It's my birthday and, if you're reading this on May 19, 2015, my employer and I are giving me the present of a day off of work. I'm giving you the present of loyalty program tips you can use to retain your customers. After all, you probably have their birthday information in your database. Experian says 76 percent of marketers collect birth dates, but only 35 percent send out "Happy Birthday" emails. It's a shame, because the research shows: "Birthday emails enjoy three times the transaction rate of regular, promotional mailings (.09 percent compared to .03 percent, respectively)."
Urban Outfitters sold a "bloody," hole-filled "vintage" Kent State University sweatshirt until Monday. While it's possible some Americans may not know about Kent State, the massacre is burned into my mind and I wasn't even alive when it happened. In 1970, four unarmed students who had been protesting the Vietnam War were gunned down by Ohio National Guard troops who fired into the crowd. So many iconic images and still-popular songs resulted from the shootings that employees at Urban Outfitters shouldn't have even had to open a history book to understand why selling that sweatshirt was offensive. Then there's also the fact that the company is based in Philadelphia—in a state that shares a border with Ohio.
When everything is available for sale on your smartphone, why do catalogs still clutter your mailbox? Shoppers spend more online after browsing through lavish print spreads. The old-school marketing format has survived to play a crucial creative role in modern e-commerce. Today, the catalog is bait for customers, like a store window display, and a source of inspiration, the way roaming through store aisles can be. The hope is shoppers will mark pages they like and then head online, or into a store, to buy
When you browse Anthropologie’s stores, you feel as if you’re wandering through an artsy home, where there are sure to be closets full of eclectic outfits, bedrooms with bohemian quilts and kitchen tables with mismatched dishes. But when you visit its e-commerce site, you get none of that feel; you’re just scrolling through an unimaginative grid of clothes worn by wooden mannequins. Anthropologie wants to change that, and thinks the tablet is the key.
In today’s online shopping world, consumers look for the most simple and efficient sites to purchase from. No one likes to waste time on a site that makes products difficult to find or checkout too tedious a task. With that in mind, Larry Kavanagh, CEO and founder of Covington, Ky.-based e-commerce solutions provider DMinSite, says the most important question to ask is, “What really helps the shopper?”
It’s time to get out. Out of your cubicle. Out of your home office. Out of your company’s groupthink. Out of your industry’s bigger groupthink. Just get out. It’s time to get sideways. You’ll be amazed at what a little outside thinking can do to rattle your inside perspectives.