Tag: Shopping

#PositiveCoronavirusNews for Shoppers as Rishi Sunak plans emergency cut in VAT to rescue ailing economy #FinancialNews

Rishi Sunak plans emergency cut in VAT to rescue ailing economy

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/rishi-sunak-plans-emergency-cut-in-vat-to-rescue-ailing-economy-l6glk27rp

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How to Prepare Your Brand for the Not So Distant Future: 2.22.22

Where will the world be on February 2, 2022? What can we expect the business landscape to look like? What brands will see success and which ones won’t? What will be important to consumers?

All of these are important questions that are top of mind for marketers and will continue to be in the months and years ahead. During #SMWONE Suzy CEO Matt Britton tapped into up to the minute research from his team to play the role of futurist and paint a broad picture of the world we will be living in on the other side of COVID-19.

Here are the primary insights and takeaways:

  • Consumers want variety; not quantity when it comes to their purchases
  • Secondary and tertiary cities are on the path to become the new “hot spots”
  • People are ultimately more fascinating than brands and influencers will be behind the brands that take off

Living: the “accordion effect”

According to Britton, the global pandemic will result in an “accordion effect” in which people will gravitate away from the big cities like New York or San Francisco. Meanwhile, secondary and tertiary cities like Columbus, Ohio, Denver, Colorado, and Denton, Texas are on the path to become the new “hot spots.” “Suburban sprawl simply is not that appealing to the millennial generation,” he added.

What are the tangential effects of this transition? Appreciation is these lower-tiered markets and home prices in areas like New York or San Francisco leveling off. With this, we may see a trickle-down effect whereby there is a resurgence in automobile purchases. This potential increase in demand for consumers buying cars, however, could result in reduced demand in the long-term, for ride-sharing companies like Lyft and Uber preferred for their ubiquity.

Buying: consumers want variety

Consumers want variety; not quantity when it comes to apparel. One may assume this would open the window of opportunity for retailers but in a down market, this isn’t the case. Britton elaborated with several examples including J.Crew recently filing for bankruptcy and Gap claiming some of its stories will never reopen.

“These companies surely lean too heavily into a brick and mortar layout and did not pivot nearly fast enough to an e-commerce model,” Britton explained.

He pointed to Rent the Runway (RTR) and Ipsy, recently announcing it surpassed $5M in revenue, as prime examples of business models that will continue to be sustainable because the trends of consumers wearing garments less and less or wanting the convenience of beauty products sent to their home is not going to reverse.

Another important retail trend: companies will increasingly look to take over control of their own consumer experience. Nike, for instance, pulled its products off of Amazon this past November. This also holds for the CPG space. In a world of Amazon Prime, companies including Million Dollar Shave Clubface increased pressure to establish a more scalable e-commerce strategy.

“If I’m the CPGs, I’m trying to form a coalition where there are prime benefits where Costco, with traditional CPGs, can compete against Amazon, and maybe P&G one day will make the same decision that Nike made,” explained Britton.

The growing role of influencers

Surfacing headlines are posing the common question: could the coronavirus kill the influencer culture? Per Britton, “influencer culture is just begging and it is here to stay.”

Something Navy fashion blogger cracked a deal with Nordstrom and started to sell her own clothing. In this wavelength, he also mentioned Danielle Berstein who with her “We Wore What” blog is building a bigger audience through socially responsible posts across content and supporting small businesses with her efforts. IN turn, she’s seeing tremendous success via launching new products with numerous retailers.

“People are ultimately more fascinating than brands and influencers will be behind the brands that take off.”

Look no further than the TV space for prime examples of this idea, specifically the story of Oprah Winfrey’s rise to fame as she became a brand in her own right. The same trend will likely take form within the fashion space, per Britton. Influential people who have the right audiences and are built from the ground up will be able to create sustainable, digitally-native businesses that evolve into the new Gaps and the new Nordstroms of the future.

Brands as “ingredient” or “helping” brands

Years ago Home Depot coined the tagline “You can do it. We can help.” As consumers realize they can no longer rely on the services that they once did in a pre-crisis environment, they are now resorting to their own devices. 43 percent of dog owners, for instance, claim they will switch to DIY grooming.

Mattel Playroom, as another example, is using this time to encourage families and children to come up with their own toys in its “Play is Never Cancelled” — this concept of taking what you bought from us and make it bigger and better. Finally, Eva Longoria shocked the Internet when she took to dying her own hair in a L’Oreal ad she filmed herself from her house.

Whether these new habits actually take hold post-COVID, there is a powerful meaning behind brands taking an uncertain time and empowering consumers by giving them the raw ingredients to push forward — a role Britton referred to as “helping brands.”

This is also the case for the food and beverage industry as food preparation has come back into the home. Seventy-five percent of consumers believe they’re more skilled in the kitchen now and over 50 percent believe they will continue to cook more after the crisis. “This will create a substantial shift where these companies who have relied on their packaging and merchandise for years now have to reinvent themselves in a world where their products will be bought digitally, and more consumers are cooking at home on a regular basis,” said Britton.

Entertainment: redefining fun

In the absence of live events, platforms like TikTok and Houseparty are allowing the ability for brands and influencers to collaborate in meaningful and compelling ways. Houseparty specifically saw 17.2M total downloads in March with users carrying out virtual dinner parties, celebrating birthdays, and playing trivia and Pictionary to pass the time at home.

Gaming is also taking off with users engaging with one another on Animal Crossing esports and newcomer apps like Squad. In terms of music, platforms Fortnite and Instagram have become central and taken over the role of “concert venue.” Travis Scott did an entire performance in the form of an avatar on the Fortnite platform that drew in over 12M concurrent viewers. DJs too are using this moment of time to redefine their personal brands, DJ DNice rising to the top for his daily quarantine sets performed on Instagram that draw celebrities like Jennifer Lopez to the crowd.

Work and travel: a slow return

Britton believes travel will come back in full force much like the hospitality space, but it won’t be immediate. As companies struggle with budget cuts and want to avoid the liability of returning to work at the office too quickly, many are taking it upon themselves to postpone major events and issue work from home mandates into 2021.

Similarly to dining out, however, there is an inherent desire to travel and it will return. What is likely to be more apparent in the near future is people opting to travel by car when they’re not as ready to jump on a plane right away. Enter the C2C models of businesses like Airbnb who, despite recently laying off thousands of employees, have a likelihood of finding success for cash strapped homeowners looking for more income and individuals who want quick getaways that are safer than returning to air travel.

Regarding the future of the workplace, businesses are taking serious consideration that not every person across every department needs to be working from the office in order to collaborate and giving employees flexibility as to where they live can boost morale. In short, Britton believes companies will reevaluate their spaces.

Learning

While many workers thrive from home, students are struggling to prosper in a remote learning environment, according to Britton.

For younger generations, school is a place for building friendships, escaping from the house, learning responsibility, and seeing their friends and building core communication and interpersonal skills. 54 percent of parents with students engaged in a remote learning situation due to COVID-19 say it’s a daily struggle to support career and parenting during the day per recent findings from Suzy.

When assessing the 20 skills most in demand today, they are very trade and skill-based including items such as cloud computing, SEO, UX design, and video production, all of which aren’t traditionally taught in a liberal arts environment. The major takeaway: the technology companies are where the jobs are, where GDP is expanding and this is not likely to change. For this reason, it’s unlikely students not want to incur debt for a system that doesn’t prepare them to succeed in this capacity. “There are so many skills in demand that aren’t skills where you’re a jack of all trade or a master of none. I expect us to see a reverberation of demand for skills-based learning and skills-based schools versus generalist schools,” said Britton.

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The post How to Prepare Your Brand for the Not So Distant Future: 2.22.22 appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/06/how-to-prepare-your-brand-for-the-not-so-distant-future-2-22-22/

Here’s How Facebook and Pinterest are Making Shoppable Content Easier to Navigate

The number of Pinners who engaged with shoppable product pins has increased nearly half (44%) year-over-year. During a time when browsing the aisles of a favorite store just isn’t possible, the platform has doubled down on its exploration of ways to improve product discovery and customize listings with a focus on facilitating purchase behavior and mimic that IRL storefront look and feel.

Last month, the platform unveiled features allowing users to shop in-stock products inspired by their own Pins. It also introduced a new Shop tab that functions as a personal shopping list. Fast forward to today, Pinterest is making an even bigger push for shoppable content with a new feature, “Shopping Spotlights,” that centers on purchases driven by curations from guest editors, including influencers and publishers.

Shopping Spotlights

In a statement to WWD, Amy Vener, Head of Retail Strategy and Marketing at Pinterest explained the impetus follows an 18-month theme in product development around bridging the gap between people finding inspiration and enabling them to take action. “Putting [Pinterest] users in the hands of these experts based on trends that are timely, and connecting them to the products they can buy, was a key reason why we launched the Shopping Spotlights feature.”

Shopping Spotlights is accessible via a feed of highlighted panels along the top of the “Search” tab. Content is hand-picked by guest experts and fashion leaders including author Elaine Welteroth, fashion blogger Blair Eadie, and interior designer Sarah Sherman Samuel. Per the official announcement, they will soon be joined by top fashion and lifestyle publishing partners Refinery29, Domino, Who What Wear, InStyle, Nylon, and Harper’s Bazaar. Beyond editors’ picks of influential fashion, publisher, and home tastemaker content, users are able to more seamlessly shop curated ideas based on the most relevant Pinterest trends of the moment.

How does it work? Simply tap through on any Spotlight to see themed collections including products linking directly to in-stock pages where you can make your purchase. In some cases you’ll encounter items from brands who are directly contributing to notable causes such as COVID-19 relief. The platform reports that over the past few weeks, searches for “help small businesses” and “support small businesses” have increased by more than 350 percent.

Facebook “Shops”

Similarly to Pinterest, Facebook is making its own moves to enhance its platform for the purpose of bringing people the joy of shopping as well as help businesses in their pivot to e-commerce.

The platform currently has its Marketplace while Instagram offers the capability to buy products featured in posts and ads. Its latest efforts, however, go even further. Called “Shops” the latest update makes it possible for businesses to turn their Facebook and Instagram pages into digital storefronts. Announced via a live stream, CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained that expanded e-commerce is vital to rebuilding the nation’s economy. “We’re seeing a lot of small businesses that never had online businesses get online for the first time,” he said.

Each business can select the products they want to feature and then design the shop to their liking including picking a coverage image and accent colors that showcase their brand. Beyond the brand’s Facebook page and Instagram profile, products will appear in stories or in promoted content.

In-app and Live integrations

As the update develops, Facebook is working towards purchases made directly from a chat within WhatsApp, Messenger or Instagram Direct. It also plans to integrate loyalty programs with shops and give users the chance to shop while they engage in a live stream. In this scenario, brands can tag items from their catalogs so they appear at the bottom of their Live.

Finally, Instagram Shop is slated to launch this summer where users can browse items in Instagram Explore. There they can find inspiration from collections from their favorite brands on the @shop account. Later in the year, it plans to add a dedicated shopping tab to its navigation bar.

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The post Here’s How Facebook and Pinterest are Making Shoppable Content Easier to Navigate appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/05/heres-how-facebook-and-pinterest-are-making-shoppable-content-easier-to-navigate/

Mum shares tricks for saving money on grocery shopping during coronavirus lockdown

Morgan Prangnell, who’s a mum to an eight-year-old, shares how she saves money on her grocery shopping (Picture: Morgan Prangnell)Found yourself …

Mum shares tricks for saving money on grocery shopping during coronavirus lockdown

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Supermarket opening hours on Easter Monday for Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Aldi, Lidl and Co-op

With most stores closed yesterday, some people may need to retire today to pick up some more essential items, so we’ve rounded up the supermarket’s …

Supermarket opening hours on Easter Monday for Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Aldi, Lidl and Co-op

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Supermarket opening hours on Easter Monday for Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Aldi, Lidl and Co-op

With most stores closed yesterday, some people may need to retire today to pick up some more essential items, so we’ve rounded up the supermarket’s …

Supermarket opening hours on Easter Monday for Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Aldi, Lidl and Co-op

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Why Pinterest’s Verified Merchant Program Will Help You Reach New Audiences

For years Pinterest has served as a popular source of inspiration and creativity. As we continue to navigate through the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19, and people around the globe continue to practice social distancing, even more are turning to the platform as a primary destination for shopping and discovery.

More specifically, over the past two weeks, Pinterest observed a significant uptick in the interest of areas spanning home, self-care, and kid-friendly food and activities. Keywords being used the most include “home organization” (+43%), “spa day at home” (+19%), makeup tutorial for beginners (+180%), and “kid-friendly recipes” (+64%)

In response to the increase in traffic and what the company is referring to as an “unprecedented change in modern retail,” Pinterest is offering retailers the opportunity to reach their audiences in the places where they’re most interested to shop.

THE VERIFIED MERCHANT PROGRAM

The Verified Merchant Program is officially open to all U.S. businesses but was introduced with a select group of retailers including Quay Australia, Ruggable, Filson, Coyuchi, and Lotuff Leather who were manually vetted against Pinterest’s criteria for high-quality customer service experiences.

Aside from earning a fancy blue checkmark on their profiles, verified merchants have the capability to connect their catalog directly to the platform triggering a ‘Shop’ tab, through which they can amplify all of their shoppable products in one convenient spot. In addition, these products will be displayed within dedicated shopping experiences like when users are browsing related products.

From a measurement standpoint, merchants will gain early access to Pinterest’s new Conversion Insights tool that encompasses both organic and paid conversion sights enabling you to measure the impact of your brand across site visits, checkouts, and sales over multiple attribution windows.

With background into the program laid out, the next question becomes, ‘how do I get my brand verified?’

  • To begin, upload your product feed to Catalogs. This is the quickest way to get your products on to the platform and generate Product Pins which will tell users key information such as price, availability, a brief description as to what the product is,
  • Next, install the Pinterest tag. An important benefit of tags is that they help streamline the tracking process regarding actions coming from potential customers. If you don’t wish to use Pinterest’s tag, you can opt to use a compatible tag manager.
  • Meet Pinterest’s Merchant Guidelines. At a high-level, these requirements emphasize accuracy, transparency, and high-level details usable for both Pinners and customer service providers.

PROGRAM PERKS & THE FUTURE OF E-COMMERCE

While each brand should do their due diligence of accessing the fit and viability of the program against their specific goals, there seems to be reasonable pay-off across the board. Pinterest receives more accurate, informative Pins, brands get a boost in exposure, and users can engage with personalized and targeted experiences compatible with their interests and needs as they quarantine.

“As consumers shift their spending to online channels, brands should inspire Pinners and create a shopping experience that feels more like ‘real life,’ bringing a sense of normalcy and delight to challenging times,” Pinterest reiterated in its blog. With the length of ‘stay at home’ orders still up in the air, this shift will continue to grow the longer we’re confined.

For more information on the program including how to apply, you can check out this page. Pinterest’s Head of Global Retail Strategy, Amy Vener, will also lead a global webinar next Tuesday, April 7 (2pm ET) with special guests to unpack insights surrounding the evolution of retail we’re currently experiencing.

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The post Why Pinterest’s Verified Merchant Program Will Help You Reach New Audiences appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/03/why-pinterests-verified-merchant-program-will-help-you-reach-new-audiences/

All new rules and opening hours for Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Lidl, Aldi and Asda

Supermarkets across the UK have introduced a number of new rules and opening hours in response to the UK blockade. Supermarkets are only a handful of…

All new rules and opening hours for Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Lidl, Aldi and Asda

Breaking Business News / Coronavirus News

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Coronavirus: Supermarkets limit shoppers as rules tighten

Shops have brought in a host of measures following the introduction of strict new government curbs.

Coronavirus: Supermarkets limit shoppers as rules tighten

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Tesco stops sale of skimmed milk and multibuy offers to meet demand for other products

Queues outside a Tesco store in Shropshire (Picture: PA Wire )Tesco will no longer sell skimmed milk and scrap multi-pack offers to allow suppliers …

Tesco stops sale of skimmed milk and multibuy offers to meet demand for other products

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me