Mobile shopping also played a large role this past holiday as consumers reached for their smartphones and their tablets to shop. Overall sales from mobile devices increased 43 percent over 2011 and mobile site traffic increased close to 69 percent over the same period. It’s clear that more and more consumers are engaging in “couch commerce,” buying clothes, home goods, and other items from the comfort of their own couch. As consumers shop with the swipe of a finger, the iPad continues to be the device of choice, making up 35 percent of all mobile traffic – more than any other device. Continue Reading »
By Dr. Elizabeth Evans
For retailers around the globe, mobility, social media and Big Data are intersecting to create a bold new world of shopping. Consider what is possible in the matter of only a few minutes today.
A female shopper admiring a purse in the retail store can use her smartphone to take a picture of the purse and send it to her best friends via social media for their thoughts on the style and color. She can also do a quick price check via an app on the smartphone to compare prices elsewhere, as well as check for digital coupons or loyalty points. Once she gets her friends’ feedback, within moments, she can make a purchase using her mobile wallet.
The question for retailers is increasingly: will she buy the purse she’s holding, or buy it online from her phone? It’s a big question. Because once the company that sold her the purse will add the purchase information (customer, item, date, time, etc.) to their database and establish a digital communications and promotion program personalized for that specific consumer, possibly altering the way she shops in the future.
This simple illustration of what we call “mobile retailing” exemplifies the integrating effect that technology innovation is demanding of retailers. In order to deliver a satisfying customer experience IT, operations, merchandising and marketing must be fully aligned; whether the customer makes the purchase in-store or online will depend upon this alignment. Continue Reading »
By Clyde Pereira
Informed, empowered, and demanding social-media savvy consumers. They’re here to stay – and no one has been more affected by them than those working in the consumer goods and retail manufacturing industries.
While we often point to the Internet as the underpinning of the empowered consumer evolution, thanks to a number of external factors – such as the increased use of mobile devices, social media, Big Data and the interconnectivity of all of our devices – today we must also look at cloud computing as another major force adding to the “consumer power” phenomenon. But cloud’s new reach doesn’t stop there.
In fact, recent research by IBM indicates that while 16 percent of the global sample of business leaders surveyed were already using cloud capabilities for sweeping innovation (such as entering new lines of business or reshaping an existing industry) within the next three years, 35 percent intend to use it to transform their business models. Continue Reading »
By Kali Klena
At the National Retail Federation conference today, IBM will announce the results of a massive study of 26,000 shoppers from 14 countries – one of the largest surveys of its kind – designed to better understand their attitudes.
Now in its fourth year, the IBM Institute for Business Value survey points to a number of evolving trends from which retailers of all sizes around the globe can learn. For example, while online sales are expected to continue to rise, other aspects of the online experience are taking shape as well. Things like, “showrooming,” in which shoppers visit brick & mortar stores to browse goods, but then return home to purchase them online, is becoming more common.
So-called “showroomers” accounted for only six percent of all shoppers, but their impact on online sales was striking. Nearly half of all online buyers in the retail categories covered by our study were showroomers. Further, 25 percent of these shoppers said they initially planned to buy in store, but were swayed by their online experience – and 65 percent of these showroomers said they planned to buy online for their next purchase. Continue Reading »
By Karen Lowe
The beginning of every new year is a fresh opportunity to define strategies for success in the year ahead. Once again, I look forward to discussing the state of the retail industry with clients and influencers at the National Retail Federation’s (NRF’s) BIG Show when it kicks off this weekend.
This year, IBM continues its focus on making retail smarter, enabling retailers to put their customers first. One of the most profound challenges facing retailers today is the need to allow customers to connect and shop anywhere, anyhow and anytime.
We all know that technology has driven major changes in how we browse, compare and purchase products. Shopping from mobile devices is increasing exponentially. In fact, 70 percent more consumers used a mobile device to visit a retailer’s site on Cyber Monday in 2012 than 2011, according to the IBM Digital Analytics benchmark. Continue Reading »
By Craig Hayman
We’ve seen some interesting holiday shopping trends again this year. Consumers took serious advantage of early promotions, driving a 17.4 percent increase in online sales on Thanksgiving Day. This set the stage for 20.7 percent growth on Black Friday. And the biggest surge came from mobile consumers, with sales hitting 16.3 percent.
Impressive stats – which made for some happy retailers – to lead into the holidays. But where do these numbers come from? What are they based on? And who do they represent?
Continue Reading »