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Facebook Pages converts into purchasing platform, but further threatens big business

Mobile Commerce Daily – Facebook is announcing a host of new ways for consumers to interact with brands and businesses through the Facebook mobile application, some of which will be a considerable boost to small businesses without a large digital marketing budget.

The main features include new ways for customers to order, purchase or research purchases from a business directly through the Facebook app. For businesses of all sizes, the ubiquitous popularity of Facebook means that these new features will make interactions between brands and consumers on both ends a bit simpler.

“Facebook has become a pervasive part of many consumers’ lives. According to a recent study, more that 50 percent of U.S. adults are on Facebook at least once a month,” said David Naumann, vice president of marketing at BRP. “Since most consumers are familiar with Facebook and many are using it on a daily basis, making retail services and products available without leaving Facebook is an added convenience.

“For businesses, Facebook represents an easy way to promote new services to their followers right on Facebook. When companies promote these offerings via other marketing mediums, they can channel people to their company Facebook page which will inspire more consumers to ‘like’ their company page.”

Read full article: Facebook Pages converts into purchasing platform, but further threatens big business

Lilly Pulitzer enhances biannual promotion with Instagram Stories-only flash sales

Mobile Commerce Daily – Lilly Pulitzer is hopping on the bandwagon of retailers offering Instagram-exclusive merchandise to followers by hosting several flash sales on the photo-sharing application’s new Stories feature, enabling fans to purchase promotional items by entering a URL into their mobile browsers.

The resort wear brand is treating fans of its biannual After Party Sale, which began yesterday and runs through today, with several flash sales on Instagram Stories, giving consumers added incentive to follow its account for a chance to snag exclusive merchandise. Instagram followers can check Lilly Pulitzer’s Instagram Stories at 3 PM and 7 PM EST for the unique URL link, which leads users to the mystery item’s product page on the brand’s mobile site.

“Since Lilly Pulitzer doesn’t have many sales, many customers may jump at the chance to see what deals they can find on the Instagram Stories flash sales,” said David Naumann, vice president of marketing at Boston Retail Partners. “While the Instagram Stories feature is just hot off the press, it represents another media vehicle for retailers to engage with their customers.

“Lilly Pulitzer’s flash sale creates a novel way for consumers to experiment with this new Instagram feature and get special deals – right from their mobile phone.”

Read full article: Lilly Pulitzer enhances biannual promotion with Instagram Stories-only flash sales

81% Of Retailers Admit Their Social Media Strategies Fall Short

Retail TouchPoints – While most retailers have moved quickly to leverage social media to enhance their customers’ journeys, more than four out of five admit that their efforts have not yet caught up with their goals and expectations. A new report from consulting firm Boston Retail Partners (BRP) indicated that 81% of retailers using social media to engage with customers say their processes need improvement.

The report, titled Enhancing Customer Engagement Through Social Media, identified five key areas where retailers can use social media more effectively to improve the customer journey:

  • Experience: 69% of retailers see opportunities to utilize social media to enhance the customer experience;
  • Interaction: 75% of retailers support customer interaction via social media;
  • Endorsement: 59% of retailers plan to utilize brand advocacy/social endorsement as a source for identifying their most valuable customers within three years;
  • Satisfaction: 59% of retailers utilize social media comments as a means of measuring customer satisfaction; and
  • Insight: 60% of retailers capture customer feedback and insights from social media and online comments.

Read full article: 81% Of Retailers Admit Their Social Media Strategies Fall Short

How to Effectively Engage with Consumers Using Social Media

Convenience Store Decisions – The majority of retailers who use social media to connect with consumers are not taking advantage of the platform’s full potential.

Boston Retail Partners (BRP) has released a new report studying the opportunities that social media presents to retailers when it comes to creating a memorable and personalized customer shopping experience. The new report has revealed that social media produces innumerable opportunities for retailers to engage with their customers, but the majority of retailers are not successfully taking advantage of these opportunities.

According to the BRP SPECIAL REPORT: Enhancing Customer Engagement Through Social Media, 81% of retailers using social media to engage with customers indicate that their processes need improvement.

Read full article: How to Effectively Engage with Consumers Using Social Media

American Eagle Outfitters unzips sales with mobile-optimized denim style guide

Mobile Commerce Daily – American Eagle Outfitters is driving sales conversions among Facebook users by sponsoring ads that expand into a full-screen denim guide, enabling consumers to toggle through several jean styles before visiting the retailer’s mobile site to make a purchase.

The retailer is attempting to stand out in millennials’ Facebook feeds by inviting them to swipe upward to interact with the denim guide advertisement, which features models donning jean styles such skinny, legging and straight leg. Consumers can examine each style before tapping the “shop now” button to visit American Eagle Outfitters’ mobile site, where they can purchase their desired pair of jeans.

“Millennials spend most of their Internet browsing time on their mobile devices,” said Laura Sossong, senior consultant at Boston Retail Partners. “Given the magnitude of consumable information available to potential shoppers, introducing compelling and interactive Web features that are mobile friendly is an effective way for American Eagle to garner customer attention.”

Read Full Article: American Eagle Outfitters unzips sales with mobile-optimized denim style guide

Sephora uncaps new mobile revenue stream via shoppable Snapchats

Mobile Commerce Daily – Sephora is continuing its efforts to tap into new ways of monetizing millennial-friendly mobile platforms, enabling its Snapchat followers to purchase products featured in live stories by taking a screenshot and downloading the ShopStyle application.

The beauty giant, which announced the news on Snapchat last week, invited followers to shop a slew of popular cosmetics featured in its latest story by taking a screenshot of desired items. As a growing number of retailers establish a strong presence on the photo-sharing app, finding new ways to fuel impulse purchases among younger fans and drive additional mobile commerce revenue will likely be top-reaching goals.

“Though the success of Snapchat as a true commerce platform has yet to be proven, we are certain to see rapid exploration of its potential in the near future,” said Laura Sossong, senior consultant at Boston Retail Partners. “Snapchat’s widespread reach and success as a marketing medium makes it a natural avenue for retailers to pursue in furthering their merchandising efforts.”

Read Full Article: Sephora uncaps new mobile revenue stream via shoppable Snapchats

Are social media buy buttons on the way out?

Mobile Commerce Daily – Twitter’s plans to scale back its buy button alludes to a stalemate for retail on social media as consumers fail to adopt native shopping experiences, although Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest could still prevail.

While Twitter is trying to establish itself more as a image-enabled social media platform, its consumer behavior is rooted heavily in text-based posts where direct purchasing ability is less likely to flourish. Other social platforms with heavier focuses on images may be more successful with buy buttons, but dynamic product ads offer the most potential when it comes to retail-enabled social pushes.

“Twitter’s recent decision to scale back the buy button seems indicative of a larger struggle that social sites are facing generating traction for social commerce,” said Laura Sossong, senior consultant at Boston Retail Partners. “Though social media has made tremendous gains in popularity, finding new ways to generate revenue and monetize on offerings has been a taxing trial and error process for all companies.”

“From a user experience perspective, the real-time, feed-based Twitter platform lacks the natural look and feel of a traditional commerce platform,” she said. “Shoppers lack of comfort with buy buttons and their concern about data security has contributed to their hesitation in adopting this technology.

“Social commerce platforms must strike a balance between providing ease of purchasing while at the same time preserving the aesthetic and security elements of traditional e-commerce sites. Until then, use of dynamic product advertising will likely offer more investment potential for social sites.”

Read full article: Are social media buy buttons on the way out?

Alex and Ani unclasps omnichannel Mother’s Day push on Instagram

Mobile Commerce Daily – Alex and Ani is continuing its omnichannel shopping strategy with ads on Facebook and Instagram promoting an in-store gift-with-purchase offer and featuring a Mother’s Day-themed video and a button that clicks through to a store locator for convenience.

The jewelry retailer is attempting to capitalize on Mother’s Day sales by enabling shoppers to receive a complimentary charm with each purchase of a necklace, giving them ample gift ideas prior to the holiday this weekend. Introducing sales promotions to coincide with major holidays is a smart move for accessories brands, as consumers on the prowl for the ideal present will be more receptive to social media ads and purchase incentives.

“Tying campaigns to a holiday, like Mother’s Day, gives consumers another reason to shop and makes it easier to select the right gift for the holiday,” said David Naumann, director of marketing at Boston Retail Partners. “Shoppers sometimes find it hard to find the right gift for their mothers and when there is a special gift with purchase, it makes the decision more attractive.”

Read Full Article: Alex and Ani unclasps omnichannel Mother’s Day push on Instagram

Victoria’s Secret unclasps instant add-on promotional codes for mobile shoppers

Mobile Commerce Daily – Victoria’s Secret is combating shopping cart abandonment by enabling its mobile site shoppers to tap a button that lets them instantly add a valid promotion to their shopping carts, eliminating the need to manually type in discount codes on the checkout page.

The lingerie giant – which is currently undergoing some restructuring of its businesses – is attempting to prompt more consumers to complete a transaction on its mobile site by implementing a new commerce-friendly feature. Individuals browsing the brand’s daily offers or product pages will now spot a small button bearing the name of an eligible promotional code, which they may tap to add into their virtual baskets, ensuring they will not miss an available discount or freebie.

“If online shopping is not easy and convenient, consumers are highly likely to forgo the final purchase,” said Laura Sossong, senior consultant at Boston Retail Partners. “According to a recent study, nearly 70 percent of shoppers abandon their online shopping cart.

“By making it simpler to purchase merchandise at a discount, Victoria’s Secret is providing shoppers with an elevated incentive to buy more often and in larger quantities – and reduce cart abandonment.”

Read full article: Victoria’s Secret unclasps instant add-on promotional codes for mobile shoppers

Sephora uncaps color-correcting product sales via interactive mobile quiz

Mobile Commerce Daily – Sephora is leveraging sponsored content on Facebook to promote its Color Correcting Crash Course, which lets consumers discover their best-suited colors for combating undereye circles before inviting them to shop these items on the retailer’s mobile site.

Facebook users may spot one of Sephora’s ads interspersed with friends’ content in their newsfeeds, asking them to click the accompanying link to find out where they rank on the scale of color-correcting product expertise. The interactive quiz, each section of which takes under a minute to complete, includes a YouTube tutorial and call-to-action to purchase color-correcting beauty items once consumers finish.

“Engaging customers in interactive quizzes, games or contests is a great way to create a stronger bond with the brand,” said Ken Morris, principal at Boston Retail Partners. “Linking Sephora’s color correction quiz to YouTube tutorials is a smart way to educate consumers and strengthen the brand’s relationship with the consumer while increasing sales.

“As consumers get excited about color-correcting products, it helps foster brand enthusiasm, creates an ego boost that increases self-esteem and may inspire them to shop and ‘buy now’ on the mobile site.”

Read full article: Sephora uncaps color-correcting product sales via interactive mobile quiz