In some product groups, stationary retail remains the preferred shopping channel. 34 percent of Germans actually prefer to shop in the store. 34 percent of Germans prefer to shop in stationary stores. In other European countries the value is even significantly higher. In Great Britain and Sweden, 51 and 50 percent, respectively, of consumers prefer shopping in stores. This was the result of a survey by the logistics service provider Centiro and JDA Software, a software provider for retail solutions. However, this is mainly a question of age. Less than a quarter of 18- to 34-year-olds prefer shopping in the store. In the age group 55 and over, however, it is more than 60 percent. There are also major differences that depend on the product group. When it comes to buying electronics, household items and clothing, shoppers prefer online trading. Despite efforts by Amazon and various supermarket chains, the enthusiasm of consumers for online grocery shopping is currently still limited. Especially since the majority of shoppers still find out about groceries in stores and not on the Internet. E-commerce: data collection frenzy disturbs 80 percent of German shoppers In no other of the ten countries in which the survey was carried out do shoppers worry about their personal data as much as in Germany. 80 percent said that they are concerned about what happens to the data on their shopping behavior. Even if it gives them better service. Here it is mainly the younger consumers who are worried about possible misuse of their data. Shoppers over 55 years of age are much less worried in this regard – but they also shop significantly less often on the Internet. In this country there seems to be a lot of trouble when shipping goods. 73 percent of Germans stated that they had had problems with the delivery of goods ordered online within the last twelve months. 35 percent complained about late deliveries. This is probably why many German shoppers make sure that online retailers offer tracking of a parcel. Almost 90 percent of respondents from Germany stated that package tracking has an influence on their purchase decision. Only in France and Italy is this value even higher.
More than 1,200 of the most visited English language shopping websites manipulate customers. Partly with illegal “dark patterns”, as a study published on Tuesday found out. When sales fail completely, potential customers drop out in large numbers and leave carts filled with carts, e-commerce companies are puzzled. Was it because of the competitor’s lower price? The color of the buttons? The product photos or the font size? The solution to the conversion puzzle can usually only be found with hard analysis work or with expensive tools. There are simply too many conversion levers. The manipulative dark patterns In addition to the obvious conversion screws such as pricing policy, design or range optimization, voucher codes and product bundles and seductive dark patterns are in the e-commerce toolbox. They are supposed to encourage potential customers to make more and or more expensive purchases through manipulation that is not always legal. A study by Princeton University and the University of Chicago published on Tuesday shows which of these methods e-commerce companies use and how they use them to fool customers into higher conversion rates. 11,000 online shops in the analysis In the study ” Dark Patterns at Scale: Findings from a Crawl of 11K Shopping Websites “, seven scientists from Princeton University and the University of Chicago examined the 11,000 most visited English-language shopping websites every month, according to Amazon subsidiary Alexa.com . For this purpose, the scientists programmed a crawler that calls up the shops and completes all steps to purchase. The crawler identified interfaces and saved them together with interactions for subsequent analysis. The result of the analysis: 1,267 of the 11,000 shops analyzed rely on dark patterns. The more popular an online shop, the more likely it is to rely on manipulative methods for more sales and higher value shopping carts. In 183 of the 11,000 shops, the scientists found 243 deceptive methods that are illegal in at least parts of the world. According to the study, the shops examined would use 15 methods that could be divided into seven categories. You have probably already come across some of them while shopping online, but also in stationary retail. The 7 manipulative methods Category 1: Sneaking When it comes to sneaking, seven of the 11,000 e-commerce companies analyzed misrepresent and distort user actions. They cheer products on their customers without prior consent by having their systems secretly put the products in their shopping carts. This also includes delayed notification of additional costs or hidden subscriptions. Category 2: Urgency With methods in the Urgency category, 361 of the 11,000 shops analyzed believe that their customers are of urgency. For example, they set deadlines within which customers have to purchase the desired items in order to receive special prices. Category 3: Misdirection Using misdirection methods, customers are asked in an up- and cross-sell manner whether they want to buy a rim cleaner for their favorite rims for an extra charge. The crux of the matter: The button for confirming, for example, has a red background, while the button for rejecting it is colorless. 164 of the online shops analyzed by the universities use these practices. Category 4: Social Proof Social proof is a popular method in e-commerce that aims to increase the likelihood of purchase through product reviews and testimonials. In 264 of the 11,000 shops analyzed, however, it is unclear where the reviews come from and whether they were created organically or are simply fake. Category 5: Scarcity Using the methods of the Scarcity category, 581 of the shops claim to their potential customers that there are only a small number of items in stock and that they should strike quickly. Pretending to be in high demand also falls under this method. Category 6: Obstruction The obstruction methods are user friendly and user unfriendly at the same time. For example, subscribing to a newsletter is child’s play – unsubscribing through numerous and complicated steps is all the more difficult. 31 of the 11,000 shops use these methods to hinder their customers. Category 7: Forced Action Forced actions are similar to obstruction methods in the opposite way. In order for customers to be able to complete purchases, for example, they first have to subscribe to the newsletter, like the shops’ Facebook page or enter a lot of data, some of which is not required. Applied from six of the 11,000 pages. The real number of manipulative shops is far higher The real number of online shops that use these manipulative, deceptive, but also fraudulent methods is likely to be far higher. After all, in their study, the scientists “only” analyzed the 11,000 most visited shops. The scientists did not mention names in their study. However, if you look at the Shopping category in the Alexa Top Sites service , from which the scientists obtained their data via the API, you will find some well-known names there. Among other things, Amazon itself. Manipulating shops are not lone criminals In their analysis, the researchers from the two American universities also found that the manipulating online shops are not isolated perpetrators. Many of the shops use tools and services from third parties. They were able to identify 22 such third-party tools. Not all of the tools and services are illegal in nature. The agency Beeketing is represented most frequently, with a customer base of more than 400,000 companies according to their own statements. The company from San Francisco offers tools, among other things to increase the conversion, the traffic from social networks, to enlarge the community or just one to “increase the urgency in order to maximize the conversions”. Other third-party providers involved include Dynamic Yield, Yieldify, Fomo, Fresh Relevance, Insider and Bizzy. Dark patterns cannot only be found in e-commerce The manipulative dark pattern patterns have been known for several years and are not exclusively found in e-commerce. Smartphone and tablet apps, for example, show users advertisements that can be accessed and paid for. A popular case at the time was Apple’s iOS 6 operating system. The integrated ad tracking should allow users more targeted advertising. The button to switch off tracking was hidden in the general settings under General and then under Info. So not in the general settings, but hidden where technical information such as the serial number of the iPhone or the utilization of the memory was available. At first glance, the tracking was automatically deactivated there, had Apple not used the double negative and deceived the user in this way.
A lot of sales can be made on the big shopping event days. And that worldwide. Black Friday leads the way here. But there are a number of other lucrative events. For e-commerce retailers, events, and shopping events in particular, are very lucky. Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day are likely to have been the role models for major shopping events such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday or Singels Day. Because all events have one thing in common: They ensure a huge increase in sales in retail. China beats the United States in the sales battle: Alibaba had a turnover of ten billion US dollars on Saturday (November 11) within an hour. The trading giant from China turned over $ 25.3 billion in just 24 hours. The Chinese Singles Day is ahead of the American Black Friday at number one of the top-selling shopping events in the world. The shopping community Pepper.com has determined which other top shopping events are worldwide. Singles Day – China Next date: November 11, 2018 First time on: November 11, 1993 Sales in 2017: 38.12 billion euros Singles Day took place for the 25th time last Saturday, November 11th – and set a new sales record in time for the anniversary: Within 24 hours, the Chinese market leader Alibaba.com alone made $ 25.3 billion, or 21 , 72 billion euros to. The online retailer JD.com brought in a further 19.1 billion euros. With a total turnover of 38.12 billion euros, Singles Day ranks first among the top-selling shopping events in the world. Black Friday and Cyber Monday – USA Next date: November 24 (Black Friday) or November 27, 2017 For the first time on: November 24, 1961 or December 1, 2003 Sales in 2016: 37.29 billion euros The USA is the motherland of consumption and for many years it was almost logically the home of the world’s top-selling shopping event: Black Friday and Cyber Monday have regularly washed billions into retailers’ coffers since 1961 and 2003, respectively. At first glance, 2016 was no exception here: According to an Adobe study, American consumers spent 37.29 billion euros in the four days from Black Friday to Cyber Monday last year. Black Friday and Cyber Monday – UK Next date: November 24 (Black Friday) or November 27, 2017 First time on: November 28, 2003 or November 30, 2009 Sales in 2016: 7.33 billion euros British consumers spent 7.33 billion euros, 12.2 percent more than in 2015, in the period from Black Friday to Cyber Monday in 2016. In the ranking of the shopping events with the highest turnover, the British versions of Black Friday and Cyber Monday come in third. Similar to the US, British consumers are traditionally drawn to the shopping areas of their city on Black Friday while they go online for bargain hunting on Cyber Monday. El Buen Fin – Mexico Next date: November 17-20, 2017 First time on: November 18-21, 2011 Sales in 2016: 4.73 billion euros (estimated) “El Buen Fin” (“The Good End”) is the name of the largest shopping event in Mexico and the fourth largest in the world. In one point it differs from all other events: “El Buen Fin” is organized centrally – not by the economy, but by the state. In order to stimulate local trade, the tax authorities are giving away 150,000 cash prizes with a total value of 500 million pesos (26.05 million euros). Anyone who buys between $ 13 and $ 540 with their credit card during “El Buen Fins” can have hope. Last year, the 127.5 million Mexicans spent around 4.73 billion euros. Much to the chagrin of consumer advocates: They criticize the fact that many Mexicans get into debt in the hope of winning the lottery. Dubai Shopping Festival – Dubai Next date: December 26, 2017 to January 28, 2018 First time on: February 15 to March 16, 1996 Sales in 2015: 3.54 billion euros Since 1996, the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) has been the fifth largest shopping festival in the world. Over 56 million people from all over the world made a pilgrimage to the desert metropolis in the first twenty years and spent 60 billion euros there. The last edition, in the winter of 2016/2017, attracted a further four million visitors and 3.54 billion euros. Similar to the “El Buen Fin” in Mexico, consumers in Dubai can shop tax-free. Boxing Day – Australia Next date: December 26, 2017 First published on: December 26, 1931 (founding of the Commonwealth) Sales in 2016: 1.53 billion euros What El Buen Fin is to Mexican retailers, Boxing Day is to Australian retailers: a billion dollar business. Every year on the day after Christmas, hundreds of thousands of Australians flock to local stores and frequent online shops to exchange gifts and exchange vouchers. Retailers respond to the rush with special offers: in 2015 they turned over 1.39 billion euros, and in 2016 they even turned over 1.53 billion euros. The Australian Retailers Association recorded sales of more than two billion Australian dollars for the first time on Boxing Day. Black Friday – Brazil Next date: November 24, 2017 First time on: November 23, 2012 Sales in 2016: 1.53 billion euros Black Friday only celebrated its premiere in Brazil in 2012 and is already looking back on an – from a German perspective – impressive development: According to a Criteo study, Brazilian consumers spent a whopping 1.53 billion euros on Black Friday in 2016 – 465 percent more than in 2015. Brazil, the most populous country in South America with 208 million inhabitants, is now in seventh place in the ranking of the world’s largest shopping events. White Day – Japan Next date: March 14, 2018 First time on: March 14, 1977 Sales in 2017: 1.45 billion euros In Japan, the best-selling shopping day of the year is firmly in the hands of the confectionery industry. Similar to Germans, Japanese consumers also celebrate Valentine’s Day, albeit with one difference: in Japan, only women give presents to their partners on February 14th. The men return the favor a month later: on White Day they show their partner their love with white chocolate and also give presents to classmates, co-workers or colleagues. The following applies: The more important the person is to you, the more expensive the gift must be. According to estimates, the Japanese confectionery industry generates twenty percent of its annual turnover on White Day, which the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture puts at 7.23 billion euros for 2016. Diwali Festival – India Next date: October 6th (South India) or October 7, 2018 (North India) First on: unclear Sales in 2017: 1.29 billion euros Every year in October, the Diwali Festival (Festival of Lights) takes place in India – an important religious festival of the Hindu faith and at the same time a high point for trade: the approximately 1.06 billion Hindus celebrate the return of their god Lord Rama to his kingdom with fireworks and lights. Retailers such as the Indian market leader Flipkart and challenger Amazon.in are holding discount campaigns in the run-up to the festival that stimulate the Indians’ desire to buy. According to Redseer Consulting, they spent a total of 1.29 billion euros this year. This puts the Diwali Festival in ninth place among the top-selling shopping events in the world. Black Friday and Cyber Monday – Germany Next date: November 24th and November 27th, 2017 First time on: November 28, 2007 or November 30, 2009 Sales in 2016: 1.1 billion euros For the first time in 2016, German retailers cracked the sales threshold of one billion euros on Black Friday and Cyber Monday: According to estimates by the Center for Retail Research, consumers spent 1.1 billion euros in the four days from Black Friday to Cyber Monday – 19.1 percent more than in 2015. In an international comparison, however, the German versions of Black Friday and Cyber Monday rank only tenth among the world’s top-selling shopping events.
Hardly any other environment has changed so dramatically in recent years as e-commerce. But what happens next? These trends will determine our shopping in five years. A few years ago, online shopping was limited to items that could be easily shipped, such as books, CDs or consumer electronics. We now have everything imaginable delivered to our home – from cat litter to baby diapers, from fruit and vegetables to Christmas roasts (and even theTree * ). In fact, there is hardly an industry in e-commerce that digital change has not captured. But that is only the half truth. Because online and offline are increasingly going hand in hand for the benefit of the customer. There is no single trend in shopping, but rather a multitude of developments that complement each other – and that create a shopping experience that will be different from what we know today. Join us for a look into the not so distant future. 1. The boundaries between online and offline continue to blur – and advice remains important They still exist – the trench warfare between online retail and physical stores. The Lower Saxon Greens are demanding that online trading should also be shut down on Sundays, online mail-order companies complain about high return rates and shopkeepers that their shops are only being used as showrooms and that customers then order online for a little less money. The first dealers are introducing a consultation fee, which is then billed when purchasing. This is not wrong , for example , when it comes to topics that require a lot of advice, such as school satchels or carrying systems, and if it is reasonably justified and communicated, it will certainly meet with understanding from customers. On the other hand, retailers will increasingly discover online advice, especially for advice-intensive products that we would have said earlier that “you can’t buy something like that online”. Music dealer Thomann demonstrates how one exemplary manner Combine moving images, audio and printed content well *. Customers, on the other hand, have long since made their choice when it comes to online and offline: They do one thing without leaving the other. This is shown by the KPMG study “Trends in Retail 2025 ”, which predicts somewhat lower growth figures in online retail in the coming years, but definitely sees acceptance for new ordering and delivery options. What can be ordered on the Internet is also ordered on the Internet and bulky or advice-intensive goods continue to find their buyers, especially in city centers and on the green fields – with the necessary delivery services if necessary. What we will see in a few years is the almost natural combination of online and offline – at least for the retailers, who can proliferate with the pound of retail stores. Then the jacket is available in every size and every color and the customer can order the desired combination at home or in the branch on tablets. This not only lowers the costs for the dealers, but is also convenient for the customer because he does not have to drive into town a second time. 2. Groceries and everyday items are increasingly being bought online – this is where most of the growth is Amazon is conquering the grocery trade – and is once again becoming the pacemaker and determiner of an industry that (at least in Germany) has not been blessed with excessive margins in recent decades. It has not only been clear since the takeover of the US organic supermarket chain Whole Foods that the online giant is also exploring its possibilities in the food sector – Europe will follow in 2018 or 2019 at the latest. This is likely to be particularly worrying for providers such as Rewe or Allyouneed, who are active in the same business field and have tried to gain acceptance over the years. But the chances are growing for them too: Once the Germans have discovered buying groceries online for themselves, they will do so more often (like the British and Americans already today). And then at the latest there will be flat shipping rates such as in Great Britain. We will not only shop online or offline. Ordering food will become more popular in the near future: for large and heavy stock purchases on the one hand, but also for the spontaneous supply of fresh food of all kinds on the other hand, when guests have announced themselves or for other reasons you do not make your way to the nearest supermarket wants or can. The cake that needs to be distributed is big: According to GfK, German food retailing generated sales of EUR 176 billion last year and even if there is only a market potential for around eight to ten percent of that for online grocery sales by 2020 (these figures The management consultancy Oliver Wyman recently came up with a study ), a tenfold increase is still possible from today’s perspective. However, same-day delivery is increasingly becoming a necessary condition, even in rural areas. Because customers are less and less willing to wait for deliveries and want to find them at a certain point in time – this can also be a packing station or their own trunk. But there is one thing we will probably not experience, even if the first pilot tests in the USA suggest this: that we allow the parcel delivery service to access our apartment while we are not at home. 3. The other side of shopping: Customers rely on the shopping experience and the story behind the goods Everyday shopping is the compulsory program that we want to solve as smoothly and efficiently as possible, while enjoyable consumption and shopping touch the soul. While technical means should make it as easy as possible for us to procure everyday goods with the help of apps and assistants, other purchases should be linked to a real shopping experience. For 77 percent of Germans, these real experiences become all the more important the more shopping is done through digital channels (QVC-Zukunftsstudie * ) – simply because purchases online are less and less different in terms of their experience. In this regard, the retailer in the city clearly has the better cards from home. Bridal fashion stores, smaller fashion boutiques or even car dealerships have been leading the way for years: the customer wants to perceive the purchase and information about products as an experience. As one he shares on social media these days, telling family and friends about. In this respect, a shopping experience that retailers offers is more than just satisfying this one customer; the customer regularly becomes an ambassador and influencer of his environment. Nevertheless, in the future we will drive less and less into the city or into the industrial area, get annoyed about parking fees and traffic jams, but rather order quickly online instead. The crowd-butchering service Kaufnekuh.de demonstrates that storytelling also works in this environment . Here the customer learns the story of “his” animal and has, at least in theory, a similarly close relationship to the farmer in the neighboring village. It will be these stories that will become more important in the years to come – be it from the winemaker, from whom you used to get your wine directly, or from individual foods. We will also see a shift towards large, opulent flagship stores in which brands are literally celebrated – this is also a countermovement to the advancing online trade. In other respects, online retailers also have good prerequisites: Not only can they play the keyboard of social media without a media break, they also know the history of all customers better than any specialist retailer. It usually remembers some regular customers and their preferences, but not as comprehensive as a modern CRM tool can. Recommendations are really accurate if the company not only evaluates the online data as before, but also tracks the customer’s preferences offline. With the customer card, Ikea shows quite well how big data can work with an offline focus (even if the company is only gradually learning the lessons of cross-channel marketing) . 4. Dynamic and individual pricing: Retailers rely on the shopping preferences of their customers Dynamic pricing is already known from online trading, even if many retailers are still cautious, at least on the outside: a product often changes its price several times a day, depending on the supply of the competition and demand from the customers. Companies rely on algorithms that constantly scrutinize price search engines and competitors for their prices. Already today, more than three quarters of all page impressions received by the major online retailers result from bots that get an idea of the current price of a product. But it is no longer a phenomenon that is restricted to online trading. More and more chains are using price displays on the shelves that can be centrally adjusted within seconds – above all, as the retailers state, to reliably display special offers, but also to adjust prices to the current framework conditions. Another variant of these price fluctuations is individual pricing – so far only found in e-commerce and not yet reliably proven in studies. A customer who has already ordered high-priced goods at the regular price with his iPhone in the past can be given different prices than a buyer who has always ordered reduced goods – and is more likely to be recognized as a bargain hunter due to his buying behavior. In addition to the consumer behavior and place of residence of the customer, the time of day and weather or the date in the course of the month are included in the calculation of the algorithms, i.e. information on how much money the customer currently has in the account. Many customers are still evidently reluctant to use such practices: 91 percent were against it in a survey by the North Rhine-Westphalian Ministry of Consumption, and such practices are currently still an immense expense for retailers. However, providers will not be so clumsy as to impose higher costs on customers, but rather make special offers to selected users. These will not only be customers who already have a long purchase history, but above all those who the retailer defines as an early adopter, influencer or social media enthusiast. 5. Assistance systems, self-checkouts and sales robots: The retail sector increasingly needs fewer, but definitely different staff More and more often we will also meet salespeople and cashiers in the stationary trade in the form of robots and machines. The sales robots from Media Markt and Saturn, which are already being used on a trial basis in a branch in Ingolstadt, show that this doesn’t have to be damage. The roughly one meter tall devices greet customers, guide them to the product they are looking for, explain the most important functions and, if things get too complicated, call in a human salesperson. The first experiences are positive, and in theQVC-Zukunftsstudie * , 23 percent of those questioned said that they could well imagine using advice from avatars or robots. Assistance systems based on touchscreen will soon also be a matter of course for many customers – after all, literally every child now uses tablets and smartphones. This is a problem for unskilled workers, but not for specialist salespeople – their expertise is in demand wherever detailed knowledge and serious advice are required. And in many cases the tablet becomes a loyal companion for the sales force. Because the customer can quickly convey to the customer which variants of a product are still available, what the availability looks like, or order the product that is not in stock to the customer right away. At the same time, the sales assistant is increasingly coming into our living room – or is already there in the form ofEcho Dot * , Google Home Mini and other intelligent speakers. If so requested, they will remind us that we wanted to order a present for the mother-in-law because her birthday is coming up next week. In the near future, we will see completely cashier-free shops or at least self-service checkouts in areas where things have to go quickly, for example at train stations and other traffic hubs – and no longer just simple vending machines as in the past. Not only the Japanese retail chains Lawson or Real in Germany are working on intelligent cash register systems that automatically scan, recognize and collect the goods when the shopping cart is placed in the detection zone. Amazon goes one step further and could soon start completely cash-free Amazon Go shops in Germany as well .
Google Shopping is splitting off from the group and will in future also be offering advertising spaces. Is that a positive or a negative development? An analysis by t3n editor Jochen G. Fuchs. Google is said to have abused its dominant position as a search engine in order to cross-finance its own price search engine, Google Shopping. Therefore, in addition to a billion dollar fine, the US company was also given access to the competition . Now the Google Shopping service is being outsourced and restructured into an independent company. In the future, the price search engine from Google will then compete on an equal footing with other price search engines for positions in the product advertising field of the search engine. A step forward or a step backward for retailers and competing price search engines? Google Shopping is restructuring due to a billion dollar fine from the EU After a long series of proposals to the EU Competition Commission, Google has initially averted further measures by the Commission with the last proposal. While Google initially suggested that the advertising field placed directly under the search mask should only be opened for third-party suppliers in the auction process – the new proposal apparently met the taste of the Commission. Google Shopping will be spun off as a separate company, and will offer around the same ad spaces as everyone else. Under the condition that the company finances itself from its own advertising income and is only allowed to bid for advertisements if the product placement is still profitable. This is to prevent the effect that is to be achieved by the outsourcing of the company from being thwarted by unprofitable and excessive bids in Google auctions. Otherwise the group could push up the bids of the competitors or simply restore the old status quo by constantly outbidding the competitors in the price war for ad space. How the new advertising field for product search engines should work In principle, the previous advertising field specifically for products remains, which is displayed either directly below the search mask or on the right-hand side next to the organic search results. In the future, the ten ad spaces there will no longer be exclusively occupied by Google, but can theoretically be booked by any company. Provided that the company is the highest bidder. The potential disadvantages of the new advertising field In principle, many price search engines would have wished that the organic search results, which also contain their own offers, were in some way equivalent to the Google Shopping ads. The EU Commission does not go that far, but Competition Commissioner Margrethe Verstagen told Bloomberg that the Commission will keep an eye on the development of the new Google advertising fields and the development of Google Shopping. “The compromise will be tested on the market, should complainants continue to be unhappy, and the new regulation does not work, then we will start an investigation,” said Verhagen to the US news channel. Some retailers and industry media, such as the Google Watchblog or the online retailer news from the Händlerbund, fear that this development will develop to the disadvantage of the market and to the disadvantage of the retailers. The Google Watchblog writes that Google is now in competition with online shops, financially strong companies could simply buy all ads and, above all, the user would lose an overview and variety. Even if the critics consider the possibility that all ads will simply be bought up as unlikely, the development is rated rather negatively. In the end, so fear the critical voices, the new advertising field only flushes more money into Google’s coffers. Advantage or disadvantage for dealers and the market? It is understandable that price search engines would like to see organic search results on an equal footing and would be detrimental to the market because of the poor feasibility. How so? Google would never do without prominently placing its product ads. If the EU Commission had asked for the organic search results to be put on an equal footing, a soft regulation would have been implemented that would have required constant individual checks. For example, it is difficult to answer the question of whether this or that product ranks worse because Google inconspicuously pushes a bestseller from its own offers. The Google search algorithm is a black box. As has already been done, the US company could use ranking factors as an argument. The search giant’s obfuscation tactics would be varied and difficult to document. The auction process, on the other hand, can be documented by means of a simple, imputed check. The commissions from Google Shopping are known, so it is possible to quickly calculate whether a Google auction bid was profitable or not using standard market comparison data. Price search engines that are permanently losing to Google could document this. Traders have so far had no choice. If you want to generate sales at Google, you have to use Google Shopping and Adwords campaigns in addition to organic traffic. So far, your own offers have always had to assert themselves against the competitor Google and its advertising field – or just be placed on Google Shopping. The retailer now has less competition from Google because his own offers or those of the price search engine of his choice appear for the first time alongside the Google shopping offers. Yes, so far the Google Shopping advertising field has always diverted attention from the organic search results, but that would not have changed because Google would definitely place ads there. Then just Adwords ads and no Google Shopping ads. The market and the Google Shopping competitors benefit from the fact that the prominent product placements under the search mask are now at least available to everyone. It’s surely nicer to wish back to the golden days when organic, free traffic made up the lion’s share of sales. The fact that it is no longer the case today is not just down to Google. It’s because of changed user behavior, Amazon as the number one product search engine and the fact that the point of sale is now shifting to all sorts of channels: especially social media channels, but also messengers and, in the future, voice assistants.
Whether Black Friday or Glamor Shopping Week – high discounts attract customers. But is your online shop even able to cope with the onslaught? With this guide, your online shop can withstand the stress test easy. Price and discount battles are not an invention of e-commerce. Black Friday was an important sales opportunity for retailers in the US even before online retailing made its breakthrough. In Germany, too, there was a fixed time for special offers with the winter and summer sales twice a year. The annual sales records reported by Amazon and Alibaba for their bargain days stimulate the imagination of many retailers. The fact that Alibaba reported 554,000 orders per second on Singles’ Day in China last year makes people sit up and take notice. As with the Super Bowl, global networking has contributed to the fact that interest in major shopping events such as Singles’ Day or Black Friday has increased enormously and is also noticeable in this country. Most retailers, however, would be satisfied with a fraction of the orders that Alibaba can handle in a second. More than just using the red pencil In order to achieve maximum sales on the bargain days, retailers and brand manufacturers have to do more than just lower the prices in the online shop. As the example from Alibaba impressively shows, additional customer flows can be managed quickly and to their satisfaction within a very short time. The warehouse does not only have to contain the corresponding quantity of goods. The orders must also be delivered to the customer and invoiced. This places special demands on your own processes and technology. A new e-book from ChannelAdvisor shows how retailers prepare for shopping events. The e-book reveals when it is best to start planning discount battles and what needs to be taken into account. The reader learns what he should pay attention to while preparing his technology and why he also has to deal with his internal processes in order to avoid customer frustration. Because whoever disappoints consumers during this critical time can hardly expect them to come back next time. The book gives tips on which special offers and discounts are promising. More and more retailers want to do good business during the shopping events. The competition for customers and their attention increases accordingly. The e-book also provides material on this topic and offers specific information on planning advertising campaigns and on promotions around the bargain days. Incidentally, a calendar with relevant dates in e-commerce can also help not to miss deadlines for these shopping days . Why traders should have a plan B. The free e-book offers a condensed guide to help you prepare for the year’s shopping events today. Because only those dealers are successful who manage to attract the attention of customers, win them over with attractive prices and convince them with perfect processes. A look at the book shows that there is not that much time left to start solidly with the preparatory work. The authors also reveal why it is necessary to come up with a plan B in order to be prepared for all eventualities. The e-book is aimed at all operators of an online shop, regardless of its size, and is also of interest to all retailers and brand manufacturers who sell via marketplaces.
The annual Prime Day was probably postponed to September. Now Amazon is to plan a summer sale for fashion items in June. The shopping event could last up to ten days. Because of the corona crisis, Amazon will probably postpone its Prime Day discount battle, which usually takes place in July, to August or even September . This should relieve the infrastructure that has reached its limits in the past few weeks as well as the employees in the logistics centers . In June, however, another shopping event will take place at Amazon, if a CNBC report has it. Accordingly, the e-commerce giant is planning a summer sale for fashion items for June 22nd. Summer Sale: Amazon wants to boost sales The US colleagues found the reference to the date for a so-called fashion summer sale event in an internal document. There was also stated that participation in the shopping event was only possible by invitation and could last between seven and ten days. The document should also mention that Amazon is promoting the whole thing as the “Biggest Summer Sale” and hopes that it will boost sales. Amazon sellers are invited to participate in the letter in order to increase customer loyalty. An Amazon spokesman has confirmed to CNBC that there will be a summer sale in June. According to this, both established and young fashion brands should be involved. However, Amazon has not yet revealed specific details about the date, expiration or the name of the event. It is also still unclear whether the event and the corresponding discounts are only available to Prime customers or to all Amazon users. Summer Sale: At least 30 percent discounts? According to the report, the group is currently still working on completing the details, such as the corresponding landing pages. In any case, the invited sellers should be required to submit articles with a discount of at least 30 percent for the event. In any case, the summer sale is a departure from the previous two-day shopping event Prime Day in summer. The fact that the potential discount battle should primarily be about fashion and fashion items is probably due to the fact that this area did not go well during the corona crisis, despite the booming online trade in parts . Industry observers explained this with the fact that there was hardly any desire for new clothes in view of home office and exit and contact restrictions . Now that the situation seems to be normalizing – at least temporarily – fashion retailers could get their full warehouses a little emptier through an event like Amazon’s summer sale.
In the past, Google has drastically changed the rules of the game in the area of Google Shopping. Another turning point is currently taking place, with serious consequences for the industry. A contribution as part of our Dmexco theme week. Froogle, Google Product Search, or Google Shopping. History has produced various titles for Google’s shopping universe. In 2002 Google started the “Froogle” project in the USA and Great Britain, and since 2008 the Google product search has also existed in Germany. Even then, it was possible to influence the display and ranking of products in the organic search results: the more rich the data feed sent to Google, the better the cards. Optimizing shopping feeds was a lucrative business model for agencies that suddenly cracked when Google stopped displaying products for free. Product listing ads: Shopping ads cost money At the beginning of 2013, Google introduced the chargeable Product Listing Ads (PLA) in Germany . From then on, advertisers had to spend money to display their products on Google. While the organic presence of product results gradually collapsed, the new PLA appeared in the top positions of the search results pages. The paid version was well received because the investments paid off: Compared to the regular Adwords ads, the new PLAs stood out due to their higher conversion rates and, on average, lower cost-per-clicks (CPC). The Google Shopping ads established themselves as highly relevant traffic and sales drivers in e-commerce. From feed optimization to shopping campaigns For advertisers and the agencies at their side, the change meant a realignment. While the optimization of product data feeds was the focus of efforts so far, the new system required the data feeds to be linked to Google Adwords. If you wanted to advertise successfully via Google Shopping, you had to learn to set up shopping campaigns. The core competencies consequently migrated to search engine advertising (SEA). A high quality product data feed is still essential for a successful shopping campaign. In order to play this out, however, you need sophisticated and delicate campaigns that are controlled via Google Ads (until recently Adwords). EU Commission condemns Google to record competition penalty The importance of Google Shopping grew so much by 2017 that the European Commission began to listen carefully. Only products from its own price comparison site, Google Shopping, were found in Google’s search results. On the grounds that the US group had “placed its own price comparison service at the top of its search results and downgraded the comparison services of the competition”, the EU imposed a record competition fine of 2.42 billion euros on Google and ordered the giant to make its shopping playground for others Open product searches and price comparisons. Google opens up the world of shopping for external price comparisons At the end of September 2017, shortly before the EU Commission’s 90-day deadline, Google announced that it would decouple its Google Shopping service, which had previously been integrated into the web search . Since then, the Google price comparison has had to book ad spaces itself on the search results pages and is in competition with other so-called “Comparison Shopping Services” ( CSS ). In order to enable competition, Google granted the competition a not inconsiderable margin on the click price on shopping ads. However, these measures had little effect. Apparently, the existing price comparison sites with their business model could not make a profit from the new auction system. You accused Google of distorting competition again earlier this year. AA study by Seachmetrics confirmed Google’s unbroken dominance of shopping ads: In December 2017, the search engine still controlled up to 99 percent of PLA. The problem: The price comparison sites faced several major challenges. In the fight for the display of their shopping ads on Google, they competed with the advertisers and specialized agencies who benefited from their know-how in setting up shopping campaigns. The click prices to win the auctions were apparently too high for Google’s competitors, despite the margin granted. Google is pushing competition, CSS landscape is flourishing For some time now, especially in Great Britain, it has been possible to observe what Google has been striving for for over a year: the competition for ad space on Google Shopping is booming. This trend is currently spilling over to Germany. Instead of “From Google”, external price comparison sites are increasingly visible under product ads. What are the reasons for the suddenly emerging competition? Google has managed to convince service providers such as tech providers or agencies to get involved in the CSS environment. On the one hand, Google promises merchants who run their shopping ads via CSS, lower click prices. In addition, Google started a time-limited incentive program called “Spendmatch”, which offers advertisers financial reimbursements in Ads accounts under certain conditions. Price comparison site as a heavyweight in competition The race to build price comparisons is in full swing. It sets the entire industry in motion and even throws it a bit into chaos: If CSS providers and companies benefit from the lower click prices, there is soon a risk of a price war among the product searchers. Many questions arise. How are advertisers dealing with the new situation? If you import your ads via an external CSS, you can either reduce the click prices by the margin estimated by Google or keep them stable and expand your reach. How long will Google maintain the additional financial incentives? Price comparison sites are sprouting up like mushrooms right now. Will Google soon tighten the requirements for price comparison sites in order to curb the hustle and bustle? Hopefully What plans Google still has for its shopping channel remains exciting. There are first indications that Google Shopping could in future have a shopping cart to position itself in the fight against Amazon – that would be another game changer for the entire industry.
At the end of April, Amazon stopped advertising via Google’s product search engine. Possible backgrounds and consequences for dealers and Google. Amazon has withdrawn from the Google Shopping product search engine without giving any reason. According to the digital marketing agency Merkle , the US group has not been switching product listing ads (PLA) since the end of April, which indicates that Amazon is leaving. The step is understandable because Amazon has long since become a product search engine itself. While merchants could benefit in the short term, Google is more likely to suffer from Amazon’s withdrawal. Amazon on Google Shopping According to Merkle, Amazon invested most of its Google Shopping budget in the Home & Living category, but was also active in other categories such as furniture, office supplies and gift items. Since April 28, there should be no more activity from Amazon, product listing ads can no longer be seen. The digital agency Merkle claims to have recorded a decline in Amazon’s activities by the end of the quarter. The US group has remained active in the Google Adwords sector. Amazon as a product search engine Amazon has long since replaced Google as a product search engine not only in the USA but also in Germany. According to Amazon, the very special clientele of Prime customers now includes more than 100 million people worldwide. For comparison: Germany had around 82.7 million inhabitants in mid-2017. But that’s not all, Prime members are as good as lost to other online shops – they buy almost exclusively from Amazon. One possible interpretation of the lack of advertising from Amazon is a conscious decision against Google Shopping. And this decision could be driven by two factors: Amazon as a search engine is now independent from Google Shopping and does not want to upgrade the competition – and at the same time avoid wastage. Why external services pay money for users who already belong to Amazon. Google Shopping is losing Amazon customers One consequence for Google Shopping could be the loss of some users: Amazon customers who still use the Google service because Amazon is also present there. They will go now – whether this is a factor that matters is a question that is still difficult to answer. Amazon sees its range and access to customers as an integral part of its business model. If another provider tries to take advantage of it, it can trigger countermeasures. In the USA, Google has started to provide Google Shopping with a shopping cart and thus uses the customer and product range for its own purposes – this could have contributed to the possible decision to withdraw. Amazon has withdrawn from some affiliate networks and bargain portals in the past, but so far not from all of them: For example, Amazon offers can still be found at Idealo. Traders can benefit in the short term The digital agency Merkle expresses the assumption that the budget released by Amazon could free up advertising space on Google Shopping and thereby increase click prices and conversion rates.
Until recently, websites and shopping apps were designed and built primarily for men. That should change with gender commerce. Julia Saswito and Marc Schürmann reveal what has happened in recent years and where the journey is headed. Women and men think differently. This is nothing new and also applies to their behavior in the digital world. What is new, however, is that more and more companies are becoming aware of this fact and are increasingly designing their online shops, websites and mobile apps to meet the needs of female users. If you consider that women make more than half of all online purchases, everything else could safely be described as grossly negligent. Great progress in recent years Mostly male developers have designed mostly male websites. Abstract cutouts, technical details, numbers and never-ending product names were commonplace online. Indeed, it took a moment for word to get around that this depiction was more likely to deter half the population than to motivate them to buy. A lot has happened in recent years. In the meantime, various studies have made it clear to what extent the online behavior of women and men differs, and service providers made recommendations as to why and how these findings can be incorporated into the design of websites and online shops. For example, it has been found that women are fixated on subjects, not objects. So if the exempted product works for men, women prefer the representation in the context of people. For this reason, brands are telling stories more and more frequently and showing the portfolio in connection with people and everyday situations. And what works for women doesn’t have to be bad for men: Both target groups can clearly see the actual size of the product and its functions or advantages in the picture. Since it is often women who do initial research on a particular product on the Internet before discussing the details with their partner, this strategy ultimately has a positive effect on the entire buying process. Offering inspiration instead of giving away potential In addition, the field reports, testimonials and influencers that are so important for women are now in greater use. The fact that women are looking for inspiration online is also increasingly being taken into account by shops. For example, the provider suggests other pieces that match the outfit for the selected trousers. This large selection of different products helps women to weigh, compare and ultimately find the “perfect solution”. For shop owners, this means making shopping lists and shopping baskets accessible for a long time and understanding them as a kind of pause for reflection. Because while the man searches and buys specifically, women constantly check and adjust their selection criteria. If shop operators no longer display the products that were “parked” on the watch list a few days ago, they are wasting great potential. Perhaps after much deliberation, the customer has come to the decision that she would like the parts stored there after all. Even more satisfied customers thanks to innovative technologies In addition to various studies, the topic of data analysis in particular has advanced gender commerce. Thanks to it, marketing managers can now understand much more easily what is working, how and why on their side. In addition, social media also makes an immense contribution to understanding the needs of customers and often even responding to them in direct exchange. It is currently difficult to guess where the journey in gender commerce will take us. New technologies such as AI (artificial intelligence), conversational interfaces or virtual reality are currently finding their way into the shopping area and have to assert their effect on customers only in the long term. The use of new technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), for example, is still in its infancy in shopping. However, since women have a spatial vision and imagination designed for 2D and men for 3D, innovative technologies are more likely to score points with male customers from a scientific point of view. In addition, the latter are naturally technology-loving and significantly less affected by the “motion sickness” that occurs when using VR. Nevertheless, there are already AR examples from the fashion sector that are particularly popular with women: In spring this year, the Zara fashion label tested an AR application in 120 branches around the world , with which Zara customers can experience the new collections of models to themselves to see certain pieces of clothing in motion. Of course, the look could then also be placed in the app’s shopping basket. Conversational interfaces make it possible to chat with an employee or bot while shopping in the online shop. Since we now know that women are particularly keen to seek advice from women, this area could have a beneficial effect on the buying process for female customers. The topic of linking brick-and-mortar retail and the online shop is also gaining in relevance when you consider the gender-specific differences. Women naturally have a finer sense of touch and therefore place greater emphasis on the quality of the material and structure of the product. Since you cannot touch the products shown online, women often make their first impression in the store. Brands and companies have to take this so-called “reverse ROPO effect” – research offline and buy online – into account in their concept. Pure online providers are doing well with offering new types of commerce and retail. Stationary retail, on the other hand, has to internalize this holistic purchasing process and develop solutions for it. Conclusion The design and UX design in e-commerce have increasingly oriented themselves towards the needs of female users in recent years, without neglecting male consumers. We expect that the awareness of those responsible for marketing for the different online behavior of women and men will grow steadily and that it will also come into play when new technologies are used. In general, one can say that every new technology can also open new doors and that the success of the application can often only be assessed after a certain practical test. Above all, it is important that brands and companies keep the needs of the target group in mind with every decision and weigh up whether and to what extent innovative technologies contribute to the positive relationship between customer and brand.