I’m always on the lookout for interesting articles to share. You can share articles you find interesting with me on Twitter at @Bazaarvoice.

Men, let robot find your size at jeans store run by former Amazon exec
Amy Martinez for Seattle Times

Retailers have always known: Men shop differently than women. They prefer to get in and out quickly, without much discussion with associates. This shopping style is reflected in their attraction to online commerce – 70% of affluent men prefer to research and buy online. Explains Ben Lerer, founder of Thrillist:

“Men don’t hate fashion, they just hate shopping the way it’s designed for women.”

To serve these tastes, a new store aims to combine the hassle-free, “utilitarian” experience of shopping online with the ability to try on clothes before buying. Men enter a dressing room, select jeans they’d like to try on, and different sizes are sent to the room by robots. They pay for what they like and are on their way. We wrote about how retail stores will become more digital here. Can stores like these help brick-and-mortar compete with online shopping?

Mobile Shopping Catches on with Affluent Consumers
via eMarketer

It’s not just men who enjoy the convenience of shopping online, of course. More affluent shoppers choose convenience as a “very important” reason for shopping online than any other reason. And now the convenience of mobile is wooing these affluent shoppers as well. From 2011 to 2012, shopping or purchasing via mobile among affluent shoppers increased from 22% to 38%. More impressively, conducting mobile product research more than doubled from 23% to 51%.

Mobile shopping is especially popular among younger shoppers in this segment. About half (49%) of affluent consumers under 45 have shopped or made a purchase via a smartphone, compared with 22% of those over 45. As more well-off shoppers turn to their phones and tablets for product research and buying, luxury brands (and really, all brands) will need excellent mobile experiences to capture their wallets.

Buzzworthy: Social at the Heart Creates Impact
by Wendy Clark for Coca-Cola Journey

When a study from Coca-Cola last week showed that online buzz has no impact on short-term sales for the brand, the internet went nuts. Here was social superbrand Coke showing that TV outdid social for sales. I was shocked at how many marketers missed the important point that no medium, when viewed in isolation, tells a complete story. Social, TV, print, digital – all media works together today to be effective. Coke’s senior VP-integrated marketing communications and capabilities Wendy Clark wrote as much in her response piece:

“No single medium is as strong as the combination of media.”

Our own response to the research was featured on Coca-Cola Journey as well.

Mobile Shoppers Prefer Retailer Web Sites To Apps
by Steve Smith for Media Post

In a survey, more than half of people said they made at least one mobile purchase on their cell phone in December, and 31% said they made two to three. What’s driving this mobile buying? Reviews. The survey found that product reviews were “the key driver behind people making purchases after using their mobile device for shopping” – even beating out price comparison.

If the other three articles tell us anything, it’s that there is only one shopping channel nowadays – the omnichannel, where people research on their phone while trying on clothes in a store, watch a TV commercial on their tablet, and then buy in-store before having the item shipped to their home. One of the constants across the entire omnichannel is the need for trusted opinions from real product owners – and brands have to make these available everywhere consumers are looking for them.

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