The rise of consumer ‘decision support services’ is transforming the way a huge variety of markets work, according to Ctrl-Shift. We’re inclined to believe them, since the Ctrl-Shift team includes some of the sharpest minds we know for identifying market trends, and their report on these ‘decision support services’ chimes exactly with the developments we’re seeing.
New research into how UK consumers book their holidays reveals a startling shift away from bricks-and-mortar travel agents and towards online research and booking.
The general trend towards online will be no surprise to anyone in the industry, but the extend to which people have already abandoned the high street may be a surprise: 53% of consumers avoid in-store travel agents altogether during booking process 72% of consumers prefer to research holidays online
The travel industry has been centre stage this week at ITB Berlin – the world’s biggest travel trade show, and one of the best predictors of upcoming trends in the industry. Here are the best bets for what’ll be shaping the travel market in the next few months and years, based on what we heard from attendees and speakers at the event.
For businesses and consumers, customer service is more important than ever. But, while you’d be hard put to find a business that disagrees, many businesses struggle to make a firm connection between the effort they put into service and its impact on their bottom line.
Whether businesses are ready for it or not, m-commerce looks set to hit the mainstream in 2012.
As part of the research for our new ebook, we dug into the latest research on consumer usage of mobiles as research and/or shopping tools. We were expecting to see usage increasing – but we were surprised by just how fast m-commerce is growing.
Here are some of the highlights, based on trends for the last six months:
It might be hard to believe, but bad reviews can be good for business. We've been digging into the data around the impact of displaying bad reviews on your website, and we've discovered some remarkable conclusions.
The surprising truth is that bad reviews have a variety of business benefits. Most significantly – and most surprisingly – they increase conversion rates: consumers who deliberately seek out bad reviews convert 67% more often than normal shoppers.
Despite the nervous economic conditions across the continent, 2011 was a bumper year for ecommerce in Europe. An end of year analysis from the Centre for Retail Research shows an increase in online sales across Europe of nearly 20% from 2010, and over 40% from 2008.
This far outstripped predicted growth, especially in France where the year-on-year growth was 24%, and Poland, where online sales soared by 33%.
The M-Commerce Pecha Kucha held by Ecommerce UK last week was a fantastic event – but more than this, it was a sign of the times.
The event was packed with marketers and ecommerce professionals all keen to hear about the latest m-commerce developments and best practices hammered out by their peers.
No one was waiting to be convinced that they need to start planning to consider adding mobile to their marketing or selling strategy - next year, or the year after. The savvy crowd already knew that m-commerce is happening now.
Consumers and businesses alike have never had access to so much information - or more trouble turning the raw data that surrounds us into something useful.
A new type of business has arisen to solve this problem, either for consumers or for businesses. We're well placed to see the massive potential in all this unstructured data, having helped major multi-channel retailers and manufacturers like Sony extract meaningful insights from the flood of information.
Brands are often nervous about hosting consumer conversations about their products or service on their own sites (or Facebook pages, or their other web real estate). They worry that the discussions will be hijacked by a few cranks and they'll end up with nothing but criticism, posioning their reputation and depressing sales.
We've analysed the data from our curated consumer Q&A tool, Reevoo Conversations, and the results indicate that brands have nothing to worry about.