Tuesday Feb 28, 2012

Consumer Goods Companies Are Increasingly Going Direct to Consumers

 

Economist Intelligence Unit Survey Reveals Consumer Goods Companies are Experimenting More with Mobile and Social Media to Engage with and Sell Directly to Consumers

A recent study conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and sponsored by Oracle Consumer Goods found that Consumer Goods (CG) companies are increasingly experimenting with new ways to establish and enhance direct, two-way relationships with consumers.

The report found that the use of social and mobile channels are increasingly helping CG companies become more comfortable with the direct-to-consumer selling model, with the number of companies selling products directly to consumers expected to increase from 24 percent to 41 percent over the next 12 months. In addition, 74 percent of CEO-level respondents say social media is a priority for increasing loyalty over the next 12 months.

Despite the growing social and mobile marketing trend, survey respondents and other CG executives see their nascent e-commerce efforts as complementary to, not competing with, existing retail channels, but are committed to expanding their direct-to-consumer strategies. A full copy of the results is available here: “New Directions: Consumer Goods Companies Hone a Cross-Channel Approach to Consumer Marketing” report

Read more perspectives about the study from Brandchannel and Oracle.

Friday Feb 24, 2012

REMINDER: If You're Attending eTail West Next Week, Learn How Mobile And Social Fits Into Your Commerce Strategy

Mobile commerce (or m-commerce) and social commerce are emerging as significant trends in the way customers interact and ultimately purchase from companies.  While mobile phone users have a tendency to purchase in a store, growing percentages use their mobile phones to comparison shop.  And social commerce is generating interest as well but the key is monetizing this new customer touchpoint.

If you are attending eTail Palm Springs, make sure you come to the February 28th session at 12:50pm (Track D: Optimizing The Mobile & Social Commerce Experience) to hear from Michael Hylton, Director, eCommerce Product Marketing at Oracle.  You will learn about trends in both mobile and social commerce and how you can address these important new ways customers interact with your brand.

Friday Feb 17, 2012

Why Consumer Goods (CG) Companies Must Act More Like Retailers

Pushing traditional media through new media channels is no longer enough to succeed in today’s Consumer Goods market. A new approach is needed - one that puts brands wherever consumers are, in a way that encourages consumer participation. CG manufacturers need to increase their engagement with consumers and improve their direct-to-consumer initiatives. They are now aggressively exploring ways to integrate new channels and adopting strategies, processes, and technologies so they can act more like retailers.

Sponsored by Oracle, The Economist published an Economist Intelligence Unit report titled New Directions: Consumer goods companies hone a cross-channel approach to consumer marketing.  The study is the result of a global survey of 221 consumer goods (CG) executives.

Brandchannel, an online exchange dedicated to branding, wrote their perspective on the study:

Consumer Goods companies need to think and act more their retail partners as their participation in social media and online storefronts increase.  The Economist Intelligence Unit report, New Directions, sponsored by Oracle, reveals that 41% of respondents surveyed plan to sell products directly to consumers in 2012, a 24% increase over those currently offering direct sales.

“Consumer goods companies can no longer merely push traditional campaigns through new media channels to reach today's more product-savvy consumer. They need to integrate multiple channels to put brands where consumers are, in a way that encourages a more interactive relationship between consumer and producer, not passive consumption of marketing messages.”

Key findings include:

  • The social media opportunity is finally catching the attention of senior management: 74% of CEO-level respondents say social media is a priority for increasing loyalty over the next 12 months
  • Nearly a quarter of CG executives envisage direct-to-consumer replacing retail.
  • Nearly half of survey respondents and other CG executives see their nascent e-commerce efforts as complementary to, rather than alternatives to, existing retail channels

Another perspective on the same study can be found here.

Thursday Feb 16, 2012

How To Provide A Lifeline To Your Customers?

When consumers are online, they want easy access to customer service representatives. A soon-to-be published Oracle study found that nearly 30% of consumers worldwide have connected with customer service using live help options like Live Chat and Click-to-Call. 57% say that better access to customer service via live help is among the most important features they expect from a Web site, along with ease of browsing and searching products and access to personal account information.

Global online retailers prefer live help over the phone using click-to-call when dealing with preferred customers and sensitive or complicated information, technical problems or when involving a large amount of money.  Live chat is the preferred customer service tool for simpler inqueries, such as those about order status, promotional information, shipping options or cheaper services.

No industry is exempt. One in three consumers say they want to reach financial services and health care providers using live help online as well as in person and via 800-numbers, compared with more than 40% that say they prefer live help for reaching communications service providers and travel and hospitality companies.  Click here to learn more about Oracle Live Help On Demand.

Wednesday Feb 08, 2012

Consumer Goods Companies Hone A Cross-Channel Approach To Consumer Marketing

 

Consumer goods (CG) manufacturers are aggressively exploring ways to integrate new channels such as social media and mobile into the marketing mix to attract and engage consumers. However, they are not ready to abandon traditional approaches to consumer marketing. CG marketers say they want to increase engagement with consumers and improve their direct-to-consumer initiatives—but are they really ready to do so?

Perhaps CG companies looking to get closer to consumers ought to think more like retailers, which have made significant investments in understanding consumer behaviour and sentiment across physical and digital environments. New directions: consumer goods companies hone a cross-channel approach to consumer marketing, an Economist Intelligence Unit report sponsored by Oracle, draws on a survey of 221 CG executives as well as in-depth interviews with corporate leaders in the CG industry to explore the changing face of consumer marketing.

Monday Feb 06, 2012

Learn How To Power the Cross-Channel Customer Experience with Oracle’s Complete Commerce

Today’s customers are more information-enabled and mobile than ever before. This growing trend creates a double-edged sword to offer a consistent brand journey while also keeping them loyal and happy.

Customers expect instant gratification, whether it stem from their computers, smartphones, tablets or retail kiosks. They may begin the buying process in a retail store, but complete it from the comfort of their couch. And through it all, they expect their journey to be personalized, relevant and consistent across all of these touchpoints.

So, how can your company hope to deliver on its brand promise beneath such lofty expectations? Read this white paper and gain an understanding of Complete Commerce and how it can change the way you interact with your customers. You will understand how Complete Commerce can help you unify the customer experience, personalize their journey, maximize the engagement, and optimize the execution.

Wednesday Feb 01, 2012

Live Webcast: Oracle Live Help On Demand

Today a greater percentage of online buyers are not completing their purchase because they cannot find the product they were seeking. Recognizing the reasons for cart abandonment or frustrations in the buying experience will enable you to complete that sale and better serve your customer.

Join our live Webcast to learn how Oracle Live Help On Demand enables you to deliver proactive, personalized assistance that grows sales, increases loyalty, and gives you the insight to drive your business forward.

Wednesday Jan 11, 2012

Attending eTail Palm Springs, Learn How Mobile And Social Are Impacting Commerce

Mobile commerce (or m-commerce) and social commerce are emerging as significant trends in the way customers interact and ultimately purchase from companies.  While mobile phone users have a tendency to purchase in a store, growing percentages use their mobile phones to comparison shop.  And social commerce is generating interest as well but the key is monetizing this new customer touchpoint.

If you are attending eTail Palm Springs, make sure you come to the February 28th session at 12:40pm (Track D: Optimizing The Mobile & Social Commerce Experience) to hear from Michael Hylton, Director, eCommerce Product Marketing at Oracle.  You will learn about trends in both mobile and social commerce and how you can address these important new ways customers interact with your brand.

Wednesday Jan 04, 2012

How Are Your Customers Doing?

Over the holiday break I decided to install a barcode reader/price comparison app on my smartphone.  While I had a number of choices – ShopSavvy, RedLaser, Google Shopper, etc. – I realize the power and control I now have in the palm of my hand.  It is now even more imperative to ensure you have the right products, at the right price, at the right point of customer interaction.

Take a step back from your day-today commerce tasks and ask yourself “How are customers perceiving my brand and am I doing everything I can do to keep them loyal and continuing to buy from me?”  Armed with the answers, you will have a better perspective to ensure the optimal cross-channel commerce experience for your customers.

Wednesday Dec 21, 2011

Mobile Couponing Is Only One Part Of A Continual Customer Dialogue

So I was reading an article from yesterday’s Wall Street Journal titled “Procter & Gamble Cuts Mobile Coupon Deal” and it got me thinking that presenting a coupon on a smartphone is neither the beginning nor the end of the customers’ journey with a brand.  Engagement begins with strong insights of your customer, either implicit or explicit, by collecting and holding customer data across all systems and customer touchpoints into one central location.  And relying on that centralized data across all interactions with customers.


The next step is to provide a consistency customer journey, whether they begin researching a product on your website, have a conversation with a call center agent, go into your store or field office, or engage with you via a smartphone or tablet device.  Once the customer places the order, it follows that the order and fulfillment should be visible to the customer as well as any of employees.  And finally, couponing, like in the Procter & Gamble example, is only one piece of customer loyalty as it’s broader than that in order to maintain a continual, ongoing relationship with them.  You can read more about Oracle’s vision around Complete Commerce by reading this white paper titled “Deliver a Superior Cross-Channel Commerce Experience”.

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