eCommerce Trends

Why ecommerce is critical for marketers

RichRelevance’s Chief Evangelist Jake Bailey shares his insights for marketers on iMedia Connection.

How often have you heard the phrase “reaching the right person, at the right time, with the right message?” It is a phrase that represents the Holy Grail of media. A phrase that promises hope to advertisers suffering from sleep deprivation and battling visions of dancing mortgage ladies in their heads. A phrase that, up until recently, was more of a dream than a reality.

Over the last few years, with the increase of consumer spending online, ecommerce sites have cemented their role as a critical marketing channel for brands that want to reach online consumers at the highest point of brand consideration. This ability has quickly changed the face of advertising and is reshaping how brands engage shoppers in wholly new media opportunities on retail sites, which were previously relegated to MDF and trade funds.

Read the full iMedia article

Advertisers – Where Are Your Most Valuable Customers?

Jake BaileyLet’s cut straight to the point, even though digital ad targeting has become significantly more advanced over the past few years, brand advertisers have significantly less clarity into the tools that help them reach and communicate with their most important consumers: those who are active and in-market for their particular product or brand. So, not only do brands have to deal with the fact that there are a number of entirely new marketing channels, they also have to deal with ad offerings that are confusing the market about whether or not they’re maximizing their advertising ROI. With that said, it’s no wonder to me that ad spend is still out of whack, and is largely being spent on TV. If we can’t provide the right mechanisms in the digital world, then brands will miss out on the huge opportunity to define, locate, and empower their most important customers.

We released a white paper today to help brands with this battle. Retailers sit at the center of facilitating this next digital advertising revolution, and the results we’ve seen thus far speak for themselves. This paper speaks to the WHO, WHERE, WHEN and HOW to connect with consumers, bringing them that much closer to establishing an effective targeted campaign that delivers results, but without wasting budget on unnecessary ad impressions. Every ad impression counts, and it’s the ad industry’s duty to ensure brand advertisers get the greatest return on money spent.

Give the paper a read, and take some time to consider the following: As long as there’s e-commerce, personalized brand advertising within the context of the retail environment is the most powerful, relevant method to effectively target your preferred audience.

Personalisation is essential for multi-channel retailers to be competitive

A recent article in RetailWeek here in UK, “10 Ways to Compete with Amazon” provided wonderful insights as to how retailers can best compete with the “digital Goliath” by leveraging their strengths. The author references Heritage (as in the case of John Lewis), Service (as in the case of Dixons), In-Store Environment and Added Value (as in the case of Marks & Spencer) to name a few. I’d respectfully like to add that there’s a #11 on this list of 10 ways retailers can leverage their strengths and that is taking a page directly from the Amazon playbook: Personalisation. While Amazon (and our very own CEO, David Selinger who led the personalisation effort for the R&D team there) innovated in the space by introducing recommendations, this technology has subsequently and quickly become an essential tool for multi-channel retailers to compete.

Personalisation, when done right, can provide customers with delightful experiences that introduce them to product discovery—essentially replicating the in-store experience like that of a helpful sales person. It’s no coincidence that customer-centric retailers like John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and Dixons (all customers of RichRelevance) have adopted personalisation as a way to extend their superior in-store customer service across multiple channels. House of Fraser (another customer) has gone that one step further by leveraging a loyalty program and recognising their customers across all channels.

Leading retailers like these, that choose to put the customer at the center of their business strategies, are having deeper and more relevant conversations with their consumers. And the ones that are able to connect, and realise the lifetime value of their customers, will be the ones that continue to succeed.

-Darren Hitchcock, VP of the UK/European Region

New Report Finds One in Four Christmas Shopping Excursions Took Place on a Mobile Device

RichRelevance’s inaugural UK Christmas Shopping Study reveals the e-commerce trends that will shape 2012

Reading, UK – Jan. 23, 2012 – The high street may have taken a hit this Christmas but online shopping was a bright spot for many British retailers, culminating in Boxing Day 2011 being named the UK’s biggest ever online shopping day. In a new study released today, RichRelevance, the leading provider of personalisation to online retailers, reported that mobile was a huge driver of e-commerce shopping in December, with more than a quarter of online shopping sprees taking place on mobile. The report also found that Apple iOS devices shoppers accounted for 79% of mobile purchases in December.

The first UK Christmas Shopping Study from RichRelevance analysed the shopping behaviour of 139 million consumers on many of the UK’s largest retail websites during the month of December 2011. Created to give retailers new insight into how the proliferation of tablet devices and smartphones is impacting the way British consumers shop and buy, key findings from the report include:

Mobile continues strong growth: More than one in four (27%) of online shopping excursions in the UK occurred on a mobile device during the busy shopping season. In fact, from the beginning of the month (1 December 2011), the mobile share of online shopping sessions grew steadily, rising from 23% at the beginning of the month to 31% by 31 December.

Mobile percentage of overall sales: Shoppers purchasing from their mobile devices represented just over 8% of total sales.

Christmas Day and Boxing Day: After enjoying their holiday meal and Boxing Day leftovers, consumers settled in on the sofa to shop online: on Christmas Day, 43% of all shoppers were on a mobile device and on Boxing Day the number declined slightly to 40%.

iPad and iPhone dominate mobile shopping: Apple mobile devices account for the bulk of all online non-desktop sales: just over 97% of the sales originated from an iPad or an iOS-enabled device in December 2011,

Mobile shoppers spend more than desktop shoppers: During the month of December, average order value on mobile devices was £111.86, compared with £102.20 on desktops.

“M-commerce has reached a tipping point, with mobile devices accounting for more than a quarter of online shopping and nearly one in 10 pounds this Christmas. That kind of data can’t be ignored by retailers in this rocky economic climate,” said Darren Hitchcock, managing director for UK and European territories, RichRelevance. “I predict in 2012 we’ll see retailers putting more emphasis on providing a better mobile offering and ensuring consumers have a consistent and personalised experience regardless of which channel they choose to shop.”

The UK Christmas Shopping Study analyses the shopping patterns of online consumers in the UK. The study is based on more than 139 million online shopping sessions and 3.7 million orders, which took place between 1 December 2011 and 31 December 2011 on the websites of UK retailers. The analysis was conducted on select large UK retailers who have deployed the {RR} personalisation software suite.

About RichRelevance
RichRelevance powers personalised shopping experiences for the world’s largest and most innovative retail brands, including Walmart, Sears, Target, Marks & Spencer and others. Founded and led by the e-commerce expert who helped pioneer personalisation at, RichRelevance helps retailers increase sales and customer engagement by recommending the most relevant products to consumers regardless of the channel they are shopping. RichRelevance has delivered more than $3 billion in attributable sales for its retail clients to date, and is accelerating these results with the introduction of a new form of digital advertising called Shopping Media which allows manufacturers to engage shoppers where it matters most – in the digital aisles on the largest retail sites in world. RichRelevance is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in New York, Seattle, Boston and London. For more information, please visit

3M leverages Shopping Media to build brand experiences within retail

Raj Rao, of 3M, a brand advertising client of ours and a true thought leader in the marketing & advertising world recently wrote an article featured on about his experience with Shopping Media. Raj and his team at 3M are really pushing the envelope of innovation in digital marketing, utilizing our Shopping Media offerings on Walmart, Sears and that showcases brand creative in new ways and gain insights about shopping behavior as never before. You can read the article in it’s entirety here, but I believe the most poignant extract is Raj’s point of view herein:

“Nearly half of shoppers who begin their search on retail sites make a purchase in the physical store, while 40% transact online. Pew Research found that 87% of college grads and 88% of those earning $75,000 or more each year head online to research products or services.

These numbers are a wake-up call. We[manufacturers] are used to thinking of retailers as fellow marketers who spend billions on Facebook, Google, and agencies. The truth is that they’re also premium publishers who are looking to partner with us to build distinctive brand experiences to influence shoppers and maximize sales conversion.” – Raj Rao, 3M Global Director for Digital Marketing & eCommerce

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Data Drives Relevance: CNET Intelligent Cross-Sell is Now Powered by RichRelevance

David SelingerToday we announced a partnership with CNET, the authority on technology and consumer-electronics products. Although most of you have probably used for product reviews or tech news, you may not know that CNET also aggregates data on more than five million products: specs, key selling features, compatibilities, and so on. Moreover, a small group in CNET built a unique recommendations technology, Intelligent Cross-Sell, specialized for this type of data. Flying way under the radar, they acquired some major customers and were delivering serious value.

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