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Social Commerce Will Supercharge Holiday Sales, Smartly.io Research Reveals

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48 percent of U.S. consumers are considering purchasing products seen in social media ads for holiday gifts

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Smartly.io, the leading social media advertising automation platform, today announced new research outlining where and why consumers engage with social media ads to make holiday purchases. Based on 1,000 U.S. consumer responses from a Dynata survey, the results indicate that consumers not only recognize that social media presents a new way to shop for holiday gifts, they are also more likely than ever to purchase those gifts after being influenced by social advertising.

Increasing social media spend

Amazon and other online retail marketplaces are dramatically altering the holiday shopping landscape, with PwC’s 2019 Holiday Outlook report indicating 54 percent of U.S. consumers plan to shop online in 2019. As shoppers continue to spend more time online, their propensity to use social media to browse and purchase gifts is growing as well. In fact, Smartly.io found that 57 percent of holiday shoppers feel social media ads help them source new gift ideas, and 48 percent are considering purchasing from an ad on social media this year. Further, of those who plan to purchase, 40 percent said they are likely to spend at least $50. This underscores a substantial opportunity for retail and brand marketers to incorporate more paid social into their holiday campaigns.

“Brands have a tremendous opportunity to leverage social media ads this holiday season for authentic storytelling that will drive more revenue during the most critical time of year,” said Robert Rothschild, VP and global head of marketing for Smartly.io. “Consumers are flocking to highly visual platforms like Instagram and Facebook as new marketplaces to find holiday gifts – and they expect digital ads they encounter there to blend seamlessly into their browsing and shopping experience. Regardless of whether they have converted from social media ads in the past, 2019 is the tipping point year where those consumers are ready to buy. The brands who stand out from the pack are, ironically, those who design their ads to be as unobtrusive to the consumer as possible, and conform to the native content each placement has.”

Cultivating strong creative

When asked about the top factors influencing their decision to buy a product through a social media ad, 35 percent of consumers indicated that a compelling or engaging video, animation or image mattered most to them – ahead of other factors like customer testimonials (32 percent) or influencer participation (26 percent). Brands that create and deliver visually engaging social ads and use a combination of both video and still images will likely see their campaigns resonate with shoppers, spurring them to convert quickly.

Reaching your target audience on their turf

Visually imperative categories, such as Apparel and Beauty, traditionally thrive on paid social because creative can easily convey an item’s top selling points. However, Smartly.io found that electronics are also finding success through social ads. In fact, Apparel & Accessories (17 percent) and Electronics (15 percent) top the list of categories U.S. shoppers are most likely to purchase via social media ads, followed by Beauty/Wellness (11 percent) and Home Goods (10 percent).

Additional findings from the study include:

  • 61 percent of U.S. consumers expect to see the most relevant holiday ads on Facebook or Instagram, with Google’s video giant YouTube in second place (15 percent)
  • Shoppers have high expectations for Facebook and Instagram ads, with 57 percent expecting them to deliver the best quality holiday ads of any social network
  • Of those who have purchased holiday gifts via social media ads, 76 percent have done so via Facebook or Instagram
  • Twitter and Snapchat are barely on shoppers’ radars this holiday season, with consumers indicating they are least likely to find gifts on those platforms this year

Visit Smartly.io’s website to learn more about its capabilities, and follow Smartly.io on Twitter for the latest updates on company announcements.

About Smartly.io

Powering beautifully effective ads, Smartly.io automates every step of social advertising to unlock greater performance and creativity. We combine creative production and ad buying automation with outstanding customer service to help 600+ brands scale their results – not headcount – on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. We are a fast-growing community of 350+ Smartlies with 16 offices around the world. Visit smartly.io to learn more.

Contacts

Michael Wood

PAN Communications

617-502-4300

Smartly.io@pancomm.com

For more than 50 years, Business Wire has been the global leader in press release distribution and regulatory disclosure.

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Business Wire

Shortages of Low-Skill, Middle-Skill, and High-Skill Workers Causing Revenue Declines and Other Headaches for Employers, TrueBlue’s Latest Study Finds

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TACOMA, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–While there has been a lot of discourse around the shortage of high-skill workers in the U.S., a new study by staffing giant TrueBlue shows a significant percentage of employers are also struggling with deficits in low-skill and middle-skill workers – and dealing with a host of business challenges as a result.

According to TrueBlue’s nationwide survey, which included nearly 1,500 managers (HR, operational, and business), skills shortages are widening across skills categories:

  • 32% of managers can’t find workers to fill low-skill positions (generally classified as those that may or may not require a high school diploma and require little to no experience)
  • 46% can’t find workers for middle-skill jobs (typically require some experience and continuing education such as college courses, an apprenticeship or certification, but don’t necessarily require a four-year college degree)
  • 35% can’t find workers for high-skill jobs (typically require a four-year degree or higher and specialized experience)

Low unemployment coupled with globalization, accelerated technology advancement, and evolving work models are creating talent deficits across all skill levels within organizations,” said Patrick Beharelle, CEO of TrueBlue. “The skills supply is not keeping up with demand, which is fueling a greater intensity in an already competitive labor market and adversely impacting productivity, service quality, and revenue growth for businesses.”

Impact of Talent Shortages on Businesses

The top three business challenges managers are experiencing due to prolonged job vacancies within their organizations include:

  • Quality – More than a third of managers (35%) reported that extended job vacancies have caused lower product or service quality.
  • Turnover – 25% have seen higher employee turnover.
  • Revenue – 23% said their companies experienced a decline in revenue.

To address talent shortages and minimize associated business impact, 2 in 5 companies (41 percent) reported that they plan to raise compensation for entry-level workers and nearly half (46 percent) plan to train and hire the long-term unemployed in the coming year.

Survey Methodology

This SurveyMonkey survey was conducted online in the U.S. by TrueBlue between September 23 and October 15, 2019. It included 1,499 managers (HR, operations and general). The survey was across regions, industries, and company sizes.

About TrueBlue

TrueBlue (NYSE: TBI) is a global leader in specialized workforce solutions that help clients achieve business growth and improve productivity. In 2018, the company connected approximately 730,000 people with work. TrueBlue’s PeopleReady segment offers on-demand industrial staffing services, PeopleManagement offers contingent and productivity-based, on-site industrial staffing and driver staffing services, and PeopleScout offers recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) and managed service provider (MSP) solutions to a wide variety of industries. Learn more at www.trueblue.com.

Contacts

Jennifer Grasz

Vice President, Corporate Communications

jgrasz@trueblue.com
(312) 840-6327

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Business Wire

Law Firm of Estey & Bomberger Reports: Uber Says Nearly 6,000 Rapes, Sexual Assaults Occurred in Two-year Period

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SAN DIEGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The law firm of Estey & Bomberger reported today that Uber’s long-awaited sexual assault report was released Dec. 5, with the ride-hailing company admitting that 5,981* passengers and drivers were raped or sexually assaulted between 2017-2018.

“I applaud Uber for releasing the data that acknowledges there is a problem with sexual assaults occurring in rideshare. While we believe these assaults were preventable, Uber’s report represents a tremendous step for ride-hailing safety,” said Estey & Bomberger attorney Mike Bomberger. “I think there are many positive measures Uber is taking. However, Uber still has an obligation to help the victims who have been raped and assaulted and facing a lifetime of emotional pain. They will need ongoing therapy.”

Estey & Bomberger represents more than 100 ride-hailing sexual assault victims.

“It’s important to remember when reading this report that only one in three women report their sexual assault,” Bomberger said. “Therefore, the number of women who have been sexually assaulted is certainly much higher than reported here.”

Bomberger reiterated his call for all ride-hailing trips to be digitally recorded.

“We’re pleased that Uber is now testing cameras in Texas. That’s the real solution to this problem – if drivers know they’re being recorded they won’t rape and assault,” Bomberger said.

Estey & Bomberger is asking Lyft and Uber sexual assault victims, along with former employees of the ride-sharing firms, to contact its office by calling 866-964-1708 or emailing info@lyftsexualassaultlawyers.com.

*statistic courtesy NPR “Uber Received Nearly 6,000 U.S. Sexual Assault Claims in Past 2 Years,” Dec. 5, 2019.

Contacts

for Estey & Bomberger

Ed Vasquez, 408-420-6558

ed@ejvcommunications.com

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Business Wire

Best’s Market Segment Report: AM Best Maintains Global Reinsurance Market Outlook at Stable

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OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AM Best has maintained a market segment outlook of stable on the global reinsurance industry for 2020, citing a stabilized pricing environment — albeit at levels below long-term adequacy — the continuing alignment between traditional and third-party capital and ongoing stability in the global life reinsurance segment.

A new Best’s Market Segment Report, titled, “Market Segment Outlook: Global Reinsurance,” states that although rates in the non-life reinsurance market have improved modestly, pricing has not kept adequate pace with the changing risk dynamics, as illustrated by loss development from events such as hurricanes Irma and Maria and Typhoon Jebi, and potential losses from more-recent events (e.g., Hurricane Dorian). Property catastrophe pricing still is being driven by the availability of third-party capital; however, the increasing interdependence between traditional capacity and third-party capital through joint ventures, retrocession and direct ownership should serve to more closely align return objectives for the market overall. Third-party capital also represents a benefit in the form of stabilized earnings of rated balance sheets, due to tail risk being assumed by this capital.

Overall market conditions are improving, but AM Best remains concerned about insufficient rate adequacy relating to certain U.S. casualty lines, a steady decline in the benefit of favorable reserve releases and the pervasive low interest rate environment. The collective effect of these factors requires underwriting discipline, and failure to react to these pressures could adversely affect the segment.

The report outlines other factors that are driving the stable market segment outlook, including:

  • AM Best believes alternative third-party capital will hold the line on future return expectations following the recent heavy catastrophe loss years;
  • A decline in capital consumption and earnings volatility, due in part to the increased utilization of third-party capital in retrocessionaire programs;
  • Greater emphasis on underwriting discipline due to pressure on interest rates and potential slower economic growth globally;
  • Improving pricing momentum driven by higher loss costs, coupled with lower loss reserve redundancies;
  • Increased demand for non-life reinsurance due to primary companies’ recent loss experience, as well as new risk transfer opportunities and mergers and acquisitions;
  • Stable operating performance among life reinsurers, which continue to maintain defensible market positions and offer services beyond risk transfer that create hurdles for new entrants.

To access the full copy of the overall global reinsurance briefing, please visit http://www3.ambest.com/bestweek/purchase.asp?record_code=292334.

Separate briefings on the non-life and life reinsurance segments can be viewed at:

To view a video with AM Best Associate Director Scott Mangan about the global reinsurance market segment outlook, please visit http://www.ambest.com/v.asp?v=globalreoutlook1219.

AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data provider specializing in the insurance industry. The company does business in more than 100 countries. Headquartered in Oldwick, NJ, AM Best has offices in cities around the world, including London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

Copyright © 2019 by A.M. Best Company, Inc. and/or its affiliates.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Contacts

Robert DeRose
Senior Director
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5435
robert.derose@ambest.com

Greg Carter
Managing Director
+44 20 7397 0288
greg.carter@ambest.com

Michael Porcelli, FSA
Director
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5548
michael.porcelli@ambest.com

Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159
christopher.sharkey@ambest.com

Jim Peavy
Director, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644
james.peavy@ambest.com

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