Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Using E-Mail to Salvage Abandoned Shopping Carts

From the Catalogue & eBusiness newsletter, Insight, 28 Oct. 2008:

According to online marketing provider Experian CheetahMail, 41 percent of web shoppers in the UK regularly abandon their online shopping carts. What’s more, 30 percent of shoppers said they’d go back and complete their purchase if offered some sort of incentive along the lines of a small discount or free postage and packing. It stands to reason, then, that you can salvage a sizeable amount of those abandoned purchases by getting back in touch with the shoppers, a tactic that CheetahMail has dubbed ReMarketing.

The process is a type of trigger email marketing. Your website analytics can tell you where and when a visitor abandoned your site. You can then use that information to send him a targeted email “triggered” by the type of abandonment.

For instance, if a registered customer has quit the site before even beginning the checkout process, you could email him a quick survey asking why he didn’t make a purchase or send him a special offer based on the types of products he’d been looking at. If a customer abandoned his cart partway through the checkout process, it could be that he was interrupted; a reminder email might be enough to close the sale. And if the shopper received a system error during checkout, “ask the customer to revisit to try again or offer an alternative process—download a form, call a freephone number,” advises CheetahMail in its white paper “The Case for ReMarketing”. “The person wants to buy… they just need another solution.”

Google AdWords To Display Product Lists, Photos

Google appears ready to launch a new Google AdWords format now being tested on its search engine results pages (SERPs), offering a plus box option for sponsored ads allowing users to expand the ad to view actual product listings (with pictures) by the advertiser.

The new format has only been available when searching for "diamonds" or "blue nile" in the US version of Google. With both searches the ad displays a little + symbol next to the listings which expands to display three actual products from the Blue Nile range.

The expanded product ads have been viewed in both the top sponsored ad positions and the right-hand side spots,

Apparently, advertisers will need to submit their products to Google via Google Base, with the listings somehow linked to their AdWords campaigns.

Monday, October 20, 2008

SaaS Webinar, Oct. 23

I will be presenting a one-hour Webinar on Thursday, Oct. 23 at 2 PM Eastern Time on: "Is On-Demand Software Right For You?" hosted by MultiChannel Merchant magazine.

We'll cover:

  • Assessing the cost.
  • Integrating hosted software with your in-house systems—like accounting.
  • Choosing the right provider, one with the right fail-over procedures.
  • Applying hosted software to all of your channels
To register, click HERE.

Friday, October 17, 2008

More Omniture News

Omniture has announced The Omniture Developer Connection, a community Website designed to help users build applications that make use of their Omniture data. See http://developer.omniture.com

The Developer Connection allows Omniture users to:
  • Use Omniture SiteCatalyst data across third-party applications, such as an intranet or a company-branded application
  • Access SiteCatalyst reporting data to create calculated metrics, or format the data to meet specific internal needs
  • Use the data collection API to facilitate the integration of SiteCatalyst with applications that cannot be easily tagged with JavaScript

In addition, Omniture Developer Connection contains:
  • Documentation of Omniture's application programming interfaces (APIs)
  • Sample code showing reference implementations to give developers a head-start in developing their own applications
  • Discussion boards and blogs to provide peer-to-peer support among those building Omniture-driven applications

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Omniture to Acquire Mercado

Web analytics provider Omniture reports it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of privately held Mercado, a provider of online merchandising and site search technology. The acquisition includes technology and related intellectual property, customer and partner agreements, and certain operational assets.

Mercado is currently integrated with Omniture SiteCatalyst through Omniture Genesis. The Mercado products and the recently announced Omniture SiteSearch are said to be very complementary, and the company intends to continue to support and develop both solutions.

Upon closing of the transaction, Omniture will acquire certain of Mercado's intellectual property and business assets for approximately $6.5 million cash and the assumption of certain related operating liabilities. The closing of the transaction is subject to governmental approvals in Israel and is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Omniture does not expect the transaction to have a material impact on its 2008 operating results.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Customer Service Benchmark

Netflix reports that 375 customer service representatives are enough to handle calls from the company’s 8.4 million customers, answering most calls within a minute. In addition, it has received the top ratings in online retail customer satisfaction by both Nielsen Online and ForeSee Results.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Newgistics Offers Free Online Pickup by USPS for Parcel Returns

Newgistics, Inc. is now offering its clients free Carrier Pickup service by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) for all parcel returns.

The company is an approved third-party reverse logistics provider for USPS's Parcel Return Service. Its clients can now offer consumers the option of going online and requesting Carrier Pickup service (also known as Free Package Pickup) at no charge. Previously, they have had to go to the post office to return packages. The Carrier Pickup service provides for custodial control of returned packages from the point of insertion to final receipt of the return.

Customers of the Parcel Return Service complete additional mail preparation, sorting and transportation to provide consumers with an easy way to return items using preprinted, prepaid return labels. Consumers then have the option of dropping packages in a collection box (provided that weight restrictions are observed), take them to a post office, or request free package pickup at their homes or offices.

Free Package Pickup is available for packages of up to 70 pounds being sent by Express Mail or Priority Mail, Parcel Return Service or Merchandise Return Service.
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