The Data Digest: Consumer Interest In "Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store”

More and more companies are now seeing the value of extending their online stores with an offline presence. This is resulting in pure online players partnering with offline players — for example, Amazon.co.uk with Collect+ in the UK or PayPal’s agreement with Discover Financial Services. My colleague Martin Gill has been blogging about this phenomenon in his posts on agile commerce.

We recently looked at consumer attitudes on this topic, and there’s definitely something to be said for online-to-offline expansion. Forrester’s Technographics® data shows that the use of "buy online, pick up in-store" has grown over the past few years. About 43% of US online adults currently use this feature, up from 33% in 2010. In-store pickup is a great way for retailers to create upsell opportunities, as a third of consumers who go to the store to collect their goods state that they buy additional products when in-store. On top of that, US online consumers that regularly use pickup services are more likely to use coupons, and they are the consumers most likely to use their mobile phone or tablet to purchase goods.

 

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The Holy War Over Net Promoter: Is It The Ultimate Way To Measure Customer Experience?

Have you ever been caught in this crossfire?

Marketing Manager: “Net Promoter Score is the one number we need to grow!”

Customer Intelligence Manager: “Nonsense! ‘Satisfaction’ predicts customer loyalty better than ‘likelihood to recommend’ – it says so in the wonky business journals I read!”

Marketing Manager: “You don’t understand how business works!”

Customer Intelligence Manager: “You don’t understand how math works!”

The sad thing is that in a micro sense they’re both right, but in a macro sense they’re both wrong. The reason? They’re each taking an inside-out point of view based on their own specialties.

Where NPS Fits In A Customer Experience Measurement Framework

In our research into customer experience measurement, we see many organizations that use Net Promoter Score.  Some use it poorly because – like the fictional marketing manager above – they don’t understand the limitations of what NPS can do.

Here’s how they should think of it: Customer experience is how customers perceive their interactions with a company along each step of a customer journey, from discovery, to purchase and use, to getting service. NPS measures what customers say they’ll do as a result of one or more of those interactions. It’s what Forrester calls an “outcome metric.”

But outcome metrics are just one out of three types of metrics captured by effective customer experience measurement programs. The best programs gather and analyze:

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We’re hiring in Australia!

 

We have just opened a Senior Analyst position focused on helping Marketing & Strategy professionals out of Forrester’s Sydney, Australia office.

In the Age of the Customer, only those marketing, commerce, and strategy executives who focus their efforts on understanding and serving dynamic digital consumers will survive digital disruption and establish competitive advantage. And, in Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia, the proliferation of devices and digital touchpoints makes engaging, selling, and serving consumers more complicated than ever. The marketing and strategy executives charged with transforming their organizations to become customer obsessed need help!  

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Yes, Brand Matters In B2B Marketing — Especially For Technology Brands

 

Welcome back to us all from vacation. I, Peter O'Neill, would like to join the discussion on “What is marketing?” ignited by an HBR article a few weeks ago — if only because of the reaction to my last blog post, where I pleaded for HP marketing to do something about its worsening brand standards. That post hit a nerve, generating several urgent inquiries with B2B marketers. A few clever journalists even wrote articles afterwards that combined comments on HP’s business prospects from Steve Milunovich, investment analyst at UBS, with my point of view, as an industry analyst, about HP’s lack of marketing agility.

While most responses were statements of violent agreement, one point was frequently made: “Which marketing group should be stepping in to stem the tide?” Another was: “Yes, but does that brand stuff matter? We are still selling our kit to customers — they don’t seem worried.” I like to keep things simple, so, for me, there are just two disciplines in B2B marketing:

·         Brand marketing. Often called “corporate marketing” or even “marcom,” this discipline is responsible for the marketing of brand values; running centralized marketing processes such as customer/market intelligence and public/analyst/blogger relations; and perhaps managing social media services, such as listening and content management.

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Twitter Takes Control Of Its Social Ecosystem

Facebook may play host to nearly a billion users, but Twitter controls the social ecosystem today. Twitter just announced its "Certified Products Program" and introduced a literal seal of approval for select third-party Twitter developers. Twitter explains that with the plethora of social technologies out there, it aims to simplify the ecosystem and "make it easier for businesses to find the right tools."

Twitter defined three categories of certified products: engagement tools to help businesses publish content to Twitter, analytics tools to help companies measure and learn from Twitter content, and data resellers that help distribute tweets to the masses. Twitter also announced the first 12 certified products, which we've mapped into the ecosystem:

Forrester Research Twitter Certified Products

Why is this worth blogging about? (It's not just a challenge to see how many times I can write "Twitter" in one post.) It's because Twitter is finally putting a stake in the ground and letting third-party developers know who's in charge. Over the past few years, Twitter has grown into the successful social network it is in great part because of its third-party developers. The apps we use - both for personal use on our varied devices as well as the data-driven technologies we use for business - helped make Twitter popular. But now that it's become one of the social kings, it's starting to lay down the law.

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Our Take: What The Recent M&A Activity In The Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM) Space Means For The Market Research Industry

 

Over the past two weeks, the EFM vendor landscape has heated up once again with a round of mergers and acquisitions. Last year, we saw the mergers between Vovici and Verint and Globalpark and QuestBack. Now we have news of SMG and Locately (August 16) and Confirmit and CustomerStat from MarketTools (August 22). These mergers make sense and are in line with how I see the EFM vendor landscape evolving.

Part of this evolution revolves around enhancing the EFM suite of products and bringing new feedback channels into the mix — like mobile. This goes beyond purely enabling the viewing of online surveys on a mobile browser. It encompasses offering mobile apps, enabling the collection of qualitative data, capturing mobile behavioral data, and even leveraging location to unearth insights about consumers. That is exactly what SMG, an EFM vendor that focuses on customer experience analytics, did by acquiring location analytics market research firm Locately. Confirmit did the same last year by acquiring Techneos to create a stronger mobile offering for its customers.

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15 Minutes Into The Future

I often tell audiences that if you want to see the future of B2B eCommerce, look to the present and recent past of B2C eCommerce. Be it personalization, robust search, or targeted pricing, B2B eBusiness and channel strategy professionals today are closely studying B2C eCommerce for proven opportunities to drive more business online.   

On October 25 at the Forrester eBusiness and Channel Strategy Forum in Chicago, I’ll be highlighting how the best and most innovative B2B eCommerce organizations are incorporating B2C best practices into their plans, processes, and platforms. At the Forum, I’ll be discussing: 

  •  The impact consumerization is having on B2B eCommerce. Because all B2B customers are also B2C consumers, they’re comparing their B2B eCommerce experiences with gold-standard B2C eCommerce experiences from the likes of Amazon. And like B2C consumers these days, B2B customers demand that products and services be delivered faster, less expensively, and more conveniently than ever before. The bar has been raised . . . and B2B companies must deliver.
  • How successful B2B eCommerce organizations are leveraging classic B2C eCommerce principles. Early winners in the B2B eCommerce space have successfully incorporated B2C-like personalization, recommendations, interactivity, search, self-help, and ratings/reviews into their B2B eCommerce shopping experiences. Not everything from B2C will translate perfectly, or even at all, into B2B. But much will. And much already has.  
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The Customer Has An SLA Too

JC Penney’s CEO Ron Johnson is hedging his bets that among other innovations, in-store iPads and iPods will help make his new concept stores a hip place for customers to hang out. Ron is not alone in his mission; Macy's, Staples, Urban Outfitters, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Target, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Sephora, Clinique (the list goes on and on) are all in the process of piloting new in-store digital technologies.

However, “hip” is not a business case. In-store technologies must not only digitize existing experiences but, in doing so, must improve upon or completely re-invent them. As I see retail technology concepts like magic mirrors, virtual shelves, augmented reality displays, and touchscreen kiosks, I worry that retailers are getting swept away in the hysteria of the technology and are failing to articulate the value proposition that these technologies offer to the consumer.

Don’t get me wrong; many of these in-store digital experiences resonate well with the tech-savvy Gen Y shopper, but do they make the shopping experience more convenient?

Picture the scene: Mom has 20 minutes to spare on the way to pick up the kids from school, so by the time she’s found a parking spot, she has 10 minutes (at best) left to walk into the store, find what she is looking for, pay for it, and get out again without risking being late. Does she have any chance of meeting her SLA? Probably not, unless she knows exactly what aisle the product(s) she needs is in, whether the product(s) is in stock, and whether the checkout lines are empty.

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Forrester’s New Book, Outside In, Is Released Today!

My coauthor, Harley Manning, and I are thrilled to announce that our new book, Outside In: The Power Of Putting Customers At The Center Of Your Business, is released today! We encourage you to read this book if:

  • You want to figure out what the heck customer experience really is.
  • You need to make the business case for customer experience.
  • Your company understands the power of customer experience, but you’re not sure where to start.
  • You’ve got some customer experience initiatives underway, and you’re ready to take your efforts to the next level.
  • You want rigorous, battle-tested customer experience tools that have been implemented by companies around the world.

If you’d like to know more about the ideas in Outside In or would like to engage directly with Harley and me, please:

  • Bring your questions to our #OutsideIn tweet chat next Wednesday, September 5, from noon – 1PM Eastern time.
  • Join us for one of two free Webinars on Wednesday, September 19. If you miss us at 9AM Eastern, you can catch an encore presentation at 2PM Eastern.
  • Download the first two chapters of the book for free.
  •  Check out outsidein.forrester.com for author videos, book images, and suggestions on how to go further with the ideas in the book.
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Building A Successful Brand In The 21st Century

In the age of the customer, digitally empowered consumers are no longer sitting back waiting for brands to talk to them. They are seizing newfound opportunities on digital platforms to voice their wants, needs, and expectations. And data from our Consumer Technographics® panel shows that, in 2012, consumers expect more from brands. For example, they expect brands to create indispensable value and contribute to society. 

But marketers are struggling to keep up with these changing consumer needs and higher expectations. They are disoriented in a world where they are losing influence with their consumers, losing control of their brand messages, and losing trust with consumers. Why? Because they are using old guidebooks and road maps that were designed for a traditional advertising world.  

To guide marketing leaders into this fast-changing brand-building terrain, the CMO & Marketing Leadership research team has created a playbook on how  to successfully build a 21st century brand. The collection of reports in the playbook will help you to:

·       Discover why, as a marketing leader, you must adapt your brand to consumers’ higher standards across this new brand-building landscape and must learn how to make a business case for investing in brand building. 

·       Plan for a new brand experience across all consumer touchpoints, from communications to retail experiences to products; a strategic plan to bring your vision to life and a road map to get you there.

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