Archive for November 2010

Consumers supposedly spend 50% more in-store than online

In a recent study by California Institute of Technology on consumer retail spending and published by Storefrontbacktalk blog, consumers are willing to spend up to 50% more when they shop in-store versus online. We all know online marketing drives and influences in-store purchasing behavior, but until now, we didn’t quite have metrics around how much more people are likely to buy in-store when compared to purchasing online. However, this is not surprising. Logic has it that in many retail categories, people will browse in-store and simply buy more things they would like to have but don’t need. Merchandising is much more effective in driving impulse purchases that the savviest online product-recommendation engine. People can be laser focused when shopping online. If they need one product, they can buy one product without the allure of other accessories at the register. However, incentives like free shipping over a certain purchase amount can have the reverse benefit of getting people to buy ancillary items just to qualify for the free shipping deal. One could also make the argument that price wars on the internet have depressed prices online when compared to the same goods sold offline. Inherently, people buying the same product offline will pay more (i.e. spend more), contributing to the over-spending in-store. Either way, this was a very interesting study that aims to quantify why retailers prefer customers shop in-store than online.

Admob reports significant smartphone growth/usage

Check out the following article on that talks about a recent Admob study of the growth in smartphone users based on the volume of ads served by admob to smartphones over the last two years. The amazing growth is highlighted by the fact that only two years ago, there weren’t any google android phones or Apple iPad and the iphone touch was a little over 1% of worldwide requests from a mobile search, as documented in the study. We all expect smartphone growth to continue growing substantially. However, mobile ads served via mobile apps is just a small piece of the picture. The real volumes and impressions are driven via basic SMS, and the volumes of texting is growing across all demographics. Obviously, ads in text messages are highly contested for reasons of privacy and intrusion (only 140 characters total and not a lot of room for ad-copy). Growth in mobile usage is great, but until it truly hits scale to deliver significant ad-impressions for advertisers, it will be a testing-bed for advertisers with insignificant budgets.

QR codes beginning to gain ground

Mashable wrote a great article last week about QR codes, a form of 2D barcodes that can be scanned by smartphones.

Online ad-spend expected to grow significantly

eMarketer released some statistics on online marketing spend that are quite impressive and very encouraging for an advertising economy that has been under pressure the past few years.

Jackson Hewitt sees success with online coupons

STORES Magazine published an article on Jackson Hewitt’s success last tax season with online coupons and various marketing strategies for driving tax filings into their network of over 6,000 stores. Very interesting metrics shared and an overall great article. Check it out here. My take on this is that offline merchants need to use online coupons to complement their other efforts. It is increasingly clear to marketers that their customers are beginning the purchase process online often by searching for related products, services and associated offers. If you don’t have visibility there at the start of the process, acquiring that customer becomes that much harder after they’ve engaged with your competitor. Unless the consumer’s first impression of your competition is negative, chances are pretty good that you’ve lost the sale.