[PRESS] Branding Brand's Apple Consumer Survey Featured in FORTUNE

Approximately 83% of current iPhone owners have no interest in buying the next Apple Watch, believed to be known as the Apple Watch 2, according to app and mobile shopping company Branding Brand in a recent survey.

FORTUNE reported on Branding Brand's recent consumer survey about the anticipated products Apple's expected to launch in September: 

Apple’s current iPhone owners just don’t want the next version of the Apple Watch, according to a new study.

Approximately 83% of current iPhone owners have no interest in buying the next Apple Watch, believed to be known as the Apple Watch 2, according to app and mobile shopping company Branding Brand in a recent survey. However, the company added that 39% of iPhone owners would change their minds and buy an Apple Watch 2 if Apple cut the price on its wearable.

A whopping 33% of iPhone owners say “nothing” could be done to make them want to buy Apple Watch 2.

More of our survey results are included in the full story.

Learn more:


Topics: Trends Survey Media Coverage Company

[SLIDESHARE] Burning Questions Answered: Who Will Upgrade to the New iPhone and Apple Watch?

We surveyed 1,000 people to learn who is interested in the next-generation iPhone and Apple Watch. In this SlideShare, you'll learn:
  • Who's excited about Apple's next launch
  • If people are hesitant to upgrade
  • What Apple customers want from their devices
Topics: Trends Survey

Survey: iPhone Consumers Split on Upgrading

51% will trade in their current iPhone for the newest iPhone

Pittsburgh, PA – August 30, 2016 — Half of 1,000 iPhone users say they will trade up to the next iPhone, which is expected to go on sale following Apple Inc.’s Special Event on September 7. The number of consumers willing to upgrade to what sources are calling the “iPhone 7” jumped to 51% — up from 22% in March, when Apple launched the 4-inch iPhone SE.

Branding Brand, the leading mobile and shopping app platform, conducted a consumer survey to understand excitement around the new products Apple is expected to release in September, including the next-generation iPhone and Apple Watch.

Time to Upgrade?
From March to August 2016, there was a small shift by customers from iPhone 5, 5s, and 5c to newer iPhone generations. According to the survey, only 4% bought the new iPhone SE since its launch in March 2016.

“Apple customers have been hesitant to upgrade their smartphones this year,” said Chris Mason, cofounder and CEO of Branding Brand. “In March, there was high anticipation that Apple would launch its newest generation of iPhones, but the 4-inch iPhone SE felt like a step back for consumers that enjoy more innovative Apple products.”

New iPhone Features Branding Brand’s survey uncovered which of the anticipated new iPhone features consumers are most excited about:
  • Dual cameras (49%)
  • iOS 10 (21%)
  • Pressure-sensitive home button (18%)
  • Removed headphone jack (12%)

“iPhone enthusiasts are craving new features and functionality from Apple’s next wave of smartphones,” said Mason. “Camera upgrades on iPhones keep getting better, and a dual camera will allow sharper photography. Although people aren’t excited about the idea of removing the headphone jack, they might welcome the enhancements rumored to replace it.”

Apple Watch 2
While cost continues to be the top concern against purchasing, consumers are now 20% more open to buying an Apple Watch than they were in March. At the time, 53% said that nothing could convince them to buy an Apple Watch.

Of iPhone owners, 11% currently own an Apple Watch, and 39% of those interested in the accessory won’t buy unless the cost goes down.

“The price reduction of the first Apple Watch has likely contributed to the rise in ownership we saw since March,” said Mason.

[SLIDESHARE] Burning Questions Answered: Who Will Upgrade to the New iPhone and Apple Watch?

About the Branding Brand Consumer Surveys
Branding Brand releases periodic surveys to understand the technologies mobile shopping customers use to make purchases.

This online survey was conducted from August 26-28, 2016, with 1,000 U.S. respondents ages 18 to 65, whose current smartphone device is an iPhone.

About Branding Brand
Branding Brand is the retail industry's largest mobile e-commerce platform, powering shopping experiences for over 200 enterprise brands. In addition to being named a Gartner "Cool Vendor" of apps, the Company was also named a 2016 Forrester Wave Leader in "Mobile Commerce and Engagement Platforms."

Topics: Trends Survey Company Press Release

Android Nougat: Good for Consumers, Not So Good for Retailers

4 Android operating system upgrades that excite Android owners aren't particularly retailer-friendly.Source: Digital Trends

Now available on Nexus devices, Android Nougat was publicly released last week and has since received rave reviews. 

Although Google made several significant changes in its latest operating system update, 4 upgrades that excite Android owners aren't particularly retailer-friendly.

Split screen

Although all apps aren't compatible, Android lovers may experience higher productivity levels with Nougat's split-screen ability. 

What this means for retailers: Now, shoppers have the ability to compare prices more easily from their Android smartphones and tablets.

Quick replies

Texts and emails can be read and responded to without opening an app, which helps prevent interruptions and gets users back to what they were doing faster.

What this means for retailers: Retailers need to step up their SMS and email marketing game in order to avoid ignored messages.

Notification muting

Unlike iOS, Android owners are automatically opted in for app notifications, but now, Nougat users have easy access to silence notifications by swiping down from the top of the screen.

What this means for retailers: Mobile marketers need to revisit their push notification strategies. Irrelevant, incessant messaging will have shoppers silencing retailers.

Data saver

People can enable or disable apps' abilities to send and receive data when they're not in use. 

What this means for retailers: Apps that depend on transmitting data even when they're not actively in use should inform shoppers up front why it's necessary and how it benefits them.

Discover the full list of new features introduced in Android Nougat.

Google's newest operating system won't be immediately available for other Android devices, like Samsung and Motorola.

Learn more about how the company's 2016 updates affect retailers in our Google I/O recap.

Topics: Trends

Top 10 Retail Trends You Need to Know: August 2016

With mobile payments and omnichannel services on the rise, more retailers are trading in their stores for storage space.

Industry Trend #1
Mobile Pay Preferred
More consumers use mobile pay because they're frustrated about the extra time it takes to use chip-enabled cards at checkout.
Read more

Industry Trend #2
Apple Pay Adoption 
Launched in 2014 and moving to the mobile web this fall, Apple Pay represents 75% of U.S. contactless payments.
Read more

Industry Trend #3Shutting Down Stores
U.S. e-commerce growth led to record brick-and-mortar store closings this year and the need for more warehouse space.
Read more

Industry Trend #4
So Long, Free Shipping
Cheap shipping may not be sustainable for retailers, who are experiencing declining profits despite rising e-commerce sales.
Read more

Industry Trend #5
Refining Omnichannel
While retailers benefit from buy online, pick up in-store, they shouldn’t offer this service unless the process is solid.
Read more

Industry Trend #6
Omnichannel Services
In-store fulfillment and returns for online purchases lends to major logistics savings for Home Depot.
Read more

Industry Trend #7
Endless Aisles
Aldo and other retailers are offering an omnichannel experience to customers to boost selling capabilities.
Read more

Industry Trend #8
Sharing In-Store Location
Shoppers are increasingly interested in using geolocation technologies inside stores to receive discounts and other benefits.
Read more

Industry Trend #9
New Device Alert
Pre-orders began this week for Samsung’s latest phablet, the Galaxy Note7, which can be unlocked with a glance.
Read more

Industry Trend #10
Next-Generation iPhone
The next anticipated iPhone is expected in September, which is rumored to have a dual-lens camera. 
Read more

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Topics: Trends

This Week at Branding Brand: August 20-26


#ShoutOut to @acehotel for letting us borrow their space yesterday to get some work done #acepgh #workspace #offsite

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The best way to start the day is with #bagels. Thanks @brueggers! #goodmorning #☕️

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Topics: Company

Retail News You Need to Know: August 22-26

Weekly News Roundup

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

Store Pickup? 

In-store fulfillment and returns of online purchases lends to major logistics savings for Home Depot (Wall Street Journal). While retailers are benefiting from buy online, pickup in-store, they shouldn’t offer unless the process is solid (eMarketer).

Shoppers are increasingly gravitating to geolocation technologies (Mobile Commerce Press). 77% of retail searches that mention "coupon" are initiated on a smartphone or tablet (MediaPost).

B2S Surprises
This year, back-to-school search queries saw a sharp rise the week of July 11, a full week earlier than last year (Think with Google). National Retail Federation’s Library features Branding Brand’s Back-to-College online survey.

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Topics: Trends

4 Ways Push Notifications Are Getting More Useful in iOS 10

There are 4 big ways push notifications are getting an upgrade in iOS 10. (Photo by iDownloadBlog)Source: iDownloadBlog

In September, Apple will host their annual event to unveil their new line of devices, which all come equipped with the latest version of its operating system—iOS 10 is this year’s newest for the iPhone.

During the company’s developer conference in June, Apple released the iOS 10 beta to developers. In addition to app extensions, Apple Pay on the web, and proactive suggestions, iOS 10 brings new opportunities for retailers to engage people through push notifications and understand how people interact with your messages.

Leanplum outlined 4 big ways push notifications are getting an upgrade in the latest iOS version:

Updated notifications

Retailers and other brands will be able to replace old, unread messages with new, updated information.

Customizable layouts

With titles, subtitles, and rich media, app owners will be able to provide more context within a simple push notification.

Actionable notifications

Consumers will be able to take direct action to reply, like, and even buy from the notification.

Advanced insights

Mobile marketers will see how when users dismiss their push notifications and use this information to tailor future messaging.

Read the full article.

These updates will be especially helpful for retailers preparing for holiday and during the shopping season itself.

If last year is any indication of how iOS 10 will be adopted, we saw 41% of iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, and 6s Plus owners update their smartphones to iOS 9 within the first 5 days of release. Should iOS 10 experience similar rapid adoption rates, retailers may see half of their holiday traffic on the latest version of iOS.

Stay up-to-date on Apple’s announcement by signing up for our event recap.

Sign up for the Apple event recap

Topics: Trends Solutions Apps Marketing

7 Factors That Are Killing Your Conversion

Millennials avoid purchasing online when they're going to be hit with shipping fees from retailers.

Millennials flock to shop online because they can compare products, pricing, and options, but are they actually buying?

Back-to-school shoppers purchase online instead of in store when they get fast, free shipping and better prices. So, you can probably guess what the top reason is for people who don’t buy online.

The people have spoken, and 49% of millennial shoppers agree that shipping fees are the top deterrent for purchasing online.

Apart from shipping costs, other reasons that these shoppers are discouraged from buying from a retailer’s site or app include:
  • Inability to try product before purchasing (44%)
  • Waiting for product to arrive (38%)
  • Receiving damaged, defective, or incorrect product (37%)
  • Risk of fraud (36%)
  • Doesn’t look like product photo (32%)
  • Inconvenient return policy (29%)
  • Poor online experience (16%)

Learn more about why millennials browse and buy online in our consumer survey.

Download the report

Topics: Trends Survey

Informal Messaging Is on the Rise, But Do People Like It?

Emoji marketing experienced a 609% increase from June 2015 to June 2016.

Informal messaging. Conversational commerce. Emoji campaigns.

Whatever you want to call it, these all point to one popular marketing trend that uses casual, friendly messaging that isn't stiff or robotic—even though a bot may be the one sending the messages. Although emojis aren't always utilized in informal messaging, they're an easy identifier that a brand is participating in this type of communication.

Emoji marketing has been on the rise since August 2015, and it has become increasingly popular, experiencing a 609% increase from June 2015 to June 2016.

Retailers are treating their customers like friends.

As smartphones become increasingly more common, the majority of micro-moments occur on these devices, which makes mobile messaging an effective tool to resolve consumer needs and drive sales, but this isn't the only reason retailers are making the switch.

In our webinar covering conversational commerce, Preston Rutherford of Chubbies Shorts said:

“We’re finding that people are not only interested in asking tactical questions. They want real conversations. Promote authentic conversation. The experience you deliver should elicit an emotion and add value to the customer's day.”

Conversational commerce is everywhere...

Casual messaging is most often seen in push notifications, chat bots, and emails. According to Appboy's report on emoji campaigns, people think that the most appropriate places to see this messaging is in:
  • Text messaging (37%)
  • Social media (28%)
  • Email (14%)
  • Messenger apps (10%)
  • Push notifications (5%)

...and it's used by everyone.

Every industry is taking a turn trying out conversational marketingincluding Amazon's BBI Score American EagleAmazon's BBI Score Chubbies, Hitlist, Amazon's BBI Score Sephora, Travelocity.

Sephora's push notifications showcase how retailers use emoji marketing, and Hitlist's shows that they're not always needed to be conversational.

This trend doesn't seem to be going anywhere any time soon as 71% of digital businesses actively use or plan to use SMS messaging and 83% actively use or plan to use push notifications.

Emojis can make you seem more fun and relatable.

While particularly loved by younger generations, 64% enjoy emoji marketing; 29% are neutral; and 6% don't like it at all. Over half of people surveyed said that emojis make the brand feels more fun and relatable, but watch out because 1 in 4 said it feels childish and inappropriate.

To use or not to use informal messaging.

It's not so much as making sure that every message sent is conversational. It's ensuring that the messages you send highlight the benefits of mobile marketing: immediacy, relevancy, and actionable.

This is best illustrated by the types of push notifications that people want to receive:
  • Sale alerts (63%)
  • Order status updates (62%)
  • Price change alert (53%)

Overall, it's about knowing your customers and figuring out what they want. Learn more about conversational commerce in our webinar recap and why it's the future of online shopping.

Download the conversational commerce webinar recap.

Topics: Trends Solutions Apps Marketing

Amazon, Target, and Walmart Dominate Back-to-School Shopping Season

Retailers have their work cut out for them this back-to-school shopping season to compete with back-to-school favorites, like Amazon.

Retailers have their work cut out for them this back-to-school shopping season.

Online shopping is more popular and accessible than ever, and this year, the majority of back-to-college shoppers will purchase at least one-third of their school necessities online mostly because they want to compare pricing and options

There are 3 retailers in particular who are likely to come out of the second-largest shopping season of the year (behind holiday, of course) with the lion's share of online sales from millennials buying college supplies.

Sneak Peek! Back to College 2016: Online Shopping Trends

College students want to buy from a limited number of retailers.

Both online and in store, more than half of millennials only plan to shop with 1-3 retailers to complete their back-to-school shopping—most likely Amazon's BBI Score Amazon (74%), Walmart's BBI Score Walmart (51%), and Target's BBI Score Target (42%).

24% of students shopping for school gear will get everything they need online from these 3 retail giants. 

[INFOGRAPHIC] Back to College 2016 Online Shopping Report

Amazon tops the list for back-to-school shopping...

It’s not surprising that 3 in 4 school shoppers plan on purchasing at least some of the purchases from Amazon, but you may be surprised to find that 22% of college students expect to buy everything they need online from Amazon. 

The Motley Fool reported: For a long time, Wal-Mart and Target had an edge over Amazon simply because they had a network of stores. However, by building up its Prime membership, which offers free two-day shipping, and increasing its shipping capacity and options (including Sunday delivery), the online retailer has made that edge less relevant.

...but whoever has the best prices will get the sale.

Back-to-school shoppers aren't likely to be brand loyalists. They're looking for fast, free shipping and the cheapest prices

Behind the Amazon, Walmart, and Target, people also expect to buy from: 

Mobile-savvy shoppers will browse and buy in app.

About half of back-to-school online sales will likely be made through retailers' apps—approximately $7.4 billion.

People typically use retailers’ apps instead of their websites because they’re faster and more convenient. It’s likely that these mobile-savvy shoppers will make their purchases in-app.

Although Amazon, Walmart, and Target have all had steady app engagement for the last 3 months, Amazon is the #2 shopping app, which helps its visibility in the App Store and explains why it outnumbers Walmart and Target’s combined daily active users by 170,000, according to Apptopia.


Walmart has plans for getting back on top in the competition.

Earlier this month, Walmart announced plans to purchase Kohl's BBI Score Jet.com to more effectively compete with retail giant Amazon. It wouldn’t be surprising to see school shoppers swarming to the web-based retailer next year.

This deal reveals how Amazon is amplifying the competition for both omnichannel retailers and startups alike.

Learn more about back-to-college online shopping trends. 

Download our consumer survey of young millennials, who plan to shop online for back to school.

Download the report.

Topics: Trends Survey

This Week at Branding Brand: August 13-19


Spotted in our neighborhood #southside #Pittsburgh #ArtIsNotDead #graffiti

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Topics: Company

Retail News You Need to Know: August 15-19

Weekly News Roundup

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

Sustaining Growth

U.S. e-commerce growth has led to record brick-and-mortar store closings this year, and the need for more warehouse space (Bloomberg). Declining overall profits despite rising e-commerce sales for major companies indicate that low-cost shipping is not sustainable for retailers (Wall Street Journal).

Endless Shelves
More retailers are working to offer an omnichannel experience to customers. Aldo’s in-store endless shelf boosts its selling capabilities (Mobile Commerce Daily). Within 3 years, J.C. Penny will offer ship-to-store, same-day pickup, and faster home delivery, among other omnichannel services (RetailDIVE).

Ripple Effect
E-commerce as an industry could soon feel the positive effects from major acquisitions made by Unilever and Walmart in Dollar Shave Club and Jet.com, respectively (Re/Code, FORTUNE).

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Topics: Trends

[PRESS] A Mobile App Strategy Shift Can Make for Happier Holidays

Internet Retailer

Internet Retailer spotlighted Branding Brand's app survey in an article about why retailers should embrace a mobile app strategy ahead of this year's holiday season. 

Here's an excerpt: 

Personalization, loyalty features and app-only rewards are key themes that appear in every app update cycle.

In a survey by Branding Brand, pricing incentives ranked as the top three factors that influenced retail app downloads.  The most powerful factor was the promise of loyalty points for downloading, cited by 71%, followed app-only coupons or discounts (67%) and discount on first order (64%). The fourth most-cited reason for downloading the app was, logically, frequently purchasing from that retailer, selected by 59% of respondents.

Read the full story

Download the consumer survey highlights and find what people really want from your app.

Download the report

Topics: Trends Survey Media Coverage Solutions Apps Company

College Students Want Fast, Free Shipping for Back to School

Fast, free shipping is important to millennials. The top reason college students don't shop online is shipping fees.

View the back-to-college infographic.

This year, college students will spend billions on back to school; however, a survey of those who expect to buy back-to-school gear online, the majority of shoppers will only purchase up to one-third of what they need online.

Where are retailers missing the mark?

Millennials made it clear they buy online to save money, and fast, free shipping is extremely important to them.

Sneak Peek! Back to College 2016: Online Shopping Trends

“Whether it’s laptops for class or mini-fridges for the dorm, college simply costs more than the lower grades,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said.

Nearly 1 in 5 want to buy online and pick up their purchases in store—80% are interested in using this feature in a retailer’s app.

College students realize there are a lot of reasons to love shopping online, and 1 in 10 expect to purchase everything they need on the web or in app.

Here’s the full list of what influences college students to purchase online rather than in store:
  • Free shipping (63%)
  • Better price (58%)
  • Fast shipping (45%)
  • Free returns (28%)
  • Pay with PayPal (19%)
  • Buy now, pick up in store (18%)
  • Pay with Apple Pay (5%)

Get everything there is to know about millennials and back-to-school shopping trends in our consumer survey highlights.

Download the repot

Topics: Trends Survey

This Week at Branding Brand: August 6-12


We swear this wasn't staged. #notastockphoto #ponderinglife #workday

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Popcorn is popped, and seats are filling up for the #Pittsburgh premiere of @invisionapp's #DesignDisruptors #🍿 #📽

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Topics: Company

Retail News You Need to Know: August 8-12

Weekly News Roundup

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

Experiential Retail

Sony built marketing-geared playground for people to test products before they buy (AdAge). Samsung has an NYC shop, and mini-stores inside Best Buy locations, where consumers can explore different devices (Wall Street Journal, RetailDIVE).

Google’s AMP Grows
Google is activating its Accelerated Mobile Pages Project to include all search results, with no changes to site rankings (Re/Code). Google’s Blog offers a demo. Insights on AMP were recently shared by Branding Brand’s CEO (Mobile Commerce Daily) and CTO (Blog).

Walgreens & DSG
Walgreens will shut down both Drugstore.com and Beauty.com in September to build a singular e-commerce presence (Business Insider). Post-Sports Authority liquidation, Dick’s Sporting Goods’ stock is up 25%, and nearly 50% year-to-date, with online sales as a major factor (Fox Business).

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Topics: Trends

8 Reasons Millennials Are Happier Shopping Online

Millennials prefer shopping online over shopping in store because they can drink while shopping, don't have to wear pants, and don't have to deal with people.

View the back-to-college infographic.

Back-to-school shopping season is a time of the year that many families dread, but Americans are betting on the web to make it less stressful. As millennials spend more time online, it’s not surprising that over one-third of college students plan to shop for their school necessities online.

Although 3 in 4 college students won’t start shopping until one month before school starts, they’re expected to spend billions online on their back-to-school shopping this year.

But why do 18-to-24-year-olds flock to shop online? One back-to-school shopper put it simply by saying, “Everything is at my fingertips, so why not?”

To get a deeper understanding, we surveyed 1,001 back-to-college shoppers to understand why they love shopping online versus shopping in store, and we found millennials prefer it because they:
  • Can compare pricing and options (57%)*
  • Can see all available inventory (42%)*
  • Don't have to deal with people (36%)
  • Don't have to carry products around a mall or store (27%)
  • Don't have to put on pants (24%)*
  • Can avoid impulse purchases (18%)*
  • Don't have a nearby store (17%)
  • Can drink while shopping (10%)

*The survey found statistical significance that females were more likely to choose these reasons to shop online.

Learn more about back-to-college shopping trends in our consumer survey.

Download the report

Topics: Trends Survey

[PRESS] Retailers Are Leveraging Omnichannel Strategies to Attract School Shoppers

According to the New York Post, retailers, like Walmart, Target, and Macy's, feel pressured to compete with online giant Amazon for back-to-school shoppers.

Retailers are taking their omnichannel strategies to a new level to attract back-to-school shoppers because they feel pressured to compete with online giant Amazon.

Chubbies Shorts is one of many taking advantage of conversational commerce to step up their omnichannel efforts, and others, like Walmart, JCPenney, Macy's, and Target, are trying to engage customers through multiple channels by improving their apps; offering fast, free shipping; and merging the online and offline shopping experiences.

The New York Post reports:

Traditional department and discount store chains are trying to win over shoppers by converting their brands into omnichannel retailers that make it easy for shoppers to buy online, in-store or from a mobile device.

While the National Retail Federation expects back-to-school and -college sales will jump substantially, to $75.8 billion this year, every dollar will be hard won. Stores are under pressure not only to generate strong sales, but to turn a profit while offering the speed and convenience customers expect.

The majority of back-to-school shoppers plan to visit traditional stores; however, the crowded aisles are losing luster. 

Millennials in particular prefer shopping online because of free shipping, as well as not having to “deal with people” — or even wear pants — according to a survey by mobile commerce platform Branding Brand survey.

Read the full story.

Get the latest back-to-school trends:

Download our consumer survey to learn why college students love shopping online for their back-to-school necessities. 

Download the report

Topics: Trends Survey Media Coverage Company

[FREE DOWNLOAD] Webinar Recap: Conversational Commerce and Your Omnichannel Strategy


Branding Brand CEO Chris Mason partnered with Chubbies founder Preston Rutherford and Forrester analyst Brendan Witcher to talk conversational commerce and omnichannel retail. Whether you missed our webinar or you just want to review the highlights, we've got you covered.

What you'll learn:
  • How smartphones change the way people shop online and in store
  • Where retailers are failing their customers
  • What retailers are doing to keep up with the latest shopping trends

Download the recap

Topics: Omnichannel Trends Solutions Apps Marketing Recap Company Webinar

This Week at Branding Brand: July 30 - August 5


Sometimes, it's nice to take a quick break #billiards #ISeeWhatYouDidThere #punny #🎱

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Topics: Company

Retail News You Need to Know: August 1-5

Weekly News Roundup

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

Chip Woes Boost Mobile Pay

More consumers are using mobile pay because they're frustrated about the extra time it takes to use chip-enabled card checkout at the register (Wall Street Journal). Apple Pay represents 75% of U.S. contactless payments (FORTUNE, LowCards)

Jet.com & Walmart
Walmart may buy Jet.com to further its grip on e-commerce and offer larger product quantities to compete with Amazon (New York Times, ABC News). Would buying Jet solve Walmart’s Amazon problem (FORUNE)?

New Devices
Pre-orders began this week for Samsung’s latest phablet, the Galaxy Note7, which can be unlocked with a glance (Android Police, CNN Money). The next anticipated iPhone is expected in September (The Next Web, MacRumors).

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Topics: Trends

Top 3 Back-to-School Purchases Will Drive $14 Billion Online Sales

Mobile apps will account for $7.4 billion total in back-to-school sales.

Following the winter holidays, back-to-school is the second-largest shopping season for retailers, and it’s not difficult to understand why. According to NRF, college students and their families expect to spend $29.1 billion on the top 3 back-to-school shopping categories alone:
  • $11.54 billion on electronics
  • $11.33 billion on clothing and shoes
  • $6.23 billion on dorm furnishings

Coincidentally, about half of college students say they’ll purchase these popular items online, leaving over $14 billion up for grabs for online retailers.

A survey of back-to-college shoppers found:
  • 50% will purchase electronics online
  • 54% will purchase clothing or shoes online
  • 41% will purchase room decor or furniture online

These 18-to-24-year-olds are changing the future of mobile. Nearly half prefer their smartphones for browsing and buying, according to Forrester. Even more notable, 62% of young millennials prefer shopping apps.

Millennials are early adopters of technology, and a survey on app use uncovered that they’ve previously purchased electronics (49%), clothing or shoes (67%), and home furnishings (25%) in apps. Based on this, retailers should expect to see about half of their online revenue coming through apps—about $7.4 billion total in back-to-school sales.

Get up-to-speed on more 2016 school shopping trends in our consumer survey.

Download the report.

Topics: Trends Survey Solutions Apps

Brander Spotlight on Accessible Web Design


Making the web accessible for everyone may seem like a daunting task if you're doing it on your own, especially when large corporations experience million-dollar lawsuits due to non-compliance.

Branding Brand Art Director Ashley Golen discussed how we're helping retailers deliver the best online experiences.

Q: Why is accessible web design important?
A: The internet is for everyone. Everyone has a right to access the same information regardless of mental or physical limitations. When websites don’t meet accessibility standards, we are limiting access to information for those with disabilities.

Q: What does it mean to be “web accessible”?
A: To be web accessible, a website needs to adhere to WCAG 2.0 (Web Content Accessibility  Guidelines). WCAG is a set of guidelines developed by the W3C to establish a standard for accessible content on the web. By 2018, all websites should adhere to the lowest level of WCAG compliance or else they risk prosecution.

Q: What is your team doing to help retailers become web accessible?
A: The Creative Team at Branding Brand is incorporating these standards into our standard workflow with the goal of making our work accessible to all:

  • We are now designing to meet contrast and color requirements, so that those with low vision or color blindness are not limited in their interactions on our sites.
  • We are designing deliberate focus states so that users who navigate the web via keyboard can still navigate on our sites.
  • Our error states are being redesigned to explicitly identify errors using indicators other than color alone and context for how to fix the error.
  • Our layouts are optimized so that screen readers can dictate content to the user in a logical order.
  • These changes may seem small, but when paired with the efforts from our development team, they create an experience that is consistent for every user.

Q: How will accessible web design affect retailer sites?
A: If a retailer is building a site that does not comply with accessibility standards, they are effectively ignoring a group of potential customers and missing out on revenue.

There is also a legal component to this issue. If retailers ignore accessibility requirements, they open themselves up to the possibility of lawsuits and prosecution from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add?
A: Designing for accessibility means designing for empathy. It’s looking outside of the “perfect” user story and designing for the flawed. When we design for these human cases, we are moving closer to the idea of "one web," where information is accessible to all no matter the user’s personal narrative. I think that’s an idea everyone can rally behind.

Take a look at our research on the Fundamentals of Accessible Web Design, or contact one our usability experts to discuss how your digital experiences can be more accessible.

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Topics: Design Trends Solutions Company

The Fundamentals of Accessible Web Design and Why It's Important

Get a basic understanding of what the WCAG technical standards are and why they're important in Fundamentals of Accessible Web Design.

Accessible web design has always been crucial to delivering the best user-centric experiences.

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) help developers, content writers, designers, and other web professionals create web experiences that everyone can use and enjoy. 

In Fundamentals of Accessible Web Design, you'll get a basic understanding of what the WCAG technical standards are and why they're important. Our team is already working hard to implement web accessibility best practices.

What you'll learn:
  • What it means to be web accessible
  • Why web accessibility is important
  • Design recommendations to begin your accessible web strategy

Our goal at Branding Brand is to create experiences that are both useful and usable for everyone. Want to talk to an expert about how you can be more web accessible?

Contact us to talk to a usability expert.

Topics: Design Trends Solutions