Vantiv Omnicommerce Tracker™ May 2017
Connecting the dots of digital and physical commerce
Every month, Vantiv and PYMNTS.com team up to deliver the latest news in omnicommerce. Here's an overview of the Omnicommerce TrackerTM published in May 2017.
While it may seem like online and mobile shopping are taking over commerce, traditional brick-and-mortar retailers are still relevant to today’s consumers. According to the United States Census Bureau, more than 90 percent of retail transaction volume is still spent offline. And new industry research indicates that 70 percent of consumers still value physical retail stores.
So how are brands infusing digital methods into their physical commerce strategies to sell more products? May’s Omnicommerce Tracker, presented by Vantiv and PYMNTS.com, features an interview with Ajay Kapoor, vice president of digital transformation and strategy at SharkNinja, for a closer look at one company’s approach. SharkNinja, a manufacturer of consumer goods such as vacuums and blenders, has ridden sales at traditional retailers— including legacy department stores like Macy’s— to grow from a tiny player into the largest producer of vacuum cleaners in the U.S.
Kapoor says that the company’s brick-and-mortar success doesn’t mean that they’ve ignored digital. In fact, the company has used connected tools, including mobile websites and social media marketing, to grow SharkNinja’s market share of vacuum cleaners from one percent to 20 percent in the U.S. “There’s always going to be a core of consumers who buy online, a core that buy over the phone, and a core that buy in-store,” Kapoor explains. “So, it’s about reaching consumers who are likely to buy our products in all those areas.”
One of the biggest challenges for a growing company in a competitive space is increasing name recognition among consumers. If a shopper walks into a store looking to buy a product, they likely have a few brands in mind. SharkNinja has built brand awareness through traditional advertising channels like television commercials and infomercials that demonstrate their products’ capabilities. But these days, fewer shoppers are sitting down in front of a TV – especially for commercials – and even fewer are using commercials to make purchase decisions.
As a result, Kapoor says that the company has cultivated an active following on social media, giving consumers more faith that other shoppers like them have had positive experiences with SharkNinja’s products. Social platforms also reach Millennials and other younger consumers who may not be influenced by TV ads.
“A lot of times on social media you see companies just dealing with complaints or things like that,” Kapoor says. “But we see a lot of activity on our site and reviews that are glowing, and we use that to start a positive conversation about the products and get people sharing their experiences. Other shoppers see those reviews and they are much more likely to buy from us, if they feel like a real person is endorsing it on social media.”
The company is beginning to invest more heavily in online and mobile advertising, Kapoor says, and is using many of the same principles and ideas that have found success on social media. SharkNinja is also using lessons learned from traditional advertising to better target online ads toward consumers that are most likely to make a purchase. “We have a lot to learn and a lot to do, but something that really benefits us is that we have a ton of first-market data,” he says. “Those years of selling the product through infomercials have given us a good idea of who our consumers are, and now we know what we need to do to reach those kinds of customers on the digital side as well.”
But even if a brand can create enough of an impression on a consumer to visit to a brick-and-mortar store, that’s only half the battle. At many major retail stores where products like SharkNinja’s blenders and vacuums are sold, there are dozens of other brands available. Brand recognition may get a shopper into the store, but other factors like price or feature availability can greatly impact purchasing decisions, Kapoor says. Today’s consumer will often comparison shop before heading to the cash register, and that typically means using a smartphone to search for more information online.
If a customer can’t find what they’re looking for quickly, Kapoor says, they’re likely to choose another product that they can read about in the moment. To make sure more of these searches lead to SharkNinja sales, the company’s mobile website is designed to quickly give customers the information they want. “Our challenge is meeting the consumer wherever they want to make their purchase and giving them all the resources and tools they want, and need, so the experience is as enjoyable as possible and they can make what they feel is a smart decision,” he says.
Read the full interview in May’s Omnicommerce Tracker, along with other news and updates in seamless shopping. Here’s a sampling:
- Amazon’s Dash Buttons have become one of the fastest-growing services for the company. According to reports, orders via Dash Buttons are placed more than four times per minute – compared to one order per minute just a year ago – amounting to roughly 5,760 daily orders. And the service is continuing to grow, as the company recently revealed that Listerine, Tylenol, Pepsi, Tropicana, and Calvin Klein are among the newest brands creating Dash Buttons.
- Eat24 is testing delivery via robot in a new partnership with Marble in select neighborhoods in San Francisco. Yelp Eat24 users can place orders through the service’s website and mobile app, before being asked if they’re willing to receive delivery by robot. When customers opt-in, they receive a PIN code via text they use to unlock the robot’s cargo and complete payment.
- A new study from YouGov found that 43 percent of American consumers would be willing to exchange personal data to receive promotions, discounts or deals. Younger consumers are apparently most willing to share data with companies, with roughly half of all Millennials saying they were willing to trade data for deals, compared to only 44 percent of Generation X consumers and 38 percent of Baby Boomers. Despite this willingness to trade data for deals, nearly half of all consumers surveyed also said they expected a better customer experience in return for sharing their information.
- According to a new study from Salsify, 77 percent of consumers now use a mobile device while shopping in-store to learn more about a product they are considering. Comparably, just over one-third of shoppers said they would ask to speak to a salesperson to get their questions answered. Perhaps unsurprisingly, young shoppers are most likely to turn to a mobile device, with 85 percent of 18-to-29-year-old shoppers saying they would use a mobile device, along with 78 percent of 30-to-44-year-olds.