MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Survey: Customers notify retailers – leave us alone

BY Dan Berthiaume

Marketing experts routinely advise retailers to send customers notifications, such as emails and texts, informing them of discounts or following up on purchases and site visits. But such notifications may be doing more harm than good.

According to a new survey of 1,000 consumers from customer experience platform provider Genesys, such notifications often be a counterproductive tactic. The survey finds that 30% of customers find in-store smartphone notifications of coupons for nearby products (i.e., beacon notifications) to be annoying, the largest response for the overall respondent base.

However, broken down by age, the majority of people between18-44 say this is very helpful, while the majority of people 45 years old and up say this is very annoying. Therefore, retailers considering a beacon implementation may want to examine how old their core shoppers are.

In terms of income level, the majority of people who make less than $25,000 said this is very helpful. People who made $25,000-$50,000 say it’s very annoying. People who make $50,000-$75,000 were neutral. People who make above $75,000 say this is very helpful.

Parents find in-store smartphone notifications very annoying, whereas non-parents find it very helpful.

Feelings of annoyance at emails sent an hour after an online shopping cart is abandoned, asking if you want to complete your purchase, are much more universal. Overall, 38% of respondents say this was very annoying. Every demographic, by age, gender, parent status, income level and urban/suburban dweller, found these emails annoying except for age 18-24, who were neutral.

Online retailers may also want to hold back on the politeness. A majority of people say getting a follow-up email thanking them for visiting a site this is very annoying (42%). Among people in urban areas, those aged 18-24 were more likely to say this was helpful than those aged 45-54. But overall, the majority of every age group found this very annoying.

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N.Mallik says:
Sep-27-2015 05:42 pm

Those are some really helpful
Those are some really helpful stats, thanks for sharing. Beacon messaging can get very annoying, if not done in the right manner. According to a recent report, with every other push notification that is delivered per store visit, retailers risk a whopping 313% drop in app usage. It is thus extremely important that the message delivered is relevant, engaging and is sent at the most appropriate time. What are the best practices for beaco-based messaging? Here's a blog to help you with this: http://blog.beaconstac.com/2015/04/beacons-for-location-based-advertising-engage-your-customers-dont-annoy-them/

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OPERATIONS

Walmart buys Silicon Valley solution for Sam’s Club

BY Mike Troy

Walmart has returned to its acquisitive ways in Silicon Valley with the purchase of PunchTab, a four-year old company with talent and technology to help the retailer’s Sam’s Club division better personalize offers.

Jeremy King, head of WalmartLabs, and Jamie Iannone, president and CEO of Samsclub.com announced the deal to acquire PunchTab in a joint statement on the @WalmartLabs site. The deal involves the purchase of PunchTab’s and six employees who will join WalmartLabs including founder Mehdi Ait Oufkir.

“We’ll use the technology to enhance our existing “customer relationship management” tools, or the technology behind how we reach customers across e-mail, on our websites, on mobile phones and in our physical stores,” King and Iannone said in the statement.

The deal is the 15th acquisition @WalmartLabs’ has made in the last four years although prior to PunchTab it had been relatively quiet on the acquisition front.

“PunchTab’s first task is to leverage its software platform to enhance the ways we tailor offers to Sam’s Club members across our clubs, our mobile app and on Samsclub.com. Like most of the technology we build at @WalmartLabs, we plan to apply what we build for Sam’s Club to Walmart’s other businesses, including Walmart.com,” according to King and Iannone.

PunchTab was founded in 2011 by Mehdi Ait Oufkir, who was an early member of YouSendIt.com, helping to scale the company to 18 million registered users.

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MOBILITY

7-Eleven pays the bills

BY Dan Berthiaume

7-Eleven Inc. is targeting cash-using consumers with a new mobile bill payment service. The convenience retailer is partnering with financial services technology company PayNearMe to launch the 7-Eleven Bill Pay app.

The app enables customers to pay more than 17,000 national and local billers with cash using a barcode scan at participating 7-Eleven stores. The PayNearMe Bill Pay app serves as a full-service bill payment center, allowing cash users to keep track of payment history, set reminders, and securely pay their bills in less than 60 seconds at a local 7-Eleven store.

The range of billers that are payable includes cable companies, utilities providers and insurance companies, as well as PayNearMe's existing merchants such as Greyhound bus,

7-Eleven is the first retailer to partner with PayNearMe to offer a co-branded app marketed exclusively to its customers. PayNearMe expects to add national and regional retailers to its payment location network in the coming months. Other financial services are expected to follow.

"7-Eleven Bill Pay app builds on 7-Eleven's portfolio of products and services that are affordable and convenient for financially underserved customers." said Raja Doddala, 7-Eleven's VP of innovation and omnichannel strategy. "This app is one in a series of innovations that will take 7-Eleven stores from being convenience stores to 'convenient' stores."

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