vrijdag 11 februari 2011

Online kopen is mainstream geworden

Consumenten laten voordelen online (in)kopen niet lopen
Online kopen is mainstream geworden.

Nieuwste toepassingen met bv. smartphones en GPS maken combinatie van on- en offline retail van koopjesjagers moderne consumenten.

Recente artikelen van CNN en trendwatching.com geven aan dat consumenten zich eindeloos kunnen uitleven en hun voordeel kunnen doen, wanneer ze er een beetje moeite voor doen. En dat zijn er kennelijke velen !

London, (CNN) -- Group buying websites enjoyed massive growth in 2010 grabbing new customers and the headlines as the sector's biggest player, Groupon turned down a reported $6 billion offer from Google in early December.
But how will Groupon and its rivals fare in 2011? Is this a recession-led fad, driven by cash-strapped consumers desperate for a bargain? Or will the sector spawn a Facebook of the future and revolutionize our buying habits the same way social media has transformed communications?
In their "Top 11 Crucial Consumer Trends for 2011," trendwatching.com says group buying sites are "springing up everywhere," and are "here to stay."
And Doug Aitken, managing director of Hong Kong-based ValuUp, thinks there's nothing remotely faddy about group buying websites.
"It brings offline and online together in a very unique way, which banner ads simply don't do. It's definitely opening people's eyes up to the way e-commerce can be transactive," Aitken said.
Group buying websites like ValuUp, and the more familiar bigger brands like Groupon and LivingSocial offer discounts of up to 90% to subscribers depending on how many sign-ups they attract for a given product or service.

Pricing Pandemonium (trendwatching.com)

While consumers have always looked out for special offers and discounts, new technologies and services mean that 2011 will see total PRICE PANDEMONIUM: 
  • More consumers are constantly connected, and when they hear about new deals online can quickly and easily spread them through their social networks.
  • Increasingly, consumers will be part of exclusive networks or groups to either receive special deals or demand them.
  • Mobile devices increasingly enable consumers to find or receive dynamic deals right at the point of sale, or to compare prices online. Case in point: Amazon.com just released an iPhone app that allows users to compare prices by scanning the product's barcode, photographing it or saying its name.
Always-on connectivity is changing consumer spending habits in myriad ways. For example, coupon clipping required planning and dedication, hence wasn't that popular with consumers more interested in the here and now, but now is a near-effortless online activity. Furthermore, whipping out one’s smartphone at the counter, getting the latest deal via GPS, or barcode scanning is well, smart. And therefore a source of status rather than shame.

Brands will continue to respond with a host of innovative new business models and pricing strategies in the next 12 months, building on:

  • Group buying. The two billion consumers now online can exercise their collective buying power, helped by the host of services and social networks that make it easier than ever to organize and act. Keep an eye on 2010's big success story Groupon or their competitor Living Social. Indeed, group buying sites are springing up everywhere, from GoNabit (that covers Arab markets such as Kuwait and Dubai), to Big Lion (Russia) and Daily Deal (Germany). Or consider these two examples as confirmation that group buying is here to stay: in September 2010, Chinese group buying site Taobao sold 200 Smart cars in 3 1/2 hours, while in October 2010 Walmart used Facebook to run their own group buying offer, which got the 5,000 'likes' needed to make the deal happen within 24 hours.
  • Member sales. The old 'club' format (think of Costco) has been given a new lease on life online, where niche communities thrive. Making some memberships limited or invitation-only, only increases the perceived exclusivity; SOCIAL-LITE consumers enjoy the social aspects of shopping, while for brands, offering reduced prices privately to small groups confounds TRANSPARENCY TRIUMPH. Designer fashion brands were some of the first to offer heavily discounted ranges to select groups, via sites such as vente-privee.com, Gilt Groupe and iDeeli but member sales are now expanding to areas such as travel (Jetsetter) and home furnishings (One Kings Lane).
  • Flash sales. Both groups and member communities frequently use time-limited offers that encourage impulse buys. By limiting the time available, and frequently only making sales available to members, brands are able to shift excess inventory quickly. DellOutlet and Threadless have seen great success with Twitter flash sales, and in November 2010 flash sale site Hautelook integrated its offers into its Facebook page, so that consumers could take up the day's deal without leaving the site. Indeed, with so many daily deals, there are now sites like Yipit and MyNines that aggregate all the deals.
    Less of a flash sale and more of a weekend-sale is retailer J. Crew's online
    factory store. Open every weekend from midday Friday to midnight Sunday (EST), the site offers a limited selection of some of J. Crew's most popular pieces, produced exclusively for the factory, at reduced prices.
  • Local discounts. With more and more consumers being able to broadcast their location, either publicly via Facebook, Twitter or other dedicated location-based services, brands can offer deals directly to consumers virtually at the point of sale. These can be rewards for performing certain actions (Shopkick and Checkpoints), geo-located promotions (PlaceCast), or just geo-enabled apps such as UK-based Vouchercloud. Indeed, despite the hype around check-in game services such as Foursquare, B2C brands are finding that the best way to incentivize customers is to offer them deals (witness Gap's promotion to launch Facebook Deals).
  • Dynamic pricing. Traditionally practiced by the airline industry, improvements in real-time information are now allowing other sectors to experiment with innovative dynamic pricing models, such as the US-based Off and Away, which auctions hotel rooms, and Swoopo, a German 'entertainment shopping' site where every bid placed extends the auction's time period.

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