Take another look at beacons

Many of the retailers who use beacons don’t take advantage of all the functionality of the technology. Many beacons are used for one purpose – to identify the location of a mobile device and to push one mobile app, one URL or one function to that mobile device. Google wants retailers to take another look at beacons and take advantage of continually improving beacon technology (Lewis, 2016).

Stephen Statler, author of the book “Beacon Technologies: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Beacosystem”, predicts that U.S. retailers will install more than one million beacons in 2016. Beacon technology providers believe that the top 50 U.S. retailers will make major investments in beacon projects this year (Proxbook, 2016). Continue reading

Sephora Embraces the Digital Customer Journey for Happier, More Loyal Customers

Businesses must include online search and social media in the customer journey. Sephora is a great example of a brand that embraces the customers’ digital journey to increase customer loyalty. Sephora’s goal is to engage customers on every digital channel, social media, mobile marketing, e-commerce, and in-store mobile. Bridget Dolan, previously Sephora’s vice president of interactive media and now the vice president of Sephora’s Innovation Lab, considers mobile phones a way to attract customers inside the stores. “In retail, you can’t think about the mobile phone as a threat,” says Dolan. “You have to think of it as a magnet to draw that client into your store (Google Small Business, 2014).”

Sephora’s customers are using mobile search to find specific products before visiting a store. Sephora uses Google’s local inventory ads to reach these customers. Once that customer visits a store to purchase an item, she’s encouraged to use online search or Sephora’s mobile app to find other product recommendations, to research products or to look up previous products. Dolan says, “We actually really welcome our clients to take out their phones in the store. The client that really knows exactly what she’s buying, all the reviews, all her options, everything she needs to know is actually a happier client and will come back and shop even more often (Google Small Business, 2014).” Continue reading

Mobile Apps Improve Business Processes

Mobile apps are an important tool for businesses as a way to connect with consumers and to integrate key businesses processes. Businesses that traditionally use forms and applications are taking advantage of mobile apps functions to improve their processes. In a 2015 study, Canvas Marketing surveyed more than 1,600 businesses to learn how they are using mobile apps (Peck, 2015).

Mobile apps provide key business processes. More than half of the businesses surveyed use mobile apps for file storage, credit card processing, customer relationship management and accounting (Peck, 2015). Continue reading

Struggling with your social media? Follow your customers.

In a Forbes research study, 78% of respondents said that social media posts influence their purchasing decisions (Marcyes, 2016). Social media gives you the opportunity to create a dialogue with your customers. Get to know your customers and their needs and provide the content they want.

Your customers are using social media, and that means you need to use social media for your business. But what channels should you use? Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat… they’re all alike, right? Wrong! Each social media channel has its own strengths. What’s the best way to figure out which social media you should use? Listen to your customers and use the same social networks your customers are using.  Continue reading

Cyber Monday, Meet Singles Day

There are only 79 days left to get ready for Black Friday. Megan Keating’s blog post “There’s an App for That”  got me thinking about Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You have to be in line early to get the best deals on Black Friday. That’s what my friends tell me, because I stay far away from the crowd of shoppers on Black Friday. I’m a Cyber Monday shopper, shopping from the comfort of home. (You should check out MKTG MKTG, Megan’s Marketing Musings.)

I just read some interesting statistics on Cyber Monday 2015. Data collected by Adobe found that on average, 14 of every 100 products shoppers viewed online were out of stock (Wattles, 2015). So it pays off to shop early, even from the convenience of your mobile device. IBM’s data found that e-commerce sales increased by 17.8% from 2014 to 2015. Although nearly 50% of total web traffic was on mobile devices, consumers completed 72% of sales on a desktop or laptop. Cyber Monday 2015 sales averaged $124 per customer (Wattles, 2015). But those numbers pale in comparison to Singles Day. What is Singles Day? It’s China’s version of Cyber Monday. Continue reading

Mobile is moving to the top of the class

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It’s Labor Day weekend, the traditional end of summer. In retail, it’s the end of the back-to-school shopping season and time to assess the year’s back-to-school shopping trends. Mobile commerce continues to gain popularity. In-store purchases still dominate for clothing and school supplies, but mobile has taken the lead for technology purchases. More parents are using mobile devices in the decision-making process before making in-store purchases (Rubicon Project, n.d.).   Continue reading

Does anyone watch network news broadcasts anymore?

Last Thursday I watched a 6:30 p.m. network news broadcast which made my family ask, “Why are you watching this?”. In the days before cable television, the nightly news was a family tradition. The family ate a meal together at 6 p.m. then watched one of three network broadcasts. Times have certainly changed. It has been years since I watched network news at 6:30 p.m. So where do I get news now?   Continue reading