Posts Tagged ‘Nielsen’

Mobile websites used more than APPs by Shoppers!

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

The top retailer mobile websites and apps reached 60% of the smartphone owners during the 2011 holiday period according to a recent study by Nielsen. Today there are almost 100 million smartphones in the US.  Adoption of smartphones are expected to continue to rapidly increase.

Nielsen included Amazon, Best Buy, e-Bay, Target and Walmart mobile websites and APPs in their study. The study also found that more consumers use mobile websites rather than APPs.

Mobile Shoppers

Men were more likely to download the retailer’s mobile APPs than women. Shoppers who used mobile APPs  generally spent more time viewing the mobile content.  The implication is retailers should find ways to encourage consumers to download their APP to create a deeper relationship.

For more information, please refer to the Nielsen study.

Social Sentiment

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

How will businesses deal with this unstructured data?

Recent news from SAS announcing their release the SAS Conversation Center in 2011 is another clear sign how social media continues to change business in the digital world.

The new product is designed to help companies capture tweets in real-time that are important to a company’s brand or product. The tweets are analyzed for their sentiment and influence of the tweeter and then can be routed to customer service to handle. It is no wonder the unstructured data flowing from social media sites are driving companies to invest in the technology to link them to their customer service operations.

According to Nielsen Online’s research report from last year “Global Faces and Networked Places”, social media sites are now being visited once every 11 minutes and the 35 – 49 year old category of social networking site usage is growing at the same extent as the 18 – 34 year olds. As for the younger generation, in 2010, kids are spending 27 minutes more time online than in 2009 with most of this time dedicated to social media activities. Not to mention the growth in smart phone devices is helping to accelerate the process and access to social media.

So what are the challenges of dealing with customer sentiment?

Linking customer sentiment to a customer service strategy extends beyond tracking tweets. It means capturing information from other sources such as Facebook and customer reviews. A company such as Expedia gets about 80,000 customer reviews per month. All this data must be captured and analyzed. Part of the analysis is separating out the real issues from a flip comment before investing time and money into a response. Social media is another source of feedback and analytics.

A recent survey of 2,100 companies sponsored by the SAS Institute found that 75% of the companies did not know what their customers were saying about them. Only about 23% were using some sort of social media analytic tools. With the impact of a bad customer experience being made many times worse by social media channels, there is no doubt this will change over time.

So how are you making use of social sentiment in managing your business in the digital world?

Social Scraping

Monday, October 18th, 2010

What are the ethical boundaries?

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal got our attention. The article is titled “Scrapers Dig Deep for Data on the Web”.

This article begins by talking about a “break-in” at a web site called PatientsLikeMe in May of this year. A new member was using sophisticated software to scrape or copy information from private online forums. PatientsLikeMe was eventually able to identify and block the intruder. The company did inform its members of the break-in.

It’s a fact of life that there are companies out there actively scraping data from social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Scraped or not, there is a lot of valuable information on social networking sites companies want and will actively seek. The question is should there be limits placed on what information is available for companies to collect or analyze. There are certainly ethical and legal challenges that need to be addressed.

For the ethical and savvy marketers, information from social networking sites can provide a wealth of customer insight. Social networking sites also have become an extension of customer service and support. Some companies have staff monitoring the sites and in some cases are responding to service problems through social media sites. The use of social networking sites and the information from these sites will only increase over time. According to the Winterberry Group, spending on data from online sources will more than double to $840 million in 2012 from spending of $410 million in 2009.

Users of social networking sites expect marketers will gather and use their data. A survey conducted by Webtrends indicates half those surveyed who use Twitter expect brands to use their information. However half also indicated they would leave social networking sites if they became too commercial.

So how do we ensure collecting this information remains within ethical bounds?

The answer may rest with the social sites and the collectors of this information. For example, Facebook is putting a strong effort into data security. It is important for them to lead the way to taking this issue seriously. Nielsen says it no longer scrapes data from sites requiring individual account access unless it has permission. These are examples on both sides of the issue.

Social network scraping can remain within reasonable bounds that protect information that needs to remain confidential. However, it will take the social networking industry leaders to invest in data security and markers to abide by ethical practices. This is yet another stage in the evolution of the digital world. And, unfortunately, there will always be some individuals and companies that attempt to reach beyond the areas of reasonable ethical behavior. It is up to all of us in the digital world to call their actions into question to protect this valuable world of information.

So how are you making use of social networks in managing your business in the digital world?

The c-store: A microcosm of retail marketing

Monday, October 4th, 2010

Interested in recent findings on the in-store shopping experience?

Here is an article published by DDI, a Nielsen Media Company.  Author George Wishart analyzes a study conducted by Wesley Partners in-store intelligence partners Bill Dupre and Linda Brennan of In-Store Insights.

Here’s George’s article…

In-store marketing gets increasingly difficult when the entire shopping experience is only 103 seconds. How would you have to think about your environment differently, if that was the entire time a person was in the store, including walking in, shopping for desired items, paying the cashier and leaving?

In a recent study by In-Store Insights, a consultancy run by in-store veterans Bill Dupre and Linda Brennan, results confirmed that the average shopping experience in a convenience store is a mere 103 seconds. This is not surprising, given the definition of a channel where shoppers want to get in, purchase what they need and get out of the store quickly. Two things become clear. First, impressions are vital in convenience stores. The first instore destination visited is critical, because there is a very good chance that it will be the only destination visited (other than the checkout). The second critical issue is the stopping power of the marketing/display.

In-Store Insights data demonstrates the split-second decision making that consumers make when they are shopping. Most of the items are only shopped for about 1 second to 4 seconds—not much time. The coffee zone has longer dwell time, but stopping power is not very strong. The coffee items jump up to 9 seconds, only because the customer is actually making his coffee. On the other hand, hot dogs have high stopping power, but the average dwell is quite low, strongly suggesting either poor in-stock conditions or that the hot dog offerings are not meeting shopper expectations.

Unique Stop Unique Pass Stopping Power % Total Stop % Total Pass Avg. Dwell
Checkout 4,482 4,742 95% 95% 100% 44.12
Front-End 2,161 4,757 45% 46% 100% 13.36
Coffee 556 1,743 32% 12% 37% 9.00
Middle Aisle 492 1,358 36% 10% 29% 4.82
Refrigerator 439 882 50% 9% 19% 4.62
Soda 574 1,002 57% 12% 21% 4.23
Lotto 127 651 20% 3% 14% 2.56
Front Aisle 302 1,260 24% 6% 27% 2.42
ATM 112 581 19% 2% 12% 2.00
Back Aisle 265 1,421 19% 6% 30% 1.76
Fountain Drinks 241 788 31% 5% 17% 1.57
Hot Dogs 206 293 70% 4% 6% 1.29
Water 129 524 25% 3% 11% 0.81
Soda-Floor 54 501 11% 1% 11% 0.28

Source: Sapphiresky Image Marketing Inc./In-Store Insights Inc.

New questions arise with this data. In fact, further research is needed to determine if longer dwell time is the result of out-of-stocks, assortment issues, poor execution of signage/tags, confusing shelf set, etc.

According to Dupre, 71 percent of shoppers purchase two items or less per c-store trip. “One difference between c-stores and other retailers is, in c-stores, few customers go to the display. This is for two reasons. First, the categories that the customer wants are all close at hand, and secondly, cstore retailers use display space to inventory products, usually drinks, that the consumer would prefer to get cold from the refrigerated case,” Dupre says. “The c-store shopper is a shopper on steroids compared to other channels. They are prepared to spend just a couple of minutes in the store, and anything that jeopardizes this quick-trip mentality will result in an extremely frustrating experience.” The convenience store is a microcosm of retailing in general. If shoppers can’t find what they want, they leave the store. In other retailing channels, the customer could move on to the next aisle or department and buy nothing from your category—in addition to leaving the store.

Brennan, a partner at In-Store Insights, cites research that it takes about 7 seconds to shop an aisle in a grocery store.

c-store Digital Media

Therefore, just like in convenience stores, the marketing in an aisle must have stopping power, and the message must be clear and quickly communicated.

Brennan and Dupre have done research into displays in various channels. “We have done extensive research in the use of digital displays in-store, and too many clients want to have 15- and 30-second commercials on the digital sign,” Brennan says. “That is way too long for shoppers.” Recent research was conducted on a category where shoppers dwell for an average of 30 seconds before purchasing. Even with digital media planted squarely in that category, with shoppers’ faces 9 in. or less from the stimuli, shoppers will only engage with the media if it has a relevant message, and if it has the ability to getshoppers out of their “shopping mode.”

The research insights that Dupre and Brennan refer to are not new. For years, basic Marketing 101 says that the marketing message must have stopping power, clearly communicate the brand message, and provide the consumer with a way to get more information and have a dialog. The trouble is we keep forgetting these lessons. We need to keep reminding our teams, including the new recruits to marketing and the TV-trained art director who thinks he (or she) knows better, and help them get focused on the only thing that really matters—making those 103 seconds of shopping a productive, enjoyable experience.

A pioneer and consultant in the shopper marketing industry, George Wishart is the president and CEO of Edgewood Industries LLC. He shares his shopper marketing insights with DDI in this regularly appearing column.

Mobile to Measure Media Consumption

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Will the iPhone become the new “viewer diary”?

Measuring media consumption in the multi-media world we live in is a difficult problem to solve.  In the old world, Nielsen recruits viewers who keep diaries and have set meters to track their television viewing.  In the new world, it is the iPhone that is poised to be the anchor of a new initiative to measure media consumption that covers the landscape-from TV to digital media delivered through mobile phones and computers.

The Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM), a group made up of the media and advertising agencies, is planning to give away free iPhones to consumers who agree to log their media consumption into a special application.  The plan calls for 1,000 participants and a budget of just under $1 million.  The Wall Street Journal has a good article on this subject, “Tallying Up Viewers” by Suzanne Vranica that outlines the details of the CIMM’s plans.

Nielsen has been at the media measurement business for nearly a century and has been relied upon as the source for TV viewership.  They started in the 1920s measuring brand advertising, advancing to radio in the 1930s and television in the 1950s.  Here in 2010, they plan to install internet measurement devices and offering data later this year.  It will be interesting to see how the use of the iPhone for multi-media measurement will impact their business.  Yet again, the iPhone could be the catalyst for change and in the media measurement market…not media delivery!

From a practical point of view, it will be interesting to see how accurate data collection will be. Expecting a person to accurately track media coming at you from many sources, in many ways and at a rapid pace sounds challenging.  Nielsen’s television measurement metrics are focused on a single medium and in most cases with meters attached to the device…a television.  Their data is often challenged.  Using mobile, specifically the iPhone, to track media will take some time to mature.

Yet again, the iPhone is playing a part in blazing the trail for measuring media in the digital world.

Okay.  So how will innovations in measuring media consumption impact how you manage your business in the digital world?