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With the beginning of a new year one is supposed to be inspired to look ahead and set lofty goals for the future.
However it is also a time to look back on the past 12 months to reflect and see if there are any lessons to be learned from past experiences.
Therefore there’s no better time to re-read some of the excellent surveys and reports that Econsultancy’s award-winning research team produced in 2013.
The publications cover a broad range of topics including mobile, user experience, marketing budgets, personalisation, email, SEO, cross-channel marketing, conversion rate optimisation and content management.
So put the kettle on, sit back, and improve your mind with these intriguing digital marketing and ecommerce statistics...
Tapping the Google Play Store icon on my phone earlier this week I was faced with a horrifying sight. Sat staring at me in the ‘Recommended for You’ section was the official Tottenham Hotspur app.
It’s lucky Google isn’t in charge of selecting my Christmas presents. As a man sporting a (tasteful-ish) Arsenal tattoo, I’m on the verge of suing for slander.
The personalisation of the web has taken great strides, with big data helping to draw detailed pictures of who you are based on where you’ve been, but how do companies find the right balance between trying to deliver based on what they know, and what they assume?
Real-time retailing means being able to detect, understand, communicate with and serve your customers at every point in the purchase lifecycle.
So how can online retailers react responsively to customer needs when they visit their websites?
Here are my seven top tips for how you can become a real-time retailer today.
Yesterday I was invited to the UK launch of a new personalised video platform, created by Dutch company Rednun.
Rednun claims that if you want the biggest impact possible for the maximum number of people, you can’t do it by producing just one video and uploading it on a shared video platform. You need to personally tailor each video for every individual viewer.
The user provides their personal information to a company, the company provides that database of customer information to a production company. The production company creates a video specifically for every customer, providing maximum relevance and complete personalisation.
Rednun claims the rewards are higher conversion rates, brand loyalty, visibility and engagement rates.
I'm naturally skeptical of most things, especially in terms of the technology needed to achieve mass personalisation and the above goals promised by the company, so here's a rundown of the presentation with a few of my own thoughts peppered throughout for balance.
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...
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...
Like most people in the UK I loved the Olympics and the Paralympics; however I particularly enjoyed the Paralympics.
One of the programmes that I enjoyed the most was The Last Leg, so I was particularly pleased when Channel 4 brought this back. If you have not already seen it, it really is a must watch!
One of the features on the last leg is called #isitOK. Here the audience are asked to tweet questions that they would like the hosts to answer, using the hashtag #isitOK.
In homage to this programme I have decided to shamelessly plagiarise that format, including some of the most interesting questions I have been asked recently.
Geographical personalisation is the latest tool to help website owners identify and serve truly personalised online shopping experiences to customers based on precise location.
Here are our top tips for online marketers looking to boost conversion rates with geo-personalisation:
A key theme at the recent Econsultancy Digital Cream roundtable on Personalisation was paralysis: being unsure how to prove the business case to justify investment and start the personalisation journey.
This uncertainty is leading to inertia as digital teams invest in what they know works, such as paid search, rather than take the leap of faith and pursue what they believe will work but don’t have a robust model to validate.
However, there are some simple steps that people can take to test the impact of personalisation before worrying about sophisticated options like using predictive modelling to drive on-site merchandising and geo-personalisation of online advertising.
This blog is a walk-through of what I think is a realistic roadmap for personalisation, starting with the absolute basics (hey basics often work really well so don’t think you’ve got to go all weird science straight away!) and gradually progressing to the sexy wizardry of advanced targeting.
Online personalization has been blighted by the stigma that it’s something we’d all love to achieve but it’s out of the reach for the middle market.
In fact, a recent Econsultancy survey that found that 94% of companies sampled agreed personalization “is critical to current and future success” but they didn’t know where to start or how to approach it.
But the tables are turning and this is all about to change. Companies that have started to use new and accessible personalization technologies have seen up to a 300% increase in conversions.
Unlike traditional 'top of the funnel' personalization models which rely on past behaviour data to personalize the online and email marketing experience, new cloud-based technologies use real-time behaviour analytics to adapt content and engage users whilst they’re on-site.
This means the messages and communication can change depending on if the user is at lead or at the referral stage.
The first week of July heralds not only the second week of Wimbledon and the start of Henley Regatta, but also the beginning of Q3.
That means it’s the perfect time to take a glance back at some of the interesting reports that our excellent research team published in Q2.
The topics include customer engagement, content management, personalisation, email marketing and web analytics.
So, here are the stats...