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I solemnly swear that this is (probably) the last Black Friday/Cyber Monday post we’re going to write this year.
We’ve potentially been guilty of overdoing it, but then when the whole ecommerce world goes mad for a sales event it's hard to avoid getting swept up in the hoopla.
Personalisation is widely seen as vital to the success of online businesses, yet new research shows that companies are some way off delivering cross-channel personalised experiences.
The Econsultancy/Monetate Realities of Personalisation Report shows that while 43% of companies currently deliver a personalised experience on desktop this figure falls to just 14% on tablet and 13% on mobile.
For both devices more than half of respondents (54%) stated that they plan to adopt personalisation in the next 12 months, but this needs to be treated with caution as the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
It also means that around a third of businesses have no plans to implement the technology.
Though more than nine out of ten marketers agree that personalisation is critical to their success, almost half of companies lack the necessary technology to properly implement website personalisation.
The findings come from the new Econsultancy/Monetate Realities of Personalisation Report, which found that 47% of companies cite IT roadblocks as a major barrier to adopting or improving website personalisation.
A similar number of respondents (46%) pointed to legacy technology, while 44% cited lack of budget.
In contrast, among respondents from marketing agencies lack of knowledge (54%) and inability to translate data into action (51%) took the first two spots.
Lack of budget and lack of staff are the third and fourth most cited barriers for both companies and agencies surveyed, highlighting the importance of prioritising resources that are often scarce.
The growing importance of delivering a personalised experience online is highlighted in a new Econsultancy and Monetate survey in which 94% of businesses stated that personalisation ‘is critical to current and future success.’
Furthermore, the research found that for two-thirds (66%) of client-side respondents, both improved business performance and customer experience are the main drivers for personalising the website experience.
The Realities of Online Personalisation is based on a survey of more than 1,100 digital and ecommerce professionals working for brands and agencies, carried out in February 2013.
Cyber Monday proved to be hugely popular with US consumers, with almost $2bn spent online in 24 hours.
And new stats from Monetate show that the increasingly important role that tablets are playing in the post-Thanksgiving shopping bonanza.
The data shows that conversion rates on the iPad on Cyber Monday were over 6%, more than 2% higher than any other day during the Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday period.
Furthermore, tablet conversion rates (5.84%) actually exceeded conversion rates on desktop (5.51%).
Email marketing is an important channel for maintaining a relationship with customers and driving conversions through targeted messages and offers.
Then there’s also the pressing issue of mobile email, as while stats show that 27% of emails are opened on mobile devices results from our Email Marketing Census 2012 reveal that a large number of companies do not have any strategy in place for optimising emails for mobile.
This infographic from Monetate looks at the conversion rate for email marketing compared to Twitter and search, as well revealing ways of increasing sales using email.
As online shoppers we like to think our purchases are based on rational decisions rather than manipulative sales techniques.
But in reality, we are quite likely to be swayed by simple graphics that highlight a product as ‘new’ or as a ‘bestseller.’
This infographic created by Monetate suggests that product badges can actually improve conversion rates by as much as 55%, so it’s clearly a sales method that can’t be ignored.
It’s no secret that delivering an excellent customer experience has a positive impact on conversion rates and revenue.
Amazon is the perfect example of this. Its massive growth has been driven in no small part by its painless one-click payment system and excellent customer service.
This infographic, produced by Monetate, shows that 73% of consumers would buy again from a retailer if they had a superior customer experience, while 89% would shun a business if they had a bad experience.
It’s not all about looks in the world of e-commerce, usability is just as important for converting site visits into sales.
There are some exceptions – notably Ling’s Cars – but in general websites need to be easy to navigate with a simple checkout process to prevent users from abandoning a potential purchase.
More than a third of US consumers (40%) prefer social logins to creating a new/guest account on e-commerce sites, according to a new study from Monetate.
Of course this indicates that a majority of consumers prefer creating new accounts, but merchants still cannot afford to ignore social logins altogether.
When looking at the breakdown of which social networks consumers prefer to login with, Facebook came top with 60%.
We're all fans of testing and measurement here at Econsultancy. It might not be the sexiest of disciplines, but the results can often have a phenomenal effect on how people interact with your business.
Taking a stab at what you think people might do on your site, or how they'll use your service, is a good place to start - but thorough analysis is something every business should be investing in.
Online retail sales during the holiday season increased by 15% in 2011 compared to 2010, according to data from Monetate.
Sales at brick-and-mortar stores increased by just 4% in the same period.