SIM News Headlines
This page highlights a recent news event of note.
UK E-Shoppers Put Convenience
57% of UK Shopper said Convenience was the main reason
for purchasing over the internet. Price came 3rd with just 23% and Speed
of Ordering 2nd at 29%. This is in contrast to the US where price is top
Other factors the survey found were:
Customers value 'Fun/Novelty' and 'No Alternative' both equally at 15% each,
and Speed of Delivery at 9%.
37% already know the supplier off-line, 38% already know the supplier is
on-line, and only 25% find them by chance.
The 10 top UK advertisers spent £445m between them in the last
year on web advertising.
This survey highlights the importance of taking culture differences into
account in devising both your e-commerce strategy and in its implementation.
Also, that well established suppliers have a significant edge in terms of
consumer mind-share that they reinforce and protect through substantial
From a strategic point of view it means:
identify products and services that your customers
will give a high convenience rating to and that are less price sensitive.
examples are gifts, breakdown assistance, no hassle mortgages (e.g. with
bundled and fast legal processing).
identify your most valuable customers, i.e. the
ones that appreciate or demand service above price.
you want the 57% who value convenience, not the 23% who want low price.
communicate the convenience message to your target
customers using the most appropriate mediums.
your customers may use the internet in their time of need but a prior written
communication with a PC "memory jogger" sticker may be the best way of letting
them know you can help.
defining appropriate value added service to up-sell
for example, if you are selling tangible products that are often given as
gifts, then offer express delivery and gift wrapped services. New customers,
desperate to fulfil a forgotten birthday will appreciate these services.
Your most valuable customer (those with a high life time value) can be given
one or both of these as complimentary services if they need them.
identify the appropriate communication mediums
to access your service.
someone who is away on business and has forgotten a birthday may not have
access to a PC.
From a tactical point of view it means:
Fast, simple means of ordering goods and services:
web sites that are easy to navigate and that remember customer information
call centres that respond and process orders quickly and again have access
to customer information and preferences.
but do allow your clerks to spend more time with your most valuable customers,
especially when they are making an important or large value order.
ability to identify, present and cost the most appropriate value added services.
Fast, efficient and reliable methods of executing the
real-time links to inventory systems and logistic systems or suppliers so
your promises are not empty promises but are fulfilled promises.
real-time order tracking so customers can be reassured their goods are on
their way and can be notified when they arrive.
regular reminders that don't irritate (e.g. inversely related to purchase
suitable content and style for each individual customer.
targetted communication channels with adequate spend to make your message
remember that screen space at popular web sites is limited and therefore
the ad. price is high.
follow-up calls based on customers life time value and order value.
The above a just a selection of factor to take into account. The key action
is not to blindly follow US practice and to understand your own customer
base, to meet their needs, to effectively communicate your message, and then
to efficiently and accurately execute their order.
Over time, as more suppliers come on-line and consumers take convenience
for granted, then the importance of price will increase. By investing
to-day in on-line shopping, while prices are less sensitive, you have an
opportunity to recoup your investment.
Previous News Headlines
Financial Site Traffic Increased Nearly 40% Since
AIM's Research Update Service, May 26, 1999
US Customers find airline's accent engaging
BankBoston to Invest in Internet
Call Centre Industry Hit by Skills Shortage
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