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Local shoppers are mobile focused

Local shoppers are much more likely to buy from a mobile than from any other device. New research shows that when people are using the web to find a suitable supplier for their goods, the individuals using their mobile phone instead of a tablet or a PC are the ones most likely to make a purchase.

Graph showing sales conversion rates

Almost eight out of ten searches conducted for a local supplier on a mobile phone ended up in a purchase. However, on a PC only six out of ten searches lead to an actual sale. Tablets were half-way between these figures.

Interestingly, even though the desktop computer shoppers were less likely to buy than the mobile individuals, around the same number of people ended up buying in the store, rather than online. In other words, it doesn’t matter whether you have a mobile website or a desktop one, it seems that people still prefer to buy in the real world. That suggests we ought to be using websites to drive footfall into real world stores, rather than focusing on e-commerce alone.

The other interesting finding in this study of 3,000 people, was that tablets are the worst performers overall. In spite of the immense popularity of them, when it comes to getting people in to your store to buy something PCs and mobile phones win. This probably has something to do with the fact that the tablet is largely seen as an entertainment device, whereas mobile phones and PCs are more associated in our minds with being utilitarian.

For website owners and local businesses this research suggests several things:

  • People want to buy locally – in spite of the global nature of the Internet, emphasising local can boost sales
  • People want to buy in the real world – even though we can all buy stuff online, it appears we prefer face-to-face buying
  • People prefer mobile phones for local search – that means you must have a dedicated mobile phone friendly website to capture more sales

Categories: Retail

Polite customers help you sell more

Computer Keys Showing Rude and PoliteEvery business has to deal with rude customers. And good business people keep their cool even in the face of dreadful rudeness and downright abusive behaviour. Stooping to the level of the rude customer doesn’t win you any business. Besides, do you really want rude customers in your store or at your meetings?

Generally we find it easier to deal with the extremely rude individual because we can attribute their poor behaviour to them. However, subtle rudeness is more difficult for us to cope with because it implies some kind of error on our part.

Online, it appears that there is a growth in extreme rudeness. People find it easier – thanks to relative anonymity – to be very rude. You can see it every day in negative reviews, for instance, or comments on blogs. In one study the amount of online rudeness doubled from one year to the next. It appears that the lack of feedback from individuals facing us reduces our impulse control mechanisms, making negative emotions come to the surface.

For businesses this can translate into negative comments and reviews. However, new research suggests that the tone of voice of those reviews can have a substantial impact. It turns out that even if those reviews are negative, if they include words of politeness they can actually end up being positive.

For example, imagine your product gets the negative review saying “This is just complete rubbish – too expensive and it doesn’t work”. That is clearly off-putting to future potential buyers. But what if that review says “I don’t want to be mean, but I think this is too expensive and doesn’t work. Frankly it is rubbish.” That says the same thing, but using much more polite language.

The researchers at the University of Chicago found that when reviews included terms of politeness, future customers were prepared to pay more for items, not less. In other words, politeness in your customers helps you increase your revenues.

So how can you encourage polite reviews? The answer is simple: be polite yourself. Politeness breeds politeness. That means when people comment on or review things you need to be polite – thank them and use words associated with being polite. This will lead others to be polite too; we find it very difficult to be rude when those around us are being polite, thanks to social pressure. It also starts to build a relationship – diminishing the perceived anonymity online, thereby lessening the impact of reduced impulse control.

The more you are polite on your website, the more people will be polite back and the higher the prices you can charge. Politeness and profits go hand in hand it seems.

Categories: Internet Psychology

Email Marketing Tops Online Selling Methods

Email marketing is consistently a leader when compared with other forms of generating sales online. Once again, a new study of 1,100 businesses – mostly in the UK – has found that email marketing is much better in terms of generating sales than other forms of digital marketing.

Graph showing impact of email marketing

The results of the study show that 68% of marketers thought that email marketing was good or excellent compared with only 32% of them thinking that social media marketing was like that. In other words, email marketing is thought t be twice as good as social media marketing.

Search marketing came a close second to email marketing and content marketing wasn’t far behind – but remember that organic search depends on content, so the two are inextricably linked. The worst performer in terms of generating sales – as always – was display advertising.

Apart from the fact that email marketing has won the popularity poll – again – these figures also confirm another obvious feature. The most popular forms of marketing are those  which are content heavy. Social media, mobile and display advertising tend to be short snippets of information to fulfil the requirements of those kind of media. But the elements at the top of the poll are those which tend to have long forms of content.

Not only is this a sign that many businesses need to concentrate more than they do on email marketing, it is also confirmation that long form content is the one that generates most sales. But then you only have to look at the Reader’s Digest from 30 years ago to know that. They discovered that a 21-page sales letter sold more subscriptions than a 7-page letter.

It is time to write more not less if you want to generate more sales online.

Categories: Email