Customers turn to Mobile phones during holiday shopping

New research has shown that Mobile phones have dominated this year’s Christmas season shopping, accounting for 67% of the online traffic to fashion retail sites.

Many other statistics published in an analysis of global fashion habits by Nosto favor mobile too. Notably, the majority (52%) of online sales revenue can be attributed to mobile phones, while the conversion rate has increased by 53% on last year’s rate. Nosto, which is an AI-powered eCommerce personalization platform, looked at data from millions of sites, focusing on the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend. 

Although the study also included some positives for desktop as a means of online shopping, saying that desktop users are more likely to make a purchase than mobile shoppers. Despite the conversion rate for mobile increasing, it is still significantly less than that on Desktop, almost double in fact. 

CEO of Nosto, Jim Lofgren, said of the research:

“As they’re making shorter visits on a smaller screen, you’d expect mobile fashion shoppers to be harder to convince to make a purchase and to be less likely to place larger orders – which we see in the data. But now that online fashion shopping is overwhelmingly mobile, being successful as a retailer comes down to having a truly mobile-first mentality – making it easy for shoppers to find their way around your site and quickly find just the products they want, and to check out with minimum effort.

“That’s where using artificial intelligence and machine learning to drive personalisation comes in. You can maximise the space and time on a mobile phone screen by automatically showing shoppers the most relevant shopping experience based on their behaviour – all in real-time. In fact, it’s now possible to instantly change the layout of the page and ensure shoppers are seeing the most appropriate images, offers and related content that might interest them.” 

They company saw a 15% increase of year-on-year traffic to online retailers in the fashion space over the Black Friday – Cyber Monday weekend, not to mention a 78% jump in online sales. 

Lofgren added: “The numbers suggest there’s more opportunity than ever for fashion retail to build online sales in the run-up to the holidays. But you have to make sure you’re delivering the best experiences you can to truly embrace that fact.”


Setback for Facebook’s Libra and other Cryptocurrencies 

facebook libra coin

Image from Financial Times

The European Union have announced they will not allow private digital currencies, like Facebook’s new Libra, should not be permitted in the EU until the possible risks they posses are addressed properly. 

EU finance ministers released a joint statement on Thursday, saying: 

“No global stable coin arrangement should begin operation in the European Union until the legal, regulatory and oversight challenges and risks have been adequately identified and addressed.”

The EU ministers also noted they are considering regulating crypto-assets and stable coins, which would be as part of an overall global plan put in place by the union. 

Even though it was initially backed by the likes of Mastercard and Visa, Libra has been the subject of intense scrutiny from regulators over the past year. Both companies announced in October that they will now be departing from the project, just as Ebay and payments startup stripe had already done. 

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, took to the US Congress in late October, for the purpose of answering questions about his plans for Libra in front of the House Financial Services Committee. The reception Mr. Zuckerberg received was hostile at times, with much push back from the committee on the project. Committee Chair Maxine Waters called for the company to cease the development of Libra for the time being, until it addresses “its many existing deficiencies and failures”. 


Could Tik Tok and Instagram be the future of eCommerce?

tik tok ecommerce

The rise of short video sharing platforms like Instagram and Tik Tok has been a major trend in social media over the past two years, and now eCommerce leaders are seeing the huge potential they possess, with US venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz calling them the “future of eCommerce”.

This comes not long after the news broke last month that Tik Tok, which is currently one of the fastest-growing social media platforms, has started testing an eCommerce feature on the app. This would allow users to include a link in their bio or post, and then if a consumer were to click the link, a browser would be opened within the app.

Andreessen Horowitz argued that these platforms should be considered to be “compulsively watchable commercials – with a direct link to buy”. They also noted that the use of such platforms has changed commerce hugely, with manufacturers and entrepreneurs bypassing the familiar path of selling to retailers, and shortening the supply chain by dealing with customers directly. 

Alibaba’s Taobao platform is already using this effectively, with around 42% of it’s product pages offering short videos or live streams. We spoke last month about how important live streaming has become for Alibaba’s sales, especially during Singles Day, China’s version of Black Friday. 

However, it isn’t just Chinese brands that are making the most of social selling, as Instagram’s “checkout” feature is now thought to be worth $10 billion in annual revenue. 

“In the future, as more apps become super-apps, ‘click to purchase’ will be ubiquitous. But the potential of short video extends far beyond straightforward transactions into the marketing and discovery phase, showcasing craftsmanship, tutorials, and product tests, and more.

“A 2018 survey found that 85% of millennials in the US reported buying a product or service after watching a video. As video apps launch native shops and integrate with third-party platforms, that statistic is likely to rise.”