Archive for the ‘It’s Just Shopping Blog’ Category

Champagne Tastes and Caviar Dreams: A Global Look at Luxury-Part I

Posted on October 25th, 2011 by

As believers that “retail is in the details” it was time to leverage our 14-year mystery shopping track record and bring that same level of diligence to understanding how luxury retailers and brand manufacturers are making their mark on ecommerce, social networks and mobile channels to effectively connect with customers in today’s global selling environment.

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Check Your eCommerce Standings

Posted on May 5th, 2011 by

Every Q1 for the past ten years, a couple of hundred senior executives with responsibility for ecommerce, representing over 30 major product categories being sold online, have taken the time to complete our lengthy survey – this year it tallied 57 questions.

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Elevating E-Commerce Experiences

Posted on February 1st, 2011 by

The 2010 holiday season exceeded all expectations offline where retail sales rebounded rising 5.5% up from 3% predictions earlier in the year according to NRF.

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Parsons’ Students Apply e-tailing group Mystery Shopping Methodology to Learn eCommerce Ropes

Posted on July 13th, 2010 by

For the second consecutive year students in Joan Abraham’s e-Marketing class at Parsons the New School of Design applied e-tailing group Mystery Shopping metrics to their major term assignment of identifying best practices for merchandising a website.

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Are email reminders of products abandoned in the shopping cart an intelligent policy or an intrusive ploy?

Posted on March 15th, 2010 by

While preparing out latest e-tail detail, “More Merchants Rely on Email to Minimize Cart Abandonment,” the question of customer privacy sparked a conversation within our office.

Is reaching out to customers to remind them that products are left behind good customer service or does it cross a boundary and become intrusive?

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Facebook Fans: Discover 3 Ways to Get Them

Posted on February 13th, 2010 by

Does this sound like your organization?  “Instead of researching the best ways to engage, many businesses create accounts across multiple social networks and publish content without a plan or purpose”, says Brian Solis, founder and principal, FutureWorks, in the article Why You Need a Strategy for Social Media.  As we found in our 12th Annual Mystery Shopping Study, a study of 100 online retailers, 60% of the retailers featured links to social network presences on their e-commerce sites.

But is that really enough to get customers to engage with your brand via social media vehicles?  According to a recent study by ForeSee Results Inc., 49% of respondents who become a retailer “fan” do so to learn about special deals and options, 45% to learn about products, and 5% for customer support.

So give ‘em what they want!  Here are 3 ways to do that:

  • Offer Facebook-exclusive coupons , discounts, free gifts & “insider” information

    Giving consumers an incentive to join, is a sure-fire way to increase your Facebook fan base. By integrating sharing into the experience, participants will be encouraged to “go viral” and get their friends to also participate.

    This is exactly what happened when in January, Einstein Bros. Bagels gave all of its Facebook fans a “buy one bagel, get one free” coupon. They increased the company’s Facebook fan base from 4,700 to more than 378,000.

  • Create a compelling contest

    Offer contests and sweepstakes that will engage consumers and entice them to join. Here, at the e-tailing group, we get an abundance of merchant e-mails and noticed a recent trend:  more retailers are offering incentives to become a Facebook fan.

    As an example of this, in December, Southwest Airlines saw great success with their Fans Fly Free Facebook contest where more than 400,000 new fans joined and engaged with the brand!  On the right, H20+ coaxes consumers to become a fan and thus to be eligible for their sweepstakes.

  • Enlighten, educate & engage

    Offer media-rich informational resources and applications.  Neiman Marcus with over 66,000 fans has successfully combined customer conversations, product photos, sweepstakes and “how-to” videos to provide consumers with a reason to become a loyal Facebook fan.

    As a fan of select merchants like Sephora , I enjoy getting updates on my wall about upcoming/private sales, new products and breaking company news.  With over 414,000 fans, clearly they’ve been successful at engaging new fans.

These are just 3 ways to get customers to become your Facebook fans, engage with your brand and hopefully “spread the word. “

The e-tailing group wants to know…what ways have you found most successful for attracting customers to your Facebook page?

Should I be apprehensive about returning an item?

Posted on February 8th, 2010 by

The results are in from our 12th Annual Mystery Shopping Study and we’re excited to see that return policies/ product guarantees were visible on 96% of the sites in our study- an increase of 37% over last year

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Gift Registries Miss the Mark on Customer Courtship

Posted on November 24th, 2009 by

Our Mystery Shoppers recently turned their focus to gift registries, living the process both online and off at 25 stores and on 26 websites with bridal, baby and/or general gift registries. While compiling their experiences into a report (available for pre-order to download February 2010), I was astounded to learn how many merchants are “leaving the bride after the honeymoon.”

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SMB Lesson #1-Be Paranoid—Don’t Be Too Cool for School

Posted on November 23rd, 2009 by

The web has afforded a new opportunity for entrepreneurs to compete as the cost of technology has come down substantially in the last few years. Despite this cost reduction, there is no excuse for not doing your homework in advance of your site development. I could have closed my eyes in every interview as the lessons were simple and ones we have all heard from our parents, our teachers and best bosses. In the process of developing our SMB Guide, I heard many words of wisdom but one of my favorites was prior to selecting a platform define 10 things your platform will have to do effectively from creating a database to uploading a product feed on Amazon or the user friendliness of one’s backend admin tool. Assess how effectively each of the tasks can be done on each of these potential platforms and quickly rule out ecommerce platforms that don’t accomplish your goals efficiently and effectively.

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