Online Shopping 1. The online shopping market in Australia is growing strongly and will account for seven per cent of all retail sales by end of 2013 (Frost & Sullivan’s Australian & NZ Online Shopping Market report, July 2013) 2. … Read Full Article >
Last year blogs were touting showrooming as the latest digital trend in the retail space whilst this year much talk has turned to webrooming and the impact of this trend for retailers.
So what is webrooming and is it really new or has someone finally created a buzz word to describe shopper behaviour that has been occurring for a long time?
The run down on webrooming
For those unfamiliar with the term – webrooming is basically the opposite of showrooming which by now you are probably all familiar with. But in case you’re not showrooming describes the behaviour of consumers browsing and trialling products in store only to then buy them online. Webrooming therefore is the practice of browsing online before purchasing in-store.
But is it new?
Digital people love buzz words and new trends but when I recently read an article which described the webrooming phenomenon I was slightly confused. For years research has shown that consumers use the web to research and even price check products and services before buying, so why the hype around webrooming now? Having worked in retail, I have a theory of my own about why “webrooming” is being touted as the next big trend even though consumers have been webrooming for some time and this theory I term eCommerce tunnel-vision. Whilst eCommerce represents a significant opportunity for retailers, it has resulted in a very narrow view of the role of a brands website. Many retailers, until recently have failed to understand the role the website plays in influencing in-store sales. This has been exacerbated by the creation of “direct teams” that are charged with selling products via eCommerce who usually have ownership of the retailers web experience.
For retailers eCommerce represents the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the sales / revenue that can be derived from their web presence – and not enough emphasis has to date been placed on what lies beneath which is why I believe webrooming is now on everybody’s lips.
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In October one of the UKs biggest retailers, John Lewis announced that this year will be the UK’s first-ever mobile Christmas, with the retailer forecasting that traffic from mobile will overtake visits from desktops on Christmas day. According to John Lewis, mobile traffic has sharply risen from 26% of total site traffic to 40% during 2013. In addition almost 50% of traffic to its website came from mobile last Christmas Day. As a result the retailer expects traffic from mobile to pass the 50% mark by 5pm on the 25th.
With Australia’s smartphone penetration one of the highest in the world at 72%, higher than our UK counterparts, we can only assume that retailers down under will also experience a mobile Christmas. But are they ready?
Whilst a mobile site does not a mobile strategy make, it is a fundamental and important platform. Thus I audited 38 Australian retail sites in the ladies fashion, beauty and homewares categories to determine how many retailers are able to capitalise on the mobile opportunity this Christmas. The audit found that only half of those retailers reviewed have a mobile site in place – demonstrating that some retailers aren’t planning for a mobile Christmas at all. (NB: A full list of the retailers audited is listed at the end of the article.)
Why mobile is important during Christmas
By 2016 Deloitte Digital has predicted that the mobile device will influence 17 – 21% of all retail transactions and thus mobile is not only important for retailers at Christmas but all year round. However research indicates that mobile usage increases over the silly season – thus having a mobile strategy is crucial to maximise revenue during the biggest trading period of the year.
So what does the research indicate and what should retailers do about it?
> Mobile search share increases during the Christmas period
In November 2012, Google Australia released data that showed 40 percent of all shopping search queries were conducted via mobile and tablets. However during the 2012 Christmas period, data from Google showed 53 per cent of all online shopping searches came from tablets and smart phones.
Being visible on Google is therefore a necessity but retailers need to consider how to craft a tailored mobile search strategy to capitalise on the opportunity. Focusing on “local” is important as consumers turn to mobile to find trading hours and store locations. The time of day that the search query is being conducted is also key with PayPal data showing in the five-week lead in to Christmas 2012, Australians were transacting on their mobile immediately after stores closed. Thus adopting different strategies to drive consumers in-store during the day vs. enticing consumers to buy through the mobile site at night should be considered for certain type of search terms.
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Last week AdTech descended on Melbourne for another year, and whilst I couldn’t find the time to attend most of the event I was glad I found the time to hear Ekaterina Walters from Branderati present 5 trends marketers can’t ignore.
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Australians appetite for technology has been unabated in recent years despite soft economic conditions with tablets becoming the object of affection. Read Full Article >
Although there is much for retailers to learn when it comes to eCommerce, there is much eCommerce retailers can learn from traditional retailers – particularly when it comes to merchandising strategies. Read Full Article >