Why Are The ITMS Megavendors Not Addressing Empowered IT Operations Professionals?

Why Are The ITMS Megavendors Not Addressing Empowered IT Operations Professionals?

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The Expanding Community Of Web Buyers Boosts EU And US Online Retail Growth In 2011

Forrester has just released its US Online Retail Forecast, 2010 to 2015, and EU Online Retail Forecast, 2010 to 2015. It is clear from our forecast data that online sales in the US and EU will continue to rise as users become increasingly comfortable buying in the online space. In 2010, US online retail sales grew 12.6% to a total of $176 billion. Similarly, EU online retails sales grew 18% in 2010 to a total of $81 billion. The US and EU markets are projected to grow 12% and 13%, respectively, in 2011.

Why is retail eCommerce continuing to grow?

  • There is an increase in overall web buyers. There were 5.5 million new US online shoppers who accounted for 30% of the total eCommerce sales. The EU online population grew by 13.4 million users in 2010.
  • Web buyers are spending more online. 70% of growth in US retail eCommerce sales came from existing shoppers spending more. Similarly, EU average online spend has increased 8% from 2010.
  • There is an increased level of penetration for online retail. Mobile devices and the proliferation of touchpoints have contributed to the US online retail penetration growing to 8% in 2010. The EU is also seeing steady growth; Forrester is estimating 10% penetration in the UK by 2012.
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Forrester’s US Online Retail Forecast Reports 12.6% Growth In 2010

Forrester’s US Online Retail Forecast, 2010 To 2015, launches today, reporting strong growth in the last year. “The Great Recession” appears to have ended as sales charge ahead, driven by ubiquitous connectivity and an increasing familiarity with the Web. Growth was driven by a few key factors:

  • Several million new web buyers. In 2010, 5.5 million shopped online for the first time.
  • Greater spend per buyer online. 70% of the overall growth came from existing shoppers simply buying more.
  • Online penetration of total retail sales. This rose to 8% during 2010.

According to our forecast, the web channel will grow steadily through 2015, with an emphasis on customer empowerment. Bricks-and-mortar stores will continue to be hampered by this web growth as people become more in tune with the Web and less interested in traffic and long lines. We’ll be continuing our online retail research with our long-standing partnership with Shop.org this year. Next up: The State of Retailing Online report in Q2.  If you’re an online retailer, contact me at smulpuru@forrester.com to participate in the survey and receive the report. 

 Want more details? US Online Retail Forecast, 2010 To 2015

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The App Internet: What It Means For Tablet Product Strategists

My colleague John McCarthy just published an excellent report sizing the "App Internet," a phenomenon Forrester defines as "specialized local apps running in conjunction with cloud-based services" across smartphones, tablets, and other devices. Tablet devices alone will generate $8.1 billion in global app sales in 2015, up from $300 million in 2010. This is a huge number, but as the report explains, it's only a fraction of the total spend on apps when you factor in the cost to develop the apps and reinvent the processes behind the apps. This is no surprise to companies like News Corp., which will have spent $30 million through June 30 on "The Daily" iPad app. That $30 million included major process reinvention such as building an entirely new content management system to handle the all-digital production of The Daily's newsroom.

I recommend that product strategists developing experiences for tablets read John's report. Some key takeaways:

  • Apps are a source of dynamism and innovation for tablets. What we've seen with tablets is that even on the iPad, consumers report spending more time using browsers than using apps, but apps are an important part of the experience. iPad owners in Forrester's January 2011 consumer survey report downloading, on average, 20 apps for their iPads since getting the device, and spending an average of $34 on tablet apps. 
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European Net Retail Sales Continue To Soar But National Differences Persist

We just published our European Online Retail Forecast, 2010 To 2015 that highlights the key developments in the European online retail space.

The European online retail market, which includes the EU-17 — Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK — grew by 18% from 2009 to 2010. 
Buyers will continue to flock to the web to buy: By 2015 68% of online users will have made a purchase. The north/south maturity divide continues through the time of this forecast whereas 80% of online users will have made a purchase in northern EU countries versus only 50% in the south. Sales penetration will follow suit.
 
Because of this divide eBusiness retailers operating in multiple EU countries must localize online strategies and tactics. Consumers in northern EU countries need sophisticated tools designed to meet their needs like the ability to view multiple products together to create a customized look or product composition. In contrast, online buyers in southern EU countries are relatively new to shopping and retailers must reassure them that their online transactions are secure and that products will be as expected and delivered on time.
 

The full report is available for Forrester clients here:  European Online Retail Forecast, 2010 To 2015

 

Customer Experience Outlook For 2011: Lopsided Battle For Differentiation

We recently published the results of our annual survey of the members of our customer experience professionals peer research group. The group is interesting in that they’re pros: They all work to improve the customer experience delivered by their organizations.

This year, their responses are encouraging — but also very sobering.

Here are some of the encouraging data points. A whopping 86% said that customer experience is a top strategic priority at their company. More than half work at companies that already have a single set of customer experience metrics in place across the entire company, and another 20% said that their firms are considering this move. What’s more, almost as many respondents said that their companies have a voice of the customer program in place, and another 29% said that their firms are actively considering a voice of the customer (VoC) program.

At this point I’m thinking, “Fantastic! Their companies care about customer experience, and they are implementing mission-critical programs that will help them succeed!”

Plus they’re coming from a good place. When we asked our panelists how they’d describe their executive team’s goal for customer experience, 63% of respondents said that their senior executives want to be the best in their industry, while another 13% said that their execs shoot higher and want to be seen as a customer experience leader across all industries.

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The CMO's 2011 To-Do List — Preparing For The Next Digital Decade

I recently talked to Elaine Wong at Forbes about the top priorities for CMOs in 2011.

In the past, the CMO’s to-do list hadn’t changed much from year to year. Bob Liodice, president of the ANA, indicates that the top three or four issues have been pretty consistent over the past several years: strengthening the brand, improving integrated marketing communications, aligning the organization around innovation, and improving marketing's accountability.

But 2010 was a different kind of year: the year that digital became mainstream. This surge, or tipping point if you will, of digitally-enabled business models and consumer lifestyles is changing how CMOs are approaching their to-do list in 2011. After talking to several leading marketers, Bob Liodice of the ANA, and Nancy Hill of the 4As, here's what I learned:

CMOs Begin Preparing For The Next Digital Decade

Fast-follower CMOs want to get a horse in the digital race in 2011. Some are playing catch-up, but they all display a sense of urgency to make their move to remain relevant in the next digital decade. Our prediction is that 2011 will mark a year when many CMOs will remember making significant moves to leverage disruptive technology and emerging media to gain a long-term competitive advantage. Specifically, we identified three macro trends where CMOs will:

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Motorola Xoom: Cool Product, Fatally Flawed Pricing Strategy

The Motorola Xoom went on sale today, the first tablet to ship with the Android 3.0 "Honeycomb" operating system. I've been testing the Xoom for the past few days, and here's my take:

  • The Xoom is a solid, sexy product. If the Xoom were a guy, he'd be the quarterback who occasionally flashed a GQ-style fitted suit and pocket square. The device is plenty powerful and has some nice design flair. When you use the camera, for example, it anticipates that you'll be holding it in landscape mode with your right thumb on the screen, and it simulates the radial control dial of a real camera under your thumb. There are no awkward moments, as there were with earlier Android tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Dell Streak--it's slick and fast and feels like a tablet rather than an oversized smartphone. It has all the features you'd expect from an iPad challenger (cameras, ports, Flash support, etc.).
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AllSecur Is Providing Access To A Price Comparison Site Directly On Its Site

Most eBusiness executives wouldn't dream of putting comparisons of their products with those of their competitors on their own sites. But it's time to start dreaming. If the number of customers visiting comparison sites continues to grow, we will eventually reach the point where the majority of customers use them. It will make sense for some companies to offer comparisons long before that point is reached.

Since a couple of weeks, Dutch online insurer AllSecure — which is the online brand of Allianz — provides site visitors access to price comparison site premie.nl directly from its site. After filling in the license plate of the car that they want to insure, the site automatically pulls required car information like car brand, type, age, and price. Based on this information — and some personal data that the user needs to enter— he receives a personal quote that can be customized. Next to the quote, a box with a link to price comparison site premie.nl is presented.

Once the user clicks on the link, the personal data and car information is automatically used for a comparison query on premie.nl. A new browser window is opened that shows how AllSecur compares to four other providers.

AllSecure's initiative clearly makes sense: If online buyers use a comparison site as part of their research process anyway, why not offer them access to it directly on the provider’s site? By providing a “one-stop-shop” experience, the firm can limit the chance that the buyer will go to a comparison site directly and eventually buys somewhere else.

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Which Social Media Marketing Metrics Really Matter? (And To Whom?)

We’ve been pretty vocal over the past couple of years about how marketers should define success in social media and (perhaps more importantly) how they shouldn’t define success. To put it bluntly, if you’re focusing on fans and followers, then you’re almost certainly doing it wrong.

But saying that raises the question: If the number of fans or followers you have doesn’t tell us whether you’ve succeeded as a company, then what does it tell you? And if your CEO shouldn’t be worried about the number of wall posts you’ve generated, then who should be paying attention to this number?

Since last summer, I’ve been using a structured model to help my clients focus on delivering the right social media marketing data to various stakeholders inside their organization. Social media programs throw off so much data that the key to measuring and managing your programs well is focusing each stakeholder on just the pieces of data that are relevant to helping them do their jobs. If part of your job is measuring the success of your social media marketing programs, then you need to start segmenting the stakeholder groups you’re providing that data to and tailoring the type of metrics, the volume of metrics, and the frequency of reporting you provide them.

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