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8 out of 10 shoppers prefer digital help over human interaction

mWk3yeW - android - rgbstockI’m not one of those people that worries about robots taking over the world or that our increasing reliance on digital has made us skittish about human interaction. Wait. . . maybe that last part. . . you have to admit, customer service isn’t what it used to be.

In the 1950’s, a man wearing a suit and tie would greet you at the door of the appliance store then walk you through the features of every model on the floor. He’d find out how many kids you have and how many loads of laundry you do in a week and an hour later he’d write up a bill of sale for the perfect washing machine.

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.

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)

New Report Shows Social Media Leads to Coupon Searches

Today, I am Old Mother Hubbard – my cupboard is bare. That means I must make a trip to the grocery store and since I’ve been well-trained by the two chains I visit, I’ll first visit the web to add digital coupons to my loyalty card. I do it so automatically anymore that I forget how new this concept is. A year ago, I was heading to the store with a fist full of not-so-carefully cut bits of paper. Now I click and go.

The newly released Valassis Shopper Marketing Report shows that digital couponing is a growing trend, especially with Millennials. 40% of shoppers surveyed said their coupon usage has increased over the past year. 24% said that their use of a smartphone to get deals has also increased.

New Study Says Real Men Do Shop for Laundry Detergent

Defy Male Shopper PercentsHere’s a business idea, a grocery store aimed specifically at men. Sound crazy? Maybe not. According to Defy Media’s 2nd annual Acumen Report: Brand New Man 65% of men are the primary shoppers for several household product categories. And here’s a well-kept secret, 67% say they actually enjoy shopping for the family.

I’m one of those rare animals that actually enjoys grocery shopping, so I get it. It can be very relaxing and freeing and if you’re a dad, it feels good to choose the products that are right for your family.

The report clearly shows that the modern man is less interested in being the bread-winner as he is about being the bread buyer or even baker!

Loyalty Program Members Say they Shop More, Spend More and Share More

vonscardI have to go grocery shopping today and I have a choice of two store with loyalty programs. One is going to give me .20 a gallon off gas at my preferred gas station. I need gas. Guess which store is getting my business today.

There’s nothing subtle about loyalty programs. According to a new report from Forrester 71% of consumers belong to at least 1 program but the average consumer belongs to eight. It’s the next number that hits home:

48% of adults cite customer loyalty programs as a top motivator for interacting with brands that they like.