50+ Web Surfers (944 words)
Web surfers age 50 or older are the fastest-growing demographic for online music sales, according to a recent Media Metrix study.
Online marketers should take notice of this growing number of Web-savvy seniors. Trendiness won't work for a group that has been setting trends for decades. Candace Corlett, senior partner at 50+ Marketing Directions, advises to shift your marketing messages from 'cool' to 'smart.'
"Whirling, dancing, animated stuff is great for the younger set, but generally silly to the senior surfer," she says. Media streams and flashy graphics aren't going to reach this set.
"Emphasize service over price. The 50-plus crowd has cash to toss around online," says Corlett, who adds the caveat, "They have no problem going right back to those brick-and-mortar stores if the online experience falls short."
One of the more anticipated features of advertising via mobile phones is the fact that voice and e-messaging can be synchronized. If you're interested in an offer or have more questions, simply push a button, and you can be speaking to a real person.
E-mail marketing company Xchange Inc. has partnered with ACP Interactive to provide the same type of instantaneous multi-channeling via conventional e-mail.
The "call me" button is a small image file imbedded in a personalized HTML e-mail. When clicked, the user is prompted to enter his or her name and phone number. Within seconds, the phone is ringing, the user is prompted to push the pound button and a live representative comes on the phone ready to talk to the customer.
Service on the Block
Service, not price, was predicted to be the definitive driver for online sales this holiday season. No one would hanker too much on price as long as the products were delivered on time. But, consumers may be more price-sensitive than online merchants assumed.
A study by Media Metrix, a Jupiter Media Metrix Co., shows auction site eBay.com drew more than 60 percent more unique visitors than the leading online retail site, Amazon.com, in the first two weeks of the 2000 holiday season.
Says Anne Rickert, measurement analyst at Media Metrix, "The rapidly increasing number of visitors to auction sites this holiday season clearly shows consumers' appetite for viable online shopping alternatives that offer a diverse selection of goods and flexible pricing."
The Politics of Privacy
The candidates for November's election may have been speaking to the issue of privacy, but just how good were they at practicing what they preached? Following is a report from the now-defunct privacy-solutions provider Enonymous Corp.
Criteria used in the rating:
IIII: Site may contact users with explicit permission but will not share personally identifiable information.
III: Site may share personally identifiable information with third parties with users' explicit permission.
II: Site may contact users without their explicit permission
I: Site may share personally identifiable information with third parties without users' explicit permission
Candidates' Sites Rating
Political Party Sites Rating
reformparty.org No PrivacyPolicy
Niche Web Marketing
Chinese-Americans are 17 percent more likely to own a computer than Caucasians, and 32 percent more likely to perform financial transactions online, according to Forrester Research. Companies like E*Trade have begun to target Asian populations specifically. Sina.com, a popular Web portal for Chinese communities worldwide, commissioned ISA to conduct a comprehensive study about Internet usage among Chinese residents of the United States and Canada. The 1,005 adults polled were of Chinese descent, and all were able to read and speak Chinese.
47% 44% Considered Internet users*
75% 67% Internet users who are online every day
80% 54% Internet users who access the Web through a dial-up modem
8% 33% Have a cable modem
50% 21% Shop online
58% 58% Internet users with investments
70% 51% Trade online
*Have been on the Internet within the past month.
E-mail is the primary online activity followed by reading (news, sports, weather reports, etc.). In the secondary tier of interests are the following: research for school or work, information-gathering on products or services, and financial activities and travel information/arrangements. Yahoo! is the most popular Web site among Chinese Internet users both in the United States and Canada.
By Denny Hatch
I placed an order. The confirmation did not go through—it misread the credit card or something. So I put in another credit card number. The result: double shipment. This happened twice, once with MacWarehouse and once with Amazon.com.
In the case of MacWarehouse, I called customer service, explained the problem and gave the service rep both order numbers.
"I only want one of these," I said. "My records show only one order from you."
I explained I received two confirmations.
"There's nothing I can do until your order hits this system," said the rep.
"How do I avoid receiving a double shipment that will cost us both money?" I asked.
"Try calling back in a half hour."
"I am not going to call back in a half hour. I am the customer. I am not going to spend time cleaning up your fulfillment."
"I'll try and remember to cancel your order."
She didn't. I received two shipments.
What should e-tailers do? My suggestion: If the system shows a double shipment of the same item to the same address within a 10-minute window, it should trigger an automatic e-mail to the customer saying, "According to our records … Do you want both items? Click here: Yes, ship both items; or, do you want one item only? Click here: Ship one (1) item only."