Monthly Archives: September 2014

eBay Wants Users To Change Passwords After The Breach

Shrikar Khare Posted On - September 24, 2014

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Very recently the giant online marketplace eBay has experienced a most unexpected ‘cyber attack’ on their valuable database. This database was full of information regarding encrypted passwords including various non-financial facts about customers.

The company has reported it has 145 million active online buyers at the end of their first quarter. So naturally the stolen database which included so many details like names, encrypted passwords, residential addresses, contact numbers, e-mail addresses including dates of birth also, was definitely a voluminous one.

However, the eBay management has requested all its customers to change their pass words to safeguard their respective information against any undesirable incident. But obviously it is not an easy task as the list of customers they currently have is huge in number.

The senior vice president of engineering at iBoss Network Security, Simon Eappariello also said the same thing. To contact so many users on this issue and also taking necessary steps to implement those changes seems to be almost unthinkable. But apparently it seems there is no other option left!

Avivah Litan, is a security analyst with a Stamford based technology research company called Gartner said unfortunately with the increased rate of cyber crime this has become the new practice these days which we are bound to follow in spite of our inconveniences.

She also said, due to this kind of cyber stealing, banks and its customers are also facing severe problems these days. Quite often the criminals are breaking passwords and hacking the accounts for various unfair practices. And this way the criminals are collecting and building a huge data base of such stolen pass words to wrongly try and use them for committing various unscrupulous acts.

But eBay recently has assured its customers and users through an official statement that even after thorough investigations no stress of hacking or misusing any data has not yet found. So according to them, every one can remain out of the tension as there is no evidence of loosing any financial data.

Furthermore, the eBay authority did not forget to mention, that the criminals could not capture company’s financial data as they have encrypted credit card information and stored separately in another database. The same thing is stressed in case of PayPal details also.

But after this traumatic incident, the management is being extra cautious in maintaining security about their customer’s personal information. As a result eBay is also motivating its users to change their passwords whoever has made it to be common on other sites also. Not only that they are also trying to put best possible efforts to implement stronger protections and more tight feasted rules so that henceforth no one experiences any such incident on their site.

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A Look At Amazon’s Feedback Management

Steve Burns Posted On - September 24, 2014

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Today’s market is highly competitive and challenging also. To sustain and perform satisfactorily in this scenario you obviously need the support of product reviews. It helps a lot to draw attention of the targeted audience and boosts your credibility to a great extent.

If you are selling through Amazon the top ranking online retailer, you must be knowing they have product reviews which have separate set of rules that is considered to be more specific and effective which leads you to a different level of analysis.

To judge your sales performance you can intelligently use these parameters and plan your business strategies on the basis of that which is has a sure shop effect to enhance your sale and chance of earning more consistently.

On the other hand if you can not understand and utilize the feedback management process correctly to derive the benefit, you would become a virtual looser as the product reviews now will affect product Discoverability and product Buy ability.

Therefore, as Amazon product reviews have an important role in marketplace you must be paying special attention to utilize it in a best way to get the optimum result.

No doubt Product Feedback will affect your listing discoverability. Amazon as a rule puts special weight on “Avg. Customer Review” while placing the filters. And everyone knows search filters have a special role in product visibility. And a large number of Amazon’s customers commonly use this filter as they think they can get authentic and realistic view about a product of service in this way.

So to enhance your presence and increase your profit as well concentrating on   product Discoverability should be considered with top priority. Your products will be easily discoverable if you have more product reviews supported by a positive review rating.

Quite often customer reviews highlights certain information which is not mentioned in the product description. It helps to create a significant impact on customer’s psychology which largely affects a purchasing decision.  So like any other site Amazon also has a great importance in CRO or conversion rate optimization.  As a result, you can also utilize the scope of implementing your own CRO best practices also by including product reviews on the Amazon’s product pages.

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Check Out The Visuals To Judge Amazon’s Benefits

Steve Burns Posted On - September 24, 2014

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Amazon.com, Inc is the top ranking online marketplace which deals with its own products and other merchants’ products as well. Presently almost every business owners, wholesalers and retailers opt to sale through Amazon. But most interestingly it was originally launched as an online book selling website in 1995 which has now turned to be a Fortune 500 company.

So if you are not yet using or fully utilizing this worldwide marketplace for selling retail, consumer electronics and proprietary Amazon products and services etc. you must go through the following important visuals and reconsider the important features to get the optimum advantages.

1. First, Amazon has different sites for different geographical locations. There are separate sites for countries like United States, United Kingdom, France, Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain, Australia, Brazil, Japan, China, India, and Mexico. This offers you a great advantage. You can plan and advertise your products and services in a region specific way which effectively draws attention of your targeted audience. Amazon’s world dominance map can help you a lot in this regard.

2. Amazon deals with a wide range of products and services. It covers varieties of categories starting from books Book & Audible, Movies, Music & Games, Home & Garden, Sports & Outdoors, Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry, Kindle Tablets, E-Readers & E-Books, Beauty, Health & Grocery and Automotive & Industrial products also. Through  Amazon Fresh launched  in 2007, and Amazon’s smartphone release this year you can easily check out the entire product range Amazon deals with which includes almost every thing excepting alcohol, art and gambling items.

3. No doubt Amazon has mastered the digital commerce techniques and best solutions but at the same it also ventures other online and offline procedures like Amazon Instant Video, Amazon Prime, Amazon Web Services- and many more. Amazon has many subsidiaries also such as Alexa, Audible, Zappos.com etc. From graphics presented by Amazon you can view it at a glance.

4. Amazon has an unparallel strategy to offer unique shopping experience to its customers. That is why they have intelligently placed the fulfillment centers in such a way that ensures perfect shipping time and delivering orders within the deadline across the globe. Amazon has a specific map which allows you to make a clear cut idea about the fulfillment centers all over the United States.

5. Amazon has also showcased the facts that in 2013, it has sold inventories at the worth of $51 Billion. This record covers the sales of its own items only and do not include transactions took place through the third parties. Amazon represents these figures visually which gives you clear cut idea about that revenue in perspective, that is equivalent to revenue earned during 2014 Sochi Olympics.

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E-retailer Wayfair Announced For A 350 Million IPO

Steve Burns Posted On - September 24, 2014

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Wayfair LLC the giant online retailer on home furnishing has recently announced to go public with a pre-set target of raising $350 million. However a possibility of IPO was speculated much earlier from its rapid and steady growth all through out its start up days.

According to 2014 Internet Retailer Top 500 guide Wayfair is presently ranked as No. 45 which was first launched as CSN stores LLC in the year 2002. Gradually it started operating 240 specialized e-commerce sites and in 2011 Wayfair redirected the entire traffic to all these sites to one single that was represented as wayfair.com.

 As the company has taken this decision to go public, while filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, it has changed its name as Wayfair LCC and submitted a detail record of its total revenue for the consecutive years 2012 and 2013 including the first half of 2014. This discloses $915.8 million in 2013 and indicates a 52.4% increase from 2012. Similarly, the recorded amount of $574.1 million in the first half of 2014 is up 49.8% when compared to revenue earned in the same period in the previous year.

Although it is a fact that the company has incurred a loss of $15.5 million in 2013 and $51.4 million in the first half of 2014, it has highlighted the detail figure of generating total revenue of $673.4 million in 2013 and $469.5 million within first six months of 2014 from direct sales of Wayfair’s own products. Apart from this, Way fair earned $242.4 million in 2013 and $104.6 million in the first half of 2014 from third party sales.

Wayfair also mentioned about majority of its customer line to be women in the age group between 35 to 65 years with family income ranging from $60,000 to $175,000 per year.  It has also included an eye-catching figure of 11.8 million shipment orders since its day of launch.

Furthermore, in its filing, they expressed their dissatisfaction about bricks-and-mortar and other competing online retailers who they feel are not being able to meet the mass market customer base in the way it is desired.

The Management and obviously Niraj Shah their CEO, always spoke about their special feature of listening to their valued customers in their progress so far and still maintained their faith on that same way of dealing with the customers while planning towards future proceedings towards achieving its goal.

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Rakuten Plays A Pioneer’s Role In Popularizing Bitcoin

Steve Burns Posted On - September 24, 2014

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As world is constantly pacing towards another level of technological development, bitcoin is gradually replacing the place of money which is a software based online payment system which can be digitally used from your computer, tablet, smart phone or any other device, to anyone, any part of the world, around the clock.

Recently Rakuten has played an important role in implementing this bitcoin, the Internet currency which can be used to complete buying selling acts through electronic process.

There was already a discussion in the air that soon Rakuten is going to contribute in this regard. And Rakuten Super Logistics a subsidiary company of Rakuten, a Japan-Based E-commerce magnet has actually taken a step towards making it possible by taking a decision to accept bitcoin payments for the shipping services.

This happened almost after a month of the incident when Hiroshi Mikitani spoke about the possibility of accepting bitcoin sooner or later in the month of July.

According to Tech In Asia, the management of Rakuten Super Logistics has highlighted consumer’s demand as the main reason which has pushed them to take this step. Joseph DiSorbo the CEO has stressed on this factor that they basically want to offer this technological benefit to the customers who can not easily access the internet market without any geographical barrier.

 BitPay Executive Chairman Tony Gallippi has rightly made the comment while he said that this particular incident of introducing bit payment a method in practice will create a great impact in the process of developing bitcoin awareness in respect of international B2B transactions.

 Now Rakuten is represented as the third biggest company which has created a benchmark contribution in popularizing digital currency. It has also influenced Japan’s e-commerce system to a large extent.

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SHOP.COM Launches Home Grocery Delivery For Its Customers

Steve Burns Posted On - September 23, 2014

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Recently Shop.com has launched home grocery delivery which is no doubt an amazing experience for the consumers. Now you can buy food, snacks and beverages including all types of grocery items from comfort of your home by avoiding the hassle to drive and go to the store.

To utilize this benefit and to enjoy a faster, easier and more efficient shopping experience, the consumer can now take help of the new SHOP.COM mobile app. it is available for free on both Google Play and iTunes. SHOP.COM announced this new launching in the International Convention held at the Greensboro Coliseum during August 7-10.

While discussing about the new application, Steve Ashley, VP of Mobile and Social Media for SHOP.COM said, it is a totally redesigned app and also happens to be the first public beta release. He further added that it has been developed with a special focus on speed, simplicity, performance and functionality.

This will drive people more towards buying groceries from this top online marketplace. Automatically it will lead them to enjoy various advantages like cash back on groceries without membership fees and low shipping rate while buying in bulk.

In the fast paced modern world everyone is fighting for time, everyone opts to convenience and flexibility. This reputed online marketplace understands this need and that is why they offer this home delivery service which allows you to enjoy a total hassle free shopping experience where list of products are delivered at your doorstep.

The new SHOP.COM mobile app will help you to easily avail this service as it has a clean design with the most popular functions readily accessible on the front page. Kevin Curley, Director of Mobile Development for SHOP.COM explained the benefits of this app and highlighted the positive features that will help you to get a fast and efficient shopping experience.

He did not forget to stress on the point that basically the application was launched in this fashion mainly to make things flexible and easy for the customers while they search add products to their cart and check out.

This new launch has given an extra mileage. No doubt SHOP.COM is remarkably contributing in setting the standard for mobile commerce, which will help consumers save time and money with comparison shopping and access to product reviews as Curley said.

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Wal-Mart’s Mobile Performance Always Scores High !

Steve Burns Posted On - September 23, 2014

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Wal-Mart Stores Inc., is an American multinational retail corporation which deals with chain of large discount department stores and wholesale stores. It has an interesting feature. As a culture they do not bother much about following the chalked out strategies considered to be the best practices when judged from the point of view of recommended mobile performance blue book. But strangely the site is always positioned very close to the top 10 performers every week from the point of Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index.

Matt Agnoli, a well known mobile performance evangelist at Keynote, a mobile and web performance testing, monitoring and analytics firm, said though Wal-mart is not considered as a top ranking organization from the aspect of mobile performance, it has enough facets to offer a comfortable mobile Shopping experience to its new and existing customers. Angoli also commented that Walmart’s site is very well built and rich in content which also supports its mobile site performance. However Wal-Mart professionals were reluctant to make any comment on this particular issue when asked.

Mobile performance index is dependent on various factors like response time, availability, total page element and many more things. Keynote measures smartphone versions of various sites. It works on behalf of Internet Retailer and also other m-commerce websites. They also consider Wal-Mart as s successful player in mobile performance.

Wal-Mart has a good score though it is not following the hard and fast rules of enhancing mobile performance. This indicates in mobile performance the various technical factors like quality, speed availability matters a lot. And that is why it always has a good score that reflects desired performance gradation.

Therefore, in this technology driven society where more and more people are inclining towards smartphones companies like Wal-Mart which automatically scores high in mobile performance will always be in a scoring height.

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Rakuten Is Depending On Slice To Enter U.S. Market

Steve Burns Posted On - September 22, 2014

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Rakuten is seriously planning to penetrate US market as part of its business developmental plan. To achieve this target the company is proceeding in a planned way and has bought Slice. It is an e-commerce app of U.S. which has multiple benefits.

Rakuten, the largest online-retailer of Japan, no doubt has showcased its out-of-the-box business intelligence by making a heavy investment on buying this app in the right time. Now on this technology will support Rakuten to analyze and acquire various facts about consumers and their purchases.

It will help the company to ascertain the spending patterns of the U.S. customers and their shopping trends as well. Not only that, it will also disclose their delivery choices too. Slice is also expert in deriving different facts and figures from the consumer’s e-mail inboxes.

While doing this, it takes help from various mail receipts of reputed sites like Amazon, Nordstorm etc., and comes up with all the required details related to purchase history and activities. It also has other facilities like sending alerts about package shipments including monitoring price changes and guiding users in respect of best deals and rebates.

Rakuten already tried to capture the U.S. market four years back by buying Buy.com for a huge sum of $250 million. But for various known and unknown reasons it did not work and the company failed to achieve its objective. But once again they are planning to hit the goal with more comprehensive effort.

The CEO of Rakuten Yaz Iida, explicitly mentioned in public that they are aiming to develop business operations in the States. And that is the reason they are using slice as a valuable tool to proceed in this venture. Slice on the other hand, has already made a considerable profit from investors like Rakuten and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Scott Brady the chief executive of Slice, admitted that it has a proven expertise in providing the sought after facts to the companies trying to excel in online business. But quite obviously Slice charges a fee for this service. By paying the sum the online business organizations become entitled to use its software in accessing some customer data which is extremely important in up grading websites and formulating business strategies. But interestingly it comes free for the consumers.

Brady is confident enough about their monopoly in the technology which everyone is still trying to understand. He also adds that they are going to launch a customized version of this app for Rakuten in the near future as a part of their international expansion policy.

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Newegg Opts For Wider Expansion In Asian And European Markets

Steve Burns Posted On - September 22, 2014

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Recently Newegg has announced it is going to expand its market to various Asian countries. They are planning to penetrate few European markets also which they think to be promising.

So far, Newegg’s availability was confined within U.S., Canada, Australia and U.K. but henceforth the website of this award-winning e-commerce organization will be available to online consumers in India, Singapore and Netherlands including Ireland, Poland and New Zealand.

Newegg’s current strategy of business expansion into the key Asian and European markets was first time revealed at Computex in Taipei. And as it has proceeded according to its plan the new users have already started visiting the website which also allowing them to buy a selection of products. Initially there may be a little limitation in the available varieties and number of items but gradually there will be more and more options to choose from.

Since the start up, Newegg is constantly encouraging the new consumers and users in these newly captured market to provide their feedback on their shopping experience.  The company is really sincere in using their recommendations and suggestions in fine-tuning their website. No doubt this will help to enhance their global presence.

Soren Mills, the Chief Marketing Officer of Newegg in North America has recently expressed his excitement about this new launch and said that they are thrilled to expand their products, services and deals to larger global audience. To make the shopping experience really satisfactory for the new consumers, Newegg has also implemented multilingual customer service. This service has been made to available for 24×7 hours with an intention that it will remove the language hindrances for the customers who do not speak English as their mother tongue.

This USA based leading electronics focused online retailer has showcased enough care in building their website which makes it easy to use for the new consumers in the newly developed market areas and the existing international customers as well.

 If you belong to the first category, you need to select your location and the currency too. After that you can check out the product availabilities in your region from the navigation menu under the banner of “Newegg Global”.

On the other hand, international customers can easily get the information regarding product availabilities by using the ‘Newegg Global Eligible’ filter.

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Video Site Vine can be the Best Tool in Your Hand to Reach the Target

Daniel Posted On - September 12, 2014

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Recently CDW’s Grant Crowell interviewed Stacy Minero, head of content strategy for Twitter, which owns the social video-sharing site Vine.

This is an interview where Minero has explicitly discussed the ways Vine has inspired creativity and provided various opportunities for innumerable brands of all sizes and verticals. Wide ranges of businesses are included in this list, from small and medium-sized organizations to Fortune 500 companies. She also provided guidelines regarding the Vine best practices important for e-retailers.

She has described Vine as both a video-sharing app as well as a social video-sharing site owned and managed by Twitter. The technicalities revealed the app is designed for filming short, separate video clips that can be linked together for a total of six seconds. Each short video plays in a continuous loop, and is viewable directly in Twitter’s timeline or embedded into a web page.

According to records, Vine videos are followed by trending tags covering over 40 million users, including many major e-retail brands. It is well witnessed that many customers and fans are sharing their own videos around an e-retailer’s brand, product, or theme via a Vine & Twitter hashtag as it has become the most sought after hubspot across the world.

No doubt Vine is pacing fast in terms of trails in audience size and overall video shares when compared with its main rival Instagram. It is has achieved a crossover appeal in B2C and B2B operations. Out of this the most significant 5 sectors represented on Vine are fashion, sports, automotive, technology and print.

During this interview Crowell asked a vital question that, how much a brand can say in a 6-second video. Stacey answered although in the beginning many brands also thought in this fashion, ultimately it has become proved to be wrong. The organization’s finding is by implementing this time constraint they have actually inspired the brands to think out-of-the-box which has given birth of many crisp and effective viral campaigns.

She also added, Vine has a remarkable record of helping brands with their means of communication and it is obviously an extremely effective tool developing and establishing brands which in returns positive sentiment including increased customer loyalty.

According to Minero, Vine is a powerful platform which offers E-Commerce brands a great benefit by allowing them to showcase new products in an appealing and visual format.

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Mobile Devices are Taking a Leading Role in Retail Marketing!

Daniel Posted On - September 12, 2014

Use of Mobile Devices
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With the recent development of mobile apps smartphones are becoming people’s favorite choice for shopping on the web. Though many of the consumers are still sticking on to their personal computers, young generation across the globe is largely depending on mobile phones for checking out various products online including ordering them through their smartphones.

A recent research conducted by the mobile marketing firm Knotice reveals the fact supporting this truth. According to their finding nearly half of all retail marketing e-mails were opened on mobile devices in Q3/Q4 2013, which is 13.9% higher from 43.2% in Q1/Q2 2013.

Knotice, a unit of IgnitionOne Inc. worked upon millions of retail e-mails and came to conclusion that 49.2% retail marketing e-mails were opened on mobile devices in Q3/Q4 2013. This is a little less than exactly the half which indicates mobiles are taking a special place in digital marketing.

The study also pinpoints that the iPhone and iPad from Apple Inc. dominate the scenario and are in the driver’s seat in this context. Knotice measures an e-mail open as soon as images in an e-mail are rendered. But this has a problem because all Apple mobile devices are shipped with “On” as the default setting for image rendering in e-mails, whereas many Android devices are shipped with “Off” as the default setting. So quite possibly, there can be an automatic bias toward Apple devices in this data.

However even if there is a little bias in this representation no doubt Apple device owners generally dominate the field of mobile commerce. All recent statistics obviously raise its finger there is an increasing trend of Shopping and buying, through Apple devices. Mobile experts are naturally speculating a greater share of mobile opens of retail e-mails as a result of Apple’s dominance in m-commerce.

Knotice and IgnitionOne has presented the following facts and figures which throws light regarding the mobile devices, the percentage of retail e-mails opened on the devices in Q1/Q2 2013, and also percentage of retail e-mails opened on the devices in Q3/Q4 2013:

  • iPhone, 22.06%, 25.35%.
  • iPad, 16.93%, 18.96%.
  • Android phone, 3.12%, 3.43%.
  • Android tablet, 0.91%, 1.14%.
  • Other mobile device, 0.19%, 0.32%.

Retailers note this trend and focus more on mobile devices while you plan your marketing strategy going forward.

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Barnes & Noble plans to go ahead by splitting Nook from retail store businesses

Shrikar Khare Posted On - September 11, 2014

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Barnes & Noble BKS has taken a decision to separate its Nook digital business from its retail business. This will make both the companies survive as two separate entities, which separately go for public trading. The management speculates this way the companies will get a higher appreciation from Wall Street more than what they achieved while they were united together.

Michael Huseby, the bookseller’s CEO, said, they have a vision that these businesses will have the best chance of optimizing shareholder value once they are capitalized and operated separately.

In 2012 Barnes & Noble launched the Nook Media division for the first time, which included its college bookstore chain with a view to eventually spinning it off.

Facts shows, Nook Media’s outside investors are Microsoft MSFT -0.07%, which owns 17.6% and British publisher Pearson, which owns 5%. Barnes & Noble owns the rest. But so far the company has not declared no detail information regarding this calculation for the split.

In 2009 Barnes & Noble established its first Nook device, with a clear target to compete with Amazon.com on e-book sales. No doubt the Nook was able to reach its goal and proved its functioning to be successful for a particular period of time. At one point it even allowed Barnes & Noble to capture sales as much as 27% of the e-books market, which was more than its share of physical books.

But while Nook e-readers fared well, the tablet version flopped against Amazon’s Kindle and Apple’s AAPL 0.28% iPad.

Last year the company experienced losing hundreds of millions of dollars over the years developing a product that ultimately flopped and it lead them to scaling back to its Nook business. They projected a view that making new devices with a manufacturing partner would only resume the business.
To give this concept a perfect shape recently Barnes & Noble approached Samsung to be that partner, and if everything remain as it is now, the companies is going to launch a new Nook this summer.

As the sales of books at its brick-and-mortar stores have finally started to become stable, Barnes & Noble took the initiative to make a sales forecast that however could not show a bright prospect. In this financial year also Barnes & Noble expects both retail comparable bookstore sales to decline in the low-single digits. College comparable store sales are also expected to decline though not in a very big amount. This picture did not match with their previous assessment that both the businesses will have net sales gains in the final quarter of fiscal 2014, which ended on 3rd May last. But the company is quite hopeful about balancing its nook segment’s losses in a near future.

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Tablets are Winning Consumer’s Hearts as the Right Device for Shopping Online

Daniel Posted On - September 11, 2014

High-end Tablet
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A recent analysis by online marketplace Rakuten has revealed more consumers are using their tablets for shopping online these days. In fact it is detected it has become nearly four times faster in the past year. But interestingly 81.8 % people across the world still prefer personal computers as their favorite for web shopping.

However there are exceptions also. And as a result few are still considering smartphones as the best option for their shopping online.

Bernard Luthi, Rakuten.com chief marketing officer and chief operations officer rightly observed that tablets are fast taking the place of smartphones after the launch of Apple’s iPad. He also explained as the tablets are capable of displaying larger images, it provides a more enjoyable experience to the consumers. But many retailers are still quite confused regarding when to use which channel – web or apps. Hence quite often, retailers are also failing to utilize the marketing strategies due to this confusion.

Personal computers, somehow still rank as the primary web shopping tool in spite of consumers’ growing inclination towards tablets. A statistics points out to a data that globally, 81.8% of consumers use personal computers as their preferred method of shopping online, compared to 83.2% in 2013. In the U.S., 80.8% prefer personal computers.

Another change in choosing device for online shopping has been witnessed which discloses while smartphones and tablets were preferred by 13.8% of consumers all over the world, in the U.S.it comes to only 18%. In the year 2012, only 12% of consumers shopped online using a mobile device.

However sometimes people are still preferring smartphones over tablets, the growth in consumers using smartphones to shop increased 9.7% from last year compared to 41.9% for consumers using tablets.

The United Kingdom has marked its name as the most tablet-forward market with 12.2% of consumers preferring to shop on tablets. U.S., comes in the second position where 11.3% of consumers prefer shopping on tablets. Brazil however is lagging much behind in this regard. Only 0.7% consumers are choosing to shop via tablets which in this country.

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Instagram surpasses Facebook in Social Media Marketing in the Retail Landscape

Daniel Posted On - September 11, 2014

Top social networking platform
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Over the past three years, Instagram has become a top player in the social media market, growing to include more than 150 million monthly users, an annual growth that surpasses both Facebook and Twitter.

Users spend approximately 257 minutes on Instagram a month, with 57% visiting the network once a day and others 35% tapping into the site more than once. The report attributes the ongoing growth of Instagram to consumers’ more favorable responses to images versus standard text. To date, more than 16 billion photos have been shared on Instagram, indicating that consumers are more than willing to share photos of their day-to-day lives with the social universe. Approximately 55 million photos are being uploaded on a daily basis. Over the past three years, Instagram has become a top player in the social media market, growing to include more than 150 million monthly users, an annual growth that surpasses both Facebook and Twitter. To date, more than 16 billion photos have been shared on Instagram, indicating that consumers are more than willing to share photos of their day-to-day lives with the social universe. Approximately 55 million photos are being uploaded on a daily basis.

There are multiple reasons for the higher engagement rate of the users. Instagram currently has fewer marketers active on the network, and the ones that are there post less frequently, which means brands have to compete less to get their followers’ attention. Instagram also does not apply a filter to brand posts — unlike Facebook, which means Instagram shows users every post made, by the brands they follow. Facebook shows only those consumers posts that the social network think will be relevant, typically less than 20% of a brand’s messages. Instagram users are the younger lot than users of other social networks. The median age of Instagram users is 27 compared to Facebook’s 40, and younger users tend to engage more often with brands than older users.

However, if brands and retailers want to take advantage of Instagram, they need to move quickly. The number of active Instagram users—more than 200 million—doubled during the last 13 months, clutter is coming, and Instagram executives have said they are looking at ways to filter brand posts. The social network also signed a deal with ad agency Omnicom Media Group this spring, as it seeks to develop paid ad formats.

Although Instagram is powerful because it allows brands and retailers to offer consumers a detailed and unhidden look at the business, it also enables consumers to share their experiences with products. Brands and retailers can include user-generated photos on their E-Commerce sites to add context to products. Rather than relying on professional photos and models to display apparel and handbags, for example, brands can publish photos of consumers wearing the items. User-generated photos can give consumers a better understanding of how products look in real life. And that helps close the gap between what consumers expect to receive and what they actually receive when they purchase a product online.

The fact that users are shifting from text-based communications to more visual content suggests that brands should use visual content as one of the key pillars of their marketing strategy.

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Are you aware of the 3 Google shopping campaign features to test?

Shrikar Khare Posted On - September 10, 2014

Comparison shopping engine
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Recently Shopping Campaigns are going to replace PLAs on Google. However this is considered to be positive for business owners as it is pointing towards a higher ROI, lower COS and increased conversions.

The new Google Shopping Campaign seems to be unique for the retailers to increase conversions on Google.
Here are the three important aspects:

  • Impression Share

Impression Share on Google’s Shopping Campaigns tells you how often you’re showing up for relevant search. It is a metric retailer on Shopping Campaigns which you can use to track products which convert well or which ideally you’d want to have high impression share.

You can also track Impression Share on an Ad Group level by going into each ad group for product level information by clicking customize columns,  finding competitive metrics and adding Impression Share, Benchmark CTR, and Benchmark CPC.

  • Bid Simulator

The Bid Simulator is a handy feature on Shopping Campaigns for managing product exposure. Retailers can increase bids to find the sweet spot between traffic and ROI. Ideally, retailers selling on Google AdWords should consult this tool before making bid changes. By navigating your product group bid you can access the Bid Simulator information.

If you click the square button with a graph next to your group bid you would be able to view the screen which highlights estimated traffic and impression at different bid levels

Although Bid Simulator is available on almost all categories and brands, but there are exceptions too. You should also keep it in mind that the more you go for bidding, the effect becomes less.

  • SKU Level Reporting

Item level ID reports or SKU reports highlight data at the SKU level for individual products. These reports are highly effective to pin point the top sellers or the poor performers in your campaign.  You can run SKU level reports on the Campaign or Ad Group level under the dimensions tab.

To generate a SKU Level report, you need to navigate to the dimension tab in your Shopping campaign. For this you will have to click on the view drop-down menu and select Shopping. Next you need to choose the Item ID. And finally You are required to download the report.

For the new comers to Google Shopping, it is advisable to be sure to delve into their backend and Analytics data to break out product groups. Veteran Google Shopping retailers obviously should continue to test products and analyze data for seasonality and demand.

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