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Mobile Was the Gravy on the Turkey Day Weekend [Infographic]

Posted by at 12:41 pm on December 3, 2013

This past holiday weekend, American families gathered for their traditional turkey, football and apple pie.  This year, with the controversy over the increasingly early shopping hours encroaching on family-time, retailers held their collective breath to see if consumers would respond to the earlier store openings and leave their families if the sales were enticing enough.  And they did! 45 million shoppers headed out on Thanksgiving Day.

But as many shoppers were out contributing to the retail foot traffic on Thanksgiving, online and mobile shoppers turned out to be the gravy on Thursday.  Black Friday, the granddaddy of shopping days, had impressive mobile results as well with more than 21% of all online sales coming from mobile devices.

Overall, the four day shopping weekend continued to show online and mobile growth with consumers opting to surf their tablets and smartphones — showrooming, webrooming and jumping on mobile delivered deals.

We pulled together an infographic to capture some of the many stats that make up this shopping holiday that has become as American as apple pie. (more…)

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Thursday Shopping is Gobbling up Black Friday

Posted by at 7:44 pm on November 26, 2013

There has been quite a bit of controversy this holiday season with some brick-and-mortar retailers opening on Thanksgiving Day. Can’t deny that the holiday shopping weekend is expanding: first it was Black Friday, then Cyber Monday and now Brown Thursday has entered the lexicon. But why should consumers battle crowds and inclement weather when they can shop from the couch!  Retailers and marketers are leveraging the mobile device delivering deals to the palm of their customers hand while the turkey is still on the table.

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF) consumer spend this holiday season is up 3.9% from last year to $602.1 billion. That spend is highly competitive too as consumers showroom, webroom, and review products for the best deals. Retailers compete with the biggest advertising spend for a final push to put them in the black (fun fact: that’s where the term Black Friday comes from). Marketing is catchy and kitschy, but overall meant to catch the consumer’s attention, getting them to buy, either online, smartphone, or in store. Omni-channel marketing is catching on as 83 percent of marketers said they planned on running coordinated, cross-channel marketing campaigns during the holiday season (Experian). (more…)

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I Want To Know What Customer Love Is [Dreamforce]

Posted by at 3:29 pm on November 21, 2013

Service Cloud Expo at Dreamforce 2013If you were one of the 130,000 attendees at Dreamforce ‘13 this week, there was no doubt left in your mind about knowing what customer love is. There were 350 cloud vendors showing love by raffling off a flower power VW bus, or dressing up as superheroes. Over 1,250 sessions were held across downtown San Francisco educating about being a better customer company. The customer love message was musically reinforced as salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff’s keynote address kicked off with Huey Lewis & the News playing their classic, “Power of Love”.

The keynote focused on how we are in the new era of computing – the “Internet of Things”.  Why is it the Internet of Things you may ask? Because everyone and everything is on the Internet; from products  as simplistic as light bulbs and toothbrushes to high-priced, complex machinery like MRI machines and cars. What combines them as well is that they are all powered by the cloud. According to Benioff, we are going through a technology renaissance driven by the cloud. Here are some interesting stats on the Internet of Things: (more…)

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Webrooming: New Addition to the Retail Marketing Language

Posted by at 9:28 am on November 5, 2013

Holiday Shopping Mobile We set the clocks back on Sunday, and while I enjoyed an extra hour of sleep, it didn’t last long as the sounds of glee came from my kids when they saw all the big toy books in the newspaper. They still hadn’t eaten all their Halloween candy yet, but Christmas lists are hot on their minds. It’s not just the kids, holiday marketing is in full force. Decorations were up in stores, while last minute candy was bought on October 31st.

The fourth quarter has always been the biggest time for retailers. This is the time of the year when many will pull out all the stops to get you to buy from them, as they all make their play for their “unfair share” of your wallet. For many retailers, this is the time to go from being in the red to the black – hence the term Black Friday.

As consumers experiences are always evolving with new technology, our vocabulary expands to describe their activities. The latest addition to the retail marketing vernacular: showrooming and webrooming. (more…)

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Fasten Your Seatbelts – Time for Another Ride on the TCPA Rollercoaster

Posted by at 2:49 pm on October 15, 2013

The Federal Communication Commission’s new requirements for “prior express written consent” to send sales or marketing messages to wireless devices goes into effect on October 16, 2013.  This is not new for us mobile marketing veterans at Genesys | SoundBite, as we have been operating pursuant to this standard since 2009, when the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) mandated that all sales and marketing calls require express written consent.   This FCC prior express written consent requirement, announced in February 2012 (the “February 2012 Order”) was intended to align the FCC’s regulations with those of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), extending the FTC regulations on telemarketing calls made by wireless carriers and other industries who are currently not subject to FTC jurisdiction.

As you can imagine, this is not as straightforward as it may seem. There has been much industry discussion on the specific language required in the express written consent capture and provisions for grandfathering in existing subscribers.   Ultimately, marketers, lawyers, and communication vendors have the responsibility to interpret what we believe the FCC intended in the February 2012 Order.  As of this blog posting, the CTIA is drafting a Petition for Declaratory Ruling in this matter, which has the potential to clarify this updated regulation, but in the meantime, buckle up, because here we go again. (more…)

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This is the Dawning of the Age of Customer Experience

Posted by at 8:02 am on September 24, 2013

Every generation wants to have their voices heard whether it’s hippies, punk rock, or Occupy Wall Street. Music and pop culture often reflect the cultural changes going on in society, but businesses and our relationships with businesses, also do.  As the hippie movement of the 1960′s demanded change and welcomed the Age of Aquarius . . . today, we are seeing the dawning of the age of customer experiences. Today, we have a new generation letting go of past established communication and sharing in new ways.  They are a mobile generation looking to push the experience boundaries and receive information in an open, free and social way.

As The Yankee Group outlined in a recent white paper titled, Drive More Valuable Customer Experience With Proactive Engagement Across the Life Cycle, we are going through a renaissance of sorts.  Consumers are actively seeking new kinds of experiences and raising their collective voices to drive innovative changes.  People across all social and generational demographics want their personal preferences to be heard and honored. (more…)

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Sales Associates Are the Key to Combating Showrooming

Posted by at 9:47 am on September 6, 2013

Let me begin by stating that the act of showrooming is not a new concept – it has just evolved.  Gone are the days when consumers would sit at the table and take retailer X’s flyer and retailer Y’s flyer and compare who is selling the item for a cheaper price (unless you are my mom – who still does this even though she is an iPhone 5 owner).  The evolution of showrooming, via a mobile device or tablet while in store, is a quickly rising trend in retail effecting over $200 Billion in-stores sales last year. However, retailers need not fear the mobile phone and product/price comparisons as in-store conversion is still possible. Price will always be a deciding factor for consumers, but a few dollars doesn’t hold as much purchase power as providing an overall positive customer experience – as they say, cheaper is not always better.

A Kellogg School of Management survey found that 59% of shoppers said they received poor or average service in the stores they had recently shopped. And, among shoppers who said they engaged in showrooming, 40% reported that they actually never intended to buy online, but were driven to another store or online after experiencing poor customer service and support in stores. (more…)

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Don’t Mourn the Death of the Sales Funnel Part 2: Rewarding & Retaining CPG Customers

Posted by at 10:57 am on August 28, 2013

The rise in the Customer Experience Management (CEM) role within marketing organizations is a reflection of the change in the sales process – once a funnel, now a loop – as CPG brands and retailers take a deeper look at the lifecycle purchase process to create brand loyalists and advocates. As I reported in Part 1 of this blog post, according to a Nielsen report, the traditional shopping funnel is dead and success in the CPG world requires a deep understanding of the shopper, their category needs, and the touch points that influence their behavior within the constantly “on” digital environment we live in today.

Previously I wrote about marketing tactics to connect and convert customers by making your current marketing not only digital, but mobile as well. But as the old sales funnel model ended at the point of purchase, this next evolution of the sales loop needs continuous engagement in order to not just close one sale today, but retain the customer for future purchases and create a loyal customer. (more…)

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Don’t Mourn the Death of the Sales Funnel, Part 1: Turning CPG Challenges into Opportunities

Posted by at 9:00 pm on August 13, 2013

The traditional shopping funnel is dead.  The funnel no longer ends with purchase, but requires more engagement since competition is so high. As presented in the whitepaper from Nielsen, Digital Shopping: What You Need to Consider, success in the CPG world requires a deep understanding of the shopper, their category needs, and the touch points that influence their behavior within the constantly “on” digital environment we live in today. As CPG brands and retailers take a deeper look at the lifecycle purchase process to create brand loyalists and advocates, they are relying on the rising role of Customer Experience Management (CEM) to lead the way.

This illustrated sales loop shows the different touch points where consumers are likely to interact with traditional and digital influences before and after they have made a purchase.

Source: Nielsen’s Digital Shopping: What You Need to Consider, October 2012

(more…)

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Using Multi-Channel Communications for Healthcare Reminders

Posted by at 7:03 am on August 6, 2013

We are in the dog days of summer and  those of us with children are going back-to-school shopping for new clothes and shoes, but the most most important to check off your to-do list is vaccinations. I was surprised to learn that more than one-fourth of preschool children lack at least one routine vaccination.  Additionally, children who are behind on immunizations are at greater risk of being behind on other preventive services.  So what can healthcare providers do to give parents a hand in keeping up with their family’s health? Pediatric practices can use proactive customer communication solutions, such as Automated Voice Messaging (AVM) or Text Messaging to provide personalized vaccination reminders. (more…)

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