Welcome to Weekly Roundup #11 where we have the latest eCommerce news and retail updates all lined up for you. Have you checked out last week’s round up on customer insights and growth resources? You can count on us every week to have a fresh batch of information ready to read with no research needed. Let’s get started.
Cross Device Targeting High In Demand But Still Underdeveloped
Marketers have seen the value in reaching customers across all screens for some time now and while a more “people based” approach to targeting has clear benefits, it’s definitely not so easy to do so across the advertising landscape. There is no key identifier connecting someone across all devices. The lack of identifier means that getting the data together that advertisers want is normally at the discretion of whoever is offering that channel, making it difficult for sellers to scale effectiveness in a publisher-agnostic manner.
Only 6% of marketers worldwide reported an adequate single view of prospects and customers across all devices. The methods used to pair users with devices hasn’t changed much in this industry in the last year, so what is changing? Marketers understanding their audience has become a focal point in monitoring data and many now see first party data as the key to unlocking cross device targeting. This is leading to both sides investing more in DMPs (data management platforms) and while consumers are becoming easier and easier to reach it’s also cultivating privacy and security concerns from users. There’s a lot of work to be done with cross-device targeting and we eagerly await further developments in the field.
Paypal Brings In-Store Cash Loading to Iphone App
Paypal is getting cosier with bricks-and-mortar stores by expanding their cash loading service app, Mobile Commerce Daily has reported. This expansion is enabling consumers to add cash to their Paypal accounts without having to visit a banking institution or ATM. This might not just close the gap between digital and physical stores but may even offer up an advantage compared to the digital only environment.
The Paypal Cash feature that enables users to deposit cash to their current balances at any Rite Aid store or CVS. It is unfortunately only available to users in the US at this time. A service fee of $3.95 exists for every transaction and while this is a unique service that we doubt Paypal’s competitors will be trying to emulate, it’s still a complicated process. Each bar code generated to pay for goods in store with this app expires after one hour and has a one time use. This is a hit or miss expansion – some people may consider the transaction fee unreasonable, but on the other hand this service will attract those who frequent convenience stores often and enjoy their Paypal accounts being well stocked.
Pinterest’s Latest Acquisitions Are Focused on eCommerce
Pinterest has just recently acquired the mobile shopping and discovery service The Hunt and the image orientated app Pext. The Hunt is a service that allows users to upload photographs of items they’ve seen on social media that they want to seek out to purchase. They have the option to hunt “this exactly” or “similar to this” and a social network of consumers aid them in their search to buy. Pext is an app that has been developed to help users discover images that are relevant to their text messages. Pinterest will be adding the Co-Founder and CEO of The Hunt, Tim Weingarten, and has acquired Pext in order to add its cofounder Harsh Goel to its roster.
These two purchasing moves by Pinterest are the latest in their efforts to remake social media into an eCommerce destination. Just a couple of months ago Pinterest launched The Pinterest Shop, which features purchasable pins and retail networks. This was after it launched Buyable Pins that also enable Pinterest users to purchase within the pins themselves.
The Smart Fitting Room: The Future of Retail
The digital revolution is dominating the shopping environment and brick-and-mortar stores are trying desperately to tempt customers back to the high street by integrating a digitalised shopping experience into their stores. Here’s just three examples from Tech.co of how the smart fitting room is the future of retail:
The Personalised Shopping Experience
eCommerce is already kitted out with a personalised user experience, so to compete brick-and-mortar stores have introduced this to their changing rooms. Bloomingdale’s, Ralph Lauren and Nordstrom have utilised digital cubicles that identify items, suggest complimentary purchases and have interactive mirror systems.
RFID Technology Systems
Now this is quite amazing. Smart fitting rooms are fitted with technology that automatically detects the items that a customer brings into the changing room. This is Radio Frequency Identification, which works similar to a barcode but contains far more information for the system such as size, colour and style. Their items appear on a screen where they can request an alternative size or colour and the request will be send to a sales associate via a handheld mobile device for them to complete their request. They can also login in the changing room and add items to their wish list, and guess what – they’ll be sent an email as soon as it is ever in a sale or part of a promotion.
Retailers are now fitting “magic mirrors” into their changing rooms that provide extra digital services to customers such as a 360 degree view of their outfit, alternative lighting and even compliments. Yep. The mirror will compliment you. More than a third of people in the UK have self esteem issues and this magic mirror has the ability to detect features about yourself such as impressive facial hair, clothing choices and more. Rumour has it that it even wolf whistles. Designer Rebecca Minkoff has placed magic mirrors in her stores which offer different lighting conditions so consumers can tell how their outfit will look at different times of the day.
Whether this turns out to just be a novelty, we will have to wait and see!
Return Fraud: $2.2billion in Losses for Retailers
Return fraud has increased in retail according to the latest survey from the National Retail Federation. 3.5% of holiday returns this season will have been fraudulent, up from last year’s 3%. That means there’s $2.2billion in losses this year up from $1.9billion.
There are two main types of Return Fraud: the return of stolen stock and “wardrobing”. If you’re wondering what wardrobing is, it’s when a customer buys an outfit to look fancy at a particular event and returns it a day later without the consequences of actually paying to look good. Did you know that 91.9% of retailers have experienced stolen stock being returned to them and 72% having experienced “wardrobing”? It’s far more common than you might think.
UK Retailers Risk Losing Custom Due to Inflexible Checkouts
Clumsy checkouts on retailers’ websites are risking retailers losing customers. The “Revenue Rescue: Saving Sales When Shoppers Stray” report had interesting insight into the checkout systems of 100 UK retailers. Apparently, 33% of the retailers did not offer guest checkout and users have to go through between 5 and 9 pages to complete the checkout process. Only 7% of retailers allow the customer to make alterations to items in their cart such as sizes and colours and one in ten retailers didn’t allow the customer to make any alterations at all once the item is in their basket.
38% of retailers show the total cost of the items just before purchase which causes “sticker shock” and commonly results in abandonments. The other 62% however show a preview of the basket and allow customers to keep an eye on the running total. The shopping cart is one of the most important moments of the online shopping process and it’s important for retailers to make it as smooth to operate as possible. You wouldn’t make it difficult to alter their basket in real life, so avoid it online. At this point sales are converted, or aborted. This part of the process needs to be as efficient as possible if you want to keep down your cart abandonment.