Digital Marketing News #99

Weekly Roundup #99 – Remarketing, After-Sales & Disruptors

Welcome to our latest round up, where we take a look at the most interesting developments in digital marketing for the week. Before reading on, have you read the previous one where we covered the importance of timing for email, Google’s memory loss and how video is changing consumer habits? Once you have, you can read on for:


Google Launches ‘Mute’ for Reminder Ads

facebook retargeting

Google Manager, Jon Krafcik, has announced on the Google blog that,

“Today, we’re rolling out the ability to mute the reminder ads in apps and on websites that partner with us to show ads. We plan to expand this tool to control ads on YouTube, Search, and Gmail in the coming months.”

Google’s new update to its ad system means that users will be able to mute reminder ads on a per-advertiser basis for a period of 90 days. Currently, if a user visits a site, adds an item to their cart but then abandons the cart in order to shop around, the next time that they are online that company will show ads that are meant to encourage you back to their site in order to finalise the purchase.

These reminder ads can be very useful. However, if you have changed your mind or made a purchase elsewhere, these ads can feel persistent, impersonal and invasive.

It is to these latter users that Google is offering a mute button – putting an end to irrelevant ads. To do so, users will visit Google’s Ad Settings page whilst logged into their Google account where they will find a new section titled, “Your Reminder Ads”.

An additional feature will be added, which lets you click the Google settings bar next to any Google ad in order to mute it. And your preferences will be passed across each device that uses the same Google account. Google explains:

“If you mute an ad for Snow Boot Co. on your smartphone, it will also be muted on your laptop. Second, you will likely see Mute This Ad in even more places as we are expanding this control to work across more apps and websites that partner with Google to show ads.”


Consumers Expect Great After-Sales Communication

Customer Aftercare

A lack of communication post-purchase can create a negative customer experience that does not build trust or loyalty. Narvar and YouGov have conducted a survey which found that retailers are missing out on repeat custom due to disappointing after sales.

  • 25% of respondents thought that companies do not provide clear and accurate information about the status of an order
  • 65% would not go to that brand again if it was not honest and clear about late deliveries or other bad news
  • 61% of survey respondents said that they expect speedy and direct communication from brands, which was particularly the case for millennials and the over 55s
  • 10% would enjoy receiving follow up content, for example, suggested uses and related purchases
  • 20% would like a ‘thank you’ from the brand

For brands to excel at customer service, and to become a ‘trusted’ company with a loyal following it is essential to be attentive to your customers after they click the ‘buy now’ button. An after-sales email that sincerely thanks the customer, and that includes an accurate estimated delivery date, puts you on the road to success. Send prompt notifications of any delays or changes to the order, and include additional and useful information about the product.

Just do it.


4 Tips on to Reduce the Number of Abandoned Carts

cart abandonment 2016

From the biggest to the smallest, abandoned carts are a problem for all retailers. Abandoned checkouts are estimated to measure between 60% to 80%, so we take a look at some things that retailers can do to reduce this number…

Limit Information Input

Asking consumers to input huge amounts of information about themselves during the payment process is one reason that they may abandon their cart.

Do not ask for information that is not totally necessary for the purchase of the item, and design the page so that it doesn’t seem daunting or complicated. Read more on how to reduce the checkout process.

Offer Registration

Asking customers to register for an account is the best way to avoid inputting data every time that they make a purchase. It is also great for your own marketing purposes. Entice customers to create an account by offering an incentive for joining, which will offset the extra time and possible frustration of filling in forms.

Offer an immediate benefit for the customer – free shipping or a discount – and make sure that you remember the customers’ information when they next visit so that their future purchases are quick and easy.

Be Secure

23% of abandoned carts are due to fears that the website is not secure. To create a sense of security for the customer add a third party seal as well as making the checkout informative and clear. Add more detailed assurance seals and statements that are visible yet not distracting.


Offer your target audience their preferred payment methods – as a lack of choices can put some customers off. Alternatives to card payments include wallets and deferred payments, which are being used more and more frequently, so offer these to your customers if that is their favoured method.

Cash flow is another element of online shopping that can increase cart abandonment; many shoppers buy several sizes, shapes or colours of an item in order to try them all, and choose the best.

This method of online shopping means that a large amount of money leaves the consumer’s account, while their refunds are being processed. If the amount is too large, the cart may be abandoned altogether, so offering a deferred payment method perfectly suits the ‘try before you buy’ customer.


How to Join the ‘Retail Disruptors’

First of all, what’s a ‘retail disruptor’?

These are brands that provide high quality products and services, who are faster and more responsive than their rivals. And by being the best they have fundamentally changed the retail customer’s experience and expectations. Most importantly, they love bricks-and-mortar stores.

A recent survey from JDA Software has found that 87% of retail disruptors feel positively about bricks and mortar shops, and say that they will continue to open them as they are a crucial way to make a positive impact and experience for the customer.

Retail disruptors typically see the physical store as part of their multi-channel strategy, with 71% seeing a growing trend for cross-channel services such as ‘buy online, collect in-store’. They’re bringing tech to the retail experience and willing to invest big bucks on it.

JoAnn Martin, vice president, retail industry strategy at JDA, noted that,

“Retail disruptors realise that technology is a strategic enabler and not just a cost to be managed … Disruptors are more willing to implement new technology to improve the customer experience, but they’re also quick to change course when they don’t see benefits they anticipated. And disruptors right-size to hone in on the right technology mix that yields the best shopping experience.”

Disruptors are investing money and resources into end-to-end supply chain visibility (49%), regional and localised distribution centres (38%), and partner collaboration with vendors (38%). To improve customer acquisition, disruptors are creating engaging lifestyle content (58%) and investing in customer-focused events and activities (57%).

Martin concludes that in order to keep up with the disruptors, retailers will,

“Need to live and breathe the intersection between products and customers, finding the right balance between human- and data-driven insights. Deploying new technologies quickly – while also changing course if they aren’t working – will also be important to keep speed and agility top priority in order to support their stay ahead in an ever-changing retail landscape.”


Stitch Fix CEO Makes Predictions for the Future of AI

artificial intelligence and seo

Stitch Fix is leading the way as the future of personalisation in the fashion industry. The company is focussed on asking its customers for their insights and feedback for individual items – information that is then combined with their size and colour preferences, in order to create a service that streamlines the online shopping experience in the fashion sector. For its members, Stitch Fix can eliminate the need to go out to shop for clothes – and has created nearly $1 billion in revenue in 2017 alone.

So they’re doing pretty well.

The technology behind Stitch Fix is a combination of machine learning, AI and natural language processing, as well as human stylists, which use the highly detailed customer profiles to select items that suit the nuances of the individual customer. Stitch Fix is a rare case study – a company that has created a customer feedback loop using data science, that results in a highly personalised experience.

In a recent interview, the CEO of Stitch Fix, Katrina Lake, was asked about the current retail landscape, and how other companies could become data-powered… Here are the main takeaways:

AI Won’t Take Over

AI will not take over human roles. Lake describes how Stitch Fix’s technology is a way to analyse large amounts of data in order to find gaps in their product line, and to find historical data about the most popular colours, shapes and details. Designers and stylists are still a vital part of the company’s structure, as Lake explains,

“The relationship we have with data science is not so much about client data as it is about the clients themselves … So to be able to get to know people one-to-one and personalise Fixes to their needs, it requires that we really understand clients well and that we have a lot of information on them, which informs the inherent relationship around how Stitch Fix works. Because we have stylists and not just an algorithm, we get much higher quality data, and more involved and authentic data points.”

Better Personalisation

Customer expectations are set to get higher and higher as more data is available on their preferences and online history.S so offering bad, wrong or silly recommendations, or inauthentic ‘personalised’ messages will cause a negative reaction. Lake notes that,

“Companies get away with inauthentic personalisation and data that doesn’t make a lot of sense. In the future, all retailers should be able to anticipate better than they can today, whether that’s based on what you’ve liked on Instagram or your past purchases.”

Better Customer Experiences

Lake sees a future where customer data is used to genuinely improve the customer experience.

“Historically, there’s been a gap between what you give to companies and how much the experience is improved. Big data is tracking you all over the web, and the most benefit you get from that right now is: If you clicked on a pair of shoes, you’ll see that pair of shoes again a week from now.

“We’ll see that gap begin to close. Expectations are very different around personalisation, but importantly, an authentic version of it. Not, ‘You abandoned your cart and we’re recognising that.’

“It will be genuinely recognising who you are as a unique human. The only way to do this scalably is through embracing data science and what you can do through innovation.”


Traditional retailers are facing problems in the current climate, and therefore it makes sense that they are not focussing on developments in technology and the importance of data science. However, Lake thinks that this is the wrong thinking,

“It’s a real challenge to invest in something new when you’re facing other challenges. People also don’t see how it will add value to their businesses … But think about this ‘client-centricity’ of the industry.

There are so many places where people can buy things today, that you have to think about everything from the lens of: ‘How is my customer at the centre of everything?’

To be able to know, ‘This is the value we’re delivering to the client, and introducing this feature will be better for him or her,’ and to live and breathe that, is incredibly important.”

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Sebastian Paszek

Marketing manager

Controlling the chaos of the digital landscape, Sebastian is a multiplatform executive, project manager and photographer.