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Archive for the ‘online shopping’ Category

What Does the Increase in Ad-Blocking Mean to the Coupon Industry?

August 26th, 2015 4:30pm

Recent reports, such as this one by Business Insider, have made one thing clear: Consumers are rapidly adopting ad-blocking software. In fact, as of June 2015 almost 200 million consumers are using ad-blocking software, that’s almost a 100% year over year increase. At CoupSmart, we believe this trend will have several key impacts on how promotions are run, including:

Higher Focus on Quality Creative and Content

Word of mouth, whether through social, digital or email, will become more important as display advertising loses effectiveness. If a promotion is truly interesting and sharable, it has the potential to reach more consumers in a more effective way than display ads.

With the algorithms that various social networks use to display content, this also means it’ll be much harder for offers to live in a vacuum. Consistent, high-quality content campaigns will be needed to fill the void between promotions, ensuring:

  • Consumers engage with your brand
  • Organic traffic is substantially effect your sales

Increasing Importance of Building Customer Databases

This technological shift has made it even more important to build, maintain and continue growing your brand’s own customer database, especially a list of high quality email addresses for direct communication. With industry average open rates typically between 15-20%, email currently is one of the most effective ways to get in front of your customers and potential customers, and this will continue as it becomes harder for display advertising to reach your target audience at the right time.

In addition to emails, it’s also important to collect demographic and psychographic information on your customers. Not only can this be used to target email marketing campaigns better, it’s also a ready source of data on what sort of content you should create to have the best chance for your promotions to resonate with your customers.

Continuing Focus on Mobile

While Apple may be trying to change how mobile works, due to various technical limitations, it’s still much harder for consumers to effectively block ads on their mobile devices. This increases the importance of a channel that was already taking a larger and larger share of the display advertising market.

A few simple ways to ensure that promotions are always compatible with mobile options is to design responsive ads that works on a mobile device or desktop on your web-based campaigns, and make use of shortened URL that can direct traffic easily (especially if Facebook apps are involved).

While the end result of this increase in ad-blocker usage is uncertain, we think this represents a fantastic opportunity for marketers. It’s a chance to really show the following:

  • The value marketers provide to organizations by going beyond simple automated ad testing
  • An understanding of what potential customers are looking for from brands
  • The opportunity to create content that truly resonates with customers

Want to learn more about capturing granular personal data on your customers that can be used to build up your brand’s database and create great content campaigns? Request a demo with one of our team members now.

Facebook Tops Pinterest in Consumer Purchasing Power on Black Friday

December 23rd, 2014 5:55pm

Black Friday Results 2014 from IBM’s Digital Analytics Benchmark Reports.

Led by strong mobile traffic, Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday saw record online retail sales. Digging deeper into the data, Facebook produced a stunning number, as a referral source (media channel), its average price per holiday order rocketed from $52.30 in 2013 to $109.94 in 2014, eclipsing Pinterest’s average per order of $100.00 in 2014.

Facebook vs Pinterest, from this year’s IBM report (Black Friday 2014):

On Black Friday, marketers continued to rely on social channels to build brand loyalty and drive sales. As a part of understanding this marketing effort, IBM analyzed the trends from two leading social sites, Facebook and Pinterest.

They discovered the following: Facebook referrals drove an average of $109.94 per order compared to $100.00 for Pinterest, a difference of nearly 10 percent. Facebook referrals converted online sales at more than twice the rate of Pinterest.

IBM’s 2013 Black Friday report also analyzed Facebook and Pinterest.

The results:

The report determined that holiday shoppers referred from Pinterest spent 77 percent more per order than shoppers referred from Facebook. Facebook’s average order value was $52.30 versus Pinterest’s average order value of $92.50.

The biggest story is clearly Facebook’s dramatic jump in average order value from 2013 to 2014 on Black Friday: $52.30 to $109.94! That is a percentage increase of over one hundred percent.

Possible Reasons

  1. Facebook’s demographics have been maturing by gaining older users, presumably with more purchasing power. Since 2011, Facebook added 10.8 million new users 25 to 43 years old, 16.4 million users 35 to 54 years old, and 12.4 million users aged 55+.
  2. Facebook marketers are simply getting better, along with Facebook’s marketing and advertising tools. For instance, Facebook is releasing call to action buttons in 2015 for Fan Pages.
  3. Facebook may be benefiting from a larger, non-Facebook specific trend. Such as, are consumers feeling more comfortable making purchases as a part of their social experience.

We are Only in the Beginning

The power of Social Media to drive purchases is just beginning to be realized. It is the youngest and least developed media channel in the digital world (search, advertising, social, email), but is keeping pace with the progress in other traffic sources (search, advertising, social, email).

For instance, in Q1 2014:

  • Search traffic’s average order value (AOV) was $188.10 – 75% higher than social’s average
  • But average order value (AOV) for social traffic was $107.50, up from $91.40 the year prior
  • With a conversion rate of 1.08%, social’s conversions trailed search (2.27%) and email (3.31%)
  • But social’s conversion rate increased to 1.08% in Q1 2014 from .69% in Q1 2013
  • Instagram increased its Q1 2014 AOV  to $127.98, doubling its $51.00 mark from a year earlier

Overall, the value of Social as a traffic and purchasing source cannot be ignored or undervalued by brands large or small. Particularly Facebook, with a growing adult user base filled with valuable demographic and psychographic profile data that can be captured and redeployed in broad marketing automation processes elsewhere.

If you’re interested in running promotional campaigns on Facebook, the Web or Mobile – or building customer email lists for remarketing and retargeting purposes, call us or request a demo today. We want to hear from you.

Why Your Brand Should Close the Pop-Up Ads

August 9th, 2013 9:40am

In today’s internet experience, many sites are swamped with annoying pop-up ads that cover your computer screen. According to Hubspot, the average click through rate of these advertisements is a pitiful 0.1%. In addition, 65.2 million results appear on Google when “How to stop pop-up ads” is searched. Below are three reasons why the click through rate of Pop-up advertising has plummeted to 0.1%:

  • While there have been improvements to the personalization of pop-up ads, many companies do not utilize them. So, it is very likely that a majority of the viewers of your pop-up ad will have no interest in your product whatsoever. According to a recent survey, 74% of browsers get frustrated when they are forced to look at advertisements that are not relevant to their interests. In addition, 25% of browsers would give up chocolate for a whole month if they could find only advertisements relevant to their interests on all of their favorite sites.  This data shows that a major flaw in the pop-up ad is the fact that a majority of those that your pop-up ad reaches will have no interest in your product.
  • One common defense of the pop-up ad is that the more times you see the same advertisement, the more you will recognize the product being advertised. While a browser will recognize something they have seen multiple times, if that browser has no interest in the products your company is selling, then he/she will remember your company as the one that has been bothering them lately. Because 74% of browsers do not like looking at ads irrelevant to their interests, it is very likely that your pop-up ad will be helping your company generate recognition as that annoying and bothersome company. A customer that doesn’t know your company is better than a customer that dislikes your company, so pop-up ads will only help change those that were previously neutral about your brand into those that now are predisposed to dislike your brand.
  • The pop-up ad also fails to inform your brand of any information about your browsers. If your brand’s ads could acquire a small amount of personal information about the browsers that have clicked it, then it would allow your brand to have more successful marketing projects in the future. While it may seem difficult to acquire somebody’s personal information, the same survey linked above indicates that 57% of browsers said that they would give a business their personal information as long as they were getting something from that business in return. While personal information is something that is very beneficial to have and not that difficult to acquire, gathering somebody’s personal information is something the pop-up ad cannot do.

While the pop-up ad cannot do any of the above features, other digital tools such as social apps can. Social apps can deliver value to customers in the forms of incentives and digital coupons, contests, and other content. They don’t intrude on a browser’s privacy because it will only be accessed by browsers that are interested in a brand’s product. Values of a social app, such as social coupons, will help your company build a reputation as a brand that is generous and intriguing. Finally, social apps will only be accessed by those 57% of customers that are willing to give their personal information in return for something of interest, so you can acquire the personal information needed to better market to your customers in the future. If your company is still employing the pop-up ad, you may be hurting your chances at a sale more than helping it.

Even More Evidence of the Potential of Couponing for Back-to-School

August 6th, 2013 12:00pm

Several weeks ago I wrote a post detailing the potential that exists for digital coupon promotions during the highly profitable back-to-school shopping season. This past week I came across a very well done research brief from The Center for Media Research that enumerates some helpful statistics which reinforce the points I made.

In 2013, back-to-school spending is estimated to reach $26.7 billion. Combine that with estimated back-to-college spending, and the number jumps to $72.5 billion.

The incredible potential revenue in this season is no secret to CPG companies and retailers. Consumers are going to spend for back-to-school, but in this economic climate they are doing more than ever to get the most bang for their buck. According to Pam Goodfellow, the Director of Proper Consumer Insights, parents this year will “comparison shop online and around town… even more than once… to find bargains and… the best value”. To highlight the consumers’ willingness to hunt for the best price, the brief states that in addition to going to the same back-to-school store they did last year:

  • 61.7% will shop at department stores, up from 59.9% last year and the highest in the survey’s history. Additionally,
  • 51.5% will shop at a clothing store,
  • 40.6% will shop at an office supply store,
  • 37.3% will shop online and
  • 25.9% will shop at an electronics store
  • 19.6% will hit their local drug store
  • 13.7% will look for goods at thrift/resale stores

These data demonstrate clearly that every outlet, retailer and brand will need to do everything it can to show potential customer that it has more to offer than its competitors.

The data also hint at the potential in coupon promotion for the season. A well-crafted coupon can not only drive the sale of a specific product, but also bring the consumer into the store, where they can be exposed to more of what the brand has to offer, increasing sales of related products. In addition, a coupon can generate improved brand awareness and, if it’s supported by the right software, can track purchases and gather useful information about a customer base. This information would be especially invaluable as the brand plans for next year’s back-to-school frenzy.

Need helping crafting your perfect coupon? Click here for our free whitepaper.

Image courtesy of Flickr

Converting The “Browsers”

May 16th, 2013 8:00am

When looking at available analytics for measurable media you may notice a large number of clicks, but a relatively low number of corresponding transactions at your store or on your website. That is because, as Seth Godin put it earlier this week, there’s a reason they call it a browser.

This is true. Many people browse online, clicking this or that, while few actually make the leap to purchase. Getting that extra click may be tough, but it is certainly worth reaching for. While TV ads and billboards are definitely helpful in the marketing process (creating awareness, warming leads), these tactics cannot be precisely measured in terms of who sees them or how they respond. Perhaps some brands and marketers actually find safety in the tried and true, even if the results are unknown. When measuring clicks to conversions, a bad ratio can be hard to explain to a client or superior.

But, employing what you already know about consumer behavior can help close that gap and convert more clickers into buyers. Start with a compelling offer, and make it exclusive, worthwhile and good for a limited time. Once you have their interest, ask for a little bit of information before delivering the goods. The right social tool can deliver value to customers and brands alike. They want a great deal. You want to know who is using it and how. Two birds, one click.

Once the consumer performs the desired action, make it easy for them to share the experience with others via their social network. People love to be the one to share a great deal with their friends, and friends trust their friend recommendations more than they do brand messages alone. So, clicks resulting from these social shares are more likely to lead to another conversion.

Traditional media can play a valuable role in a strategy focusing on online social media too. This mass marketing can be used to funnel people through to the social outlet where brands can communicate, get to know customers through the details and data they provide, and remarket to them with relevant messaging that leads to additional sales. To be sure, there is something to be said for being at the right place at the right time for a customer to buy. But, using the right tools in the right way can compel much more action leaving much less to chance.

Image courtesy of Flickr