How Retailers Are Using Smartphone Data & Social Analytics To Lure More Customers & Make More Profit

According to the infographic cited below: Online and web-based American retail sales will become over half of all sales by 2013; the Internet will influence 53% of all retail sales, both online and offline, by 2014; and this year, 167 million people will shop online spending an average of $1800 per person.  Utilizing data obtained from social media is being actively implemented to analyze customer behavior and address their potential needs. This knowledge, obtained via loyalty data and individual transactions, can be used to better understand consumer spending patterns; and improve sales campaign targeting. And so, I might add, competitive pricing intelligence and product assortment information and analysis is also necessary to track the patterns and trends among your competitors.

In an infographic, How Smart Devices and Social Analytics Are Transforming Retail, multichannel service firm, Symphony Teleca, shows how information produced by online tools such as mobile devices, review sites, and social networking can produce data for merchants that, if analyzed properly "in real time," can transform the way consumers shop. That is to say, retailers can provide targeted, relevant and timely offers to their customers; and, in so doing could increase their operating margins by 60%, says the infographic.

The infographic talks about how shoppers are using their smartphones to look for sales and special deals, as well as read product reviews and ratings. The idea is that, using this data obtained from social media and smartphone data, retailers can supply consumers with targeted offers when it's relevant to where they're shopping. (Of 6 billion mobile phone users, 62% of them said they hope to use location-based services one day; around a third of smartphone users have shared their location with a retail company using a check-in services).  

More on The State of Social Commerce:

* 85% of people anticipate a change in their shopping behavior in response to the growing numbers of user-generated content.

* 64% of smartphone users shop online using their devices.

* 40% of Twitter users say they search for products through Twitter.

* 60% of Facebook users said they would discuss a product or service if they were offered a discount or deal of some kind.

* 51% of online shoppers consider social sites as valuable and credible resources for researching products and services.

And how shoppers are using their smartphones:

* 33% Looked for sales and specials

* 33% Checked store info

* 32% Looked at product reviews and ratings

* 31% Compared prices on Amazon

* 31% Checked out an online store for a certain product

* 29% Looked around at other online retailers besides Amazon

* 27% Used a site that focusers on providing competitive prices

* 26% Made sure the store had a product in their inventory

* 24% Scouted the prices for certain products on a retailer's mobile site.

It's also interesting to note how social and community tools are used by shoppers:

59% Customer reviews

42% Question and answer

26% Internet forums

15% User-generated videos

13% Facebook fan page

13% Facebook newsfeed

  9% Mobile

  9% Twitter

Further, according to the infographic:

* There are 955 million active Facebook users; around 250 million photos are uploaded every day.

* Close to 7,854 accounts are created on Twitter every day; and on a day with high traffic, there are around 175 million tweets.

* Google+ had 150 million active users; and launched an update or a new feature every day last year, except one.  

Bottom-Line:

There's a lot of internet and mobile activity -- a lot -- and, as a result, there's a lot of user data out there! Consumers' decisions about making a purchase are contingent on comments made on review sites, real-time updates via mobile devices, and numerous posts on social networks. If retailers unlock this treasure chest of available data, they will have the key to creating more sales and increasing profits.

Sources for the Infographic included: Comscore, Mashable, Businessweek, Google-plus, McKinsey, Walmart, Samsung, and Starbucks.

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Gilon Miller, CMO

About Author

Gilon is a seasoned marketing, sales and business development executive with over 15 years of experience in the software and Internet business. He is the Founder and CEO of GuruShots. Previously, Gilon was the CMO of Upstream Commerce, VP of Marketing at iMDsoft and Director of Global Marketing at SAP. He earned an MBA at the MIT Sloan School of Management and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Tufts University.
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