All online businesses need to move quickly to embrace a multi-channel strategy
All of us online business owners agree that our website visitors and paying customers are, by far, our most important asset.
It makes sense. Everything we do is targeted towards satisfying prospects, gaining their trust and hopefully, convert them in to paying and recurring customers. That’s why most of our marketing and sales efforts are focused on bringing visitors to our website (or app).
To convert this great story into industry terms, business pros live and breathe conversion rates and ROI metrics.
One important conversion enabler (or ROI generator, if you’d like) is related to the business’s customer communication strategy. I’ll focus on this one, in this article.
Online customer communication is a wide topic: It covers customer technical support, online chatting with prospects, answering frequent questions on different channels and much, much more.
Google starts tracking credit card transactions to assess online ads effect on online and offline sales.
Every marketing manager has always sympathized with John Wanamaker's famous phrase "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half." Digital marketing has helped alleviate some of the problems of attribution, by tracking of digital media. But unless someone is clicking through to purchase on your site or tracked by call they make via the site, it's very hard to attribute offline store sales to a particular online ad campaign.
But this limitation is now reduced which is BIG news for multichannel retailers. Yesterday Google announced it is now tracking consumers card transactions both online and in-store. The ability to track in-store sales is a real breakthrough in attribution, as since 92% of all US retail sales still take place in-store. Without it marketers are limited to focusing all…
Lessons from TUI’s digitally integrated concept store
Omnichannel is now the de-facto retail strategy for major travel brands or is at least often the desired goal. TUI explored the concept of going ‘beyond Omni-channel’. ‘Beyond-Omni-channel’ to me sounded a lot like ‘Post-digital’, a term that is often misleading. Post-digital is about digital being pervasive and everything being digital, rather than having moved beyond digital. It makes good points regarding the breaking down of silos between departments, but the term ‘post-digital’ doesn’t convey this clearly.
How an Omnichannel travel-booking approaches reinforces the strength of individual channels
An interesting point regarding the effectiveness of TUI’s travel agency service made was that the distribution channels were in no way mutually exclusive, and in fact were self-reinforcing. A survey conducted by TUI discovered that 30% of their customers started their customer journey through a different medium to the way they eventually paid for the holiday.
One-third of their sales…
SMEs/SMBs with offline businesses models can still utilise digital marketing
You would be forgiven for thinking that the days of bricks and mortar stores are numbered due to the rise of Internet shopping and dramatically increased usage of Smartphones to make purchases when on the move. Certainly, online shopping is fast becoming the norm as UK shoppers are expected to spend over £52 billion online by the end of 2015; an increase of over £7 billion on the 2014 figure.
Yet this only represents 15.2% of retail sales in the UK which is a clear indication that in-store shopping is still the consumer’s #1 choice. Even better news is that you can use digital marketing to boost your level of in-store customers! According to a Deloitte report, digital technology influenced approximately 33% of in-store retail sales in the United Kingdom during 2014; this equated to over £100 billion.
No matter how advanced…
Using the right technology is key to optimising multi-channel retail strategy
Understanding the full impact online activity is having on offline sales has become something of a holy grail amongst marketers. Online advertising platforms, whilst bringing far greater measurability for those customers who click and convert online, cannot yet integrate all offline sales that have been influenced by web activity.
It’s certainty a pressing issue. According to a Forrester study, more than 50 percent of U.S. offline retail sales will be influenced by the Internet by 2017; a practice known as webrooming. Those web-influenced sales will also rise to $1.8 trillion, up from $1.2 trillion in 2012 – to put that into perspective, total ecommerce sales alone are set to reach $370 billion by 2017.
Another study also charts the rise of the showroomer: those who browse in-store before making a purchase online. There are multiple reasons why consumers might engage in…
How changes in consumer use of mobile devices are shaping online retail
Omnichannel is no longer just an ambiguous buzzword, it’s becoming a reality for digital marketers thanks to three key online retail trends: mobile devices, millennials and beacons – devices that bring digital into physical retail.
This infographic from Elastic Path illustrates how these forces are driving demand for seamless digital experiences across channels and will continue to do so in 2016.
The three Unstoppable online retail trends
Mobile apps are not just smaller versions of a retailer’s website, but research and shopping assistants in the palms of consumers hands at all times – even in-store. They’re both an opportunity and a threat for retailers – get it right and the customer can find the right information at the right time. Get it wrong, and it could hurt your brand and drive customers to…
The key trends and channels for travel marketing in 2015
This seasonal infographic created by our partners JBH Marketing gives an interesting overview of travel marketing. Of course, digital marketing is now an important channel for marketing different types of destinations and packages. Holidaymakers are increasingly turning to digital to book their holidays rather than using high-street travel agents. This infographic looks at consumer behaviour in selecting holidays and the channels that are important.
Five examples of how retailers and brands are using iBeacons for marketing campaigns
Apple iBeacon gives great opportunities to develop innovative marketing campaigns, particularly for retailers. Beacons are small wireless sensors to connect the online with offline worlds. Their main purpose for a retailer is to enhance the customer experience by offering a new form of proximity marketing which can link to boosting product sales. Apple explains the the approach this way:
"Your iOS device can alert mobile apps when you approach or leave a location with an iBeacon.iBeacon uses a Bluetooth low energy signal, which iOS devices detect. In addition to monitoring location, an app can estimate your proximity to an iBeacon (for example, a display or checkout counter in a retail store)".
Let's now look at five interesting examples of how brands are using Apple iBeacons to create an advantage and added value for their customers.
1. Famous Antwerp Museum uses beacons as…
Wearable technology trends and the future of digital selling
Until what seems like very recently, wearable technology has remained on the fringes of consumer consciousness, with most people unsure what to make of it. 'What’s the point in moving the user interface two inches from my pocket to my wrist?' people rightly ask. 'But I’m terrible at multitasking, those glasses will just be another distraction…' Although wearables still have yet to gain widespread popularity, interest is stirring and 2015 may just be the year it turns a corner.
According to a recent report from Juniper Research, wearable advertising spend is estimated to reach just $1.5 million this year, but by 2019 is expected to hit a slightly more impressive $68.7 million. That’s a huge new market, and one that online marketers would do well to embrace.
How retail has evolved over 10,000 years
Digital marketing moves fast, but it is always good to know your roots. This fascinating infographic from Lightspeed gives a 10,000-year history of retail, from horse-trading to Facebook.
If you work for a retailer and ever feel like parts of your business are stuck in the past, then with this at least you can plot exactly how far in the past they are! Or perhaps even use it to prove that retail has always been changing and evolving, and show colleagues should move with the times - you can benchmark your digital strategy on this five point scale to see how you compare.
I wonder if any of the great marketers reading this will come up with a new marketing techniques so ground-breaking it’ll make it onto a subsequent version of this infographic. Or better still be remembered 10,000 years from now...