This past holiday weekend, American families gathered for their traditional turkey, football and apple pie. This year, with the controversy over the increasingly early shopping hours encroaching on family-time, retailers held their collective breath to see if consumers would respond to the earlier store openings and leave their families if the sales were enticing enough. And they did! 45 million shoppers headed out on Thanksgiving Day.
The four day shopping weekend continued to show online and mobile growth with consumers opting to surf their tablets and smartphones — showrooming, webrooming and jumping on mobile delivered deals.
We pulled together an infographic to capture some of the many stats that make up this shopping holiday that has become as American as apple pie.
Want to learn more about adding mobile marketing into your retail campaigns? Download Making the Mobile Connection This Holiday Season and All Year Round.
There has been quite a bit of controversy this holiday season with some brick-and-mortar retailers opening on Thanksgiving Day. Can’t deny that the holiday shopping weekend is expanding: first it was Black Friday, then Cyber Monday and now Brown Thursday has entered the lexicon. But why should consumers battle crowds and inclement weather when they can shop from the couch! Retailers and marketers are leveraging the mobile device delivering deals to the palm of their customers hand while the turkey is still on the table.
According to the National Retail Federation (NRF) consumer spend this holiday season is up 3.9% from last year to $602.1 billion. That spend is highly competitive too as consumers showroom, webroom, and review products for the best deals. Retailers compete with the biggest advertising spend for a final push to put them in the black (fun fact: that’s where the term Black Friday comes from). Marketing is catchy and kitschy, but overall meant to catch the consumer’s attention, getting them to buy, either online, smartphone, or in store. Omni-channel marketing is catching on as 83 percent of marketers said they planned on running coordinated, cross-channel marketing campaigns during the holiday season (Experian).
All year retailers have been making strides in building their mobile marketing opt-in databases, as all text messaging (SMS/MMS) and voice (IVR/AVM) calls are permission based. Mobile marketing campaigns and offers should be tailored to individual customer needs, cutting through the clutter of traditional advertising. Mobile technologies and capabilities include push notifications, mobile coupons, SMS/MMS messaging, QR codes, location-based services, mobile web, and augmented reality.
Want to learn more about adding mobile marketing to your customer experience this holiday season? Watch our webinar Embracing Mobile Marketing This Holiday Season, or download our whitepaper Making the Mobile Connection This Holiday Season and All Year Round.
Have a happy and safe holiday and shopping weekend!
If you were one of the 130,000 attendees at Dreamforce ‘13 this week, there was no doubt left in your mind about knowing what customer love is. There were 350 cloud vendors showing love by raffling off a flower power VW bus, or dressing up as superheroes. Over 1,250 sessions were held across downtown San Francisco educating about being a better customer company. The customer love message was musically reinforced as salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff’s keynote address kicked off with Huey Lewis & the News playing their classic, “Power of Love”.
The keynote focused on how we are in the new era of computing – the “Internet of Things”. Why is it the Internet of Things you may ask? Because everyone and everything is on the Internet; from products as simplistic as light bulbs and toothbrushes to high-priced, complex machinery like MRI machines and cars. What combines them as well is that they are all powered by the cloud. According to Benioff, we are going through a technology renaissance driven by the cloud. Here are some interesting stats on the Internet of Things:
- There are in aggregate 4.5 billion social users
- There will be an estimated 5 billion smartphones by 2017
- 50 Billion connected [social & mobile] thing [products] are expected in the marketplace
Customers have certain relationship expectations when it comes to your brand. Benioff stated, “Consumers get transformed into customers, and every company is a customer company. Because if you don’t stand up to expectations there is a competitor who will step up.”
Customers are the source of success. Most companies don’t know their customers, with 66 percent of companies lacking information about their customers (IBM study). In sessions that I attended on customer data, the question that kept popping up was, “how do I respond to customer behavior without seeming creepy?”
In our session, Wanna Know What Customer Love is? It’s True Omnichannel Communications, this question came up again. The person asking was from the travel and hospitality industry and asked about following up after cart abandonment. The answer given by Ethan Francis, Offer Lead for Virtual Contact Center (VCC), is to make sure you have asked and captured the customer’s information prior to reaching out to them. For this example, the customer is in the hospitality loyalty program and logged in via their portal, but did not finish the transaction. If the company has asked the customer for their preferred channel of engagement, they can better reach the customer to follow up on the cart abandonment. If the customer has opted-in to messages via mobile, SMS is an excellent real-time engagement channel, with an over 90% open rate, and a company can provide a personalized follow-up message on their order status.
Engaging with your customers to gather channel preference data, asking for channel messaging approval, opting-in to receive those messages – especially mobile, and complying with those preferences will not be seen as creepy, but as connecting personally with customers furthering your relationship. Showing them customer love.
If you didn’t attend Dreamforce’13 and would like to see a demonstration of our new Premier Edition VCC for Service Cloud, contact us today.
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