Luxury Ecommerce

Op-Ed: Pumpkin Spice Lattes Aside, It’s Time to Get Serious

Op-Ed: Pumpkin Spice Lattes Aside, It’s Time to Get Serious

Let’s Skip the Buzzwords and Talk Turkey about Holiday

by Amy Madonia

We are all too familiar with the big trends in ecommerce, the latest buzzwords like mobile, omnichannel and big data that roll off our tongues and into our roadmaps, our strategic plans.

But what do the buzzwords du jour really mean for the next era of ecommerce? How do we translate them into action and benefit for our customers and our sites? I know we’re already Pumpkin Spice Latte’d out and as retailers, we are totally sick of talking about holiday, but it’s here. It’s time to get serious.

Let’s just take mobile, for example. We pick up our phones something like 135 times a day. We still sit on the couch at night, but now we channel surf and mobile surf at the same time, either on phone or tablet (or both). The attention we used to give to one task is split in three, and our patience is splintered even further. Is it no wonder that even with m. sites, adaptive design and responsive, smartphone conversion rates are still the lowest of all devices?

The Mobile Experience Has To Improve
This holiday will surely see the highest traffic on smartphones yet. Still, browsing behavior will far outstrip purchasing behavior on phones. To get conversion rates up, the mobile experience has to get better across the board. As an industry we have to convince customers that our sites are up to par (both from a U/X and security standpoint) in order to earn their trust. Trust that if they start a transaction, they will be able to finish it – quickly, successfully and without frustration. This season, is the best we can do is provide the shopping tools and browsing experience that will help them convert elsewhere? If that’s the best we can do, given code freezes and low wage and income growth, then let’s at least make the best, most efficient, smartest decisions we can make for our businesses. It is go time.

Which brings up another question – how will we know? How will we know if we are servicing our customers’ mobile browsing expectations well enough that our customers actually do transact elsewhere, on another device? How can we tell if all those disparate sessions and devices are actually one customer?

Cross-Device Measurement
Enter stage left: cross-device measurement. Which is getting better, thanks to Google Analytics User id and session unification, apps, the resurgence of CRM and third party attribution analytics technology. That doesn’t mean it’s easy. You need a good dev team, a good analytics person and a good measure of paranoia that if you don’t master this cross-device measurement beast first, your competitors could beat you to it. At the very least, you can beat last-click disease and start looking at different attribution models for your data. It may be more work, but the additional view on your channels adds dimension to the picture of what your customer is actually doing and where they are coming from.

Creating The Best Customer Experience
While the latest buzzwords come and go with the season, it’s important not to lose sight what we are trying to achieve: the best customer experience for our brand. That’s really the crux of what will gain customers’ trust and help us earn that conversion. A great experience, regardless of the device, is really what will bring high tickets, loyalty and all the benefits and spoils of a wonderful holiday season. So I put down my Pumpkin Spice Latte and pick up my Flat White and I say – Cheers to that!

Ecommerce Industry Roundup – Week of 8/3

Here are the news and headlines that grabbed our attention this past week:

Snapchat Reportedly Working On ‘Special’ Ecommerce Product with Hearst  via Mashable:  Snapchat appears to be doubling down on ecommerce.

The messaging platform, which is valued at a reported $19 billion, is reportedly working on an undisclosed “special product” with Hearst Corporation, which publishes magazines including Esquire and Cosmopolitan, according to a Women’s Wear Daily report.

Social Engagement On The Rise For Luxury Brands via Luxury Daily: A new report on the social media presence of luxury brands shows that consumer activity has jumped up since last year.

This past week, social media analytics firm Shareablee released the “Top 25 Social Global Luxury Brands,” a notable takeaway from which is that, in the first half of 2015, social engagement with that branch of retail overall has risen 5.4 percent since the same period last year. The total number of social actions — referring to likes, comments, shares, retweets and favorites — on luxury brand platforms worldwide was 670.4 million, comprised of 7.7 million on Twitter, 126.7 million on Facebook and 536 million on Instagram.

In the United States, engagement via those three platforms grew 94 percent in the past year, with actions just on Instagram rising 169 percent (Twitter was behind it at 40 percent), according to the report (via Luxury Daily).

The Missing Link Between Shopper Marketing And ECommerce via Marketing Land: One exciting aspect of e-commerce is the massive amount of data it generates. Every interaction creates hundreds of unique records. Today, savvy marketers use these unique behaviors and transaction data to create real-time segments and to deliver dynamic content and product attributes in order to maximize basket size and conversion rates.

On the other end of the “channel spectrum,” we have the craft of traditional shopper marketing. Shopper marketing is fueled by insights generated by thousands of hours of real-world observations, receipt scanning and video science; shopper marketing experts use those insights to improve in-store sales and influence consumers’ purchasing behavior by optimizing the shopping experience.

Combining the insights of e-commerce and traditional shopper marketing can bolster your brand’s market share. The fine folks at Marketing Land walk us through some ways to close the gaps between them.

From Desktop To Thumbtop: A Sneak Glimpse Of Ecommerce In 2016 via Forbes: As history has taught us about media and technology in the past, with the introduction of any new technology, we’ll always have the initial hype and scare that life, as we know it will never be the same. But eventually, instead of disappearing into the shadows, the old medium will be forced to adapt to live simultaneously with new emerging technology.

What does this mean for the future of ecommerce? The desktop is not obsolete; rather it’s going to have to change its mechanisms to make room for the new powerhouse in the commerce arena. Growing at a steep rate, mobile currently accounts for 29% of ecommerce transactions in the US and 34% globally. The end of 2015 forecasts mobile share to reach 33% in the US, and 40% globally.

Ecommerce Industry Roundup – Week of 7/27

Here are the news and headlines that grabbed our attention this past week:

Instagram Brings Search To The Web  via TechCrunch:  Instagram revolutionized how we searched for pics of celebrities getting wasted on yachts on mobile, and now they’re bringing that same experience to the web and they are now adding search to its desktop experience. Users can now search hashtags, profiles and locations on instagram.com in a viewing experience that is beginning to grow much more congruous with the Instagram mobile app where content is still created on.

In addition to enabling simple search, Instagram has also created landing pages for geotags and hashtags and you’ll also be able to see some of the top posts when you search locations or hashtags.

Beyond Amazon: 5 Niche Ecommerce Sites Driving Innovation In Online Shopping via Inc: Without a doubt, one of the most popular activities on the web is shopping. The one-click convenience makes it incredibly easy to buy stuff without ever getting off your couch.

With giants like eBay and Amazon driving some of the earliest innovation on the web, ecommerce was long predicted to be one of the greatest disruptions of the web.

But sites like Amazon try to provide a solution for nearly every product, and therefore can’t offer up a custom or focused experience for very specific products or shoppers. Today, a number of niche sites are creating new kinds of shopping experiences that change the way people discover products.

How Luxury Fashion Brands are Evolving in the Age of Accessibility  via Advertising Week Social Club: We, the people have the power to make a brand and break a brand. Brands have more channels of communication than ever before but the conversation goes both ways. We can access them almost as easily as they can access us.

Over the last two years several luxury brands have tried to become more accessible to young people. In order to do this they’ve broken away from their ritualistic advertising and traditional methods of communication. But by becoming more accessible have luxury brands eroded the things which attracted us most?

Meerkat Introduces Live Streaming Straight from GoPro Cameras via The Verge: The battle for live-streaming supremacy between Meerkat and Periscope is still ongoing. In its latest attempt to win followers, Meerkat has introduced a new option allowing users to live-stream video straight from a connected GoPro camera. Meerkaters simply connect a GoPro to their iPhone as normal, open up the Meerkat app, and then shake their phone to summon a prompt to start streaming from the connected device.

Ecommerce Industry Roundup – Week of 6/22

Here are the news and headlines that grabbed our attention this past week:

7 Ways to Improve Ecommerce Site Navigation via Practical Ecommerce: Ecommerce site navigation should help shoppers find products quickly and easily. Good navigation improves the online shopping experience and helps merchants increase sales and profits. Even relatively small differences in global navigation — i.e., the navigation that appears on most every page of a site — may significantly impact users and their ability to find products. The pros at Practical Ecommerce give us seven suggestions to improve ecommerce navigation.

Luxury Brands Ignoring 2.6B Consumers Online via Luxury Daily:  The top 50 luxury brands are only selling online to 45 percent of the leading markets, missing out on both key established and emerging areas, according to a new report from Trustev.

Less than half of the brands have online stores for the BRIC nations, and 21 of the brands studied reach fewer than 1 billion consumers via ecommerce. As the luxury consumer becomes more global, brands that do not take a well-rounded approach may see lost revenue.

How to Track Ecommerce Shoppers Across Devices via Practical Ecommerce:  We live in a multi-device world. Ecommerce marketers need a clearer understanding of device paths that drive revenue, devices your shoppers use to browse your store, and devices they use to make purchases.

Multi-device (cross-device) tracking helps identify these seemingly independent data points on unrelated devices as three related actions. This gives context to your analysis and provides an integrated view of your users and their behavior.

Facebook’s New App Moments Lets You Share Photos Outside of Facebook via Re/code: Facebook has rolled out Moments, a free photo-sharing app that lets users create shared photo albums with friends from their smartphones. The photos are then stored in the cloud for free.

For example, you can share pictures from your weekend hiking trip with a friend or a group of friends, who can then add their own pics to the album. (Moments only stores photos you’ve shared, but it won’t back up your entire camera roll like, say, Google Photos.)

You do, however, need a Facebook account to use Moments. It’s how the app finds friends for you to share with — your Facebook friends. Moments even incorporates Facebook’s facial recognition technology so it can identify which of your friends are in each photo.

Ecommerce Industry Roundup – Week of 8/25

The news and headlines that grabbed our attention last week:

Ritz-Carlton’s Big Announcement And The Luxury-Mobile Paradox via Forbes: Mobile and self-service customer support aren’t yet a reality at the great luxury hotels of today. This is in spite of the expectations of today’s customers, and of the dominant customers of the very near future: the uniquely large millennial generation of customers: young people born 1980-2000 who will  soon be the majority in the all-important “frequent business traveler” classification.

Five Tips To Drive E-Commerce in China via Ad Age: How to Fight Fakes, Think Digitally, and Not Panic.

How E-Commerce Is Finally Disrupting The $600 Billion-A-Year Grocery Industry via Business Insider: At $600 billion a year in sales, food and beverage is by far the largest retail category in the U.S. by a wide margin. However, it’s also the category that has been the least disrupted by e-commerce; less than 1% of food and beverage sales currently occur online, according to BI Intelligence’s estimates.

Target books a 30% e-retail sales gain in Q2 via Internet Retailer: Target Corp. says today that its e-commerce sales increased 30% year over year in the fiscal second quarter ended Aug. 2.

The 4 Biggest Marketing Implications From Amazon’s Fire Phone via AdWeek: Amazon’s new Fire phone has been out for less than a month, but already a number of brands like eBay, Fandango and Orbitz are eyeing the phone for potential marketing opportunities.