Digital trends round-up – May 2014

Each month we bring you the FreshMinds digital trends round-up – a summary of innovations, new technologies and the latest digital trends to help you navigate today’s fast-paced, tech-enabled world. This month we’re looking at a new partnership which is enabling Amazon users to purchase products through Twitter, Google Now’s new location-based product alerts and the appeal of receiving personalised offers in-store via mobile.

Amazon partners with Twitter to facilitate social shopping

A new partnership between Twitter and Amazon sees users able to order products from within the social network. By using the hashtag #amazonbasket in response to any tweet containing an Amazon product link, Twitter users can add the item directly to their shopping basket. Amazon is not the first company to partner with Twitter for this purpose. Last year, American Express and Starbucks both introduced services to enable customers to purchase goods through Twitter. The convergence of social and e-commerce opens up exciting developments for retailers. By linking consumers’ social profiles to their e-commerce accounts, brands are able to gain a deeper understanding of their customers and the role social plays in the path to purchase.

Google Now set to bring online and offline worlds closer together with location-based product alerts

Google Now has introduced a new feature to alert users when they pass a store that sells a product they have recently researched online. The technology seeks to bring online behaviour to bear offline by merging a user’s search history with real-time location data to provide them with relevant alerts. This development is indicative of a growing recognition that digital can no longer be viewed as a standalone. It needs to be integrated with other channels, including offline, for it to result in action. Google is not the only tech firm looking to integrate online and offline behaviour. In February, Facebook announced partnerships with a number of data mining firms including Datalogix, Acxiom and Epsilon to gain a deeper understanding of users’ offline shopping behaviour and use this insight to develop more targeted advertising online.

Receiving personalised offers in-store via smartphone has strong appeal to shoppers

New research from Savvy Marketing has revealed that almost two thirds of shoppers are receptive to the idea of receiving personalised vouchers via smartphone whilst in-store. These figures suggest that harnessing new technology like iBeacons to provide shoppers with targeted messages as they pass through a store could have real appeal and thereby prove to be an effective means of marketing to this group. This is especially the case for grocery retailers, who respondents trusted more than any other type of food and drink business (including brands and loyalty card providers) to provide them with information on grocery deals via mobile. Against this backdrop it’s no surprise that major supermarkets are experimenting with iBeacons. Tesco is using the technology in its Chelmsford store to remind customers to pick up pre-ordered shopping. Waitrose is also trialling iBeacons as a means of notifying customers of particular deals as they reach corresponding sections of the store.