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Tim Peter Thinks

Tim Peter

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August 15, 2014

10 Key Posts about Millennials and Mobile: E-commerce Link Digest

August 15, 2014 | By | No Comments

Millennial and mobile go hand in handFor a long time, I curated a link digest every Friday featuring interesting articles and posts about e-commerce and Internet marketing. And, though it’s been a while since my last one, I’ve gotten a number of emails lately asking me to bring it back. So, without further ado, here’s the triumphant return of the Thinks E-commerce and Internet Marketing Link Digest, this week focused heavily on millennials and mobile. Enjoy:

  1. Marketing Charts has data that shows 2 in 3 millennials use mobile apps while shopping in-store. In fact, Business Insider data suggests that customer mobile use drives in-store traffic (they’re calling it “reverse showrooming”), in a reverse of what’s long been feared.
  2. Another Marketing Charts post, this one shows that millennials spend more time with digital than traditional media, but with some caveats.
  3. eMarketer offers data highlighting that a majority in Canada will access the web via their mobile phones.
  4. I wrote a post that explored the shocking truth about millennials and digital media.
  5. Mobile Commerce Daily has a great article explaining how Zappos wins at apps by leveraging mobile moments
  6. Still more Marketing Charts data shows US smartphone penetration tops 7 in 10 mobile subscribers in Q2.
  7. Another data point from eMarketer suggests people are pretty much glued to technology 24/7. Shocking, I know.
  8. According to Gizmodo, Snapchat’s thinking about getting into the mobile payment business. Given the overall growth of mobile, that’s not surprising.
  9. My 5 Essential Travel Marketing Posts for July offered a number of insights into mobile and millennials among travel customers.
  10. And another piece from Mobile Commerce Daily explains why retailers should pay closer attention to mobile-only shoppers. Good stuff to round out this week’s list.

Your customers, from Millennials straight through to Boomers often read email on their mobile phones too. Last week I took a look at growing your email list and its importance as an e-commerce best practice. I also gave a talk to a fantastic audience all about email marketing in an age of mobile and featured the topic as part of my weekly podcast. If you’re interested, you can view the slides from the talk below:


(And, yes… you can hire me to keynote your next event, too).

If you’re interested in learning even more about how customers changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

As an FYI, I’m presenting a webinar called Digital Marketing Directions: Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year on Tuesday, September 16. You can read all the details here.

Finally, whether you work with Millennials, Boomers, Gen X, or the Silent Generation, you might also enjoy some of our past coverage of the mobile, local, social web and how to make it work for your business, including:

Tim Peter

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February 14, 2014

Why Doesn’t Social Shopping Work?

February 14, 2014 | By | No Comments

Why doesn't social shopping work?eMarketer has some fantastic new research out that shows Millennials use different social networks throughout their purchase path to post comments and buy assorted types of product. It’s a crucial fact to understanding your customers. More importantly, that fact underscores why social shopping “doesn’t work.” (Don’t worry, I’ll come back to why that’s in quotes in a moment).

First, if you ask most people what the world’s largest social network is, they’ll undoubtedly say, “Facebook.”

They’ll also be wrong.

Facebook is not the world’s largest social network. Not even close. Neither is Instagram or Google+, YouTube, Twitter, or Tumblr. None of them.

Ok, you ask, so what is the world’s largest social network? Simple: the Internet is the world’s largest social network. All the tools most people call “social networks” are in reality social platforms.

And the reason Millennials use different social platforms to talk with friends, post, and buy is because their social network—their friends and family and fans and followers—is spread across a wide variety of those platforms.

Millennials rely on different tools to bring different people into the conversation based on what their needs are for a given purchase. As I’ve said many, many times, they don’t go online; they are online. Constantly. They use the tools that help them accomplish their goal at any particular time. For instance, they might choose Tumblr and Snapchat to check with friends, then choose Facebook when, strange as it may seem, they want mom and dad’s advice. A similar dynamic typically applies to Boomers and Gen X,

Which brings me to “why social shopping doesn’t work.”

The thing is, it does work. Customers depend on ratings, reviews and the advice of friends and family all through the purchase path. The challenge is seeing your efforts across these services deliver results.

Most businesses are really bad at tracking customer interactions across the array of devices and platforms and media consumers experience all day long. (From a privacy perspective, that may be more feature than bug).

But if you can’t draw a clear picture of when your customer uses Wanelo to highlight an adorbs new skirt, Snapchat to show her friends what it looks like in the fitting room, and Facebook to check and make sure her mom thinks it’s OK to wear to her cousin’s wedding, the most common explanation is “it doesn’t work.”

But, just like believing that Facebook is the largest social network, it’s an incorrect explanation.

Increasingly, the companies achieving the greatest success selling through social are those who most effectively understand how their customers use social throughout the shopping process, then adjust their strategy and tactics to ensure they help customers every step of the way.

It doesn’t matter if you’re talking to Millennials, Boomers, Gen X, businesses, or all of the above. If you can’t tell what your customers do, what difference does it make who they are?

Interested in learning more about the future of e-commerce and marketing via the social, local, mobile web? Register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You might also enjoy some of our past coverage of the social, local, mobile web and what it means for your business, including:

Tim Peter

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October 25, 2013

Retailers and Consumer Tracking: One Fatal Mistake to Avoid

October 25, 2013 | By | No Comments

E commerce tipsFurther blurring the lines between e-commerce and “just plain ol’ shopping,” The Wall Street Journal’s Digits blog today highlights how tracking companies plan to notify in-store shoppers about tracking activities.

Or rather, they will if the retailers agree. As Digits notes:

“Notably, no major retailers or the industry group that represents them signed the code of of conduct. The tracking companies are asking their retail clients to do this, but retailers themselves haven’t publicly agreed to post signs in their stores.”

Um… yeah. That seems super smart. Or, not, really.

To be fair, the National Retail Foundation apparently wasn’t invited to the table (or chose not to attend — the article is unclear on that point):

“Very few [retail] companies have had any involvement with this process,” said Mallory Duncan, Senior Vice President and General Counsel. ”Our members are still examining it.”

Now, I have no idea right now the right mechanism to alert shoppers about tracking activity. But, I do know that alerting customers is the right thing to do.

Period.

Online marketers have dealt with this problem for years. And if we’ve learned one thing, it’s that customers don’t buy from you if they don’t trust you. Retailers face increasing challenges from e-tailers due to advancements like same-day shipping from Fancy and the rest of the AGFAME cohort (Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, plus eBay, Walmart, and others). Don’t make it any harder on yourself by ignoring your customers’ privacy concerns.

Ultimately, customers will buy from businesses that offer good value and treat them with respect. You absolutely can do both and succeed. And, more to the point, your success depends on offering both.

If you’re interested in learning more about the future of e-commerce and marketing via the social, local, mobile web, register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You might also enjoy some of our past coverage of the social, local, mobile web and what it means for your business, including:

Tim Peter

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October 16, 2013

What's E-commerce Mean Today, Anyway? Thinks Out Loud Episode 46

October 16, 2013 | By | No Comments

What's E-commerce Mean Today, Anyway?

What’s E-commerce Mean Today Anyway? Headlines

You can also register to receive a free copy of my special report, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World,” produced in conjunction with Vizergy, here. While it’s targeted to the hospitality industry specifically, most of the lessons apply across verticals.

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Technical details: Recorded using a Shure SM57 microphone
through a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 15m 18s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], subscribe via our dedicated podcast RSS feed (or better yet, given that Google has now killed Reader, sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player below:

Tim Peter

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October 15, 2013

How Do You Know Your Social or Mobile Marketing is Working? (Travel Tuesday)

October 15, 2013 | By | No Comments

Watching customers not analyticsI’m amazed when businesses tell me their social or mobile marketing activities aren’t generating any value for their business. In an era when guests read and post reviews or compare prices from their mobile phones while in your hotel, restaurant, or store, doesn’t it seem odd that more businesses are unable to engage with these guests in a meaningful way? (And by meaningful, I mean revenue-generating).

Maybe the problem isn’t that your social and mobile marketing isn’t working. Instead, is it possible you’re not asking the right questions?

For instance, Smart Insights profiles a number of service companies using mobile and social effectively, highlighting the following case:

“Using Google Analytics, Thompson Hotels found that guests who were also ‘fans’ on social media spend about 35% more during their stays than guests who were not.  These visitors also booked directly through the hotel website, circumventing fees charged by 3rd party booking companies.”

That sounds an awful lot like a win, no?

Frequently when I talk to hotels, restaurants and retail locations, they’ve got plenty of good ideas for driving business and engaging customers. What they often lack is a clear picture of what’s working. Sure, you’ve got Google Analytics (or Adobe Site Catalyst, Coremetrics, KISSmetrics, etc.). But do you have the people and processes to get real value out of it? Are your analytics tools helping you answer your business questions?

Figuring out where to spend your time and money isn’t that difficult if you can clearly see what produces results. Are you putting enough energy into solving that problem?

As you put your marketing budget together for next year, make sure that you’re not just budgeting for social and mobile tactics, but also planning for how you’ll measure success in those areas, the questions you’ll ask about your customers, and the resources necessary to find the answers.

And if you’re interested in learning more about the future of e-commerce and marketing via the social, local, mobile web, register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You might also enjoy some of our past coverage of the social, local, mobile web and what it means for your business, including: