Study: Trust is king – How, when and where consumers buy online

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Fair enough, it is only a US-based insight among some 2,000 online and mobile shoppers in July 2015. However, the message could be taken to any other market I guess these days…

The main factor for consumers to make a purchase decision, is trust. This is the finding from Amazon which conducted a study with Pymnts.com in order to understand, where consumers start their buying journey, why consumers buy from one site and leave the other one without making any purchase. Furthermore, the study states that price or ease of delivery are not the main features driving purchase decisions.

The US consumer needs trust in a site (23%) so that they purchase from some retailer. Oterh features that came in th next places were tailored promotions or rewards (16%), a good experience in the past (14%) or products being available in an acceptable time frame (13%).

Interestingly enough, other tactics like good shipping considerations (11%), preferred method of payment (8%), ease of use (6%), a site that recognizes me (4%), being a preferred customer (3%), being able to check out as a guest (1%) and store billing and shipping info (1%) came in much later in the ranking.

Pymnts 2015 - Why they buy

„You need a strategy that is about more than being present,“ he said. „You need a strategy that is about being present where your customers are because if you are not, then you are not being customer centric. There’s no such thing as a relationship without trust.“ (Patrick Gauthier, VP, Amazon Payments)

So, where does the consumer journey start? The study also found that almost every second out of three respondents (64%) start by searching for a product on a marketplace, followed by their favourite brand websites (48%), search engines (40%) and social media (29%).

Pymnts 2015 - Where they buy

„The ultimate digital destinations are driven by trust – trust that the sites have what they want to buy, trust that they will be given a fair price, trust that their goods will be delivered to them in a time frame that is relevant.“ Karen Webster, CEO, MPD

Just check your own habits and experience. What would you say makes you buy something from an online shop? We look forward to your comments…

Websites that teens love (Infographic)

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Are teens real trendsetters when it comes to using the latest online gig or social networks? Well, Niche gives some insights into the websites that 7.000 high school graduates in the U.S. were using lately.

Although many of us would have thought that Facebook is not the biggest hype for them any longer, the interactive infographic provided by Niche proves that 87% of the graduates are still happy with reading their news and being active on Facebook. Instagram makes up 66% and Twitter is used by 55%.

In terms of quick chat platforms, 72% use Facebook Messenger and 65% are active on Snapchat. Those platforms that are said to be the latest trend like YikYak and Whisper are not really getting big activity rates – 97% and 95% don’t use these platforms.

From a broadcasting point of view, it is interesting to see that YouTube, Netflix, and Pandora are the leading edge platforms whereas Hulu, Spotify and Beats like Amazon Prime are not yet their main interest spot.

PS: The interactive infographic with further info can be seen at Business Insider.

Websites Teens Niche 2014

Ratings, Retweets, Repins & Likes: Automated response creators = killers of insight creation?

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twitterview-2Some years ago, I have written about the Retweet button being the „killer of positive blog comments“. Over the years in many seminars and speeches, I have stressed the point that the ROI of the social web is not about generating high quantity in „thumbs up“ on Facebook or Retweets on Twitter, or anything automated that comes along with similar meaning.

Retweets, Repins & Co. are only of value for your business, if…
– you accept those automated response generators as the pillars of your ROI system.
– you are a marketer who builds their business on proving the capability of accelerating reach rather than relevance.
– you are a brand that struggles to understood the value of building a community-centric business.
Still: Are ratings as insightful as a written comment – be it on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or any other community platform out there in the social web?

Yesterday, it became public through a post on TechCrunch that Facebook is testing out a system of openly displaying star-ratings on Pages. Will this be another killer of value creation?

I definitely agree that the Facebook „Like“ has become confusing, and in some way worthless. Many users just click on the Like button out of a pure and immediate emotion, nothing sustainable, lasting or resilient. Some are expressing their solidarity with it. Some are missing the dislike button, and click the Like button.

Do those automated responses tell us what they really feel? Do they tell us what people really think? Do they help us to evaluate our position? Fair enough, these automated response creators are some word-of-mouth catalysts. Well, I admit by adding these five star ratings, there is at least some specification in the differentiation of generating feedback.

Obviously, the new rating system puts Facebook in a different position and moves it more to the likes of Foursquare, Yelp and traditional trend shop systems. Furthermore, it allows users to be more concrete in defining their opinions. Users might get better orientation in why a coffee shop or a business or restaurant deserves to be tested.

Spotted by TechCrunch

Spotted by TechCrunch

But does it really help us? What is a 4.2 with twelve votes compared to a 4.9 what two people have build up? Do we know who gave the votings, and if these people have the same interest and preferences that we have got? Doesn’t orientation get even more confusing? What will we book on travel websites when there are less and less reviews and recommendations?

Spot On!
The 3 Rs of the social customer (ratings, reviews and recommendations) might make our lives interesting and exciting for new stuff. But maybe there is too much new trends and products out there to get our heads around. Maybe a real review or recommendation will sometimes help (one positive and one negative like Amazon does it already). Still, automated feedbacks -be it stars, RTs, Likes, etc.- are the least valuable insight creation generators on a relevance scale that helps defining internal and external social web ROI.

PS: If your managers are still happy when your numbers of Likes go up, be happy and tell them nothing about this post. If not, let’s discuss further how social networks should constitute in order to deliver deeper insights in the mindset of our customers.

Six Common Ecommerce SEO Mistakes

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Search PlayerIncorporating a strong SEO strategy into the design of an ecommerce website can greatly improve its chances of success. For an online shop to succeed, customers must be able to easily find it using a search engine. Whether you’re using an expensive SEO consultant or simply relying on a subscription ecommerce platform, you’ll want to take heed of the following common mistakes made by ecommerce websites.

1. Not Including Product Descriptions
High quality photos are essential for ecommerce websites, but if there is no accompanying description the product stands a low chance of being picked up by search engines. Be sure to add descriptions to each product in order to help give each product page an SEO boost. In addition to the description itself, the navigation, text, sidebar, and footer all count towards the final word count. With unique, descriptive content you can help market your wares while becoming more visible by the search engines.

2. Duplicating Product Descriptions
One common mistake that ecommerce sites make is copying the manufacturer’s product description word-for-word, usually in an attempt to avoid making mistake #1. While this will give you an accurate product description, it can work against you in the end. If your site uses the same manufacturer description, there’s a high chance that other rivals are doing the same. This creates the problem of duplicate content. Either rewrite the description, or add your own editorial underneath it. The same rule goes for listing your products on 3rd party sites such as Amazon or eBay. If you use the same content that appears on your website, you’ll run into the problem of duplicate content.

3. Lack of Related Content
Product descriptions are a mainstay of any ecommerce website, but they are not the only facet of ecommerce SEO to pay attention to. Many buyers are interested in finding out more about your products and company. Include information about your business’s history, along with shipping and return policies. Keeping a business blog is an easy way to rejuvenate your site with fresh content, as is opening up the site to customer reviews.

4. Using Non-Targeted URLs
You may have beautifully written unique content on your ecommerce site, but what about your URLs? If these are a jumble of letters and numbers it can not only be confusing for visitors, but it misses out on a chance to incorporate keywords into a clean, descriptive URL.

5. Not Targeting Content to Keywords
As you work on revising your content, it’s helpful to keep the keywords that your customers are typing into search engines in mind. These can be easily followed using analytics tools and are important for promoting the right terms for your audience. Keywords and search terms can also be incorporated into your off page SEO strategy. When you create content that links back to your main website, if it includes these same keywords it will draw in the type of readers who would be interested in your shop.

6. Not Using Robots.txt
Using the robots.txt file gives ecommerce website owners a way to give instructions to search engine spiders. This helps you make sure that you have control over which pages you wish to be indexed and which you don’t. For example, you can use robots.txt to block areas of the website with duplicate content, such as tags or archives. Not using this can hinder your SEO presence.

By avoiding these six common mistakes, you can improve your ecommerce website’s chances of standing out from the crowd online.

Study: Web economy expected to double in G20 by 2016

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We all know that the web economy is exploding at the moment in terms of activity and users. In the next four years the value of the web is expected to achieve a valuation sum growing from 2.7 to 4,2 trillion pounds. This means that the value of the web economy in the G20 countries is nearly going to double in the next four years.

The global web user base is expected to increase foe 1,9 to 3 million users by 2016 – almost half the world’s current population. All these findings are based on a new report commissioned by the Boston Consulting Group. Still, the report also states that there is at present no standard way of measuring the parts of web economy that is ‚digital‘.

Boston sees the growth in the evolution of the mobile web access as 80% are assumed to access the web via smart mobile phones. Thinking back to 2010, which is just about two years back, mobile internet access accounted for just over 4% of the G20 economies. The study makers claim that each household has an approximate valuation of 2,000 pounds worth of purchases online before buying.

Some more key conclusions from the study…



– Digital transformation is key for companies. Companies have to build their digital assets and reduce the digital liabilities that limit their ability to tap rich opportunities. People, processes, and organizational structures need to change and adapt them to the digital world.

– IBM forecasts 1 trillion devices to be connected to the Internet by 2015. This has an effect on the ways companies interact with customers and run their supply chains but also how traditional industries have to build their business.



- Companies such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google shape the Internet, in China this might be Baidu and Tencent or in Russia Yandex.

– The power of digital experience goes far more local in terms of impact on everyday life, reflecting economic, political, national characteristics and social influences specific to individual countries.

– The “Millennials” have different expectations as employees, consumers, and citizens. TheArab Spring protests and grass-roots “occupy” movements in the West are the most visible manifestations of the power of the Millennials to shape society and commerce.

Spot On!
Seeing the rapid economical and market changes, the intensity of competition will improve and increase. Companies and brands will need to plan more flexible in terms of their strategic approaches how to reach clients than in earlier years when long-term planning cycles were the common status. Today, it will be important to create an adaptive strategy planing and restructuring process.

PS. A challenge might be if evangelist entrepreneuers like this guy spread market distraction and confusion….

Web or App? Nielsen study knows usage time of Android smartphone users

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According to the latest findings of research firm Nielsen that tracks and analyses iOS and Android data, smartphone users spend twice as much time on applications than on mobile version of these websites. The study reveals also that –although there are millions of apps in the world- only „a very small proportion of apps make up the vast majority of time spent“.

The average Android smartphone user spends 56 minutes a day using apps and browsing the internet. Two-thirds of that time is usage of apps, the rest goes to mobile websites and 39% acccount for consumer app consumption. The study illustration below shows that mobile device owners spent almost half of their usage time on their top 10 favorite apps and 51% on their favorite 20 apps.

Let’s give it a guess… Probably most of the app usage of mobile device owners accounts for the following usage time: Checking email apps, Facebook, Foursquare or Gowalla, Twitter, and some of their favorite and coolest news or geeky gaming apps (very often used by their kids). And if you look at the top (free) list of apps you find Angry Birds, Angry Birds Rio, Google Maps, YouTube, Facebook Mobile, Skype, Tiny Flashlight, Viber and Drag Racing amoungst others.

The study supports my own feeling that although we continue to download apps and spend (2010 per user: Android 1,97 USD, iPhone 21,22 USD), we only use most of them them periodically, and only a few continously if the give us permanent benefit in networking or staying up-to-date on news.

Well, the time will come when HTML5 might change the market situation and developers will have an easy time working with apps. Amazon’s Kindle Cloud Reader gives insights in what is possible with HTML5 for the mobile web.

Spot On!
The study does not really give an answer to the question yet, or can give a recommendation to management. Still, Seeing these numbers, just imagine the chances companies and brands have when launching a new app to get under the hiflyer apps in the smartphone user market. Ideally, think about the five strategic reason that could make your app successful and be aware of the fact that most brand apps fail.

Der Zwang und Drang nach Information

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Das Credo meiner digitalen Kreativität beherrscht immer der Grundsatz „Online ist nur ein Katalysator für die Offline Welt!“.

Nachdem ich nun Frank Schirrmachers Buch Payback überdacht habe, will ich eine Frage aufwerfen, die sich mir schon nach der Lektüre von Miriam Meckels Buch Das Glück der Unerreichbarkeit: Wege aus der Kommunikationsfalle aufgedrängt hat.

Ist es ein Zwang oder ein Drang nach Informationen, welcher uns so an die Faszination für die modernen und sozialen Medien fesselt?

Als Anregung sollen zwei Zitate Schirrmachers aus seinem Buch die Diskussion anregen…

In einem Einkaufszentrum können wir immerhin den Laden verlassen, in der digitalen Welt merken wir gar nicht, daß wir ihn betreten haben. Wir sind online, selbst wenn wir es nicht sind. Denn wir denken permanent an die Informationen, die uns entgangen sind oder die auf uns warten können.

Und weiter sagt der Autor…

„Früher haben wir uns unsere Informationen gesucht, heute suchen die Informationen uns.“

Dem stelle ich mal meine Version zur Frage gegenüber…

Die Faszination für die digitale Welt, die wir und in der wir leben, ist der gewollte Drangs nach Information. Es ist kein Zwang. Es ist kein Müssen. Es ist ein können wollen, oder wollen können. Es ist ein Bedürfnis nach Wissen. Keine Fessel, sondern ein Dürfen. Die Menschheit hat die Wahl.

Die Frage ist, ob Schirrmachers These nach menschlicher Differenzierung vom Computer durch Kreativität dafür nun ein ganzes Buch benötigt, oder ein gutes Blog es auch getan hätte. Die Frage stelle ich mir inzwischen bei so manchen Buch. Ein Blog mit diversen Posts, welches ähnliche Weisheiten gefördert hätte, hätte dieselbe Wirkung. Oder mehr? Gerade bei der heutigen Informationsflut, ist gezielte Pointiertheit und Präzision der Menschen Gnade…

Zudem… Wer spricht in dem Buch? Ein Opfer der Printindustrie, der sich dem neuen Drang nach Informationen nicht erwehren kann, nicht entziehen kann. Nicht damit klar kommt, daß die Masse an Medienproduktion nicht mehr zu bewältigen ist? Projeziert der Autor dies zu sehr auf die Allgemeinheit? Ist nicht das Schöne an den sozialen Medien die Kreativität, die fließen kann? Oder ist das dann wieder ein Zwang…?

Was als negativer Zwang geschrieben, kann auch als positiver Drang nach Informationen interpretiert werden. Es würde mich Eure Meinung interessieren. Ist es ein Zwang oder Drang nach Informationen, der Euch antreibt im Social Web mitzumachen?

Vom Kulturwandel zum Chief Culture Officer

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Manche mag es nerven, wenn im Social Web permanent die Rede vom Kulturwandel ist. Andere leben diesen Kulturwandel, erfinden neue (Job)Titel wie den Personal Web Manager. Grant McCracken benennt in seinem (nicht mehr ganz neuen, aber sehr aktuellem) Buch eine moderne „Stabsstelle“ in Konzernen danach: Chief Culture Officer.

In seinem Buch (und im Kleinen in diesem Videointerview) geht McCracken darauf ein, wie Firmen den Chief Culture Officer finden sollen, um weiterhin an vorderster Kundenfront den Puls der Zeit zu erkennen, und wie Kunden Marken mitgestalten können.

Die Person des Chief Culture Officer kann es derzeit sogar in unvollendeter Form schon geben. McCracken bezeichnet diese Personen als „Cool Hunter“ oder „Guru“. Eine Art Visionär, dem es aber noch am tiefergreifenden Verständnis für den wandelnden Kulturanspruch fehle. Dieser dreht sich darum, was der Menschheit wichtig ist und was sie für ihr Leben benötigen.

Persönlich finde ich seinen Vergleich des alten und neuen „Marketing-Auftrags“ interessant.

Alt: „You load up the canon. You come up with a simple message. You say it as often as you can, as load as you can until the dimmest person in the world understands that’s…“

Neu: „That’s just irritating for everyone. What we want instaed is something closer to conversation. And the buzz word that people are now usinmg is the social co-creation. If you want a vital animated brand, if you want to bring in people like this guyin the spot we just saw to help co-create that brand (…) so what you do is you send them of.“

Konzerne, die dem Kulturwandel einen Schritt näher kommen wollen, sollten sich das Video in Ruhe ansehen – und sich mal Gedanken darüber machen. Und idealerweise ihre Meinungen dazu mit uns teilen…

Is customer-centric business the future?

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In the last 12 years, the credo of my business life was „Customer First!“. It surprises and disappoints me when I experience poor customer service. Or when I hear from unhappy friends, colleagues or relatives telling me stories about how companies treat the centre of their business: customers.

Last week, when I was thinking about how to leverage this to a higher level, I came across a modern business strategy vision by Ranjay Gulati, Harvard Business School professor and author of the book „Reorganize for Resilience: Putting Customers at the Center of Your Business„. In the following video Gulati tells us how to deliver what customers really want.

Reorienting vs. Reorganizing
Ranjay Gulati sees the fundamental changes appropriate for some movement in company processes. Customers have more information, more choices on products while companies are facing global competition. So, businesses have to think about their business (not only marketing or sales efforts!) and how it operates.

Redefining vs. Reinventing
The analysis of the customer base might show that the website is designed for male while the majority of the users might be female. So, we need to ask questions like „Who are my customers?“, „How do my customers shop?“, or „What do they really want?“.

Gulati explains with the latest success of Best Buy how women and men shop. At that point, he also hints to the upsale opportunity of recommendations.

Success for businesses, he believes, comes from „Inside-Out-Perspective“. Companies don’t have to produce everything themselves but need to make the client happy like Apple with the iPhone. 90% of the inputs are not made by Apple. The same occurs to the apps in the Apple store where Apple basically just orchestrates the customers wishes.

„Make this identity shift. I am not here to sell what I produce – I am here to solve a set of customer problems (…) and actually acting on that!“

How to get to a customer-centric business…
1. Shifting mindset: the intention to solve customer problems.
2. Sense of curiosity and humility: the wish to understand your customers.
3. Make a creative leap: the will to understand their needs.
4. Align the elements in the organization: the motivation to live the customer-centric business.

Spot On!
Interested to get your view on this modern business strategy. Let us know what you think about customer-centric business. Or do you think the social web will be leading us towards this business process anyway?

News Update – Best of the Day

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Content strategy becomes more and more important as customers approach companies and get engaged in company buzz. In order to be prepared companies should have a good content strategy in place. Shay Howe writes about the relevant tactical steps involved in developing a content strategy and offers great case studies with it.

Marketers want to get insight in what kind of advertising are seen and what is not being noticed o the web. The book „Eyetracking Web Usability“ offers some answers based on an eyetracking study. Only close to 36% notice ads on a web page. 52% look at purely textual ads, 52% view ads where image and text were separate, 51% of viewers noticed sponsored links on search engine pages. Ads carrying text on top of images is not very successful.

What is the formula of social media success? With Starbucks we have an interesting show case which was summarized by Ayelet Noff that highlight their powerful social media tactics and strategic motivation.

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