Along with a number of genuine national holidays, the end of November and beginning of December are a time for consumers to enjoy a time of frantic spending as we commemorate fictional occasions created by retailers to help make a few extra sales.
These special shopping days always have awful buzzword names that initially mean very little to anyone outside of the marketing industry, but eventually come to be used in every day conversation due to the good work of PRs and the national media.
Off the back of Thanksgiving we’ve just enjoyed Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which heralded the usual surge in online spending and unseemly squabbling in stores.
And here are some interesting stats detailing just how much was spent during the annual sales bonanza...
Back in 2010 when social media marketing was still in its infancy our former research director Jake Hird rounded up more than 20 mind-blowing stats that gave an overview of how the industry was progressing.
Since then Jake has emigrated to an old British penal colony and these stats have become somewhat less mind-blowing as people now accept that social media is a massive industry.
Even so it’s still interesting to take a stroll down memory lane and revisit these statistics to see the extent to which social media usage has changed in the past three years.
So, here they are:
Brands no longer have an option over whether or not they provide social customer service as consumer demand dictates that complaints and queries are at least acknowledged even if they are ultimately dealt with via a different (less public) channel.
A new study by IMGroup found that fashion retailer Next currently provides the best overall social customer service among brick-and-mortar retailers, followed by Argos and Marks & Spencer.
Next was the top performer on Facebook and the second best on Twitter, which are the two channels most commonly used for social customer service.
All of the retailers in the report had a Twitter presence, with seven of them operating a dedicated customer service feed. Only Superdrug and Boots do not use Twitter for customer service or complaint handling.
Copywriting is just one of the elements that combine to make up an effective ecommerce product page.
The product description needs to be informative and sell the benefits of the item, while also being concise enough to retain the customer’s interest.
Copywriting also goes some way to contributing to a brand’s identity, as the tone and type of language used will impact how customers perceive the site.
To show the extent to which the quality of copywriting varies among major retailers I’ve pulled together nine examples of product descriptions for the same pair of Levi 510 skinny jeans.
One of our main focuses on the Econsultancy blog is highlighting instances of best practice and digital excellence in the marketing world.
But every so often it’s also useful to shine a light on the mistakes that people make, particularly when it comes to social media.
I could try to lie and say that I’m doing this so we can all learn valuable lessons from the unfortunate errors of others, but truthfully I just find it quite amusing.
It's Friday again, so here is a collection of statistics for you to enjoy.
This week it includes click-and-collect, live chat, online travel bookings, mobile privacy, Facebook ads, and ecommerce this Christmas.
And for more digital marketing stats, check out our Internet Statistics Compendium.
Twitter Q&As are like London buses – you wait ages for one then 100 come along at once. At least I think that’s how it goes?
In recent months brand marketers must have been busy convincing prominent members of staff to make themselves available on social media, as it seems every day someone else is answering questions via a hashtag.
The main benefit of these Q&As is PR, as the likelihood is that a huge number of trolls will try to ruin the exchange and inadvertently get it trending.
It tends to be the preserve of pointless celebrities and footballers, however every now and then someone of genuine interest agrees to get involved.
This roundup includes seven Twitter Q&As that proved to be useful for one reason or another...
In the ever-evolving realm of digital, email could almost be considered as an old school form of marketing.
However it’s still a hugely effective tool for driving traffic and sales, particularly when combined with personalised content and offers.
As such it’s a topic we frequently write about here on the Econsultancy blog with the posts often proving to be a good starting point for debate among our readers.
On one of my recent posts about mobile optimisation a commenter from Nordstrom suggested that I focus my efforts on reviewing how different brands handle transactional emails.
I promised that I would, but first of all I had to do some research to find out what she meant by ‘transactional email’.
Thanksgiving is traditionally a time for spending time with the family, eating too much and frantically shopping for bargains online.
A recent Nielsen survey found that almost half (46%) of US shoppers plan to shop online on Black Friday while Adobe has predicted that ecommerce sales will total £1.6bn as people log on for bargains the day after Thanksgiving.
This is on top of the online shopping that will be done on Thanksgiving itself, which is predicted is reach $1.1bn.
Unsurprisingly ecommerce sites have already begun promoting Black Friday deals to try and keep up with the competition and capture those holiday dollars.
With that in mind, here’s a look at how six major retailers are marketing Black Friday deals on their homepages...
New research shows that one-in-five (19%) multichannel sales now comes from click-and-collect, up from 13% in the same period in 2012.
The figures are taken from sales data in Q3 2013 and show the importance of offering a click-and-collect service in the run up to Christmas.
Halfords and Argos have already proven the impact that the service can have on online sales, so it’s no wonder that small retailers also want to get in on the act.
A new service called StreetHub aims to make this possible in north London by creating ‘click-and-collect network of local boutiques with the best of design and fashion’.