Friday, January 29, 2016

Mobile Genius

- Mobile = Genius
- Brick and mortar non-stores!
- Snapchat takes on Facebook
- 2016 eCommerce eMail benchmarks
- Video holds eyeballs
- Niche Tech

Special Bonus: Internet Statstics Compendium (Caution: Addictive)

Mobile = Genius

More than 50% of Web searches now happen on a mobile device. That's why L2 Research has awarded Genius status to any brand that meets three criteria: They have a mobile first strategy, ranks number 1 on Google Mobile search for their brand term and uses the mobile technology for more than just an optimized site, for instance, they use location data to benefit either their visitor or their company. Clearly, WE'RE not there yet, but Home depot was a big winner in this space, which will be no surprise to anyone who has used their app. It lets you search for items and availability in a particular store, helps you find stuff when you're in the store itself and even let's you search for an item by taking a picture of it!! That's pretty cool cutting edge stuff but with slope of the current customer expectation curve, I predict these features will be table stakes for any brick and mortar retailer in the very near future. Maybe even this year.

Brick and mortar non-stores

Speaking of physical stores, here's an interesting trend that bears watching: we've talked over and over again about the death of pure play retail and how even giant etailers like Amazon will eventually need brick and mortar presence to fully succeed. Stores have been undervalued for years through the e-commerce era but as it turns out, they add tremendous value as local warehouses as well as distribution or pick-up points. They're also showrooms where customers can see and touch products before they buy them. Well, now a number of ecommerce companies are trying a different take on brick and mortar. They're building stores that aren't stores. For instance, the men's grooming brand Harry's has expanded from online only into a chain called Cornershop, a retro barbershop offering haircuts, shaves, beard trims and Harry's shaving products. Customers can book appointments online and use the 'cut archive' app to record their favorite haircuts and beards for future visits. The positioning of a neighborhood shop where customers can build long lasting relationships complements their messagoe of old-fashioned quality. Is there a lesson here for Philips? definitely. Though we probably missed the barbershop opportunity. What about pop up snack bars that sell food made with our Kitchen Appliances? Or sleep bars that offer people with respritory disorders the chance to try our SRC products while they grab a nap in a comfy bed in the middle of the day?

Another creative application of a real-world presence comes from the previously online only Trunk Club, This is a Style site where you input information about yourself and a personal stylist puts together a 'trunk' of clothes tailored to your needs. The unique trunks are shipped to each customer who only pay for what they decide to keep and returns the rest. The company just opened several 'Clubhouses' in a number of cities where customers can meet with a stylist in person, see, touch and try on the merch and even have a complementary beverage before they meet with their stylist. It's a whole new take on clothes shopping.

While we're on the subject. American Eagle, an established brick and mortar has gone well beyond just adding a Web presence. Since 2010 they've invested heavily in becoming a true omnichannel business. They persevered even as their stock price took a hit in 2013. They hired a Chief Digital Officer, Opened a Tech Center in Silicon Valley, introduced ship from store, built a state of the art fulfillment center and perhaps most important, rolling up ecommerce and retailer reporting so everyone was working from the same information. Their long game was rewarded last year as their stock price climbed 11% in just 6 months. Kudos to them for having a clear strategy, hanging in and doing it right.

Snap vs Facebook

A couple of calls ago, we mentioned that Snapchat was starting to position itself as a marketing platform as they made sponsored 'Lenses' available to Brands. These are branded filters or frames that users can put around their pictures garner up to 16Mn impressions. At 750K for special days, the pricing for a sponsored Lens rivals the cost of a super bowl ad. Snapchat also allows Brand accounts. But now the popular channel is reportedly building a sophisticated ad targeting platform to compete with Facebook. This may explain why they turned down an acquisition offer of 3 Billion from Facebook two years ago. Smart, because their current funding round just valued them at 16Bn. While Snapchats 100Mn users pale in comparison to Facebook's 1.2 Bn, the demographics of Snapchats 18-24 dominated user base, and it's younger group of users with a potential for exponential growth are clearly compelling to brands. A study shows that marketers who are active on Snapchat and post daily, maintain an average of 9 posts/day. Much higher than averages of 1.8 on FB, 2.3 on Insta and 3.3 on Twitter. Then again, Snapchat could fade away in a couple of years and never be though of again. FB's not going anywhere.

ECommerce email Benchmarks

I touch on this every couple of months, but it bears repeating because marketers tend to think of email marketing as old or passe. The fact is email marketing is the gift that keeps on giving. I think I mentioned last month that a quarter of all black friday weekend traffic was driven by email. But how many emails did it take to drive that traffic? How do you define email success? Great question and one that a recent study by Remarketry is helping to answer as they provide some email benchmarks for 2016.
If you send out a regular email newsletter, you can expect an open rate of 23.4%. 17% of those will click on something in your newsletter and 1% of THOSE will likely convert. If you beat that, you're doing something very right.
But once people have bought something from you, the story changes pretty dramatically. Order follow up emails get a 46% open rate. CLick rate is 16% and 5% of those people will convert, though probably not to another sale right away. People ARE willing to give feedback though, they'll RATE SOMETHING or sign up for a loyalty program once they bought something so let's capitalize on that. Could be a way to increase our ratings and reviews
When someone hasn't seen anything from you for a while, they're more likely to pay attention, this includes inactive customers. 38% of them will open an email from a brand that they haven't done business with in a while, 19% will click and 2.5% will convert
Maybe the best opportunity is email follow ups to cart abandons. 46.6% of people who've abandoned a shopping cart will open an email about it. 28% of them will click and fully 5% will convert to a sale. So let's make sure we're following up on cart abandons. Otherwize, we're leaving a lot of money on the table.

Fun video stats

I want us to do more video in 2016. Lot's more. And I don't mean fully produced 2 or 10 minute videos that only live on YouTube. I mean Vines and Snapchats and Instagrams and even animated gifs and jpgs. They're just more involving and people look at them longer than static images And as long as they're looking at them, they're thinking about our brand. Here are a couple interesting stats...
Snapchat now delivers 7Bn video views per day. That's up 1Bn views year over year. And only a Bn short of Facebook but with only .1% of the users. Wow!
Periscope has delivered 100Mn live broadcasts in the last 10 months and it just became autoplay on twitter which could geometrically impact it's growth.
People watched 12Bn hours of Netflix in the last quarter of 2015. That was a 70% increase Year over Year, in case you were wondering why the bars are all empty.

Niche Technology

Earlier this month, Scott Galloway released a bit of a rant about what he called Technology Head Fakes, calling 'LOSER' on anyone who's bought into technologies which will never rise beyond a niche market. At first look these are surprising because they've all recently been touted as the next big thing. The technologies are Mass customization, Internet of Things, beacons, 3D printing, and virtual reality. Scott is a bit of an agent provocateur and he's also the first person to say he gets this stuff wrong all the time. So let's dig into these a little bit. I'll tell you what I think, and you guys should feel free to jump in and agree or disagree.
Let's start with Virtual Reality. The hype around this has been deafening of late, with Samsung even opening a purpose built Virtual Reality studio in lower manhattan last month. Nonetheless, I agree with Scott on this, at least in it's current incarnation, because it requires a crazy looking headset and the 3D aspect of it literally gives many people a headache. I'm one of those people. So those seems like pretty significant barriers to widespread adoption.
Internet of Things, we hope isn't limited to a niche becasue it's a significant part of our healthcare and lighting businesses. While there has been some overhype - connected blender? -- I think there's a lot of potential for wide adoption for many IoT applications.
Mass Customization. I strongly agree that this was a concept doomed to failure. A great example of this is Nike allowing people to pay a premium price to design their own sneakers. Now, remember, I'm not saying no one is going to do this. But I do think it will remain a niche because most people buy products from top brands becasue they like the edgy designs that the brands come up with. Very few people can out-design Nike.
Beacons - In case anyone doesn't know, Beacons are bluetooth devices that are being placed in stores around the country -- actually around the world. In a store, beacons use Bluetooth to detect nearby smartphones and try to bridge the physical and digital experiences, sending media such as ads, coupons or supplementary product information. I agree that nobody has figured out a way to make beacons really benefit their bottom line yet, certainly not in a directly trackable way. But I have seen some uses that positively impact the Customer Experience and that can only be a good thing. And remember, nobody made money with a Web site for many years after the Web started to happen. Beacon technology is still developing. So I think there's a good chance that we'll see them play an important role in the omni-channel environment.
3D printing - again, there are customers who will benefit from this tech. College engineering departments, manufacturers, etc. It IS exciting technology, but I've never been able to see how it's going to go mass market. Just print anything you need right in your own house. You'd have to keep a huge inventory of materials around to be ready to print whatever you needed on demand, The cost of the various materials is just too high. And it seems that there would be too much wasted material and energy. I think we're all waiting for a star trek type replicator anyway. Now THAT I'll be ready to adopt.