tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/payments Latest Payments content from Econsultancy 2016-10-21T11:45:54+01:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68423 2016-10-21T11:45:54+01:00 2016-10-21T11:45:54+01:00 How fashion and travel are leading the way in m-commerce Gregory Gazagne <p><a href="http://www.deloitte.co.uk/mobileuk/">Deloitte’s Mobile Consumer Survey</a> found that UK citizens look at their smartphones over a billion times a day, declaring that “no other personal device has had the same commercial and societal impact as the smartphone, and no other device seems likely to.”</p> <p>Around the same time in late September the IAB released its ‘<a href="http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160927005394/en/Three-Quarters-Mobile-Users-World-Purchases-Smartphones-Tablets">Mobile Commerce: A Global Perspective</a>’ survey, which found that three-quarters (75%) of smartphone and tablet users say they have purchased a product or service on their smartphone or tablet in the past six months, and nearly a quarter (23%) buy on mobile devices on a weekly basis.</p> <p>As the retail industry rapidly adapts to mobile usage, at Criteo we’re able to analyse millions of online sales in real time, on all devices and from thousands of brands across all industries.</p> <p>With this front-row seat to the very latest in mobile commerce, we’re especially interested in looking at the way different retail industries are keeping pace with the rate of change.</p> <p>Because of the specific challenges facing them, we’ve seen that the fashion industry in particular is blazing a trail in smartphone targeting, including cross-channel strategies, and travel is making its mark by providing superior customer experience/ better conversions via apps.</p> <p>What’s driving these industries to lead in these areas – and what can others learn from them?</p> <h3><strong>The rise of the ‘Smartphonista’</strong></h3> <p>Last month’s New York-London-Milan-Paris Fashion Weeks saw the <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/sep/30/us-vogue-editors-ridiculous-fashion-shows-changed-bloggers">old guard of print fashion journalism clash with the fashion world’s new digital influencers</a>, who rely on blogging platforms and Instagram to communicate with their thousands of followers.</p> <p>Their argument is symptomatic of a wider trend: that smartphones are revolutionising the way the fashion industry markets and sells its wares, and this is causing headaches for traditional media – but driving strong results on digital channels.</p> <p>According to Criteo <a href="http://www.criteo.com/resources/fashion-flash-report-2016/">data</a>, clothes have quickly become the premier mobile purchase in the UK, with 55% of online fashion purchases now being made through mobile (smartphones or tablets), and four out of 10 of all fashion purchases in the UK being made through smartphones.</p> <p>This makes fashion shoppers that purchase on smartphones (who we’ve coined ‘Smartphonistas’) a particularly valuable audience for fashion retailers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0592/criteo_slide.png" alt="" width="800"></p> <p>Mobile is perfect for this kind of off-the-cuff purchase, allowing consumers to browse flash sales on their phone, shop while watching TV, or buy an article of clothing on a whim.</p> <p>In addition to impulse, these purchases can also be driven by social connections and social influence (as evidenced by the rise of the fashion bloggers so vilified by Vogue).</p> <p>Social media – particularly Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest – appears to strongly influence clothing purchases on mobile.</p> <p>Heavy Snapchat users are 139% more likely to buy clothes on mobile than the average Brit, while heavy Instagram (113%) and Pinterest (83%) users are also much more likely than average to buy clothing on mobile, according to <a href="http://www.criteo.com/resources/a-portrait-of-mobile-performance/">Criteo’s Portrait of Performance report</a>.</p> <p>Despite all this, acquiring new fashion customers is notoriously hard.</p> <p>What’s more, it can take several purchases before a customer earns you a profit, and turning new customers into loyal buyers takes finesse.</p> <p>In response to these challenges, fashion retailers are starting to recognise what products drive the best response on what device.</p> <p>For example, fashion shoppers favour small screens for low-risk items (T-shirts etc.) and products they don't need to try on (e.g. accessories).</p> <p>In addition, the new breed of Smartphonistas often use multiple devices on the path to purchase, so retailers are starting to track more effectively across devices in order to send the right message to the right person, at the right time.</p> <p>Nadya Birca, Senior Digital Marketing Manager at New Look told us that the key to successfully engaging with the Smarphonista is to recognise that he or she expects a truly cross-channel experience:</p> <p>“With mobile usage soaring in the UK, the experience we’re aiming to deliver on mobile is significant for our interactions with customers both on- and off-line.</p> <p>"When browsing on mobile we shouldn’t expect users to purchase straight away - allowing them a seamless navigational exploration, and later consideration experience, is what should drive any mobile commerce business focus.”</p> <h3><strong>Destination App</strong></h3> <p>As the 36th annual <a href="http://wtd.unwto.org/en">World Tourism Day</a> reminded us at the end of last month, the tourism industry continues to drive positive social, cultural, political and economic impacts worldwide.</p> <p>In many countries, including the UK, the travel industry is feeling the positive impact of the rise of smartphone use.</p> <p>Criteo’s latest Travel Flash Report shows that one in five Brits now browse for travel options on their mobile phones, and close to one-third of online travel bookings worldwide took place on mobile devices in Q2 2016 (up 24% from the year before).</p> <p>During the same period, smartphones captured nearly one in five online travel bookings.</p> <p>But that’s not all – the travel industry, more than most other verticals, is seeing particular success when it comes to mobile apps.</p> <p>According to our data, with investment in in-app tracking and advertising, committed travel advertisers are seeing a surge of bookings made from apps.</p> <p>Apps generated 57% of mobile bookings in Q1 2016, up from 40% in Q3 2015.</p> <p>Over the past two years, travel brands that invested in their apps saw constant growth in app bookings from 12% to now over half of all mobile bookings. </p> <p>For one-night stays, apps have a clear lead over other devices or platforms, with nearly three in four app bookings made for one-night stays.</p> <p>The most effective travel mobile strategies encourage app installs with services that really make a difference:</p> <ul> <li>Personalising recommendations based on searches, selection criteria, past travels and wish lists</li> <li>Sending up-to-date, useful and non-intrusive notifications (e.g., check-in reminders, traffic, delays, alternatives, cancellation, nearby offers)</li> <li>Offering better deals on your app to temporarily capture downloads and bookings, but be consistent to sustain them</li> <li>Enabling one-click bookings with intelligent auto-fill of personal details (while highlighting payment security)</li> </ul> <p>App bookings are on a roll, and we can see that merchants who invested in and promoted apps early are now reaping the benefits. </p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67639 2016-03-21T13:56:21+00:00 2016-03-21T13:56:21+00:00 Five tips for retailers targeting international expansion Georges Berzgal <p>In recent years, brands such as British fashion etailer <a href="http://www.retailgazette.co.uk/blog/2016/01/asos-buoyed-by-international-sales-growth">ASOS</a> or German discount supermarket chain <a href="http://www.internationalsupermarketnews.com/news/22598">Lidl</a> have successfully propelled themselves onto the global stage.</p> <p>British fashion label SuperDry has driven an aggressive growth strategy in markets including Europe, the US, Canada and Mexico and made it look relatively easy. <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jul/09/supergroup-embarks-on-china-expansion">With further expansion planned across Europe in the next 12 months and its recent step into China</a>, the retailer is showing no signs of slowing down.</p> <p>But, successful internationalisation is by no means simple. Performing well within your core market is not enough to guarantee success outside of it. There are many challenges associated with expansion, from <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63880-eight-cultural-differences-that-impact-conversion/">understanding the cultural norms of a new market</a> to adapting to individual preferences.</p> <p>So, for retailers that want to follow in the footsteps of the likes of SuperDry and ASOS, here are the key tips to keep in mind when embarking on internationalisation.</p> <p><em>ASOS France</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/3095/Screen_Shot_2016-03-17_at_17.35.49.png" alt="asos france" width="615"></p> <h3>Crawl, walk, run</h3> <p>A gradual approach to expanding internationally is most often the best, especially if you need to build a business case for a broader strategy.</p> <p>As a first step, you can make international shipments available from your home market. However, at this early stage you will need to consider how you will ship your products, accept various payment methods, and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64291-what-you-should-know-about-ecommerce-in-russia/">comply with tax and other local laws</a>.</p> <p>One option is to outsource all elements to suppliers such as Borderfree - from getting your site ready, to currency conversion to accepting payments, through to logistics and compliance with import and local tax laws.</p> <p>Using this approach will enable you to identify the potential of various markets and key challenges (e.g. differing tastes and merchandising, organisational realignment, new ecommerce platforms to support scaling) and allow you to adjust the strategy accordingly.</p> <h3>Set up a clear hub</h3> <p>Once the decision to go beyond direct-to-consumer shipment (from the home market) has been made, the most common next step is to establish a central hub to provide stability and foundation for further growth.</p> <p>For US-based companies trying to enter Europe, the most convenient hub is often the UK as most of the underlying factors that make the retailer successful in the US will be closely matched. It doesn’t mean there aren’t differences, but factors such as language, culture and even preferences will be similar. This gives geographical presence in Europe, which brands can use as a platform to extend to other countries.</p> <p>Alternatively, some companies have opted to establish a presence on the continent as an early hub; most common is Benelux, due to accommodating tax laws, their proximity to other European countries for logistics, and the presence of a future workforce with experience of building international businesses.</p> <p><em>Rotterdam, a central European hub for shipping</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/3096/rotterdam.jpeg" alt="rotterdam" width="259" height="194"></p> <h3>Identify quick wins</h3> <p>Quick wins give confidence and create momentum, so once the hub is established, look for the relevant markets that are small enough to adapt to quickly.</p> <p><a href="http://ecommercenews.eu/cross-border-ecommerce-in-the-nordics-grows-steadily/">Countries where consumers regularly purchase online from foreign brands, such as the Nordics, Benelux and Cyprus,</a> should be considered for early success. For UK-based companies, other English-speaking countries tend to provide a more simple entry point.</p> <p>Online traffic data offers valuable insight into where the customers shopping in your ecommerce store are based outside of your core market. Use this data to pinpoint where to go first. As they are already engaged with the brand, expansion into these countries should be more straightforward.</p> <p>Additionally, ecommerce data will show previous purchase patterns and preferences, which must be used to create engaging offers for the local customer.</p> <h3>Recognise different shopping behaviour</h3> <p>Just as each customer has individual shopping preferences and demonstrates different behaviour, the same applies to markets.</p> <p>One mistake many brands make when trying to expand in Europe is treating it as one whole market instead of many individual ones. Cultures differ hugely from country to country, and this is reflected in consumer shopping behaviour. Applying a one-size-fits-all approach isn’t going to work as the brand continues to grow.</p> <p>Taking time to understand the consumers of a market at the start will serve you well in the long run.</p> <p>For instance, whilst <a href="http://www.chainstoreage.com/article/mom-and-pops-are-cool-again">mom-and-pop stores enjoy a resurgence in the US</a>, they have almost completely disappeared from the UK market. Catalogue purchases are still very popular amongst German consumers, compared with other European countries, and <a href="http://qz.com/262595/why-germans-pay-cash-for-almost-everything/">credit cards aren’t used so frequently with customers preferring more traditional methods such as pay by invoice or cash on delivery</a>.</p> <p>It is vital to understand the nuances, adapt on a market-by-market basis and realise that markets will require differing levels of investment.</p> <p><em>2013 chart via Globalmaxer showing German payment preferences</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0004/0510/german_payment-blog-half.png" alt="german payments" width="300" height="231"></p> <h3>Be flexible and ready to adapt  </h3> <p>Internationalisation is not something that will happen overnight, nor is it always likely to follow the path originally set out. Approach it as a long-term investment and be prepared to act in an agile manner.</p> <p>If your current strategy isn’t working you must be willing to change tack or, in some cases, step back altogether. The investment horizon will vary by market and some will take a lot longer to become established in than others. Keeping close to customer data will help detect developments in the market and identify where changes need to be made.</p> <p>But with technology becoming more sophisticated, successful expansion is easier than ever to achieve.</p> <p><em>For more on this topic, read <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66575-five-golden-rules-when-localising-for-international-ecommerce/">Five golden rules when localising for international ecommerce</a>.</em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67534 2016-02-19T12:51:23+00:00 2016-02-19T12:51:23+00:00 From checkout to conversion: How to prevent basket abandonment Georges Berzgal <p style="text-align: justify;">Whether the customer is shopping in-store or online, a poor <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics/">customer experience</a> is likely to result in an <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63466-nine-case-studies-and-infographics-on-cart-abandonment-and-email-retargeting/">abandoned basket</a>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">So, how can you prevent valuable online customers from straying from their shopping baskets?</p> <h3 style="text-align: justify;"><strong>1. Keep it clear and simple</strong></h3> <p style="text-align: justify;">Many customers are time poor, easily distracted, and perhaps most notably, have a wide-range of other brands vying for their attention.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">A complex or lengthy checkout process could send them running to your competitor. Today’s <a href="http://www.netimperative.com/2015/12/clunky-checkouts-causing-online-retail-woes-infographic/">average checkout process is five pages long.</a></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Wiggle's checkout</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2149/wiggle_checkout.png" alt="" width="615" height="326"></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Too many steps will frustrate the customer, which may result in an abandoned basket and lost revenue.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Implementing a step-indicator, which gives customers a clear view of their progress, will help manage their expectations during the entire process.</p> <h3 style="text-align: justify;"><strong>2. Minimise queuing time</strong></h3> <p style="text-align: justify;">Bricks and mortar shops try to prevent customers from waiting in a lengthy queue to make a purchase.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The same attitude must be applied online. A ‘<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65457-be-our-guest-a-guide-to-ecommerce-guest-checkout-best-practice/">guest checkout</a>’ option reduces processing time, enabling customers to complete the purchase without being required to register or set up an account.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">A third (33%) of retailers don’t offer this, which has a direct impact on the number of sales they convert.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Of course, capturing customer data via registration is important to enable engaging communications and personalised offers in the future.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">You should consider presenting both options and offer incentives for customers to complete the longer registration process.</p> <h3 style="text-align: justify;"><strong>3. Avoid last minute, unexpected surprises</strong></h3> <p style="text-align: justify;">At this critical stage in the customer journey, you should do everything to encourage the sale, and avoid presenting the customer with any unexpected costs at the last minute.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The continued growth of promo codes, providing free shipping or money off, are <a href="http://www.retailgazette.co.uk/blog/2015/03/23041-voucher-code-use-grows-43-in-12-months">a powerful way to encourage customers to purchase.</a></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Reduce the risk of disappointment at checkout by allowing customers to apply codes early in the process. This may also create additional revenue as customers realise they can get more for their money.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Mulberry's single page checkout</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2151/Mulberry_s_single_page_checkout.png" alt="" width="615" height="635"></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">You also need to avoid exposing customers to sticker shock. More than a third (38%) of online retailers are guilty of this.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Hitting customers with total costs at the end of the checkout process could put them off the purchase if the price is higher than they expected.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Whilst the majority of retailers display shipping costs on the first or second page of checkout, there remain a few who still don’t reveal the rates until page five.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Display a preview of the shopping basket and associated costs, including shipping costs, as early as possible during the checkout process and provide the opportunity to adjust their preference.</p> <h3 style="text-align: justify;"><strong>4. Remind customers what they are missing</strong></h3> <p style="text-align: justify;">There are many other reasons shoppers may abandon their shopping basket, and even if you address the majority you will still face abandoned baskets.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">However, that does not mean the sale is lost. Commerce marketing automation makes it much easier to follow up with the customer to re-engage them.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Sending <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64167-basket-abandonment-emails-why-you-should-be-sending-them/">automated abandoned basket messages</a> is an effective way to recapture the customer’s interest and remind them why they visited your site in the first place.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In fact, a basket reminder strategy can recover <a href="http://www.essentialretail.com/essential-ecommerce/article/566a9cf6c983b-third-of-retailers-dont-offer-guest-checkout-leading-to-basket-abandonment">as much as 25% of abandoned revenue</a>. Yet, a surprisingly high number of retailers (59%) don’t do this at all.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">A small number (22%) send only one reminder, even though experience shows that a series of messages is more effective.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">If you keep customers happy at checkout, and personalise the messages to those that abandon their baskets, you can go a long way toward becoming the retailer that customers come back to again and again.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66778 2015-08-03T10:41:23+01:00 2015-08-03T10:41:23+01:00 Why Apple Pay offers brands more than just another payment channel Georges Berzgal <p>In practical terms, this means users can pay by simply holding their device near a payment terminal in-store and authenticating the purchase with their Touch ID.</p> <p>Even purchasing on a mobile device is made simpler by enabling consumers to pay and authenticate with their fingerprint or passcode without having to enter their card number or leave the app.</p> <p>Adding this new functionality to the device that most consumers have on their person at all times is incredibly convenient. But what does Apple Pay offer to brands and consumers beyond just another way to pay?</p> <h3><strong>E-receipts</strong></h3> <p>This is more than just a standard proof of purchase. Customers who adopt new digital payment systems are much more likely to embrace a digital proof of purchase too, offering businesses an opportunity to continue to engage with them.</p> <p>For example, within an e-receipt brands can safely use up to 20% of the available space on an e-receipt for promotional content - whether that’s inviting consumers to interact on social channels, offering them promotions or other items they might like is up to the brand.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/5787/Screen_Shot_2015-08-03_at_10.39.15.png" alt="" width="979" height="550"></p> <h3><strong>New era for loyalty</strong></h3> <p>As well as allowing people to pay with their mobile phone, Apple Pay is part of the new generation of m-payments services that will incorporate loyalty programmes.</p> <p>With Passbook being renamed as simply ‘Wallet’ in the latest iOS 9 update, users can now link their bank cards and loyalty programmes on their smartphone.</p> <p>This not only allows consumers to ditch some of the cards they currently carry around, but also helps retailers to better understand the consumer to increase customer retention and brand advocacy - ultimately influencing <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-lifetime-value/">customer lifetime value</a>.</p> <h3>Improving in-app purchase experience</h3> <p>Apple has simplified in-app purchasing by allowing consumers to make a purchase with a fingerprint, and reports suggest that iOS developers have already seen <a href="http://www.cnet.com/news/apple-adds-retail-credit-and-loyalty-cards-renames-passbook-to-wallet/">checkout rates more than double for applications that include an Apple Pay option</a>.</p> <p>For brands, this is an opportunity to streamline the purchase experience for the increasing number of people that shop on their mobile.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/5786/Screen_Shot_2015-08-03_at_10.38.52.png" alt="" width="1176" height="694"></p> <h3>Mobile social commerce</h3> <p>As well as streamlining in-app purchases, Apple is reportedly working with Pinterest on what has been described as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66529-pinterest-enables-ecommerce-with-buyable-pins/">‘Buyable Pins’</a>.</p> <p>Will this be the way to monetise the image-based social network? We’ll have to see, but it’s interesting that Apple Pay will be a part of social commerce.</p> <p>For marketers that use Pinterest already, this could be an interesting option to create ROI from their social media activity. </p> <p>Much has been about the benefits of Apple Pay. Those brands who look beyond m-payments as a simple means of facilitating payments can seize the opportunity to effectively connect their online and offline marketing in order to enhance <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/creating-superior-customer-experiences">customer experience</a> and drive revenue.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66586 2015-06-16T16:17:00+01:00 2015-06-16T16:17:00+01:00 Amazon targets teen shoppers with Amazon Allowance Patricio Robles <p>Launched quietly in the past month, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&amp;node=11453461011">Amazon Allowance</a> gives parents and guardians the ability to add funds to an Amazon Gift Card that their children can use to purchase products on Amazon.</p> <p>According to the company "it’s an easy way to fund shopping on Amazon without sharing your account or credit cards."</p> <p>Funds can be added on a one-time or recurring basis and there are no additional fees associated with providing or using Amazon Allowance. Funds do not expire.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/4050/allowance-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="242"></p> <h2>The future of allowances?</h2> <p>As Bloomberg's Spencer Soper <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-04/here-s-your-allowance-go-spend-it-all-at-amazon">notes</a>, the gift card market is expected to be worth $14bn in the United States in the next two years, and major retailers are vying to ensure that they're well-positioned to get a piece of the action.</p> <p>Amazon, which sells millions of physical products as well as digital content, is obviously one of the retailers with the most to gain or lose.</p> <p>While Amazon Allowances can be used by anyone aged 13 and up, and looks to be a good solution for parents helping their children with college purchases, the service's name suggests that the company is targeting teenage shoppers. This makes perfect sense: if Amazon can establish loyalty with this segment, it could be a huge boon for Amazon's business going forward.  </p> <p>But can Amazon Allowances really change the traditions around allowances?</p> <p>Instead of giving kids cash for chores completed, will large numbers of parents really choose to deposit funds into an Amazon account instead?</p> <p>Perhaps not, but Amazon's capacity to change the way consumers shop and think about shopping shouldn't be underestimated.</p> <p>Case in point: Amazon is <a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2015/06/12/amazon-expands-prime-with-goods-shipped-directly-from-merchants/">now allowing</a> independent merchants to participate in its Prime two-day shipping program, potentially increasing by millions the number of products Amazon customers can have delivered to their doorsteps in just a couple of days.</p> <p>If this initiative works out and is expanded more broadly, it could be a game-changer for Amazon.</p> <p>So even if Amazon Allowance doesn't immediately become a mainstay of American teenage tradition, as Amazon innovates in other areas, it's not hard to imagine a day in which Amazon becomes the virtual mall for young digital natives, making Amazon Allowance a more appealing option for parents.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/65404 2014-09-04T09:33:00+01:00 2014-09-04T09:33:00+01:00 Is social shopping making a comeback? Darryl Adie <p>This failure to take off hasn't been for lack of trying. Second Life was briefly seen as the beginning of a true virtual retail environment, a digital space where users could visit and purchase from virtual reality stores.</p> <p>Major brands including Adidas and Dell built Second Life presences, only for the phenomenon to fade as fast as it rose.</p> <p>More recently, Facebook has made multiple attempts to create <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/9092-can-f-commerce-work-for-retailers">F-commerce</a> options.</p> <p>Facebook Gifts was a short-lived attempt to enable people to buy digital gifts and send them to friends within Facebook, whilst Facebook Credits attempted to incorporate ecommerce into the social network via a virtual currency.</p> <p>Used mostly to purchase virtual goods within Facebook games, the company discontinued this feature in 2012.  </p> <h3>2014: the year of social commerce?</h3> <p>Despite this limited success to date, social shopping is making signs of a comeback. With global ecommerce sales set to hit $1.5 trillion this year, social networks are as keen as ever to break into this lucrative sector, attempting to move from pure engagement and awareness towards actual conversions and sales. </p> <p>According to reports, <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/digital-media/10974851/Facebooks-buy-button-lets-you-purchase-products-in-posts.htmlhttp:/venturebeat.com/2014/07/17/facebook-may-make-its-ads-shoppable-meet-the-buy-button/">Facebook is currently experimenting with a “Buy” button</a> that will be added to status updates from selected brands.</p> <p>This feature will enable brands and retailers to post updates about products and, instead of directing customers to the online store to complete the purchase, they will be able to make purchases by simply clicking the “Buy” button.</p> <p>Credit card details will be kept on file with Facebook’s servers, making transactions easier than ever.  </p> <p>Meanwhile, Twitter has just announced its acquisition of CardSpring to enable "in the moment" commerce from within user’s Twitter feeds. This has the potential to turn social recommendations into purchasing opportunities.</p> <p>Anything retailers currently post with the intention of getting a like or retweet will become an avenue to increase sales. </p> <p>Another new social shopping initiative comes from Amazon. In early May the online retail giant announced a joint initiative with Twitter called <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64793-amazonbasket-is-it-anything-more-than-a-gimmick">#AmazonBasket</a> (#AmazonCart in the US).</p> <p>With this hashtag, users can now add items to their Amazon carts directly from a tweet, finishing the checkout process on Amazon.com whenever convenient.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0004/7729/amazon_email-blog-full.jpg" alt="" width="615" height="389"></p> <p>Whilst initial figures are yet to be released, there have already been questions about the service. The mechanic in itself doesn’t provide any immediacy to purchasing, as users still have to log in to complete the transaction.</p> <p>There are also questions around whether brands can provide enough collateral in 140 characters to truly influence conversion.</p> <p>For example, social shopping service Soldsie announced the expansion of its social selling presence. The Soldsie shopping experience begins when a brand or retailer posts a photo of a product with pricing information on Facebook or Instagram.</p> <p>Shoppers express their purchase intent by commenting with the word 'sold' and can then continue browsing. When they are ready to check out, the item they commented on will be in their cart ready to buy.</p> <p>Whilst social shopping as a concept holds much promises, it remains to be seen whether it will be widely adopted by consumers.</p> <p>Users have thus far firmly ignored the opportunity to buy as they socialise online and it’s not yet clear if the latest social shopping approaches will change this retail inertia. This being said, if #AmazonBasket, Facebook’s “Buy” button and Twitter’s “in the moment commerce” do catch the attention of consumers, the potential appears to be significant.</p> <p>The sheer volume of online social users presents a major retail opportunity and, when combined with the acknowledged power of social recommendation, could create a channel of unprecedented reach and power.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/64899 2014-05-27T09:51:00+01:00 2014-05-27T09:51:00+01:00 Digital banking insight from three leading Norwegian banks Niklas Olsson <h2>SpareBank 1: more and more customers abandon internet banking </h2> <p>SpareBank 1 is one of the largest providers of financial products and services to retail customers in the Norwegian market and has just recently launched some interesting <a href="https://blogg.smn.no/2014/04/mobilbanken-sprenger-nye-grenser/" target="_blank">statistics</a>. </p> <ul> <li>Mobile and tablet now represents 60% of all digital login traffic.</li> <li>43% of all digital customers use mobile and or tablet banking.</li> <li>Split across devices:</li> <ul> <li>50% iPhone users.</li> <li>42% Android users </li> <li>1,2% Windows </li> <li>7,8% iPad users  </li> </ul> <li>14% use mobile or tablet banking only.</li> <li>10-29 year olds represents more than 40% of the mobile and tablet users.</li> </ul> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="http://www.maparesearch.com/brochures/MapaResearch-Sparebank1-MobileAndTablet-May14.jpg" alt="SpareBank1 Mobile and tablet banking platforms" width="615" height="344"></p> <p>During the last 12 months the bank has seen an explosion in mobile and tablet banking traffic; at the same time internet banking traffic is decreasing.</p> <p>What we think stands out is the fact <strong>14% have abandoned the desktop channel for banking altogether.</strong></p> <p>We believe a substantial part of the mobile and tablet only users come from the younger segment, 10-29 year olds, often referred to as the Millenials. Our argument is further reinforced by a <a href="https://www.comscore.com/Insights/Blog/Why_Are_Millennials_So_Mobile" target="_blank">recent Com Score study</a> saying that Millenials are more inclined to engage on mobile than other segments.</p> <p>Do note that kids from the age of 10 can start using mobile banking with SpareBank 1!     </p> <h2>DNB: Sales focused and moving from app to browser based mobile banking</h2> <p>DNB is Norway’s largest bank with 2.1m personal banking customers. Similar to SpareBank 1 DNB’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64627-the-importance-of-mobile-banking-for-customer-experience#i.uxbbzl7fpfssuh">mobile banking</a> services showed tremendous growth last year as usage more than tripled.</p> <p>As a reflection of where things are heading, DNB also closed down or merged 32 branches during 2013.  </p> <p>As mobile banking becomes more and more central to digital propositions it was very interesting to see DNB recently move from app to browser based mobile banking. T</p> <p>he app is now primarily used for viewing your balance (see below) and the latest transactions before login as well as add-on features such as ATM/branch locator, contact details and roadside assistance.</p> <p>When tapping login users are directed to the browser based version. The introduction of the browser based approach came shortly after having introduced a new mobile site.</p> <p>This new mobile site is very sales focused with product information and selected applications including loans available. DNB has highlighted 2013 as a breakthrough year for the smartphones as a sales channel with more than 4,000 loan applications being submitted. </p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="http://www.maparesearch.com/brochures/MapaResearch-DNB-MobileAppMobileSite-May2014.jpg" alt="DNB mobile banking app vs browser-based mobile banking" width="489" height="597"></p> <p>Added to this the bank introduced an iPad app earlier this year. The app contains the same features as available within internet banking delivered through a tailored experience.</p> <p>A point to make is that the regular public site brochureware pages have been built into the app and made responsive. Customers can apply for the same products and services as within internet banking.</p> <p>With this approach it is clear that DNB is taking steps towards more of a browser based experience and as a result less app dependence. Worth pointing out is also the fact that the desktop site has been optimised for touch users both before and after login.    </p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="http://www.maparesearch.com/brochures/MapaResearch-DNB-SiteComparison-May14.jpg" alt="Comparison of DNB digital channel websites" width="593" height="623"></p> <h2>Nordea: Finding new ways in meeting clients as well as finding new ones</h2> <p>An apparent theme across the 2013 annual reports from leading Nordic retail banks is the growing need amongst customers for getting advice and guidance, and in their terms, from the bank.</p> <p>Building from that, Nordic high-street player Nordea has just recently introduced a <a href="http://www.nordea.no/Privat/Bli+kunde/Nettm%C3%B8te+gj%C3%B8r+det+enda+enklere+%C3%A5+m%C3%B8te+en+r%C3%A5dgiver/1674712.html?lnkid=d-box_nettmote_hva-er-et-nettmote_07-05-2014" target="_blank">web meeting facility</a> in Norway.</p> <p>This new option is promoted to customers on the public site as a convenient way to if you want advice tied to:</p> <ul> <li>Mortgages</li> <li>Savings and investments </li> <li>Insurance</li> </ul> <p>As part of initiating the meeting, customers login to a secure ‘My documents’ area on the desktop site and then the advisor calls the customer.</p> <p>If relevant after the meeting the advisor may upload digital documents to the ‘My documents’ space for the customer to sign digitally, hence there is no need for visiting a branch or to fill out any paper work - simple and convenient.  </p> <p>One of Nordea’s key competitors, Danske Bank, introduced a similar facility back in 2013 and it has proven very popular with customers.</p> <p>More than 13% of all meetings in Denmark and Finland are now carried out online, resulting in added convenience for the customer and more efficient processes both before and after the session, a win-win basically! </p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="http://www.maparesearch.com/brochures/MapaResearch-Nordea-Nettmote-May14.png" alt="Nordea Nettmote process" width="615" height="364"></p> <p>Reaching out to new customers as well as extending the relationship with current ones is an ongoing challenge for banks.</p> <p>The above is one example of how to make the bank fit better into the everyday life of consumers. Another new and innovative initiative introduced by Nordea is the <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/no/app/nordea-facetoface/id688751171" target="_blank">Face2Face app</a>. The app is promoted on ‘Premium’ current account brochureware pages.</p> <p>Upon download users can view videos presenting the features and benefits of the program, book a meeting with an advisor.</p> <p>What stands out in particular is the ability to initiate a video chat with an advisor that can work to build credibility and put next steps in to plan for getting the customer onboard.</p> <p>As part of launching this app Q4 2013 Nordea pinpointed that they as a bank must be available everywhere. Considering smartphone users on average check their device 150 times per day, Nordea wanted to grasp the opportunity and be available not just within self-servicing features, but also to attract new business.  </p> <h2>Key takeaways</h2> <h3>What role will internet banking play in the future? </h3> <p>As more and more features move into to mobile banking customers wanting to manage their finances via mobile and tablet <strong>now have fewer reasons to login to internet banking. </strong></p> <p>The younger customer segments are likely to contain the largest proportion of mobile banking only users.</p> <p>It is indeed important to have an ongoing dialogue with this segment in order to keep up to date with their everyday challenges and needs as a way to making sure develop to develop customer proofed offerings. </p> <h3>Apps have distinct advantages in providing a quick access point to your banking facility.</h3> <p>However, with apps banks are also dependent on external distributors such as Google Play and App Store.</p> <p>We see new devices coming to market meaning yet more formats to take into consideration. Finally, consumers of today have several connected devices used at different times and for different purposes.</p> <p>It is not an easy task to cater for everything and as a result <strong><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/mobile-web-design-and-development-best-practice-guide">browser-based or responsive solutions</a> in particular looks like an appealing case.</strong> We eagerly follow new banking developments within this space which might be the future approach to digital banking providing a device agnostic experience.  </p> <h3>2014 is predicted to be the year mobile and tablet browsing will overtake desktop</h3> <p>Added to this is the fact that mobile and tablet devices are increasingly popular devices not just for browsing, but also purchasing products.</p> <p>Catering for these devices are essential and providing product content and applications are clear opportunities to banks.  </p> <h3>Banks need to provide utility </h3> <p>Being able to provide advice and guidance to customers at their convenience is likely to be an important piece of the puzzle building strong and loyal relationships going forward.</p> <p>Digital meeting facilities such as the Nordea one is starting to come to market and provides as a win-win for both parties.    </p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/64830 2014-05-14T03:00:00+01:00 2014-05-14T03:00:00+01:00 Alibaba: 30+ amazing stats on China's ecommerce giant David Moth <h2>Shareholders</h2> <p>Alibaba has several major shareholders, of which Softbank is the largest with 34.4% of the company.</p> <p>Yahoo is the second-largest with 22.6%, while Jack Ma owns 8.9%.</p> <h2>Third-party marketplaces</h2> <p>Alibaba has grown to become the world’s largest online and mobile commerce company despite never engaging in direct sales. Instead it operates a number of hugely successful third-party marketplaces.</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Taobao</strong> is a C2C marketplace that has become China’s largest online shopping destination. It operates a similar business model to eBay.</li> <li> <strong>Tmall</strong> is a B2C marketplace that attracts many of the world’s largest brands and retailers. You can read more about Tmall in my post looking at <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64807-ecommerce-in-china-why-are-western-brands-flocking-to-alibaba-s-tmall">why it’s so popular among Western brands</a>.</li> <li> <strong>Juhuasuan</strong> is China’s largest group-buying marketplace in terms of monthly active users. It hosts flash sales similar to Groupon. </li> <li> <strong>Alibaba.com</strong> is the world’s largest online B2B trading platform for small businesses. The English language site handles sales between importers and exporters from more than 240 countries.</li> <li> <strong>1688.com</strong> enables domestic B2B trade. By the end of 2013 the site was processing around 300m Yuan ($49.1m) in transactions every day, a ten-fold increase since March 2013.</li> </ul> <p><em><strong>Burberry's Tmall store</strong></em></p> <p><em><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0004/7964/burberry_tmall-blog-full.jpg" alt="" width="615" height="295"></strong></em></p> <h2>Alipay</h2> <p>Alipay is Alibaba’s third-party online payment platform. By the end of 2013 it had 300m registered users who spent $519bn through the platform that year compared to $180bn for PayPal.</p> <p>AliPay accounts for roughly half of China’s online payment market.</p> <h2>Active users and sales for 2013</h2> <p>Documents <a href="http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1577552/000119312514184994/d709111df1.htm">filed with the SEC</a> ahead of Alibaba’s IPO revealed the massive scale of the companies operations:</p> <ul> <li>It has 231m annual active buyers.</li> <li>11.3bn orders went through Alibaba’s platforms in 2013.</li> <li>Active buyers make 49 purchases per year on average.</li> <li>The total gross merchandise volume (<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_merchandise_volume">GMV</a>) of its three main Chinese consumer retail marketplaces is $248bn.</li> <li>For the nine-month period ending 31 December 2013, Alibaba made $6.5bn in revenue with a net income of $2.9bn.</li> <li>Of this total, China commerce revenue was 35.17bn Yuan ($5.66bn), representing 86.9% of revenue. The rest of its revenue came from international sales through Alibaba.com and cloud computing services.</li> </ul> <h2>Mobile users and sales</h2> <p>Also included in the SEC filing were details of the company's mobile users and sales figures:</p> <ul> <li>In December 2013 Alibaba had 136m monthly active users on mobile.</li> <li>Alibaba’s mobile GMV in 2013 was $37bn, which equates to 19.7% of its total GMV (up 7.4% year-on-year).</li> <li>The company accounted for 76.2% of total mobile retail GMV in China last year.</li> </ul> <h2>Online advertising</h2> <p>According to Enfodesk, <a href="http://www.chinainternetwatch.com/7277/baidu-and-alibaba-dominate-china-online-advertising-market/">Alibaba accounted for 17.3% of online advertising</a> marketshare in Q1 2014.</p> <p>Alibaba sells advertising on its marketplaces, such as search ads on Taobao and Tmall.</p> <p>But its revenue was dwarfed by Baidu’s marketshare, with the search engine hoovering up around a third (32.2%) of online advertising revenue. Google China’s decline continued, with the company coming in third with 5.2%.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0004/7950/online_advertising_marketshare-blog-full.jpg" alt="" width="615" height="404"></p> <h2>Singles’ Day</h2> <p>Singles’ Day, which falls on November 11, is described as the Chinese version of Valentine’s Day.</p> <p>However it also shares elements of Black Friday, as retailers use it as an excuse for hosting massive sales online and in-store.</p> <p>In 2013 sales through Taobao and Tmall <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-11/alibaba-breaks-sales-record-on-china-singles-day-amid-discounts.html">topped 35bn Yuan</a> ($5.75bn) on Singles’ Day, easily surpassing the previous year’s total of 19.1bn Yuan.</p> <p>In total the company processed 254m orders through its cloud computing platform in a single day.</p> <p>In comparison, comScore stated that <a href="http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Press_Releases/2013/12/Cyber_Monday_Jumps_18_Percent_to_1735_Billion_in_Desktop_Sales_to_Rank_as_Heaviest_US_Online_Spending_Day_in_History">US consumers spent $1.7bn online</a> on Cyber Monday and $1bn on Black Friday in 2013, though this only includes desktop sales. </p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/64542 2014-03-19T16:01:00+00:00 2014-03-19T16:01:00+00:00 Bitcoin or Bitcon? The challenges facing the crypto-currency sector Jason Navon <h2>Security is a big concern</h2> <p>Advocates of digital currencies often highlight the security of peer-to-peer currencies. Sadly this doesn’t seem to be filtering into the bitcoin ecosystem. </p> <p><a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-25233230">The collapse of Mt Gox</a> with the presumed theft of 744,000 bitcoins (6% of all the coins in circulation) is big news. The reported thefts and denial of service attacks on other exchanges do not inspire confidence.</p> <p>The pro-bitcoiners see this as a blip that will clear the market of weak firms. Maybe so, but it will also dent further adoption of digital currencies.</p> <p> If bitcoin is to fulfill its potential as genuinely disruptive then security is key. It impacts on confidence that in turn limits acceptance by businesses as well as usage by end-users.</p> <p>Dismissing these concerns is trite and lazy. A real test of bitcoin’s potential will be its response to these recent events.<strong> Bitcoin 2.0 needs military-grade security.</strong><strong> </strong></p> <h2>Using bitcoin isn’t for the faint hearted</h2> <p>The other big obstacle to adoption of crypto-currencies is usability. Those in the digital and finance sectors see this through tech-focused lenses. </p> <p>I’ve happily played with wallets for bitcoin, feathercoin, devcoin and others. They are all virtually identical and without exception, rubbish in terms of UI/UX. </p> <p>Growing usage of digital currencies will mean that they will have to be easily usable by the average consumer. </p> <p>There is still a long way to. What’s needed is the ‘Apple’ effect. Someone needs to do for crypto-currency what Apple has does done for music and mobile technology: make it cool and user-friendly.</p> <h2>It’s maths, stupid…</h2> <p>Linked to the issue of usability is the language of crypto-currencies. Proponents cite their indivisibility as a key strength. </p> <p>It doesn’t matter if the cost of one bitcoin reaches $1,000, $10,000 or $100,000 as it can be broken down into ever-smaller amounts. </p> <p>And therein lies the problem. For most ordinary people<strong> it quickly reaches a level where the numbers get silly. </strong></p> <p>How many decimal places can people reasonably deal with? We took a look at a range of UK items from a Mars bar to a luxury London pad and listed their prices in £s and bitcoin. This shows that this is a real challenge that needs to be overcome.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0004/5927/bitcoin_shopping_list-blog-full.jpg" alt="" width="615" height="584"></p> <h2>Are digital currencies destined to be an evolutionary dead-end?</h2> <p>Does this mean crypto-currencies are dead? No. The concept of a peer-to-peer, low transaction, highly secure means of exchange is an inevitable response to both the web itself and a traditional financial sector that is broken. </p> <p>The thinking that inspired the Bitcoin Foundation and the many copycat currencies still holds true. There is plenty of untapped demand from consumers and businesses for lower-cost transactions. </p> <p>This has led to startups such as Jack Dorsey’s Square that gives retailers the ability to accept card payments with much lower fees than those charged by the banks.</p> <p>Crypto-currencies also face competition from other innovations in the payments space. Some of these such as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/61905-start-me-up-a-profile-of-mobile-payment-app-droplet">mobile payments start-up Droplet</a> possess a simplicity of use that will help drive adoption. </p> <p>Using Droplet is a dream. Using a bitcoin wallet is a drudge in comparison. Others such as Coin, which lets you aggregate all your credit, debit and loyalty cards into one smartcard may also prove more disruptive in the short-term.</p> <p>Bitcoin, or something similar, may very well be the longer-term winner in the financial space. If it can overcome its core challenges then it will only continue to grow. <strong>What’s needed is a focus on addressing its weaknesses. Only then will crypto-currencies live up to their potential.</strong></p> <p><a href="http://visual.ly/bitcoin-shopping-list" target="_blank">View the full Bitcoin Shopping List infographic here</a></p>