Monthly Archives: November 2011
Constantine Limberakis, the senior research analyst for global supply management at the Aberdeen Group, recently penned a new research report, Spend Analysis: The Nexus of Spend Management, which reviews best-in-class spend analysis practices and results based on …
We have closed the books on Black Friday and Cyber Monday for 2011. By all accounts the numbers look very promising and exceed last year’s. Marketers, retailers and shoppers alike have reason to rejoice. One might even go so far as to say that the economy itself has done a little victory dance.
However, before we throw all caution to the wind, let’s pause for a moment and review the holiday deliverability metrics and take note of a few trends for the upcoming Christmas bonanza.
We’ll start with a history lesson. The term Cyber Monday really came into being in 2005. Following Black Friday a spike was noticed on Monday and that spike became a growing peak in the plans and strategies of retailers.
I’m spending today with a group of industry analysts at our annual Analyst Connect event. At the top of our agenda is a discussion about Smarter Commerce, our approach to finding better business processes related to the buying of goods and services, the selling of those goods and services, the marketing that occurs before they are sold, and the servicing of the customers after they’ve purchased them – the “buy, market, sell, service” cycle of commerce.
So I thought I’d talk about a current, real-world example of Smarter Commerce in action. If you’re like most Americans, the odds are good that you spent some time shopping over the last few days. In fact, based on the 2011 IBM Coremetrics Cyber Monday Benchmark Report, record numbers of people shopped online on Cyber Monday.
But a deeper dive into the data reveals that the ways that people are shopping have changed dramatically. It used to be that when we talked about online shopping, we naturally concluded that the PC was the consumer’s tool of choice. IBM data shows that in fact, nearly 11 percent of consumers are using their mobile devices to visit a retailer’s site; even more importantly, nearly 7 percent of all online sales are coming from mobile devices.
These are compelling numbers—the kinds of numbers that you ignore at your peril. Consider that just two years ago, mobile traffic to online retail sites amounted to less than 1 percent. If you weren’t using analytics to not just track how your customers were coming to your site, but how those trends were likely to evolve, I’m betting that the mobile explosion caught you unawares.
Thanksgiving has always fascinated me. It’s the one day a year that every American family is eating basically the same meal (with a few variations, of course) and watching football and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The entire country stops and collectively does the same thing.
Now we can add one more national activity to Thanksgiving Day: shopping. Who would have thought that Americans would actually want to shop on a national holiday? Actually, my team and I don’t just think that people want to shop: we know it. We use IBM digital analytics to track—in real time—what’s happening in online retail across the U.S. every day of the year. We know that this year, for example, online retailers will bring in record Thanksgiving Day sales.
Americans want to shop on Thanksgiving, but the way they shop has changed dramatically. If you’ve heard me speak at the IBM Marketing Innovations Summit, you’ll know that I’ve long said that the traditional, funnel-based approach to marketing is broken. Consumers are smarter and more sophisticated about the many ways they can use technology to redefine the shopping experience on their terms. Want to save a buck? Look for promo codes online (you might also be able to redeem them in store). Worried about in-store inventory levels for that game your son absolutely has to have? Hop online to see if your local store has it in stock or skip the worry altogether and just buy it online.
A couple of weeks ago when I wrote about online shopping trends and predictions for this holiday season, I focused largely on the rise of the mobile shopper. Today in honor of Black Friday, I’d like to focus instead …
A couple of weeks ago when I wrote about online shopping trends and predictions for this holiday season, I focused largely on the rise of the mobile shopper. Today in honor of Black Friday, I’d like to focus instead on social shopping.
Social shopping, as I’m sure most of you know, refers to those people who turn to their social networks for advice or research when they’re considering a purchase. Seems like a pretty intuitive concept. But the fact is that I’ve spoken to far too many retailers who have either discounted the notion that social shopping will ever make significant contributions to their bottom lines or who throw up their hands in frustration and say something along the lines of “I just don’t understand how to use it to drive revenue.”
These are the kinds of perspectives that drive retailers out of business. Here’s why. IBM data shows that people who arrive at a retailer’s site from Facebook are nearly twice as likely to buy something than other people. Put another way, social media’s ability to influence consumer behavior far outstrips that of other channels.
Smarter Commerce is sweeping across multiple industries, helping companies engage with their customers in new ways and adjust their operations accordingly. The media is picking up on it, as evidenced by this recent article by Forbes Magazine in follow up …
Companies are globalizing their supply chains in an effort to drive costs down. These expansions are leading to decreased visibility and increased complexity that result in less control of global supply chains. So, while a company is saving money in the manufacturing stage, it is taking greater risks of triggering vulnerability within the supply chain that could affect customer satisfaction.
Consider the large companies using manufacturing plants in Thailand that were recently affected by monsoons. Toyota and Nissan are facing a decrease in available parts needed for worldwide production because of the closure of auto parts plants. North American Honda production sites also are being affected by shortages of available parts; Forbes estimated that there will be a 50% cut in output in the upcoming months. Parts shortages will directly affect the amount of products readily available to the consumer.
In a time where the consumer has the power to influence a company’s brand through social networking, guaranteeing satisfaction is more important than ever to ensure brand loyalty. The examples above draw attention to the need for companies with global supply chains to better understand how their networks are performing.
Key strategies for that understanding lie in a company’s business-to-business (B2B) integration efforts. But, how well are companies managing those efforts? The Aberdeen Group surveyed 191 Chief Supply Chain Officers (CSCOs) to study how their companies deal with pressures, actions, capabilities and enablers within their supply chains. The survey found that 42% feel they face challenges to improve B2B integration and collaboration because of rising logistics costs; 38% believe challenges arise from the increased business complexity of managing a global business network.
With the holiday week upon us marketers are kicking their programs into high in hopes of achieving maximum inbox placement, clicks and ultimately, conversion. The economy has made the battle for holiday dollars fierce. Consumers are looking for the best …
The importance of a comprehensive supplier risk management programme has been highlighted once again this week with the news in the UK that possible contamination of one jar of curry sauce has allegedly caused botulism poisoning of two people. Damage …