In a survey of 239 mothers, whom Greystripe recruited using mobile banner ads in its network, 66% acknowledged that their smartphones play a role in their shopping trips.
Around 45% said they use their phones to locate the nearest store. The next most common use of smartphones was to compare prices. Only 15% of the women surveyed said they actually made purchases using their phones.
Since Greystripe has an interest in portraying mobile phones as an excellent place to target mothers while shopping (women make the majority of household purchase decisions, and this makes them a favorite target of the advertisers Greystripe courts), it’s not the most reliable source of research on the topic.
Other research about mobile phone marketing and women has shown more varied results. Last year, a company conducted mobile shopping survey of 1,600 women that found 94% of them were interested in more mobile shopping and mobile marketing.
In the same month, social network SheSpeaks conducted an online survey of similar size that found only 10% of women have downloaded any shopping-related applications to their mobile devices, and 62% are not even interested in doing so.
For now, whether mobile phones are indeed the key to reaching women depends largely on which indicator — shopping app adoption, interest in mobile, reference during shopping trips — you believe proves it.
Scrible, a startup that makes a browser-based bookmarklet for annotating and marking up web pages, believes its technology put its more senior competitors to shame. The team also thinks there’s still market share for the taking, suggesting that most researchers still resort to copying and pasting text into documents and printing out web pages to mark them by hand.
“We’re bringing web-based research into the internet era by empowering people to markup web pages in the browser and manage and collaborate on them online,” Scrible co-founder Victor Karkar explains.
Scrible is designed for researchers, students, bloggers, investors and anyone else who regularly digests information online. “We’re operating in the middle space between the end of a Google search and the creation of a deliverable,” says Karkar.
Once added to the user’s browser, the Scrible bookmarklet calls up the Scrible toolbar — it’s like a document text editor but designed for the web — on click. The user can then use the toolbar to add notes, highlight snippets, bold, underline, italicize or strikethrough text, and select different colors for different purposes.
The toolbar houses a few additional selections including an annotation legend, an envelope button for sharing a marked up page with contacts via email and a save option that saves a copy of the annotated web page to the user’s “Personal Library.”
The Personal Library is essentially an online inbox for saved annotated web pages. It follows the same tagging principles as Gmail, so users can categorize and sort through saved pages. Because Scrible indexes the text of saved pages, users can also perform full content search across notes, annotations and web page text.
The original inspiration for Scrible dates back to 2001 and Karkar’s frustrations around online research. He first started on an early version of the idea in 2004, but his progress was often stalled. By 2007, Karkar managed to team up with co-founder Andrew Delpha and the pair worked part-time on an early stage version of Scrible, which was then intended to be an Internet Explorer add-on targeted at the enterprise.
After a private alpha release last year, Scrible’s co-founders were met with positive feedback, but only as it pertained to the tool’s technology. The fact that Scrible was solely tied to Internet Explorer was a nonstarter, early users said. Karkar and Delpha quickly realized that they needed to remake the system to be compatible with all browsers. Wednesday, Scrible finally unveiled its reworked beta web annotation tool to the public, a launch four years in the making.
Scrible was recently awarded with a phase two $500,000 research grant from the National Science Foundation, which had previously rewarded the startup with a phase one $100,000 grant.
Your Facebook store should be different from your main website. The key is offering fans an engaging experience that makes sense within the environment. You can’t just put a shopping cart in Facebook and expect people to use it. Give your consumers a reason to become fans and give your fans a reason to purchase on Facebook. Consider offering exclusive merchandise available only on Facebook or making products available before you can find them in stores.
2. Encourage Collaboration
Facebook is the perfect environment to create a compelling and collaborative buying experience. People love sharing on Facebook — it’s what the space is built for. Letting people share this information is a great example of how retailers can join the conversation in a relevant way.
Retailers who harness the potential of comments, likes and shares will empower messages to go viral. Facebook makes it easy for your fans to share deals and purchases. Offering incentives, loyalty programs, checkin capabilities and other word-of-mouth generators will not only spread your reach further but give your fans a reason to purchase on your Facebook Page. The retailers who offer wish lists, collaborative shopping experiences and incentivized sharing on Facebook will likely see a surge in traffic and sales.
3. Create an Exclusive VIP Experience
We know from the success of companies like Gilt Groupe that people like to be “in the know” and they like to invite others to join the club. Let your Facebook fans be first in line to access new merchandise, limited edition pieces and products that are only available to them through Facebook. Your fans are more apt to share their limited-access purchase with other fans. This builds buzz for hard-to-get products and prompts Facebook users to become fans to get involved.
4. Privacy and Security are Paramount
Facebook stores that immediately ask permission to access personal data are a major deterrent for all consumers, especially those who are simply looking to browse. Offer an experience that doesn’t require fans and consumers to install an application. Consumers are wary of their personal data being tracked, so if you do require an application installation, specify what information you are going to access and what you’re going to do with it.
People like familiarity, especially when it comes to their financial data. Offering familiar alternative payment methods like PayPal or Amazon checkout will extend greater buying confidence. Make sure that consumers know you maintain the highest security during the checkout process. Make sure you only use technology partners that maintain PCI Level 1 compliance — it’s the right thing to do.
5. Make it Easy to Navigate and Work
Don’t want to lose your customer? Make sure your Facebook store is easy and intuitive to navigate. Consumers shouldn’t endure more than two to three clicks to find the product they’re looking for. Facebook recently introduced customizable navigation links on the left side of the page. Retailers can use these links to provide their customers with quick links to their top product categories. It’s also crucial to offer search capability within your Facebook store. Implementing a search bar that also offers predictive text allows a customer to get directly to the item they’re searching for.
Your website is not the community, and Facebook is not your company site. Don’t just copy and paste between the two. There is a reason why Facebook is unique — it is a community for sharing, collaborating, being the first to know, and much more. Give your fans something of value and make it fun, and they’ll reward you by telling everyone they know.