What’s Trending in 2015?

Hello!

It’s the last day of the year 2014 and we hope it was a good year for you! It’s been an interesting year for us here at Social Pandora as we added more clients to our portfolio, added more team members and experimented with the technological trends of 2014. So as we say goodbye to another year and welcome 2015, our team collectively worked on this post to bring you our top trends for 2015 across various fields. Targeting various interests as we notice how big of a year 2015 will be!

2014 saw a boom of apps, health food trends and color schemes, so too will 2015 with some additions of course 😉

Web Trends for 2015:

  1. It’s all about the Mobile: According to Google’s survey, 48% of users said that if a site didn’t work well on their smart phone, it made them feel like the company didn’t care about their business enough and therefore they weren’t interested in shopping from them. Also 90% of people use multiple devices at once so it is wiser for you to get your website optimized for mobiles and tablets, and make them better than the desktop version.
  2. Get your Crawler Errors fixed! Google increases the rankings of your site if it is without any errors. Crawler errors will prevent users to get to your site and bring your traffic to an all-time low. So get those errors fixed and watch up to 5% increase in your traffic!
  3. Parallax Scrolling: Readers of your posts seem to enjoy parallax scrolling as it gives them the illusion of depth and movement, which increases user engagement. Parallax scrolling is difficult to pull off but if done right – you can add layers of images to get a 3D effect, think of products selling at its best!
  4. Infinite Scrolling: The more you use your touch screen devices, you do more scrolling than clicking! So incorporating this into your web design technique loads content little by little and keeps adding additional content as you read. Your readers will find that the page does not load as slowly anymore and users can read in small segments at a time!
  5. M-Learning- Mobile Learning makes use of the device to make payments, deliver content in bite sized chunks ensuring user’s recall ability. M-payments facilitate novel methods to share and split costs for both products and services. Also known as fair splitting– ‘Audi Unite’ in October 2014 enables customers in Sweden to share a car in private network of 5 users. The app allows users to view location and availability and can access it using a smart key fob. And as per the agreement, drivers are charged either a usage base fee or monthly fixed fee.
  6. Step into the fast lane! : More consumers are pressed for time and expect companies or brands they buy from to provide a fast lane to beat waiting times. While it can’t be done for all services or situations, it works in your favor as you get more customers to stop by; move from the ‘slow’ to the fast lane; finish up and go. Something like fast food restaurants getting quick table turnarounds. Notable example: Include Starbucks with their ‘Order Ahead’ function, Pizza hut and Taco bell.
  7. Internet of things: 4.9 billion connecting things will be in use in 2015 and businesses will need to spend time and money on designing, implementing and operating the internet of things. As more devises become connected, new ways of delivering value from them will be the big thing in the coming months.
  8. Gamification: Applying game mechanics and design techniques to engage and motivate your audience. Learners recall only 10% of what they read and 20% of what they hear. If visuals accompany any presentation or interactive content, users tend to remember them. Storytelling with more visuals than text increases the ability to communicate with your audience quicker.

Color Trends for 2015:

The next year is all about the cool blues and greens- shades of olive green, bright oranges and cobalt blues make for a colorful & chic palette. Grey is the perfect neutral backdrop and can be brightened up with a palette of Mediterranean blue and green with some orange. Renaissance inspired patterns and textures are the pick for the spring and summer of 2015. Choose from a range of olive and bottle greens to make your home feel warm, look earthy and organic and pair it with a gray neutral or go bold with pink and orange for a vivid outlook.

Fitness and Health Food trends for 2015:

As more people join the health foods bandwagon; it’s hard to keep up with the trends! From goji berry to acai berry to chia seeds and the more recent Garcinia cambogia it can be very confusing while shopping! From quinoa to millets, the attention has now moved to Teff- A grass cultivated in Ethiopia. It is high in calcium, iron, fiber and protein and has a sweet taste to it.Tastes great as a side dish or a baked main dish.

More greens like kale, Beet greens or beet spinach is the next big thing. Tastes good in smoothies, soups or as a salad. You can even bake them for a salty snack. Grass fed dairy and meat– Meat and dairy from livestock whose diets are limited to grass fed legumes. They are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and are great if you’re looking for a healthier alternative. Nut based butters and cheeses are a sure fire way to lower calories while keeping your taste buds in check. Made from almonds, macadamia nuts- milk, cheese and butters are made the traditional way and they taste great! They are the perfect snack while also boosting your vitamin E and B12 intake.

The fitness trends to look out for are:

  1. Aerial Hammock Yoga– made famous by Pink and Vanessa Hudgens and the cirque du soleil this workout is great to improve flexibility, stay active and get lots of cardio in.
  2. POUND: From Zumba , dance workouts have moved on to something called POUND which incorporates sticks called ripsticks to give a full body workout that is fun, and dynamic.
  3. PILOXING: Pilates and Boxing have joined forces to bring you a workout that is both fun and works on your stability and balance to give you a leaner, toned look.

Some great alternatives to HIIT and Tabata training eh!

Video trends for 2015

  1. Keep the content short: Maximum impact in minimum time.
  2. Make videos interactive: Like customizable story-lines, combining games, music with ads.
  3. Humanizing your brand: Videos are the best way to create deeper relationships with the audience. So creating 60 second videos with a strong message is the next hot thing in 2015.
  4. Use homepage videos, web chat to interact with your customers and increase conversation.
  5. Create video tutorials or how-to’s to educate and inform your audience.
  6. Incorporate some humor: Using humor and easy-to-digest information in formal presentations to target a wider audience.
  7. Make use of mobile video ads

Social Media and Digital Media trends in 2015:

  1. SEO will be for more focused on technical elements and be a valuable part of content marketing.
  2. Mobile ads: It is estimated that 40% of all paid traffic will come from mobile in 2015.
  3. Sites that aren’t optimized for mobile SEO will fail: Google has been penalizing sites that generate errors for mobile users. So remove all the errors and optimize your mobile website.
  4. Using more long tail keyword searches for mobile as mobile users devour information differently from desktop users.
  5. Link Building: Google’s Penguin algorithm ensures good quality content and links are earned rather than being manipulated.
  6. Google’s Pigeon algorithm enables data to be more useful, relevant and local.
  7. Wearable Technology: This could change the web design and SEO industry completely and it is exciting to see what is in store!
  8. 8. Brand Mentions will be as powerful as links: With Google penalizing manipulated links, Google is placing more emphasis on brand mentions for achieving higher search rankings.
  9. 9. Move from G+: After Google Authorship was killed due to low user rates, people may not be using Google+ as much and Google may put more emphasis on Facebook and Twitter to gain social signals.
  10.  Instagram is best for image marketing
  11. Twitter’s new business model will provide better ROI: When compared to Facebook, Twitter promises to give better ROI on ads as Facebook is touted to increase their ad spending for consumers wanting to grow their business.
  12. 3D Printing: To create personalized brands and product offerings.

Design Trends:

  1. Flat Design: Flat design gives websites a clean and polished look, open space, crisp edges, works seamlessly with responsive design and has quicker load times.
  2. Typography: More flat fonts, billboard inspired fonts that are similar to handwriting and is clearer and sharper to read. The logo, titles, fonts and links should fit the company’s style and set the mood and tone for the website. It all brings the text to life!
  3. Use Bigger, richer images: Create eye catching blog graphics, beautiful photography that convey good information.
  4. Wearables: Wearable technology as we mentioned earlier will blend the smart phone and your watch to create a statement while also having data at your finger tips!

So there you have it, an exhaustive list of trends in the year 2015 across various categories!

Have we missed anything out? Have you used any or all? What do you think will be trending in the new year?

Let us know!

-Social Pandora

 

 

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Are you measuring up? Performance indicators for Retail Marketing

 measure success

(Image by Shutterstock)

 

Yay’ it’s Friday!

 Did you have a good week? By good we mean busy of course! We know that it’s almost the end of the day but, we had promised a post on metrics and we’re delivering on that promise now!

Whichever industry you’re in, KPI’s are always measured. You need to understand how well you’ve performed, right? It’s no different for retailers either and having the right metrics and KPI’s are essential for having that competitive edge. If you aren’t measuring it, you’re likely to miss a few key aspects of your business and will eventually lose out on opportunities.

It can be confusing at first to know which ones to measure so to help you get started we’ve put together a list of retail KPI’s and metrics to monitor your performance.

We begin with a few suggestions by SocialBakers

Social media metrics:

  1. Fan /Follower Growth: How many new fans are you gaining during a select time frame?
  2. Engagement rate: The number of users interactions (Likes, comments, mentions, re-tweets, replies and shares)
  3. Response rate: The percentage of user posts or questions that the administrator responded to
  4. Response time: The average amount of time it takes for the administrator to respond to user posts or questions
  5. User activity: Identifying the hours and days of the week your users are engaging most frequently
  6. Shareability: The number of shares and re-tweets a post gets
  7. Interactions: The number of interactions that a page or post receives and the types of interactions (likes, comments, re-tweets, replies and shares)
  8. Direct ROI for hits on the page- After posting content on your page or twitter profile, which includes a link to the product on your online store, pull analytics off your website to see if the consumer was on your social media page before coming to your website. Measure Post engagement rate, Shareability and interactions.
  9. ROI for in-store Transaction via social promotions- After a social promotion, track the sales increase of that particular product promotion. Measure post engagement rate, Shareability and interactions.

Other Metrics:

10. Conversion rate: How many people have you converted? Divide the number of visitors by the number of customers to understand the rate of conversion

11. Stock turn rate- Most retailers own 30% of excess inventory. You can reduce it by monitoring and improving upon your stock turn. Just divide the cost of goods sold during sales period by the inventory cost over the sales period multiplied by 365 days

12. Sell Through: It is very important when looking to replenish seasonal merchandise. Divide the quantity of goods sold during the sales period by the quantity sold during sales period+ on hand quantity on inventory date.

13. Gross Margin ROI- The overall performance indicator. Divide the profits during sales period by the inventory cost over sales period and multiply that by 365

 

retail business (Image by Shutterstock)

In recent news however, a study of retailers within the internet retailers top 500 found that their web site performance improved significantly after using a system for managing software tags that were used to activate and measure online marketing campaigns.

 

Tags are snippets of code, typically JavaScript that retailers add into their website pages to track activity on the site such as when customers click links.

 

The study, conducted by Observe Point, and Lima Consulting Group, found that retailers with tag management systems compared with retailers who do not use such systems, had faster average page load times, less duplicated web pages and fewer JavaScript errors that can cause web pages to fail to load content. (Source: Internetretailers.com)

 

Using tag management system and the right metrics, analysis can be done to gain insights that will be both qualitatively and quantitatively beneficial to you as a retailer.

 

We hope you found this useful as you begin setting Metrics for your retail business.

 

There are a good many more out there, and for more tips you could check Publitas for their metric suggestions.

 

Have a good Friday!

 

If you’re relaxing or thinking of content to create, remember to wear cozy fuzzy slippers. Always helps!

 

-Social Pandora