My blog post this week is a culmination of a few interesting tidbits I learned this week:
1. More retailers are experimenting with social media, despite the fact that social media tactics are still experimental at best and returns are hazy. In fact, according to Fiona Swerdlow, head of research at Shop.org — who presented the opening keynote at Retail Online Integration’s Retail Marketing Virtual Conference & Expo (RMV) — 80 percent of respondents to a recent survey from Shop.org are pursuing the channel because they believe it’s a great time to experiment and learn more.
2. Been flogged online? The best way to deal with negative reviews that come along with being more visible in the blogosphere may come from an unlikely source: a section on Yelp’s Business Owner’s Guide titled “Responding to Reviews.”
This great tip came via Eric Anderson, vice presdient of emerging media at White Horse Interactive during his RMV presentation titled “Live Retail Website Lab.”
When crafting your message to customers, Yelp advises keeping the following three things in mind:
- Your reviewers are your paying customers.
- Your reviewers are human beings with (sometimes unpredictable) feelings and sensitivities.
- Your reviewers are vocal and opinionated (otherwise, they wouldn’t be writing reviews).
3. The Interactive Advertising Bureau announced guidelines designed to standardize the information that ad networks and exchanges provide to advertisers and agencies. Here are the six new guidelines:
- Transparency should exist for inventory sources, publisher relationships, content types and ad placement details.
- Advertisers should be presented with content categories that are universally defined in the industry.
- Categories of illegal content should be defined or labeled. For example, content that infringes a copyright should be marked as prohibited for sale.
- Under the industry organization’s provisions, ad networks should rate content for audience segments.
- Data disclosure terms should be outlined for offsite behavioral targeting and third-party data.
- Companies should provide for IAB training of appointed compliance officers in each certified network or exchange.
4. Email’s influence over multichannel purchasing is powerful, according to a study from e-Dialog. The majority of consumers (58 percent) surveyed said they’ve been driven to make a purchase in a store or over the phone by a marketing email. And while websites are the preferred place for consumers to opt in, they’re also very willing to subscribe to email messages offline — e.g., when placing a catalog order (46 percent), at the point of sale (29 percent) or via SMS text message (13 percent).
5. More than 50 percent of consumers have come to expect personalized merchandising, starting with a personalized homepage. Furthermore, 77 percent of shoppers will make an additional purchase when presented with personalized recommendations.
These findings came via a report from MyBuys, a provider of personalized recommendations for multichannel retailers, titled “Consumer Insights into Multi-Channel Interactions: Practical Tools for Profitable Selling.” For the report, MyBuys commissioned the e-tailing group to survey 1,000 consumers to gain insights into how shoppers interacted with personalized merchandising and where they expected to see personalized recommendations.
Did you learn anything interesting this week that you’d like to share? Post it here.