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Insights

Big Data Driving Insurance

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Big Data Driving Insurance

Auto insurers are already using telematics (vehicle tracking & diagnostics) including information such as distance driven and location to assess the likelihood of a driver having an accident. What if your insurer agreed to lower your insurance premiums in exchange for obtaining access to all of you car's data: speed, location, operating hours, distances driven, traffic conditions and mobile usage whilst driving?

Perhaps you’d be concerned with exchanging this significant private information and wouldn't take up the offer, but would you accept it for the teenage drivers in your family, hoping it would make them drive more safely?

AAMI's latest campaign is putting this premise to the test. They're attempting to prove who's the better driver via their AAMI Safe Drive App. The app records your journeys and analyses your driving behaviour. It then provides you with a driving score and feedback relating to your journeys. Factors taken into account include length of trips, speed, acceleration, braking and mobile phone usage. The higher score you achieve, the safer driver they consider you to be.

It's a brilliant strategy with a fundamentally noble cause of making roads safer for all users (whilst also providing AAMI with a richness of data for underwriting that they've never had access to before). The app includes gamificaiton elements such as badges allowing users to climb a leaderboard, rewards for safe drivers with free roadside assistance and a corresponding competition providing the possibility of winning the grand prize of $100,000.

Usage of telematics is commonplace in the UK car insurance market where driver behaviour scores can be used to demonstrate a driver's propensity to have an accident and also enhance insurer underwriting sophistication. The ultimate goal for insurers is to drastically cut claims.

AAMI are upfront in their Privacy Statement stating that they collect personal information via the app so that "we can… [provide] you with any benefits or rewards derived from the App and underwriting and pricing your policy or any of our products or services” as well as “assess and investigate any claims you make”. So effectively they will use the information that they gather as a factor in how your policy is calculated (either positively or negatively).

Are users fully aware of how their data is used? According to the Internet Society’s Global Internet User Survey, only 16% of internet users read privacy policies and of those, only 20% actually understand them. So it would seem that the majority customers wouldn’t have made the linkage of their chance to win $100,000 and the future impacts on their policy.

Could this data also become an asset that could be sold to help better understand driving behaviours and other driving data? Strava, a mobile fitness app that tracks tens of millions of cyclists and runners recently trialed selling aggregated usage data to town planners to help provide better planning and development outcomes for cyclists and pedestrians.

How will the abundance of customer usage data transform your industry? How would you improve your product if you had access to amazingly rich customer data? 

 

See AAMI's app in action here:


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The Power Of Haul Shopping Videos

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The Power Of Haul Shopping Videos

Haul videos are short product review videos posted online (generally to YouTube), predominantly by teens and young women espousing their adoration of recent fashion,  make-up and accessory purchases.

Haul and other shopping related content on YouTube has continued to explode with unboxing videos, product reviews and haul videos all increasing their importance in the shopper research process. Haul video views spike during key shopping periods and peak during the US holiday shopping season - primarily during Black Friday and Christmas.

The trend is clear:

  • Videos with “Haul” in the title have been watched more than 1.1 billion times on Youtube and views are up 170% year on year
  • People watched 5.6 million hours of haul videos this year alone.

This trend has seen the rise of a new generation of fashion influencers like Bethany Mota who is reportedly making half a million dollars annually and has 4.8 million YouTube subscribers (more than Lady Gaga)! There are also some great local examples of haul video success with Shoes of Prey seeing amazing results with a campaign they ran in 2010 with a 16 year old vlogger, Blair Fowler. Blair's video had over 450,000 views at the time and more than 90,000 comments (from people that were encouraged to visit the site, design shoes and write a description of the shoes for a competition). The outcome was that the video was the 5th most viewed video on YouTube for that day and contributed a massive spoke in traffic (although not instant conversions) for Shoes of Prey.

It's clear that video content isn't just being used for research ahead of time. Customers are also consuming video content whilst they’re in stores to help them make decisions. Google research has indicated that one in four shoppers say they've used YouTube to search specifically for a product they’re considering while in store.

Checkout how retailers are using video to drive site conversions for additional examples of video usage throughout the purchase process.


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Getting Personal - Online Product Personalisation

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Getting Personal - Online Product Personalisation

We’re all individuals...
— Crowd in Life of Brian - Monty Python

Whether you're taking customisation, personalisation, bespoke creations or a tailored solution, there is a considered shift from mass market to unique products. Customers no longer want to keep up with the Joneses, individuality rules and owning something unique is a talking point. This trend explains the surge in niche and one off products and services - enter the world of niches and personalisation.

Chris Anderson identified this trend in his ground breaking book The Long Tail "we equate mass market with quality and demand, which in fact it often just represents familiarity, savvy advertising and broad if somewhat shallow appeal. What do we really want? We're only just discovering, but clearly starts with more".

Online tools now provide a range of capabilities only dreamed of previously with personalised creations now possible in everything from phones to jewellery and bikes to shoes. Here are my top picks of the online personalisation leaders.

Tiny Me

A range of personalised, custom made kids toys, books, puzzles, clothes and decals. Tiny Me was started by 3 dads - with 14 kids between them! 

Shoes Of Prey

The style leaders in personalisation, Shoes of Prey was founded in 2009 and provides a 3D designer for customers to choose the shape and heel height from 12 core styles, then choose materials from soft leathers, genuine snakeskin, fishskin or vegan leathers. They custom make, ship worldwide in 4 weeks and provide 365 day returns.

Original Stitch 

This San Francisco based start-up allows customers to choose from 300 base patterns, 12 button colours, 6 collar styles, inner collar colours and add monograms all in a simple interface.

Motomaker

Customise your Motorola Android phone by choosing the front, back, trim, case and engraving. Options include finishes such as leather and timber, right down to the colour of your wall charging plug. You can then preview in 3D before placing your order.

Trek Cycles Project One

Trek encourages customers not to settle for anyone else’s bike. Each Trek Project One bike is hand built and allows you to choose your model, components, styling and fit from thousands of options.

Emma & Roe

The personalised charm builder from Emma & Roe allows customers to start with pre-built designs styled by experts or to create their own designs from a range of over 800 charms.

There are challenges around how personalisation and custom designs can scale and ensuring that personalisation options are usable and kept simple. Customers want choice and can be paralysed into not making a decision and therefore not purchasing if it all gets too hard.

What are other great personalisation examples that you've seen? What would you like to personalise that you can't yet?


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Online Buying Intentions

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Online Buying Intentions

Do consumers use the web to research products with the intention of purchasing online or to research online and purchase offline (ROPO)? Unsurprisingly, the answers depends on the type of product that they are purchasing, with online purchase intentions around the world doubling since 2011 for many durable and entertainment related categories such as books, tickets and sporting goods. The good news is that these growth categories still have room to expand digitally.

In early 2014, Nielsen surveyed 30,000 online consumers in 60 countries to identify the most popular product categories for buying online versus browsing online and the areas where purchase propensity is leading and lagging. The report helps to identify barriers to online purchasing and strategies to overcome for online sellers.

Online consumers in categories like clothing, event tickets, books or travel reservations typically have a one-to-one correlation between online searching and shopping - that is, those who browse online also buy online. Consumable products have lower online browse/ buy intention rates than non-consumable products.

The report also quantified the trend towards consumers completing mobile transactions with 52% of respondents in Asia Pacific using mobile devices for online purchases, second only to mobile device usage in the Middle East.

The research highlights opportunities for businesses to cater to shoppers that need to research and need reassurance before completing an online purchase. One of those opportunities is to actively engage consumers using both digital and physical experiences throughout their purchase lifecycle.

View the full report from Nielsen - Global Online Purchase Intentions 


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The Importance Of Brands

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The Importance Of Brands

The latest podcast from Freakonomics asks (and answers) some interesting questions about the importance of brands.

The episode centres on research from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, which looked at how subject matter experts tend to buy cheaper, store brand items like aspirin or kitchen staples (flour, sugar etc). The hypothesis is that these experts (Doctors or cooks in these instances) know enough to know that the store brand items are just as good as the more expensive name brands.

It raises some interesting questions about what is advertising and branding and why companies expend so much effort on it. Is it about informing consumers to help make good decisions or more nefarious with the intention to confuse and bewilder? Listen to find out… 




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How Retailers Are Transforming the eCommerce Marketplace

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How Retailers Are Transforming the eCommerce Marketplace

A joint initiative of Australia’s digital industry peak body, AIMIA, and the Australian Centre for Retail Studies at Monash University, the research aims to give retailers and digital media professionals an independent benchmark by which to assess their own business priorities and opportunities in the online space. 


Whilst no silver bullet strategy exists the are some pleasingly trends identified that will help to increase transformation of the eCommerce and digital space.

Key trends identified by the report include:

  • Online retailing remains a small part of the overall retail landscape, accounting for 5% of global retail spending in 2013. Online retailing is an increasingly important component of the modern marketing mix. 
  • "It's not omnichannel it's just retail". Omnichannel has passed the tipping point and is just normal retail business practice now.  Customers are driving these expectations and retailers understand that there is no on size fits all approach. 
  • Millennial consumers with their always on connectivity are driving expectations and providing opportunities with real time media and new technologies. 
  • The store should be central to an omnichannel execution. Stores have the ability to engage customers in tactile ways, stimulate senses and stir emotions. 
  • There is a strong sales growth linkage to the personalisation of offers and integrating customer information to a single source.
  • Retailers see management and analysis of available data,  keeping up with the pace of change, and targeting the right potential customers among the key future challenges for the next 12 months. 


Opportuntiies for retailers:

  • Opportunities for non standardised products ( I.e. Games and consumer electronics to increasing ther share of the online retail spend mix as customers continue to expert these retailers to offer comparible services. 
  • Depending on the brand, opportunities exist around new technology and media such a real time targeting and tools to target changing millennial consumer expectations. 
  • Challenges around targeting customers and analysis of available data can be addressed in a staggered methodical approach, presenting opportunity for differentiation and optimisation. 
  • Email is still an under utilised marketing tool with significant improvement opportunities in the area of automated and triggered campaigns as well as customer and lifestyle segmentation. 

You can download the full AIMIA Research Findings now. 



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Immersive Digital Experiences

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Immersive Digital Experiences

There is a strong trend of brand experiences becoming more entertaining, immersive and capturing customer’s imagination and attention. Immersive digital experiences provide an opportunity to communicate a brand’s narrative at scale and in non-physical environments. Customers’ expectations in this area have increased substantially as the quality of campaigns and digital tools increases.

The following example from Google is a great use of digital tools to provide an engaging online experience to customers. In the Google Night Walk example, narrators lead you through a walking tour of Cours Julien, a neighbourhood of Marseille, France. It’s immersive, educational and is augmented with data from Google's Knowledge graph as you progress.

Experience Google Night Walk for yourself:

Google's proof of concept reveals an opportunity for disruption in the travel industry for certain types of trips (why spend 24 hours in the middle seat of a plane travelling to Europe?).

The same immersive concept applies to many retail examples allowing customers to personalise or try on items as well as interacting with the full range of products like the following examples form Kate Spade and Sport Chek.

Kate Spade

Sport Chek




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Omnichannel Retail Trends

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Omnichannel Retail Trends

Crosschannel, multichannel, omnichannel... Confused?

There has been significant change in how retailers interact with customers over the past 5 years. Historically, the trend was driven by an internal channel centric view of how organisations can sell. Ultimately, the retailers and solutions that will win will have the customer and the customer experience at the heart of the solution and be driven through customer choice.

The online retail landscape will continue to evolve to deliver this customer focus. I’ve provided 4 presentations below that highlight some of these omnichannel retail trends.

Teradata & Retail Touchpoints

Provides metrics and insights around omnichannel marketing approaches. Importantly, they highlight that success is no longer defined by how you want to sell, but by how customers want to buy. 

Accenture

Provides a summary of trends and case study examples of the omnichannel approach building a seamless customer experience. The most relevant aspect for me is that customer journeys are becoming dynamic, accessible and continuous (they can start and stop at multiple points in the journey. 

Sapient Nitro

Examples of omnichannel leadership from Madonna, Martha Stewart and Arriana Huffington. These leading ladies executed the required concepts before the term omnichannel existed.

 

Propane Studio

Provides a good summary of how current trends such as personalisation impact different retailers and provide example executions. 





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Luxury Goods Online - How Shoppers Research & Buy

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Luxury Goods Online - How Shoppers Research & Buy

Recently, Google partnered with Ipsos to reveal how affluent consumers research and shop for high-end fashion, accessories and jewellery. 

Unsurprisingly, they found that people shopping for luxury goods are among the most digitally savvy, they use the Internet more than any other avenue for research, they use multiple devices and they still want to experience products and finalise purchases in store.

My six key takeaways from the research:

  • Even though 82% of luxury purchases occur instore, 78% of shoppers research online before they buy.
  • Affluent buyers  are more likely to use multiple connected devices (PC, tablet, smartphone) than the general population and in emerging markets they own twice as many devices.
  • Convenience and access to good deals are the key motivations for purchasing online, whilst the main barrier to purchasing online is the desire to experience the product first hand.
  • Luxury shoppers multi-task by interacting with digital devices whilst consuming offline media (TV and magazines). This is more likely in emerging markets with over 80% multi-screening whilst watching TV.
  • There is a preference for immersive advertising formats such as video and 3D imaging to effectively bring luxury items to life online.
  • This research highlights some key opportunities for luxury omnichannel retailers, particularly with respect to linking offline and online marketing efforts, adopting a digital marketing attribution strategy and offering a good online experience regardless of the device.


Download the full research study.
 

Google Luxury Shopper Research




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