Consumer Know How Blog
26 gennaio 2010
Alex Marks - Head of International Business Marketing, eBay Advertising
It has to be said there are advantages to being a man, even in these days of enlightened thinking. I don’t mean our innate ability to find travel directions an interesting and perfectly acceptable discussion topic. Or even the fact that we are able to store and retrieve at will, important facts about dinosaurs. No, one of our main advantages in this modern world lies in our ability to shop at record speed. And time as we know, is precious.
But are we really ruthless hunters of goods and services? Do we take a focused and direct route to our chosen victim then once claimed escort it to the till, pay and leave with a feeling of self-satisfaction.
Sometimes yes, but a body of evidence, and it should be noted that there are differing views, suggests that somewhere between 20-60% of our purchases are entirely unplanned, and that goes for men as well as women. That’s an awful lot of wandering around, shrugging shoulders and thinking, ‘oh go on then’.
So what is at work here?
There are whole books written on the psychology of buying so I won’t try to cover all the bases here. Suffice to say that it is a combination of factors. Age and gender, in-store marketing and purchase type all have a part to play.
Our own recent research studies into online shopping (E-buyers Mind) also points to the fact that frequency of purchase impacts on how we choose our supplier. Whether it be a more casual search and price led decision for those infrequent purchases, or a more convenience based and brand loyal decision for the regular ones.
But if so much of what we buy is unplanned why do brands spend so much on advertising outside the shop? Well to counter that question with a statement – In-store marketing spend in the UK is around £25bn. Media spend is around £20bn. They are both enormous markets but how much do they work together?
It seems to be that media spends a large part of its effort getting people to the front door. Once inside in-store marketing takes over.
In the high street the rules are pretty fixed, media agencies do outside the store; marketing and sales promotion agencies generally do inside. But in the online world e-tailers are only just beginning to open their doors to advertisers. In the UK on eBay for example, over £100m worth of goods are sold every week. That’s a lot of purchases that could have been swung your brands way.
Online shopping used to be about getting a bargain, the cheapest CD player I could find. It’s not like that anymore. Trust, selection, and convenience are now just as important. Bargain has been replaced with ‘Value’ and that’s an important distinction as the breadth of goods gets ever wider. The biggest selling category online in 2009? Clothing, Shoes, and Accessories. The biggest growing sector? Groceries. Both markets where you always thought you needed to see the item. Consumers are changing.
There is a real opportunity here for brands to start looking at online shops as a place to promote their goods and services. And an opportunity for online retailers to develop new formats for advertisers.
Marketing doesn’t stop at the shop door, wherever you might find it.
06 gennaio 2010
Flixmedia, the online retail specialists, are predicting 5 key innovations will transform the business of ecommerce in 2010.
Scott Lester, Chief Executive of Flixmedia.tv, believes the new decade marks a turning point for an industry that needs to innovate to grow: "We've got to a point in online retail now where most consumers are comfortable with the experience of buying online - sales have grown 11% year on year. But the ecommerce experience they're offered is very far from perfect, and sales are being lost every day because of this. Some parts of the online shopping journey haven't changed in 10 years - for example, hundreds of potential purchases are lost every day because of customers abandoning their carts before checkout, because the checkout experience still isn't simple and compelling enough. Real progress still needs to be made."
According to Lester the key innovations in 2010 will be:
1. Augmented reality
Augmented reality - the overlaying of digital images, video and information onto real world content - is set to infiltrate every aspect of our lives in 2010, with ecommerce one of the major growth areas.
"Imagine holding up your iPhone to a product in a shop and getting competitive prices, product information and more overlaid onto the image. Or, to take it one step further, how about an augmented reality interactive product catalogue? It's already being developed"
2. Data mining
In the face of the social media revolution, online retailers are doing their best to react with campaigns that aim to engage the consumer in their own space and on their own terms - whether that's offering more interactive, immersive content on their own site, or actively conversing with customers on Twitter and Facebook. Robust tracking and analysis of the data these sorts of campaigns provide is more important than ever. In 2010 it will be vital for online retailers to be able to effectively data mine their sales and marketing campaigns.
3. Mobile purchasing
The iPhone has changed everything for ecommerce - consumers once wary of purchasing via their mobile phones have bought over 2 billion apps from the iPhone app store since it launched. According to a Deloitte survey, one in five shoppers planned to use their mobile device to help them with their Christmas shopping this year, with four out of ten consumers between the ages of 18 to 29 years old planning to use their mobile device to shop.
"But don't imagine that you can just create an iPhone app extension of your website brand and be done with it. Competing with thousands of other apps in the store is a tough task, and retailers should be thinking about driving consumers as much to the high street destination as the digital one: a prominent store finder is key for any retail mobile app."
4. Real-time revolution
2009 saw the real-time revolution of Twitter reach the mainstream, and this trend will only be amplified in 2010. Consequently, retailers need to be able to engage with and react to the real-time conversation around their brand. But this demands a new savviness from online retailers.
"At December's Le Web conference Xavier Court of Vente Privee noted that, 'I dont like the idea of using Facebook and Twitter as marketing tools. Consumers are not naive - they know when it's a company push on Twitter.' Entrepreneurs will lead the way in creating tools that enable better selling through social media, and it's therefore vital in 2010 that retailers look to new technology to help them integrate more effectively into the online real-time conversation around their brand."
5. Ecommerce as entertainment
In 2009 Buy.tv, Ralph Lauren TV, and JC Penney's video runway shows revealed new ways of integrating video ecommerce into the shopping experience, creating retail narratives that were more like entertainment shows than traditional marketing campaigns.
"This trend of 'ecommerce as entertainment' will grow even stronger in 2010, as consumers become increasingly more demanding and choice expands. Grabbing and keeping the attention of consumers will be a priority for retailers - offering an added value shopping experience as entertaining as the latest Paris fashion shows is one way of keeping them on the page."
Mr Lester added: "Christmas Day saw £9.5m of sales made online, up 17% from 2008. Consumer confidence is growing despite the economic downturn, and it's vital that retailers turn this to their advantage this year. It's about giving consumers a retail journey as convenient, accessible and simple as the one they get walking into a high street shop. These key innovations will play a massive part in closing the gap between the online and bricks and mortar experience."
09 novembre 2009
By Jeremy Swinfen-Green (Digital Consultant)
Went to a fascinating talk by eBay Advertising this week.
As a massive online marketplace eBay is naturally interested to see what drives online shoppers. It seems that the drivers online are similar to those offline:
- familiarity with and trust of brands and retailers
- being hooked by offers
- being told about new things for sale
- being seduced by the idea of a treat
Interestingly, trust was often the most powerful reason that people chose a particular retailer, with selection next followed by value. (Looks like QVC should have called themselves QCV!)
Behaviour differed though, with different types of shopping. Where the products were purchased regularly or had a high emotional connection with the shopper, people tended to go to familiar and trusted retailers.
But for products which were purchased only infrequently or which were largely chosen through rational decision making there was far less brand loyalty; heresearch and comparison were important factors driving choice.
eBay is of course a massively familiar and generally well trusted brand. And it is also a place where you can buy advertising. But, as a retail site, is it a good place to buy advertising? After all people on retail sites are there to buy particular things aren't they? So they won't take much notice of advertising.
Well, that's not necessarily true. A lot of behaviour on retail sites is fairly undirected browsing. People are in the mindset of buying on retail sites. But they are not necessarily looking for a particular item. They can be influenced quite easily to try different things.
Which is presumably why advertising on retail sites is so very effective. Indeed according to eBays' research 61% of people take notice of advertising on retail sites, with 41% noticing it on search sites, 12% on portals and only 7% on social media sites.
And as big retailers like eBay know an enormous amount about their visitors, who they are, what items they have looked at, where they have started the buying process, what they have bought in the past (and when), they are capable of providing advertisers with highly targeted campaigns.
Retail media (aka sales promotion) is a massive industry in the offline world, large enough to rival traditional media spend. It seems that eBay are leading the charge to make retail media equally significant in the online space.