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Valentine's Day: Retail's Love Affair With Digital
 

Valentine's Day: Retail's Love Affair With Digital

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ComScore’s analysis of US web activity in February 2013 revealed that Valentine's Day sparked a 35 percent swell in traffic to websites in the flowers, gifts and greetings retail categories. This ...

ComScore’s analysis of US web activity in February 2013 revealed that Valentine's Day sparked a 35 percent swell in traffic to websites in the flowers, gifts and greetings retail categories. This data, coupled with our own research,
reinforces the importance of developing a unified customer experience optimization strategy that is founded in online testing, insights and data-driven personalization. To be successful as a retailer today, it takes more than simply developing a mobile site or launching an app. Customer-obsessed retailers must tie their online, mobile, social, TV, radio, print and email initiatives into a holistic, omnichannel
strategy and measure success against a robust set of metrics.

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Valentine's Day: Retail's Love Affair With Digital Valentine's Day: Retail's Love Affair With Digital Document Transcript

  • JAN 2014 maxymiser STUDY Reviews: Nearest Store: maxymiser.com Valentine’s Day: Retail’s Love Affair With Digital
  • maxymiser.com Contents Introduction 2 Objectives & Methodology 2 Major Findings 3 Findings 4 Conclusion 12 Recommendations 12 About Us 13 Contact 13 Retail’s Love Affair With Digital maxymiser STUDY
  • PURCHASE Retail’s Love Affair With Digital maxymiser STUDY Reviews: Nearest Store: 2maxymiser.com Introduction Valentine’s Day is a day to shower the people in our lives – be it girlfriends, boyfriends, spouses or parents, friends and coworkers – with gifts of love and tokens of our appreciation. In a hyper connected environment where the latest and greatest technologies and devices simplify and improve the shopping experience, online and mobile Valentine’s Day shoppers are a retailer’s dream come true. These digital shoppers can view and comparison-shop for thousands of retail items in a matter of seconds on-the-go. They can make last-minute Valentine’s Day purchases on the small screen. And most importantly, they can pay for it all in a safe and secure way. ComScore’s analysis of US web activity in February 2013 revealed that this romantic holiday sparked a 35 percent swell in traffic to websites in the flowers, gifts and greetings retail categories. This data, coupled with our own research, reinforces the importance of developing a unified customer experience optimization strategy that is founded in online testing, insights and data-driven personalization. To be successful as a retailer today, it takes more than simply developing a mobile site or launching an app. Customer-obsessed retailers must tie their online, mobile, social, TV, radio, print and email initiatives into a holistic, omnichannel strategy and measure success against a robust set of metrics. Objectives & Methodology Maxymiser conducted a comprehensive research study to reinforce the role and value of omnichannel personalization in driving marketing success and sustainable ROI for retailers. The study, which was fielded from November 18-20, 2013, compares and contrasts the differing online shopping behavior and purchase activities of American men and women in the shopping process for Valentine’s Day. It garnered a total of 1,000 responses from US adults, 18 years or older, who own at least one desktop/laptop computer and a smartphone or tablet.
  • maxymiser.com 3 PURCHASE Retail’s Love Affair With Digital maxymiser STUDY Reviews: Nearest Store: Major Findings • Last-minute Valentine’s Day shoppers tap into tablets, over smartphones, on-the-go. Women indicated a greater preference for using tablets than men, at 20 percent and 17 percent respectively. • Men and women’s online and mobile purchases are influenced by their differing perceptions of romance. Apparel (15 percent) makes it into the top 3 types of purchases among women, however it does not rank high on men’s Valentine’s Day shopping lists. • Personalization has the power to sway shoppers to make secondary purchases this Valentine’s Day. An overwhelming portion of men (73 percent) and women (78 percent) cite personalization as critical to prompting engagement (clicks) with an additional/secondary Valentine’s Day offer on a retailer’s website or mobile site. • Poor site functionality and loading delays frustrate last-minute online and mobile shoppers. 52 percent of men and 43 percent of women indicated 5 seconds as their maximum threshold of patience for pages/images to load on a retailer’s website or mobile site. • Retailers should integrate social networks into their online shopping experiences to boost customer engagement and sales. 56 percent of men and 57 percent of women are more likely to purchase a Valentine’s Day gift if a retailer’s website or mobile site allows them to log in directly through their Facebook account. • Retailers should inspire shoppers to get creative and feel the love through online contests/promotions. 19 percent of men and 17 percent of women reported being most likely to click on a Valentine’s Day themed contest or promotion when purchasing a gift on a retailer’s website or mobile site. • Women, over men, value free shipping options in the online checkout process. Over half of women (55 percent) reported free shipping options as being the most important element of the online checkout process, compared to 42 percent of men.
  • PURCHASE Retail’s Love Affair With Digital maxymiser STUDY Reviews: Nearest Store: The art of procrastination is one that is common among Valentine’s Day shoppers and has been further amplified by the convenience and speed afforded by online and mobile shopping. One of the most fascinating findings in the Maxymiser study is that tablets are primed to surge ahead of smartphones as the preferred mobile device for last-minute Valentine’s Day shoppers, at 20 percent for women and 17 percent for men. These findings should serve as a constant reminder that continually optimizing and personalizing the customer experience across all channels is the only way to avoid being a one-hit wonder with consumers. It is not sufficient for marketers to approach each device and channel separately as tactical digital projects. Retailers must adopt a unified omnichannel strategy that leverages A/B and multivariate testing and real-time data to sort through the noise, identify micro-segments of their audience and deliver valuable insights on their behaviors and, most importantly, scale results for long-term revenue growth. maxymiser.com 4 66% 17% 17% DESKTOP/LAPTOP COMPUTER SMARTPHONE TABLET 12 27% 40% 21% 29% 39% 18% 18% 9% 11% 15% 10% 13% 7% 5% 7% 11% 7% FLOWERS JEWELRY CANDY APPAREL ENTERTAINMENT/ NIGHTLIFE HOME GOODS GIFT CARDS 66% 14% 20% DESKTOP/LAPTOP COMPUTER SMARTPHONE TABLET 66% 17% 17% DESKTOP/LAPTOP COMPUTER SMARTPHONE TABLET 12% 9% 28% 34% 27% 40% 2 SECONDS OR LESS 6-9 SECONDS 3-5 SECONDS 29% 39% 18% 18% 9% 11% 15% 10% 13% 7% 5% 7% RS RY DY EL T/ E DS Which device are you most likely to use to purchase a Valentine’s Day gift last-minute (day before or day of)? Tablets Surge Ahead As Preferred Mobile Device For Last-Minute Shopping
  • Retail’s Love Affair With Digital maxymiser STUDY Reviews: Nearest Store: Gender-Targeted Offers Prove Vital To Valentine’s Day Sales As evidenced by the Maxymiser study, men and women have very different notions of romance and the types of gifts that suffice to express their love. When men were asked to pinpoint the types of Valentine’s Day gifts they are most likely to purchase for their loved ones from a retailer’s website or mobile site, flowers (39 percent), jewelry (18 percent) and candy (11 percent) topped the list. Meanwhile, the study paints a different picture of women’s purchase behavior, with 29 percent opting to purchase flowers, 18 percent buying jewelry and another 15 percent purchasing apparel on a website or mobile site for the heroes in their lives. These findings reinforce just how important it is to adopt a unified ominchannel strategy to better understand and serve each consumer’s needs. Every single piece of data tells a unique story about each visitor and customer segment as well as the types of experiences they prefer, and engage with, across the entire funnel. Because men’s purchase behavior differs from women, retailers should test the impact of gender-targeted Valentine’s Day messages and offers across various areas of their websites and mobile sites. This will not only pay off in the form of increased site traffic, higher click-through rates and time spent on key product and landing pages, but it will also counter problems with high shopping cart abandonment and bounce rates. maxymiser.com 5 PURCHASE What type of Valentine’s Day gift are you most likely to purchase on a website or mobile site? Flowers, Jewelry, Candy and Apparel Set To Become Online Winners This Valentine’s Day 66% 14% 20% 66% 17% 17% DESKTOP/LAPTOP COMPUTER SMARTPHONE TABLET 12% 9% 27% 40% 21% 2 SECONDS OR LESS 6-9 SECONDS 10 OR MORE SECONDS 3-5 SECONDS 29% 39% 18% 18% 9% 11% 15% 10% 13% 7% 5% 7% 11% 7% FLOWERS JEWELRY CANDY APPAREL ENTERTAINMENT/ NIGHTLIFE HOME GOODS GIFT CARDS Figures may not add to 100, due to rounding.
  • maxymiser.com PURCHASE Retail’s Love Affair With Digital maxymiser STUDY Reviews: Nearest Store: 6 The adage of “time is money” is one that cannot and should not be taken lightly by retailers. While rushing to buy last-minute gifts for their sweethearts this Valentine’s Day, 52 percent of men and 43 percent of women reported a maximum of 5 seconds as their threshold of patience for pages/images to load on a retailer’s website or mobile site. It is evident that poor site functionality and slow site/ page speed can kill the online customer experience, which can directly damage engagement, loyalty and conversions across all channels. That is why retailers must be careful to integrate their online experiences with a customer experience optimization platform that is powerful enough to handle its customers’ needs, no matter how high traffic and engagement may surge on a big shopping day like Valentine’s Day. Poor Site Functionality & Loading Delays Frustrate Last-Minute Shoppers When last-minute shopping for a Valentine’s Day gift (day before or day of), how many seconds will you wait for a page/image to load on a website or mobile site before you bounce? 66% 14% 20% DESKTOP/LAPTOP COMPUTER SMARTPHONE TABLET 66% 17% 17% DESKTOP/LAPTOP COMPUTER SMARTPHONE TABLET 12% 9% 28% 34% 29% 27% 40% 21% 2 SECONDS OR LESS 6-9 SECONDS 10 OR MORE SECONDS 3-5 SECONDS 39%
  • Make Your Online Stores More Social With An Integrated Customer Experience Retail’s Love Affair With Digital maxymiser STUDY Reviews: Nearest Store: maxymiser.com 7 Are you more likely to purchase a Valentine’s Day gift from a retailer’s website or mobile site if it allows you to log in through your Facebook account, instead of registering? 73% 27% YES NO 56% 44% YES NO 17% TABLET 12% 27% 40% 21% 29% 39% 18% 18% 9% 11% 15% 10% 13% 7% 5% 7% 11% 7% FLOWERS JEWELRY CANDY APPAREL ENTERTAINMENT/ NIGHTLIFE HOME GOODS GIFT CARDS 73% YES 78% YES 56% 44% YES NO 57% 43% YES NO 66% 14% 20% DESKTOP/LAPTOP COMPUTER SMARTPHONE TABLET 66% 17% 17% DESKTOP/LAPTOP COMPUTER SMARTPHONE TABLET 12% 9% 28% 34 29% 27% 40% 21% 2 SECONDS OR LESS 6-9 SECONDS 10 OR MORE SECONDS 3-5 SECONDS 29% 39% 18% 18% 9% 11% 15% 10% 13% 7% 5% 7% 11% 7% FLOWERS JEWELRY CANDY APPAREL ENTERTAINMENT/ NIGHTLIFE HOME GOODS GIFT CARDS PURCHASE Social Integration Translates Into Ecommerce Love As shown in our research, consumers do not shop in one single channel. They are often heavily engaged with a brand’s presence on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. As a result, retailers are seeing a growing number of clicks to their websites and mobile sites coming directly from these social networks. This is further supported by the Maxymiser study, which found that 56 percent of men and 57 percent of women in the U.S. are more likely to purchase a Valentine’s Day gift from a retailer’s website or mobile site if it allows them to log in through their Facebook account, instead of registering. For example, Amazon typically receives about 3.67% of its site traffic from Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest - the equivalent of 3.6 million unique visitors. These figures put Amazon at Number 129 in Internet Retailer’s Social Media 300 List, which ranks companies by the amount of traffic referred to their websites from social media. That is why retailers should not discount the impact of integrating social networks into their online customer experience. To avoid leaving millions of dollars on the table, retailers should always listen to and learn from all forms of data in real-time - CRM, online, mobile, social and email - and personalize each experience to adapt to each customer segment’s behaviors, needs and buying habits across every device and channel.
  • maxymiser.com PURCHASE Retail’s Love Affair With Digital maxymiser STUDY Reviews: Nearest Store: 8 Personalization is no longer an added bonus of the customer experience; it’s an expectation and a requirement that, if not met, can shatter a brand’s ecommerce and mcommerce potential this Valentine’s Day. The Maxymiser study found that 73 percent of American men and 78 percent of American women cite personalization as critical to prompting engagement (clicks) with an additional/ secondary Valentine’s Day offer on a retailer’s website or mobile site. It is, therefore, important for retailers to ask themselves how well they know their high-value customers and what they are doing to convert them into loyal omnichannel shoppers and brand advocates. By segmenting and testing the impact of different online content on different audiences, retailers will have a greater likelihood of converting first-time visitors into repeat buyers across multiple channels. That translates into greater engagement, conversions (across the entire funnel) and bottom-line growth. Are you more likely to click on an additional/secondary Valentine’s Day offer within a retailer’s website or mobile site if it is specifically targeted and relevant to your needs? 73% 27% YES NO 78% 22% YES NO 56% 44% YES NO 57% 43% YES NO 12% 9% 28% 34% 29% 27% 40% 21% 2 SECONDS OR LESS 6-9 SECONDS 10 OR MORE SECONDS 3-5 SECONDS 29% 39% 18% 18% 9% 11% 15% 10% 13% 7% 5% 7% 11% 7% FLOWERS JEWELRY CANDY APPAREL ENTERTAINMENT/ NIGHTLIFE HOME GOODS GIFT CARDS 73% 27% YES NO 78% 22% YES NO 56% 44% YES NO 57% 43% YES NO 12% 9% 28% 34% 29% 27% 40% 21% 2 SECONDS OR LESS 6-9 SECONDS 10 OR MORE SECONDS 3-5 SECONDS 29% 39% 18% 18% 9% 11% 15% 10% 13% 7% 5% 7% 11% 7% ERS LRY NDY REL ENT/ LIFE ODS RDS Personalization Holds Key To Online Shoppers’ Hearts and Wallets PURCHASE Personalized Commerce Is The Future of Shopping
  • PURCHASE Retail’s Love Affair With Digital maxymiser STUDY Reviews: Nearest Store: As evidenced by the Maxymiser study, American men and women use their mobile devices in very different ways and have a unique set of expectations from the mobile shopping experience this Valentine’s Day. While ratings and reviews (23 percent) topped the list of preferences for men searching for a Valentine’s Day gift on a mobile site, price comparisons (34 percent) were of far more importance to women. Additionally, 14 percent of men want to see a store locator button on a retailer’s mobile site in the search for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift, compared to only 9 percent of women. These findings should serve as a brazen reminder to retailers that one-size-fits-all experiences will only turn away one-time visitors to competitors and frustrate an important community of brand loyalists. Mobile Behaviors and Expectations Vary Between Men and Women maxymiser.com 9 73% 27% YES NO 78% 22% 56% 44% YES NO 57% 43% MOBILE-ONLY OFFERS PRODUCT RECOM- MENDATIONS STORE LOCATOR PRICE COMPARISONS RATINGS/ REVIEWS STORE HOURS 19% 16% 14% 9% 7% 5% 23% 24% 16% 12% 34% 21% What is the single most important element you want to see on a mobile site when searching for a Valentine’s Day gift? $ BUY NOW $ SEND TODAY Price Comparisons, Ratings/Reviews and Product Recommendations Top Mobile Experience Preferences
  • PURCHASE Retail’s Love Affair With Digital maxymiser STUDY Reviews: Nearest Store: maxymiser.com 10 Capitalize On Valentine’s Day With Home Page Promotions & Predictive Targeting Similar to other major shopping holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, online retailers have a unique opportunity to capitalize on Valentine’s Day. There is no doubt that shoppers favor convenience, ease of use, relevance and speed from online shopping experiences. According to the Maxymiser study, 32 percent of American men and 30 percent of American women reported being most likely to click on targeted offers based on gender, location and past purchases/ behaviors when purchasing a Valentine’s gift from a retailer’s website or mobile site. Personalized commerce is, therefore, a critical component of the customer experience in today’s highly competitive retail environment. In addition, American shoppers are keen for retailers to delight their digital wallets with special sales. In fact, 46 percent of American men and 51 percent of American women in the Maxymiser study reported being most likely to click on sale items showcased on the Home Page of a retailer’s website or mobile site. What type of offer are you most likely to click on when purchasing a Valentine’s Day gift on a retailer’s website or mobile site? MOBILE-ONLY OFFERS PRODUCT RECOM- MENDATIONS STORE LOCATOR PRICE COMPARISONS RATINGS/ REVIEWS STORE HOURS 19% 16% 14% 9% 7% 5% 23% 24% 16% 12% 34% 21% 32% 30% 17% 51% 3% 19% 46% 2% TARGETED OFFERS BASED ON GENDER, LOCATION, PAST PURCHASES/BEHAVIORS VALENTINE’S THEMED CONTEST/PROMOTION OTHER SALE ITEMS SHOWCASED ON HOME PAGE With a romantic holiday like Valentine’s Day, retailers should also leverage the digital channel to inspire shoppers to get creative with showing and feeling their love through contests and promotions. In fact, 19 percent of American men and 17 percent of American women reported being most likely to click on a Valentine’s Day themed contest or promotion when purchasing a gift on a retailer’s website or mobile site. This data reinforces industry research and the recent digital success many retailers have begun to see over the last few years. As illustrated by multinational brands at Forrester’s Forum for eBusiness and Channel Strategy Professionals in late 2013, personalization is pivotal in building positive, meaningful, long-term relationships and emotional connections with consumers and loyalist communities. Retailers must take heed of this advice if they want to be successful every single day, month and year, regardless of peak or low shopping seasons. Figures may not add to 100, due to rounding.
  • maxymiser.com PURCHASE Retail’s Love Affair With Digital maxymiser STUDY Reviews: Nearest Store: 11 What is the single most important option you would like to see in the checkout process when Valentine’s Day shopping online? RELEVANT PRODUCT RECOMMENDATIONS FREE SHIPPING OPTIONS ESTIMATED OR GUARANTEED DELIVERY DATE ORDER HISTORY ABILITY TO SAVE PURCHASING PREFERENCES VARIETY OF PAYMENT OPTIONS COMPLIMENTARY GIFT-WRAP SERVICE BUY ONLINE, PICK UP IN-STORE 32% 30% 17% 51% 3% 19% 46% 2% TARGETED OFFERS BASED ON GENDER, LOCATION, PAST PURCHASES/BEHAVIORS VALENTINE’S THEMED CONTEST/PROMOTION OTHER SALE ITEMS SHOWCASED ON HOME PAGE 16% 9% 42% 55% 22% 18% 6% 3% 3% 3% 4% 5% 1% 2% 5% 4% Getting shoppers to move through the entire funnel – starting on the home page and moving to key product and landing pages all the way through the checkout process – is no easy feat. Each consumer – be it a first-time visitor or a longtime brand advocate – wants something different and unique from the checkout process. As evidenced by the Maxymiser study, 42 percent of American men and 55 percent of American women care most about free shipping options in the online checkout process. As important as it is to save on shipping costs, an additional 22 percent of men and 18 percent of women also want to be informed about the estimated or guaranteed delivery date for their Valentine’s Day gifts in the online checkout process. For an apparel retailer, for example, free shipping can prove effective in rewarding high-value customers and cultivating loyalty among a brand’s average customers. This is where testing plays an integral role in pinpointing the optimal threshold for free shipping to boost online sales and grow the brand’s market share amidst competitors. The data and insights delivered from a test-and-learn strategy could very well disprove brand assumptions and, in turn, generate the type of ROI brands seek such as higher Average Order Value, as well as an increase in purchase conversions and overall revenue. Free Shipping Ranks #1 in Online Checkout Preferences Figures may not add to 100, due to rounding.
  • maxymiser STUDY Reviews: Nearest Store: 12 Conclusion Forrester Research describes the “Age of the Customer” as an era in which empowered buyers demand a new level of customer obsession. This is not an easy order to fill and cannot be accomplished by one single tactic. It requires foresight, strategic planning and a powerful customer experience optimization platform that can evolve and grow with a brand’s changing needs. maxymiser.com Retail’s Love Affair With Digital Recommendations • Adopt a test-and-learn culture, whereby testing, insights and personalization are all interconnected and power each other to deliver maximum ROI. • Leverage A/B and multivariate testing to optimize flow throughout the funnel - from category page and product page views through shopping carts to purchase confirmation. • Test and optimize the impact of key functions, such as surveys, customer reviews, recommendations, price presentations and product animations. • Target Valentine’s Day messages and offers according to a robust set of customer attributes, including gender, location and past purchases/ behaviors. This will pay off in the form of increased site traffic, higher click-through rates and time spent on key product and landing pages, while also countering problems with high shopping cart abandonment and bounce rates. • Test and optimize the optimal threshold for free shipping offers. This will prove highly effective in rewarding high value customers, while also cultivating loyalty among a brand’s average customers. • Integrate with a Customer Experience Optimization platform that is both agile and powerful enough to adapt to your customers’ changing needs, regardless of peak or low shopping seasons. This will alleviate consumer frustrations with poor site functionality and page/image loading delays. PURCHASE
  • maxymiser.com Retail’s Love Affair With Digital maxymiser STUDY Reviews: Nearest Store: About Maxymiser Maxymiser empowers brands to transform every digital interaction into seamless, relevant and engaging customer experiences with its cloud-based testing, personalization and cross-channel optimization solutions. Known for serving billions of individual experiences across every device, Maxymiser leverages customer data to dramatically boost engagement and revenue, while also driving long-term business value. Recognized by Crain’s New York Business as a 2013 Fast 50 company, Maxymiser serves nearly 10 billion experiences each month worldwide. Combined with a team of vertically focused digital experts, Maxymiser’s Customer Experience Optimization suite quickly delivers measurable results to every client through A/B and multivariate testing, segmentation, behavioral targeting and product recommendations for the web, mobile, social and email. Maxymiser works with some of the world’s most iconic brands, including Progressive, Office Depot, Alaska Airlines, Harry & David, LIDS, Sovereign Bank, Teleflora and Wyndham Hotel Group. Founded in 2006, Maxymiser is headquartered in New York with offices in Chicago, Edinburgh, Dnipropetrovsk, Dusseldorf, London, Munich and San Francisco. To learn more about Maxymiser, please visit www.maxymiser.com and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Contact Us For Corporate Communications, please contact Maxymiser: Ragini Bhalla, Director of Content and Communications TEL: 646.664.4591 Email: ragini.bhalla@maxymiser.com For Media Relations, please contact SHIFT Communications: Nicole Bestard, Account Director TEL: 646.758.3705 Email: nbestard@shiftcomm.com / maxymiser@shiftcomm.com 13