2013 will be the biggest online Christmas shopping year in history, many expecting the £10bn mark to be passed.
With the opportunity inherent, companies face challenges, from shipping to staffing.
But during and after the sales are made, customer service becomes one of the main headaches for companies. If an omnichannel strategy is missing, cue disappointed and increasingly vocal customers.
The customer service expectations of consumers in the UK and beyond has been revealed by Zendesk in a study polling 7,000 people in seven countries. The participants were aged 18-64, with 1,000 surveyed in each of the U.K, U.S., Australia, Brazil, France, Germany and Japan.
The data suggest that British customers demand the highest-levels of customer service in Europe. The data also reveal much about preferred communication channels and what good customer service can do for a brand.
Supermarket giant Tesco was recently the victim of a viral blog that highlighted the laughably poor standards of cleanliness and service on offer at one of its London stores.
The Tumblr entitled ‘The very worst Tesco’ includes images from the Haggerston store in east London that show empty shelves, piles of boxes blocking aisles and a video of an alarm going off throughout the night.
Tesco chairman Sir Richard Broadbent said in an interview with The Sunday Times that his company had taken action to clean up the store in reaction to the Tumblr and that it was vital for the retailer to provide an excellent in-store experience for customers.
21% of the global population will be using mobile apps by the end of the year. Your company may need an app too, but should you build your app for iPad, iPhone or Android?
One and a half billion people will be using mobile apps by the end of the 2013, equivalent to 21% of the global population.
Of course, mobile-optimised websites are clearly vital to communicate with your audience, with the balance now tipping in favour of responsive website design, but there’s still a strong case to be made for providing one or more apps as well.
But assuming you’re ready to commit, should you go for an iPad, iPhone or Android app?
Live chat has the highest satisfaction levels for any customer service channel, with 73%, compared with 61% for email and 44% for phone.
I can see why as live chat combines the best of phone and email, and avoids the pain of hanging on the line listening to muzak.
The stats come from eDigital's Customer Service Benchmark which surveyed 2,000 consumers on their experiences of various customer service channels.
Here, I've taken a closer look at the stats, and the value of providing live chat for customers...
We all know that Christmas is a huge season for retailers, but it’s also a big deal for affiliate marketers.
Bloggers everywhere are starting to reveal their site content for the holiday season: what we should wear, what we could cook and what we must buy our children.
For content affiliate sites, seasonal content is perfect for advertising Christmas gifts and related products. According to stats from Experian Hitwise, online shopping over Christmas 2012 was the busiest ever, with almost 200m visits on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day alone.
This is only going to increase as we move towards December.
There’s huge creative potential when brand advertisers and media owners choose to collaborate. It’s astonishing how scarcely it seems to happen, especially given just how memorable such collaborations have typically been.
Take the first episode of zombie thriller The Returned on Channel 4 earlier this year. The programme was aired in its original French, with English subtitles, a first for mainstream drama on television.
With a brilliant touch, the first commercial break was also in French with English subtitles, and included spots by French brands such as Renault, Boursin and L’Oreal.
As we draw closer to the end of 2013, not a day goes by without someone committing a feverish 'future of content marketing' post into the marketing blogosphere.
According to these digital soothsayers, next year we are destined (doomed?) to see more native advertising, more video content, more renewed commitment to ‘story first’ strategies, and so forth.
These are all strategies and techniques you could have read about in 2012, 2011 and 2010. The truth is content marketing has been around for over a hundred years, but there are many who would be happy for it to remain in its predictable, boring and samey infancy.
To be quite blunt, content marketing in 2014 needs to grow up.
Here’s how I’d like see content marketing mature over the next year...
"If there’s one thing you have if you run a small business, it’s time. If there’s one thing you probably don’t have, it’s money."
I have to credit the above statement to Will Critchlow, it condenses what I'm about to discuss in a simplified way.
Essentially social media costs nothing but can be a fairly time consuming practice depending on how many platforms you choose to use. Social media is also the key way for a small business to develop awareness, raise its profile, gauge its market and interact with existing and future customers.
As a small business you're in a great position to start exploiting social media for all its worth.
As the UK is celebrating its first Small Business Saturday on 7th December 2013, here I present the first in a series of posts that will take a look at each individual social media platform, and highlight how your small business can wring the best out of each one.
Let's begin with Twitter.
It’s no secret that people commonly use smartphones while in-store, however a new report has revealed the extent to which mobile devices influence the purchase journey for grocery shoppers.
A survey of 1,400 people who were logged into Wi-Fi hotspots found that 83% of respondents use a smartphone or tablet to prepare their shopping list, while 59% use a mobile device to search for recipes.
Almost two-thirds (64%) of respondents then use their smartphone while in-store to help them shop.
The data is obviously skewed to only include people using some sort of mobile device, however it is a useful indicator of how connected consumers buy groceries.
Snapchat, the equally popular and controversial photo-sharing site, has edged out Facebook in being the most frequently used platform to upload photos.
Out of 809m daily photo uploads in November 2013 so far, Snapchat has a 49% share (accounting for approximately 400m daily uploads), with Facebook now at 43%.
This 400m figure has grown from the reported 350m in September 2013 and a previous figure of 200m in June 2013.