Originally posted on BBC Capital
This autumn not only marks the five-year anniversary of the financial crisis, it also ticks off another significant five-year milestone.
Groupon, which helped reinvigorate local marketing, launched in October 2008.
Many other “flash sale” and “daily deal” sites also started months around the nadir of the Great Recession. Each put their own spin on the age-old concept of promotion, offering consumers limited-time or exclusive bargains to get new customers through the door.
Small shops are now clubbing together to make the most of consumers' spending power by offering loyalty schemes.
Will the peer-to-peer market phenomenon survive?
From Zulily to Gilt to Living Social, this new breed of business was breathing fresh life into discounting and demand generation, the various tactics companies use to drum up business, with smart copywriting and countdown clocks that made the deals almost breathless.
Everything looked like a steal. And, for a while, it was.
Hard-up consumers willing to divulge their e-mail and their location could swim daily in a sea of “exclusive” bargains. Sites featured rock-bottom prices on the most fashion-forward brands or unbelievable deals at the latest macaroon shop.
“In the heat of the moment, resisting a flash sale is difficult because it combines scarcity (limited quantities and limited time) with competition,” said Dr Erica Carranza, social psychologist and market research director at Boston-based Chadwick Martin Bailey.
Now, if you’re like most consumers, you’ve been suffering from “deal fatigue” and have dropped out of the market or narrowed your deal focus, smarting from a few too-many unused restaurant vouchers or trendy shoes that fit just well enough not to return.
The fading hype around these businesses reveals two things about our nature. First, some business models have just one right time and place. Second, we’re all becoming smarter — both consumers and businesses — about how and when to engage our inner deal-monger.
When it comes to purchase satisfaction, consumers are no more likely to like a product just because it seemed scarce when they bought it, Carranza said, citing studies. So, the disappointment factor comes into play.
“Like any form of promotion, customers find that sometimes the purported values do not live up to their billing,” added Robert Cialdini, Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University and author of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.
Merchants, too, have gotten smarter about digital marketing, forming new bonds with current and potential customers via Facebook and Twitter, cutting out the expensive emergent middlemen. And many retailers have stepped up their game when it comes to in-house promotions or exclusive deals.
Now consider Groupon. The company reportedly turned down a $6 billion buyout offer from Google in December 2010. It went public the next year, but then saw its share price sink precipitously.
Only recently recovering to be worth over $7.5 billion, with an expectation of $2.5 billion in revenues this year, Groupon’s core business of offering limited-availability, limited-time deals to local merchants is down 17% in 2013.
Local merchants, backed in to a corner by the recession, had been willing to pay dearly to access daily-deal subscribers on the chance that their hot offers would bring in new customers. Many stores found, however, that the deal buyers rarely came back without the incentive.
While each site tried to stay true to the core concepts of scarcity and exclusivity, collectively they drowned each other out. And it all happened as we, too, began to realize that our deal dabbling had become a burden, as our bulletin boards filled up with unused coupons or our closets grew cluttered with last-year's fashions at this year's prices.
So, it’s no surprise that business models and partnership terms have been re-jiggered. Once exclusive, invite-only sites have dropped their guards and let in anyone with an email. AmazonLocal went so far as to cull its email list. Groupon is selling more goods directly as local deals decline.
Groupon is also looking more and more like a Sunday circular (remember those?) as general couponing finds new life online.
Now, haute fashion deal sites reveal much more to “non-members” on first glance, gliding slowly toward first-generation online outlets like Net-a-Porter, Yoox or Bluefly. Elsewhere, online retailers run consistent, predictable sales and promotions. (Missed the 20% off dog food in April? Just buy 2 bags in May!) Others, even department stores, are making far more clearance inventory available online than in the past.
As consumers, we are all susceptible to phenomena and fads, learning from our experiences and adjusting. We’re also very transparent in providing evidence to businesses and marketers on what works and what doesn’t.
So it should be no surprise that an even newer model is popping up, combining exclusive experiences with subscriptions. For just $20 a month, you’ll get access to the most imaginative date nights we can sell!
With a subscription — think warehouse clubs, cable TV, Amazon Prime — you’ll often feel like you are more invested in the service. And the businesses themselves actually get a steady stream of revenue that tends not to leave in a flash.
Originally posted on Fox Business
Irked by a brick-shaped wallet or get a charge from being the first of your friends to adopt whiz-bang technology? You might be a candidate for a mobile wallet.
A mobile wallet is a payment system that uses an app on your smartphone linked to a credit card, debit card or prepaid card to make payments in person at a physical point of sale. At their core, they're an extension of digital wallets, or online payment systems such as PayPal that store your payment information for online purchases. But these are used in brick-and-mortar stores.
A survey in January of almost 1,500 smartphone owners by Chadwick Martin Bailey, a Boston-based consumer research firm, found 16% of respondents had used a mobile wallet in the previous six months. At this point, it's likely that regular mobile-wallet users are substantially outnumbered by the 14% of Americans who believe Bigfoot is real.
But that hasn't stopped a mix of startups and established companies from putting forward a number of mobile wallets, including Google Wallet; Isis, a joint venture of AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon; Square Wallet; and startup LevelUp.
A variety of apps
While all these apps allow you to make a purchase at a point of sale, they all work a little differently.
Mobile wallets. Google Wallet and Isis, two well-known examples, use a special gizmo included in many smartphones called a near-field communication, or NFC, chip. To use it, you just start up your phone, select the card you want to use, and tap the phone against a MasterCard PayPass terminal. Unfortunately, NFC chips haven't found their way into one of the most popular lines of smartphones on the market: Apple's iPhone.
Picture-based mobile wallets. Square's mobile wallet is the primary example, and these types allow you to make an order and pay for it via the mobile-wallet app. The merchant identifies you by your user profile picture and gives you the purchases. The catch is, the merchant must be using Square's payment system, which makes the list of places you can use it short in many areas.
QR, or Quick Response. These code-based mobile wallets, such as LevelUp, complete a purchase by having users scan the code provided by the retailer. Like picture-based systems, this requires merchants to have the necessary software and hardware, limiting its adoption.
Regardless of how exactly they work, security is a big worry for consumers. In the Chadwick Martin Bailey study, 73% of consumers who don't plan to adopt mobile wallets cited security as a reason they haven't tried them.
"The other barrier to adoption is making sure that consumers have confidence in the safety and security of their data," says Denee Carrington, a senior analyst at Forrester Research Inc.
"We all hear stories every day about cyberattacks, and consumers are right to be wary of how their payment credentials are being stored and used and passed around," she says.
John Breyault, vice president of public policy, telecommunications and fraud at the National Consumers League, says that fear may be a bit overblown. Unlike a conventional wallet full of plastic, smartphones can be locked with a PIN, so thieves may not be able to access it. And even if they can, many smartphone providers allow you to remotely shut down your phone if need be.
If thieves do manage to charge purchases to your mobile wallet, a lot of the same protections consumers have when they make conventional card purchases also apply to mobile-wallet transactions, Breyault says.
"If you are linking a credit card or a debit card to your mobile-wallet account, then you're still pretty well-protected by federal rules that require things like allowing you to charge back fraudulent purchases," Breyault says.
However, a mobile wallet that is linked to a prepaid debit card may not enjoy the same legal protections, Breyault says. If a fraudulent mobile-wallet purchase drains your prepaid debit card, your bank may not be legally obligated to restore the funds as they would with a conventional debit card, he says.
Carrington says concerns about consumer protections may be moot if mobile wallets never catch on. And that won't happen until mobile-wallet providers convince both merchants and consumers there's something in it for them.
"Consumers have a really great alternative today in using a plastic card to swipe," Carrington says. "It is reliable, it is pretty quick, it works pretty consistently. People know how to use it, and there is not really trouble with the sort of adoption or having the right equipment."
That's not to say mobile wallets don't have potential. Done correctly, they offer a number of benefits for consumers.
Integration of loyalty programs. Instead of having to keep a hole-punch card or other loyalty card in your wallet, a mobile wallet could work with a merchant to automatically keep track of your purchases.
Coupons. Mobile wallets can receive electronic coupons and automatically transmit information about them to merchants' payment systems.
Skipping the checkout line. Mobile wallets can give customers the ability to order and pay electronically, potentially allowing them to skip the checkout line during high-traffic periods.
Money management. Mobile wallets could be integrated with money-management software to tell you in real time whether something you want to buy will bust your budget or if there's a cheaper alternative.
All that could be put together in a way that's compelling for consumers, Carrington says. It just hasn't happened yet on a scale large enough to be a must-have for consumers.
"There are a lot of things that have to happen for adoption to ramp up in the marketplace," Carrington says. "Some of that has to do with merchant acceptance, consumer awareness and, quite frankly, value for both the merchant and the consumer."
Originally published on MediaPost
The last decade has brought a pair of revolutions in consumer viewing behavior. The first was widespread adoption of the DVR, ushering in ad-avoidance that disrupted traditional business models. The second is just getting going: the boom in viewing on mobile devices.
Anytime there is such upheaval in an industry, research understandably follows. In these instances, there's been reams of it as programmers and advertisers have looked for insight.
No question DVR usage will continue to grow and ads will continue to be avoided, but programmers have found alternate revenue streams that should help blunt the impact. Marketers may face greater challenges.
Viewing on smartphones and tablets, however, offers immense upside for both groups. Research isn’t hard to find showing the devices are driving increased consumption and engagement, which means more opportunity to reach attentive consumers.
With a recent study, the Nielsen-funded Council for Research Excellence (CRE) attempted to go a bit deeper by analyzing motivations behind mobile viewing and tapping researchers Chadwick Martin Bailey for help. There were various methods employed, but nearly 6,000 respondents in a 15-to-64 demo were called on for opinions.
By far, convenience was deemed the leading factor why mobile TV is viewed. (There is some indication laziness plays a role as sofa-sitters may actually prefer to fire up the smartphone already in hand than reach for the remote.)
Ad avoidance was not a “primary motivator,” researchers said. (That might make sense since the ad load is increasing in online video and unskippable).
A “more personal viewing experience” was also not a huge motivator. (Perhaps surprising because tablets can offer an intimate connection.)
This type of research can offer more questions than answers. Here's one: what impact is mobile viewing having on American home life? It might be cutting down on family interaction, it might be fueling it.
There is one huge plus smartphones and tablets might offer to bolster family mingling: no battles over the remote. Dad can watch the game on the big screen, while Mom can cuddle up close with “Grey’s Anatomy” on the iPad with headphones.
Yes, many homes have had more than one set for years, but the handheld devices offer the chance to watch a first choice in the same room. Take that divorce lawyers.
Of course, the same applies for parents and kids. There’s the opportunity for Little Johnny to watch Nickelodeon on the big screen and Mom to catch Bravo on the Galaxy S III. Or, Teenage Mike and Dad to go MTV and ESPN simultaneously.
Maybe the talking happens mostly during commercials, but wasn't that always the case? And, there is something about being in the same space.
The CRE research notes one of the drivers of mobile viewing is people “want to be with household member watching TV set, but want to watch something else.”
On the flip side, mobile devices stand to only increase lack of communication between family members as screens gobble up more attention spans. Laptops have allowed teens and kids to watch alone for some time. But smartphones and tablets are lighter and would seem to allow more opportunity to cut oneself off. There’s an element of both independence and dependence conspiring to create familial division.
It seems there might be a public service ad somewhere centered on both the opportunities and dangers mobile devices offer for family unity.
Originally published on HispanicBusiness.com
Mobile-TV viewers are more focused on TV content when viewed on their smartphones than on larger devices, according to a new study conducted by market research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey for the Council for Research Excellence (CRE). Viewers performed unrelated multi-tasking on other electronic devices during only 14 percent of the occasions on which they viewed TV programming on smartphones. This compared to 27 percent for tablet viewing, 31 percent for computer (desktop and laptop) viewing and 34 percent of the television-set viewing occasions, according to study participants. At the same time, viewers watching a TV show on a smartphone were also likely to engage in online activities related to that show, such as looking up show information, or posting about the show on social networks. Such activity occurred 21 percent of the television set viewing occasions, 27 percent for tablet viewing occasions, 31 percent for computer viewing occasions and 39 percent of the smartphone viewing occasions. The study also found that mobile TV viewers tend to be younger (mean age 35), higher income professionals with graduate degrees, and reflect more ethnic diversity than non-mobile-TV users. The portion of overall TV-viewing devoted to mobile devices decreases for older mobile-TV users, 28 percent for users ages 15-24, 18 percent for ages 25-34, 12 percent for ages 35-49 and 8 percent for ages 50-64. Additionally, mobile TV viewers are often heavy overall TV viewers and are more likely than non-mobile-TV viewers to be TV show opinion leaders and to use social media to talk about TV.
The CRE previously disclosed study findings that 64 percent of smartphone-TV viewing occurs in the home, reflecting some simultaneous viewing with TV sets, which continue to dominate in-home viewing at 90 percent. The top drivers of in-home mobile viewing cited by participants are content and device availability, family dynamics, device preference and inertia. Mobile-TV viewers do most of their out-of-home smartphone-TV watching (23%) at work. By contrast, only 14 percent of computer-based TV viewing occurs at work, with 8 percent for tablet viewing and 5 percent for TV-set viewing. Convenience, portability and filling downtime are the top drivers of out-of-home smartphone viewing.
Originally published on eMarketer
The mobile payments landscape remains fragmented and continues to rapidly evolve, with multiple stakeholders working to get a piece of a multibillion-dollar opportunity, according to a new eMarketer report, “Mobile Payments: An Updated Forecast, Early Successes and Visions for the Future.”
Payment processors, tech firms, mobile carriers, banks, credit card companies, retailers and startups are all working on a variety of strategies and technologies that aim to make mobile payments a part of everyday life.
According to a January 2013 study from Chadwick Martin Bailey, 50% of US smartphone owners reported familiarity with the concept of mobile wallet technology, with 16% of that group reporting having used the technology in the past six months. While that is relatively low usage, 22% of those already familiar with mobile wallets from CMB’s study said they were planning to use them in the future.
What is driving these early adopters to use mobile payments? According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) study from January 2013 on mobile wallets, the majority of US smartphone owners cited saving money.
While saving money can initially draw in mobile payment users, convenience is what will keep customers coming back and paying with their smartphones. A number of studies from the UK found that convenience dominates other factors for existing and potential mobile payments users. An April 2013 study from eDigitalResearch showed UK internet users reporting that “convenience” and “quick and easier to use” were the top benefits of contactless mobile payments compared to taking cash or credit and debit cards.
According to comScore, many players are struggling to gain awareness and usage of their platforms. Aside from PayPal, which has substantial familiarity and use among consumers, Google Wallet garnered the highest level of awareness, at 41% of US internet users in November 2012, but with just 8% usage. MasterCard’s PayPass Wallet was the only other digital wallet to have double-digit awareness; offerings from Square, Visa, the mobile carriers and a handful of startups all had relatively low awareness and usage.
Patrick Gauthier, head of emerging services for PayPal’s enterprise solutions business, spoke with eMarketer and contended that the company is focused on using mobile technology to bridge the divide between physical and digital commerce for companies of all sizes. “We think that the value of connected devices is that we’re going to be able to bring the power of connected commerce to the physical realm; not necessarily the point of sale, but the entire store,” he said.
The full report, “Mobile Payments: An Updated Forecast, Early Successes and Visions for the Future,” also answers these key questions:
- What is the outlook for mobile payments?
- Who is finding success with mobile payments, and how are they doing it?
- How do marketers help their companies spur adoption of mobile payments among target audiences?
- What does the future hold for mobile payments?
Originally published in Digital TV Europe
New research has shown that most viewing of TV content on mobile devices happens in the home. A Council for Research Excellence study into mobile viewing found that 82% of tablet and 64% of smartphone TV viewing happened at home.
Other key takeaways in the TV Untethered report include the fact that over 40 million consumers in the US are now watching TV content on mobile devices.
By genre, drama is the most popular, accounting for 31% of tablet viewing and 27% on smartphones. Comedy was second with 20% and 24% of all viewing across tablets and phones.
In family homes, the research suggested that mobile devices are being used to allow different family members to view different programmes at the same time.
Convenience and multi-episode binge viewing are driving mobile viewing, the report authors added, while ad avoidance is not a primary motivator, the Nielsen-backed Council for Research Excellence noted.
The study took in information from 6,000 participants. Chris Neal , VP at Chadwick Martin Bailey, which conducted the research said: “Today’s mobile devices are having a screen multiplier effect within households, leading to an increase in overall TV consumption. They are not replacing television sets, but they are impacting TV viewing habits in a way that is too fundamental for anyone in the media and advertising industries to ignore.”
Originally posted in Rapid TV News
The majority of mobile TV viewing occasions – 82% of tablet and 64% of smartphone sessions – occur in the home, according to a new study from Chadwick Martin Bailey, which also found that the primary driver for consumers watching video on mobile devices is convenience, rather than to avoid advertising.
The study, conducted for the Council for Research Excellence (CRE), uncovered that convenience and multi-episode binging is driving mobile viewing. Almost half – 49% – of participants cited "more convenient" as their top reason for viewing video on a mobile device; 13% cited "watch multiple episodes"; and only 5% cited "fewer ads."
"While mobile video consumption remains a small minority of total television consumption, nearly 41 million Americans today are watching video on mobile devices, according to Nielsen – and that is impacting overall TV consumption," said Laura Cowan, research director at LIN Media and co-chair of the CRE's Media Consumption and Engagement Committee. "Media companies need to understand not only the methodologies for measuring video consumption on mobile devices, but also the impact of mobile viewing on television consumption overall – information which is crucial for planning relative to content development and advertising. We believe this study has helped move us closer toward that understanding."
Participants in multi-person households also confirmed that a big benefit is the fact that mobile devices let people watch different shows at the same time (e.g., one person watching the television, another watching separate programming on a tablet).
Drama (31% of tablet viewing occasions, 27% of smartphone occasions) and comedies (20% of tablet occasions, 24% of smartphone occasions) lead among programme genres viewed on mobile devices. By contrast, 31% of TV-set viewing occasions were for news, compared to 11% and 15% for tablets and smartphones, respectively.
The study also found that content availability often drives device selection (especially if certain programmes or episodes are only available to a consumer via mobile device). And, mobile TV viewers are more focused than TV-set viewers, with less unrelated multitasking and more programme-related second-screen activity).
"Today's mobile devices are having a screen multiplier effect within households," said Chris Neal, vice president at Chadwick Martin Bailey, "leading to an increase in overall TV consumption and creating more opportunities for individuals to watch exactly what they want, whenever they want, at a location of their choosing. They are not replacing television sets, but they are impacting TV viewing habits in a way that is too fundamental for anyone in the media and advertising industries
Originally posted in the Boston Business Journal
Download the full report.
A report commissioned by the state’s association for medical device companies finds that the industry is increasingly responding to cost concerns from the companies that foot the healthcare bills.
Tom Sommer, president of MassMEDIC, told Mass High Tech that his group asked Boston market research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey for the survey of 123 members and industry professionals in December. At the time, it was looking ahead to changes expected in the field, including the Medical Device Tax, which kicked in February as part of ObamaCare and is expected to cost the state’s companies $411 million this year. The report was released Wednesday to kick off MassMEDIC’s annual conference, titled “MedTech Innovation in the New Healthcare Economy.”
While the report’s writers acknowledge that the “results are not statistically significant,” Sommer said a main theme that emerged is who medical device companies are listening to when it comes to innovation.
“Medical device companies are designing and developing new medical innovation not so much based on doctors and patients, but on healthcare administrators,” he said. “They’re looking to save healthcare money in some way.”
Responding to a question about what groups will be the focus of innovation efforts today versus in the future, those surveyed expected the biggest increase in influence among economic buyers and insurance companies. Meanwhile, the focus on doctors and patients are expected to decline.
Sommer said that means that while new technology will continue to be developed, “the focus will be at the cost level.” He cited examples like bronchial thermoplasty technology for people with chronic asthma developed by Boston Scientific Corp. (NYSE:BSX), which can eliminate the need for expensive drugs, and the home kidney dialysis machines being developed by NextStage Medical Inc. in Lawrence, Mass., which save money on large dialysis centers.
Sommer said the report will be used in coming months to demonstrate that the medical device industry isn’t focused on making more costly devices.
“We get to use this and show that medical device companies are responding to cost concerns,” he said. “We’re part of the effort to reform healthcare.”
Originally published on The Financial Brand
Financial marketers will need to offer fraud protection and extra rewards features to entice on-the-fence consumers.
Mobile wallets will revolutionize payments. But what do consumers know, what are they afraid of, and who are they counting on to provide the features they expect? Chadwick Martin Bailey asked nearly 1,500 smartphone owners to share what’s keeping them from adopting mobile wallet, and what’s going to push them to start using one.
In “The Mobile Moment: Barriers and Opportunities for Mobile Wallets,” Chadwick Martin Bailey found that one-half of smartphone owners are familiar with mobile wallets, but many have reservations about adopting them. The research revealed that beyond allaying security concerns, mobile wallet providers must do more to articulate the advantages of the technology over more traditional forms of payment.
Concerns over security remain a significant barrier to adoption, but the promise of 100% fraud protection substantially increases willingness to adopt. Notably, these security-conscious smartphone users are the most likely to identify banks and credit card companies as their preferred mobile wallet provider. Mobile wallet providers who offer fraud and theft protection will be better positioned to drive adoption among mainstream consumers.
Customers find the benefits of location-based services appealing, but privacy and battery life remain concerns. Respondents indicate location-based services that facilitate information gathering drive adoption, but too many alerts and offers are unappealing. Providers willing to allow users to customize the number and type of offers they receive will find an advantage.
While banks and credit card companies are the clear choice for the security conscious consumer, opportunities exist for other providers. Convenience, features, and usability are compelling attributes for many current and prospective mobile wallet users. While banks win on security, the feature-conscious prefer tech giants, with Amazon and Google topping the list as their preferred mobile wallet provider. For those who value convenience, credit card companies hold the advantage.
“These findings reveal that consumers are still in the early stages of understanding the uses and benefits of mobile wallets,” says Jim Garrity, SVP of Chadwick Martin Bailey’s Financial Services practice. “There remain many elements — players, features, positioning, etc. — that will evolve over the next 12 to 18 months.”
“With security concerns a key hurdle to adoption, banks are well-positioned as trusted providers of secure financial services,” Garrity adds. “But this window of opportunity won’t remain open for very long. Consumers already have the technology at their fingertips, and as familiarity increases, other entrants are proving that they are secure, reliable, and offer clear advantages that drive adoption.”
You can download the full report for free by clicking here.
Originally published on Marketing Charts
A survey of 1,497 smartphone owners, conducted by Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB) and SinglePlatform at Constant Contact, reveals that respondents are more likely to search for restaurants than any other industry. The results align with prior research from YP showing that restaurants are the most queried, clicked, and called mobile local search category. Overall, the CMB and SinglePlatform study found that in the previous 6 months, 81% of respondents had searched for a restaurant via a mobile application, and 92% through a web browser.
The results of those searches have an impact on consumer behavior. Three-quarters of respondents reported that they often choose a restaurant based on search results. Having a mobile-friendly site helps, too: while 84% say they look at more than 1 online menu before choosing their dining destination, 62% report being less likely to choose a restaurant if they can’t read the menu on their device.
iPhone owners prove more likely to conduct restaurant searches than other smartphone owners.
8 in 10 smartphone owners think it’s important to see a menu before they dine at a restaurant, and 70% think it’s important to be able to read that menu on their device.
About the Data: The survey was conducted by CMB in conjunction with SinglePlatform from Constant Contact in December 2012 and January 2013.