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Retail Trend #1: Social Commerce This year’s surge in online shopping is here to stay, especially given the hurdles presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of brick-and-mortar stores. According to a recent study, in 2020, nearly 41% of customers said they were currently shopping online for things they would normally buy in-store. Social commerce — […]

We often think of a company brand as just the name and logo. But while these externally facing elements are crucial for things like brand recognition and loyalty, they only scratch the surface of what branding really is.  Brand strategies run deep. In order to have a brand that stands the test of time and […]

A great loyalty program can benefit both your business and your customers. You get a recurring revenue stream, and your patrons get rewards, perks, and access to an exclusive club. In turn, they think good thoughts about your company and are likely to spend more (and bring friends). A loyalty program also allows you to rally […]

Now that local government and health regulations are lifting, businesses are welcoming their customers back, and are eager for new ways to offer them a superior experience. A superior experience is more important than ever. According to Salesforce, 74% of consumers say that they’ll switch brands if they find the purchase process to be too cumbersome. Today’s […]

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to unfold, one of the best things we can all do is stay home as much as possible. Obviously, this takes a significant toll on our economy, and small businesses are particularly at risk. The more nimble and adaptable a business is, however, the more likely it is to weather […]

In 2018, while still in her final semester of college, she started Sol Studio. She niched down to Instagram because she felt it was the place to be for all types of brands and businesses. On some social media platforms, only certain types of businesses can thrive but Natasha believes there’s a place for everyone […]

The fact that 92% of U.S. small businesses have reinvented themselves during the pandemic says a whole lot about this bunch. Small business owners are scrappy go-getters with no quit in them. And the survey from GetApp proves that very point. Small Business Reinventing During Pandemic According to the survey, 92% pivoted their business in at least […]

Customer Experiences That Get Social Media Attention

Factors of a Memorable Shopping Experience

In its latest study, Avionos exhibits a streamlined experience, convenience, and simplicity in online and in-store purchases factor high among consumers. It highlights both sides have something to teach each other when it comes to satisfying customers’ expectations.

Avionos had 1,250 online shoppers who have shopped online within the past year. It reveals shoppers prefer traditional retailers over digitally native brands when it comes to relationship building and loyalty programs. This is despite digitally native brands having the edge over traditional retailers in terms of in-store experiences, highlighting the need for them to brush on their customer experience.

To start with traditional retailers, need to work on their eCommerce experience as just 52% say they were keen on that index. Conversely, 70% of shoppers see a secure and straightforward e-commerce experience as their top priority when shopping online at digitally native brands, according to the survey.

Digital brands also deliver great in-store experiences, with 75% of customers giving them the nod over traditional retailers. The report says terrible customer experience is detrimental to brick and mortar retailers. Of those surveyed, a significant number (67%) say unfriendly or unhelpful store employees will make them more unlikely to return.

Traditional retailers have a leg up on the social media battlefront. Nearly a quarter of customers (23%) say talking about products with friends or on social media is one of their favorite things about shopping online with traditional retailers. Only 17% say the same for digitally native brands.
“While we see the world change, retailers need to take the time to get the fundamentals right. That means personalization, streamlined experiences, quality products, and convenient shipping options. Without that, there’s no way traditional or digitally native brands will be competitive,” said Dan Neiweem, co-founder and principal at Avionos.
Lessons for Digital Brands and Traditional Retails
Traditional retailers first built their brick and mortar shops and followed through with eCommerce platforms. On the other hand, digital retailers took the opposite route. Despite their differences, there are lessons that each can draw from the other.

Digital brands have a competitive edge in selling online, fast shipping, and streamlined online experience. At the same time, traditional retailers, for their part, excel in relationship building and loyalty.

Additional perks digital brands offer includes a smooth delivery process (60%) and relatively easy return policies (55%). Brick and mortar retailers, for their part, offer faster check out (60%), relative ease of finding products (56%), and a wide range of stocks on offer (54%).
Though distinct, according to the survey, many customers don’t see much difference between the two. When customers were asked to identify their favorite things about shopping online with both models, four of the top responses were the same. Irrespective of the business model, customers rate convenience high. With 66% saying fast shipping gives a business strong points in their book. In terms of fast and free shipping, digital brands (56%) gets a slight edge over traditional retailers (50%).
Similarly, when it comes to personalized product recommendation, the difference was marginal between digital brands (32%) and traditional retailers (36%). There is a significant consensus irrespective of in-store or online the need for streamlining and simplifying experiences. Failing will not keep customers returning long-term, no matter the number of perks or benefits.

The Importance of Customer Experience in a Digital ecosystem
Digital customer experience encompasses all the digital interactions between you and your customer. And the impression that a customer gets from those interactions. Businesses who place a higher premium on producing a better customer experience will be rewarded with more customers, sales, and loyalty.
As more and more customers rate their experiences through customer reviews and word of mouth, businesses should tap into these insights to deliver their offerings better. Companies have to focus on creating further organic buzz to increase brand recognition and customer endorsements.
There is a need to have a better understanding of customer purchasing patterns. And follow through with timely promotional offerings and product recommendations. You can achieve this only if the business has a deeper understanding of the consumers’ interests and preferences. By increasing your customer’s touchpoints and engagement, you can help understand your customers better. And this will allow you to offer your customers the products and services they are looking for.

3 Ways, The Pandemic May, Make Your Business Stronger

During a crisis, for instance, a pandemic like COVID-19, some businesses will thrive, some will survive, and others will permanently shutter their doors. Those businesses that are open to adjusting the way they do business and seize opportunities to adapt and change will be more successful than those that do not. Change is necessary, and especially during troubling times, companies need to reevaluate where they are and where they need to be to remain viable.

Right now, it’s merely not business as usual, and any company with employees needs to install safety protocols, so employees feel valued and protected. Consumers are also looking for assurances that your business is protecting them and that you’re committed to providing your product or service with protections in place to safeguard their health. Consumers during COVID-19 are more careful and more invested in which businesses they patronize, and companies must work hard to retain their trust. While COVID-19 represents a discouraging future to some companies, it also offers opportunities to others. Here are some ways businesses can take on the challenge and turn it into an opportunity.

1. Learn to adapt, and you’ll become stronger

COVID-19 requires businesses to adapt or face failure. Take stock of your business and brainstorm ways to be innovative and strategize. Try new ideas, find ways to execute faster and more efficiently, and be proactive, not reactive.

2. Put your employees first

If you don’t put your employees first already, it’s time to make a change. Your employees’ health, safety, and wellbeing should be your top priority. One could argue all businesses should have been doing this anyway. Still, those who do and truly embrace this as a core fundamental will become an employer of choice for talent, retention, and professional development.

3. Be prepared to handle emergencies

Businesses who are oblivious and unprepared for emergencies like a health crisis, a natural catastrophe, or another emergency could end up closing permanently. The key to overcoming COVID-19 challenges is to inject your business with flexibility and adaptability to weather any disaster and come out on top.

Its possible COVID-19 could be a game-changer for the way businesses will conduct themselves in the future. It has already changed the way customers make purchasing decisions. Those businesses that see potential new strength in pandemic and post-pandemic environments will be the ones who successfully emerge from the current epidemic stronger and more resilient.

4 Business Principles That Endure The Pandemic

COVID-19 has turned our ordinary lives upside down. It has produced fear, uncertainty, and a massive loss of life. The basic principles of doing business successfully and ethically remain a rock-solid foundation for business owners during these tumultuous times.

Businesses that run based on core underlying principles know their customers well and maintain a close connection with them. They also stay agile and adapt to changing market forces. After the initial shock, it’s essential to look beyond the present day and adjust your business as quickly as possible. Here are four strong business principles that have survived the pandemic.

1.People Matter
As always, your greatest asset is your team. Organizations with a robust and loyal group who genuinely believe in the business mission can power through anything. Take care of your employees, first and foremost. Please make sure they are safe, healthy, and provided for. You never know when another challenge will arise, and when it does, they will have your back if you have theirs. A strong team wins every time.

2. Listen to Your Customers
Nourish the customer base that you know so well, contact often, and gain feedback regularly. Leaning on the strength of your customer relationships can help shore up your business during times of crisis.

3.Plan, but Stay Flexible
In any business circumstances, it pays to do strategic planning as long as you stay open to market changes. It’s true that those who fail to plan, plan to fail. It’s no different in a pandemic or other disaster. If you have the necessary plans in place, be sure to build in the flexibility to pivot with different scenarios and stay ahead of other businesses.

4. Look to the Future
Always be on the lookout for methods and technologies that can position your business for success in the future. Stay ahead of the game. Look at innovations that will enable remote operations, alternative work environments to keep your services going in case of another crisis.

In times like these, organizations and individuals need to stick with their guiding principles, maintaining their company culture, and doing what they know is right. A lot has changed, but these truths will always remain.

Article Credit Forbes https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffbevis/2020/06/24/4-business-principles-that-survive-the-pandemic/#17c1b806778a

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