After contemplating a purchase, you head to the store to check out the item. Then, you buy it at a cheaper price online – from a different vendor. Are you guilty? This common practice, called showrooming, has become a thorn in the side of many brick-and-mortar retailers, and their efforts to reduce the detrimental effects of showrooming have taken many forms.
Consumers have been benefiting from reviews, ratings, leaks, reports and other sources of unfiltered information about brands for years now. For the 21st century’s informed consumer, this wealth of information is never more than a Google search away. Now, we’re seeing more brands embrace this reality – the reality that they cannot hide anymore behind a façade of expertly-fabricated perfection. Consumers will discover details - good, bad and in between - regardless of brands’ readiness to accept this fact or not. Slowly but surely, brands have embraced this idea and an “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” mentality of accepting and even showcasing, unfiltered consumer-created social content.
Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, et al. have overhauled the way we interact at reunions by providing instant conversation fodder. I’m not talking about the weather but more substantive topics, such as personal achievements, life-changing events or even a shared “LOL.” Social media allowed my class to connect on a deeper level than we might have if our reunion occurred just 10 years earlier. Not every one of my Class of ‘01 comrades agrees with the above opinion. In fact, we are a bit polarized on the topic.
Recognizing the potential value of loyalty programs to long-term customer relationships, new credit card offers are emerging that lure consumers away from competitors and tap the consumer bases of major retailers.
The first of the baby boomers will turn 65 this year. The generation that through the decades boosted sales of the Slinky, bell-bottoms, minivans and then luxury sedans, is entering a unique life stage, and companies have begun the process of quietly renovating their product lines to adapt.
In the coming year, I will have my eye on the evolution of the retail discount. The traditional coupon clip has been transformed by shopping apps and social media. As an admitted bargain hunter, I’m glad to see deal-seeking become posh again. With the growing popularity of online social networks, where consumers “like” and follow brands as readily as they do friends and pop stars (see Media Logic’s 2010 Retail Marketing Report), the buying experience has become truly interactive and is likely to grow even more so.
As I am constantly reminded through our work with J.P. Morgan and its luxury co-brand partners, the wealthy are a distinct segment that should be marketed to with special care and attention. We know that these affluent consumers seek value, convenience, exclusivity, and unique experiences and products. We know they are willing to pay a premium for lasting value and that they expect a high-involvement sale with an elevated level of personalized service. And while affluents account for only 20% of U.S. households, they spend more than 40% of the $4 trillion spent at retail establishments every year, making them an undeniably important segment for the retail industry...
This just in: Facebook gets an “F” in customer satisfaction. Yes, in a survey released this month, the American Customer Satisfaction Index reports that Facebook has scored a surprisingly low 64 points out of a possible 100. “This puts Facebook in the bottom 5 per cent of all measured private-sector companies, and in the same range as airlines and cable companies, two perennially low-scoring industries with terrible customer satisfaction,” reports the ACSI. The site has even lower satisfaction than IRS e-filers. Ouch. How can this be? How can the most visited site on the Internet also be among the most despised?