Virtual reality in retail, loyalty and rewards research, and the value of user-generated content
Retailers will need to manage a consumer “expectation gap” to benefit from VR
Academic Insight; Brand & Product; Customer;
Transitioning from virtual to actual environments in-store could disappoint shoppers.
Retailers are under pressure to innovate from consumers who now expect satisfying experiences alongside the products and services that they buy. VR is one such innovation but questions remain over how it can be integrated into mainstream retail environments. This study used interviews with consumers familiar with the technology and sector experts to map out the future impacts of VR technology.
Specifically, it looked at VR delivered via head mounted devices (HMDs) on both customer experience and in-store traffic along all stages of the shopper journey, including in-store and before and after visiting. It finds that there is a mismatch between the stage at which the technology is most appealing to consumers (engagement) and the stage at which it is likely to contribute most to in-store traffic (purchase).
This could result in disappointment at a critical point just before purchase as customers have to switch between virtual and actual interactions. To combat this, brands should make it easier for consumers to interact with them through VR both in their shops and away from them. This could be achieved by making HMDs readily available in-store and partnering to reduce the cost of personal devices, as well as producing branded content to be consumed as VR experiences.
Read the original article in The Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services:
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jretconser.2019.02.016 [30 minute read; article may be behind a paywall]
Customer experience is being neglected but is more important than ever
News & Trends; Customer; Market Research, Metrics & Data;
Research from Forrester says CX quality is “stuck” and outlines common stumbling blocks.
The Forrester Customer Experience Index has been consistently low over the last three years and seems unlikely to improve in 2019 since most firms fail to perform CX management activities.
This represents a missed opportunity for brands. CX quality is shown to have an effect on stock performance, as well as previously established links to faster revenue growth, increased brand preference and higher product pricing.
Factors that often hold back improvements include resistance to changing customer feedback management vendors, failure to prioritize CX projects and, counter-intuitively, losses of engagement caused by making CX processes easier. The article also identifies a number of solutions and strategies to improve performance.
Read the original article at Forrester [4 minute read]
Many consumers are dissatisfied with rewards schemes
News & Trends; Customer; Market Research, Metrics & Data; Brand & Product;
Programmes are perceived as too slow and onerous, consumers seek surprise rewards.
The 2019 Loyalty Barometer report from HelloWorld maps out consumer attitudes to various types of loyalty programmes and suggests that many existing approaches could be improved: 54% surveyed reported that it takes them too long to earn rewards and 38% felt it was too difficult.
Instead, 61% wanted surprise offers from brands simply for being customers and three quarters wanted rewards for engaging with a brand’s video content or surveys. The preferred benefits were free products (76%) and discounts (74%).
It also shows that most consumers like to use mobile apps to find out about loyalty programmes and, looking to the future, highlighted variations between younger generations and the rest. Overall, 64% were happy with traditional “points for rewards” systems but significant numbers of Millennials and Gen X liked “creative or unexpected rewards”.
Read the original article in Marketing Dive [5 minute read]
‘Authentic’ marketing is needed to boost adoption of sport among girls
Thought Leadership; Advertising; Brand & Product; UK; Sports;
Women In Sport find girls as a young as five see themselves as “not sporty”.
Based on new research, the charity argues that a brand-driven “system change” is needed to “reframe” girls’ perceptions of sport as a positive lifestyle choice.
Their findings reveal that the recommended daily level of activity is met by only 10% of 11 to 13 year-old girls and Proctor & Gamble research shows that by the time they become teenagers, 64% of girls will have “dropped out of sport”.
Women In Sport also found that mothers exert the strongest influence on girls’ exercise habits. Kate Nicholson, head of insight and innovation, said “[Marketing] needs to be authentic; the ability to relate to people in the real world is critical,” urging brands to connect with women and girls to effect change.
Read the original in Campaign [4 minute read; article may be behind a paywall]
Brand safety shouldn’t mean shying away from news
Thought Leadership; Advertising; Digital; Brand & Product;
Advertisers don’t need to fear news websites if their facts are right and tone is not hateful.
This comment piece points out that brand safety concerns are not a new phenomenon – marketers have always worried about backlashes from unfortunate ad placements and some have always tried to avoid news sites with certain political leanings.
But when choosing the key words alongside which to display their ads, advertisers now specifically avoid certain words that they think will harm their brand perception. The author argues this approach is misguided and leads to unnecessary reductions in impressions on news sites because individual “page-level” clashes are “not a long term brand building issue.”
News sites inevitably cover bad news and controversial topics every day and, though their content may be becoming more aggressive, bad reactions won’t spill over from individual stories if the publisher is reliable and balanced. The current situation is depriving news providers of the ad revenues they need and brands of the reach and frequency that news content brings.
Read the original article in The Drum [5 minute read]
User-generated content could be more effective than branded content and influencers
Expert Advice; Social; Customer; Market Research, Metrics & Data;
Most consumers view UGC as the “most-authentic” and most influential form of content
A survey by video platform Stackla of 1590 consumers and 150 B2C marketers reveals a mismatch between how the two see content authenticity. While both agreed it was important for brands, 92% of marketers surveyed believed the majority of brand-created content is considered authentic by consumers, whereas 51% of consumers saw “less than half of brands” creating authentic content.
The marketers were also at odds with consumers about UGC. When asked to choose, 58% of consumers said UGC was the most authentic form of content, the most popular option. But marketers were more than twice as likely as consumers to say branded content connected most.
Prioritising UGC may also have other benefits for marketers. It is cheaper to produce, readily available, and consumers report it is much more influential on their purchases than branded or influencer content.
Read the original article in Social Media Today [7 minute read]
Businesses could benefit from building their own unique lead scoring templates
Expert Advice; Brand & Product; Customer;
This Bigcommerce.com article details how to create a lead score list for any business.
It explains that most businesses don’t practice any form of lead scoring and 70% of leads and sales are lost because of poor follow-up practices. The technique could help marketers improve this by directing resources towards potential customers in a targeted way.
There is no single template for lead scoring as each business is unique and needs its own model. These can be created by cataloguing leads into groups based on their engagement with the product. These groups should be informed by identifying who the target customer is and understanding their requirements.
The next step is to identify those leads most likely to convert into customers based on how they engage with content. A points system can then be devised by assigning more points to higher commitment actions and fewer points to lower commitment actions, then following up accordingly.
Read the original article at bigcommerce.com [8 minute read]
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the original authors and not necessarily YouGov