Hi, this is Eliza Fisher, the editor of the Annex Cloud blog! There are a whole lot of things to say about 2016, but here at Social Annex it was a pretty wonderful year for our blog. We have more readers than ever before, as well as a great new design. As a thanks to you, our readers, let’s take a look at our most noteworthy and interesting posts about customer engagement, loyalty, and advocate marketing in 2016.
Sephora has been consistently breaking down boundaries when it comes to innovative uses of social media and tech for marketing and other retail purposes. This past spring, their team made a fair amount of noise when they successfully used Snapchat as a sales channel. Read more about it here.
One of our most popular posts about customer loyalty and advocate marketing in 2016 was this one about four of Amazon’s marketing tactics, including product reviews, their Prime loyalty program, and more. And don’t worry, we also share our thoughts on what they could do to improve them!
This post detailed my personal experiences as a consumer and a marketer, shopping online and in stores on Black Friday through Cyber Monday. Certain retailers–notably Ulta Beauty–offered inconsistent experiences between their online and brick-and-mortar set-ups, while others did a great job of giving customers straightforward deals. Click through for more details.
ASOS has a lot to teach other sellers about both tech and marketing, even for those in disparate verticals. The British fashion retailer has made a lot of smart investments in its digital infrastructure and logistics, and made advocate marketing in 2016 a priority through both their customers and their employees.
We have to eat, or, uh, sip, our words with this one. Even though this was one of our most popular posts of the year, our prediction about the new Starbucks loyalty program failing ended up being completely wrong. The coffee giant changed its rewards basis from amount of visits to dollars spent, and we sided with the angry customers who felt that they were being seen as mere dollar signs in Howard Schultz’s eyes. While the new Starbucks loyalty format has been extremely successful (albeit only according to some), it also loops in a lot of promotions that aren’t directly related to the amount of money spent, though. They run special points bonuses on certain drinks and days, for example, or will give extra credit when you reload your card with specific payment methods like Visa Checkout.
It seems like everyone is infinitely curious about Uber. Even though Annex Cloud’s clients are primarily retailers, manufacturers, and telecom companies, the ride-sharing colossus has made such a name for itself that marketers everywhere can learn something from them. In this post, and in its end-of-year update, we break down 7 of the marketing tactics that’ve worked extremely well for them, from their well-known referral promotions to their stealth loyalty program.
At this point it’s very clear that brick and mortar stores need to differentiate themselves if they want to thrive. This post takes a look at 9 sellers who are doing just that by using uncommon applications of technology. My two favorites are Uniqlo’s neuroscientific approach and Bloomingdale’s display targeted at window shoppers. In the latter, customers don’t even need to step inside the store to make and get their purchases! It’s these sorts of noteworthy experiences that make advocate marketing in 2016 an outcome rather than a tactic.
It’s nearly 2017, people! If your business fits into one of the two following nightmare scenarios, things need to change: (1) You have a strong presence on Instagram but aren’t using it to directly lead followers to your e-commerce site; or (2) your customers are all over Instagram but you aren’t. In both of these situations, you’re leaving money on the table, or leaving low-hanging fruit to rot on the vine. Pick your metaphor–the outcome’s the same. Click through to learn more.
This post is a half-rant, half-survey of what I, a 25-year-old digital marketer and consumer, want to see on e-commerce sites. A brief summary: give me as much information as possible, hopefully with user generated content, and convince me that you’re a reliable seller who’s giving me a deal. Oh, and free shipping? It’s obligatory, but I don’t mind if you hide it in the cost of your products or ask me to pay a subscription fee.
Happy 2017, and thanks for reading!