Tag Archives: shopping

What Marketers Should Expect from the 2013 Holiday Shopping Season

It’s no surprise that ecommerce has seen incredible growth over the last few holiday shopping seasons, but soon we will see Internet sales exceed those of brick and mortar stores during this very spend-heavy time of year. According to Deloitte, for the first time ever, when it comes to purchasing holiday gifts, American consumers’ most likely destination to shop is the Internet.

The official kick-off for the holiday shopping season in the US is Thanksgiving Day weekend. From 2008 to 2012, the United States saw a 31% increase in total sales, both on and offline, during the five-day period (Thanksgiving Thursday through Cyber Monday). Between 2011 and 2012, online sales increased 15%, whereas brick and mortar sales increased by a mere 3%. Based on this very positive trend, the 2013 shopping season is sure to produce an increase in overall sales, but more appropriately, continued growth in online shopping.

Trends to Expect this Holiday Shopping Season:

  • Showrooming. This is the act of using one’s mobile device in-store to search for an item across the Internet at a lower price. This is an obvious disadvantage for brick and mortar stores, clearly benefitting ecommerce. According to an Accenture study, almost half of those surveyed said that the primary purpose for their cell phone use in-store was to compare prices. Of those, only 10% purchased the product in question at the brick and mortar store.
  • Promotions. This year’s holiday shopping season will be significantly shorter than usual, which is thought to put digital retailers at an advantage, as consumers will seek the convenience of online shopping in a condensed period of time. But this also makes competition among ecommerce brands greater, encouraging more offered promotions in order to gain as much spend as possible in a shorter than normal time period.
  • Mcommerce Growth. US retail mobile commerce throughout the year will reach $41 billion, up 68.2% compared to last year and by 2016, mobile transactions will account for a quarter of all retail ecommerce. The 2013 holiday shopping season is predicted to see 19% of all consumers making purchases on tablets and 18% on smartphones – in 2012, 15% of consumers bought items on their tablets and 14% on their smartphones. This reinforces the need for marketers to really amp up their mobile efforts as more and more of their customers are looking to the convenience of mobile online shopping.
  • Contrasting views regarding growth or decline in holiday spend. The government shut down prompted speculation that consumers would be hesitant to spend more this holiday shopping season than last year. However, the Google 2013 Holiday Shopping Intentions Study revealed that Millenials will spend 19% more this year than they did last year. Looking back, we have only seen an upward climb in spending, even during the recession, making it highly unlikely that sales will dip this holiday season.

In the meantime, brick and mortar stores are on the defensive and are attempting to regain lost business by increasing their operating hours over the weekend, including Black Friday openings as early as the evening hours of Thanksgiving Day! Many have invested heavily in mobile apps and advertising to accommodate in-store shoppers.

Aside from the convenience of online shopping, brick and mortar stores lack the personalization that consumers have grown to love within the digital space. In order to compete, many department stores have begun to adopt and implement the aid of mobile apps, ads and resources to tackle this obstacle. The 2013 holiday shopping season will reveal the successes of those efforts.

At the end of the day, it is inevitable that we will see growth in consumer spending during the upcoming holiday shopping season. It will be interesting to reflect on the how the above trends impacted that spend, as well as the distribution of spend between online and offline outlets. It is more important than ever for ecommerce and traditional retailers alike to leverage digital marketing in order to reach consumers where they spend most of their time.

 

The 12 Days of Online Christmas Shopping

This has been my first working Christmas. There’s no more time to go and buy Christmas presents at a quiet moment and facing the immense crowds of Christmas shoppers on the weekend, standing hours at cash registers, is not something I have patience for. Therefore I have truly experienced the joys of online Christmas shopping this year. Here’s a small excerpt of the successes and failures of online retargeting that I noticed during my shopping experience.

Day 1: I look for a dress for the upcoming festivities. After shopping around a bit, I see one that I like but want to take some time to think about it.

Day 2: I get bombarded with ‘pink dresses’ on every online advert from one particular store.

Day 3: I get fed up with the adverts, clean out my cookies and buy a black dress from a different shop.

Day 4: I search for a pair of ski gloves for my holiday in the Alps, but don’t find anything I like.

Day 5:  I get flooded with more adverts for gloves and dresses… and much to my frustration accidentally click on one of them, which only makes it worse.

Day 6: I’m so sick of seeing these ads that I tweet how much I’m fed up with this shop on Twitter. A lot of people have the same experience and agree!

Day 7: I realize that I still need to buy a present for my brother so I’m on the look out.

Day 8: I see good review from a friend on Facebook about gaming headphones: perfect for my brother! So I do a quick, superficial research on the Internet.

Day 9: I do a little more research on the product and its functionalities, but also look at and compare other products and stores.

Day 10: I click through an ad served to me and decided to buy the headphones.

Day 11: I receive my package the very next day, I’m happy about the whole experience and tweet about it. I don’t see any other adverts from this store (even though I still see gloves and dresses everywhere).

Day 12: I realize I could also buy a blender for my mum on the same site so I browse around again and order for her too.

Retargeting is really an interesting process.

It was clear to me that the gloves & dresses stores didn’t use a Smart Retargeting method, like IgnitionOne implements for its clients. They just looked at the category/product I had looked at last and didn’t know my real interest. They also just tried to show me their adverts as much as possible in the hope that I would finally click on it.

It was obvious that the headphone store had a different strategy. It knew my true interest, and my click path. By using IgnitionOne’s technology, this website scored my propensity to buy. As my score increased, the technology took into account my ‘undeclared interest’. This means not just showing the last product visited but the one that has the highest score. The algorithm calculated when I had reached my critical buying intention score and served me a targeted advert with a very interesting offer (discount + free shipping) whilst browsing that lowered my purchasing barrier.  The company tracked how my interest was increasing and then calculated the perfect time to show me just one  advert with an interesting offer.

When considering both unique retargeting structures, it is apparent to me why one advertising technique seemed less intrusive than the other, and why I chose one experience, and thus one product, over the other.

IgnitionOne Announces Google Shopping Integration within the Digital Marketing Suite

Today, IgnitionOne announced the launch of another feature within its Digital Marketing Suite (DMS). Google Shopping will be seamlessly integrated into the platform, which will allow retail marketers to manage Product Listing ads side-by-side search, display and Facebook. The integration also allows marketers to combine IgnitionOne’s powerful attribution capabilities to track and optimize bidding across all media channels with best-of-breed semantic optimization. This automatically creates an optimal campaign structure in AdWords based on a semantically optimized product feed.

IgnitionOne’s DMS is the first digital marketing platform to integrate with Google Product Listing Ads with this combination of optimizations. This offering will provide retail marketers the tools to maximize their efforts in Google Shopping with seamless integration to product feeds, tracking, optimization and reporting.

Key Benefits to Customers:
Enhanced efficiency, allowing marketers to manage Google Shopping right next to search, display and Facebook with the fully-integrated centralized technology stack (DMS).
Improves ROI by combining semantic optimization and bid optimization with IgnitionOne’s cross-channel attribution capabilities, allowing marketers to allocate media budget more intelligently in order to get the most out of every dollar spent.
Marketers are able to see the full picture by leveraging sophisticated custom attribution profiles to best meet their needs.

Read the press release here.