Monthly Archives: October 2012

Small And Medium Sized Businesses And Mobile

We’ve recently shared several posts on the importance of mobile.
The mobile marketplace continues to grow.
Consumers are dependent on their devices to do many things.
Major retailers are embracing and leveraging mobile technologies.
Recently a report has been released that shows how small and medium businesses are not taking full advantage of everything mobile has to offer.  Considering how important mobile will be this holiday season, not engaging with mobile can be very detrimental.

• Just one in five small businesses are using mobile marketing

• Another 20% have learned
about mobile, but are not using
mobile strategies

• Just over 30% have heard of mobile, put don’t know much about it

• Nearly 30% had never heard of mobile solutions

• Nearly 90% of small and medium businesses plan to either increase or maintain their digital marketing budget

What Does This Mean To You?

The evidence of how much of an impact mobile technology can have on a business is all around us.  Mobile has become one of shoppers most used tools.  The 60% of small and medium businesses who are partly or completely uniformed about mobile are at competitive disadvantage.  Effectively using mobile can put a small or medium on the same footing as larger, better known competitors.  Not incorporating mobile will cost you business.  For more information on developing and deploying a mobile strategy that brings results, please contact your Sun Sentinel representative or:
Julie Otto
Advertising Marketing Manager

Source: eMarketer; BIA Kelsey


Online Shopping To Drive Holiday Sales

This week, many stores will be going into full holiday mode.  But recently, we’ve posted information showing that upwards of 40% of consumers have already started making holiday purchases.  It’s important to connect with these shoppers as early as possible because consumer sentiment is not as strong as in prior years.  One of the latest pieces of research to come out is how strong online shopping looks to be this holiday season.

• Holiday retail sales are projected to increase by 4% according to the National Retail Federation.  That’s a total of over $585 billion

• Actual holiday sales grew last year by 5.6%

• Online holiday sales are expected to reach $96 billion – 16% of total holiday sales will come from ecommerce

• Year over year, online shopping is projected to increase by 15% over last year

What Does This Mean To You?

More and more consumers are will be shopping online.  Even more will be researching products and comparing prices. Online shopping offers consumers a convenient way to get through the holidays.  It puts them in control of the buying experience and they don’t have to deal with crowded stores.  To get the most out of your e-holiday efforts, make sure your checkout process is quick and easy. Also compare your shipping costs against your competitors – because that’s what consumers are doing. Even if you don’t offer online shopping, you can benefit from digital solutions.  Product descriptions are seen as a big benefit and a tool for shoppers.  You can offer online coupons to bring shoppers into your location. For more information on how you can leverage digital to increase your holiday results, please contact your Sun Sentinel representative or:
Julie Otto
Advertising Marketing Manager

Source: National Retail Federation;

Social Media And Political Perception

The election is roughly one week away.  It’s estimated that total political spending will eclipse $9.8 billion dollars this year.  That’s an increase of nearly 40% over 2008.  New research is showing that social media is becoming a bigger source of political information and is having an effect on political opinions – especially with the 18-34 year old age group

• Overall, over one in four online adults said that social media had influenced their political opinions

Among 18 to 34 year olds, more than one in five adults had gotten political information from Facebook, 17% had watched political information on YouTube, 16% looked at political blogs and just over 10% have looked at political tweets

• In the 35 to 54 year old age group, 14% visited a political blog and 12% looked at political post on Facebook.  Just 6% looked at a political video on YouTube and less than 5% paid attention to a political Tweet

• When you look at the 55+ age group,  blogs  and Facebook were the top social media information source for politics – but they both reached just 12% of that group. Political YouTube videos were viewed by 6% of adults 55+ and just 2% saw a political tweet.

• Less than 25% of online adults report never seeing any political postings in any social media this election season

What Does This Mean To You?

Social media is growing in importance.  It has definitely affected how people feel about the stores they shop in and the products they purchase.  Social media is now impacting possibly one of the most important decisions a person can make – who will be the leading our country.  As a business, publically expressing your political views is a slippery slope.  For many people, their political views are tied to deeper beliefs and who you support can affect their views of your business.  This election has the possibility of being one of the closest in history.  You have to ask yourself the question – Am I willing to alienate half of my customer base?  For more information on how to make effective and actionable social media strategies, please contact your Sun Sentinel representative or:
Julie Otto
Advertising Marketing Manager

Source: emarketer; Burst Media; AYTM Market Research

Mobile Shopping Set To Increase

Smart phones are now part of our daily life and have become one of consumers’ most used shopping tools.  As the number of mobile device owners continue to climb, mobile shopping is going to become more commonplace.  A new study has been released that shows just how much growth is going to take place in the near future

• Currently, there are just over 390 million mobile consumers across the world

• By 2014, that number is expected to climb to 580 million consumers globally

• The current value of transactions is just over $250 billion

• By 2017, the total amount of spending via mobile device is project to climb to $730 billion.  That’s an average annual increase of 25%

What Does This Mean To You?

Currently over 40% of adults nationwide have a mobile device in their household.
Adults who own mobile devices are more likely to have higher household incomes,
work in White-Collar occupations, be homeowners and have children in their household.
They are also much more likely to be in the market for a variety of consumer goods.
Mobile devices are also diverting attention from tradition forms of media – the amount of consumers who are involved in “second screening” is growing rapidly.  Since most second screen activity happens during Prime-Time, mobile devices are directly affecting TV ads purchased during their most expensive time slot.  There are numerous mobile solutions that can help your business create location traffic, shopper loyalty, generate awareness and amplify sales.  For more information on the solutions that makes the most sense for your business, please contact your Sun Sentinel representative or:
Julie Otto
Advertising Marketing Manager

Source: Mobile Commerce Daily; Juniper

Mobile Improving The In-Store Shopping Experience

One of the reasons mobile devices have been so quickly adopted by
consumers is the convenience these devices deliver.  Convenience is
something that shoppers crave as well. They want to get into stores,
make purchases, pick up items and be on their way as quickly and
easily as possible.  There are many digital tools that will assist them
in these endeavors.  A new research report has been released that
shows what companies across the country are doing to improve
in-store shopping.  This information can help you create a winning
mobile strategy.

• Eight in 10 retailers employ mobile
geo-location to help shoppers find stores

• Nearly two-thirds have geo-location options to find specific products using mobile sites

• One-third offer instore pickup after mobile purchasing

• Almost two-thirds of retailers allow customer to make purchases online and make in-store returns

• Nearly 60% of retailers give customers the ability to buy in store and have merchandise shipped directly to them or someone else

• Just over half let customers make online purchases and then do in-store pickup

• Over 40% stores have mobile purchasing options

• One in five stores now offer social commerce

 What Does This Mean To You?

Competition for shoppers is fierce and digital tools can give you an advantage over other stores.
Putting these tools in place is important, but what are you doing to tell shoppers about them.  Shoppers are bound to be cost conscious this holiday season but they are also mindful of time and effort. After all, time is one thing you cannot purchase more of.  Be sure to promote any digital tools you offer along with your offers.  Digital tools will also give you the ability to build up a database. This information can be very use for in creating relevant communication with customers.  The more you can target an offer, the more successful your offers will be.  please contact your Sun Sentinel representative or:
Julie Otto
Advertising Marketing Manager

Source: eMarketer; e-tailing group; Retail Spectrums Research

Men, Women And Mobile Purchases

Yesterday’s post talked the kinds of shopping activities that men and women are engaged in.  Today, we’ll look at the types of products they purchase on mobile devices.  The portability of mobile devices is bound to affect the types of products both men and women purchase.  This holiday season is going to be shaped by mobile shopping. By paying attention to shopping trend information, you help ensure a profitable holiday season.

Top mobile purchases made by men:

• Consumer electronics – 27%

• Movie and event tickets – 23%

• Food & drinks – 13%

• Computer equipment – 13%

• Office supplies – 8%

• Luxury goods – 6%

• Health & beauty items – 4%

Top mobile purchases made by women

• Movie and event tickets – 11%

• Health & beauty items – 8%

• Food & Drinks – 8%

• Consumer electronics – 8%

• Computer equipment – 5%

• Office supplies – 4%

 What Does This Mean To You?

What is your current mobile strategy?
What percentage of your shoppers own smart phones?
What mobile tactics can you employ that will boost business this holiday season? Mobile offers your company a world of opportunity to connect with consumers, help them research products & companies, deliver offers and facilitate purchases.  Mobile loyalty programs can help strengthen your relationship with existing customers.  With current economic challenges and low consumer sentiment, mobile can be your most powerful tool in creating strong holiday sales.  For more information on how to deploy a winning mobile campaign, please contact your Sun Sentinel representative or:
Julie Otto
Advertising Marketing Manager

Source: eMarketer; USamp

Mobile Shopping Activities By Gender

Nationally, men are only slightly more likely than women to own a mobile device. But men are more likely to use more functions associated with shopping activities than women.  Earlier this week, we had a post that showed how important mobile looked to be this holiday season.  Knowing as much as you can about who is engaged in mobile shopping and the activities they perform can help you develop action oriented mobile strategies.

• Over 90% of men and 85% of
women who own mobile devices
and were surveyed indicated they
had scanned a barcode

• 46% of men and nearly a third of women said they made a mobile payment

• Over one-third of women and 45% of men made a mobile purchase

• 44% of women said they used a mobile coupon and just over a third of men did

• 35% of men and nearly 30% of women commented on a purchase

• Just over one in four men and 16% of women wrote a review of a purchase

 What Does This Mean To You?

While the amount of people who said they scanned a barcode seems rather high, these facts confirm how much consumers use their smart phones during the shopping process.  Things like mobile couponing and mobile payments are something you should pay attention to.  Mobile payments might just be the next big function people perform with their mobile device.  Retailers who are at the beginning of this trend need to ensure that their mobile payment platforms are secure and easy to use.  People rely so heavily on mobile because of the convenience it offers.  If the mobile payment process seems clunky or is not user friendly – look for a different vendor. Mobile couponing is something you should think of employing this holiday season.  Offering in-store mobile coupons can help you avoid “showrooming” disasters and makes your marketing message more valuable.  For more information on how your business can realize more revenue from mobile, please contact your Sun Sentinel representative or:
Julie Otto
Advertising Marketing Manager

Source: eMarketer; USamp