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Holiday marketers choose social and data over mobile and shipping

1214648_92719053For their 2014 Holiday Retail Audit, eBay virtually sat down with 1,000 online retailers to find out how they’re preparing for the coming holiday season. Rather than keep you in suspense, I’ll tell you how it out turns out – instead of spending money on mobile and shipping, retailers are banking on data and social this holiday season.

Data:

Retailers said they were going to invest in tools to help them capture and analyze data in greater detail in three areas: social media (29 percent), email promotions (22 percent) and search engine optimization (12 percent).

They’re also looking at ways to capture in-store data so they can have a more meaningful conversation with customers. During the holiday season, speed is essential. If a customer abandons a cart, a retailer needs to be able to spot it, respond to it and send out an instant offer to reel that customer back in.

Want to reach consumers on mobile? Do it before they go shopping

NinthDecimal GrowthSurprise stat of the day: smartphones have replaced tablets as the leading mobile device for retail shoppers.

Surprising because the tablet is the laid back king.  It has the bigger screen and the interactive, native ads, but still tablet usage for research dropped from 37% in 2013 to only 16% in 2014.

The one thing smartphones have over tablets is that we always have one in our pocket. So that’s probably the reason the for the increase. More people are relying on their phones to do research in stores. . .

Nope. 69% of product research happens at home, long before the customer heads to the store (virtual or otherwise).

NinthDecimal’s Mobile Audience Insight Report for Q2 2014 is full of interesting surprises. Let’s dig a little deeper.

Majority of shoppers say no to mobile phones in the checkout line

Cell Phone Acceptable or NotSince we have mobile phones on the brain this week, TheStreet went to the streets to ask people about acceptable phone usage in public. As you might expect, respondents under the age of 35 were much more accepting of all kinds of public usage including texting during the previews at the movies! Sacrilege! That’s almost as bad as leaving before the credits are over.

Talking, texting or surfing while walking was one of the most widely accepted behaviors. 65% of respondents said it was acceptable.

The researchers at Ohio State University beg to differ. They found that in 2010, 1,500 pedestrians were treated in emergency rooms for injuries related to using a cell phone while walking. That’s four years ago. Just imagine what that number is now! And think of how many funny YouTube videos we’d miss out on if people stopped texting and walking. . . .

In two years, mobile video viewers have increased 400 percent

There’s a very good chance that your customers are watching a video on their smartphone or tablet as we speak. Ooyala says that mobile video views have increased 400% in the last two years, doubling in the last year alone. Right now, 25% of all video views are happening on a mobile device and that number is expected to double again by 2016.

For those who prefer a visual representation, here’s one from the Ooyala Q2 2014 Global Video Index Report:

Ooyala mobile video growth

Look at that! That’s quite a climb.

There are a number of factors that contributed to this pretty picture; devices with bigger screens, more access to fast connection speeds, an increase in the number of videos being uploaded every day and then there’s the young millennial factor.

To gain a customer’s trust; meet them on their preferred digital stomping ground

Trust MeTrust is the number one, most important factor in getting and maintaining a relationship with a customer. People have to believe that they’re going to get their money’s worth, that their personal information will be kept safe and that they’ll receive what they ordered in a timely manner. No problem for Amazon, Target or Disney but what if you’re Susie Woosy’s Sleepytime Toys or Fred’s Fish-o-rama? New businesses (by calendar date or simply new to this customer) have to earn that trust before the average customer hands over the credit card a second time, and a third.

A new survey from SDL says it takes two years before the average customer fully trusts a brand and five years before a customer commits to a “Greater than Average” spend.

Gucci, Sony and Jack Daniels kick off Flipboard’s new video advertising program

Flipboard GucciThe biggest advantage digital magazines have over print magazines is the ability to interact with the reader. With a simple tap the reader can open a slide show, listen to a sound bite or watch a story unfold before their eyes.

Now, Flipboard is bringing that same level of interactivity to the magazine ad.

Flipboard is a personalized magazine app that runs on everything from iOS to Blackberry. You choose your content by selecting topics or specific magazines that you want to follow. Flipboard covers New York Fashion Week but they also cover Treehouses and everything in between. Each page features a stunning, artsy photo with a small amount of text. If you want to read more, you click and are redirected to the original source on the web. Not interested, scroll and watch the pages “flip” as if you were skimming through a magazine.

iTunes posts instructions on how to look a gift horse in the mouth

It sounded like a good idea when they came up with it. Get U2 to perform at the big Apple announcement event then give their newest album “Songs of Innocence” to every iTunes user for FREE. It will show Apple’s commitment to being fun and innovative. It’s a sweet way to reward the loyal users and it will generate a ton of press. . . a win, win, win!

Apple should have known better.

This is one of the tamer responses: