Tag Archives: purchasing

Ecommerce Hits Milestone

Digital commerce, fueled by growth in mobile purchasing, hit a huge milestone last year.  In 2012, B2C ecommerce spending totaled on $1 trillion globally.  New research has come available that shows it’s not even close to slowing down.

shutterstock_111037535● From 2011 to 2012, global ecommerce grew 21% to reach $1.2 trillion

● By 2016, ecommerce is projected to hit $1.5 trillion worldwide

● In North America, digital spending grew 14% to nearly $365 billion.  Next year it is expected to expand to over $400 billion

● The number of digital buyers in the US is expected to grow from 150 million last year to 175 million in 2016

● China is expected to see the greatest growth.  Ecommerce is projected 65% from 2012 to 2013 and the number of digital customers will rise by nearly 25%

What Does This Mean To You?

What does your ecommerce strategy look like?
Digital purchasing, mcommerce in particular, is rapidly changing and growing. Having a strategy is important, but making sure it’s scalable is equally important.  Things like mobile point of sale will have a dramatic affect on how your business operates.  The international adoption of digital purchasing may open new markets for your business as well.  While we can’t predict the changes that may occur, being nimble and being able to quickly pivot is something that could give your company a competitive advantage in the future. For more information on how to capitalize on ecommerce growth,  please contact your Sun Sentinel representative or:
Julie Otto
Research Manager

Source: Emarketer


Consumers And Mobile Banking Apps

Recently, we’ve published posts on how popular mobile banking and consumer behaviors that will probably come from it. We’ve said many times that the reason why consumers are so dependent on their mobile device is convenience. The same could be said for mobile banking apps. While it may be fun to work “banker’s hours”, those hours don’t make physically visiting financial institutions convenient at all. Online banking and now mobile banking have made banking easier. New research is out that gives information on the percentage of mobile banking and what mobile banking customers are looking for.

shutterstock_92978851• In a recent survey, 44% of consumers had downloaded a banking app

• Among those who have downloaded a mobile banking app, 55% say they use the app more now than when they first downloaded it

• Two-thirds of mobile banking customers expect to receive notifications immediately when their balance is low or are in an insufficient funds situation

• Seven in 10 want to receive communications to help them avoid financial trouble

• Among 18 to 24 year olds, Three-quarters of them expect notifications

• Less than half of mobile banking consumers said they receive balance updates, One-third were notified when their balance was low and three in 10 receive messages when a bill is due

• 13% of users want to get notifications through their app (push notifications), over 20% said they wanted to get notices via SMS text and nearly half wanted to get the information through email

 What Does This Mean To You?
There are a couple of big take-aways from this research. First being that mobile banking may be the first step towards mobile point of sale payment. While mobile payment through sites like Pay Pal have been around for years, there is mounting evidence that making payments directly through your mobile device is on the way. Whether it’s through scanning or NFC, mobile point of sale can make checking out very easy.
The other take-away is that consumers are open to receiving direct notifications from merchants, if they find the content valuable. SMS and email can be key components to a loyalty program and can help you create sales from existing customers. For more information on how mobile technology can help your business better engage prospective customers, please contact your Sun Sentinel representative or:
Julie Otto
Advertising Marketing Manager
Source: Mobile Commerce Daily; Wakefield Research

Why Consumers Are Using Mobile Devices In-Store

n 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.


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 Sun Sentinel representative or:
Julie Otto
Advertising Marketing Manager

Source: Motorola

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; Shop.org

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

Social Media Influences Shopping locations

Recently we’ve done a few posts on how social media and other digital tools influence what consumers are buying – particularly impulse buys.  Today we’re going to look at what digital sources influence where consumers are shopping.

• Social media has the highest amount of influence of all digital tools when it comes to where consumers shop.  44% of shoppers say that social media has been a determining factor on the stores they make purchases from.

• 42% of shoppers said that product reviews and recommendations influenced where they shopped.  Over 40% also said that pre-shop brand specific web sites swayed their decision

• Four in 10 consumers say that shopping apps weighed into their choice of stores

• Almost 40% said that retailer emails persuaded them to shop where they did

• 36% of consumers indicated that social media posts from brands made a difference in the businesses they patronized

• Over 20% were influenced by downloadable coupons

What Does This Mean To You?

Consumer’s use of social media can be a very good thing or a very bad thing for your business.
Your social reputation can have a big impact on whether you get the customers or they shop at  one of your competitors.  Unresolved issues and unanswered questions are can cost you business.   The holidays are a busy time of year and shoppers are already under spending and time pressures.   If other shoppers are leaving negative information about your business, how likely are they to  shop with you?  But, if they see other shoppers have great things to say about your store, your  staff and how easy the shopping experience is – it’s just one more reason for them to visit your store  over the competition. The holidays represent, on average, 20% to 40% of annual retail sales.  A bad social reputation can put you in jeopardy of not getting your share of holiday spending.  For more information on how  to improve you social reputation and see results, please contact your Sun Sentinel representative or:
Julie Otto
Advertising Marketing Manager

Source: The Ryan Partnership; Ipsos

Influencing Purchasing Decisions

We’ve all been there before. We’re in a store trying to choose between two items.
What is the tipping point?
What are the factors that give one product the edge over the other?
(Beyond the eannie, meannie, minny, moe method)
A new study looks at what things go into the decision process for grocery shoppers among moms & dads.  While this research is based on food shopping activities, the logic is transferable to other shopping behavior.

What Influences purchases outside of price or quality for moms & dads:

• 37% of dads and 44% of moms say a coupon
would be the biggest influence in choosing one
item over another

• One in five dads and one in six moms said product benefits would be a determining factor

• 12% of moms and 14% of dads say the brand name sways them in choosing a product

• 10% of moms and dads cited in-store promotions and the ability to get a free sample as things that weigh into purchasing one product over another

• Less than 5% of moms and dads said that environment or social benefits would weigh into their decision

What Does This Mean To You?

Knowing what the reasoning is behind consumer choices can not only help you sell more goods and services, it can boost you over the competition.  The study above points out several things particular to grocery shopping, but the basic principles are applicable to most businesses.

The Offer – Whether you are promoting a particular item, or your own business, an offer is a great way to set yourself – or your products – apart and drive traffic.  For many consumers, the economy is still a challenge and they are looking to save money any where they can.  The offer does not always have to be a straight discount.  Think about rewarding customers for purchasing or spending more money.

Benefits – People make purchases because they see value in a product or service.  It solves their problems, saves them time or saves them money.  By promoting the benefits you or a product delivers, you and your products move from being something has to be bought to a solution for a problem.

Brand Name/Reputation – For some purchases, a brand name has a larger influence than others.  In many cases, a brand name is a representation of reputation.  If you have a great reputation, promote it.  A respected name in the community can have an effect on whether people patronize you or the competition.  You can also increase you reputation by marketing respected products.  You may also be able to increase your marketing efforts through the use of co-op advertising.

Awareness – If a tree falls in the woods…  If you don’t tell consumers about your business and the goods & services you offer – how are they going to find out?  Your competition is not likely to tell them.
The same goes for the products you carry.  Consumers may know about these items, but do they know that you sell them?

There are many factors that go into why consumers make the choices they do.  Some of them you can influences, others you can’t.  To be successful, you want to make it as easy to find, contact, shop and purchase items from your business as possible.  For more information on gaining a competitive advantage and creating traffic, please contact your Sun Sentinel representative or:
Julie Otto
Advertising Marketing Manager

Source: Cone Communications