Tag Archives: online

Why Your Web Site Is Important

Think of how many digital entities your business may have.  Besides your web site, you probably have a Facebook page, maybe a twitter feed or a Pinterest board.  You may have a presence on a local review site or electronic listing page.  That doesn’t even count the amount of user generated content that could be floating around.  Consumers can probably find you in many different places – some you control and some you don’t.  Recently released information shows the sources that online shoppers trust when researching products to buy.  This information is extremely important in making sure potential customers get the right information about your business and the products you sell.

shutterstock_90091774• Nearly half of online shoppers said that a manufacturer or brand’s website was their most trusted source of information

• More than one-third said that they put trust in articles they found from a search engine

• 31% said that they trusted experts on certain topics

• Over 20% said that mainstream news sites were trustworthy for brand information

• Roughly 10% put their trust in links friends posted on social networks or information from blogs

What Does This Mean To You?

Overall, nearly 95% of consumers said they trusted some kind of online information when making online shopping product decisions.  The question is how do  you make sure they are getting the right information about your organization.

• Employ a robust search strategy – Your website is the most trusted source for online shoppers.  If you don’t have a strong search strategy, who knows what potential shoppers may see when they enter your name into a search engine.

• Monitor your social reputation – Social media can be a great referral tactic and engagement tool.  But if consumers are seeing negative information about your business, there is a good chance they will not do business with you.

• Utilize testimonials – Testimonials can be very powerful.  While you may not be able to get experts to extol the virtues of your business or product, people trust the opinions of others.  If you have a loyal customer, it would be beneficial to incorporate kind words from them in your web site.  Also, treat social media “likes” as virtual testimonials.  Because their social friends and followers will see it as well, a “like” or positive post can influence your perception among a large group of potential shoppers.

• Dot your Is and cross your Ts – When was the last time you took a critical look at your web site?
Is it outdated? Is all the product information current?
Can people easily find your contact information?
Are there typos?
Is it easily navigated?

Your web site, in many ways, is your front door to many consumers.  You need to make sure it’s easy to find, easy to navigate and potential shoppers can easily see the value of all the things you have to offer.  For more information on strategies to help you create a stronger ecommerce revenue stream, please contact your Sun Sentinel representative or:
Julie Otto
Advertising Marketing Manager

Source: nRelate; eMarketer


Going Online Instead Of Going To The Doctor

For many people going to the Doctor ranks just above taking your car to the mechanic or having to visit the IRS as activities that sound like a good time.  More and more, consumers are turning to the anonymity of the internet as a place to find answers to medical questions.

shutterstock_4434508• Nearly two-thirds of adults said they would rather go online for health information instead of visiting a Doctor’s office

• Nearly one in four adults who would rather get medical information online did so because they lacked health insurance

• Over 20% cited embarrassment – this was the top reason cited from 18 to 24 year olds

•  19% said expensive co-pays were the reasons they would rather use digital resources

• 41% of adults said they would rather get information about sex from online health sources vs. a live Doctor

Information about STDs (29%), drugs & alcohol (16%) and weight were other top topics adults would rather get information about online

What Does This Mean To You?

Over the past 30 days 2.4 million adults have searched for medical information online.

These online health searchers were much more likely to be:

• Women

• Affluent

• College graduates

• White-Collar workers

According to several sources between 75% and 90% have some kind of health insurance.  They are also more likely to have a smart phone and were more likely to have visited a specialist in the past year. Digital resources have not only changed the ways consumers look at health care, it’s changed the way they health professionals recruit patients and market their services.  For more information on how can use digital and mobile tactics to build awareness & patient count, please contact your Sun Sentinel representative or:
Julie Otto
Advertising Marketing Manager

Source: Pearl.com; The 2012 Multi-Market Scarborough Report, Release 1

Holiday Shopping – In-Store Vs. Online

Many people believe that the holidays bring out the best in others.  There are gifts, lights, presents & family all around.  Then there’s holiday shopping, which often does not bring out the best in many people.  A new study is out that looks at why people shop for the holidays in stores vs. online.

• 30% of shoppers prefer
to shop online to avoid
the crowds

• 22% say they would rather shop in a store to look and feel products before purchasing

• 17% like to buy online because they feel they can get the best deal there

• 11% prefer to shop in stores because they like to browse while holiday shopping

• 10% like to shop in a store because they enjoy the experience of holiday shopping

• 6% would rather shop online because there is a bigger range of products online

What Does This Mean To You?

Whether you are trying to attract shoppers to your physical location or your virtual storefront, you need to develop a sound strategy to create awareness and drive traffic.  There are many options available across a variety of platforms.  You can create your message through digital, print, direct & broadcast – these are just a few of the media options available to you.
The best way to start any campaign is by asking yourself two questions:
Who is my target consumer?
What are my goals and objectives?
Two answers that are really unacceptable –
Everyone as a target consumer & make more money as a goal.
These answers have to be actionable.
Because these two things allow you target your message and be much more effective and efficient.
It also lets you compare your campaigns and determine if they were successful.
For more information on creating a strategy to maximize your message and get results,, please contact your Sun Sentinel representative or:
Julie Otto
Advertising Marketing Manager

Source: Mobile Commerce Daily; Accenture

Consumers Clicking For Cyber Monday Deals

Cyber Monday originated before high speed digital access was something that was available in most homes.  It was a way to secure online shopping from people who had just gotten back to work after the long Thanksgiving weekend.  Even though high speed connections are the norm, consumers still see Cyber Monday as a great time to shop online retailers and get deals.

• 45% of consumers plan to shop on Cyber Monday

• Over 40% shop on Cyber Monday because stores usually offer free shipping

• Four in 10 purchase online on Cyber Monday because they feel they will get the best online deals that day

• 37% say it lets them avoid shopping with Thanksgiving crowds

• One in five shop then in order not to waste their Thanksgiving weekend shopping

What Does This Mean To You?

Ecommerce is going to play a huge part of holiday spending this year.  Over $95 billion of holiday spending will come through online channels.  Consumers value the convenience that online shopping provides.
When was the last time you looked at your ecommerce solution?
Have you checked out the competitions online checkout functions?
Consumers are comparison shopping – not just for the best deals, but also who is the easiest to  do business with.  If your solution is clunky or not intuitive, count on a high rate of shopping cart abandonment.  Shopping cart abandonment is something else you should have tactics in place for.  For more information on how to maximize online shopping dollars this holiday season, please contact your Sun Sentinel representative or:
Julie Otto
Advertising Marketing Manager

Content Affluent Shoppers Utilize

More and more data on 2012 holiday shopping is beginning to be published.  We’ve already chronicled some on how consumers are shopping earlier this year and how consumer attitude about the economy will affect shopping. While a large percentage of shoppers feel they may not be able to afford all of the things on their gift list – the affluent and ulta-affluent shoppers will probably not have those concerns.  New data has been released that shows what media this valuable consumer segment uses.

• Over 80% of adults with incomes of $100,000 plus regularly read print publications – Women in this group and ulta-affluents with incomes of $250,000+ are even heavier users of print products

• Affluent adults are also heavy digital users – on average, they spend over 37 hour per week online

• More than one in four affluent adults own a tablet and nearly half have one in their household

• 55% of affluent adults own a smart phone – that’s up 45% from last year

• Affluent consumers are also very social in nature – over 60% are on Facebook.  One in six are on LinkedIn – up nearly 40% from last year.  Twitter adoption is at 12%, up 50% from 2011

 What Does This Mean To You?

Affluent shoppers have the resources to purchase your goods and services and probably not feeling as pressured about holiday shopping.  Earlier this week, we talked about how you can appeal to them using loyalty programs.  Look for effective ways to reach and engage them.  Research shows they are heavy print users and also rely on digital content.  Target them using content in these mediums.  Mobile will also be effective and gives you the power to message them no matter where they are. The better you can target them, the more exclusive you can make their offer.  In tomorrow’s post, we’ll examine just who the affluent consumer is.  For more information on connecting with affluent shoppers, please contact your Sun Sentinel representative or:
Julie Otto
Advertising Marketing Manager

Source: IPSOS Media; Mendelsohn

Attracting High End Shoppers

Yesterday, we talked about the value of a loyalty program in engaging the wealthy shopper.  Today, we’ll look at what digital features experts think attract affluent customers.  A new report chronicled the functions that luxury advertisers plan on increasing use of this year. This information can help you gain the attention of upper end shoppers and get results.

• Nearly 70% of luxury brands plan on using more video and mobile to reach affluent shoppers

• Nearly half will employ social media

• 45% will deploy rich media solutions

• Nearly 30% are going to be increasing their investment in search

• One in six will be moving more assets to standard online display positions

 What Does This Mean To You?

In yesterday’s post, we showed you the amount of adults who have mobile devices.  High income consumers are very tech savvy.
Nationally, among consumers with Household incomes of $75,000+:

• Nearly two-thirds are social networkers

• Over 30% accessed a social network from their mobile device in the past month

• 87% shopped online in the past year – that’s nearly 40% higher than the general public

• They are also 42% more likely to make an online purchase

• Nearly one in four read or contributed to a blog

• Four in 10 viewed video clips online

• Over 70% are texters

There are many digital devices that affluent shoppers rely on.  For more information on using them to create awareness and visibility for your business, please contact your Sun Sentinel representative or:
Julie Otto
Advertising Marketing Manager

Source: Martini Media; Digiday; The 2012 Scarborough Multi-Market Report, Release 1

The Countdown Has Begun

The last thing I ever want to do is scare people, but this  at the very least may shock you.

Christmas is now 90 days away

It may seem like it’s still summer but Black Friday is less than 2 months from now.  The kids just went back to school and in many parts of the country, it’s still relatively warm.
But take a look at the calendar – we are 90 days from the big day.
The first of many holiday spending reports has been released and they show
that ecommerce will still be a major factor in the ways consumers spend during the holidays.

• Retail ecommerce spending during the holiday season is expected to reach nearly $54.5 billion dollars

• Year over year, holiday ecommerce is projected to increase nearly 17%

• In 2012, holiday season spending is expected to make up nearly 25% of the total ecommerce spending

• While holiday season ecommerce is expected to jump almost 17%, total ecommerce for the entire year is expected to increase by 15%

What Does This Mean To You?

Whether we like it or not, it’s never to early to plan how your organization is going to handle the holidays.  From staffing to marketing, the holidays can be challenging but there are many digital opportunities that can ease holiday frustrations.
Last year, mobile had a huge effect on consumer activity and there is no doubt that this year it’s impact will be even bigger. Social media has also changed the way consumers find what to buy and where to find it – that will probably not change as well.  This year, geo-location activities and SMS/text could increase in importance with shoppers.  Many businesses are looking at how “showrooming” will affect them and how loyalty programs may be a solution.
We will be regularly posting on the latest research to come out regarding holiday shopping trends and consumer activity.
Take this opportunity to prepare your staff for the holidays.
Have you planned for employee vacations and any staffing issues?
Have you updated your staff contact list to include cell phone, email, Facebook and Twitter contact information?
Are you planning to have any staff training sessions on your mobile and web capabilities?
Have you thought about developing a company holiday blog or Facebook page to keep your employees  up to date your back-end holiday plans?

Lots of companies, especially small and medium sized ones, put all their effort into the marketing aspect of the holidays, but don’t plan for their organizational needs.  The best way to make sure you have a successful holiday season is to plan ahead for all aspects of your business.  For more information on how to make this holiday season your most profitable, please contact your Sun Sentinel representative or:
Julie Otto
Advertising Marketing Manager

Source: eMarketer