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Half of consumers will turn to Amazon for their Christmas shopping this year

Just under a half of UK shoppers (44%) plan to complete their Christmas shopping online this year — with a majority (42%) looking to turn to Amazon first.

That’s according to findings from the Episerver report “An Interview with The Couch Shopper: The Episerver Holiday Ecommerce Report 2020,” for which the firm surveyed 4,050 online shoppers across the world and performed 1.6 billion website sessions to uncover the behaviors and trends shaping the future of e-commerce.

The survey revealed that 42% of UK shoppers plan to buy most of their Christmas presents on Amazon this year, and 8% say they plan to buy all of their gifts on Amazon.

The study found that in general, 37% of UK online shoppers visit Amazon first when they have a specific product they’re looking to purchase, and 35% begin their shopping journey on Amazon even when they do not have a specific product in mind. 

Whether it’s with Amazon or another retailer, there will be an exponential increase in online Christmas shopping this year, amid the ongoing pandemic, and a majority of which will occur through mobile devices. In its analysis of web traffic, Episerver found that 2020 e-commerce traffic overall spiked 18% year-over-year, and mobile traffic specifically ticked up 5% year-over-year — now accounting for 59% of all traffic to retail websites. 

Episerver’s survey of consumers revealed the most active shoppers are also the most likely to use their smartphones: 53% of consumers who said they shop online every day primarily rely on their smartphones to do so. When viewed as a whole, the report’s findings indicate the need for retailers to tailor their content to consumers across all types of channels and to deliver a mobile-first shopping experience this Christmas and beyond.

“As Amazon claims an increasingly larger share of the market, retailers and brands can no longer compete by using broad promotions to stand out or catch consumers’ eyes,” said Josh Schoonmaker, senior director of strategy, commerce, at Episerver. “Instead, retailers must draw consumers in with intuitive online shopping experiences, compelling content, and personalised recommendations or offers.”

You can download “An Interview with The Couch Shopper: The Episerver Holiday Ecommerce Report 2020” here.

Alexa, do I need a voice search strategy? – Why your business should consider the merits of implementing a voice search strategy

With voice search dominating the realm of SEO and business news, Jimmy McCann, Head of Digital Strategy at international digital marketing agency, Search Laboratory, discusses how voice search is becoming the default search method for consumers worldwide and why voice search shouldn’t be overlooked as part of a business’ digital strategy.  

Implementing voice search technology 

With recent partnerships being established in the world of voice search, such as the NHS and Amazon, this only scratches the surface of voice technology. The possibilities are endless and this partnership only works to emphaises the technology is here to stay, with more and more consumers creating demand for home voice assisted devices, including Amazon’s Echo and Google Home. 

In turn, a growing number of brands are turning to SEO specialists to improve their search engine results page (SERP) ranking due to the rising popularity of voice search amongst consumers. The popularity is bound to lead to an even greater influx in brands looking to gain market share and a slice of the action. 

Of course, as with any strategy, voice search can’t just become a ‘me too’ exercise for brands. Rather, the approach must be considered and highly strategic. There are many reasons why it is becoming necessary for some brands to adopt voice strategies, but rather than panic and invest in this new technology without thought, it is essential those looking to integrate voice search within their existing offering – like the NHS – to do so in a way that ultimately works to benefit the consumer and the broader business strategy. 

The impact of voice search on SEO

That said voice search is a hugely popular emergent technology that will only keep getting bigger. As it does grow, the way SEO is conducted will be impacted, and this is where larger numbers of businesses that don’t necessarily see a need for voice search considerations as part of their digital strategy may become impacted.  

Voice technology isn’t new by any means. In fact, it was first designed in the 1950s but with the new home assistant device, it has taken a place in the forefront of consumer minds. The technology is improving at such a rapid pace that it is constantly interesting consumers. Just like social media and smartphones, voice technology is here to stay in the consumers everyday life. 

Businesses who want to remain visible to consumers in the coming years will have to find a way to incorporate voice technology, or at the least an SEO approach that considers the nuances presented by voice search, into their digital marketing strategies. 

With voice searches, users do not see a full SERP and decide from there which link to click, but rather are presented with the top result or answer spoken back to them. As such, businesses will no longer be fighting for a place of page one, but rather for the top result every time, for every search term. 

Using voice to enhance the customer experience 

Voice does also offer other benefits for businesses. Building a voice search strategy isn’t just about remaining relevant – it is also about creating a unique customer experience that will build on relationships first made via computers and ultimately, build brand loyalty. The most sophisticated home assistants such as Alexa and Google Home can tell the difference between voices asking questions. This means that they can provide valuable insights about specific users that can lead to more personalised content for the consumer. 

Eventually it is predicted that voice technology will also allow brands to interact with consumers in a more natural and seamless way, with the aim of encouraging customer retention and loyalty. Finally, voice search interactions take far less time than text-based ones, which makes life more convenient for busy consumers who expect a quality experience and instant gratification every time they interact with a brand. Customers want brands to stay on the fringes of their life until needed, at which point they want immediate support and service.

As voice technology continues to grow and become more popular among consumers, it will become increasingly important for businesses of all shapes and sizes to include a voice search strategy into the overall digital marketing plan. 

Along with already changing the way people approach SEO, voice search is also giving businesses an opportunity to create an enhanced customer experience, and brands that want to compete and stay relevant will have to get on board.

Beyond that, voice search could also prove to be a great tool for increasing web traffic and beating the competition, as long as businesses have a solid voice-optimised SEO strategy in place to get their brand to the top of the SERPs. 

Amazon wins Super Bowl with Alexa TV ad

The annual battle of the Super Bowl TV advertisements took place on Sunday, with the consensus being that Amazon won with its celebrity Alexa extravaganza.

It was a simple set up – Alexa has lost it’s voice and a host of famous vocal chords step in to save the day.

And according to USA Today’s AdMeter tool, it was a winning idea, with the ad pipping the NFL’s own Dirty Dancing remake to the top spot.

Among the celebrities featuring were the company’s own CEO Jeff Bezos, Anthony Hopkins, Rebel Wilson and Cardi B (us neither).

You can check it out here:

And here’s the runner up:

 

ACE comes together to tackle online piracy

The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) has outlined an initiative to try and tackle online piracy.

Members of ACE include Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, Amazon, MGM, SKY and BBC Worldwide.

The creative sector in the US alone contributes over $1 trillion to the economy, and shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon, with consumers now able to pick from over 480 online services.

However, online content means piracy is rampant, with an estimated 5.4 billion illegal downloads of films and TV shows in 2016.

Piracy not only prevents profits from reaching the creators, but can also leave malware on machines used by downloaders.

The new initiative by ACE will see them work with law enforcement agencies while conducting research, file civil litigation and work with national content organisations.

Martin Freeman, general counsel at BBC Worldwide said: “The ACE initiative is hugely important at a time when content consumption habits are rapidly shifting and methods of piracy are becoming more and more sophisticated.”

Walt Disney Company senior executive vice president, general counsel and secretary, Alan Braverman, said: “ACE will help protect the viability of the creative community and ensure audiences continue to enjoy the high-quality content they have come to expect. It enhances our collective efforts to fight online piracy by disrupting the criminal enterprises that profit from the theft of copyrighted content, while promoting the legal market for that content, and ultimately gives consumers greater confidence that their viewing choices are not supporting unlawful activities.”

www.alliance4creativity.com

Hyundai launches UK’s first online-only car store

Hyundai has started what it claims to be the first entirely-online car store, with cash buyers able to have their brand new car delivered straight to their door.

The site, called Click To Buy, aims to streamline the process of buying a car, and you can reportedly finish your transaction within 5 minutes of opening the site.

It’s also possible to trade-in your old car, but that still requires exchanging it at a local dealership.

“The entire online process is possible to complete in about the same time as it would take to refuel your car,” said Tony Whitehorn, President and CEO of Hyundai UK, who believes the ‘haggle-free’ software is “a real benefit for those who feel uncomfortable doing so or simply don’t have the time.”

The site means you can order a brand new Hyundai from your mobile phone, but those paying through finance will still require additional paperwork.

“This is a pivotal time for the car industry as a whole and the start of what I think will be a transformative period,” explained Mr Whitehorn, “I’m delighted that we are leading the charge and we will continue to innovate within this space moving forward.”

Best global brand awarded to Apple for fourth consecutive year…

Despite attracting some questionable headlines of late, theBest Global Brands’ report devised by Interbrand has voted Apple as the ‘Best’ for the fourth consecutive year – taking into account its influence on customers, the strength it has to command a premium price, and overall financial performance.

After experiencing a 5 per cent increase in growth this year, Apple narrowly beat Google to secure the top spot; in addition to Coca-Cola (-7 per cent), Amazon (+33 per cent) and Samsung (+14 per cent). The top 29 positions were filled by automotive and technology brands, as well as the financial sector maintaining a strong performance with a total of 12 inclusions.

Interbrand’s global chief executive officer, Jez Frampton, commented on this year’s report: “These brands clearly understand their ‘anatomy of growth’ – that it’s complex, nuanced, and personal. For each brand, growth means something different, and every story is unique. The best brands are looking inward and outward, expanding into new markets, creating better experiences. They’re not just weathering change, they’re driving it.”

 

View the full Best 100 Brands list here