The UK is celebrating its first Small Business Saturday on 7th December 2013, following in the footsteps of the United States who began the initiative in 2010, generating $5.5bn in its first year.
Supported by the UK government, it is hoped that success will follow into the UK and generate support for the 4.9m SMEs currently located here.
As well as some well-meaning tips on digitally showcasing and preparing for the big day, the blog begins with some lovely stats that should hit home on how important it is to participate.
I mean, if the idea of competing with 4.7m business of the same size doesn’t daunt you, then perhaps you should participate for the fun part, or indeed to support other local businesses.
I recently wrote a round-up post on the fairly new phenomenon by 'buy to give' ecommerce sites. One of the featured sites was MyGoodness.com.
I've been talking to its founders to find out more about its founding ethos and the future of the platform.
Will buy-to-give become a larger part of charities' efforts and charitable 'donations', as the consumer urge continues unabated?
Let’s face it: the internet is never going away. However, for some small retailers, the disruption caused by the internet has been a painful experience.
It’s also undeniably a major contributing factor to the reduction in the number of retail outlets that are open and doing business.
So what can small retailers do? Starting with planning, I’ve outlined some steps you can take to use the internet and other digital technologies to their advantage (most of which comes straight from our How The Internet Can Save The High Street report and follow on from a speaking event I did with Royal Canin).
This is a bit of a long post, so you may wish to bookmark it to return to later. Or take a nosey at our Fast Track Digital Marketing training to get a further deep-dive into what I describe.
Read below to find out how to start moving!
This week's stats roundup is all about shopping, including conversion optimisation, mobile-friendly web design, showrooming and eBay.
There's also room for some beefy stats on Facebook and Twitter (after Twitter's IPO) and some interesting detail on web standards and ad complexity.
Feed your brain with this week's rare and juicy stats - watch that white shirt! And for more digital marketing stats, check out our Internet Statistics Compendium.
The feeling of leading a charitable and sustainable life is one that most of us want. For those of us that don’t straight-out donate to charity, making the right choices is essentially the best way to give back.
Sort of like that decision not to go to McDonald’s but to use the local bakery instead or buying a pair of TOMS, for example, we feel as if we’ve given something back without making any effort. Guilt-free consumption, if you will.
If you’re not familiar with TOMS, it's the shoe and eyewear brand with the ‘One for One’ philosophy. For every product bought, TOMS will help a person in need.
Of course, this reads a little like cheating on the part of the customer that wants to feel like a saint whilst getting those in vogue boating shoes. Well, actually I don’t think it is.
I think ecommerce and philanthropy are a natural fit, allowing customers to give something back simply by making the right choices.
In this post, I’ll be listing eight buy-to-give ecommerce companies and explaining why I think this movement might fundamentally change company culture.
Facebook provides an unparalleled amount of real-time, accurate user data. With Facebook, marketers can be flies on the wall, quietly and unobtrusively gaining insight into their consumers by observing the details they share about their lives.
It is the world’s largest unfiltered focus group for brands to listen to, and it’s arguably the richest CRM database for marketers to take advantage of.
Consumers provide large amounts of data through their Facebook activities, enabling marketers to access far more information about who they are than a survey or poll might reveal. And, thanks to the high-frequency of consumer activity on Facebook, all of this wonderfully rich data is consistently kept up to date.
Best of all, the accessibility of consumer data on Facebook means that marketers can utilize it without interfering in their consumers’ lives.
Thanksgivukkah, if you live under a stone, is of course the beautiful coincidence that sees Hanukkah and Thanksgiving fall on the same day this year.
What better way to get some PR for your company and to grab some sales from some of the 6.5m American Jews and the many more that have an affinity with the religion?
I hope that isn’t too cynical, it’s not as if for a long time retailers haven’t greeted every season with glee.
And what’s more, publishers are no better. After all, maybe I'm writing this blog post to aim for a share in the ‘Thanksgivukkah’ search spoils.
For retailers though, there could be some tough decisions.
This morning I was on London’s Regent Street, so I thought I’d promenade up and down (from Oxford Circus, South to Piccadilly Circus) and check which of the mega brands here acknowledge their digital presence in window displays.
That's just the shop window, I didn't go into the store (incidently, West End stores have been slow to adopt in-store tech). In this instance I just wanted to see who pointed online from their front of store merchandising.
I was quite surprised. Some were good, and some were simple and clear. Others were token, and plenty didn’t mention online at all.
With 2013 the first year tablet shipments are expected to exceed that of PCs and also a year in which smartphone penetration reaches 64% in the US (Nielsen), responsive design is rightly this year’s hot topic.
Despite this, it seems a lot of big brands are playing catch up, with new research from Venda showing just one of the UK’s top 50 most visited retail sites (Curry’s) currently hosts a responsive website.
A quarter of websites analysed don’t have a mobile optimised site, and many retailers host their mobile site under a different URL structure to their existing website, which could be negatively impacting their SEO and affecting their efforts with analytics.
As comScore estimates a third of all UK page views now come from smartphones and tablets, delivering a slick customer experience across all devices has become a massive competitive advantage for retailers.
To that end, I've been looking at the new responsive Cloggs website.
It seems that everywhere I look this month I’m reminded of a major and growing trend that’s increasingly impacting the way that every business needs to think.
It’s this: customer expectations are rising faster than a bunch of helium balloons on a calm day. Especially when it comes to digital.
What does this mean and how can you go about meeting and managing your customers’ expectations?