This Week at Branding Brand: Light Reading, National Puppy Day, and a New Launch

 

Light reading with @kpsaffell 👓 📚 #Bookworm #OnBranding

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Meet Benny, the blind Doberman puppy we're all in love with 😍 #HelloHandsome #NationalPuppyDay #DogsOfBB

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@arcteryx is now in the #app store! Congrats to the team that made it happen 💯 #BrandersDoItBetter #NewLaunch

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Topics: Company

Weekly News Roundup: High-end Apps, Competitive Plans, 3-day eBay

Weekly News Roundup

Here's what our team is reading this week... 

High-end Apps
Burberry is using e-commerce and a new app to drive revenue and convert its fan base into loyal customers (Women’s Wear Daily). The new Arc'teryx app allows users to create personalized, shoppable feeds based on their interests

Competitive Plans
Major retailers, Kohl's and Macy's shared plans to help them stay competitive (Retail Dive, Fortune). Sears admits its future is bleak (Chicago Tribune).

3-day eBay
Some major retailers won't survive this year's end, according to eBay's CEO. The company will start offering 3-day delivery this summer, with free shipping and 1-day and 2-day delivery also available (CNBC)

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Topics: Trends

New Launch: Arc'teryx iPhone App

Arc'teryx iPhone app

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Congratulations to Arc'teryx team on their iPhone app launch! The new app boasts several engaging features, including the incorporation of user generated content, a store locator, and more.

A key feature of the app is the "Explore" tab, which displays social content from the retailer's YouTube, Instagram, and blog to create a shoppable product feed. The content in the "Explore" tab is customized to the user's indicated preferences upon downloading the app, such as favorite outdoor hobbies. The shoppable social feed keeps the user experience fresh, which will achieve the company's goal of engaging and maintaining active users. 

According to Arc'teryx,

The Arc’teryx community is comprised of athletes, guides and dedicated outdoor explorers. Together they bring informative customer gear reviews, amazing imagery and stories of the best climbing, snow and alpinism around the world.

The new iOS app marries shoppable and social content to keep Arc'teryx on the cutting edge of e-commerce. 

Learn more about why people download and use shopping apps, or talk to our experts to get started establish your digital presence or optimize what you already have.

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Topics: Solutions Apps Company Client

Test Your Optimization IQ: App Item Quantity Badges

Test Your Optimization IQ

We surveyed app shoppers to find out which option is best for showing that you have items in your cart:

  • Test A: quantity badges on cart and tab bar
  • Test B: quantity badge on cart
  • Test C: quantity badge on tab bar

Can you guess which way shoppers like to be notified of items in their cart?

Select a test to reveal the winner:

Test A: badges on cart and tab bar Test B: badge on cart Test C: badge on tab bar

Topics: Design Solutions Apps

[PRESS] eMarketer: A Portrait of Amazon Shoppers

Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 10.21.20 AM.pngSource: eMarketer

eMarketer featured Branding Brand's study in its profile about Amazon shoppers. 

Here's a clip: 

Branding Brand surveyed 1,000 US internet users in February 2017, all of whom shop on Amazon and identified themselves as making the majority of purchases for their household. Interestingly, mobile devices—in the aggregate—were reported to be the primary purchasing channel for a majority of Amazon customers.

While desktop/laptop was the top channel for the highest percentage of respondents, smartphone shoppers—whether using the Amazon app or simply going to Amazon.com—actually made up a larger combined proportion, at 48%. Add in tablet buyers, and almost 60% of respondents identified mobile channels as their primary choice for shopping on Amazon..

Read the full story here.

Topics: Trends Media Coverage Company

This Week at Branding Brand: Thinking Spring and Saint Patrick's Day

 

Sunflowers have us thinking spring 😌 🌻 Thanks @ckoshzow! #Pittsburgh #BranderLife

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Topics: Company

Weekly News Roundup: New iPads, Mobile Rain Plan, Walmart Does Fashion

Weekly News Roundup

Here's what our team is reading this week... 

New iPads
Rumors of new iPads coming this spring may be confirmed with sightings of the devices in various Cupertino locations (TechCrunch). Apple’s spring event might be moved to April, or it might not happen this year (9to5Mac)

Mobile Rain Plan
The North Face is promoting a waterproof coat with geotargeting that plays its branded “Rain Drop” song on Spotify, but only in areas where it’s raining (Mobile Commerce Daily).

Walmart Does Fashion
A Pittsburgh-born retailer in the business for 15 years, Modcloth, was acquired by Walmart's Jet.com (Recode). But, this is only one of many niche retailers Walmart recently bought to gain style credibility (Women's Wear Daily)

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Topics: Trends

[WEBINAR] How to Use the Buyer Journey to Improve CX

Register for "How to Use the Buyer Journey to Improve CX.

REGISTER FOR WEBINAR This webinar will not be recorded.

Retailers who know their customers, understand their pain points, and develop solutions to solve them create the best shopping experiences, but 39% of companies still lack visibility into their shoppers' behaviors across channels. 

Join Branding Brand and guest speaker Brendan Witcher from Forrester for a webinar on Thursday, March 30 at 1 p.m. ET to learn how to use omnichannel tech to map your shoppers' buyer journeys and drive better customer experiences.

This webinar will not be recorded.

REGISTER FOR WEBINAR

Topics: Omnichannel Trends Solutions Company Webinar

Targeting Amazon's Power Shoppers

online-shopper-Amazon.jpg


Adults who make 75% or more of their purchases with Amazon — the power shoppers — buy from the app and want loyalty rewards. A deeper dive into Branding Brand’s recent survey of Amazon shoppers learned more about this segment of customers to understand how retailers can attract them away from the retail giant.

Rewards vs. Shipping

Of the features that could sway Amazon’s customers to buy from other retailers, 51% of power shoppers ranked loyalty and rewards programs above free 2-day shipping, at 49%. Lower pricing still tops the wish list of features, at 59%. 

 

App vs. Mobile Site, Desktop

Power shoppers buy from Amazon’s smartphone app more than any other channel, at 28% — compared with the 26% who shop via desktop site, and 23% shop from smartphone site. This group is more comfortable shopping and purchasing on mobile, with 51% typically buying from Amazon’s app or smartphone site. 

Takeaways

Because lowering prices and offering free 2-day shipping can be cost-intensive for retailers, the fact that Amazon's power shoppers value loyalty and rewards programs more offers a less costly alternative for brands to pull in these customers.

Loyalty engagement is key to driving app adoption. Shoppers who download a brand's app are more likely to buy, especially when they get something in return from an effective loyalty rewards program. 

Learn more ways retailers can develop digital strategies to better compete with e-commerce competition from our webinar recap below. 

 
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Topics: Trends Survey Company

[PRESS] MediaPost: 1% Buy From Amazon Via Alexa, 48% By Smartphone

MediaPost-3-2017.jpgSource: MediaPost

MediaPost featured Branding Brand's study about why and how shoppers buy on Amazon. 

Here's a clip: 

Millions of consumers use Amazon’s Alexa for wide variety of things.

The voice assistant’s thousands of skills, basically voice front ends to standing apps, let a consumer talk to Alexa through an Amazon Echo device to order a coffee from Starbucks, tell the device to get an Uber or have it ask Fitbit how you’re doing today.

However, one thing many are not doing is making purchases through Alexa.

The majority (85%) of Amazon shoppers buy at least monthly on Amazon, based on a new study by Branding Brand.

The study comprised a survey of 1,000 U.S. adults who shop on Amazon and make the majority of purchases for their households.

More than a quarter (28%) of consumers buy at least weekly from Amazon and 3% make purchases every day.

Overall selling by Amazon is not an issue, but the source device is another story.

Read the full story here.

Topics: Trends Media Coverage Company

This Week at Branding Brand: Job Openings and International Women's Day

 

Are you an #appdev or #designer? Do you <3 mobile? We're hiring!📱 #DeveloperLife #PittsburghJobs #NowHiring

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The future is mobile, omnichannel, and most importantly—female 😌 👯 #wcw #BrandersDoItBetter #InternationalWomensDay

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Topics: Company

Weekly News Roundup: Snap and Shop, Prime, App Market

Weekly News Roundup

Here's what our team is reading this week... 

Snap and Shop
Not that Snap… visual search by snapping photos could be the next frontier of e-commerce (Glossy). Pinterest brought its discovery technology to Google Chrome (TechCrunch, Recode)

Prime
Prices and Prime are powering Amazon’s draw to consumers, as found in Branding Brand's latest shopper survey (Internet Retailer)Amazon Prime launched in Mexico this week (TechCrunch).

App Market
Retail app use skyrocketed last year, expect it to continue climbing in 2017 (Venture Beat). Gamifying loyalty rewards is the new play by Starbucks for app engagement (Mobile Commerce Daily)

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Topics: Trends

[PRESS] MCD: Only 1% of Consumers Use Amazon Dash or Alexa to Shop

Only 1% of Amazon shoppers buy with Dash buttons.
Source: Business Insider

Mobile Commerce Daily featured Branding Brand's study about why and how shoppers buy on Amazon. 

Here's a clip: 

Much attention has been paid to Amazon’s recent encroachment on the big-box bricks-and-mortar space, and a recent report from Branding Brand implies that much of the credit belongs to its success in driving loyalty through its Prime service.

The survey of 1,000 adult consumers who shop on Amazon and make the majority of purchases for their households was held in late February. The resulting report contains a bevy of insights into the mind of the Amazon shopper, including their retail habits, preferred platforms and also demographic breakdowns, with a concerted focus on the younger, digital-native shopper.

Loyalty through Prime
According to the survey, a whopping 60 percent of Amazon shoppers buy using their mobile devices, a product of a years-long campaign from the ecommerce retailer to shift consumer to the platform through features such as frictionless commerce experiences and mobile-conducive services such as Amazon Pantry.

The number of users on a mobile device also closely mirrors the percentage of respondents who were Amazon Prime members, at 58 percent. Having a Prime membership was reported as the top reason survey respondents bought from Amazon (31 percent), closely followed by low prices (29 percent).

Other statistics only confirm the influence of Prime: Of non-Prime members, the main reason 45 percent buy on Amazon is to find lower prices, and 37 percent of non-Prime members think Walmart is less expensive, a significant cohort. It could be implied that Prime customers have grown such brand attachment to the service that they either do not care as much about lower prices as they did before joining Prime, or the service itself touts prices that users come to believe are lower.

The report also focuses on young shoppers, a section of consumer that Amazon is not alone in having interest in: Generation Z is quickly growing in purchasing power, and their habits will come to dictate retailer and ecommerce behavior for some time. Surprisingly, the report claims that 76 percent of digitally native 18-24 year olds make less than half of purchases on Amazon.

The report claims that the group prefers in-store shopping and a seamless buying experience.

Among the group, the leading platform that they use to buy on Amazon is the mobile app, which 35 percent of respondents claimed to use primarily. The rest buy on Amazon through desktop (34 percent) or its mobile-optimized Web site (24 percent).

And, in news that is sure to disappoint many in Amazon’s R&D department, only 1 percent of consumers say they use Amazon Dash Buttons or Alexa to shop.

Read the full story here.

Topics: Trends Media Coverage Company

Why Your Chatbots Need to Be Intelligent

Chatbots allow shoppers to connect at their convenience—even while browsing products on the couch.

When the conversation turns to chatbots, many are skeptical based on experiences from Alexa, Siri, and Cortana, which aren’t always the most reliable, but there’s obviously interest in this type of artificial intelligence technology.

Former Gilt CEO and current IBM CMO Michelle Peluso explained why there’s excitement for this kind of tech in retail:

AI is changing how marketers generate insight about consumers to provide more contextual relevance. Understanding things like social profiles, movement, weather, and behavior, AI can help marketers understand at a more granular level what consumers want and need.

Consumer needs are dynamic—not static—and require an insight machine that can take this dynamism into account and feed it into your marketing plans. AI goes through a progression of understanding, reasoning, learning, and then adapting insight. Further, AI can include a lot more information in its learning process so that the marketing is more customized at the individual level.

Last year, retailers from Burberry to Burger King tested out ways to include chatbots into their digital strategies, making it one of the top tech trends that transformed retail in 2016, but there are still challenges to overcome before it can really show its ROI.

A recent article by Venture Beat noted:

Bots are great for the occasional, simple question: ‘I know what I want, give me the answer as quickly and conveniently as you can.’

When do conversations happen? Oftentimes after you made a purchase. That’s when frequently asked questions arise, not just before you buy. ‘Where is my order?’ ‘What is your return policy?’ ‘Do you also have item X in stock?’ ‘What’s the status of my claim?’ Everything starts with a question, and bots are a fantastic fit to handle these questions.

Not all bots equal, and in fact, most lack contextual awareness. This is where intelligent agents come into play.

Intelligent chatbots rely on deeper and more robust artificial intelligence (AI) and are integrated with essential enterprise systems that hold customer data. They not only parse big data for key pieces of information, but they can even learn from it. Intelligent chatbots that are built for the enterprise and serve in customer-facing roles are known as virtual agents or virtual customer assistants. In some cases they are powerful enough to conduct transactions and resolve customers’ issues as well as humans can.

Chatbots aren’t just useful for online chats. They can be deployed on many other interfaces: mobile, social media, messaging apps, voice response, and SMS texts. Most importantly for improving the overall customer experience, intelligent enterprise chatbots can anticipate customer intent.

Intelligent bots are able to process data quickly and can operate at the speed of the customer much more easily than a human. They can help retailers by:
  • Understanding customer needs so that brands can personalize experiences based on past visits
  • Connecting with shoppers at their convenience anywhere, anytime without typical desktop timeouts
  • Learning from previous customer engagements so retailers can take action to make CX better moving forward
  • Empowering associates by answering common questions and escalating deeper issues when needed to save the sale and maintain customer loyalty

A big opportunity for chatbots lies in the customer service sector, which is good news for retailers who saw costs increase in the past year. A joint report from the National Retail Federation and Forrester states that 38% of retailers plan to invest in new customer service features to manage costs and meet customer expectations, which means we may see more bots in the near future.

Forward-thinking retailers are already working on making their AI and chatbot technology better to improve CX:
  • Starbucks is experimenting with the Reorder Skill with the help of Alexa, where coffee lovers can place their usual order at a recently-visited location. It works in congruence with its Barista Chatbot—both of which are reportedly publicly launching in 2017.
  • Voice print technology is in the works at Amazon, which is meant to help Echo’s Alexa to distinguish one voice from another. This new tech would be helpful to manage level of access, such as charging credit cards based on who is placing an order.

Because retailers are prioritizing personalization, omnichannel, analytics, and digital store technology, we’re liking to see other retailers who tested this technology last year continue to explore its possibilities, including Nordstrom, Sephora, eBay, and 1-800-Flowers.

“From home to the car to the store, bots and messaging assist the customer journey and lighten the burden on stores,” Branding Brand’s CEO and co-founder Chris Mason said during our webinar "4 Opportunities to Win in the Digital Retail World." “Bots create inviting experiences for people.”

Learn how chatbots merge retailers’ top digital strategy initiatives in our webinar recap.

DOWNLOAD THE RECAP

Topics: Trends Solutions

[PRESS] Internet Retailer: Amazon’s Prices and Prime Power the E-commerce Giant’s Magnetic Pull on Shoppers

IRlogo-1.jpeg

Internet Retailer featured Branding Brand's study about why and how shoppers buy on Amazon. 

Here's a clip: 

Amazon.com Inc.’s Prime program works. 

Shoppers cite the $99 annual membership program as the main reason they buy from Amazon, according to a Feb. 17-22 survey of 1,000 Amazon shoppers. E-commerce technology provider Branding Brand conducted the survey which polled consumers who make the majority of purchases for their households. 31% of shoppers say their Prime memberships are the top reason they shop at the web giant, followed 29% who list low prices as the main reason. Of those surveyed, 58% were Amazon Prime members.

Read the full story here.

Topics: Trends Media Coverage Company

Survey: Amazon Weaknesses are Opportunities for Retailers

Amazon-App.jpg


Are Amazon's deficiencies inadvertently creating a blueprint retailers can use to succeed? Amazon shoppers say they would buy from other retailers if offered lower prices (66%), free 2-day shipping (60%), and loyalty rewards (37%) — pointing to strategies retailers can use to attract the youngest generation of consumers.

To better understand how retailers can compete with the e-commerce giant, leading retail app platform, Branding Brand surveyed 1,000 adults from Feb 17-22 who shop on Amazon and make the majority of purchases for their households.

How and Why They Buy
60% of Amazon shoppers buy using their mobile devices. Having a Prime membership is the top reason they buy from Amazon (31%), followed by low prices (29%). Of those surveyed, 58% were Amazon Prime members.

Of non-Prime-members, the main reason 45% buy on Amazon is to find lower prices. 37% of non-Prime members think Walmart is less expensive.

Attracting Young Shoppers
Major opportunities for retailers exist with younger shoppers — 76% of digitally native 18-24 year olds make less than half of purchases on Amazon. This group prefers in-store shopping and a seamless buying experience, and according to the survey, the leading way they buy on Amazon is with the mobile app at 35%. The rest buy on Amazon.com on desktop (34%) or mobile site (24%).

Only 1% of consumers say they use Amazon Dash Buttons or Alexa to shop.

To learn more about our methodology, contact press@brandingbrand.com.

About Branding Brand
Branding Brand is the retail industry's leading omnichannel commerce platform, powering mobile apps, sites, and in-store shopping experiences for over 200 enterprise brands. In addition to being named a Gartner "Cool Vendor" of apps, the Company is also the Forrester Wave Leader in "Mobile Commerce and Engagement Platforms."

Topics: Trends Survey Company Press Release

This Week at Branding Brand: Midweek Vibes and an Instabrander

 

Wednesday vibes with @djhippo👌 #BrandersDoItBetter

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"It's a good day when you hear the gong! It means a new mobile site or app has launched!" @leahloo5 #BranderLife (4 of 7)

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"A cute pup is the perfect presentation prop!" @leahloo5 #DogsofBB #BranderLife (6 of 7)

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Topics: Company

Weekly News Roundup: Mobile World Congress, Target Bows, Online Discovery

Weekly News Roundup

Here's what our team is reading this week... 

MWC '17
Vintage phones were launched alongside futuristic touch projectors at Mobile World Congress this week (Mashable, CNBC). Absent was Samsung's Galaxy S8, which was teased to launch March 29 (CNET). A photo of it was leaked (The Verge)

Target Bows
Target will spend billions lowering its prices in 2017 as it bows to Amazon and Walmart pressure (Bloomberg, Reuters). The Atlantic explores the possibility of Target sacrificing style, quality, and shopping experience as a result.

Online Discovery
Enhanced online discovery, bots, and customized content are some of the ways artificial intelligence can be used to help retailers attract and keep customers (TIME, Fast Company). Branding Brand's webinar with Forrester last week analyzed some of these opportunities

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Topics: Trends

Test Your Optimization IQ: Product Sharing Icon

Test Your Optimization IQ

We surveyed shoppers to find out which product sharing method is more intuitive:
  • Test A: native share icon
  • Test B: separate share icons

Can you guess where shoppers preferred to find the shopping cart?

Select a test to reveal the winner:

Test A: native share iconTest B: separate share icons

Topics: Design Solutions

[FREE DOWNLOAD] "4 Opportunities to Win in the Digital Retail World" Webinar Recap

"4 Opportunities to Win in the Digital Retail World" Webinar Recap

In this webinar, Branding Brand and Forrester unveiled this year's top digital initiatives and how they connect to today's hot tech trends and retailers' existing investments.

You'll learn about these topics:
  • Personalization
  • Omnichannel
  • Analytics
  • Digital store tech
  • Chatbots

DOWNLOAD THE RECAP

Topics: Omnichannel Trends Solutions Recap Company Webinar