Cashback News – Mar 16: Mobile – E-commerce’s moving target keeps growing

Retail's mad mobile worldMobile is like the smart aleck kid in class. Everything comes easy and it keeps ticking along and making an impact wherever it goes but it’s not always liked by everybody and you’re never quite sure when it might do something unusual. That’s mobile when it comes to e-commerce. With that in mind, let’s see what the smart kids in mobile have been doing lately.

When it comes to mobile, banking has a long way to go in transforming how it provides services, especially to young customers who are mobile-savvy, spend more than three hours daily on mobile devices and demand services that are accessible on their smartphones. More than 118 million consumers in the Philippines use mobile devices, so a partnership with e-commerce leader Lazada and billionaire retailer Henry Sy makes sense. Facebook is now pushing Facebook Pages as the ideal, free mobile store for many businesses. With the launch of “buy buttons” on social media, Pinterest and Instagram could become the newest mobile retail stores.

Because 82% of consumers are searching products and prices in-store, mobile is definitely the future of retail according to Google. PayPal is warning retailers that mobile is essential for customer experience and the trend is only increasing. Nearly half of China’s e-commerce sales of $505.7 billion in 2015 were made with mobile devices and is predicted to grow to 71% by 2019. With more than 17.8 million viewing hours, the number of streams rising 17%, and viewing hours up 19%, is it any wonder Buick and Infiniti are planning March Madness mobile marketing programs?

Transforming how retail banking works

Mobile is changing how people work, travel, read, communicate, shop and many other lifestyle behaviors. In the Internet Trends 2015 report by KPCB, mobile engagement is better than ever, with three hours of time spent per day on mobile devices in 2015 compared to an hour per day five years ago (a 300 percent increase). Adding to this, there was 69 percent and 23 percent annual worldwide growth in mobile data traffic and smartphone subscribers (2.1 billion) in 2014, respectively.

It is no surprise. Hip and young consumers are already soaked in the world of emerging service landscapes through mobile. Near-magical push-button on-demand services like Uber have provided a new form of consumer empowerment and increased expectations. As the millennials move on to their first jobs, they are going to expect the same or something better, from setting up accounts to getting their first investment and credit card.

Because of the legacy banking infrastructure that dates back to the 1970s, it is not an easy feat for current brick-and-mortar banks to introduce a new stack of technology to improve experiences. Apps on smartphones have made consumers’ lives better, but current banking apps have failed to catch up to them. Via

Billionaire Henry Sy, Lazada Team Up on Philippine Online Retail

LazadaMore Filipinos are accessing the Internet, including on mobile devices. About 40 percent of the Philippine’s population of more than 100 million were Internet users in 2012, up from 5.2 percent in 2004, according to the World Bank. The Philippines had about 118 million mobile phone subscribers at end-2015.

SM Investments’ alliance with Lazada comes two years after Sy-Coson said in a Bloomberg interview in February 2014 that the group has been testing e-commerce websites and targets a full-scale online operation by 2016. The SM Group currently has websites that sell toys and home appliances as well as vouchers that give customers as much as 50 percent discount in purchasing selected merchandise from its department stores and supermarkets.

The Philippine e-commerce market is forecast to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 101.4 percent from 2013 through to 2018, according to a 2014 report by Ken Research Ltd. The online retail market, a component of e-commerce, is projected to rise 189.2 percent over the same period, it said. Via

Mom-and-pop shops get Facebook’s e-commerce message, Facebook says that roughly half the people who visit the social network go there to find out about products. It is experimenting with various ways to get customers to buy, such as allowing personal sales, letting e-commerce partners build mobile storefronts and placing buy buttons on the site. The company recently said it has 3 million advertisers, and it has made a large push into getting small businesses, who may not have the resources to set up their own mobile apps, to join Facebook’s platform.

“Facebook Pages really are becoming your mobile presence. It’s harder and harder … and really expensive for businesses to build a mobile presence, and even harder for them to get that in front of people,” said Bess Yount, who heads up Facebook’s efforts to engage with smaller businesses in North America. “A Facebook page is an instant mobile marketing strategy, and a way for you to have a mobile presence really easily and free of cost.” But Chris Luo, a former head of Facebook’s small-business marketing team, says the Menlo Park firm has a ways to go before establishing itself as a major online marketplace like Amazon. Via

Think Tank: Powering the Purchase With a Buy Button are heading toward a future where Instagram and Facebook could be amongst the largest retailers online. Their new focus on enabling transactions is likely to solve one of retail’s biggest problems: the extremely low conversion rate of shoppers on mobile phones.

Social media networks have already figured out how to deeply engage billions of potential customers each day through their fast native apps, and have recently decided it is strategically important to partner with retailers to solve the mobile shopping problem. There’s a lot of money at stake, and both retailers and social networks could win big with some of the changes afoot.

This tectonic shift in retail can be first marked with the launch of “buy” buttons and “personal assistants” (read “personal shoppers”), where sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google are in the early stages of enabling product purchases directly from their sites. They have decided they want to do more than simply inspire the purchase of a product. They now want to power that purchase. We are entering a new era in retail where all products and services across the Web will eventually become “shoppable” at the point of discovery. Via

How Mobile Content Brings Customers Through Your Doors huge as the online market is, it only represents about 7.4 percent of all commerce. Every other sale is made in person. Does this mean mobile isn’t important to offline retailers? Exactly the opposite.

Mobile marketing is so important to offline retailers that 82 percent of customers are researching products while they are in your store. Google has dubbed the phenomena “Micro-Moments”; the moment of decision where you can either provide the information consumers need to make a buying decision at the exact time they are ready to buy – or not. Via

Retailers not prioritising mobile are choosing to ignore their customers, says PayPal’s director of mobile commerce warns retailers that mobile payments should be a top priority to provide the experience customers want. Choosing not to put mobile strategy as a top priority is a choice to ignore customer needs, according to PayPal’s director of mobile commerce, Rob Harper.

Speaking at the Retail Business Technology Expo (RBTE), Harper claimed retailers are struggling to convert customers to purchases on smartphones, despite high mobile traffic. “If your number one strategy isn’t mobile, be prepared to ignore your customers,” said Rob Harper, PayPal’s director of mobile commerce. “Mobile has revolutionised the way we shop.” Via

China’s $500 billion mobile shopping mania getting a soft drink from a vending machine using only your smartphone. Or scanning a QR code to buy goods from a newspaper ad.

By harnessing these innovations — and more — China mobile shopping is barreling ahead of the United States. China is still the world’s largest smartphone market, even though growth is slowing. It accounts for about 30 percent of the global smartphone market, and Chinese smartphone users are expected to jump from 526.8 million to 640 million in 2018, according to eMarketer. And its shoppers are using their gadgets to snap up a wide array of goods and services.

Nearly half of all China’s e-commerce sales, totaling $505.7 billion, are made with mobile devices, versus roughly one-quarter in the U.S., according to eMarketer. By 2019, China’s mobile sales will account for 71 percent of those sales. Via

Buick, Infiniti have March Madness game plans ready Madness Live had a record 80.7 million streams in 2015 as users racked up 17.8 million viewing hours, according to Turner Sports. The number of streams rose 17 percent, while viewing hours jumped 19 percent.

Infiniti, sponsor of the Android version of March Madness Live since 2012, said the Android app was downloaded 1.4 million times last year, up from 1.2 million in 2014. Meanwhile, Buick said the number of views and hours spent on the iOS app that it sponsors — the app drew 36 million views during last year’s tournament — both were up 20 percent in 2015.

The brands will use the streaming platforms for video promotions and banner ad placement. Beyond the live streams, Buick and Infiniti will try to engage consumers throughout the tournament with TV spots, social media campaigns and fan activities at or near the Final Four site in Houston. Via

Mad, mad mobile marketing world

Mobile seems to be the area where retail needs to innovate and needs to do it fast. There are lots of opportunities for mobile marketing and we’ll continue to cover interesting and innovative ways retailers are bringing mobile into their marketing programs in markets around the world.