news and views

News and Views: Black Friday & Cyber Monday Recap

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So the dust is beginning to settle after the madness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In this December issue of News and Views we’ll take a look at some of the insights that are rolling in as a result of the busiest (extended) weekend in commerce. According to the IMRG, an estimated £810m was spent online by British shoppers last Friday, meaning that Boxing Day has potentially been overtaken as the biggest shopping day of the year in the UK. These figures eclipsed initial estimates of £555m, with some 267,000+ orders being logged by 6pm on the Monday.

IBMOne of the most promising features worthy of note was the increase in mobile transactions. According to IBM, mobile accounted for over a third of all traffic on black Friday – up from last year’s 20% figure (right). What is most interesting is when we compare sales figures of mobile vs. tablet. Despite accounting for less than 15% of all traffic, over 16% of all sales were made on a tablet with a conversion rate just short of 5%!

PayPal, who sees $1 in every $6 of e-commerce go through its network, has also reported a 47% increase in the number of mobile payments this Thanksgiving, and a 62% increase on Black Friday over last year.

While various sources may be reporting a decline in sales last weekend on 2013, one thing is clear: the mobile and tablet customer base is growing rapidly and is showing no signs of slowing.

As always we welcome your feedback and comments.

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News and Views: Cross-Device Trends & M-commerce

News and Views Cross-Device Trends  M-commerceIn September’s edition of ePN’s News and Views we’re looking at the latest “cross-device” trends and mobile statistics. According to a recent survey from Shopify, now more than 50 per cent blog 4of ecommerce traffic comes from mobile, now firmly establishing it as “the default way that people shop online” (figure 1).  They credit this rise to “social-fuelled” discovery purchases whereby social media and mobiles are used for more spontaneous, discovery-based purchases. This rise shows a correlation with smartphone uptake generally. Ofcom’s August 2014 Communications Market Report highlighted that smartphone take-up had increased from 51% to 61% in Q1 2014 year-on-year, with the 16-24 years age group providing the most lift (see figure.2).

It therefore comes as no surprise that cross-device functionality has moved from a blog 6“nice-to-have” to a “need-to-have” for marketers.  Last month, eMarketer released its August 2014 Cross-Device Trends Roundup report, exploring topics including functionality, new paths to purchase, consumer perceptions of the connected future and their awareness of the “internet of things”.

What is key to bear in mind is that, while mobile is clearly a vital component, the customer journey is now cross-device, not one device. Desktop search remains a heavyweight for marketers and still provides a higher conversion percentage than that of mobile.

Publishers can run a Transaction Download Report to view their mobile traffic figures, read how here.

As always we welcome your feedback and comments.

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News and Views: Mobile Marketing

News and Views Mobile Marketing In this edition of ePN’s News and Views we take a look at highlights from the latest IAB / PwC Digital Ad spend Study on mobile and tablets; how a lack of in-house knowledge is preventing mobile marketing success, and highlight our very own Gianfranco Ludovici’s tips and best practice guide to going mobile.

According to the IAB, 2013 mobile ad spend doubled to break the £1 billion mark, accounting for £1 in £6 of digital ad spend! Interestingly, overblog mobile one third (36%) of people in the UK are now accessing the internet are now doing so via tablets, with tablet ownership growing 63% year-on-year from 11.0 million to 17.9 million in February 2014. (Tablets do in fact also have a superior conversion rate to mobile!) Retail site penetration via EU-5 smartphone continues to echo this upward trend, reporting year-on-year growth of 42% according to eMarketer.

However, a lack of in-house knowledge is reportedly the number one hurdle for mobile marketing success, reports M&M Global. Many marketers are turning to outside sources for their mobile marketing, however affiliates without the resources to do this need to ensure they are catering for even the basic mobile requirements.

That is why our Senior Manager of Online Partnerships, Gianfranco Ludovici has written his article “Mobile optimization to improve your affiliate performance”. In this, Gianfranco outlines some basic first steps toward mobile optimising your website, touching on formatting, responsive design, ad placement, code trimming and more. Have a read and as always we welcome your feedback and comments.

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News and Views: Put your best foot forward for the next half of 2014

News and Views Put your best foot forward for next half of 2014As the first half of 2014 comes to a close, businesses are taking a pause to assess the successes of the past six months and plan for the rest of the year. In this edition of eBay Partner Network’s News and Views we share a selection of interesting and valuable insights that may help to make your next six months even more exciting and rewarding. Be careful of “out with the old, in with the new”

With a number of snazzy new tools and platforms on which to target consumers emerging, email marketing is often left on the backburner and considered “over the hill”. However, according to a PerformanceIN, it remains a method with one of the most effective ROI’s in the industry. Two-thirds of companies rated email marketing as either ‘Excellent’ or ‘Good’ when it comes to ROI and the continued boom in m-commerce has further rejuvenated this tactic. Keep in mind that while new methods can be an exciting and often a valuable way to target your potential customers, it’s important to lay the foundations with tried and tested communications platforms too.

Brush up your mobile strategy

Speaking of m-commerce, mobile continues to be a hot topic for marketers.  M&M Global recently explored the huge opportunities mobile presents for business, presenting mobile as a successful marketing tool that shortens the distance between what the user wants and what the brand provides. For marketers, the priority is not only to create engaging experiences but also to make it easier for consumers to get to what they desire, and mobile is the key platform through which to provide that convenience. Keep your eyes peeled on our blog, where more advice for achieving mobile success will be posted soon!

Don’t wait to innovate

Do you ever wonder what a successful business looks like? According to BusinessFinancing.org, innovation is a primary factor in business success because of the impact that new ideas, devices, or methods can have on a business. It can be a risk, but failure to innovate, regardless of your industry, company size, or goals, can lead to the competition is passing you by. Fostering a culture of innovation can create fantastic opportunities for a business of all sizes, so make it a priority!

A combination of innovation, a solid mobile strategy and a strategic approach to which platforms you are utilising, both new and existing, will help to make the rest of 2014 a highly rewarding one.

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News and Views: #OnTheBall

Bi-weekly-news-and-views In this edition of eBay Partner Network’s News and Views we kick off by looking at the huge opportunities the 2014 WC has to offer, tackling topics such as digital viewership, second screening and social media usage.

With a global audience of 3.2 billion, this year’s WC, hosted in Brazil, is a marketer’s dream. The event will have such a profound impact on the local economy that the Centre for Economics and Business research (CEBR) estimated that almost £38 BILLION worth of potential business could be made from the event.

So how can affiliates make the most of this remarkable opportunity? With nearly two thirds (63%) of viewers intending to watch highlights on a computer, according to advertising company Comigo, the digital opportunities are enormous. Combine this with the 58% of UK football fans using smartphones and 25% on a tablet, and your multi-channel campaign is ready to provide optimal results. With almost every vertical set to experience a shift in demand, be it BBQs to car accessories, make sure you’re seizing every opportunity.

Social media will play a vital part in ecommerce this WC. With an estimated 50 million football fans on Twitter alone, social platforms offer you a unique opportunity to tap in to a much larger audience pool due to consumers’ fragmented consumption habits. Get up to speed with the top trending Hashtags and keep your content as fresh as possible. While committing to round the clock real-time marketing is unrealistic, bear in mind the reactive nature of its environment. Fans share their opinion, they update on Twitter and Facebook, they second screen – try and tap into their behaviour as much as possible.

Enjoy the football – Ole, Ola!

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