Kissmetrics has released a report which tells us what we suspected. Mobile users are happy to wait a little longer for their webpages to load.
We stress at StreetHawk about download times, esp. as we have so many pics in our app. It’s always good to have a reality check about what people’s expectations really are, esp. with some of the networks in this country having such poor coverage.
This doesn’t mean we stop trying to make our apps and webpages faster and better. This last paragraph is very encouraging:
‘By providing a satisfactory mobile experience retailers pave the way for shoppers to go on to purchase via other channels, found research by ForeSee Results (2011). Their survey of shoppers found that those who were satisfied with a mobile experience were 32% more likely to go on to purchase from that retailer online and 31% were more likely to buy offline.’
Mobile users will wait a little longer for mobile webpages to load
A wait of 2-3 seconds for a website to load on a PC is long enough, say consumers, but when browsing the web on their mobile phone many allow a little more time before abandoning the website, according to recent figures from Kissmetrics.
by Helen Leggatt
BizReport : Internet : February 20, 2012
I don’t know about you, but when I’m browsing the Internet on my mobile device I am rather more forgiving of page load times than if I were sat at my PC. But am I in the minority? According to Kissmetrics I’m fairly normal. (more…)
I wish I had more time to blog. It is a great way to distill your thoughts about everything you read every day, especially around complex areas (which is what I do on my commute, via my iPhone). Alas, I am just trying to move a ball forward every day and kicks some goals for StreetHawk.
There is a lot in the press about privacy at the moment, and some great commentary about what this actually means in the new ‘social’ world. The discussion exploded after a number of apps were ‘discovered’ accessing users entire address books and even uploading it to their servers without the users permission. I find this shocking. What I also find shocking is the amount of information Facebook (FB) gives StreetHawk as a company for the benefit of letting users login to StreetHawk with their FB ID.
I am a FB user. I don’t regularly go in and check the Privacy Statement – I mean, who really does. When I login to my Airbnb app using my FB login, do I know what information I am imparting to the Airbnb? It is certainly NOT in their permission box, nor is it in many others. They, like us, ask for the minimum amount of data from FB, but what this gives us as a company is everything in their profile, their friends and even their email address.
I read a great article recently – wish I could find it – about the fact that there are many dubious practices around privacy, but the fact is that even with lots of lobby and government groups jumping up and down, nothing is being done about it. The writer made the statement that this might be because people don’t really care. Or that the downsides of having their privacy invaded aren’t really very bad, and at most, incredibly unlikely?
Our home address for example is held by many organisations and individuals. It is really not that hard to find someone if you want to. If we’re going to have a stalker, it’s likely to be an ex-partner and they already know where you live and hang out.
And of course I have to mention the whole cookie advertising discussion here as well. OK, I think that tracking what people do, where they go, with permission and as long as it is anonymous, is a good thing. It means that everyone in the advertising eco-system is happier (what consumer really wants irrelevant advertising?). But, when Google just gets trickier and trickier, it takes the whole cause back. Read this from Business Insider today. http://read.bi/xCxkR6
I follow with an article by Graham Spencer from Mac Stories on what it means to over-compensate on permissions. If you use location-based services on your iPhone, you are probably as annoyed as I am every time I get asked my permission for something that is integral to using the app.
We start treating these permissions like wallpaper, undoing the good that was intended. Graham makes some great suggestions so hopefully someone from Apple is listening.
We have to keep talking about these issues as a business community. We have to navigate very new waters. It is complex, I think ‘consumer’ views and technology has the ability to capture more information than ever before.
Now I must get back to that ball.
The iOS Permission Dialog Dilemma
For anyone who used Windows Vista, you will be well aware of the frustration that UAC (User Account Control) caused. That permission dialog popped up far too frequently, constantly asking the user for permission to execute a particular task. In theory, it was a good idea: give the user more control over what was allowed to run. The problem was that because the dialog box popped up far too often, people quickly learned to ignore it and blindly click “Allow” whenever it appeared - nullifying any of the security benefits of UAC. Thankfully Microsoft relaxed the pervasiveness of UAC in Windows 7 and it is now a far more useful security tool.
Why did I just spend a paragraph talking about UAC? Because to a certain degree, Apple is facing a similar dilemma with iOS and its permission dialogs. It recently faced scrutiny after it was revealed that a number of apps were accessing a user’s entire address book and even uploading it to their servers – without any user approval. Apple has now pushed back and announced it will soon require user permission for apps to access a user’s Contacts. But will it resemble yet another blue dialog box, just like access to Location, Push Notifications and Twitter already do? If so a user will face a barrage of those dialog boxes, asking for permission, one on top of the other.
It’s after reading Marco Arment’s thoughts on this issue earlier today that I thought I would weigh into the discussion and suggest one idea that may (or may not) be a potential ‘solution’. While there can never be a single solution that will be perfect for everyone (what may be overly cautious for one user may be overly lenient for another) the goal as I see it is to arrive at a solution somewhere in the middle ground; one that achieves an acceptable mix of precaution and freedom.
Essentially, my suggestion is that rather than let users face a stacked barrage of blue permission dialogs, is to flatten them all out on one clear screen when they first launch an app after installation. Users would see a list of what the app would like permission to access and the user would be able to (with one tap) allow all, or individually deny permission for the various databases. Furthermore, with one tap, a user could see a short justification from the developer for why the app is requesting that particular access – giving a little bit more control and peace of mind to the user. If a developer lied on this page it would almost certainly be grounds for expulsion from the App Store. The one final goal of my proposal is that it would also inform the user that these options can be changed the Settings, something many users may not be aware of at the moment.
I myself am not sure this is the best option, because there is one critical weakness. With my design, an app would have to upfront ask for permissions for whatever it might want to access in the future – but as Marco points out, some apps (like Instapaper) require access to something like Location for a minor feature that not everyone would even use (in that case it is to determine if it’s night at the users location, in which case it can switch automatically to dark mode).
If I asked most careful people if Instapaper could have their location, they’d refuse, because there’s no obvious good reason. But if the app asks right when they enable a location-based setting from a screen that shows why it’s asking for their location, they can make a more educated decision. Similarly, if an app doesn’t seem to have a good reason when it asks for Contacts, a skeptical person can decline.
Although to counter that point, I would note that not only can a user choose to individually deny Instapaper access to their location, but if they were curious as to why Instapaper would need access to their location, they could quickly read Marco’s explanation with one tap. Furthermore, my suggestion wouldn’t entirely remove the blue permissions dialog, as an app could ask again for permission later on if access was initially denied but a user is trying to use a feature that requires permission — in that case, the app could trigger the dialog to ask the user permission again.
Accompanying my suggestion would be something similar to Rene Ritchie’s app permission sheet in Settings. It would list all apps that have asked for permissions and you could dive in and edit those original options from when you first installed the app. As for allowing an app to send push notifications, I would probably keep that separate, as its own blue dialog box. My permissions “screen” would be solely dedicated to access permissions, to information that is privately stored on your device. One big benefit of such a permissions screen of course is that Apple could theoretically add more things that require permission to be accessed by apps, without a user becoming too overwhelmed, because such a layout is far better than stacking dialog boxes. Think about access to NFC or perhaps your music library.
Great article on further blurring of the lines between online and BAM shopping – and how to make it work effectively using shoppers current habits.
Shoppers are really leading the way, it is just up to retailers to listen, take note and action what might already be working for them.
Thanks to Mike Farely for forwarding this article to me.
Customers may shop online while in store
By Jayne O’Donnell and Laura Petrecca, USA TODAY
By Paul J. Richards, AFP/Getty Images, Updated 11/24/2011 8:18 PM
A tablet-toting Macy’s salesperson ordering a diamond necklace with a Macys.com app — for a customer standing in a Macy’s store.
Walmart shoppers pulling up maps of their neighborhood store online — so they can better navigate the aisles to grab the best in-store Black Friday deals.
Toy-seeking parents ordering Lets Rock Elmo from Toysrus.com — yet heading to the physical store to pick the gift up.
The boundaries separating online and in-store shopping are fast dissolving.
Consumers are increasingly doing online research before they head out for holiday gifts. When they get to stores, they’re pulling out smartphones and tablets to compare prices and read reviews.
For their part, retailers are both pushing people to their websites — so they can cut back on in-store stock expenses — and using Web-based initiatives, such as free Wi-Fi, to keep shoppers in their stores.
Online and offline experimentation will be omnipresent this holiday season, as retailers and consumers both try to figure out the most effective way to shop.
“One of our major strategies is to let (multiple shopping channels) blend together,” says Martine Reardon, Macy’s executive vice president of marketing and advertising. “My challenge is to give shoppers that great experience from every channel.”
There is much at stake for the retailer who can’t figure out how to integrate online and in-store shopping. Those who have slow-to-load websites, don’t offer helpful apps or aren’t optimized for digital and mobile devices could lose customers this season, experts say.
Underscoring the importance of retail websites: Thanksgiving Day online sales were up by about 20% over 2010 by noon PT, according to the Web analytics company IBM Coremetrics. Also, shoppers were using mobile devices more often to visit — but not necessarily buy from — a retailer’s website Thursday, Coremetrics said. The share of consumers using mobile devices to visit a store’s site was up from 4% to 16%, Coremetrics said. But the percentage using their mobile devices to make a purchase was unchanged at 10%.
Many retailers are dawdling, some even stumbling, when it comes to courting increasingly tech-savvy shoppers, based on new data from Web analytics firm Compuware Gomez.
Less than half of the top 30 retailers have iPad apps, and none have websites that are specifically optimized for the iPad. Three-fourths of the top U.S. retailers are not meeting shoppers’ expectations that mobile Web pages should load in five seconds or less, according to Compuware.
“Retailers don’t appear to be investing enough to capture that market,” says Steve Tack, Compuware’s chief technology officer for application and Web performance.
Dissatisfied consumers could quickly move on to competitors at a time digital sales are one of the few bright spots in holiday retailing, Tack says.
November and December online sales (excluding travel) are expected to grow 16.8% from last year to $46.7 billion, research company eMarketer says.
Yet, overall holiday spending, including in-store purchases, is expected to be tepid, rising 2.5% to 3.5% from last year, according to industry predictions tracked by eMarketer.
Technology shifts behavior
The day after Thanksgiving should be renamed “Cyber Friday” instead of “Black Friday,” given the growing influence of shopping on computers and mobile devices, say researchers at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
“Technology is quickly making new norms possible,” says Richard Wilson, a marketing professor and a director of the Kellogg Center for Global Marketing Practice. “Pervasive digital data plans and in-store Wi-Fi are enabling shoppers to do it all at once, to combine off-line and online excursions together.”
One in four consumers “frequently” or “always” use a mobile device to compare prices while shopping in a store, a new Kellogg study shows. Nearly two-thirds said they do so at least “occasionally.”
Nearly half of smartphone and tablet users plan to make holiday purchases with a mobile device this year, according to a study conducted by Ipsos for PayPal.
The uptick in online shopping is good news for retailers: The holiday shopper who uses multiple channels — such as online, mobile and in-store — will spend 22% more than people who shop only in stores, says NRF spokeswoman Ellen Davis.
There are several factors affecting the increase, Davis says, including more merchandise options available through multiple channels and the convenience of online shopping.
Online sales for Black Friday 2010 were $648 million — a 9% rise from Black Friday 2009, according to Web tracking company ComScore.
The trend will ramp up on Monday, traditionally dubbed “Cyber Monday” for online deals offered to holiday shoppers. More than 90% of Web retailers planned to offer special promotions over the Thanksgiving weekend and nearly 80% will have deals on Monday, NRF says.
Online sales broke the $1 billion mark for the first time on Cyber Monday 2010, which was up 16% from Cyber Monday 2009, ComScore says.
Most people don’t solely shop online or only shop in a store, Reardon says. They pick and choose the channels based on what fits in their lives.
Her goal: to let shoppers know that Macy’s can meet their holiday needs, whether it’s in physical stores, at Macys.com, on a Macy’s app or another Macy’s-branded avenue.
“All I care about is that they (consumers) are engaging with the Macy’s brand — whether they choose to do that online, on the desktop or on their mobile device while walking the store,” she says.
Walmart has a similar stance. Its holiday plan is to provide a “seamless experience” for the online, mobile and in-store shopper, spokesman Ravi Jariwala says. With its range of initiatives — which include new tablet apps and giving Walmart.com users sneak peeks of in-store specials — “customers can shop Walmart when, where and how they choose,” he says.
Macy’s is increasingly giving tablets to clerks to search online inventories through a Macys.com app. Customers can view and order merchandise that may be out-of-stock or not sold at a local Macy’s.
On Tuesday, Scott Parent, a Macy’s manager in the Burlington, Mass., store showed customer Terri Pecorelli a coffee maker via the tablet app. That same day, Parent used his tablet to pull up details on Macy’s Black Friday deals for customer Michelle Mabardy.
Sears and Home Depot are handing out tablets to their staffs, too. Employees at about 450 Sears stores have been equipped with tablets to help bolster customer service. Those employees are able to easily check online product availability and to show videos that demonstrate how certain products work.
Home Depot has distributed 30,000 Motorola mobile computers, with bar-code scanners and cameras, to sales staff in its nearly 2,000 stores. Cara Kinzey, Home Depot’s information technology chief, says the devices let clerks check inventory, provide product information, print labels, communicate with other associates, even check out customers with debit or credit cards from anywhere in the store.
“It not only makes us more efficient, but also enables us to take our customer service to the next level,” Kinzey says.
Other ways retailers are merging online and offline:
•Providing free Wi-Fi. Retailers including Sears, Macy’s and Nordstrom have rolled out free in-store wireless. Through that service, iPad and other digital-device-wielding shoppers can easily check online product reviews and compare prices at other stores.
•Allowing online orders with in-store pickup. Retailers such as Walmart, Sears, Kmart and Toys R Us let shoppers select products online, then pick up the goods at a local store.
•Offering similar online and in-store deals. A shopper doesn’t have to feel left out by not getting up at 4 a.m. to hit a local store for specials. Some retailers, such as Toys R Us, are offering the same Black Friday deals both online and in-store. Shoppers can pick whatever shopping method best suits their needs, Chief Marketing Officer Greg Ahearn says.
Savvy strategy for stores
While consumers are clamoring for more digital shopping options, retailers’ efforts to merge online and offline worlds are about more than customer satisfaction, retailing experts say. It’s more efficient for retailers to limit the inventory they keep in stores, says retail branding and design expert Ken Nisch. Distribution centers allow retailers to ship directly to stores or to online customers. That reduces the need for markdowns at stores where products didn’t sell, as well as the cost of shipping products between stores.
“Online is not a default mechanism for the failure of bricks-and-mortar stores to satisfy the customer, but a complement,” Nisch says.
It will soon be part of the expected shopping behavior to have receipts e-mailed and to book appointments with retailers online, says Nisch, chairman of retail branding and design company JGA.
Stores also hope to be able to remove a lot of signs in favor of QR codes that can be read with mobile devices and quickly translated into multiple languages, says Nisch.
While digital shopping has many benefits, Macy’s Reardon says, “I think the customer loves both experiences — loves to shop online and absolutely loves to come in the store. You want to feel the energy of the holidays.”
Contributing: Hadley Malcolm
Sorry, I am lazy today. This one from Luxury Daily and Mobile Marketer Daily email. And to my first blog post of today, naughty Barney’s in NYC for execuing a print campaign with QR codes, when their site was not mobile optimised! Doh!
How customized QR codes can drive CRM
By Rachel Lamb
Luxury brands have been using QR codes in out-of-home, print, in-store and online displays, but those that take it a step further by customizing them can increase brand loyalty and build CRM.
Since there is usually no doubt knowing whose code it is when they are customized for brands, this technique will help to increase brand awareness and encourage customers to engage. Furthermore, since affluent consumers enjoy being a part of an exclusive experience, they may be more apt to scan a code if they see it attached to a famed luxury brand.
“Customized codes are creating brand recognition and inspiring user engagement because the whole thing about a luxury brand is the name,” said Matt McKenna, founder and president of Red Fish Media, Miami. “It’s a prestigious thing.
“Black-and-white QR codes are anti-productive,” he said. “When you see a black-and-white code, you don’t know where it’s going or who it belongs to.
“But consumers will want to scan the code if they see that a logo or name of a brand that they love.”
Red Fish Media has designed customized QR codes for Ralph Lauren, Coach and Perry Ellis.
Customized QR codes can be used for any kind of luxury brand or company.
Another one from Mobile Commerce Daily. I think this is a really good way of using QR codes – create consumer engagement, and provide a clear and strong call to action. I was SO DISAPPOINTED with the Sportsgirl QR campaign earlier this year – who cared, there didn’t seem to be any relevent content, and there was no call to action. Mobile is an action device – so why not use it for such???
When I read this article, I was reminded about how the best mail pieces work e.g. Readers Digest, IMP, Mills & Boon. OK, they are not pretty and don’t win awards, but they were designed for involvement, leading people through and offer and create a strong call to action. Mobile ads and campaigns that employ the same strategy, like the Zappos example below, have cracked the code I think.
So are mobile ads the new millennial mail packs? I think they could be! See below and tell me what you think.
Zappos.com builds brand awareness via QR codes
By Lauren Johnson
NEW YORK – Mobile bar codes are an effective way to leverage a brand’s existing marketing efforts and build brand awareness, according to a Zappos executive who presented at OMMA Global.
Online retailer Zappos.com recently tested the mobile waters with mobile bar codes. In addition to mobile bar codes, the company also combines its marketing efforts with digital and social initiatives.
“Zappos sells more than just shoes, so how do we get people to know that?” said Liz Dizon, brand marketing manager at Zappos.com, Henderson, NV.
If the shoe fits
One of the main goals of Zappos.com’s mobile campaign was to leverage the retailer’s already existent content and make it more engaging for consumers.
“We wanted to make each opportunity for a consumer to engage with us a positive experience that reflects our brand,” Ms. Dizon said.
Zappos.com is a retailer that is known for its customer service.
The company has also learned that its users are busy on-the-go women who expect the same level of customer service on their mobile devices.
Zappos.com worked with advertising agency Mullen on its mobile efforts.
“Zappos’ target audience wants to participate in marketing and had a simple message in mind,” said Tim Vaccarino, group creative director at Mullen, Boston.
Zappos integrated mobile bar codes into magazine advertisements with two separate campaigns that were targeted at different demographics – women with casual styles and women who prefer trendy fashion pieces.
To target the casual-dressing woman, the retailer played off paper dolls as a theme of ads that included a QR code.
When consumers scanned the code, they were prompted to dress a model by swiping through outfits. Once users finished putting together a look, they were directed to Zappo’s site to purchase items directly.
Some of the ads that ran in September magazines included additional content via QR codes with videos and social media (more…)
Comments on Fran Foo’s piece ‘Amex launches Facebook couponless deal’
I am the CEO of an Australian start up who is building a mobile shopping app in this space. I am currently keeping a keen eye on overseas trends in mobile shopping/ offers. We are also pitching ourselves as the antithesis of Group Buying as we are truly personal, hyper-local and now – and we won’t be compromising brands or margins which the daily deals sites are widely accused of. We don’t serve up Group Buying offers, but relevant offers based on shopper preferences where there is no minimum of buys for the deal to go live.
In September I will be engaged in a public debate hosted by the Australian Direct Marketing Association on the ‘Cons’ side of Group Buying. So that gives you the context of my comments!
I think there are some key points of difference between American Express and the daily deal sites that Fran missed in her article. I also think that Scoopon general manager Jon Beros might be missing some key points about how American Express is now lifting the group buying game to another – and in the future – more successful, highly defendable level.
David and I addressed the ADMA Digital Council on Thursday to speak about what’s happening in the mobile shopping space overseas. (We concentrated on the US because retailers are trailblaizing the use of smartphones there).
One thing that is apparent is that its not just high street stores making use of all the technologies available to them (QR Codes, NFC, Location Based Services), but the top end of town as well.
For all retailers, creating footfall is massively important – esp. when you consider the conversion instore that retailers achieve. Shopkick’s CEO quotes: “The number-one challenge facing every retailer in America is getting people through the door,” Roeding says. (more…)
Tags: QR Codes
This wheel’s on fire
Rolling down the road
Best notify my next of kin
This wheel shall explode !
Yes I am a H-U-G-E Bob Dylan fan. I am glad that’s now out there, as it says something about my character quickly (8 words in fact). I am currently ‘on holiday’ in Byron Bay where there are many people who share my Dylan fanaticism. I just, (and I am really gutted about this), missed a tributary exhibition at the local gallery by local artists depicting his iconic image.
But enough about Bob, I am here to write about Group Buying (the primary business model of GroupOn etc) and its imminent fall before my two year old shatters my peace. This song title comes to mind because I know the wheels are going to fall off Group Buying soon, if they haven’t already, and roll down the road in a blaze of toxic fumes with a lot of sad and sorry retailers and shoppers sucking up the filthy air. (more…)
I politely reply “No thank you” to the cashier at the local Pharmacy after buying some vitamins. It was the 3rd time this month they’d asked me to sign up to their loyalty program. It’s not the last time I’ll say “No”, and hopefully I will still say “thank you”, or maybe I’ll eventually go to another pharmacy to just avoid being asked?!
We’ve undergone a profound shift in supply and demand – local retail once “owned” the customer purely based on proximity, habit and lack of choice – but retail is now experiencing attack on two fronts:
- The broad adoption of eCommerce and purchasing from the web
- Consumer shift to purchasing goods that can be shipped from a remote (even overseas) store in a handfull of days.
For those who listen (or are part of) the hi-tech echo chamber that is known as “Silicon Valley” – its easy to believe that mobile commerce was solved many years ago – this is because much venture capital is poured into marketing of solutions looking for a problem.
However, its true that now we have a huge convergence – even in Australia there are several forces aligning to make “Location Based Services” a reality:
1. Smartphones (iPhone and Android)
2. 3G and WiFi
3. Web APIs, JSON
At StreetHawk, we also think that the Australian retail sector’s woes (of diminished consumer spending and increased online shopping) can be counteracted by leveraging the convergence of the 3 factors above. Its going to be an interesting 2011 for retailers who are willing to be agile!