Top 10 Retail Trends You Need to Know: July 2016

Retailers are trying different strategies to combine digital and in-store experiences.

Industry Trend #1
Spying Smartphones
New WiFi-enabled scanners will track foot-traffic around retail destinations through consumers' smartphones.
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Industry Trend #2
In-Store Tracking & Discounts 
61% of customers say they would allow retailers to track them inside a store via mobile to receive discounts and coupons.
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Industry Trend #3Future of Mobile Shopping
49% of e-commerce purchases will come from smartphones in the year 2020, compared to 29% in 2015.
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Industry Trend #4
Augmented Reality & Retail
Pokémon Go monetized gamification, and it's inspiring retailers to consider including augmented reality into their strategies.
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Industry Trend #5
Testing Artificial Intelligence
Macy's is testing a mobile tool that uses AI to help customers get answers on their own instead of asking a sales associate.
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Industry Trend #6
Special Delivery
Brick-and-mortar retailers respond to the convenience of e-commerce by bringing the racks to shoppers.
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Industry Trend #7
Mobile School Shopping
60% of parents plan to use mobile devices for at least some back to school shopping. 47% have downloaded Amazon’s app.
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Industry Trend #8
Amazon Prime Day
For the second year, Amazon built a retail holiday by leveraging mobile functionality, brand loyalty, and effective promotion. 
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Industry Trend #9
Taking Over Sports Authority
Dick's Sporting Goods won the auction of failed competitor Sports Authority, including a loyalty program with 28.5 million members.
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Industry Trend #10
Betting on AMP
While Google’s AMP was initially rolled out for publishing-based content, eBay is hoping it can improve browsing experiences for products.
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Topics: Press

4 Reasons Why You Need to Care about Conversational Commerce

Conversational Commerce helps transform the way retailers and shoppers engage with each other.Conversational commerce is much more than a buzzword. It helps transform the way retailers and shoppers engage with each other, but unlike conventional social shopping, conversion is factored into the equation.

Gartner says, “The last mile for multichannel and exceptional customer experiences will be this seamless two-way engagement with customers. It will mimic human conversations, with both listening and speaking, have a sense of history, use in-the-moment context, timing and tone, and have the ability to respond, add to and continue with a thought or purpose at multiple occasions and places over time.”

From Facebook Messenger to Amazon Echo, conversational commerce can take many forms, and there are 4 key reasons why it’s become increasingly popular.

It’s happening where people already are
People are readily adopting conversational commerce because in many cases, they don’t need to put extra effort into it. That’s the case with Facebook Messenger, Slack, Kik, WeChat, and other similar messaging services. It simply extends these apps and enables new opportunities to interact with shoppers using technology and services they’re already using.

Gartner Research Director Stephanie Baghdassarian claims, “Perhaps the key aspect of conversational commerce, however, is that it allows users to converse in their platform of choice, and therefore takes channel transparency to the next level.”

It’s human(ish)
While conversational commerce is a humanized version of online shopping, it’s not always human. For example, Operator uses employees and brand reps to fuel its in-app conversations, while Taco Bell uses artificial intelligence for its TacoBot, but that isn’t what’s important. This form of commerce is all about natural language, fast responses, and making up for the human element that’s missing in traditional online shopping.

It’s extremely smart
Since the shift to mobile, personalization has been a key ingredient in making the most out of digital experiences. Consumers expect everything to be tailored to their interests, needs, and location. Conversational commerce not only helps with contextual and relevant messaging but also by remembering preferences and other details to serve shoppers better in the future.

It’s the future of online shopping
Combine the first three reasons and you’ll find exactly why conversational commerce will shape e-commerce and m-commerce going forward. According to Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2016 report, millennials prefer internet, web chat, and social media over any other channel for communication. As more of these native mobile consumers join and dominate the shopping market in the coming years, conversational commerce will become even more popular.

Learn more about why you need to engage in conversational commerce.

Get our webinar recap!
We partnered with Chubbies co-founder Preston Rutherford and Forrester analyst Brendan Witcher to discuss conversational commerce and omnichannel retail.

Topics: Strategy Retail

[PRESS] 9 Cool Back-to-College Gadgets from Amazon

74% of millennial back-to-college shoppers plan to buy gear from Amazon

Data from Branding Brand's Back-to-College survey was featured in a NerdWallet report about the best gadgets and gear returning students can buy on Amazon. 

Here's an excerpt: 

“As college students get ready to head back to campus, online marketplace Amazon will likely play a big part in those preparations.

In fact, an estimated 74% of millennial back-to-college shoppers expect to make online purchases from Amazon for the new semester, according to a consumer survey by Branding Brand.”

View the full story

Topics: Press

[PRESS] Back-to-School Shopping in Full Force

Retailers should step up promotions to draw in back-to-school customers now.

Retail Info Systems News featured data from Branding Brand's Back-to-College survey (sneak peek here) in its report citing why retailers should step up their social media and promotions to draw in consumers. 

Here's an excerpt: 

Retailers looking to boost online sales may want to target back-to-school promotions to college students. While parents mostly do the shopping for K-12 students, the latest consumer survey by Branding Brand, a mobile commerce and engagement platform for retailer apps, found one in 10 young millennials (ages 18-24) will purchase all of their back-to-college shopping online. The reasons include not dealing with people (36%) and that they can drink while shopping (10%), which may explain Barnes & Noble's new concept stores, which will offer wine and beer and table-side service. But the top reason Millennials don't shop online is shipping fees, so now is the time to roll out the free shipping on college related items. .”

View the full story

Topics: Press

Sneak Peek! Back to College 2016: Online Shopping Trends

We surveyed 1,0001 millennials about their back-to-school online shopping habits. Preview the results below, or get a free copy of the survey highlights.
Download the report

Topics: Data Apps Survey