MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Photopon app lets consumers send personalized coupons

BY Dan Berthiaume

Hackettstown, N.J. – Custom couponing app Photopon is releasing version 2 of its iOS app, which lets consumers select nearby deals, attach a personal photo and write a message to create a personalized coupon that can be shared through the app, email, text messages or social networking sites.

Using the iPhone’s location services, Photopon presents a selection of deals from the nearest restaurants, bars, stores and venues. After choosing a deal, users can snap a photo, type in a message and then share the custom coupon through email, text messages, Facebook or Twitter. Recipients can redeem the coupon. Photopon offers deals from both individual businesses and coupon aggregators.

"Photopon is a clever way to invite people out, make plans or even joke around with friends," said Michael Gutkin, co-founder and CFO of Photopon, Inc. "There are plenty of deals out there, but Photopon provides the only coupons that are open to creativity and flair. This means that a Photopon referral can be relevant and unique in ways that normal digital deals or paper coupons cannot be."

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

ShopRoxx chooses eWay platform for its 2014 e-mail strategy

BY Marianne Wilson

Southport, Conn. — ShopRoxx, a retail store specializing in the latest fun-and-fresh fashion trends for young women, has chosen eWay Direct’s Calibr email platform to deliver more high-value repeat customers and better overall ROI for 2014.

"Email is a key source of traffic and conversions for us," said Steven Shrem, president of ShopRox, "We are looking forward to using eWay Direct’s rich data and streamlined email solutions to take our email initiatives to a new level. We pay high rent to be positioned in high-traffic areas, where thousands of people walk by and come into our stores. Now, email marketing will allow us to reach these customers and prospective customers with a broader range of products that fit their unique needs. It’s this vehicle for suggesting products and hot trends that will keep them engaged and excited about the brand."

Shrem sees the ability to engage customers with suggested products as key to ShopRoxx’s strategy, along with list segmentation and the concept of dynamic lists. "This will enable us to suggest and deliver to customers exactly the products they’re interested in, based on profile and behavioral data sets," said Shrem.

Website engagement is another reason ShopRoxx chose the solution.

"It’s about maximizing customer lifetime value by understanding how our customers interact with our merchandise," said Shrem. “The maximization is clear: Typical website abandonment campaigns generate sales per email six-to-10 times higher than those generated by standard email programs.”

The retailer is looking forward to featuring creative retention campaigns, advice on trends and the hottest fashions, and to engaging young women through mobile offers. "The platform will help us target messages effectively based on actions, and provide specific offers to our best customers or new prospects," said Shrem.

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News

Report: Customer switch rates highest among retailers

BY CSA STAFF

Despite having more data and insights into consumer desires and preferences, companies in the U.S. have failed to meaningfully improve customer satisfaction or reverse rising switching rates among their customers. As a result, there is a potential $1.3 trillion of revenue at play in the U.S. market represented by the ‘switching economy,’ according to new research released by Accenture.

The research revealed that 51% of U.S. consumers switched service providers in the past year due to poor customer service experiences, up 5% from 2012. Switching rates were highest among retailers, cable and satellite providers and retail banks, making companies in these sectors the most vulnerable, but also giving them potentially the most to gain.

The survey found that customers are increasingly frustrated with the level of services they experience: 91% of respondents are frustrated that they have to contact a company multiple times for the same reason; 90% by being put on hold for a long time; and 89% by having to repeat their issue to multiple representatives. There are also frustrations with marketing and sales practices: 85% of customers are frustrated by dealing with a company that does not make it easy to do business with them; 84% by companies promising one thing, but delivering another; and 58% are frustrated with inconsistent experiences from channel to channel.

Other findings include:

  • Overall customer satisfaction fell by 1% since 2012, while customer loyalty rose 1% and willingness to recommend a company rose 2%.
  • 81% of customers who switched providers in the past year said the company could have done something differently to prevent them from switching, with customer service equally important as price.
  • 48% of U.S. customers use third-party online sources, such as official review sites, and 25% use customer reviews and comments from social media sites, to find out information about a company’s products and services.
  • 71% of customers use word-of-mouth.
  • 75% of respondents now use one or more online channels when researching companies’ products and services and 33% use mobile devices to access these online channels.
  • 82% of customers say they feel companies they buy from cannot be trusted on how they use personal information provided to them.

“Changing customer behaviors in the digital marketplace and low levels of customer satisfaction are fueling a switching economy that presents opportunities as well as threats. But too many companies are playing not to lose instead of playing to win in this switching economy,” said Robert Wollan, global managing director, Accenture Sales & Customer Services. “Growth is harder to come by in many sectors but the switching economy presents a source of new, sustainable, profitable growth for companies that are playing to win and gain market share. To win requires an aggressive approach that goes beyond implementing technology to creating genuinely engaging customer experiences that today’s nonstop customers are seeking but obviously not finding with their current providers.”

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