PwC Total Retail 2014

This survey, PwC’s seventh annual study in a series tracking changes in global consumers’ shopping preferences, is our biggest one yet: 15,000 online users representing 15 countries.  Among the expectations that global consumers now have are:  24/7 retailer availability, real-time insight into the retailer’s stock, compelling in-store technology, and consistent prices and offerings across all the retailer’s assets.

Today’s consumers have raised the bar for retailers. Multichannel shopping is a given — the price of admission into the conversation. Within our data we’ve unearthed eight customer expectations that transcend geography and product category, and will require that retailers evaluate their business model from top to bottom.

  • A compelling brand story that promises a distinctive experience
  • Customised offers based on totally protected, personal preferences and information
  • An enhanced and consistent experience across all devices
  • Transparency, real-time, into a retailer’s inventory
  • My favourite retailers are everywhere
  • To maximise the value of mobile shopping, both store apps and mobile sites must improve
  • Two-way social media engagement
  • “Brands” act like retailers, and we’ll treat them that way

Take a closer look at the main takeaways and feel free to discuss and share them! Please, don’t hesitate to contact me for any doubt and follow the hashtag #TotalRetail!

You can find all the contents, video, and much more on www.PwC.com/TotalRetail

1. “Trust the brand” is the #1 reason people shop at their favorite retailers, so retailers should change how that brand is communicated, both internally and externally.

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2. Retailers need to strike a balance between customization and security because online shoppers demand customized offers based on totally protected, personal preferences and information.

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3. Consumers expect a consistent experience across all devices, so companies need to ensure that customer information “travels” securely with each device.

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4. The back-office of retailers needs to move at the speed of the customer because shoppers want real time, transparency into a retailer’s inventory.

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5. Favorite retailers are everywhere, so retailers should examine their store portfolio taking into account how consumers want to shop.

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6. To maximize the value of mobile shopping, both store apps and mobile sites must improve. Businesses should focus on the mobile browser experience first, and then ramp up apps.

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7. Online shoppers seek two-way social media engagement, so retailers need to listen to customer’s comments and turn that commentary into actionable data.

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8. Shoppers don’t see the difference between manufacturers and retailers, so both sides need to work together to share consumer insights and collaborate to enlarge the pie and drive more success for both.

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A Look Into the Future of eCommerce

Technology is revolutionizing the retail landscape. By 2016 it is estimated that global retails are expected to reach a staggering $1,321.4 trillion, a 67 percent increase from 2011. With the freedom to compare prices, greater efficiency and the growing prevalence of same day delivery offers – the allure of eCommerce is drawing more consumers each day.
The proliferation of mobile technology has also been an enormous driver in the retail world in recent years. Nearly 80 percent of all smartphone owners today use their phones at least once monthly to shop, while more than 1/5th of all consumers habitually utilize mobile devices to enhance their shopping experience. Our smartphones let us compare prices, read reviews, obtain digital customer service, and learn more about the products we see in stores. Consumers today can even purchase items from competitors online while standing in the showrooms of brick-and-mortar retail outlets. So the future of shopping looks bright for consumers everywhere. To learn more about the ways technology is influencing your shopping experience, take a look at this illuminating infographic produced by online retailer Gift-Library on The Future of How We Shop.
Is your eCommerce ready for this? Do you feel that your company is in need for a shift towards xCommerce? If you need a refresh on this maybe you should take a look at the PwC xCommerce Methodology… Page in Italian for the moment, but you can always contact me for any question!
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[Source: Social Media Today]

6 new facts about Facebook

Facebook turns 10 tomorrow and reaches that milestone as the dominant social networking platform, used by 57% of all adults and 73% of all those ages 12-17.  Adult Facebook use is intensifying: 64% of Facebook users visit the site on a daily basis, up from 51% of users who were daily users in 2010. Among teens, the total number of users remains high, according to Pew Research Center surveys, and they are not abandoning the site. But focus group interviews suggest that teens’ relationship with Facebook is complicated and may be evolving.

New Pew Research Center survey findings show how people are using Facebook and what they like and dislike about the site.

Some users dislike certain aspects of Facebook, but fear of missing out on social activities (or “FOMO”) isn’t one of them.

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Their dislikes start with oversharing by friends and people posting one’s personal information (such as photos) without first asking permission are among the most common. Parents are especially protective of images of their children, as 57% of Facebook users with children under the age of 18 say that people posting pictures of their children without asking permission first is something they strongly dislike about using Facebook.

On the other hand, the “fear of missing out” phenomenon resonates with only a small proportion of the Facebook population. Just 5% of Facebook users strongly dislike the fact that Facebook allows them to see others taking part in social activities that they themselves were not included in—and 84% of users say that this aspect of Facebook life doesn’t bother them at all.

Women and men often have varying reasons for why they use Facebook – but everything starts with sharing and laughs.

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Users say they especially appreciate photos and videos from friends (47% say that’s a major reason they use the site), the ability to share with many people at once (46% cite that as a major reason), updates from others (39% cite that), and humorous content (39%). Other aspects of Facebook—such as keeping up with news, or receiving support from the people in one’s network—appeal to a more modest audience of users. Men and women sometimes vary in their reasons for using the site.

Half of all adult Facebook users have more than 200 friends in their network.
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Facebook users differ greatly when it comes to the number of friends in their networks:

  • 39% of adult Facebook users have between 1 and 100 Facebook friends
  • 23% have 101-250 friends
  • 20% have 251-500 friends
  • 15% have more than 500 friends

Among adult Facebook users, the average (mean) number of friends is 338, and the median (midpoint) number of friends is 200. In other words, half of all Facebook users have more than 200 friends, and half have less than 200.

Younger users tend to have significantly larger friend networks than older users: 27% of 18-29 year old Facebook users have more than 500 friends in their network, while 72% of users age 65+ have 100 friends or fewer.

12% of Facebook users say that someone has asked them to “unfriend” a person in their network.

Younger users are more likely to have experienced this than older users: 19% of 18-29 year old Facebook users have had someone ask them to remove a friend from their network (compared with 10% of 30-49 year olds, 7% of 50-64 year olds, and 5% of those 65 and older).

These “friend removal” requests tend to come primarily from other friends (35%), or from current (23%) or former (12%) spouses or romantic partners. Some 38% of those who received this type of request say that they were asked to remove a friend from their Facebook network, while 22% were asked to unfriend a former romantic partner.

Facebook users “like” their friends’ content and comment on photos relatively frequently, but most don’t change their own status that often.

When asked about the frequency with which they engage in certain behaviors on the site, Facebook users tend to point towards “liking” content that others have posted and commenting on photos as the activities they engage in most often. On the other hand, most users change or update their own status only occasionally:

  • 44% of Facebook users “like” content posted by their friends at least once a day, with 29% doing so several times per day.
  • 31% comment on other people’s photos on a daily basis, with 15% doing so several times per day.
  • 19% send private Facebook messages to their friends on a daily basis, with 10% sending these messages multiple times per day.
  • 10% change or update their own status on Facebook on a daily basis, with 4% updating their status several times per day. Some 25% of Facebook users say that they never change or update their own Facebook status.

Half of internet users who do not use Facebook themselves live with someone who does.

Many non-Facebook users still have some familiarity with the site through family members. Among internet users who do not use Facebook themselves, 52% say that someone else in their household has a Facebook account. In many instances, these may be parents who do not use Facebook but live with a child who does. Fully 66% of parents with a child living at home who do not use Facebook themselves say that someone in their household has a Facebook account.

In addition, some 24% of Facebook non-adopters who live with an account holder say that they look at photos or posts on that person’s account.

[Source: Pew Research Center]

App Annie Index: 2013 Retrospective – Mobile Top Trends of 2013

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App Annie reviews 2013’s top mobile app industry findings, ranging from major country moves to social messaging apps evolution to platforms.

2013 was a milestone year for mobile apps and app stores alike, setting the stage for exciting new opportunities in 2014. Over the last year we saw many new trends including significant growth in emerging markets, a dramatic shift in game spending on mobile and the global expansion of social messaging platforms. In this App Annie Annual Index, we will uncover a variety of trends and insights to guide you in making smart business decisions.

Specifically, this App Annie Index 2013 Retrospective report recaps the top headline trends of 2013 with insights to the top-growing countries, categories, app stores, and more. The report shows the causes of this growth, giving you insights into the trends and markets you can’t ignore for the upcoming year.

Mobile flexes its revenue-generating muscle for games, outperforming handhelds on both iOS App Store and Google Play for most of 2013.

Some key insights from this 2013 Retrospective report include:

  • US, South Korea, and Japan are leaders in app store revenue, however BRIC countries and 5 other regions outpaced these superpowers in download and revenue growth.

  • Gamers worldwide are increasingly favoring their iPhones and Androids over 3DS’s and Vitas. Both iOS App Store and Google Play experienced a surge in app store game revenue, vaulting them ahead of handhelds in 2013 for the first time ever.

  • Freemium as a business model continued to be massively successful for a range of app categories in 2013, with games seeing the most money. Developers were able to find creative ways to incentivize in-app purchases by consumers.

  • Messaging apps transitioned into social messaging platforms, diversifying not only their product offerings, but also their revenue streams. Moving beyond their home countries, they added e-commerce, books and music capabilities.

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[Source: App Annie]

Facebook Hilariously Debunks Princeton Study Saying It Will Lose 80% Of Users

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Last week Princeton researchers released a widely covered study saying Facebook would lose 80% of its users by 2015-2017. But now Facebook’s data scientists have turned the study’s silly “correlation equals causation” methodology of tracking Google search volume against it to show Princeton would lose all of its students by 2021.

A Facebook spokesperson says “the report that Princeton put out is utter nonsense.” Indeed, it’s flawed throughout.

First, it makes a strained epidemiological analogy comparing Facebook to a “disease” that users eventually “recover” from. Facebook may be a massive drain on our attention that some people get sick of, but that doesn’t mean it actually operates like a virus. The researchers then use Myspace as an example of how users recover from a social network and abandon it as if it happened naturally. They make no mention of how Myspace was in fact killed by Facebook.

But the critical error in the non-peer-reviewed study is stating that since the volume of searches for “Facebook” began declining in 2012, it must mean there’s an ongoing decline in Facebook usage.

Yeah, no. Back in Facebook’s web heyday around 2007, many people did surf to the social network by searching for “Facebook” or “Facebook login.” But then this thing called mobile came along and people started getting to Facebook by opening an app, not searching for a website. So searches for “Facebook” declining doesn’t prove much considering over half of Facebook’s traffic now comes from mobile. Since 2012 Facebook has kept growing to its current 1.19 billion users, and it has never had an overall decline in user count.

This isn’t to say Facebook doesn’t have some big, big problems on the horizon. It’s certainlynot “cool” anymore, whether or not it cares. It’s admitted a slight drop in usage amongst young teens in the U.S. It’s seeing increasing competition from mobile-first social apps likeSnapchat and WhatsApp. It will eventually need to weather the medium shift to wearables. Many of its early superstars have left. Hackers are shaking faith in sharing private information. And mobile phones, where you own your social graph in the form of your friends’ phone numbers, make it easier for people to switch to another social network.

Any combination of these could prevent Facebook from growing and cause it to eventually shrink. It’s quite likely that smartphone-carrying Westerners may divide their attention among more apps not owned by Facebook over the next few years. But completely losing 952 million monthly users by 2017 would require cataclysmic disaster.

And even if that happens, it’s as likely to be because fewer people search for “Facebook” or that it resembles a “disease” as the Earth running out of air by 2060 — which is exactly what Facebook’s tongue-in-cheek data scientists prove will happen using Princeton’s methodology. As one of our readers tweeted, “maybe Princeton should worry less about who’s googling Facebook and more about who’s googling Coursera

Read the full Note below (published with permission) from Facebook’s Mike Develin, Lada Adamic, and Sean Taylor. It’s chock full of lols.

Like many of you, we were intrigued by a recent article by Princeton researchers predicting the imminent demise of Facebook. Of particular interest was the innovative use of Google search data to predict engagement trends, instead of studying the actual engagement trends. Using the same robust methodology featured in the paper, we attempted to find out more about this “Princeton University” – and you won’t believe what we found!

In keeping with the scientific principle “correlation equals causation,” our research unequivocally demonstrated that Princeton may be in danger of disappearing entirely. Looking at page likes on Facebook, we find the following alarming trend:

Now, Facebook isn’t the only repository of human knowledge out there. A search of Google Scholar revealing a plethora of scholarly articles of great scholarliness turned up the following results, showing the percentage of articles matching the query “Princeton” by year:

The trend is similarly alarming: since 2009, the percentage of “Princeton” papers in journals has dropped dramatically.

Of course, Princeton University is primarily an institution of higher learning – so as long as it has students, it’ll be fine. Unfortunately, in investigating this, we found a strong correlation between the undergraduate enrollment of an institution and its Google Trends index:

Sadly, this spells bad news for this Princeton entity, whose Google Trends search scores have been declining for the last several years:

This trend suggests that Princeton will have only half its current enrollment by 2018, and by 2021 it will have no students at all, agreeing with the previous graph of scholarly scholarliness. Based on our robust scientific analysis, future generations will only be able to imagine this now-rubble institution that once walked this earth.

While we are concerned for Princeton University, we are even more concerned about the fate of the planet — Google Trends for “air” have also been declining steadily, and our projections show that by the year 2060 there will be no air left:

 

As previous researchers [J. Sparks, 2008] have expressed in the past, this will have grievous consequences for the fate of all humanity, not just our academic colleagues in New Jersey.

P.S. We don’t really think Princeton or the world’s air supply is going anywhere soon. We love Princeton (and air). As data scientists, we wanted to give a fun reminder that not all research is created equal – and some methods of analysis lead to pretty crazy conclusions.

[Source: TechCrunch]