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Small business owners shift attention from acquisition to retention

Bia Kelsey Retention ReportMore than half of small businesses get more than half of their annual revenue from repeat customers. So while it’s true that all businesses need to continuously find new customers, keeping the ones you have is becoming even more important.

According to a new report by Manta and BIA/Kelsey called “Achieving Big Customer Loyalty in a Small Business World“, a large number of small businesses are now spending half of their time and budget on their current customers. This represents a big shift in thinking but it’s a logical step in this tightfisted economy.

It can cost ten times more to find a new customer than keep a current one engaged. It’s also easier. . . if you make good use of available tools. Simply communicating with customers on a regular basis by email or through social media is a good start.

Mobile phones and tablets chip away at desktop ecommerce

This past February, US retail sales were up 1.5% over last year. Big deal, right? How about this: US ecommerce sales were up 10% year-over-year. Let’s go one better:¬† mobile ecommerce was up 45% compared to the same period in 2013. Amazing.

Custora Pulse did the calculations and look what’s happening here. Smartphone sales are up from 5% to 9%. Tablets are up from 8% to 10%. But look at Desktop! Sales dropped from 87% to 81%.

The overwhelming majority of sales are coming in on an iOS platform (78%) but Android is up over last year 22% vs 17%. Android isn’t taking over the lead any time soon but this is a good indicator of how many new smartphones are landing in the hands of shoppers.

Custora Feb 2014

Survey says Millennials are not a one night stand (Infographic)

moosylvania millennialsI’m always suspect of any research published on April Fool’s Day and even more so when it comes from a company called Moosylvania (any Bullwinkle fans in the house?). But “Truth, Justice and the Millennial Way” is an excellent presentation / infographic with a style that totally grabs me. Hey, I know I shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover or a presentation by its graphics, but anybody who puts a retro cat clock on the page deserves your attention.

The overall point of this piece is that Millennials aren’t easy. Unlike their parents before them, they aren’t prepared to jump at what ever you dangle in front of them. They want to be wooed. They want a relationship and if you can impress them they’ll be yours forever.

Teen Vogue says the future belongs to Instagram

Teen VogueInstagram just crossed the 200 million monthly active user mark. That’s 20 billion photos shared with an average of 60 million photos per day. Personally, I can’t see the allure of this image blasting app but my son swears by it and so do the girls of Teen Vogue.

The magazine asked 1,000 members of their “It Girl” community about how they use social media and how it affects the way they shop. The sampling was made up of all US women between the ages of 13 and 29.

Across the board, one word kept popping up again and again – Instagram. Teens labeled it the number one platform for inspiring purchases.

“If you had to pick just one social network to use, what would it be?”
#1: Instagram 

Bing makes a visual splash with new Product Ads for search

In case you haven’t noticed, visual imagery is in like Flynn. Pinterest, Instagram, expanded photo options on Twitter and Facebook – it’s a byproduct of our lightening fast, mobile world. If we can see it, we’re more likely to choose it and buy it. So Bing is bringing that idea over to the search page with their new Product Ads.

Bing Product AdThe Product Ad can combine with the traditional text ad as well as an organic text result for a pretty big 1-2-3 punch. In this example, we have fresh flowers from Contoso Floral. Your eye goes right to the beautiful bouquets on the right.

New survey shows shortened path to purchase

need for speed 1My world was rocked recently by a shopping revelation – 9 times out of 10, it’s easier to buy what I want online than to go to a store. I fought the concept because I actually enjoy shopping but I realize that when it comes to mundane things that I need likes sheets and printer ink and new shoes for my son – shopping online is simpler and faster. Why faster? Because the note to “buy shoes” will sit on my desk for a week before I get myself over to Walmart. In that amount of time I could have had them delivered. And now that I have Amazon Prime, there’s almost nothing I can’t have within 2 days of ordering it.

Pinterest Encourages Shoppers with New Gift Feed

Here are a few facts about Pinterest and eCommerce:

  • 47% of US online shoppers say they bought something as a direct result of a Pinterest recommendation.
  • Buyers who came from Pinterest are 10% more likely to complete the transaction compared to those coming in from any other social media site.
  • The average order value from a Pinterest shopper is around $100. Facebook is closer to $50.

Clearly, shoppers love Pinterest and vice versa and now Pinterest is making it even easier for you to sell and them to buy.

Gifts on Pinterest

This is the new Gifts feed. It shows only Product Pins. These are the pins that have ecommerce details such as price and where to buy. Product Pins also include those tiny logo icons you see just under the photo. The trained eye can now scan a page and pick out all the cool Etsy items at a glance! (And it’s a great branding perk for your business)