FROM SIMPLE TO SPLINTERED TO SEAMLESS: IN THIS NEW TECHNOLOGY-ENABLED WORLD, HOW CAN BRAND MARKETERS AND RETAILERS CAPTURE THE IMAGINATION AND RETAIN THE LOYALTY OF THEIR CUSTOMERS? FITCH BELIEVES SEAMLESS RETAIL EXPERIENCES REQUIRE A NEW APPROACH.
In the beginning, there were shops. We’d pop to the shops, pick up our stuff, go home.
Things were Simple.
Then with the internet, we shopped from home. Now, mobile brings the shops to us, wherever we are – the options are endless.
The customer journey has become Splintered.
In this new technology-enabled world, how can brand marketers and retailers capture the imagination and retain the loyalty of their customers?
FITCH believes that Seamless Retail experiences require a new approach.
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In his study with Google, Jim Lecinski argues that there are four types of moment in a customer’s journey. These are: Stimulus, ZMOT, FMOT, or SMOT.
The customer journey is not always a simple four-step process, especially for one-time purchases and more expensive products.
A customer’s journey may loop. For example, a stimulus can lead to research, which can in turn lead to new stimuli, at multiple research touchpoints. And any of these stages can happen via unlimited combinations of online or offline activity.
We have all seen immense changes to our digital lives in the last few years: mobile devices, apps, digital photography, geolocation, prototyping and streaming media (to name just a few) have advanced at an unprecedented rate.
Maybe it helps to take a look at the story of internet to see how we have got here. Some key milestones:
1971: the first email is sent
1978: the first spam email is sent
1989: the World Wide Web begins as a CERN project called ESQUIRE
1990: the first website is created
1993: the first search engine is launched
1994: the first e-commerce transaction is made
1994: the first banner ad is appears
1995: the first automated order on eBay is made
1998: Google launches
2002: the first social network (Friendster) is launched
2004: Mark Zuckerberg launches thefacebook.com at the Harward University
2006: Facebook becomes an open system
2010: Instagram launches
You can find more milestones in the Internet timeline from Pew Research.
There are different social media analytics tools, such as Twitter Advanced Search, Social Mention and Google Trends.
In addition, an useful report is the Headstream Social Brands 100 that was first published in 2011. It benchmarks brand engagement in social spaces, identifying industry leaders and providing a snapshot of social media’s evolution each year.
The research aims to:
- Identify and acknowledge brands leading the way in social.
- Benchmark performance between industries and companies.
- Understand trends around high performing social brands.
The top five social media brands of 2013 are:
- Electronic Arts Battlefield
- American Airlines
- Thomson Holidays
- Thomas Cook UK
You can download the 2013 report here: SocialBrands_100_The Report_2013
For more info visit: socialbrands100.com
One of the areas in which digital has the greatest impact is on consumer behavior. One of the largest recent studies of consumer behavior in the digital landscape is the TNS 2014 Digital Life Survey*.
Have a look and take the quiz at the end of the page.
The full ‘Digital Lifestyles’ TNS Study from the ‘Types of social media users’ activity is here: The_Digital_Lifestyles.
What type of connected life do you live? Well, it turned out I am a Leader (in digital connectivity, at least!).
“Leaders have a heavy reliance on digital and social media. You are an influencer in social media, and are constantly connected throughout the day, across multiple devices. You are hard to reach via traditional means and are greatly influenced by digital and social media when making decisions.”
*TNS develop precise plans to identify growth opportunities for their clients. They are part of Kantar, one of the world’s largest insight, information and consultancy groups.
Do you know that you can measure your social media presence?
How to check your social activity:
1) TWITTER: How many tweets have you posted?
To see the number of tweets you have posted:
- Go to http://twitter.com/
- Log in
- You can see the number of tweets you have posted in the upper left-hand field when you log in
2) YOUTUBE: How many YouTube videos have you viewed?
To find out the number of YouTube videos you have viewed:
- Go to http://www.youtube.com/feed/history
- Log in
- You can see the number of videos you have viewed below the search bar
3) FACEBOOK: How many facebook posts have you posted?
To see how many facebook posts you have posted:
- Go to http://techland.time.com/2014/01/27/how-much-time-have-you-wasted-on-facebook/
- If you are not logged into Facebook, you will get a popup asking you to log in. If you do not log in, the app will not work.
- Select Next
- Provide an average amount of time you spend on facebook a day (if you don’t want to or don’t know, just leave it at it’s default 17 minutes)
- Select Start
- You can see the number of posts you have shared in the grey text below
How many likes and comments do you get on your Facebook posts, on average?
- Go to the Wolfram Alpha Facebook Report.
- Select Analyze My Facebook Data.
- If you are not already logged into Facebook, you will need to log in.
- Click Generate My Report.
- The average number of likes and comments is under the heading ‘Post Statistics’
A video made by Mr Youth, a social media agency working with many of the world’s leading brands to connect them with today’s digitally savvy consumers.
According to them, students are social media machines. Of the Class of 2015, 50% have over 300 friends on Facebook, 43% have “liked” more than 23 brands, 40% visit Facebook more than 10 times/day, 67% access social sites from their smart phone, 75% upload photos via mobile devices, and 58% use Twitter “all the time.”
If you streamline their journey, they’ll socialize the experience to help their friends and get “cool cred” (read: social currency) for being in the know. Brands should not just solve their need, but bake in social through every step of the process. If a tool helps students design their dorm room, the producer should offer the ability to share their “dream dorm” across social to collaborate with roommates and get friends input on selected products. As their peers engage with this content through their feeds, they’ll experience the company’s platform first hand and ultimately create, curate, and share a room of their own.