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Tim Peter

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May 18, 2015

Google’s Mobile Buy Button: Should You Buy In?

May 18, 2015 | By | No Comments

Google's mobile buy button: Is it a good idea for your business?Well, this is something: Google’s adding a “Buy button” to its search results. According to The Wall Street Journal” [paywall]:

“The search giant will start showing the buttons when people search for products on mobile devices, according to people familiar with the launch.”

Note where Google’s offering that button: On mobile searches, not on desktop. Why? Because desktop e-commerce more or less works… and mobile really doesn’t. As the Journal points out, “…it can be a bigger hassle to navigate a retailer’s page, and enter credit-card and shipping information, on small smartphone screens with error-prone keyboards.” These challenges really underscore why mobile payments represent such a huge game-changer for mobile commerce — and why Google’s efforts here represent such a huge deal. For example, the article says,

“…Google will let shoppers input payment credentials such as credit-card numbers one time, and the company will store those and automatically load them for future purchases on its shopping pages. Google won’t send those payment details to the retailers, one of the people said.”

Now, apparently, Google will accept a “wide range” of payment options, “…including digital payment methods from other providers.” I’m curious to see how long that lasts.

Of course, the fact that Google needs to monetize its mobile traffic more effectively undoubtedly also plays a role. And, to be fair, Google is sticking with a cost-per-click (CPC) model, not a cost-per-action (CPA). As Search Engine Land notes,

“[i]n a departure from Amazon and Ebay, participating Google Shopping advertisers will not have to forego a percentage of the transaction. Instead Google will continue to charge per ad click…”

Essentially, this will work similarly to Google’s Hotel Price Ads offering that travel marketers have dealt with for the last few years. Most hotel marketers would tell you that they’ve found the program generally successful, though worry about Google’s market power (they’re also dealing with slightly different market conditions, usually using both their own website and myriad other distribution channels such as Priceline, Expedia, etc. as opposed to manufacturers using only third-party distribution channels or retailers who may compete directly against Amazon or eBay, but not use those platforms to drive sales).

Regardless, this highlights a few key trends:

  1. User experience matters. Google clearly sees opportunity here to improve user experience and conversion rates (which, let’s face it, tend to move hand-in-hand) on mobile and improve overall mobile revenues for both their partners and themselves.
  2. Mobile’s a really big deal. Google isn’t offering this on desktop at all despite the fact that desktop was where they started with Hotel Price Ads, strongly suggesting that mobile’s really where all the action is right now.
  3. Reaching customers will continue to get more complicated. Jeff Bezos once said, “Your margin is my opportunity.” Google recognizes there’s margin here to play with and is going after it. There’s no way this is the last move in the game. Instead, Google’s potentially introducing another toll booth on the road to purchase — and time will tell when they start collecting.

Do I think you should do this? It depends. But it’s probably worth testing once they make it more widely available. Just keep paying attention to your actual cost of sale and don’t be afraid to shop for better options. Just, once you find them, I hope they give you a “Buy” button, too.

If you want to learn even more about how customers changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, be sure an register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You can also check out these slides and video from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions: Three Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year”:

And, finally, you might want to take a look at some of our past coverage of the e-commerce, mobile commerce, and digital marketing overall, including:

Tim Peter

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May 13, 2015

Mobile Helps Software Eat the World. Will it Eat Your Business? – Thinks Out Loud Episode 123

May 13, 2015 | By | No Comments

Massive mobile disruption: Couple shopping with mobile web

Mobile Helps Software Eat the World. Will it Eat Your Business? – Headlines and Show Notes

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about how to lead mobile-focused digital transformation within large organizations (a topic we’ve been talking about a fair bit lately). Here are the slides for your reference:

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Technical details: Recorded using an Audio-Technica AT2035 studio condenser microphone through a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 14m 28s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], subscribe via our dedicated podcast RSS feed (or better yet, given that Google has now killed Reader, sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player below:

Tim Peter

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May 11, 2015

The Coming Massive Mobile Disruption

May 11, 2015 | By | No Comments

Massive mobile disruption: Couple shopping with mobile webCrazy insights in the Wall Street Journal the other day, which highlighted some new Google products — and some impressive data about mobile,

“[Google VP of Product Management Jerry] Dischler said Google searches on mobile devices now outnumber those on personal computers in 10 countries, including the U.S. and Japan.”

Take a moment and let that sink in. Mobile searches now outnumber those on desktop computers. In 10 countries. While Google didn’t list all ten, the US and Japan’s inclusion on the list makes it fairly safe to assume that they’ll include other advanced economies such as Germany, the UK, China, France, Brazil, etc.

Another key quote says,

“…mobile users spend more time in specialized apps, such as Amazon.com for products or Yelp for local businesses, than in a Web browser. That’s spurring Google to provide quicker answers to mobile-search queries.

Dischler said patterns are changing as users hop among devices. ‘It’s more of a swirl, with people browsing on phones, getting on their desktop at work, then their tablet at home, then purchasing through a store visit or on a phone call,’ he said.”

This mirrors a point I made a couple weeks ago, that Google is struggling to maintain its dominance as consumers shift to mobile (actually, they’ve been facing this problem for a while). It’s also further evidence that mobile commerce is here to stay.

Google’s going to face some significant challenges unless it can either: a.) monetize mobile apps more effectively, or b.) encourage more mobile web searches/fewer app searches. The data also underscores how quickly consumers have adopted mobile — and how much room still exists for positive growth.

This massive mobile shift will disrupt many industries — including yours. Someone will profit from that disruption. Google’s struggling to adapt, but is clearly making the effort to get ahead of the game. Why don’t you do the same?

Do you want learn even more about how your customers’ changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing? Be sure an register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You can also check out these slides I had the pleasure of speaking to a great audience recently about how to lead digital transformation within large organizations (a topic we’ve been talking about a fair bit lately). Here are the slides for your reference:

And, finally, you might want to take a look at some of our past coverage of the e-commerce, mobile commerce, and digital marketing overall, including:

Tim Peter

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April 27, 2015

Mobile Commerce is Here To Stay

April 27, 2015 | By | No Comments

Mobile commerce is here to stay: Customer shopping in-store on phoneJust a quick follow-up to that post about the big mobile commerce lie everyone’s telling right now. eMarketer conducted an interview with Craig Wigginton, vice-chairman and head of Deloitte & Touche’s telecom sector practice who noted that Millennials have an,

“…addicted-to-connectivity obsession or device obsession. Twenty-four percent of the millennials check their smartphone immediately upon waking, and that was excluding the alarm feature. That jumps to 52% within 5 minutes of waking. Almost half of the millennials—45%—check it more than 200 times a day.”

I first highlighted this interview in this past week’s e-commerce link digest and cited it as further evidence of how short-sighted any mobile commerce backlash is right now.

To be blunt, mobile commerce is still in its very early days. Despite the rapid growth of mobile, smartphone adoption is an extremely recent development. But these early days mirror almost precisely the pattern we saw when e-commerce first came on the scene in the mid-1990’s.

Now, is it possible we’re in the middle of a bubble and that the whole market could come crashing down again as it did in 2001-2002? Of course it’s possible. But I’m not talking about market caps or valuations or anything related to the financial side of the equation.

I’m talking instead about how your customers engage with these channels. Even after the “dot-bomb crash” of the early Naughties (i.e., 2000-2002), loads of major players emerged that continue to shape your customers’ behavior, including Google, Amazon, Yahoo, eBay, Priceline, Expedia, Match.com, Craigslist, and on and on and on. Sure, some have had their ups and downs. But have customers continued to “log-on” when they’re ready to browse and shop and buy? Hells, yeah.

Longtime readers will note I make very few predictions about specific companies. As that great philospoher Yogi Berra once said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” And the more specific you try to be, the tougher those predictions get. For isntance, I can’t tell you if Android or iOS or Windows Phone or Blackberry will represent your customers’ device of choice down the road — though, sure, I’d be surprised if it was one of those last two. But I do feel very confident that your customers will continue to adopt a “anywhere, anytime, any device” approach to finding the information they need to make a purchase.

Wearables and other tech on the horizon might change the exact form it takes. But your customers have spoken: Mobile commerce is here to stay.

Do you want learn even more about how your customers’ changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing? Be sure an register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You can also check out these slides I had the pleasure of speaking to a great audience yesterday about how to lead digital transformation within large organizations (a topic we’ve been talking about a fair bit lately). Here are the slides for your reference:

And, finally, you might want to take a look at some of our past coverage of the e-commerce, mobile commerce, and digital marketing overall, including:

Tim Peter

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April 22, 2015

The Coming Mobile E-commerce Backlash – And Why It’s Wrong – Thinks Out Loud Episode 120

April 22, 2015 | By | No Comments

Mobile e-commerce backlash

The Coming Mobile E-commerce Backlash – And Why It’s Wrong – Headlines and Show Notes

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about how to lead mobile-focused digital transformation within large organizations (a topic we’ve been talking about a fair bit lately). Here are the slides for your reference:

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Technical details: Recorded using an Audio-Technica AT2035 studio condenser microphone through a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 15m 26s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], subscribe via our dedicated podcast RSS feed (or better yet, given that Google has now killed Reader, sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player below:

Tim Peter

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April 20, 2015

The Big Lie About Mobile Commerce Everyone’s Telling Right Now

April 20, 2015 | By | No Comments

The big lie about mobile commerce everyone's telling right now: Couple shopping on mobile in storeUgh. Are we really doing this again? Every so often, just as significant shifts start to occur among consumers, someone comes along to tell you, “move along, nothing to see here.” It happens again and again and again. Just before e-commerce really took off in the mid-90’s Newsweek’s Clifford Stoll explained why the web would not offer nirvana (my favorite line: “…how come my local mall does more business in an afternoon than the entire Internet handles in a month?” Anyone notice that the local mall is fighting for its life right now?). It happened again with social in the the very early years of this decade as “social media fatigue” set in. Or, as Malcolm Gladwell noted, “Social media is still not a big deal.” Then Facebook went and made $2.94 billion in profit (To be fair to Gladwell, he was really debating the benefits and costs of social media during the “Arab Spring” of 2010-2011. But several scholarly reviews suggest social media played a significant role there, too).

And, now, we’re starting to see the same big lie about mobile commerce. For instance, our good friends at eMarketer share some data from comScore, stating “Despite Time Spent, Mobile Still Grabs Minute Share of Retail Dollars”. Here’s the best quote:

“…research released last month by comScore illustrates mobile’s sliver of the overall digital retail dollar pie.

According to the study, smartphones and tablets accounted for 60% of time spent engaging with digital retail content in Q4 2014, vs. 40% for desktop. However, there was a 47% monetization gap between the two, with desktop taking 87% of digital retail dollars, leaving mobile to account for just 13% of the total $82.8 billion US retail ecommerce sales in the final quarter of last year.”

First, 13% of $82.8 billion is roughly 10.8 billion dollars. So, y’know, that’s not exactly a terrible number. Second, don’t forget that digital influenced some $1.2 trillion in retail sales last year alone. And, since comScore’s numbers flatly state that 60% of time engaging with digital happened on smartphones and tablets, it seems highly likely a healthy chunk of that influence comes from mobile. Even if we allocate “only” 13% of the benefit to mobile, that’s still $156 billion on top of the $10.8 directly attributed. Heck, even in the Facebook earnings I mentioned earlier, 69% of their revenues in Q4 came from mobile users.

This kind of fuzzy-headed thinking about mobile’s “sliver of the overall digital retail dollar pie” abounds right now.

In another study eMarketer cites, you’ll find this gem:

“In a September 2014 Annalect survey of US smartphone users ages 19 to 33, 40% said they use their smartphones “to make an actual purchase,” vs. 65% doing so via computer.”

Jeez, only 40%. How will we ever survive?

Remember, mobile commerce didn’t exist at all 8 years ago. And Millennials — who also had limited influence as a market segment during that same period — will outnumber Baby Boomers by the end of this year (Actually, that’s the conservative estimate. US Census data says they actually overtook Boomers in 2012. But, whatever. It’s “only” 40% <eyeroll>).

You’ll pardon the snark (I hope). That doesn’t tend to be my style.

As Bill Gates wrote in his book “The Road Ahead,”

“We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten.”

Now, Bill Gates has been on the forefront of a couple of huge shifts in consumer behavior during the course of his career and, notably, missed a couple of others. And it’s tough to say whether we’re two years away or 10. But my money’s on two. Or fewer. Why? Both for the reasons I mentioned above as well as others I’ve addressed here on the blog a time or two.

Gates concludes his thought about predicting consumer change by saying, “Don’t be lulled into inaction.” When it comes to mobile commerce, that’s really good advice. And that’s no lie.

Do you want learn even more about how your customers’ changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing? Be sure an register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You can also check out these slides I had the pleasure of speaking to a great audience yesterday about how to lead digital transformation within large organizations (a topic we’ve been talking about a fair bit lately). Here are the slides for your reference:

x

And, finally, you might want to take a look at some of our past coverage of the e-commerce, mobile commerce, and digital marketing overall, including:

Tim Peter

By

April 14, 2015

The Big Myth About Digital Strategy (Travel Tuesday)

April 14, 2015 | By | No Comments

Big myth about digital strategyIn my columns for Hotel News Now over the last year or so, I’ve looked at 3 ways to compete with OTA’s, how to use your data to drive growth for your hotel and minimize the cost of using intermediaries. But this month, it seemed worthwhile to question the whole underpinning of your digital marketing, e-commerce, and distribution strategy. In particular, I wanted to explore a big myth about digital strategy:

“One of the biggest myths surrounding digital strategy is its overarching emphasis on the digital component. Sure, digital is important, but it’s not the whole enchilada. I realize that might sound weird to many of you—particularly coming from a digital strategy consultant—but so much of what makes digital work is more about your organization’s culture and leadership than anything to do with distribution dominance, paid search prowess or social marketing mastery.

When you hear people around you talk about companies that have “digital in their DNA,” what they mean is the company succeeds despite the rapid changes we’re seeing in the marketplace—they don’t depend on any specific channel or tactic to achieve their goals and aren’t caught off-guard when the market suddenly shifts from search to social or from online travel agency to meta. Digital winners don’t divide their world solely into OTA or direct, search or social, media or mobile to drive reservations and revenue.”

Curious about the rest? Be sure to read the whole column at Hotel News Now.

And if you want to learn even more about how customers changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, be sure an register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You might also want to take a moment to review the slides from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions 2015: Three Key Trends Driving Your Hotel Marketing Next Year” here:


(And, yes… you can hire me to speak at your next event, too).

Finally, you might also want to check out some of our past coverage of the mobile, local, social web and how to make it work for your business, including:

Tim Peter

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April 6, 2015

9 Amazing Millennial, Mobile and Digital Marketing Columns: the Top Posts from March

April 6, 2015 | By | No Comments

Millennials snapping a selfie: amazing Millennial, mobile, and digital marketing columnsAnother month, Big Thinkers, another chance to review the posts you most enjoyed. Without further ado, here are 9 amazing millennial, mobile and digital marketing columns: the top posts from March. Enjoy:

  1. First up is this entry from the E-commerce Link Digest series, which lays out “10 Hugely Important Digital, Mobile, and E-Commerce Observations from the Past Week.” As the title suggests, really good stuff.
  2. Many of you enjoyed the slides from my recent presentation, “Putting Digital to Work: 4 Key Actions to Drive Digital Transformation.” And for those of you who haven’t taken a look yet, now’s your chance.
  3. Another E-commerce Link Digest enters the list at #3, this one a round-up of “6 Quick E-Commerce and Digital Marketing Winners.”
  4. Millennials and mobile remain two of the most compelling trends driving marketing and e-commerce today. That probably explains the popularity of this post, “No, Millennials Never Put Down Their Phones.”
  5. This piece, “4 Keys to Executing On Digital,” makes an outstanding companion to the presentation listed at #2.
  6. More Millennial marketing magic appears in Episode 116 of our Thinks Out Loud podcast, “Why Millennials Matter.”
  7. Big month for presentations among your fellow Tim Peter Thinks readers. The next entry on our list comes from a presentation called “Social Media Integration: All Marketing is Social.” Check it out when you get a chance.
  8. Another E-commerce Link Digest, another look at mobile and Millennials. These “8 Amazing Social, Mobile, Millennial Marketing and E-Commerce Posts” were very popular among your fellow Big Thinkers this past month, as were these “8 Must-Read Posts Connecting Content, Search and Mobile Commerce.”
  9. Finally, be sure to check out Thinks Out Loud Episode 114, “Why Data Always Wins,” just like many of your fellow readers here on the blog.

Did you like these 9 amazing millennial, mobile and digital marketing columns? Then be sure to check out these collections of prior top posts including our round-up of the top posts from 2014, these “10 Can’t Miss Mobile Commerce and Marketing Columns: The Top Posts from February 2015″ and these “10 Must-Read Marketing and E-Commerce Missives: The Top Posts from January,” as well as the ongoing the E-commerce Link Digest series. They’re all worth your time and will help you improve your overall e-commerce and digital marketing results next year.

And if you want to learn even more about how customers changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, be sure an register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

Plus, don’t miss these slides and video from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions: Three Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year”:

And, finally, you might want to take a look at some of our past coverage of the e-commerce, mobile commerce, and digital marketing overall, including:

Tim Peter

By

April 2, 2015

Wow! Digital Influenced $1.2 Trillion In-Store Last Year

April 2, 2015 | By | No Comments

Digital influenced $1.2 trillion in-store last yearWe’ve been talking a fair bit the last few days about how digital works. Supporting that idea, new research from L2 suggests that digital influenced over $1.2 trillion of in-store sales in 2014. As recapped in a Luxury Daily article on the study,

“Digital channels effect 50 percent of in-store sales, despite direct-to-consumer ecommerce only accounting for 4 percent of sales.”

Another amazing finding states:

“Prior to interaction with a sales associate, 80 percent of United States consumers know what they want and how much they plan to spend.”

Call me crazy, but I might suggest that it’s all e-commerce now. Your customers have high expectations of how you can use digital and mobile to support their needs regardless of the channel they choose to buy through. Industry leaders are making serious moves in this space, whether it’s The Gap integrating mobile in-store or Amazon launching its new Dash tool. But the fact remains, it’s time to put digital to work for your business too.

Looking to learn still more about how your customers’ changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing? Be sure an register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You can also check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about how to lead mobile-focused digital transformation within large organizations (a topic we’ve been talking about a fair bit lately). Here are the slides for your reference:

x

And, finally, you might want to take a look at some of our past coverage of the e-commerce, mobile commerce, and digital marketing overall, including:

Tim Peter

By

April 1, 2015

No Fooling: Digital Works – Thinks Out Loud Episode 117

April 1, 2015 | By | No Comments

Digital works. This week's podcast explains how to make it work for you.

No Fooling: Digital Works – Headlines and Show Notes

And since I talked about it during the show, you might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about how to lead mobile-focused digital transformation within large organizations (a topic we’ve been talking about a fair bit lately). Here are the slides for your reference:

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Technical details: Recorded using an Audio-Technica AT2035 studio condenser microphone through a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 14m 38s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], subscribe via our dedicated podcast RSS feed (or better yet, given that Google has now killed Reader, sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player below: