Cashback News – May 23: E-commerce and mobile commerce research roundup

squaresIn today’s news, we’re highlighting the latest in e-commerce and mobile commerce research. It’s a great opportunity to quickly update yourself on new developments and research that matters. Condé Nast Entertainment has come up with a demographic called the “cultured millennial,” whose members apparently prefer artisanal beer to kegs. Nielsen reports Asian-American buying power in the U.S. is currently at $825 billion and is expected to increase to $1.1 trillion by 2020. Savvy marketers are chasing the $1 trillion online to offline marketing channel according to Jon Carder, CEO of O2O network EmpyrIBM is marrying data from The Weather Channel with its Watson computer to come up with powerful predictive data for marketers.

CEB Tower Group, reported nearly $1 billion of gift card sales went unredeemed in 2015. 87% of marketers plan to increase mobile marketing spending in 2016 says a RetailMeNot report. The top ten general merchandise websites attract nearly two-thirds of all online visits from UK shoppers says a study by SimilarWebFinally, University’s School of Business shows today’s grocery shoppers are placing more value on quality and service over price. Finally, Harvard University research shows the poor are paying increasingly more for household necessities and the gap may be growing.

Trying to Pin Down the Mosaic of Millennial Tastes

millennialsThe television industry is focusing a great deal of attention on millennials these days. Billions of dollars are in play, along with the reputations of industry executives who view this vast, diverse generation — generally defined as those born between 1977 and 1995 — as the hot consumers of choice in a bewilderingly changing business.

It is as if the companies are throwing a bunch of money at the millennial wall, hoping some of it sticks. Verizon Communications and Hearst have teamed up to produce two new multi platform online video channels, one aimed at “millennials from the heartland,” whoever those are. Condé Nast Entertainment has come up with a demographic called the “cultured millennial,” whose members apparently prefer artisanal beer to kegs. Unveiling its new streaming service, HBONow, HBO said it would be a heat-seeking “millennial missile.”

But what, as Freud might have asked if he lived in America in 2016, do millennials want? Does anyone really know? Is it fair to lump together a group of people ages 21 to 39? I was curious. I decided to conduct my own nonscientific study of millennials and their attitudes toward television. Via

Nielsen Report Finds Asian-American Consumers An Economic ‘Driving Force’

Nielsen Asian-American reportNielsen released its fifth annual Asian-American consumer report today, the latest in the research company’s Diverse Intelligence series. The report, titled “Asian-Americans: Culturally Diverse and Expanding Their Footprint,” explores consumption patterns among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.

Betty Lo, vice president of community alliances and consumer engagement, told NBC News that the increasing buying power and influence of the Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community has caused marketers and companies to seek a better understanding of the community’s culturally specific tastes and preferences.

“What is significant about the Asian-American community is that we’re culturally diverse, but we’re also expanding our influence and footprint across the U.S.,” she said. Highlights of the report include the finding that Asian-American buying power in the U.S. is currently at $825 billion, a number that is expected to increase to $1.1 trillion — 6.7 percent of total American buying power — by 2020. Via

Why Online-to-Offline Commerce Is a Trillion-Dollar Opportunity

shopper highOnline to offline (“O2O”) commerce is all the buzz right now. Last year, when Alibaba invested over $3 billion in the technology, the media took note and journalists around the world began discussing the future of the O2O industry in Asia and abroad.

Equipped with O2O tools and services, business owners would have an unprecedented level of accuracy in their online marketing and, for the first time ever, would be able to reliably determine ROI from online advertising. Until recently, that technological ability simply did not exist.

Online advertising has innovated remarkably little in the past decade, causing many business owners who want higher conversion rates, better analytics, and better customer targeting to grow frustrated. O2O tracking platforms are the next step forward in an industry that has been lagging behind for years.

According to Jon Carder, CEO of O2O network Empyr, whose mission is to bridge the gap between online and offline commerce, thinks the opportunity is a big one. A trillion dollars to be exact. Later, Carder wrote a blog post titled “The Formula to Create a Trillion Dollar Industry” that detailed the specifics of how the industry could be built up in a very short amount of time. Via

How IBM Is Merging The Weather Co. and Watson Into Its Biggest Marketing Asset some industry insiders speculated, IBM is starting to merge its Weather Co. asset with its cognitive supercomputer Watson, a move that will benefit its marketing cloud and commerce businesses.
“Everyone wondered why an IT company like IBM would make such an acquisition, a company that produces forecasts for 2.2 billion locations every 15 minutes,” said Harriet Green, VP and GM of IoT and commerce for IBM, at IBM Amplify in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday.

“We’re the second largest location services company now in the world. Weather affects people’s mood and how much they’re willing to pay.” While IBM is still in the integration phase, its Marketing Cloud already enabled weather-based triggers. Via

Restaurants wary of gift card cash back law

gift cards 2Proponents of the bill say that enabling people to redeem the remaining money provides a benefit to consumers who tend not to use the cards after most of their value has been spent. If Malloy signs the bill, there is the potential for consumers to redeem significant dollars that would’ve otherwise been lost.

Malloy spokesman, Devon Puglia, said Tuesday, “We’re closely reviewing every bill,” but would not comment specifically on Malloy’s intentions regarding the gift card legislation.

According to CEB Tower Group, a research and analytic company, close to $1 billion of gift card sales went unredeemed last year, an increase from about $750 million in 2014. Opponents, including the Connecticut Restaurant Association, say the purpose of gift cards is for the money to be used on products and services, not exchanged for cash. Via

Getting Mobile in Retail: Why 87% of Retail Marketers Plan to Up Mobile Spend in 2016 is taking over retail. Consumers research, price check, compare products, purchase, review products, and contact customer service all from the comfort of their mobile phones. And these uber-connected, mobile shoppers engage with retailers in virtually every way possible – whether they are deciding to purchase from an ecommerce site, researching prior to visiting a brick-and mortar location, and even then, while they are at the physical store location itself. Mobile has swept the retail landscape and retail marketers are flocking to their budgets to get onboard.

Mobile devices are a key aspect of the shopping journey. Here’s a look at how shoppers are using their phones, whether they are in a physical store location or doing research out of the store.

According to the North American Consumer Technologies Retail Survey (2015), the top 5 ways consumers are using their phones while not in a store location include:
30% – To locate a nearby store or check store hours
30% – To compare prices
29% – To look up product information
24% – To purchase a product
24% – To read customer reviews of a product. Via

Shoppers stick to the biggest online retailers convenience of one-stop shops has kept customers loyal to the biggest general retailers even in the vast and varied realm of online commerce, according to new research. The top ten general merchandise websites attract nearly two-thirds of all online visits from UK shoppers, and overall traffic for general merchandise sites is up 2% on a year ago, based on new monthly figures.

Amazon receives an average of 331m British visits per month across all of its sites, while the online auction site Ebay gets 333m. The high street retailer Argos follows with 59m visits. Aliexpress, owned by the Chinese retail giant Alibaba, receives 16.6m visits a month – the same as John Lewis.

“In the UK, consumers gravitate towards sites selling the widest range of products and which have extremely high brand awareness. These sites are outpacing more niche sectors for consistent growth,” said Pavel Tuchinsky, digital insights manager at SimilarWeb, which compiled the data. Via

Research shows paradigm shift in consumer behavior

quidco-offers-cashback-on-your-high-street-shoppingResearch has shown price is important in nearly every buying decision, but a new doctoral study by researcher Ken Wicker through Capella University’s School of Business shows today’s grocery shoppers are placing more value on quality and service than price alone.

The study titled, “A study of customer value and loyalty in the supermarket industry,” surveyed shoppers in Atlanta, Ga. using decision factors of price, quality, service, convenience, store atmosphere and store brands. The research revealed new insights on customer loyalty and perception of value.

“Quality [overall] and high-quality perishables far outranked price,” Wicker reported. “That was the number one predictor of value and loyalty for supermarket customers.” The findings on quality and loyalty go to the heart of strategic planning, especially in the food business. Via

The poor are paying more and more for everyday purchases, a new study warns

Poor shoppers The poor often spend more on all kinds of things. Households that have less money to spare in any given week, for example, are forced to buy toilet paper and similar goods in small packages, increasing the prices they pay. In addition, poor families must rely on a whole range of alternative financial services, which might charge exorbitant fees and expose customers to serious risks.

New research suggests that these disparities might only be getting worse.

Xavier Jaravel, a graduate student at Harvard University, has been studying the prices people pay in the retail sector — their everyday purchases at grocery and drug stores. He has found that prices are increasing by more than 2 percent a year on average for goods purchased by consumers with household incomes under $30,000, but by just 1.4 percent annually for those with incomes above $100,000. Via

News ahead

We’ve got lots of News ahead this week including another look at retail news, profiles of Nordstrom and Alibaba and much more.