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Will Companies Be Ready for Europe’s General Data Protection Rule?

22 Jun

In the United States, consumer privacy rules are not as strong as they are in other areas of the world. Recently, the U.S. Congress voted to overturn a pending regulation that would require Internet service providers (ISPs) to obtain people’s permission before selling their data about them. President Trump then signed the rollback.

As reported by NPR.org:

“The reversal is a victory for ISPs, which have argued that the regulation would put them at a disadvantage compared with so-called edge providers, like Google and Facebook. Those firms are regulated by the Federal Trade Commission and face less stringent requirements. ISPs collect huge amounts of data on the Web sites people visit, including medical, financial, and other personal information. The FCC regulation would have required ISPs to ask permission before selling that information to advertisers and others, a so-called opt-in provision.”

In contrast to the U.S. approach to privacy, Europe has a sweeping new regulation that will take effect in May 2018. It will have an impact on companies based anywhere, including the United States.

Brian Wallace, reporting for CMS Wire, describes the General Data Protection Rule (GDPR), thusly. Be sure to read the material highlighted:

“The European Parliament passed the General Data Protection Rule (GDPR) in April 2016. The law is one of the most sweeping privacy laws protecting citizens ever to be put on the books, and is scheduled to take effect on May 25, 2018. One of the most misunderstood things about this law is that it covers EU citizen data, no matter which country the company using it is located. This means that any company in the world that stores EU citizen protected data has less than a year to come into compliance with the GDPR.

According to the GDPR’s Web site, “The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) replaces the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC and was designed to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens data privacy, and to reshape the way organizations across the region approach data privacy. The GDPR protects personal data and sensitive personal data. This includes: sensitive data: name, location, identification numbers, IP address, cookies, RFID info; and sensitive personal data: health data, genetic data, biometric data, racial or ethnic data, political opinions, and sexual orientation.

 

Take a look at the following infographic from Digital Guardian to learn more! Click the image for a larger version.


 

Social Media Demographics by Platform

21 Jun

For companies to best use different social media platforms in their marketing strategies, it is imperative that they understand how viewers differ across these platforms — especially in terms of viewer demographics. For example, the typical Facebook social media user does not have the same demographic profile as the typical Pinterest social media user.

As Alex York reports for Sprout Social:

“The best marketers you’ll come across don’t sleep until they have a better idea about their audience and segmentation strategy. It pays to have your message reach the right people at the right time. In the social media industry, your audience demographics can change in what seems like overnight. The challenge of reaching new audiences has never been harder, but grasping up-to-date data on social media demographics helps. Each business has their own unique audience identity, but that segmentation might not pan across each social media network successfully. Instead, it takes better brand alignment, thought-out social conversations and meaningful connections with your core group of brand loyalists.”

 
Take a look at Sprout Social’s in-depth infographic on viewer demographics by platform — including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
 

 

How to Utilize Intelligent Engagement

20 Jun

Despite the many recent advances in enhanced customer service technology, many companies are always looking for better ways to engage their customers and gain more customer loyalty. The latest technology is known as intelligent engagement.

Bold360 is an example of an intelligent engagement service provider. It:

“puts your customer insights to work in real-time, across every channel, at the point of engagement. We named it Bold360 because it gives your business a 360-degree view of your customer and guides your agents to the next best action for that customer, in that moment.”

The Right Insights at the Right Time — With intelligence gained from previous interactions and data from disparate systems, agents are empowered with real-time customer insights for more contextually relevant interactions. Intelligent Automation that Delights — Not every customer engagement is created equal. Bold360 uses customer profile information to automate routine interactions without sacrificing quality and to automate portions of the agent workflow to deliver the next best action. Channels that Work Together as One — Bold360 provides the digital channels preferred by today’s mobile-first consumers and makes it possible to seamlessly move across self-service and live channels with full context intact.”

 
Take a look at the video below to learn more.


 

Better Understanding Returns of Online Purchases

13 Jun

Online retailers need to better deal with two key aspects of the customer purchase process: abandoning the shopping cart just before checking out and handling the returns of online purchases. This post focuses on the second factor — returns.

Navar surveyed almost 700 U.S. consumers who returned at least one online purchase over the preceding 12 months to understand people’s attitudes towards returns when shopping online. As summarized in a press release about the study:

“‘An online return is a critical moment in the customer journey. Retailers have an opportunity to impress and delight customers, especially high-value segments like millennials and affluent shoppers. They treat returns as a natural part of the buying process and have come to expect convenience and transparent communication,’ says Amit Sharma, CEO of Narvar. ‘If retailers can meet these high expectations, they can use returns to improve customer satisfaction, inspire loyalty and fuel new revenue streams.'”

“U.S. millennials make 54 percent of their purchases online. As they buy more online, they return more too. Yet, retailers are not meeting expectations, with 48 percent of millennials saying returns are a hassle. As many as 60 percent of millennials admit to keeping purchases they dislike because they don’t want to deal with the hassle of returning them, which is 18 percent higher than shoppers over the age of 30. High-income shoppers have similar perceptions and behaviors as millennials when it comes to returns. They are also 1.5 times more likely than the average consumer to return an online purchase. This signals a new opportunity for retailers to differentiate themselves by addressing consumers’ desire for convenience, communication and flexibility in the post-purchase experience.”

 

Click the image to read more of the highlights from the Narvar study.


 

The Unique Back Story of Warby Parker

12 Jun

Warby Parker is a highly successful online — and now store-based — marketer of eyeglasses and sunglasses (“Prescription eyeglasses, starting at $95, with free shipping and free returns.”). As it notes on its Web site:

“Warby Parker was founded with a rebellious spirit and a lofty goal: to offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price, while leading the way for socially conscious businesses. Every idea starts with a problem. Ours was simple: glasses are too expensive. We were students when one of us lost his glasses. The cost of replacing them was so high that he spent the first semester of grad school without them, squinting and complaining. The rest of us had similar experiences, and we were amazed at how hard it was to find a pair of great frames that didn’t leave our wallets bare. Where were the options?”

“There was a simple explanation. The eyewear industry is dominated by a company that has been able to keep prices artificially high while reaping huge profits from consumers who have no options. We started Warby Parker to create an alternative. By circumventing traditional channels, designing glasses in-house, and engaging with customers directly, we’re able to provide higher-quality, better-looking prescription eyewear at a fraction of the going price. We believe that buying glasses should be easy and fun. It should leave you happy and good-looking, with money in your pocket.”

“We also believe that everyone has the right to see. Almost one billion people worldwide lack access to glasses, which means that 15% of the world’s population cannot effectively learn or work. To help address this problem, Warby Parker partners with non-profits like VisionSpring to ensure that for every pair of glasses sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need.”

 
Take a look at this Inc. video featuring Warby Parker founder Neil Blumenthal.

 

Coming Up Short with Customer Loyalty Programs

9 Jun

As we have reported before (click here, for example): “The quest for customer loyalty continues to be both a critical goal and a major challenge for companies of all types and sizes.” Given the importance of customer loyalty, why don’t more firms do a better job with their loyalty programs?

According to eMarketer:

“Firms invest heavily in loyalty programs — a key part of their growth strategy to hook today’s fickle and disloyal consumers. More than four-fifths of consumers said such programs make them more likely to continue business with brands; two-thirds said they modify spending to maximize loyalty benefits; and nearly three-quarters said they would recommend brands with good programs, according to a recent Bond Brand Loyalty study, in partnership with Visa. (The annual study covered 400+ loyalty programs across industries and surveyed over 28,000 North American consumers who participate in at least one program, most in the U.S.)”

“However, the study also suggested that many marketers may not have gotten their loyalty programs right. While the number of loyalty memberships each American consumer belongs to has risen each year to 14+ from under 11 in 2014, the number of programs that consumers remain active in has declined to under 7 from about 8 in 2014. Only 22% of loyalty members feel their brand experience is better than that of non-member. With personalization being a big buzzword, only a quarter of loyalty members said they are happy with the level of personalization experience, the study found.”
 
 
Click the image to learn more.


 

Seniors More Active on the Net

3 Jun

For years, there has been a pretty direct correlation between age and Internet use — with those 65+ and older having relatively interest. But times are changing!!

As just reported by Felix Richter for Statista:

“While young people in the United States have grown up using technology and spend a substantial part of their lives online, people from older generations are not what we often refer to as ‘digital natives.’ A record 46 million seniors live in the United States and many of them are still disconnected from the digital world.”

“However, according to Pew Research Center, technology adoption of Americans aged 65 and older is on the rise. 67 percent of U.S. seniors now use the Internet, up from just 12 percent in 2000. As our chart illustrates, older Americans still trail the overall adult population in terms of tech usage, but the digital gap is no longer as pronounced as it used to be.”

 

Infographic: U.S. Seniors No Longer Disconnected From the Digital World | Statista You will find more statistics at Statista

 

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