation.  A recent study looked at the types of things consumers want businesses to do in order to help their communities.

shutterstock_118181794• Roughly half of consumers globally
want businesses to donate a portion of their profits to worthy causes, donate products
to charitable organizations, create new products & services to help out purposeful organizations or develop educational programs on admirable causes

• 45% want businesses to work with local governments to help charitable institutions and form programs for their employees on purposeful causes

• More than 40% of people wanted companies to work with non-governmental organizations to help social causes, give employees the ability to volunteer with groups or organize events that can help charities

• 36% of consumers worldwide want businesses to work together to solve social problems, 28% want social entities to help promote causes and over 25% would like to see businesses institute employee fundraising programs to help out purposeful causes

What Does This Mean To You?

Every community has needs that have to be met. Your business can be seen as an agent of positive change by helping your community meet those needs.  Consumers don’t mind if you also make money while helping out. Over three-quarters of consumers said it’s ok to make a profit while supporting good causes.  Over the past five years, those views have increased by 33%. In fact, nearly 40% of US consumers were willing to pay more for items associated with a social purpose.
If you are going to get involved with charity or cause, do your homework and make sure it is legitimate.  There are several web sites that rank national charitable organizations.  On a local level, you may need to do some digging.  For more information on how to get more awareness while helping your community, please contact your Orlando Sentinel Media Group representative or:
Al Fiala
Advertising Research Manager
407.420.5702
afiala@orlandosentinel.com
www.orlandosentinel.com/mediakit

Source: Edelman; eMarketer

How Consumers Use Smart Phones In-store During Holiday Shopping

There is mounting evidence that “showrooming” will be commonplace this holiday season.  One of the benefits that mobile consumers find while shopping is that smart phones give them all the information they need.  This can lead to showrooming.  Smart phone functionality can also be used to reinforce the value of making purchases in stores.

shutterstock_117336892• Close to 70% of holiday shoppers said they will use their smart phones in stores this year

• Nearly 60% of these “smart” shoppers are planning to check or compare prices

• Roughly four in 10 will get product information or scan a barcode associated with products

• 36% will use mobile devices to find discounts, coupons or other information
on sales

• Over one-third will read reviews

• Just under a quarter will check product availability mobil-ly

• Approximately one in five shop or browse via mobile web

• 16% receive text messages or exclusive offers from retailers

• 14% plan to access social networks on their mobile device

• Roughly one in 10 will use geo-location applications

What Does This Mean To You?

Mobile’s affect on all shopping – not just holiday buying – is going to continue to grow. During the holidays, when consumers are short on time, making purchases  for the best deals – mobile’s impact is just amplified.  Some of the mobile activities that consumers engage in can help you mitigate “showrooming”.  Nearly 40% of shoppers are scanning bar codes.  Utilizing QR with custom messages promoting the value of shopping in-store can sway shoppers to complete there purchases in-store.  Permission-based SMS campaigns can being the same affect.  Using virtual testimonials in your social entities are also something that can draw traffic in-store and keep keep them shopping there.  Consumers are looking for the quickest and easiest way to get through the holidays – but they also don’t want to pay too much. If you leverage mobile functionality to keep sales in-store, you will diminish the affect “showrooming” can have on your business.  For more information on how mobile can make your holiday sales stronger, please contact your Orlando Sentinel Media Group representative or:
Al Fiala
Advertising Research Manager
407.420.5702
afiala@orlandosentinel.com
www.orlandosentinel.com/mediakit

Source: Mobile Commerce Daily; Deloitte

Where Holiday Shoppers Learn About New Items

“Jingle All The Way” might be one of the B list holiday movies but its storyline plays out every year.
There’s always one toy on the list that is virtually impossible to find – you go to the store and it’s sold out. You go online and there are none available.  You check with friends and they tell you that they found it…weeks ago.  Have you ever wondered how people hear about the items they intend to purchase for the holidays?  A new report chronicles the sources of information consumers use to learn about holiday gifts.

shutterstock_71205736• Over two-thirds of shoppers use digital tools to learn about the things they plan to buy

• For adults age 18-24, nearly 80% get their information via social media, online or mobile means – as do over 70% of those aged 25-34

• Six in 10 get inspiration from traditional media

• Nearly 60% learn about gifts from friends
or family

• Just over one-third get the idea to buy a certain item from catalogs

What Does This Mean To You?

Long-gone are the days of the old Sears Wish Book.  The toys were conveniently located in the middle of the catalog and it always seemed to open to the ultra cool GI Joe battle scene or the bridge of the USS Enterprise with its spinning teleporter room.  The toys were never as cool as the pictures.
Today, digital tools are the primary way holiday shoppers learn about the gifts they intend to buy. And because most sites have places to post and read comments, you find out that Barbie’s playhouse has over 100 parts and takes over 3 hours to put together.  The digital revolution has given shoppers all the information they need.  Mobile has made that information more powerful and portable.  It has also given you more opportunities to create unique selling opportunities and set yourself apart from the competition.  Take time to look at all of your digital promotional entities.
Does it give customers a reason to shop at your location?
Does it set you apart from your competitors?
Does it easily tell consumers where you are located and how to contact you?
The holidays are very busy, shoppers make quick decisions.  If your site, mobile space and social presences don’t help bring customers to you, then you are doing yourself a disservice.  In tomorrow’s post, we’ll take a look at the influence social media has over holiday shopping.  For more information on digital campaigns that will bring you great holiday success, please contact your Orlando Sentinel Media Group representative or:
Al Fiala
Advertising Research Manager
407.420.5702
afiala@orlandosentinel.com
www.orlandosentinel.com/mediakit

Source: Mobile Commerce Daily; Deloitte