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BizReport : Internet : November 11, 2015

Top 3 tips to ready for 2016

Less than 2 months to go until the calendar turns, and a new year is upon us. One expert offers his top tips for brands to be ready for a successful 2016.

by Kristina Knight

1. Reshape Messages and Strategies to Conform to New Expectations.

"Free shipping as a perk is starting to lose its effectiveness because consumers increasingly expect free shipping as a given. One of the most striking findings from an Ipsos Bronto survey of 1,000 consumers and 100 retailers is that only 18% of online-only retailers plan to offer free shipping for any purchase during the holidays, even though 38% of shoppers say they won't shop somewhere that doesn't offer it," said Jim Davidson, Head of Research, Bronto Software. "At minimum, retailers must be completely transparent about shipping (for instance, tallying it as the items are placed in a cart). More importantly, online and omnichannel retailers must find innovative ways to reach out to consumers. For omnichannel, options such as free delivery to the store, easy return of shipped goods, and click and collect strategies present new possibilities for building loyalty. Maintaining a consistent experience across the brand is critical."

2. Look at whether your Social Media Strategy is Selling or Brand Building?

"There has been a lot of press about social media "buy buttons" and using platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to sell direct to consumers. There is even some chatter that these outlets will overtake email. Not true. A 2015 survey by the UK Direct Marketing Association shows 9 of 10 marketing professionals consider the email channel of great strategic importance for achieving business goals," said Davidson. "There are a number of ways to deploy social media to enhance your ecommerce efforts, effectively use your advertising dollars, build organic interest in your brand, and most importantly, bring shoppers to your website and secure them as subscribers to your emails. Marketers need to use email information to inform the segments they'll buy on social media to help your social media advertising budgets stretch much further. Use information from the social media ad spend to refine ecommerce messaging and segmentation. It's all about loyalty. There are many competing factors for loyalty today, but it can be created through engagement, considering social media as an effective way to engage customers."

3. Pay attention to Omnichannel trends to Offer the Right Product in the Right Place at the Right Time.

"More retailers with stores and a robust online presence are experimenting with Buy Online/ Collect in the store and multiple variations on that concept, including Buy Online/Local Delivery and Buy Online/Return to the store. Along with understanding who these customers are for the purposes of segmenting email lists, it requires retailers to make sure they know what they have in supply and where it is located," said Davidson.

Tags: 2016 predictions, Bronto Software, business tips, business trends

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