E-commerce vs Social; Queues Costing Retailers

RetailTechNews’ weekly roundup brings you up-to-date research findings from around the world. In this week’s edition: E-commerce vs Social; Queues Costing Retailers; and Facebook Disproving Doomsday Predictions.

E-commerce vs Social

There is a growing friction between third-party e-commerce sites and social media platforms, which are both competing for a finite amount of consumer attention, according to Magisto.

Almost three-quarters (71%) of businesses report using social media more than any other digital medium to market their business, 177% more than e-commerce sites and 122% more than paid advertising. What’s more, respondents are 138% more likely to drive traffic to their own websites than to an e-commerce site with their marketing efforts.

The report shows that 72% of businesses say they’d be more likely to use third-party e-commerce sites if they offered more tools to actively market/promote their business. At present, 75% of respondents report managing one or more profiles on third-party e-commerce sites. On the other hand, half (50%) say that if social media platforms offered direct sales, they’d be more likely to use social media for all of their business and marketing transactions.

Social media platforms are increasingly entering the e-commerce space with native features that support consumer purchases. This subtle shift has begun to unseat the unrivaled dominance of online transactions that has traditionally been held by e-commerce platforms and digital marketplaces. Simultaneously, e-commerce sites are beginning to introduce rich media and customer-centric marketing technology in order to foster some of the engagement and relationships currently owned by social media platforms. These two shifts illustrate a friction in today’s go-to-market strategy and a rising competition in the retail industry.

Queues Costing Retailers

Long queues are the biggest turn-off for UK shoppers, costing retailers up to £12bn each year in potential sales losses, according to Adyen.

Overall, £6.4bn has been lost by retailers to their competitors over the past 12 months due to long queues. In addition, £5.6bn has been lost as customers spend less or leave a shop altogether due to long queues; and £422m has been lost as a result of retailers not offering customers’ preferred payment methods.

The report also reveals that over a third (34%) of Brits prefer to shop online for almost everything. Of those, 38% cited waiting in long queues as the primary reason they don’t like shopping in-store.

The vast majority (77%) of Brits said anything longer than five minutes is too long to wait in a queue to make a purchase. Almost one-in-five (20%) senior decision-makers in the retail sector say that customers complain about waiting in queues; and 21% said they find it difficult to keep up with rising customer expectations.

Facebook Disproving Doomsday Predictions

Facebook has seen 19% increase in ad spend on its core platform and Instagram quarter-on-quarter and a 48% increase year-on-year, according to 4C.

Looking ahead, Facebook is poised to capture growth from new formats like augmented reality . Meanwhile, Instagram benefited from on its main feed and in Q2 opened up Stories to allow brand ‘stickers’ that send users to retail experiences.

In Q2, Snap introduced Shoppable AR lenses offering advertisers a new direct response ad placement and, going forward, will offer a ‘ engine that allows users to scan, identify, and purchase an item via Amazon simply by using their smartphone’s camera. Such innovations helped Snapchat advertising spend increase 45% YoY through 4C, led primarily by the apparel vertical, as well as health.

While the high-profile merger of AT&T and Time Warner shook up the TV industry in Q2, more locally the World Cup dominated the airwaves, with Paddy Power seeing the greatest lift in social media engagement following UK TV ads.

Measured around the group stage matches from 14th June to 25th June, the betting company saw a social lift score of 696%, with its ‘ campaign, that plays off the introduction of VAR technology to the game.

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