Tag Archives: Black Friday (shopping)

Key Insights from Omnishopper International 2016

By: Derya
Lawrence, Senior Analyst ‘ Services and Payments at Euromonitor International

Omnishopper
International took place in London in late November 2016, and addressed the
issues impacting the rapidly evolving retailing landscape from the perspectives
of consumers, manufacturers and retailers. This three day event brought
together some of the largest manufacturers in packaged food, electronics and
personal care, alongside grocery and non-grocery retailers and market research
providers, discussing primarily the ways in which commerce is evolving, and
providing practical examples of new methods of information collection that is
made possible through technological developments required to stay ahead of the curve.
Here are four key insights from Omnishopper
International 2016:

Strategising
for the omnishoppers
Commerce is no longer restricted to a
physical outlet. There are now a plethora of commerce facilitators, from
computers to smartphones to consumer appliances to connected cars, all enabling
new ways of shopping and paying. It is important to continuously track and
monitor shopping patterns across the online/offline split to understand how,
holistically, both channels are two sides of the same coin: Shoppers routinely
search online and buy in-store. If they see a better offer at a competitor, or
find a unique proposition at a different banner, they will take their money
there. Because of this dynamic interaction, one of the largest problems for
retailers today is the increase in consumers’ switching between channels and
banners. Thus, in order to acquire new clients, the omnichannel strategy has to
be built around fostering loyalty, through providing a new and better shopping
experience both in store and online.
Embracing
technology
In this mobile-first world, the
possibilities in terms of connecting with the consumer before, during and after
a purchase are endless, though few retailers and manufacturers do it in a
seamless manner. Merchants of all types express a desire to better connect
those dots in order to further other initiatives, such as providing more
meaningful consumer engagement. One highlight in this respect is the arrival of
Virtual Reality technology. VR can not only drive marketing strategies, but can
be used as a tool for consumer engagement for market research purposes.
Traditional research techniques, such as
consumer panels and surveys, have allowed for the collection of strong insight
on the impact of advertising or strategy on growth in specific product groups. Yet,
knowledge on where the market will be growing – and therefore where the
manufacturer should invest its time and money – can be better understood
through embracing new digital means and putting the consumers themselves in the
driving seat. On this note, one of the leading global chocolate manufacturers
shared their insights on how Online Surveys and Communities are helping them
enhance outcomes of marketing campaigns and impulse purchases by allowing
consumers to inform the manufacturers on what products work for them, when they
are more likely to consume certain goods or how likely they are to make a
purchase based on where the product is exhibited on the shelves.
Understanding
consumer behaviour
New digital
technologies allow for the advent of an increasing number of ways to create
more convenient shopping experiences for consumers. Connected appliances,
proliferation of mobile payment methods and a rapid move towards the internet of
things are all altering consumer’s in-store experiences and expectations. Omnishopper
International posed questions and answers on how this evolution impacts
shopping behaviour. If shoppers’ desire for the most time efficient and
convenient experience takes them both to online and offline channels for
different reasons, it is vital to track this behavioural rationale and gather
data for both online and offline to meet changing client expectations.
Once we have an
understanding of the purchasing habits of consumers between online and offline,
an important question is how retailers can intervene in consumer decision making
in order to align consumer behaviour with retailing strategies. For this step,
we are told that the field of Behavioural Economics – led by the likes of
Daniel Kahnemann ‘ that looks at non-rational forces and implicit biases that
condition human choices, is starting to make inroads on marketing and consumer
research. Through this key insight on how and why shoppers interact in the way
they do in a multi-channel environment, understanding the hidden drivers of
purchasing behaviours, retailers can locate the Pivotal Moments where they can make a significant and meaningful
impact on consumers’ purchasing choices.
Future of retail
Due to the
impact of technology, 21st century consumers are increasingly knowledgeable
about what they want and what is on offer. The blurring of sales channels has
contributed greatly to this as shoppers are able to navigate across the
online/offline divide to find the best product for them along the price/quality
spectrum. Now more than ever, from quality of products to pricing, smart
shoppers are more aware and are therefore increasingly purchasing with higher
expectations from retailers and manufacturers. With the availability of more information,
consumers are also increasingly less loyal. In this context, the saying, ‘the
successful retailer is the one that understands what the client wants next’ is
truer than ever.

Tech-Fueled Retail: In-Store and Online

Over the
past few weeks, the Stylus Life team has been tracking the latest
innovations in retail tech ‘ the online tools making shopping seamless, and the
in-store tech that will encourage customers to head back to the high street.
Retailers
are always seeking new ways to entice customers and encourage loyalty, particularly
looking to create convenient purchase journeys that fit around shopping habits.
This strategy is seen through Mr Porter’s recent partnership with Apple TV. A first for luxury content-commerce
mergers, the collaboration sees the e-tailer monetise its editorial video
content, letting shoppers buy directly through their TV.
Similarly, Instagram recently announced it would soon start
testing retail tools that enable users to buy items found in their image feed ‘
a move that will help both brands and tastemakers to drive revenue through the
platform. The new feature, kicking off in the US with twenty retailers, ties in
with recent stats showing that consumers increasingly shop via their mobile
devices.
The consumer
desire for convenience and curation is also highlighted in recent research that discovered 43% of US consumers are
likely to do their holiday shopping via online marketplaces such as eBay or
Amazon, compared to just 15% purchasing via an individual retailer’s website. This
dramatic difference is due to marketplaces’ ability to offer shoppers a simpler
experience, with a wider variety of products at the best prices ‘ all in one
place.
So if
shopping online is easier, what will send customers back to the store? Well, a recent survey has found that 63% of UK shoppers still
prefer the high street, but are more likely to be enticed by tech-fuelled
retail spaces. The convenience of contactless and mobile payments was described
by some as ‘life-changing’. Meanwhile, shoppers are more likely to visit stores
with technology such as virtual reality (57%) or smart fitting rooms (57%), which
provide experiences that can’t be replicated at home or online.
Tesco is
capitalising on this consumer desire for technology, trialling digital receipts that offer shoppers personalised offers,
while also taking another step towards paperless transactions. The trial,
running through November, aims to give customers more choice. Beauty brand Charlotte Tilbury has placed digital interaction at the centre
of its new store, using virtual mirrors to help shoppers select their perfect
look, and in-store screens to showcase social media inspiration.
Brought to you by Stylus Life, creativity and innovation news from around the web.

Top Customer Experience Blog Posts of 2014

We’ve published a lot of interesting, innovative, and inspiring blog posts about customer experience this year, so we wanted to take a moment to look back on the most popular posts of 2014. Here are the topics our readers enjoyed the most this year:
Marketers Adapt to Digital Customer Trends for Holiday Shopping Season: Over the last few years, technology has truly revolutionized retail – Black Friday and the holiday season exemplify that change better than any other time of year. Now, marketers must reassess their strategies as consumers spend increasing amounts online ahead of the shopping weekend in order to capture the online shopping trend. As of late, Black Friday and Cyber Monday  have experienced a change in spending patterns, with the Adobe Digital Index predicting that $2.6bn ‘ an increase of 15 percent ‘ will be spent on Cyber Monday alone, with Black Friday growth up by 28 percent to $2.48bn. The holiday season in the U.S. will aim to break online records for e-commerce spend at $72.41bn, a growth of 16.6 percent in the last year, according to eMarketer. To read the full post, click here.
The Customer Experience: A Journey Best Understood in Reverse?: Even after decades of study, the ‘Customer Experience’ remains a top focus for large and small companies alike. Work from McKinsey about the consumer decision journey (references below) is just one of many recent examples. Millions of dollars and labor hours, and prodigious efforts, are spent on the subject. From time to time, clients ask’usually around the annual budget-setting cycle”What should our priorities be in evaluating customers’ experiences?  What’s the first, most important thing we need to understand’? To read the full post, click here.
Using Consumer Insights to Make Smarter Business Decisions: We sat down with Kelly Harper, Director of Customer Experience Learning at BMO INSTITUTE FOR LEARNING, to discuss how the power of consumer insights help to make smarter decisions in business. Harper goes into how important customer experience is when it comes using customer insights to make the best business decisions possible. You need to think about what type of experiences your organization is giving your customers.  Your consumer insights allows you to understand what is broken in your current experience you are delivering and what is really important to the customer ‘ what are those elements that you have to get right each and every single day. Consumer insights will help you identify and keep track of what is most important to the customer.  To read the full post, click here.
Why Your Brand Needs Social Customer Service: These days, customers aren’t calling your 800 number. Instead, they are getting on Facebook and complaining about you or sending a Tweet about your lousy service. Social customer service is a very different ball game with unique practices, plans and a different timeline. You’d better be listening for online complaints and be ready to respond in real-time or face potentially negative profits. Social customer service emerged because organic online conversations require an immediate response. When a customer complains about you on Facebook or Twitter, you’d better be listening and respond within a short window or poor attitudes about your brand escalate. Social customer service connects your customers with people, both inside and outside of your organization, and with the information they need to solve problems and make better decisions. Not to mention, your customers expect it. To read the full post, click here.
Creating a Positive Customer Experience: When it comes to obtaining and retaining customers, remembering what you learned in kindergarten really isn’t enough anymore. Now, it hinges on the effective use of social media and other Internet-based resources, according to a new study from Consero Group.  Chief Customer Experience Officers will continue to need a variety of new tools and processes to manage the smart consumer effectively and retain customers in a competitive marketplace. More companies recognize the importance of positive customer experience to overall success. But even though budgets and staff sizes are increasing in many firms, many CX executives still lack sufficient resources to run their departments well. To read the full post, click here.
The Power of Personality at Work: We caught up with John Mayer, renowned Professor of Psychology, the University of New Hampshire and Author of Personal Intelligence. We express our personalities in almost everything that we do ‘ in both our personal and professional lives. So, every single day we exhibit some patterns of behavior that are consistent and sometimes respond to particular context. According to Mayer, personal intelligence is the intelligence we use to understand these personalities ‘ whether they in other people or in ourselves. Virtually any organization today is made up of people, so you can think of the organization as an organizational chart, including Presidents, CEOs, managers, etc.  ‘Personal intelligence deals with information at a different level than that,’ explained Mayer. ‘Instead, on top of that organizational chart are real people.’ To read the full post, click here.
Customer Experience Conversations: Crystal Collier: we sat down with Crystal Collier, CEO of CX Act, formerly TARP Worldwide. CX Act has pioneered the science of quantifying, managing and optimizing the customer experience and has remained a leader in the CX market since 1971. Today, through its innovative research, technology and customer interaction programs, it continues to set the standard to improve clients’ customer service performance, customer value and “The Profit of Interaction.’ According to Collier, without considering empathy’from the C-suite to the frontline employee’delivering a superior CX is nearly impossible. Customers are driven largely by emotions, and their behaviors result from feelings. To read the full post, click here.
Customer Experience Innovation: Treat Your Customers Like People: We caught up with Len Ferman, managing director of Ferman Innovation, and former Senior Vice President of Innovation and Ideation at Bank of America. Today, corporate leaders often lose sight of customer needs in the constant quest toward next quarter’s earnings. But, what is positive for stock prices tends to conflict with long term customer satisfaction and shareholder value. You simply can’t understand the customer experience if don’t empathize with your customers, Ferman told me. ‘You have to be able to see them face-to-face and listen to them talk about their pain points and challenges,’ he said. To read the full post, click here
Customer Experience Conversations: Nestor Portillo: Nestor Portillo, Director, Social Communities and Customer Experience at Microsoft shared his best customer experience, the importance of empathy, and how social media has affected customer experience today. According to Portillo, customer experience is a combination of emotions, memories, expectations, needs fulfillment, timing and effort. All of these are important add-ons to your product or service. So, in order to deliver a great customer experience, it needs to have a high degree of empathy and emotion because the interaction goes beyond product functionality or a feature explanation. To read the full post, click here.
Customer Experience Conversations: Janet LeBlanc:  Janet LeBlanc, President of Janet LeBlanc + Associates Inc. LeBlanc discussed how empathy and emotion has a critical impact on customer experience today. According to LeBlanc, the best customer experiences are those that elicit the strong positive feelings and emotions that strengthening the relationship and loyalty a customer has with a company. Statements such as: ‘I felt like she understood what I wanted or they treated me with respect’ are the best examples of a great customer experience. To read the full post, click here.

About the Author: Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs including Next Big DesignCustomers 1stDigital Impact, STEAM Accelerator and ProjectWorld and World Congress for Business Analysts, and a regular contributor to Front End of Innovation and The Market Research Event,. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the technology industry. She can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow her at @AmandaCicc.

Marketers Adapt to Digital Customer Trends for Holiday Shopping Season

Over the last few years, technology has truly revolutionized retail. Black Friday and the holiday season exemplify that change better than any other time of year. Now, marketers must reassess their strategies as consumers spend increasing amounts online ahead of the shopping weekend in order to capture the online shopping trend.
As of late, Black Friday and Cyber Monday  have experienced a change in spending patterns, with the Adobe Digital Index predicting that $2.6bn ‘ an increase of 15 percent ‘ will be spent on Cyber Monday alone, with Black Friday growth up by 28 percent to $2.48bn. The holiday season in the U.S. will aim to break online records for e-commerce spend at $72.41bn, a growth of 16.6 percent in the last year, according to eMarketer.
Luke Edson, senior vice president national markets at YP, recently told The Drum that businesses have had to realize the need to focus on the growth of consumers turning to their mobile devices when researching products before making a purchase. ‘Consumers are also connecting to businesses through mobile apps for everything from getting directions to finding a deal. Mobile has the unique ability to target customers in the moment and drive their behavior. What’s more mobile location data can provide key insights on a consumer’s behavioral patterns, including someone’s likes, lifestyle and habits,” he said.  
Customers spend more time online and it is becoming a place where shopping decisions can be influenced. “We know that we need to engage across multiple channels. This holiday season we have increased our focus on social and digital media, including creating an online only holiday gift guide, multiple social sweepstakes across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, creating video content specifically for YouTube, and pushing content on Pinterest for the first time,’ Brandi Ply, director of marketing strategy at online retailer, Big Lots told The Drum.
Only five years ago mobile marketing and mobile sales for Black Friday did not exist- Black Friday was only about hitting the stores to get the best deals. Now, it seems that it’s more important for marketers to get their best deals on Thanksgiving Day online and through mobile marketing. Even Black Friday is now as much about online as it is about in-store sales.

‘Black Friday is a double-edged sword for most digital marketers. We know consumer engagement is going to be unusually high so it’s an ideal time to try and capture their attention, but we also know that all marketers are having the exact same thought so it can be difficult to stand out in such a crowded space,” said advertising technology company Spongecell chief executive, Ben Kartzman.  “This year, smart digital marketers will focus on delivering a dynamic experience for shoppers that they haven’t necessarily seen before.’