Your restaurant has been around for decades. There are tons of memorabilia on the wall and grandpa is still in the back going through the books like he always has, but it's time for a change. Customers want to come in to use their credit card or Apple pay, but you're stuck in the stone age. So what's stopping you? You're afraid that Grandpa is going to hate the new technology and your business will suffer during the integration of a new Point of Sales (POS) system.
The internet is full of information. We are more aware of how food affects our bodies, how companies treat the environment, or what the Kardashians are wearing. One bad story can go viral within moments.
Fulfilling your duty to the environment should be for your company's best interest plus keeping bad publicity off your plate is not bad either. Maintaining green initiatives within your organization will not only save your business money, but it will get all of us one step closer to leaving a better environment for our children.
So you’ve got a thorough understanding of the advantages of international eCommerce, but how do you deal with the problems that arise, and how do you prevent them from happening in the first place?
For starters, let’s identify a few of the challenges.
Overcoming Customer Fears
The biggest challenge with international eCommerce is dealing with customers’ fears as they consider making a purchase from your company. Understanding these fears is essential to succeeding in online commerce.
Everybody loves a great deal. According to Social Media Today, the number one reason that people follow brands on social media is to learn about and gain access to exclusive discounts and promotions.
In fact, 56% of respondents in a 2016 survey said they connect with brands to receive regular coupons and promotions. Consumers want to know about offers, sweepstakes, discounts and coupons, and there are dozens of reasons why you should consider sharing them.
Why Promotions Matter
Promotions and discounts influence purchasing decisions. They give your customers incentive to buy more and keep coming back for future purchases. They can help attract new customers and build brand loyalty. Still not convinced you need well-crafted promotions? Here are a few key statistics you should know:
● Over 80% of shoppers say they utilize more than one promotional channel to make purchases. (Market Track)
● Coupons are the most sought after type of promotions from consumers, based on a survey by Placed and RetailMeNot.
● In 2016, 92% of consumers used a coupon to make a purchase. (PRRI)
● Of that percent, 87% of Millennials, 91% of Generation Xers and 96% of Baby Boomers used coupons for purchases in 2016. (PRRI)
● Almost half (49%) of consumers will switch brands to take advantage of a promotion or coupon. That number jumps to 60% for mobile coupon users. (GfK MRI The Survey of the American Consumer)
● 83% of consumers have made an unplanned purchase based on a promotion they received.
● 60% of consumers love to receive digital coupons or codes and 50% are likely to visit in-store if they receive one
Even though consumers are attracted to deals, what is considered a “deal” often varies.
Types of Promotions
Deals can come in many different forms. Some of the most common that businesses offer are:
● BOGO (buy one, get one free)
● Free shipping with purchase over a certain amount
● Free gift with purchase
● Percent discount on purchase
● Loyalty program or member discounts
● Free samples with purchase
● Bundled value sets
The type of promotion(s) that you use depends on a number of factors, but you should primarily consider your goal and target audiences.
Selecting the Right Promotions for Your Business
For businesses, it can be a challenge to figure out which promotions generate the most interest and provide value to customers. If you aren’t promoting the right offers, then you could be dumping funds and resources into efforts that yield little to no results.
However, the latest research and surveys can give us some insight into which promotions today’s consumers are drawn to most often. For example, every age group is receptive to promotions, but how they find and use them differs.
● Millennials use coupons just as much or more than their parents.
● According to a Bloomberg report, 90% of Millennials use some form of coupons.
● Millennials search for coupons in: groceries (93%), beauty and cosmetics (69%), clothing (62%), household (60%), and restaurants (57%)
● Millennials are also the age group leading the use of digital and mobile promotions. Based on estimates from eMarketer, there are 121.3 million digital coupon users in the US.
Digital and mobile promotions are becoming more popular among all age groups. That doesn’t mean people aren’t willing to cut out some coupons if the discount is worthwhile, but keep in mind extensions like Honey, social promotions and sites like RetailMeNot.
How to Market Your Promotions
Once you decide which promotions you want to run, you also have to figure out the best way to get the word out. Should you offer print coupons, online or mobile? Should you send them with direct mail or email? A Facebook ad or website banner? Perhaps you want to do a combination of different channels? When deciding, keep these tips in mind:
1. Email is the preferred method to learn about promotions.
One of the most effective ways to reach consumers and share promotions is email. Research from PwC reports that 58% of global consumers prefer to receive discounts and promotions through email, 20% through print sources, and 10% through text message.
Another US-based survey found that email is still overwhelmingly the most preferred method to learn about promotions (60%), but direct mail isn’t far behind (54%). Including promotions in email newsletters is a cost-effective way to engage with your customers and boost sales.
You can use a mix of channels to share your promotions, but keep your audience in mind. For instance, text messaging is still in its infancy and may not be the best way to reach out to US consumers. However, mobile promotions are thriving, especially amongst Millennials.
2. Free shipping is a must for online retailers.
When it comes to online promotions, free shipping is a huge influence. Based on a RetailMeNot holiday survey, the top three reasons consumers are likely to spend more money with a retailer is when they offer free shipping (31%), a percent off the total purchase (28%), or a specific product deal (17%).
In a recent study by UPS and comScore, 77% of shoppers said, "free shipping remains the most important option during checkout". Over 60% of shoppers even said they would place additional items in their cart just to qualify for free shipping. Another 2016 survey found that percent can climb to 91% around the holidays.
3. Consider a loyalty program.
One-time promotions can spike your engagement and sales, but if you want to keep that momentum, then you should have a plan in place. One option is to develop a loyalty program for customers. This helps you build more long-term customer connections and sustain the benefits of promotions over time. Loyalty programs aren’t for all business, but there are clear advantages to consider:
● In a global PwC 2016 retail survey, 91% of participants said that they are a member of a loyalty or rewards program.
● 70% of respondents said the top benefit for joining loyalty/reward programs was member-only discounts and offers.
● A CFI Group survey found that the biggest influence for signing up for loyalty programs, according to 93% of consumers, was access to special promotions.
When loyalty programs offer tangible and clear perks, customers are not only willing to sign up, but have a more positive perception of the brand.
Promotions are a highly effective way to engage customers, generate interest and increased sales, but use them strategically. Offering too many promotions can dilute the value of your offers and brand. When it comes to loyalty programs, one of the main incentives is that it gives a layer of exclusivity.
It is important to preserve your brand’s value and integrity by limiting the number of promotions, coupons and other offers customers can use at a given time. Placing your promotions strategically throughout the year will generate more response than if you offer them all the time. It is important to know which deals are the best for your business, goals, and audience. Successful promotions can take a lot of time and planning, but if managed well, they can produce impressive returns. For professional advice on crafting engaging promotions, marketing them and connecting with your audiences in more meaningful ways, reach out to 10twelve today.
Cross-border sales account for a growing proportion of ecommerce orders. As international shipments grow, ecommerce retailers of all sizes are looking to get in the game and expand to international markets. However, international shipping can create commercial challenges, particularly for smaller retailers. Before you jump into international ecommerce, here are some things about international shipping you should keep in mind.
It’s a whole new world, baby. Once upon a time, politicians, entertainers and athletes could get away with a fair amount of silly behavior with no record of it.
There was no such thing as a digital footprint, capturing every event in your life into the indissoluble time capsule called the internet.
With the birth of the online world, however, came an entire new way of being remembered and, more relevantly, an entirely different way of being evaluated now.
Can you count the number of pens you have in your desk drawer? How many of those are stamped with a brand logo? Better yet, can you recall the brand names on the pens? Promotional items rain from the ceilings of any conference, sometimes they’re literally shot from cannons into crowds! Branded gifts have even been given a newly coined term to keep up with the slang of times. For those who haven’t heard, ‘swag’ is the popular phrase being used to describe these strategic give-aways.
After ruling the eCommerce world for more than ten years, the United States is now the second largest eCommerce country in the world. Still an accomplishment, and still a world of opportunity.
Led by the online giants Amazon & eBay, the U.S. observes a healthy eCommerce growth in all sectors and boasts an annual $340 billion in online sales.
Although the ride-share app, Uber, has experienced some poor press lately, the company definitely has the right idea when it comes to spotting a fantastic collaboration opportunity. Spotify, a music streaming app, and Uber have recently dialed into a working strategic alliance. Uber riders who use the Spotify app can now control the music played in the vehicle they are a passenger in while in transit via the mobile app. This is a great example of a strategic alliance. It’s no doubt that an Uber rider learning of this new feature is more likely to download the Spotify application and vice versa.
The New York Times recently published an article which posed the question, “Is American Retail at a Historic Tipping Point?”
The article recognizes that trends of a shrinking brick-and-mortar retail industry have been building for a long time, quoting economist Barbara Denham as saying, “That is the tipping point, right there… It’s like the Doppler effect. The change is coming at you so fast, it feels like it is accelerating.” The change that Denham is referring to is the growth of e-commerce, which went from increasing at a pace of $30 billion per year on average in 2010 to 2014, to an increase of $40 billion per year in 2014 through 2016.
Remote working is on the rise. In fact, it is up 103 percent since 2005. About half of the U.S. workforce now holds a job that is at least partially compatible to remote working arrangements, and about 1 out of 5 U.S. employees now work remotely some of the time. 3.7 million U.S. employees, or just under 3 percent of the total workforce, now work from home at least half of the time. However, over 80 percent would like to work remotely at least partially.
You’ve probably already heard that regular blogging is key for content marketing and SEO. Are you wondering how often your company should be blogging to reap the benefits? Generally, the more you’re blogging, the better. Research shows that companies that publish over 16 blog posts per a month get well over 3 times the amount of traffic as blogs that post four or fewer posts per month, and they also generate over 4 times as many leads. There is no doubt that blogging is pretty great for business. The more you do it, the quicker you build up an audience and the more successful you will ultimately be.