Public Relations & Social Media Insight
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Public Relations & Social Media Insight
Social media, PR insight & thought leadership - from The PR Coach
Curated by Jeff Domansky
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Retail survey: 51% of shoppers want digital coupons; 67% find facial recognition creepy

Retail survey: 51% of shoppers want digital coupons; 67% find facial recognition creepy | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

According to a recent survey looking at consumers’ attitudes toward retail technology, omnichannel personalization solution RichRevelance found shoppers are still not comfortable with all technology has to offer the retail industry.

Polling more than 1,000 consumers, the “Creepy or Cool: 2016 Consumer Survey” offered insight into the types of retail technology that appeals to consumers and what turns them off.

Sixty-seven percent of the survey participants labeled facial recognition technology as creepy when asked about it being used by retailers to direct salespersons toward high-value shoppers. (An even higher percentage of Millennials — 71 percent — said they found it creepy.)...

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Research says shoppers still like coupons, especially digital coupons, but facial recognition is "creepy."

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Low ratings are better than no ratings on Amazon

Low ratings are better than no ratings on Amazon | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

A one-star rated product listed on Amazon.com Inc.’s site sells better than a product with no reviews or ratings at all, said Chad Brandon, key account manager of Amazon for athletic footwear manufacturer Asics.

When it comes to new products on an online marketplace, reviews matter more than price, said Fahim Naim, founder of e-commerce consulting firm eShopportunity. Those insights were shared at the “Amazon & Me” workshop this week at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition in Chicago.

Brandon and Nahim both suggested that first-party Amazon sellers, which are manufacturers that sell wholesale to Amazon, utilize Amazon Vine. The Amazon service puts products in front of customers to review. Amazon selects customers based on their reviewer ranks, "which is a reflection of the quality and helpfulness of their reviews as judged by other Amazon customers," according to Amazon. Sellers pay Amazon a fee for the service and can't influence whether the rating is positive or negative. Customers aren't paid to write reviews.... 

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Low ratings are better than no ratings on Amazon? Somehow I just don't get that. It feels instinctively wrong and my sense is it would be better to work harder to get positive ratings.

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US consumer spending sees largest boost in 6 years

US consumer spending sees largest boost in 6 years | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

The American economy depends mightily on consumer spending, so this report bodes well for a healthier 2016, economists say. The wage gap and the economy’s failure to produce adequate income improvements even in a healthier economy have stymied spending for months. But that’s recently been changing, as reflected in this report.

Although there seems to be an increase in disposable income and wages, that could be a problem for retailers as more consumers are choosing to spend on experiences instead of accumulating material objects. Younger shoppers are especially prone to spending on experiences, according to a PwC survey published last year, which found that millennials said that more than half (52%) of their holiday spending would be experience-related, compared to 39% for older consumers. 

Consumers are also choosing to save or pay off debt rather than spend, and when they do, they are increasingly favoring investing in home improvements. Retailers' recent earnings reports reflected these trends, as apparel-heavy retailers like Macy's, Kohl's, and J. Crew reported disappointing results while home improvement retailers beat expectations. These changes are forcing legacy retailers to reconsider their marketing strategies and physical stores, offering more value to the consumer with no-cost online resources and free in-store events....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Is there a consumer spending bright spot ahead for retailers? Economists think so.

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Why Marketing Needs To Promote The Product, Not The Promise - Forbes

Why Marketing Needs To Promote The Product, Not The Promise - Forbes | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

For two decades now, aspiration has been the watchword of branding. Sell people the story of who they want to be, the logic goes, and the brand wins an unmovable place in their hearts. At one time, many brand campaigns truly struck a chord as they resonated with consumers on an emotional level. We’ve reached a point, though, where many consumers can’t identify the product in an ad, and often can’t place themselves in the idealized aspiration being dramatized. Wrought with overblown promises and fantasy claims, these brands have left consumers apathetic. They live in the real world where you can’t buy happiness, so please, stop trying to sell it them.

Younger consumers, in particular, want to know what you’re actually selling, not how it’s supposed to make them feel. They value what’s real and pride themselves on seeing through marketing claims, so they look for emotional stories that are anchored in a product truth. They’ll trust you when you talk straight, have a sense of proportion, and deliver what you promise PMSEY +%. This down-to-earth approach is a driving factor behind the continued rise of Japanese retailer Uniqlo .

Uniqlo’s offering is simple – low-cost, high quality basics, all delivered with unmatchable customer service. With a focus on fabric over fashion, the brand is able to keep costs low while investing in product innovation. Each product in the store has a diagram of how it was made and an explanation of the materials used to underscore the quality and provide transparency. Advertising is clean and simple, stressing a technically superior garment at a reasonable price rather than pushing an aspirational ideal. All these elements together create a brand that has stripped away all the bells and whistles to offer something real and relevant....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

By their nature, some products simply aren't "aspirational" so trying to promote them as such is a worthless exercise. Depends on the product in my opinion.

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Beacons to deliver 1.6B coupons annually by 2020: report - Luxury Daily - Research

Beacons to deliver 1.6B coupons annually by 2020: report - Luxury Daily - Research | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Coupons are quickly growing as a significant component of beacon-enabled proximity marketing thanks to strong redemption rates, with brands and retailers forecast to deliver 1.6 billion coupons a year by 2020, according to a new report from Juniper Research.

The results point to how proximity marketing is gaining traction as retailers look to engage more deeply with consumers in and around their stores, prompting the volume of beacon-enabled coupons to grow quickly from the 11 million expected to be delivered in 2015. However, the research also underscores the potential danger of turning beacons into nothing more than another offer channel, which is likely to cause shoppers to lose interest.

“I would imagine that coupons will represent a key plank of any beacon-based proximity marketing strategy,” said Dr. Windsor Holden, head of forecasting and consultancy at Juniper Research as well as author of the report....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Talk about powerful? Beacons will deliver more than 1.6 billion coupons a year by 2020 according to a new report from Juniper Research. Recommended reading for retailers and marketers. 9/10

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This one tool can lure shoppers to a new brand or retailer

This one tool can lure shoppers to a new brand or retailer | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Brand loyalty is important to retailers, but one tool can lure loyal shoppers away to other establishments.

Coupons are still one of the most effective tools to attract customers away from brands and retailers to which they are loyal, according to a report from Valassis.

Furthermore, coupons are just as influential among average consumers as they are among brand loyalists:

  • 84% of all consumers (not including brand loyalists) would likely switch stores in order to capitalize on weekly specials, compared to 82% of brand loyalists.
  • Coupons would lead 82% of all consumers to purchase a product from a brand they would not otherwise, compared to 78% of brand loyalists
  • 85% of all consumers would purchase a new product because of a coupon, compared to 84% of brand loyalists....
Jeff Domansky's insight:

Coupons are still a powerful influence with the ability to move consumers from one brand to another with the right deal.

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This chart shows how Amazon is totally crushing its retail competitors

This chart shows how Amazon is totally crushing its retail competitors | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Big box retailer stocks are getting hit hard Wednesday, following Macy's dismal earnings report.

Macy's shares are down 13%, while some of the largest retailers like Sears, Target, and Nordstrom all dropped by at least 5% during the day.

Amidst all this, Amazon, the online retailer that just opened its first physical store last year, is trading at an all-time high, reflecting a clear shift in consumer behavior.

The growth of online shopping is nothing new. But this chart that compares the 12-month stock movement of Amazon, Walmart, Macy's, Target, and the retail index fund "XRT" clearly illustrate the online retailer's growing dominance in this space:...

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Retailers online and off-line struggle while Amazon crushes it.

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Arnaud Dubois's curator insight, May 15, 12:21 PM
Amazon's services are in constant evolution. Its growth is surely not threatened for the moment, on the contrary! Its innovative status is crushing its competitors and in the near future they'll maybe be the major retailer in the world, if they continue like this.
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RetailWire Discussion: Study: E-commerce is eroding retail profitability

RetailWire Discussion: Study: E-commerce is eroding retail profitability | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

A study from HRC Advisory finds that operating earnings as a percent of sales has declined by up to 25 percent for retailers due in part to a shift from in-store to online sales. The high cost of fulfilling e-commerce and omnichannel transactions also took its toll.

As part of the study, HRC analyzed the financial data of department stores, luxury, specialty apparel, beauty and off-price retailers as well as interviewing 15 c-level retail executives to gain their perspectives.

The study found that investments made in supply chain upgrades, digital marketing, IT, variable logistics costs and managing a high level of online returns generated incremental SG&A costs of two to three percentage points of sales. At the same time, real estate and wage inflation as well as declining in-store sales are resulting in a one to two percentage point reduction in physical store profit contributions....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

E-commerce is helping erode retail profitability according to research from HRC Advisory. Not great news for bricks and mortar stores.

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65 E-Commerce Statistics About Consumer Psychology

65 E-Commerce Statistics About Consumer Psychology | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

There are a bunch of aspects to running an e-commerce business but when you boil it down, everything comes back to how your website, brand, and products are perceived by consumers. You can have your own assumptions of what will work but how do you really know what’s going to drive a shopper to convert into a sale?

Our friends over at Bargain Fox have helped us all out with an in depth look at e-commerce consumer psychology. Are you ready for 65 stats that will help you transform your e-commerce marketing, website design, customer engagement strategy, and overall sales numbers? Check out this epic e-commerce infographic!...

Jeff Domansky's insight:

65 stats about e-commerce you can put to use.

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Great Examples of Content & Commerce

Great Examples of Content & Commerce | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Content creation in ecommerce isn’t something that is by any means easy to get right but when you do, the results will speak for themselves in terms of conversions, brand recognition and engagement.

2015 was a great year for brands beginning to really leverage content on their ecommerce stores and 2016 is set to continue this tradition as more and more become aware of its importance in the customer experience and journey. These days, it’s is a crucial component of remaining competitive within your industry and its importance will only grow.

Whilst content on ecommerce sites might not immediately be the thing that you think of when it comes to driving sales and conversions, there is a huge amount of value to be had in reaching users at earlier stages in the buying process. Larger retailers like Wiggle and REI are very strong examples for using content to position themselves as an authority, with various different objectives, but merchants of all sizes are now allocating large proportions of their marketing budget to content strategy....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Content can convert? Read on .

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America's 20 Billion Dollar Day Of Love

America's 20 Billion Dollar Day Of Love | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Last Sunday was an extremely lucrative day for the US economy with people spending a combined total of $15 billion on the Super Bowl. 


This Sunday marks Valentine's Day and this year, loved-up couples are going to spend $19.7 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. Candy, greeting cards and an evening out are top of the gift list this year with men set to spend significantly more than women as usual. 54.8 percent of Americans intend celebrating in some manner on Sunday, and people are also going to spend an average of $26.24 on gifts for their pets....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

This chart shows the key numbers behind Valentine's Day 2016.

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Digital customer experience revolution could save brick and mortar stores - Memeburn

Digital customer experience revolution could save brick and mortar stores - Memeburn | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

The retail model of the future will be a radically different experience from today, largely driven by the changing shopping demands of the younger hyper-connected consumer. Bricks-and-mortar retailing will remain to be a very significant part in retail, however the lines between channels will erode at the benefit of both the customer and the business. Advances in technology will significantly improve the relationships between retailers and customers, much the way analytics is already doing to online shopping.


Real opportunity lies in responding to this change, focusing on delivering a truly integrated and seamless omni-channel experience. The future of retail is an exciting one, and over the next few years we expect to see a number of key developments taking place in stores around the globe...

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Retail impact? Huge!

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If It’s a Race to the Bottom, Then Who Really Wins? - The Robin Report

If It’s a Race to the Bottom, Then Who Really Wins? - The Robin Report | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Coined by the fearless leader and editor of “The Robin Report,” Robin Lewis, “The race to the bottom” is now the perfect catchall phrase for the dynamic we see at play now. (Full disclosure: I have valued Robin’s work for over 25 years, and think he is a complete visionary.)


The phrase not only refers to a price proposition, but also to the value proposition that I call “emotional gross margin” or EGM. EGM is the intangible value when you appeal to a consumer in ways beyond the product value. When you dilute your EGM, all you have left is a commodity. And everyone has commodities. The reality today is that we have created an experience for the consumer that is contributing to the dilution of an emotional gross margin. The diminishment of this so-important value proposition is creating an unending cycle that feeds on itself, further diluting the emotional connection.


You can now buy clothing for less than you pay for pizza at Dominos. The commoditization of apparel has finally hit its stride. Clothing is now the new fast food. And we digest it just as fast, or even faster.


At the same time, the consumer is smart enough to know that the price tag on a garment is simply a placeholder for an inevitable discount. By price promoting in this way, we have created an environment that has no end game and is jeopardizing our customers’ trust in our brands, it’s a game of chicken and we always blink....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

As Nick Graham says: you can’t put a price on happiness. So let’s take the signs down and reinvent how to make people smile again. The race is on.

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US shoppers are canceling their subscriptions in droves

US shoppers are canceling their subscriptions in droves | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Subscription services have become popular among online shoppers, but those same shoppers are also abandoning these services.

Through these subscriptions, customers make recurring payments and receive order shipments at regular intervals, and they have become popular because they let consumers refill products they need to replenish often, such as health and beauty products.

These services typically personalize orders based on a shopper's interests and style, which the companies often learn through connected social media accounts and quizzes. This experience mirrors the personalized service customers would get inside brick-and-mortar stores from sales associates.

So interest in these services has remained high, as 10% of U.S. shoppers have enrolled in one, and another 33% would consider doing so, according to the latest UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper report.

But satisfaction in these services is dropping, as 61% of those who have signed up have since canceled. And there are four main reasons why....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Curated e-commerce subscriptions – an early e-commerce favorite – may have now run its course according to a Business Insider report.

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