Road Work Ahead: How navigating through traffic is a lot like navigating through mobile marketing

According to CNN, Americans across the US were stuck in traffic for 8 billion hours in 2016. A New England commuter, such as myself, came in at around 64 of those hours. No offence CNN, but my traffic stopwatch puts me in at about 10 hours per week, which if my math is correct, is 520 hours per year (sigh), sitting bumper to bumper on I-95 with my fellow commuters. I’m not a traffic analyst but, it doesn’t take one to tell those statistics are slightly off.

Similarly, US marketers devote roughly 16 hours per a 45 hour work week on day-to-day routine marketing tasks such as lists, monitoring social media and creating email campaigns. Which, we can assume the other 29 some hours are spent researching and analyzing the latest and greatest innovations to apply to their marketing strategies, with a majority of strategy being placed on mobile. That’s roughly 1,500 hours per year spent navigating through which marketing methods will give their business or brand optimal results. That’s a lot of time, but seems about right, since the challenge and abundance of ways to market to consumers and businesses today has vastly increased.

Quite frankly, it’s become a traffic nightmare.

If you are a  marketing road warrior like me, then you should relate to what I have to say next.  The rapid adoption of mobile has changed marketing forever. And, if you’re not in the proper lane, you’re going to get stuck, or worse yet, run over. Google reported last November that they will begin ranking  it’s search listing based on mobile content. That’s a pretty clear indicator that if you haven’t jumped on the mobile train, you better start sprinting to catch up. 

We’ve all read the mobilegedon stats; over 90% of consumers use smartphones while shopping, 68% of shoppers research a product via mobile while in-store, and in 2016, mobile investment will account for nearly 55% of digital and almost 19% of total ad spending. My point is, it’s all happening so fast that in our haste to get on board, we could very easily take a wrong turn and end up lost in a confusing pattern of mobile marketing paths that lead to nowhere, instead of clear and concise open lanes that will take your customer to the ultimate destination.

So, are you a stay-in-one-laner or a lane-changer? Are you stuck behind a mobile marketing strategy that is not getting you the results you need? Are your proximity mobile campaigns breaking down on the side of the road? Are you constantly wondering which lane you should (or should not) be in? Or, are you switching lanes too much – trying new platforms and software to achieve higher engagement and an improved in-store shopper experience? Regardless of what kind of driver you are, you sometimes need a road map to get you where you want to be.

Fasten your seatbelts and get ready to learn the 5 most important tools to put you in the fast lane to mobile marketing success.

1. Product Intelligence

Ask yourself this: What is the point of a mobile campaign that is going to send your consumers to a store that doesn’t have the product you are promoting? Seems pretty obvious, right? However, you would be shocked at the number of companies who don’t know for sure whether their products are in the stores they are targeting. 79% of shoppers enjoy receiving product offers, whether through a mobile app, banner ad or SMS message. Furthermore, 66% of those shoppers prefer to touch, feel and have the opportunity to purchase the product immediately.

The desire is there, but if you do not have the back end product availability data to support that desire, you’re going to get cut off. Here’s an example: if you are putting a push notification for a size 4, gold sequin bomber jacket in front of me on my iPhone with an offer of 20% off if I purchase in-store, you better believe I’m not going to be a happy shopper if I get to that store and that size 4, gold sequin bomber jacket is out of stock. As Beyonce would say, “Boy Bye.”

Here’s your roadmap: ShopAdvisor’s Intelligence Platform ingests detailed data on more than 200 million products online and in-store across more than 200,000 brick-and-mortar locations. Through our direct relationships with retailers and other data partners through our connected partner, Nielsen, we can provide the richest product availability data and power a website’s product finder to supplement any mobile campaign. The platform can help you either put the products where they need to be or save money by sending your prospects only to the stores where your promoted products are in-stock.

2. Context Intelligence

Talk with any merchandiser and they will tell you that a shopper’s context can make all the difference in converting a lead to a sale. Things like season, time of day, location, weather, and even traveling patterns are all key factors that must be considered when trying to deliver the right message at the right time to the right place. Without context, audiences get confused as to why you are communicating with them. Think about it like this – you wouldn’t send a push notification to a consumer for 50% off umbrella’s when it’s 82 degrees out with clear skies and no chance of rain. Again, we see many marketers wasting countless amounts of ad dollars on messages that are totally irrelevant and inconvenient to consumers. 70% of mobile users said they allow push notifications. So, let’s push them exactly what they want.

Here’s your roadmap: Through our intelligence platform and an ecosystem of AppNet partners, we collect and catalogue millions of contextual data points through beacons set up in store locations, mobile apps, social media, websites, and online publications. ShopAdvisor’s context data helps marketers and agencies understand the relationship between a shopper’s current context and the products and messaging being delivered. This is critical to sustained user engagement.

3. Shopper Intelligence

Shopper’s today are more connected, and savvier than ever. Think about how much time you spend on your smartphone. Well, chances are your customers are doing the same. The wealth of product information and the myriad ways to consume it have made it increasingly more difficult for marketers to get their share of attention and effectively target their ideal customers. Forget generic demographics. Today, retailers have the capability to examine the rawest behaviors of shoppers through their mobile activity.

Take for instance two shoppers – both female, age 29, moms, living in Idaho and making 50k per year. Though they may seem the same, their shopping habits, preferences, purchase-intent and brand loyalties are a case of apples to oranges. 

Here’s your roadmap: ShopAdvisor goes several steps further with its shopper data by capturing signals from the products and brands that consumers directly interact with the most. Our technology is embedded in thousands of mobile apps, thus allowing us to gather deep consumer insights like retailer affinities, brand loyalty, price sensitivity, purchase intent and optimal messaging times. Our data is different in that marketers can not only better target consumers, but can also better personalize the path-to-purchase experience for them and provide mobile interactions that matter.

4. Pre-Campaign Analysis

US marketers spend nearly $182 billion on advertising. Yes, billion. If you thought that was alarming, Bannersnack.com tells us that 54% of users don’t even click banner ads because they don’t trust them.  As my mom used to say, “there goes my money down the drain!” How is it that marketers aren’t putting more emphasis on researching or testing how their campaign will perform or the elements they could be faced with before they drop a whole lot of Benjamin Franklin’s on a digital marketing campaign? All of the strategy in the world can be a total fail if you promote and push shoppers from their beloved smartphones to locations that do not have your product. Their trust in you and your ads could go out the window. If you are not analyzing the way your consumers are researching you or getting to your product ahead of time, then you have definitely hit a roadblock my friend.

Here’s your roadmap: Say you have a particular product that has just hit the shelves and you need the insights to determine where and to what select group you are going to market this product. Last year, we conducted a pre-campaign lift for an internationally known computer software manufacturer to determine which stores carried their brand-spanking new, limited edition product. The product was centered around the release of one of the biggest, and most popular movies to date (think jedi), so the buzz was there. What we found was eye-opening. Out of the pre-targeted 100 locations of 3 big name retail giants, only 1 of the 3 retail stores had 100% availability of that limited edition product. The other 2 retailers showed close to only 50% of in-stock availability. So, without the pre-target analysis, our client would have spent two thirds more ad spend on banner ads that were directing consumers to a retailer that had less than 50% of their product. As you can see, doing your research before really does pay off.

5. Sales Lift Analysis

How do you measure the impact or ROI of your mobile campaigns? CTR, coupon redemption, app downloads, impressions? All are great, but all are generic. How are you identifying which campaigns hit the nail on the head and which ones were a sinking ship? What these basic analytics are missing are how the campaign will affect your customer’s engagement in the long run, what their in-app spend was and how their conversion rates stacked up. Sales lift analysis’ are used to calculate the percentage increase or decrease in each metric for users who received a campaign versus a controlled group. In simpler terms, comparing consumers who received your campaign to a group of consumers who did not receive the campaign to see which group did better.

Here’s your roadmap: With revenue, retention and engagement in mind, implementing a sales lift to your mobile proximity marketing campaign involves us adding a few key elements that Google Analytics just can’t touch. For example,  being able to identify the days of the week and times of those days that purchases occur the most, enables you to turn the dial on your campaigns up or down to match and further maximize your campaign ROI.

So, I ask you again, are you a stay-in-one-laner or a lane-changer? Or, are you just a marketer who is looking to block out all of the noise and simplify your mobile marketing strategy? You may not have the answer, and that’s okay, because sometimes we get lost in the sea of tail lights. But, from one road warrior to another, I recommend analyzing your current plan because mobile, like traffic, is not going anywhere. If anything, it’s going to become even more intricate with the new wave of virtual reality. Now is the time to ask yourself, what are you missing in your mobile campaigns? What roadblocks are you hitting along the way? What is stalling you? If you can picture incorporating at least one of the tools mentioned above into your current mobile marketing strategy, then you are already on the right track. You may not become the Jeff Gordon of mobile marketing, but I am confident that you will get to your destination faster than your competitors.

Interested in learning more about the capabilities above? Contact Laura for a demo!

4 Q’s on the 4 with Augment

Recently, augmented reality (AR) has been making quite the statement. Even USA Today foresees  VR and AR being very real in 2017 and now the New York Times is jumping on the AR bandwagon with their new app. Which is no surprise, as this type of computing display technology creates an almost real-life experience that allows us to shop, watch, dine and play interactively on our smartphones, tablets or desktops.

Of course, no one can forget Pokemon Go – one of the biggest examples of augmented reality technology, ever. But, all Pikachu’s aside, there is a considerable amount of opportunity for AR in the retail industry.  More so, in a recent Retail Perceptions report, 71% of shoppers surveyed they would be more likely to shop at a retailer if they offered augmented reality.

We’ve already started to see the ways AR is making it more fun, more easier and more convenient for consumers to purchase products or try them out before buying them online or in-store.  So the obvious choice for brands and retailers is to leverage this enhanced experience and start getting real with their customers.

Jean-François Chianetta, CEO, Augment

This month’s 4 questions on the 4 o’clock hour features an augmented reality company who’s  been at the forefront of this innovative consumer experience for quite some time now. We talked with CEO of Augment, Jean-François Chianetta, about the future of retail and how he see’s augmented reality technology benefiting both the online and in-store shopper who is no longer interested in the product description, but rather the interaction with the product virtually.

Who is Augment and how is augmented reality shaping the future of retail?

Augment is a venture-backed augmented reality software solution, keen on helping businesses merge our physical and virtual experiences. The company was founded in October 2011 and is currently headquartered in Paris, with commercial offices in New York City and Orlando. Now, with more than 200 clients in 36 countries, we’re a leader in the augmented reality space, revolutionizing the entire product life cycle.

We see augmented reality as a way for manufacturers and retailers to create a more meaningful and memorable online shopping experience. In retail, Augment overcomes customer pain points by allowing customers to try the products in augmented reality at home before buying through their smartphones or tablets. Augment is in a position to bring a physical presence to the online shopping experience.What kind of an impact does augmented reality technology have on products/brands and retailers?

Innovation in retail seeks to provide value to both brands and retailers alike but none have been as impactful throughout the buyer’s journey like augmented reality. AR can increase sales by allowing customers to try before buying, which, in turn, reduces returns by removing the initial guesswork.

We believe that future omnichannel experience will rely heavily on augmented reality and it is already adding more value in getting shoppers to engage on retailer’s mobile platforms. Brand manufacturers will indeed have a huge stake in the future of augmented commerce. As ecommerce evolves, so will consumer expectations. Product descriptions and 360 photos will no longer suffice. Mobile shoppers will want and expect the ability to test products at home before buying through augmented reality.

With the increasing shift to mobile commerce, why is it important to incorporate augmented reality into a consumer’s shopping journey?

The smartphone has been the first device capable of providing a true on-the-go augmented reality experience. In this regard it’s unique in the technology landscape. A responsive e-commerce website, or an app is very similar to what you can have on a desktop. But augmented reality can be properly experienced only on a mobile device. With that ability to project products in the real world, it brings the best of the in-store and ecommerce experience. You can not only see a product like if you were in the store, but better than that, you can see it right where it’ll be placed.

Finally the conversion rate can be better online than in-store as you’re not wondering how the product will look like after you unbox it at home.

Also, mobile is just the first step toward full augmented reality headsets. Once there, augmented reality will become the only option. Shopping on an augmented reality headset without full augmented reality will be like buying on a mobile from the pdf of the scanned catalog. By starting now to implement it on their mobile apps, retailers future-proof their ecommerce experience by building the first layer of augmented reality.

How can augmented reality work for retailers and brands whose goal is to drive their consumers into physical retail stores? 

Augmented reality has managed to merge the digital with physical in-store products and it has stimulated engagement that drives in-store sales.

CPGs and brands are enabling AR images on the outside of their packaging. In this sense, shoppers can scan the product packaging and easily see what’s offered inside without them having to speculate. Today’s consumer can engage with a brand through a physical store, their online shop or mobile presence, or through social media. All of these experiences should be consistent and an extension of one another. It isn’t rare that a customer starts in one channel and ends up purchasing through another. A true omnichannel marketing approach is about creating a customer experience that is seamless across all channels and augmented reality is already impactful in that way. 

By bringing the whole catalog into the store, augmented reality also removes the frustration for a customer who comes into a store, to find that the product is not there. With augmented reality, infinite aisle becomes a reality and the adviser in the store can show to the customer any of the product available, its different colors and configuration so that he can do an educated purchase.

ShopAdvisor’s Top 6 Articles of 2016 on Mobile, Retail and Proximity Marketing

Unless you were living under a rock in 2016, you couldn’t miss all the buzz about proximity marketing. We’ve watched brands and retailers spend gobs of money and jump through hoops to make that divine connection between their consumer’s location, shopping habits, and their ever growing love affair with their smartphones.

According to eMarketer, 78% of marketers have increased spending on location-based mobile advertising over the past year. Furthermore, studies also show that by 2022, spending on proximity based marketing technologies will reach $53 billion dollars. With the increasing shift from traditional marketing to mobile marketing, there is still an enormous amount of opportunity for brands and retailers to effectively target their shoppers when it matters the most.

So, what have we learned? A lot for sure, but there is still so much we’ve yet to learn. To help us continue down that path, we’d like to take a look back at some of the developments and stories that shaped where we stand today and what they portend for the road ahead. We put together our six most favorite articles, in no particular order, around retail, mobile and proximity marketing in 2016. Our hope is that you have a better understanding of how proximity marketing is not necessarily a one-size-fits-all, and can work for you in the year to come.

1.VB: New report shows marketers missing vast majority of mobile engagement opportunities

VB teamed up with Forrester Research to identify some of the mobile opportunities that most marketers were missing and give us an IDEA of how to fix it. With Forester’s IDEA framework, marketers can:

      • Identify the best mobile moments to capitalize on
      • Design and choose the most relevant content based on the consumer
      • Engineer the messaging to hit the consumer at the right time and
      • Analyze the performance of your campaigns.

It’s kind of a “duh”, but kudos to Forrester for creating a fun little acronym for us to use and reminding us why we must not miss the crucial moments to engage our consumers through mobile to deliver something they will find value in.

2. RetailDive: 5 tech trends that transformed retail in 2016

It seems like a top trend in 2016 for retailers was to create better interactions and stronger relationships with their customers. Aside from Artificial Intelligence and  Virtual Reality technology breakthroughs, we particularly liked the transformation of Chatbots and Personalization. The Chatbots are kind of a reinvent from some of the functions retailers have
used in the past through their mobile apps. Take Sephora for example. Through their Chatbot, beauty enthusiasts can book a makeup consultation at their nearest Sephora retail location through the Sephora app, while the color match assistant offers a shade matching extension that allows shoppers to scan an image of a color and then instantly match it to a lipstick or eye shadow color in Sephora’s inventory. Sephora is killing 2 birds with 1 stone. Getting shoppers in-store for a makeover and providing them with the opportunity to purchase the “Girl Gang” plum lipstick they just matched their favorite scarf color to is pure genius.

3. Forbes: How To Use Location To Power Smarter Mobile Moments

The big L word. Location. Forbes dives into the differences in targeting shoppers in New York versus targeting shoppers in New York who are walking into a RiteAid on 5th Ave to purchase deodorant. Most brands and
retailers want to make their marketing dollars count and hit the bullseye when it comes to targeting shoppers with what they want, when they want it and where they want to buy it. Whether it’s through an app, social media or push notifications, Forbes reminds us that we must not be afraid of the L word but, use it to our advantage to power the most effective hyper-targeted mobile campaigns.

4. New York Times: Clicks to Bricks: Online Retailers Find the Lure of a Store

Ecommerce continues to boom. Yet, on the contrary, physical stores are still vitally important, says the New York Times. Shopper’s want to feel, try on, and directly see what they’re about to make an investment in. Yes, we can blame ecommerce for certain brick-and-mortar’s closing their doors. However, and fortunately enough, that didn’t stop certain brands and retailers from putting their thinking caps on and using their online retail space to develop innovative pop-ups and ways to get their fare share of foot traffic. The article reports that online sales in the United States will reach nearly $394 billion this year, a number representing less than 12 percent of total retail sales, or a total $3.4 trillion however you want to look at it. But, web-influenced sales (search on mobile, buy in store)  in physical stores are expected to account for an additional $1.3 trillion, or about 38 percent of all retail sales. Step aside ecommerce, in-store shoppers are back.

5. LinkedIn: Intent is the Next Big Thing in Digital Marketing/Advertising

Mobile is here and everywhere. I can’t imagine my life without it (sad, but true). No matter what I need or what I want, I can access it on my iPhone in literally seconds. This evolving type of impulsive behavior, thanks to mobile, is ultimately what is driving the advertising industry today. In Brian Solis’s article, he gives a comparison of two physically, and comically speaking, different individuals. Yet, he shows us that though these two individuals may look and act different, they have the exact same demographics. Solis explains that decisions today are made in micro-moments and based on intentions, not demographics that most marketers are used to using when targeting customers. More so, he encourages marketers to “be there” and “be useful” in these moments. Specifically, if you have engaged your consumer, consider ways to be useful whether it is through providing local product availability information or even how-to videos.

6. GeoMarketing: Great Expectations — Is Your Proximity Marketing Measuring Up?

Say you have already implemented a proximity marketing program into your marketing plan. That’s great and all, but how are you measuring the success of it? Are you getting the results you hoped or set out for? Are you even getting results? In most cases, marketers are still relying on impressions, click through rates and foot traffic – basic analytics that are becoming increasingly more faulty. In this GeoMarketing feature, ShopAdivosr’s very own, Jeff Papows, delivers a set of questions that every marketer, who is using proximity marketing, should be asking themselves. Papows also explains how important a pre-campaign lift analysis can truly be for providing very specific and measurable data to determine the effectiveness of any campaign. This is a must-read for any brand, retail or agency professional!

National Pet Food Brand’s Drive-to-Store Campaign Delivers Pawsome Record Breaking Results through ShopAdvisor

ShopAdvisor published a new case study to highlight the results of a major national pet food brand’s drive-to-store campaign. One of the biggest findings, only 57% of the participating stores actually had the pet products in stock at the outset of the campaign. How did this data, provided by ShopAdvisor, help our client optimize advertising dollars and achieve maximum results?

A little over a year ago, I became a mom – a dog mom that is – to an incredibly charismatic, loving and high-energy chocolate Labrador Retriever. Growing up with dogs, I instinctively knew how important it would be to feed Jack the right kinds of food and treats so he too, can live a long and healthy life. Products that are made in the US, are all-natural, and readily available at stores closest to my home are some of the main things I look for in a pet brand. There is no denying that over the last few months, I have become pawfully loyal to certain dog treats and pet food brands. I mean, it’s not like everyone in Petco knows me (and Jack Daniels) on a first name basis or anything!


dogbonesCoincidentally, ShopAdvisor recently teamed up with a major national pet food brand on a drive-to-store mobile proximity marketing campaign that would entice pet owners into Walgreens to find their dog’s favorite treats.  ShopAdvisor provided the contextually relevant shopper, location and product availability data that powered a six week advertising campaign to increase awareness around three particular dog treats and drive pet owners into 8,614 Walgreens locations to purchase these scrumptious treats.


dog-2The pet brand utilized both mobile and desktop-based promotions, which included hyper-local targeted digital display ads and videos that were delivered via the Walgreens app. Data was pulled from the ShopAdvisor platform, which enabled us to provide the most granular audience segmented data for the campaigns. Key information like dog accessory purchase history, interest in dogs, distribution times and days, and competitive pet brand analysis were all factors in providing the highest contextualized messaging and path-to-purchase experience to pet owners in and around select Walgreens locations.

With more than 7.7 million impressions and a click through rate (CTR) that was 2.7 times higher than the industry average, our pet brand not only achieved substantial results in product awareness but, through real-time product availability data, pet owners were afforded with a more optimal and accurate clicks-to-bricks mobile experience. 

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Also, through the ShopAdvisor platform, the pet food brand found that only 57% of the participating stores actually had the treats in stock at the outset of the campaign. Why is that important? Think about it – a mobile ad drives a shopper to a retailer only to find that the product they just received an ad or offer for is the wrong flavor, color or worse, is out of stock. In that case, not only does that shopper lose (their mind!) but, the brand and retailer lose a sale, and more than likely, a customer to a competitor.

my chocolate lab, Jack Daniels

I don’t know about you, but my 78 pound fur baby rides shotgun pretty much anywhere I go. Though I trust Jack’s sixth sense every time we drive past a pet store,  I would much rather forgo the barking episode and instead, have a contextually relevant promotion pop up on my smartphone to alert me that his most beloved dog treats and food are in fact available at the pet store on my route home, in aisle 14, and a bonus, are 50% off! Hey, a well-fed dog is a happy dog! Can I get a woof if you agree?

You can read the full case study here

4 Q’s on the 4 with Ira Hernowitz

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To kick off our 4 questions on the 4 o’clock hour blog series, we asked our latest webinar panelist and retail marketing industry leader, Ira Hernowitz, to answer four questions that we feel have a significant impact on, shoppers, brands and retailers during the post-holiday shopping season. Who better to grace us with their expertise than a man who’s been in business for more than 25 years now! Here’s Ira’s take on how brick-and-mortar businesses can excel in not only the last few weeks of the year but, year-round.

Question #1: How can brands and retailers capitalize on both brick-and-mortar and ecommerce shoppers during the post-holiday timeframe and what should they do to bridge the two experiences together?

ira_1_150jpgAnswer: Statistics show 94% of retail sales are still generated in brick-and-mortar stores. But at the same time, online commerce continues to grow at a great rate, and mobile commerce is growing even faster.  These statistics speak to this incredible convergence we’re seeing where ecommerce starts and ends and where brick-and-mortar begins. They are really becoming quite seamless. With that in mind, 55% of online shoppers would prefer to buy from a merchant with a physical store over an online-only retailer and 64% of people think that customer experience is more important than price in their choice of brand. These two statistics illustrate the burden that brick-and-mortar retailers now have to create not only an inviting shopping environment, but an overall great experience for shoppers. Retailers cannot take shoppers for granted in any way. When they are in in the store, retailers must communicate with them in the most powerful way possible and take advantage of the fact that they are in a completely different world than they were in the past.

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Question #2: How has the retail business changed over the last few years and what are the opportunities?

Answer: Today we live in what I like to call “real time retail.”  For example, in the old school retail world, most retailers were focused on getting into the new season immediately after Christmas. Now they need to think of the week following Christmas as an extension of the holiday season as there is more shopper opportunity than ever before. The biggest factor driving this has been the massive growth in gift cards, which now accounts for billions of dollars in shopper purchases immediately following Christmas. Retailers want to maximize their opportunity with those shoppers who are, as I like to think of it, burning holes in their pockets with gift cards. Secondly, in the time frame of the holidays, the most powerful word for marketing is “new.” Retailers are planning new, getting new merchandise quicker, and the power of telling a new story when people may have been shopped out, but are back in your store again, is an untapped opportunity. Lastly, retailers have the opportunity to thoughtfully plan the weeks following Christmas thanks to new technologies.

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Question #3: How is the shopper mentality evolving?

Answer: There are quite a few elements to look at when it comes to evaluating the evolution of the shopper. First there is the the increased use of mobile. With 72% of millennial shoppers doing their initial research on their smartphones before purchasing in store, mobile is undoubtedly where a lot of opportunity lies. ShopAdvisor is critical in that opportunity pattern. Next we have the omnichannel experience. The ability to engage the shopper across multiple channels — online, offline, mobile and in-store — is imperative in making the shopper’s path-to-purchase experience seamless. Another consideration is the idea of impulse versus planned shopping.  Before Christmas most of it is planned, but after we see a big swing to the impulse side. A big factor driving this are gift cards. There is a lot of opportunity for a retailer to get their share of impulse dollars during the post-holiday season. Rewards and loyalty programs can play a significant role as well. These customer based programs are a paramount now and offer a great opportunity to not only communicate with consumers, but to also gain an understanding of their shopping patterns and take advantage of them in a more personal way. And finally, as previously mentioned, the rise in gift cards, cash gift cards and digital coupons.  These can drive very loyal customers into stores who are motivated to buy products.  The bottom line is that consumers are smarter and more informed now more than ever. What retailers, brands and agencies need to be thinking about is how to integrate all of these factors into a post-holiday marketing plan that can be incredibly powerful.

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Question #4: What are some of the biggest drive-to-store opportunities during the post-holiday timeframe?

Answer: No one can argue that gift cards are one of the biggest opportunities here. The aggregate gift card business reached $130 billion dollars last year and we can safely assume that around 40% of those sales were in the last eight weeks of the year.  Additionally, most consumers are reaching into their wallets pretty substantially when using gift cards, spending up to 40% beyond the value of the card. That gift card is a powerful tool!  A retailer’s job is to really maximize the return on those consumers when they come into the store. Another opportunity is the exchanges and returns process. One of the biggest opportunities that retailers miss is the buy online and return in store. They need to make the return process as seamless as possible.  They also need to be thinking about now that the consumer is in the store, what is the best way to get them to stay and potentially buy more products? Lastly, there’s no denying that stores will always have a clearance/sales mentality during this time frame. Combing clearance/sales with gift cards and potentially even adding value on the gift card for purchases within the clearance are ways to get those baskets sizes up and get more product out the door.

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As you can see, the opportunities that brands and retailers have in the weeks following Christmas are certainly there. What it comes down to, is thinking smarter and really taking the time to tap into your consumer’s shopping habits, brand preferences and disposable income so that you can provide an unparalleled path-to-purchase experience for them.  By leveraging the latest developments in mobile technology and proximity marketing, brands and retailers can become more agile and nimble marketers.

We want to thank our friend, Ira Hernowitz, for sharing his knowledge with us! In the words of the noble Thomas Edison, “opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls, and looks like work.”

Happy Holidays!

Webinar Preview: How Proximity Marketing Can Deliver What Santa Forgot

ShopAdvisor welcomes former Toys R Us and Hasbro executive and current CEO of Kindara, Ira Hernowitz, for an informative webinar about the importance of the week after Christmas. For most retailers it’s the second highest revenue producing week of the year, making it a critical time for driving shoppers into brick-and-mortar locations using mobile proximity marketing programs.

If you’re like me, your day starts with a cup of Joe and an endless array of news feeds. Recently, my social media channels have been flooded with Black Friday reports from David Kaplan of GeoMarketing, Cyber Monday statistics from marketingdrive.com, and week before Christmas shopping predictions that seem to get even crazier each year. Don’t get me wrong, as a marketer, I love these stories. They inspire me to think creatively and give me the opportunity to do what I love. However, right about now, I am on Christmas data overload and I haven’t even put up my Christmas tree yet!

what-santa-forgot-squareWe tend to hear so much hype around what brands, retailers and shoppers can expect in the weeks leading up to Christmas that we often forget to examine the immense opportunity that lies in the immediate post-holiday time frame. At ShopAdvisor, we see the week after Christmas as a gold mine for the retail industry.

With returns, exchanges, gift cards, blowout sales and foot traffic at their highest, we believe that keeping the holiday spirit alive can actually create a springboard effect into the new year. Rather than thinking of the week after Christmas as a time to move inventory quickly off the shelves, brands and retailers should be thinking smarter about what they can do to get their share of year-end revenue and secure the loyalty of existing customers, as well as win over new ones. By employing mobile proximity marketing programs, retail marketers can get more bang for their marketing buck and ring in the new year with with innovative mobile marketing, digital advertising and consumer engagement strategies.

ira_1_150jpgForget Santa Claus and Christmas. We give you Ira Hernowitz and a webinar! Who better to chat clicks-to-bricks with than a man who’s been at the forefront of marketing and business development for big name brands and retailers such as Toys R Us, Stride Rite, and Hasbro? Ira may not be Santa Claus, but he’s ready to “gift us” with his years of experience in integrated consumer marketing, retail strategy, sales, product development and brand building. Not to mention, he has a real passion and skill for leading companies into successful outcomes.

“Ira is a stellar marketer and overall business person. He fully understands and is adept at driving the business forward in a manner that builds the brand and that creates value for his customers and the company. He also is a highly effective leader who can inspire his associates and build an organization.”Frank P Bifulco Jr, EVP Global Marketing, Staples

So, if you are a brand or retail executive, marketing guru, agency account rep, or even a small business owner, we encourage you to grab your hot chocolate and join us for a unique learning experience on Tuesday, December 6th at 1:30pm.

In a half-hour, we will cover:

  • The evolving nature of shopping and shoppers
  • Post-holiday shopping trends and opportunities
  • What you need to know about today’s omnichannel shopper
  • Three drive-to-store opportunities to capitalize on
  • What brands & retailers need to be thinking about after Christmas
  • The data and contextual experiences needed to speed shopper’s path to purchase
  • Three examples of making proximity marketing work for you

Register Here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5836695182544828931

ShopAdvisor and Mobee Whip Up a New Dish of Hyperlocal Proximity Marketing Just in Time for the Holidays

img_5874-1With Thanksgiving, and the entire holiday season, right around the corner, I can’t help but think of all the delicious food I am going to spend hours cooking, and minutes devouring. Earlier this week, ShopAdvisor  added a new ingredient to their recipe book by teaming up with Mobee to deliver the industry’s most granular, real-time product availability information for hyperlocal proximity marketing campaigns. With improved location awareness technology and richer product availability data, consumers can now “have their cake and eat it too” when using their smartphones while shopping at their beloved brick-and-mortar locations.

Is your mouth watering yet?

Mobee’s ingredient uses offline data, insights and crowdsourcing to collect, organize and analyze consumer data at scale. Via its mobile app, Mobee collects thousands of data points and photos through it’s “Mobee Missions” and then delivers analytics and insights to a customizable dashboard in real-time. Mix that up with ShopAdvisor’s Intelligence Suite and you have a recipe that is uniquely positioned to support the explosive growth of hyperlocal marketing campaigns through product availability information on tens of millions of SKUs, in more than two hundred thousand retail locations.

The taste test concludes that Mobee’s “Missions” definitely add some flavor to ShopAdvisor’s context intelligence capabilities by allowing Mobee app users to answer consumer sentiment questions from any place, at any time, and yet conveniently, just in time for Black Friday.

So, what did we learn? The secret ingredient isn’t always just a pinch of something. In this case, it’s a big ol’ cup of teamwork. Bon Appétit!

You can read the full press release here.

 

Proxbook Proximity Industry Report is Out

Proxbook’s Q3 State of the Proximity Industry came out this week and we at ShopAdvisor always look forward to seeing what it reveals.

In addition to updating us on general market trends and stats, Proxbook takes a deeper dive into a specific industry to examine how proximity marketing is progressing there. This time they looked at transportation and airports and and the findings are pretty impressive. Turns out that airports are really a great environment for proximity marketing. They’re like perfect petri dishes where all the elements come together to provide a place where proximity marketing can develop and flourish.

beacons-and-airports_american-airlines-undertakes-the-biggest-deployment-of-ibeacons-ever

So what makes them so great? Here are some of Proxbook’s findings:

  • U.S. airports have more visitors annually than retailers, theme parks and stadiums combined.
  • 89% of air travelers are carrying smartphones and are using them to help with ticketing, finding gates, locating shops and restaurants, tracking luggage and more.
  • 35% of the top 25 U.S. airports have beacons deployed and 84% of airports are planning more sensor deployments over the next 3 years.
  • 50% of airports view proximity as opening up new revenue streams for them and their tenants.

In addition to these overall stats the report provided some great case studies on proximity implementations in airports around the world, including Brussels. Munich, Boryspil and San Diego.

From an overall proximity market perspective the numbers continue to go up.  In Q3, sensor deployment by the companies followed by Proxbook grew 42% over Q2.

q3-proximity-numbers

In addition to continued infrastructure growth products and services are increasing as well.  We’re happy to say that holds true for us as we’ve continued to grow, adding customers from many new segments within retail and CPG.  Proxbook’s findings echo what we’re seeing by reporting that proximity advertising networks — enabling 3rd party brand to deliver hyperlocal, targeted promotions and offers — is the area with the most growth.

So what do we learn from this report? Well, the obvious answer is proximity marketing is really taking off.  Bad pun I know. But we think its more than that. We think the underlying message is that the possibilities for proximity marketing are boundless and we’re just starting to scratch the surface.

The Aggregate Series 9

 

With Halloween behind us its getting to be that time of year. But we’re not talking about the Holidays. Rather, its the season when we begin to see market forecasts and predictions for 2017 appear. If you are a mobile marketer, or provide the data and tools that power mobile proximity marketing campaigns, then 2017 is shaping up to be a very big year. Here are some of big predictions that came out this week, which we’re excited about.

analysis-reports

Zach Rogers, Executve Editor at AdExchanger took a look at Facebook’s Q3 earnings and his findings reveal a bright picture for mobile advertising, which accounted for 84% of the growth in Facebook’s YOY ad growth. In a direct correlation, Facebook’s mobile daily active users grew 22% compared to Q3 2015, surpassing 1 billion. Meanwhile, monthly active user are approaching 2 billion, having grown 16% year over year. This is more evidence of the growing power of the mobile consumer and the opportunity for brands and retailers to reach them through contextually relevant proximity-based marketing campaigns.

Our friends over at GeoMarketing published an interesting piece on a study from BIA/Kelsey, which predicts that “Total local ad revenues will reach $148.8 billion in 2017, up 2.4 percent from 2016.” Associate Editor Lauryn Chamberlain reported that the continued growth in the local ad space is attributable to a mix of factors including consumers willing to share their location and that local product inventory availability data is improving.  This is music to our ears at ShopAdvisor as these are a couple of the areas in which our platform excels.

Finally, eMarketer produced a podcast and a story on the “Five Mobile Commerce Predictions for 2017.” For us, the most telling piece of information is how fast SmartPhones have become the dominant device for driving Mcommerce sales and the hockey stick growth it will continue to have through 2020, when it will account for nearly 80% of all Mcommerce sales.

Lots of number being thrown around, but if we net it all out it tells us that the scales are now firmly tilted toward mobile shopping and that brands, retailers, agencies, mall operators and media companies will need to move quickly to ensure and grow their stakes in this market.

 

Proximity Marketing Will Get Smarter through Nielsen Connected Partner Program

We have some really exciting news to report. ShopAdvisor is an inaugural member of Nielsen’s Connected Partner Program.  Nielsen officially introduced the program today. ShopAdvisor is the first mobile proximity marketing platform provider to qualify for this prestigious standing.nielsen_connectedpartner_seal_color2

The Nielsen Connected Partner Program is an industry first solution for companies serving the CPG and retail industries.  This Connected Partner Program enables partner companies and Nielsen clients to find each other and collaborate in an open ecosystem, freeing them from common barriers to connecting applications and data sets at scale. Nielsen’s CPG data is the DNA of this program and is the most robust retail and shopper information available in the world.  Through a mutual data source, the Nielsen Connected Partner Program ultimately enables Nielsen clients and partners to easily bridge their insights and harness the data necessary to net mutually beneficial results.

This development follow on the heels of the launch of our enhanced platform, which includes the expansion of AppNET,  our network of mobile app providers who integrate our location, shopper and retail product availability information into their apps.  In becoming a Nielsen Connected Partner we build on our extensive retail product availability intelligence. We use Nielsen to significantly enhance our Product Intelligence. When this is coupled with our Context Intelligence, which can customize messaging and targeting based on factors like time of day, weather, and proximity to a retail store, as well as with our Shopper Intelligence that can personalize an experience using brand, retailer, and category affinities, the combination creates compelling drive-to-store campaigns. 

The Nielsen Connected Partner Program is another example of how quickly the market for proximity marketing is coming together. The increased data sharing opportunities provided by the program will translate into more intelligent and contextually relevant campaigns, which will engage consumers at the right time with the right products in the right location that will drive their path to purchase in brick and mortar stores.