Posts Tagged: digital marketing

Facebook Commerce: Marketplace or Just Referral Source? – Retail Spokes Blog

Facebook Shopping

Lately, there has been a lot of talk about Facebook’s eCommerce efforts. Many believe it is the next big thing in eCommerce. According to IDC, in three to five years, 10 to 15 percent of total consumer spending in developed countries may go through sites such as Facebook. I agree that some consumer spending will go through social networks, but these numbers along with predictions by many others are somewhat inflated. Facebook’s initiatives like Open Graph, Like button, Facebook Credits and partnerships with retailers indicate a push towards making its platform more conducive for eCommerce transactions. But, it will take years before physical product sales become mainstream on Facebook.

What can really work in near future is Facebook as a referral platform. The real value for anyone trying to leverage Facebook comes from heaps of social data that the platform owns. But, collecting data is one thing and putting it to use is another. It will take a while before Facebook itself can effectively mine and use this social data, let alone its partner being able to make good use of it. Currently, when making a buying decision outside of Facebook, this data rarely helps. This is due to the fact that at a user level limited amount of product recommendations can be derived via Facebook APIs, and anything outside user’s immediate social graph very quickly becomes vague. But, if Facebook itself were to launch a product recommendation engine (or such), they would have huge amount of data to analyze and tremendous targeting opportunities.

via Facebook Commerce: Marketplace or Just Referral Source? | Retail Spokes – Online Retail Focused Content Solutions.

E-Commerce Videos: Benefits And Optimization Best Practices – Retail Spokes Blog

ecommerce videos

For a long time, retailers held back from adding video content on their eCommerce sites. This delay was due to high production and hosting costs, inept distribution and marketing channels, and few optimization opportunities. All in all, there was no clear ROI for the investment. Today, technology advancement has cleared most of these roadblocks. About 68% of top 50 US online retailers offered some kind of video content on their site in 2009 (eMarketer). This number is growing rapidly as adding video content has now become the second-highest priority of multichannel retailers. According to a recent Forrester Research study, videos are 53 times more likely to generate a first-page ranking than traditional SEO techniques.

via E-Commerce Videos: Benefits and Optimization Best practices | Retail Spokes – Online Retail Focused Content Solutions.

The New Shopper – Informed, Connected And Demanding! – Retail Spokes Blog

informed shopper

It is amazing how Apple rules over its consumer’s mindsets. They pre-sell millions of products and even get away with shortcomings (think iPhone 4 signal issues) without hurting their fan base. Only Steve Jobs has the ability to instruct his consumers to stop holding the phone ‘the wrong way!’ But, Apple fanatics are a rare breed providing such leeway to a seller. In the times that we live in, it is difficult even to get shoppers’ attention. To think of commanding what, where, when and how they buy is like daydreaming. Shoppers today have complete control and they have tools at their disposal that facilitate this authority.

So, what has lead to this shopper authority? Internet and other digital mediums have essentially changed the way we shop. The effect of internet shopping is far greater than the dollar value of online sales transactions. It is the influence on offline shopping where online produces a much bigger impact. Let’s list down some of things that have changed shoppers’ attitude and in effect transformed the retail landscape.

via The New Shopper – Informed, Connected and Demanding! | Retail Spokes – Online Retail Focused Content Solutions.

What Can Retailers Do To Build a Brand (And a Loyal Customer Base)? – Retail Spokes Blog

brand building

Social media

It is not rocket-science to understand that the web is becoming increasingly social. Most retailers have a social media marketing strategy, but campaigns are mostly geared towards putting deals on Facebook and Twitter. What would really make a difference is content that can enhance experience on these social touch points. The goal is to enable your most influential existing customers to spread word of mouth that would bring in more traffic. Soon, online shopping will be the same friends and family experience as it is in a traditional brick and mortar store.


It is now common understanding that retailers have to provide consistent products, pricing, information, and experiences across all their channels. Multi-channel retailers have an advantage over pure-play retailers in that they have more opportunities to convert shoppers. This includes features such as ‘ship to store’, ‘ship to home’ (if not available in-store) or in-store access to content and community over mobile devices.

via What can retailers do to build a brand (and a loyal customer base)? | Retail Spokes – Online Retail Focused Content Solutions.

Building a Loyal Brand Following – a New Focus For Online Retailers – Retail Spokes Blog

brand loyalty

If there is one thing to be learned from Amazon’s dominance in eCommerce, it is the importance of building a brand. It is phenomenal that 33% of all shoppers visit Amazon for research, according to a recent study by e-tailing group and PowerReviews. Although, it is apparent that Amazon does not provide best product choices or shopping experience for many product segments. Nonetheless, their ability to attract direct traffic is unmatched. This is where most eCommerce sites need to become better in that they have to build loyal customer bases.

via Building a loyal brand following – a new focus for online retailers | Retail Spokes – Online Retail Focused Content Solutions.

How to Create Effective Email Marketing Campaigns? – Retail Spokes Blog

email marketing

Through all the social media hype, email has held its ground as one of the most effective online retail marketing channels. According to a survey by the E-Tailing group, 79% of retailers want to increase their spending on email campaigns. Here are some of the things that retailers can do to ensure their emails convey the message and achieve desired results.

Content and Targeting

Content is where most email campaigns fall short. As a customer, very few would like to repeatedly receive just coupons and discount-oriented emails. Most users have anyways gotten used to searching the web for coupons before making a purchase. So, these messages do not offer too much value for the time and energy users would spend reading them. On the other hand, users would show more interest if contextual content can be added to these emails along with a relevant subject line.

via How to Create Effective Email Marketing Campaigns? | Retail Spokes – Online Retail Focused Content Solutions.

Top 5 Facebook Pages Series (Brands) – Retail Spokes Blog

Top 5 Facebook Pages Series - Brands

Along with good design and layout, it is important for brand pages to have great content that drives conversations and social interactions. Unlike retailers, most brands do not offer any coupons or promotions making it even more important to have quality content. I have come across hundreds of Facebook pages, but these 5 brands stand out for excellent design, engaging content, and social features that draw millions of Likes.

via Top 5 Facebook Pages Series – Brands | Retail Spokes – Online Retail Focused Content Solutions.

Top 5 Facebook Pages Series (Retailers) – Retail Spokes Blog

Social Media - Facebook Pages - eCommerce

There is no denying the fact that social media has quickly become a top priority for most marketers. According to eMarketer, four in five US businesses with at least 100 employees will take part in social media marketing in 2011. According to the same report, social media ranked third among areas marketers planned to focus their online marketing budget in 2011, after search and their own website.

As the stakes get higher, it has become increasingly important to effectively measure ROI. But, social media ROI measurement is still in its infancy. Very few marketers are successful in determining the true ROI from this channel. But, regardless of ROI conundrum, no marketer can afford to sit on the fence and wait until it’s too late. You have to get your feet wet and understand how this channel works. This takes time and there is no silver bullet that will make your social media campaigns successful overnight. Your social marketing needs and objectives are unique and they require a custom approach that can only be developed over a period of time.

via Top 5 Facebook Pages Series – Retailers | Retail Spokes – Online Retail Focused Content Solutions.

Facebook eCommerce Solutions – Retail Spokes Blog

Facebook eCommerce Solutions | Retail Spokes

In the retail world, there is a lot of hype about Facebook integration. Social media marketing, in general, has become an essential component of the marketing mix for most eCommerce marketers. But, are there any good Facebook eCommerce solutions available to serve that need? I was asked this question by a friend who runs a small eCommerce operation selling musical instruments. I thought I’ll provide a list of solutions I’ve recently come across in this blog. These are listed in no specific order.

via Facebook eCommerce Solutions | Retail Spokes – Online Retail Focused Content Solutions.

Bing’s Content Dilemma – Retail Spokes Blog

Bing’s Content Dilemma | Retail Spokes

As shoppers become skilled at online shopping, eCommerce sites have to find new ways to keep them interested in their offerings. Any initiative to solve that puzzle starts with content, and effective experiences can only be created with integrated analytics. Understanding user’s context and deriving intelligence from actions is an integral part of the mix. Here are some benefits of content enrichment when combined with analytics:

via Bing’s Content Dilemma | Retail Spokes – Online Retail Focused Content Solutions.