Best Global Green Brands 2014

retail watch

Showrooming is Down, But Retailers Need to Exploit Big Data to Connect with Consumers

Posted by Dale Buss on January 13, 2014 11:07 AM

Showrooming is way down, sharing is way up. Those are two pieces of good news for retailers from a new study by IBM about consumer behavior in and expectations about the new era of "omnichannel" retailing.

Yet huge challenges remain for retailers that want to optimize relationships with their customers using big data and digital technologies. "You have to be able to gather all the unstructured data and understand what is the next best action for you as a retailer," Keith Mercier, associate partner in the IBM Retail Center of Competence, told brandchannel. "That's where they're trying to build the next phase."

The new IBM study—shared today at the National Retail Federation's annual conference—surveyed more than 30,000 consumers around the world. It showed a nearly 40 percent drop in online purchases resulting from showrooming, Mercier said.Continue reading...

social media watch

Facebook Launches Attack on TV with Auto-Play Video Ads

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 17, 2013 12:41 PM

What were once distinguishable differences between social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are now all becoming parts of a whole—a whole taht is focused on serving up better, more targeted and engaging ads. 

In the latest effort, following Twitter's more visual feed and Instagram's ads, Facebook has launched video ads today across its user network, debuting the new feature with a trailer for the upcoming film Divergent.  

Facebook is positioning the new ads to see if its network can best TV—a different route than that taken by Twitter, which has worked hard to make TV brands and advertisers their partner through its Twitter Amplify program. “Marketers will be able to use this new format to tell their stories to a large number of people on Facebook in a short amount of time—with high-quality sight, sound and motion," Ad Age notes

The video ads will play automatically in users' news feed—a feature that the platform rolled out for general video content earlier this month. The autoplay can certainly be a turnoff, to which Facebook says "you can simply scroll or swipe past it." The video won't play sound until it is "clicked or tapped and played full screen." After the first ad, a "carousel of two additional videos” appears, making it easy for users to explore other content from the marketer.Continue reading...

mobile commerce

McDonald's Tests Mobile Coupon App in Hopes of Attracting Younger Consumers

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 13, 2013 12:48 PM

Back in October, McDonald's named Amazon's Atif Rafiq its first chief digital officer as the space has become critical to the struggling burger chain's success. And now the latest effort—a mobile app—is being tested at select locations across the US.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the simplistic app—which already has a live version in the UK—offers up coupons to consumers that specify what they want to eat. New deals pop up every six weeks, and it also includes a restaurant locator and menu listing

McDonald's is playing catch-up with competitors like Five Guys and Chipotle, which already attract a younger crowd than McDonald's does and already have apps available that allow for mobile odering—something the McD app doesn't have. "It's premature to speculate on the future of the McD App," Lisa McComb, a company spokeswoman, said in an email to the Tribune.Continue reading...

e-commerce

With Smartphones in Hand, Consumers Stretch Cyber Monday Sales to New Recond

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 3, 2013 03:53 PM

Cyber Monday sales set a new one-day record for online shopping yesterday with an increase of 20 percent over 2012, while mobile sales increased 55 perent year-over-year and now account for more than 17 percent of total online sales for Cyber Monday.

Walmart, Amazon and eBay were the day's big winners, as Walmart.com quickly sold out of its entire stock of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, with CEO Joel Anderson proclaiming, "There's no way ... that it won't finish as our biggest Cyber Monday ever," according to USA Today. "I think 2013 will be remembered as the year online went mobile." 

Amazon offered half-off Mattel and Fisher-Price products, 46 percent off a Canon digital camera and 65 percent off men and women’s cashmere, while eBay promoted more than 80 percent off diamond stud earrings. 

Most consumers accessed the deals via tablets, while mobile phones were used most for browsing. Tablets accounted for 12 percent of purchases versus 5.5 percent from smartphones.Continue reading...

retail watch

Thanksgiving Holiday Sales Are a Mixed Bag of 'Good' and 'Could Have Been Better'

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 2, 2013 04:52 PM

It’s tricky to find consensus on the success of this weekend’s spending, but one thing is a fact—Black Friday marked the first billion-dollar-plus day of this year’s holiday shopping season.

Accorind to comScore, consumers spent $1.2 billion online, with sales up 18.9 percent this year from last as retailers pushed their open hours from Friday to Thanksgiving day.

"Consumers appear to have responded to retailers' strong push to get them in the stores and online early this year," Shawn DuBravac, CEA chief economist and senior director of research, told USA Today. "The dust is still settling, but early indications point to a weekend of record-breaking online sales and a healthy appetite for key tech products."

ShopperTrak reports that sales were off 13.2 percent on Black Friday, but with more stores open earlier on Thanksgiving this year, and for longer hours, the combined sales of Thursday and Friday were actually up 2.3 percent over the same two days last year. Still, a more somber take from the National Retail Federation puts the weekend spend at about $1.7 billion less than in 2012. “There are some economic challenges that many Americans still face,” Matthew Shay, CEO, NRF, told the New York Times. “So in general terms, many are intending to be a little bit more conservative with their budgets.”Continue reading...

mobile commerce

Google Allows Consumers to Ease Into Mobile Payments with New Google Wallet Debit Card

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 21, 2013 11:28 AM

Google Wallet was ostensibly created so that consumers didn’t have to carry around their loyalty cards, credit cards, gift cards, and cash in their actual wallets.

But in a move that perhaps indicates that consumers aren't quite comfortable enough yet with mobile payments, Google has introduced the Google Wallet debit card. The card allows users to pay for goods at shops that accept MasterCard and withdraw cash from an ATM—all with funds from their Google Wallet account. 

The goal, AllThingsD notes, is to “mainly appeal to a subset of Google Wallet users who have had money transferred to them from another Google Wallet user and don’t want to wait a couple of days for the money to appear in their bank account.” For instance, users of Square Cash, the money-transferring spinoff of its mobile-payments parent, have to wait two or three days before funds appear in their account. There is also no monthly or annual fees associated with the Google card.Continue reading...

e-commerce

eBay Takes Cue from Pinterest, Etsy to Enhance Shopping Experience

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 23, 2013 03:32 PM

eBay is cleaning up its act and making the site a more personal space to shop with new features focused on curation of collections, and lending a more personal feel with user profiles and seller "storefronts." 

Borrowing from Etsy and Pinterest, users can now create product boards attached to eBay listings to follow those with like-minded tastes.

"We've got 500 million active listings at any given time. It's an amazing amount of inventory, but the fact is you've got to find the stuff you want," Richelle Parham, eBay CMO, told Advertising Age. "What's phenomenal about eBay is we make those moments of inspiration instantly shoppable."

A campaign geared toward informing consumers about the new features through online videos features curators including blogger Joy Cho.Continue reading...

mobile commerce

HGTV Magazine Mobilizes Print with Digimarc Share App

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 21, 2013 12:27 PM

As more print brands succumb to the realities of digital, consumers are increasingly looking for more ways to engage with content and have shareable experiences.

So in the November issue of HGTV magazine, readers will encounter the brand's usual "High/Low List" in an all-new way: with the ability to buy items right off the page and share their purchases with friend on social media via the Digimarc Discover app. 

Previously, MasterCard teamed up with Wired magazine to enable direct purchases from within the brand's digital edition.Continue reading...

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