More people plan to shop on Cyber Monday than Black Friday this year: report

Originally featured in Mobile Commerce Daily

With the holiday season quickly approaching, retailers looking to cash in should put their chips in online offerings: online shopping will dominate Black Friday, according to a new report from Perk Inc.

The report comes ahead of a landmark holiday shopping season, one in which the tenuous grasp of bricks-and-mortar shopping on shoppers will require some measure of redefinition with the quick advent and uptake of online and mobile retail platforms. The report presents a surprising number of metrics, all but confirming the necessity of omnichannel efforts for retailers.

“Our research found that 63% of Black Friday shoppers will shop online and 60% will shop in stores,” said Zach Redler, senior director of marketing at Perk. “But within those groups, nearly a quarter of shoppers will do both.

“Because the barrier to entry for online shopping is so low, taking the time to shop deals online is a no-brainer for Black Friday 2016 shoppers,” they said. “You can shop online from anywhere, including while you wait in line at a store or at home if you’re not hitting the stores.

“Black Friday shoppers are out to make the most of this shopping holiday, and online shopping helps them do just that.”

Changing landscape
The survey’s respondents propensity towards shopping on Cyber Monday barely edged out bricks-and-mortar anticipation, but the relatively short lifespan of the Cyber Monday practice makes the trajectory of the shift more indicative of the retail landscape than hard numbers.

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The report also claimed that Black Friday shoppers were more likely to make planned purchases, while Cyber Monday shoppers tended more towards impulsivity.

“We hypothesize that spontaneity on Cyber Monday, versus advanced planning on Black Friday, is a result of consumer perceptions of each and the mediums they occur within,” Mr Redler said. “When many shoppers think of Black Friday, they think of packed stores with limited stock on hand.

“So to get the best deals on the items you really want, you need to go in with a plan and get your desired items before they run out, rather than spending time to browse store shelves or product pages online,” he said. “Cyber Monday’s online-only experience, however, decreases the emphasis on the rush.

“Shoppers have more time to browse and can shop at their leisure any time of the day, especially with the convenience of mobile shopping.”

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Mobile retail
Perk’s report also claimed that 46 percent of Cyber Monday shoppers will shop with a mobile device, a metric which could augur the mobile device as both an alternative and augment to the bricks-and-mortar shopping experience. As such, Perk has advice brands looking to fully optimize holiday season sales.

“First and foremost, make sure your app and/or website are mobile-first,” Mr. Redler said said. “That’s not just a buzzword: over half of all web traffic is mobile, according to SimilarWeb.

“Consumers are using mobile to shop, and will go elsewhere if you don’t provide a good experience,” he said. “For Black Friday, make it easy to find the best deals by featuring them prominently.

“The same is true for Cyber Monday, but there’s an opportunity to merchandise a wider range products to grab onto shoppers’ spontaneity. And leading up to it all, use mobile and online promotions and advertising to inform shoppers of your Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.”

The information may not be news to some brands, which have been betting big on mobile this holiday season. JCPenney is promoting its Joy Worth Giving campaign that will span all of the holiday season by offering an exclusive peek at Black Friday deals to users of its mobile application (see story).

And Walmart and Expedia are leading the charge in getting the most of this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday on mobile (see story).

“For brands, it’s important to know that mobile’s growing importance to the industry as a whole extends to holiday shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday,” Mr. Redler said. “Your consumers are mobile, so tailor both your shopping experiences and your promotional messages to suit the medium and the experiences your shoppers want.”

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This Cyber Monday, shoppers are going mobile

Originally featured in Business of Apps

Half of shoppers on Cyber Monday will be using their mobile devices to get the best bargains. That’s according to new research from rewarded engagement platform Perk, which just revealed the results of its 2016 consumer Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping research.

According to the data collected through a one-week survey at the beginning of November, 48% of consumers plan to shop on Black Friday this year, with 63% using the web to shop. Of those, 11% are going to use their mobile device to make a purchase.

A total of 63% of shoppers are going digital this year

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Source: perk.com

For Cyber Monday, 57% said they would shop on the day and 46% are using their mobile devices to purchase deals.

Cyber Monday shoppers are going mobile

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Source: perk.com

In addition, the majority of shoppers will spend between $101-500 on Black Friday (56%) and Cyber Monday (57%). However, 13% of Black Friday shoppers intend to spend more than $501, which is almost twice as many as the 7% on Cyber Monday.

Most shoppers are spending between $101-250

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Source: perk.com

For Thanksgiving, the research found some interesting details on ads viewed, with 1 in 4 people having seen relevant adverts on mobile and online.

Thanksgiving adverts seen

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Source: perk.com

Ted Hastings, CEO of Perk, says:

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“Holiday Shopping is extremely important for many of our brand and retail partners. As has been the trend in the last few years, our research found that mobile will play an important role in Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping. Our ability to collect a wide range of data in a timely manner through Perk IQ provides valuable insights that help our brand partners understand their impact this holiday season and where they should be deploying their advertising budgets.”

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Perk Inc. Named one of the 20 Most Innovative Public Canadian Listed Tech Companies

The Canadian Innovation Exchange has named Perk as one of this year’s 20 most innovative public Canadian listed tech companies. View the original article here.

cix_proudtop20_horizontalThe CIX Public Investor Day Top 20 is a unique program designed to showcase Canada’s hottest and most innovative public technology companies. This program is unique to any other showcase event in Canada as the selection committee evaluated and rated the hottest companies based primarily on their innovation, and only 20 companies have been chosen from hundreds of Canadian small and midcap tech companies. CEOs and Founders of these Top 20 companies will present for 7 minutes to an audience of Canada’s top tech investors and peers.

THE 2016 Public Investor 20

AcuityAds Inc.
Apivio Systems Inc.
BitRush Corp
C-Com Satellite Systems Inc.
CHAR Technologies Ltd.
CO2 Solutions Inc.
Deveron UAS Ltd
DIRTT Environmental Solutions Ltd.
dynaCERT Inc.
Firan Technology Group Corporation
H-Source Holdings Ltd.
HIT Technologies
Media Valet
MEMEX Inc.
Nanotech Securities
Perk Inc. (PER)
Points
Promis Neuroscience
ProntoForms Corporation
Symbility Solutions Inc.(formerly Automated Benefits Corp)

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How Perk Turned Around a Mobile App That was Losing $76MM a Year

Originally featured in the Austin Business Journal

When it purchased TV-viewing rewards app Viggle earlier this year, Austin’s Perk Inc. inherited a company that was losing millions — more than $76 million in 2015 alone, in fact.

Only a few months later, Viggle is making money and generating new opportunities for Perk (TSX: PER), co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Adam Salamon told Austin Business Journal.

Perk inked an agreement late last year to buy the assets of New York-based Viggle Inc., which rewards users of its app with gift cards and other incentives for watching and interacting with TV shows and music.

After completing the buyout in February, Perk began cutting costs and refocusing the business. At the time of the deal, Viggle employed about 75 people, but Perk only retained 25, eliminating redundant jobs.

“We looked at Viggle as a really good opportunity to highlight our ability to turn around an asset that was valuable but managed poorly,” Salamon said.

Perk executives slashed other overhead expenses at Viggle, which lost more than $76 million in fiscal 2015, or $29.3 million when adjusted for EBITDA. Salamon said Viggle was giving away too many rewards to users to try to get them to tune in.

“It turns out you don’t have to reward people for watching TV, they’re going to do it anyway,” he said.

About three months after the buyout, Viggle was no longer burning through more cash than it generated, Salamon said. Viggle is now cash-flow positive, he added, and Perk is pumping money back into the app while trying to figure out how to best utilize it. One potential cash cow: using Viggle’s television viewership data to help advertisers gauge how well their spots resonate with consumers.

Similar to how Facebook has absorbed Instagram or how Twitter has absorbed Periscope, Perk has integrated the Viggle app into its rewards platform. That gives Perk a unique view of users’ buying habits: executives can see how many people, after watching a certain TV program, use a Perk gift card or Perk-branded debit card (the company has an agreement with Discover Financial Services Inc.) to buy products from an advertiser who aired a commercial during that program.

“We can see, okay, this guy is watching TV and is being exposed to a Burger King ad, now is that person redeeming their perks at Burger King using one of our gift cards?” Salamon said.

Perk paid about $7.3 million for Viggle, including $1 million in cash and 1.37 million shares worth $3.7 million. It was the company’s fourth acquisition since going public on the Toronto Stock Exchange in July 2015 and fifth overall.

The company employed 187 people at the end of last year and reported a loss of $17.1 million on revenue of $49.3 million for 2015 compared with a loss of $2.2 million on revenue of $17.1 million for 2014, according to regulatory filings. It attributed last year’s loss in part to the costs associated with its go-public reverse takeover.

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Sports-Related Ads Scored 51% Jump in Engagement Before Olympics

Originally featured in Mobile Marketer

perk mobile marketerThe lead-up to the Rio Olympics provided an optimal opportunity for marketers in sports-related fields to target viewers with relevant mobile content, as evidenced by the 51 percent uptick in engagement for ads delivered into sports-related game application categories on iOS devices.

Mobile advertising platform Leadbolt measured ad engagement performance in several territories during the week prior to the Rio Olympics kickoff. The company uncovered a correlation between the increase in sports gaming app usage and the Games’ timing, as well as higher ad engagement within those environments.

“We know that a cross-channel content strategy is essential, as audiences often simultaneously use mobile devices while watching a special event on TV or the Web,” said Dale Carr, founder and CEO of Leadbolt. “This is especially true for events like the Super Bowl, and the Olympics, when viewers are using their mobile devices to find scores and stats, watch replays, share and comment with friends across social apps, and even play games during downtime.

“These major events drive higher levels of mobile engagement and represent a big opportunity for advertisers.”

The Olympic influence
Leadbolt’s findings during the lead-up to the Olympic Games suggest that second-screen engagement should be a top priority for brands in industries that are directly affected by major events.

In the United States market, engagement for ads within the sports-related gaming app category jumped by 60 percent and 51 percent for Android and iOS platforms, respectively.

In European markets – which Leadbolt defines as Britain, Germany and Italy – ad engagement for this app category saw an average uptick of 50.5 percent for both iOS and Android platforms.

Asia-Pacific regions saw ad engagement jump by an average of 32 percent, with Latin-American markets seeing an engagement increase of approximately 21 percent for ads delivered into sports-themed gaming apps.

Timing and relevance
These results indicate that consumers are more willing to interact with ads that are seemingly related to an upcoming major event, such as the Olympic Games or the Super Bowl. Sports marketers in particular should ensure they roll out additional ad units before and during these events to maximize consumer outreach and interaction levels.

Big-box retailers or national chains can also boost excitement by introducing social media contests or relevant content to their audiences.

For example, Dick’s Sporting Goods was just one of the retailers leveraging the anticipation surrounding the upcoming Olympics, opting to roll out a mobile-optimized microsite where fans could browse Team USA members’ profiles, receive updates on favorite athletes and track donation amounts to youth sports organizations (see story).

Additionally, brands can complement their mobile advertising strategies by creating engaging second-screen content with which individuals can entertain themselves during commercial breaks.

This past spring, Clorox came back for a second run with its Bachelorette-themed mobile matchmaking game within entertainment application Viggle, suggesting that second-screen engagement strategies paired with rewards work well for consumer packaged goods brands (see story).

Meanwhile, E! News is building upon its recent advancements in mobile-first content with a new live streaming slate set to showcase original series on its Facebook Live platform, capitalizing on consumers’ growing proclivity toward second-screen engagement (see story).

“Relevance plays a critical role in connecting with your desired audience,” Mr. Carr said. “Achieving relevance requires a mix of compelling creative as well as the right targeting strategies to reach and captivate them.

“Don’t be shy, ask your ad network partner for help, that’s what we are here for.”

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Making the World (of Apps) Safe for Kids: Corona Labs and KIDOZ Now Partners

Originally featured in Mobile Advertising Watch

Making-the-World-of-Apps-Safe-for-Kids-Corona-Labs-and-KIDOZ-Now-Partners-768x512Could Corona Labs and KIDOZ make the app world safe for kids?

They’re going to take a stab at it. Word just in: Corona Labs, a leader in 2D mobile game and app development will partner with KIDOZ, the largest content discovery network for kids.

The strategic partnership has led to a newly launched KIDOZ plugin for the Corona SDK; this provides developers with a kid-friendly way to generate revenue from their apps.

“When building an app developers must consider which platforms and devices their users are on,” the KIDOZ crew tells MAW. “This once meant building apps on different platforms separately. Using Corona SDK’s cross platform mobile development,over 300,000 developers build apps that run on multiple platforms including iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, and more. The platform works with leading advertising networks to provide developers with revenue generating tools, and has selected KIDOZ as a kid-friendly monetization tool for developers.”

This basically helps monetize apps designed for kids. Because there are strict regulations over privacy for kids, many ads provided through ad networks are not relevant for kids, and do not perform for developers as a result.

“The KIDOZ SDK provides a COPPA compliant way to generate revenue, that is designed for the way kids interact with apps,” explains KIDOZ.

The KIDOZ plugin is now available in the Corona Marketplace for free to all developers. The integration is easy and reportedly requires just a few lines of code.

“The KIDOZ plugin is a valuable monetization option that we are delighted to offer to Corona SDK users in the Corona Marketplace. KIDOZ delivers value to developers of children’s apps, which helps us meet the diverse needs of Corona developers,” said Roj Niyogi, CEO of Corona Labs.

Gai Havkin, CEO of KIDOZ, believes it’s a step in the right, kid-friendly direction.

“We are excited to work with Corona Labs to provide developers with an effective way to generate revenue from kids’ apps,” Havkin said. “Developers count on Corona to build great apps and the KIDOZ plugin will provide kids’ app developers with an engaging and customizable way to monetize their apps.”

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Clorox Brings Back Second-Screen Engagement for Bachelorette Mobile Matchmaking Game

Originally featured in Mobile Marketer

perk clorox mobile marketerClorox is back for a second run with its Bachelorette-themed mobile matchmaking game within entertainment application Viggle, suggesting that second-screen engagement strategies paired with rewards are working for consumer packaged goods brands.

The household product manufacturer kicks off the matchmaking game – which was also rolled out last year – by showcasing a fifteen-second ad that corresponds to The Bachelorette theme while showcasing the necessity of having a bottle of cleaning solution handy at all times. After watching the ad, Viggle app users can access a roster of men participating in this season of The Bachelorette, choose the men they believe will make it to the next round and collect rewards points for doing so.

“One of the most important ingredients of a powerful marketing campaign is the ability to drive harmonious omnichannel engagement around a single theme,” said Shuli Lowy, director of customer success, Americas at TVTY/The Moment Marketing Company. “Brands such as Clorox understand that second-screen engagement provides a unique opportunity to engage a key audience and drive their message home.”

The mobile rose ceremony
To play Clorox Matchmaker, Viggle users must go to the “Games” tab of the app. Before they reach the actual game, Clorox will show a fifteen-second advertisement for one of its products.

In the mobile-optimized ad, a woman in an all-white outfit strolls into a courtyard accompanied by her date. There, the couple encounters two other men before excusing themselves, prompting the camera to zoom in on the grass stains adorning the woman’s clothes.

The two other men stare at the couple while one of them says, “He’s definitely getting a rose.” The other agrees with his friend.

A bottle of Clorox is then shown on a table, next to a long-stemmed red rose, as a voiceover says, “For life’s bleachable moments, only Clorox.”

After watching the ad, fans of The Bachelorette can earn 1,000 Perk points by correctly guessing which men will make it to the hometown dates portion of the show, which typically occurs several weeks prior to the finale.

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The Clorox Matchmaker game

Individuals can scroll through the entire roster of men participating in this season of the series, and can browse their photos, ages and basic facts to ensure they choose the best predictions for this year’s Bachelorette, JoJo Fletcher.

Additionally, Viggle users can cast their weekly picks for contestants likely to receive roses – meaning they will stay in the competition another week – by the same process.

Fans can also make bonus predictions to earn extra rewards points, such as choosing the contestant who will receive the first impression rose.

One thousand Perk points will be awarded to consumers who correctly pick the final bachelor.

Loyalty and second-screen engagement
Digital rewards platform developer Perk acquired Viggle last December in an investment that brought the former’s clients a more comprehensive method for appealing to and engaging smartphone-savvy consumers (see story).

The Viggle app enables users to trade in their rewards points – which they earn by watching television shows and interacting with complementary content – for a slew of prizes, such as retail gift cards and electronic gadgets.

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Fans of The Bachelorette can stock up on Perk points if they make accurate predications

Second-screen engagement is becoming increasingly more imperative for marketers as well as television networks seeking to capitalize on consumers’ reliance on their mobile devices.

Companies creating digital storyboards need to delegate appropriate social and digital content to consumers using second screens along with linear television programming, according to executives from Bravo, Showtime and Oxygen at the 2014 ad:tech New York conference (see story).

Consumer packaged goods marketers have a wide opportunity to introduce more engaging and relevant mobile content to TV viewers instead of rolling out impersonalized national commercials for their products.

“Over the past year we have been seeing many brands incorporate second-screen targeting elements into their campaigns,” Ms. Lowy said. “Often this will come in the form of activating a digital ad campaign during moments that will experience high second-screening activity, such as during commercial breaks or just after a brand or product has been highlighted on TV.

“The tactic has time and time again been proven to be enormously effective, driving better campaign performance across the board.”

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