All posts by Jeff English

Happy Holidays! Tis The Season For Trusted Product Content

As Halloween passes and the smell of Pumpkin Spice surrounds you, you see Christmas decorations appearing in stores. We say it every year, “Already, it’s the beginning of November?” Stores seem to remind us earlier and earlier every year that Christmas is coming.

The shopping season has already kicked off, 30% of shoppers plan to do holiday shopping between Halloween and Thanksgiving (Forbes 2017). It is no longer a Friday & Monday sales event, but a week plus long shopping extravaganza, online and in-store.

As the Christmas decorations light up the streets and stores. We get ourselves ready for family dinners at thanksgiving. Retailers are preparing for their biggest few months of the year with what started as a single shopping day in Black Friday and has transformed into over a week of consumer frenzy shopping.

For years, the Black Friday trend was huge competition for retailers to provide the best deals to bring consumers in the store. Consumers would burn off the prior day’s feast by fighting through crowded lines, battling traffic and in many cases darting into store after to store to avoid the cold weather.

Lazy Black Friday

Why would you go through that when Siri and Alexa can do it for you? Over the past several years Cyber Monday has become the online version of Black Friday shopping. Many thought it would only be a trend, but online holiday retail sales will grow by 12% in 2017, accounting for over one-quarter of total US e-commerce sales for the year (Forrester 2017).

We used to wake up from our food comas at 5am in order to make it to the many stores who would open early or even open on Thanksgiving Day. With the growth of online shopping, many stores have begun the opposite trend of staying closed on Thanksgiving in-order to focus on online sales.

Consumers are no longer relying on Black Friday to get their shopping done as there are an abundance of online specials enticing them to stay at home. Online holiday sales are predicted to break the $100 billion mark in 2017 after Cyber Monday 2016 became the biggest day in the history of U.S. e-commerce and 2017 could top that with a predicted $5 billion in sales. (Adobe 2016).   

No matter if you stay in and shop online or venture into the stores this year, retailers will do everything they can to keep you shopping the entire season.

Compete With Trusted Product Content Consumers Can Count On

60% of shoppers use their phones to do research even when in store to look up product information, do price comparisons and check online reviews (Retail Dive 2017). Consumers expect rich and trusted product content on all channels: desktop to mobile. Getting accurate and detailed product information in front of consumers is crucial.

1WorldSync believes that trust and transparency are key components that account for a successful transaction.

As a leading provider of product content solutions, 1WorldSync helps brands and suppliers organize their product content and gets their products listed and in front of millions of new shoppers.

1WorldSync helps you easily publish your product content to key marketplaces such as Walmart and Amazon by:

  • Streamlining the item setup process with 100% accurate data and complying with industry standards.
  • Gaining exposure and managing all your product information via one solution.
  • Reducing operational time while increasing your online presence and penetrating new markets.

Are you prepared to get your products selling before the holidays?

It’s not too late! 1WorldSync can help you get your products on Walmart & Amazon!

Learn more at http://solutions.1worldsync.com/getyourproductstomarketplaces.

 

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References

https://www.forrester.com/report/US+Holiday+2017+Outlook+Digital+Sales+Grow+Boosting+Total+Retail/-/E-RES140075

http://news.adobe.com/press-release/marketing-cloud/media-alert-adobe-data-shows-black-friday-breaks-online-sales-record-3

https://www.retaildive.com/news/how-shoppers-use-their-smartphones-in-stores/444147/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/nikkibaird/2017/11/06/positive-and-negative-factors-that-could-impact-retail-holiday-2017/#43a95bf113b9

 

Retail + Boxing: When Worlds Collide (Part 2)

The build up and preparation to a fight, for a fighter is the hardest, the fight being the fun part. Not sure if a retailer would agree, their fight can go much longer that 12 rounds.

In part 1, we discussed the link between boxing and retail. Let’s get back on track!

The preparation for stores to hook a customer is preparing a consumer’s mind to think of their service first, no matter online or at a store. These stats speak for themselves (IC Real Estate 2017).

  • The probability of selling to a new customer is between 5 and 20%.
  • The probability of selling to an existing customer is between 60 and 70%.
  • 96% US adults shop online yet…
  • 94% of total retail sales are still generated in brick & mortar stores.

Those numbers calculated with the speculated number of eyes for this PPV, early estimates speculate the fight almost double what Mayweather vs Pacquiao did. With fans from both sides tuning in, the probability of getting new customers and keeping existing fans hooked, the potential revenue will be well worth it. Customers from every end of the spectrum will tune in to not just cheer on one side, but continue the view of their own path to purchase.

Tale of the Tape

Everyone digests the newest technology to make their personal shopping experience more convenient. Technology has started blurring the lines of every industry from retail, healthcare and food service and forever changed the path a consumer takes on their path to purchase.

The bout will be UFC star McGregor’s first boxing match – and against a legend who retired with a 49-0 record.

Technology takes the ease of online pay to stores with simpler ways to pay.  71% of shoppers believe they will get a better deal online than in stores (Digiday 2013). This leads everyone from restaurants to retail stores to rely on new tech trends to entice consumers from their phone and tablets using things like Groupon to bring consumers in by capturing them online. Instead of going and waiting at a doctor’s office, you can now facetime a doctor from your phone. Thus making it easier for a busy mom with a sick kid, to taking pressure off of doctors offices in need of dealing with more extreme situations. Food service now makes delivery easier, Uber first transformed the way we moved, now they are transforming the way we order food with Uber Eats. Amazon is continuing to tease their new technology that will bring grocery shopping to once that of as “something from the future”.  

In response, many brick-and-mortar retailers have started to use omni-channel fulfillment methods that leverage their store locations and in-store inventory in order to better compete in e-commerce. These omnichannel services, including ship-from-store and click-and-collect, can help retailers manage the transition to digital by: Increasing online sales by offering cheaper, more convenient delivery options for online shoppers.

No one channel is the clear answer, but companies that stay competitive will need to more tightly integrate all of their approaches, both physical and digital. Embracing the meeting of the two worlds seems like a much easier decision that the head to head collision, but come Aug. 26 everyone will be watching the two worlds collide. No matter your side, your interest level, sit back and watch history unfold before your eyes, because this truly is history in the making!

References

“13 Alarming Stats About Retail In Digital – DigiDay” 19 May, 2013.  https://digiday.com/marketing/13-alarming-stats-about-retail-in-digital/

“Online -vs- Brick and Mortar Retail Shopping: The Statistics – IC Real Estate” 15 March, 2017. https://icrealestate.com/2017/03/online-vs-brick-mortar-retail-shopping-statistics/ 

“Floyd Mayweather Jr. Vs. Conor McGregor Total Revenue Should Surpass Pacquiao Fight – Forbes” 28 June, 2017.https://www.forbes.com/sites/brianmazique/2017/06/28/floyd-mayweather-jr-vs-conor-mcgregor-total-revenue-should-surpass-mayweather-vs-manny-pacquiao/#42cb85615c21

Retail + Boxing: When Worlds Collide (Part 1)

When Floyd Mayweather welcomes UFC Champion Conor McGregor inside the boxing ring, it is expected to be the biggest fighting spectacle of this generation, if not ever. On August 26, 2017 viewers will witness, for the first time, the sports version of when two worlds collide.

Boxing has long been the staple in the combat sports world, until Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) became the fastest growing sport in the world and captured newer audiences. Today many view it as the old vs. new age, one seems to be on a meteoric rise and the other struggling to stay relevant.

Brick and mortar retail stores are following the same traditional format that we all grew up with. Mayweather, while flashy and controversial, represents a sport that gets the same headlines as brick and mortar stores; “Boxing is dead” or “Boxing is a dying sport”. You can replace brick and mortar in any of those headlines and find thousands of results on Google. This superfight, not only brings both sports to a height neither has seen in some time, but will create a new blended party for audiences.

Lines continue to blur between traditional brick and mortar shopping and e-commerce. Shoppers care more about bottom lines price and will go wherever that leads them, online or in store. These two worlds collide and coexist to consumers everyday while brands continue to struggle.

The $1.9 trillion e-commerce world shows no signs of slowing down, companies are facing more challenges managing product content across channels, and are losing revenue as a result.

A New Hybrid  

Thanks to e-commerce, online sales have scaled new heights, winning a growing percentage of the market every year. The Irishman, McGregor has made his own emergence from obscurity, much like MMA and e-commerce. The UFC Champion was said to be living out of his car just a few years ago. Now he is on the verge of a multi-million dollar pay day, bringing MMA into its largest spotlight to date. Regardless of who wins, audiences will fill the arena and create a new hybrid of both sports, leaving room for only growth.

An estimated  8,640 brick-and-mortar stores will close their doors in 2017, more than 2008 in the great recession (Zero Hedge 2017). Each retailer must look to online sales to keep consumers and both sides must concentrate on what the consumer wants/needs more than thinking of winning them for their side. This will not be a Blockbuster vs Netflix, we all know how that turned out, this battle is all about placement and willingness to adapt.

We have seen past dual sport athletes, Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders did it first by showing the cross over appeal. Now athletes like Tim Tebow and Brock Lesnar bring a different appeal to dual sports by sole mass appeal to the media. But this is not playing two sports separately, this is a head-to-head battle of two becoming one.

Weighing In

The weigh ins for a fighter are as mentally tough as they are physical. Today with regulations becoming stricter and heavier regulated in order to keep transparency and safety for fighters health, there is very little room for error.

Missing weight by 1 pound can result in losing millions of dollars from their fight purse, sponsors and overall brand loyalty. New industry regulations like UDI and SmartLabel have put pressure on companies to be more transparent in order to help consumers be more aware of the ingredients and processes used everyday. Bad data or ignoring consumer and federal guidelines can result in heavy profit loss, it would be as bad as not paying taxes ;)

Product information is becoming rich, robust, accurate and readily available to customers and consumers alike, and businesses are becoming more efficient, compliant, and transparent. Consumers want to know more about the products they buy and are basing purchasing decisions on the information available to them.

Companies that aren’t paying attention to larger trends will lose customers trust; the value of a cross channel approach is becoming a must in order to maintain trust loyalty and consistent experiences across every channel.

Follow us to know when part 2 drops next week…

References

“The Retail Bubble Has Now Burst: A Record 8,640 Stores Are Closing In 2017 – ZeroHedge” 22 April, 2017.  http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-22/retail-bubble-has-now-burst-record-8640-stores-are-closing-2017

“Worldwide Retail Ecommerce Sales Will Reach $1.915 Trillion This Year – E-Marketer” 22 August, 2016.  https://www.emarketer.com/Article/Worldwide-Retail-Ecommerce-Sales-Will-Reach-1915-Trillion-This-Year/1014369

March Madness Hangover

So it’s April… but at 1WorldSync, we are experiencing nostalgia or better yet a March Madness Hangover!

March Madness is all about constantly checking your bracket, placing bets, arguing with friends, and of course now believing you can now play in the NBA. The American Gaming Association predicts that more than 40 million Americans wager $10.4 billion on March Madness, a 13 percent increase over 2016. They also predict the madness will cost employers $2.1 billion in lost productivity (American Gaming Association 2017).

Brands and retailers, while taking advantage of the consumer’s need for related product, battle the loss of productivity. In effect, they create their own strange connection to the tournament.  Many historic brands are not having their best year ( Macy’s, Sears, KMart, Sports Authority) and even simply the old mom and pop store) are falling off our bracket.

March Madness = Marketing Magic

March is a slow time in the sports advertising world with little competition, creating a retail season of its own. Tapping into the fans’ feelings and providing a personalized experience will help produce brand loyalty.

Not only are consumers socially active via mobile, they show high engagement with the companies that speak to them during the games. Food and beverage are obviously big buyers for advertising in the tournament. Yahoo Data showed that in 2016 ad purchases paid off heavily (Yahoo Data, 2017):

  • Wing orders were up 24%
  • Pizza orders were up 17%
  • Sponsored apparel site searches were up 33%

Generating this excitement can be easy for companies of all sizes. There is enough room for smaller players as well.  Thinking local, social and timely can help revolutionize your customer experience, turning fans, into customers.

Win Consumers on Their Path To Purchase With 1WorldSync

Clearly, today’s world of commerce is ever changing and there is no perfect bracket. Why else would Warren Buffet give up $1 million to anyone who had one?

Similarly, trying to match the convenience and needs of consumers with personalized and trusted product content is no easy feat.

Looking for a whitepaper to help equip your organization with strategies that set you apart? 

Download our latest whitepaper to learn more about connected commerce and see how your organization can develop an operational backbone to support your e-commerce investments.

March Madness has become an annual event all consumers and retailers get caught up in. Whether it is the gut wrenching emotional pull,  money on the line, the right for office bragging rights or the excitement of seeing a Cinderella story,  it has created a month of madness that cannot be missed!

 

References

March Madness Betting to Top $10 Billion. March 13, 2017. https://www.americangaming.org/newsroom/press-releasess/march-madness-betting-top-10-billion

How bracket time can be a slam dunk for marketers. Feb 17, 2017.
https://advertising.yahoo.com/insights/how-bracket-time-can-be-slam-dunk-marketers?soc_src=mail&soc_trk=ma