Statistics, statistics and more damn statistics…
Let’s have a drum roll for 2012. The time will soon be upon us when we won’t do end of year reviews; we will have to look back at least every six months to encompass all that has changed. And, of course, it will be pointless to predict the next 12 months. Best to do it on a monthly basis, starting soon !
So let’s consider some recent statistics as we look forward in this new year… Ofcom has reported that the UK is currently the best country in Europe to exploit its citizens’ use of the internet as a staggering 79 per cent of internet users in the UK have bought on-line. 46 per cent of all mobile users own a smart phone and there has been a doubling of tablet and smart phone useage over the last 12 months which would indicate that the amount of people engaging with brands on-line, via their mobiles, can only grow more. The rate at which it will continue to grow is open to speculation but it’s a sure bet it will be very quick.
And, retailers beware. Consumers are growing ever more savvy and are using their smart phones to comparison shop. It’s no longer safe to make price your differentiator. If you’re not the cheapest, your customers will know and so you need to set yourself apart in a different way.
So what can you do to engage and to keep your customers in 2012? Social media is one of the tools that retailers are looking to in order to keep building the relationship with their customers and to appear on trend. It’s definitely a useful tool - although not the be all and end all that some agencies might have you believe – as it’s a great way to strike up and engage in conversation with the customer.
For those using platforms like facebook and twitter, make sure you listen to what is being said. It’s important to monitor social media even if you don’t engage with it and just as a single customer can enhance your reputation on-line, he or she can also do it great damage. Be ready for the negatives and address them openly and honestly both on and off line.
Another tip for 2012, which has become an increasingly popular on-line draw, is exclusive access. If you can get potential customers to register to receive exclusive access, whether it is to be the first to hear of special offers or for previews of particular lines, it’s an important first step in the relationship.
… And as for statistics ? Just remember not to treat your customer as one. Use your budget wisely and invest in a sophisticated CRM system that will allow you to address your customer’s individual needs in all future marketing campaigns and your odds for coming out on top should be good – statistically speaking.