Showing posts with label customer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label customer. Show all posts

3 Jul 2011

Word of Mouth Is Still Best

In the age of the Internet word of mouth is still best way to attract customers. 82 per cent of small businesses say that the customers find them via word of mouth, according to a survey by American Express. Although word of mouth sounds rather analog and old fashioned, it can happen on the web.

On the web there are several possibilities to pursue this. You give the consumers a possibility to share products, articles, pages on Facebook, Twitter, Digg and so on, this is called Social Sharing and has proved successful. You can also focus on Social Commerce or User-Generated Content (UGC). Social Commerce is a way to let people actively participate on online shopping sites. This is most commonly done by letting consumers rate products and pages or submit reviews. These methods might not strictly be word of mouth but this is a way to embrace the concept on the Internet.

Shown below is the other ways the Internet is used to attract customers.

Which of the following online marketing techniques does your business currently utilize?

A company website 86%
Social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) 44%
Mass e-mail 35%
Search engine optimization (-SEM) 28%
Search advertising (Google AdWords, etc.) 21%
Display advertising (such as banner ads) 18%
Video (for example, a channel on YouTube) 13%
Blog 12%
Rich local listings such as Google Places 10%
Rich profiles in consumer review sites (such as Yelp)   4%
Pod casts   4%
Other online marketing 17%
Source: American Express (July 2011)

See American Express OPEN Small Business Search Marketing Survey by American Express.

5 Mar 2011

Shoppers Don't Understand Why Brands Use Social Media

All brands, well at least brands with a minimum of self-respect, have a Facebook fanpage. Some companies might even have a Twitter profile or otherwise be working with social media. But according to Shoppercentric, this might not be such a great idea. Well, the idea is great, but regrettably, the consumers can't really see the point.

Shoppers prefer the shop
33 per cent of the consumers don't understand why brands are using social media (having a Facebook fanpage etc.) compared to 18 per cent saying they don't understand why retailers use social media. Dare we conclude that customers will rather communicate with the high street shop than the brand's head office in some remote place - at least when talking about social media.

Reason to use social media           Why shoppers think
companies do it
  What shoppers want
from companies
Sell products 54%26%
See what customers are saying 34%23%
Find info about their customers 29%24%
To stand out from their competitors    25%18%
To connect with people 25%23%
To bring the brand to life 23%20%
To tell med something new 22%32%
To help me have some fun  7%12%
Source: Shoppercentric (February 2011)

The retailers' websites are more popular
It's not only the retailer's Facebook page which is more popular than the page from the brand's head office. The online shopper will rather visit the retailer's website than the brand's website. Again local is better than global.

Shoppers might not always see the great idea behind a company's online presence but they do visit both our social media pages and our websites. Thank Good. The purpose why shoppers visit a social media page and website is nonetheless quite different.

Reason for contacting companies           Website   Social media
To make a purchase 63%6%
Researching 59%10%
News about products 51%13%
Find the best price    55%8%
Get loyalty award 44%7%
Reviews 43%12%
Offers, discounts, vouchers 43%10%
To make a complaint 42%6%
To get news    38%11%
See what others have bought 26%15%
Share thoughts, join a forum 14%29%
To fell part of a group 12%32%
Source: Shoppercentric (February 2011)

One in ten who follow a brand on Facebook is doing it in order to get a discount, exclusive price or to participate in a competition or to get news. Only 6 per cent do it to make a purchase which shows that Facebook isn't a place of commerce but a place of social interaction.

Read Windows on shopping in evolution by Shoppercentric.

20 Feb 2011

Focus Your Online Surveys

We need to know our customers in order to succeed. One way to get to know them is to let them answer a survey or questionnaire. But you need to plan this and not give in to the temptation and give the customer too many questions.

Keep it short
SurveyMonkey took 100,000 surveys which were 1-30 questions long, and analyzed the median amount of time that respondents took to complete the surveys. In an perfect world the average time it takes to answer a question should not vary based on the length of the survey. But the world is not perfect, as we all know. And the result shows that the longer the survey, the shorter the respondent used on each question.

Number of
Average seconds spent
pr question
  Total survey
    completion time
1 751 min 15 sec
2 402 min
3-10 302-5 min
11-15      255-7 min
16-25 217-9 min
26-30 199-10 min
Source: SurveyMonkey (February 2011)

In fact in a survey longer than 30 questions, the average amount of time spend on each question is only half of that compared to surveys with less than 30 questions. Knowing this you must tune your survey or questionnaire because you want as many as possible to completed the surveys and the respondents to stay focused all the way through.

This means you'll have to:
  1. Ask only relevant questions.
  2. Make the questions easy to understand.
  3. Test your survey.
If you do this you should get more completed surveys and, perhaps even more important, a better result.

Read How Much Time are Respondents Willing to Spend on Your Survey? by SurveyMonkey.

22 Nov 2010

Free Shipping Increases Order Value

Are your web shop offering free shipping? Do you have any free shipping campaigns? No? Well, you might want to reconsider. A report from Comscore reveals that most of your competitors have free shipping from time to time. In Q3 2010, 41 per cent of all online retail transactions had free shipping. This is an increase by 6 percentage points from two years earlier. And the customers love it. 55 per cent of the customers indicate that they would be at least somewhat likely to leave their shopping cart without free shipping when they made their purchase.

In another Comscore survey, 84 per cent of consumers answered that free shipping was somewhat or very important to them when making a purchase this holiday season.

If you introduce free shipping, you might think your average shopping cart value will be missing a significant amount: P&P (post and packing). Well, your shopping cart will be missing P&P, however, the cart value will be much higher. In Q3 2010 the average order value for transactions involving free shipping was 41 per cent higher than transactions without free shipping. Still not a fan of free shipping?

Read more on Comscores blog .

1 May 2010

Dialogue with Your Customers Increases Revenue

Engage in dialogue with your customers and you will sell more. This is the conclusion in the survey: “E-commerce, trust and social networking – the case of Danish online video game stores” made by Jon Lund. In other words if you engage in dialogue on Social Media with your customer or uses social networking elements on your website, you will increase your customers' satisfaction and they will shop more often in your online shop.

Social Media and trust-scores
The survey shows that the more a company uses Social Media, like Facebook, the higher trust-scores it receives on This suggests that Social Media is a valuable asset in the quest for satisfied customers. There seems to be a connection between trust-scores and number of orders in the online shop: the higher trust-scores, the more frequent visit to the online shop. So keep your customers happy and they will shop more.

Social Media also helps customers to express themselves to other customers - and potential customers. And if they are satisfied they will tell other customers about it. Then you have a online success.

If you want to know how to become a Social Media Champion I have written a few basis rules you have to take into consideration in an earlier blog post. It seems to be worth it!

Read an excerpt and get the whole survey.

5 Apr 2010

Social Commerce Adds Credibility

Remember back in the old days, before industrialisation in the late 18th century? Probably not, but if a person needed a new pair of shoes he went to the shoemaker – or perhaps back then a clog maker. He met him face-to-face; the producer met the customer. The customer was able to ask questions and get help from the product manufacturer himself.

Industrialisation changed that. Products began to be mass-produced. The producers were out of sight. People still had to go to a shop to find a pair of shoes, but they had no social interaction with the producer. Instead, consumers had to trust the sales person – they had no other choice.

We’re now in the 21st century. An increasing number of consumers are shopping online, buying products without ever meeting a sales person. There is no social interaction, which means no one to ask for help.

Will shoppers trust a website?

Many e-commerce websites use words like “splendid,” “extraordinary,” “beautiful,” “bargain,” and all kinds of appealing marketing words to describe their products and services. But do shoppers trust these descriptions? Probably not. Numerous studies have shown as much: people don’t trust ads, people trust other people. But there are no people on a website.

The solution for an e-commerce site seeking to achieve a higher degree of credibility is social commerce. Social commerce is customer interaction that drives real business results. In TELMORE’s case, social commerce puts user-generated content in the purchase path, bringing value to our customers – and credibility to TELMORE.

Social interaction online

Let me illustrate with an example. A person is browsing the web for a new mobile phone. An Internet search brings him to TELMORE, where he finds the HTC Hero, which costs 1799 DKK ($326US/242 €). But who is TELMORE, and can he trust us? User ratings show that this is a popular, well-received phone. And perhaps more importantly, the reviews show that customers – real people like the shopper in our example – have bought from our website before and had a good experience.

The shopper’s natural initial hesitation is subdued, and he clicks on the phone to see more. On the next page he finds all ratings and reviews made by other vistors.

On this specific phone there are 46 reviews made by other customers – not by TELMORE. These ratings and reviews give TELMORE credibility, because they show that we are not afraid to give the power to our customers. We let them tell the truth about the phone and our brand, and as mentioned above, people trust other people. The words of our customers give the shopper the information he needs to confidently purchase the phone.

At TELMORE we have literally thousands upon thousands of reviews. Although we don’t meet our customers face-to-face as people did years ago, we still communicate with them. We have a blog, a popular Facebook fanpage, a Twitter account, and a customer support staff to answer calls. In addition, we have ratings and reviews, which give us a valuable advantage. Not only are our customers communicating with us online, but they are able to communicate with other customers and shoppers. Instead of talking to the clog maker, our visitors are able to talk to each other.

This is how the visitors interact on our site, and it’s just one example of social commerce. I personally surf the internet for product information, blogs, and naturally ratings and reviews. The doctor does take his own medicine.

How is your business using social commerce? Do ratings and reviews influence you?

(This blog post is posted simultaneously at Bazaarvoice.)

8 Mar 2010

Give Your Customer Something Extra

Let's face it. An online shopper can get his or her shirt, broadband connection or computer programme from a wide group of online shops. So why should he buy it in your online shop? The price is more or less the same if you take p&p and all expences into account. The solution is simple: give the customer something extra.

An example is airline tickets. You can get a plane ticket to a certain destination eg from London to Paris from several airlines and numerous travel sites to more or less the same price. Where does the customer buy his ticket? He buys his ticket from the vendor who can make his travel most pleasant via a digital service. This could be the possibility to check-in online when the customer buys his or her ticket, so he or she doesn't have to que in the airport and waste valuable time. Instead he can go directly to the security. Or the vendor who can arrange parking ie sell parking ticket to the airport parking facilities, so the customer can buy his air ticket and his parking ticket at the same time. These are just two valuable online services.

You might think that your product can't have a digital service added to it. But you are wrong. All product can have a digital service added to it: You just have to figure out which. So start thinking. If you can find a digital service which will improve your product, you will attract customers and improve you business.