Category Archives: Digital Marketing

Learn everything about Digital Marketing. Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Content Marketing, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertisements, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing, Website Design, Website Development, and more.

Real-Time Marketing: Explained with Examples

Staying relevant has always been a challenge. Everyday, customers get bombarded by hundreds of ads and it’s up for us, advertisers, to up the game and standout. 

How about riding on the current trending topic and playing around it? Since people are talking about it, why not use it?

Undeniably, Real-Time Marketing (RTM) is one of the best ways to channel the attention of the people directly to your brand. It can be used to increase the traffic of your website or the sales of your products. 

What is Real-Time Marketing (RTM)?

Real-Time Marketing, also known as “on-the-fly” marketing, is a strategy that has reached its popularity in these modern times with the help of social media. 

It is usually bold, loud, and attention-grabbing. It doesn’t require fancy technology, extensive planning or complex automation. All you need is some timing

Basically, you’ll just utilize any current event to market your products or services. 

By taking advantage of current events and fads, you’ll get the chance of having your products in front of an actively engaging audience.  

Why Is Real-Time Marketing Useful?

People these days want to be a part of the current trends. When they see a lot of people are talking about something, they get the urge to engage and relate – which is what the real-time marketers take advantage of.

For a brand to stand out, relating to the current situation is a go to. 

Top Examples of Real-Time Marketing

Several big brands use the real-time marketing strategy. However, only a few brands get it right.

Oreo Cookie

Who doesn’t know Oreo cookies? 

Oreo isn’t only known for its slogan – ‘Twist, Lick, Dunk’, it also gained its popularity in making creative ads.

During Super Bowl 2013, New Orleans faced a massive power out. And the marketing team of Oreo used the opportunity to promote on their Twitter feed. 

They tweeted a photo of an Oreo cookie in the dark with the copy, “You can still dunk in the dark”, with the caption, “Power out? No problem”. 

Oreo Super Bowl

Arby’s

During the 2014 Grammy’s, singer Pharrell Williams wore a hat which is somehow the same with the logo of the popular restaurant chain, Arby’s. 

Arby’s tweeted the singer saying “Hey @Pharell, can we have our hat back? #GRAMMYs”. 

It was an instant hit among the Twitter users who retweeted for over 81,410 times! Using the hashtag even helped in reaching more people!

Arbys

Angkas

Angkas is a riding and delivery app that caters in the Philippines. They are notorious when it comes to RTM.

During the pandemic, most people were devastated because of the situation where no one is allowed to go out. 

An unexpected scene was captured by a netizen where an Ostrich is seen running along a residential area in the metro. An Angkas rider was also seen in the video. 

Few hours later, the marketing team of Angkas posted a promo code – “Ostrich” on their Twitter and Facebook page.

The company got a lot of praise by being fast and utilizing the situation.

GrabFood

Another food delivery app in the Philippines – Grab Food uses RTM. 

A video went viral where a government official is seen explaining to Grabfood and other food delivery riders that Porridge or Lugaw, is not an essential need. 

The post gained millions of views and received a lot of comments and reactions from netizens in a snap. 

The day after, GrabFood posted on their Facebook page a promo code ‘LugawisEssential’.

ASOS

The fashion brand – ASOS, accidentally printed 17,000 bags with a typo error.  After receiving a few tweets from customers who have received them, they were quick to point out the mistake and poke a little fun at themselves on Twitter. 

They tweeted, “Ok, so we *may* have just printed 17,000 bags with a typo. We’re calling it a limited edition.”

asos real time marketing

They showed a brave and brilliant move in acknowledging the mistake and took ownership of it, turning it into thousands of dollars’ worth of free publicity. 

Final Thoughts

Real-Time Marketing can make or break your brand. Choose the perfect trend to ride on and make sure to make it humorous to appeal! 

Do you know any other brands that use RTM? Share with me!

The Importance of Backlinks for SEO

What Is A ‘Backlink’?

A Backlink is a link from one website to another. They are also called “inbound links” or “incoming links.”

Let say, Peter is reading a blog post about the latest iPhone in the market. It talks about the newest features, price, and pros & cons. It also mention the competitor – Samsung Note Series, however, it doesn’t give much detail that Peter is interested to know more about. Noticing that the Samsung keyword is hyperlinked, he then clicked on it and landed on a blog post where a more detailed feature of Samsung Note Series is written.

The above shows that the blog that talks about Samsung Note Series gets a positive impact because other writers are linking the post. 

The page authorities and domain are key indicators of how search engines rank your website. 

Basically, the more websites that link back to you, the higher your page authority will be. The higher it is, the more likely you’ll appear on Page 1 of the search result page. 

Why Are Backlinks Important for SEO?

Backlinks are valuable for SEO because they represent an “approval” from one site to another. 

The backlinks to your website signals Google that others believe in your content and you are reputable. 

If many sites link to the same web page or website, Google can assume that the content is legitimate, high-quality, therefore placing it on Page 1 of SERP. So, earning these backlinks can have a positive effect on a site’s ranking position and search visibility.

How to Earn Backlinks?

Gaining backlinks is an essential component to Off-site SEO strategy and it be can be reached through the following:

1. Natural Links

These are organically gained without any action on the part of the website owner. 

One of the best ways to obtain natural links is by consistently creating high-quality content that readers would not hesitate to share on their social media platforms and websites.

Acquiring links that you didn’t ask for is something that you should work on. You do this by putting in the work to make your website link-worthy, whether that’s through a great product or aspect of your service, or via producing great content that is referenced by other websites.

2. Manual Links

These are acquired through link earning activities. 

An example is Guest Blogging, it is the most effective way to reach new audiences. 

By publishing articles on websites related to your niche, you’ll get your content in front of new readers and win more exposure. Sometimes, it’s not just about the backlink, but about increasing your online reputation or your social media followers. 

Remember to link to your website within the content.

3. Self-Created Links

These are done when you comment your link into a forum, blog comment, or online directory. 

Be careful, this kind of technique may negatively impact your search engine reputation if abused. 

To end, backlinks are an important part of your website’s SEO strategy. It improves your website’s domain and page authorities, as well as help your website rank higher for your targeted keywords. Without backlinks, you’ll have a difficult time getting your site ranking well in search engine results—so be persistent.

WHY & HOW Brands Need To Prioritize Social Media Response

Let’s say you’re in a group discussion. You actively share your thoughts and opinions but no one acknowledges you. How does that make you feel? You maybe feel stupid for trying to participate. No matter how you feel, it creates a negative association with the host, co-attendees, and event.

The same goes to how your customers feel when they leave a comment on your social media platforms without being acknowledged. Whether or not you respond, how you respond, and how fast you respond, all go into your customer’s experience in engaging with your brand. And it leaves an impression – good or bad.

So, to ensure to a positive impression, learn why brands need to prioritize social media response:

1. Customers Are Shifting To Social Media For Support

Quicker than email and phone call, there are plenty of reasons why consumers prefer social media as a support channel. Although phone and email might be seen as major channels, the boom of social media questions isn’t going away.

Photo by Tracy Le Blanc on Pexels.com

2. Fast Social Media Response Results To More Loyal Customers 

Salesforce, reports that:

  • 80% of consumers prefers to stay loyal to a brand that replies in an instant.
  • 71% highlights the importance of 24/7 customer care as their main influence on loyalty.

Recent research from Gartner notes that customers are significantly more likely to stick with a brand long-term when their service expectations are met. And, repeat customers and brand advocates are here to stay as long as their queries and concerns are being attended to. 

When a customer calls you out on social media, all eyes are on you. How you handle a customer complaint and how quick you respond can turn a negative comment into a positive social media feed. These types of interactions can actually help you earn more loyal customers and even attract new customers.

In addition, being active on social media can establish you as the go-to expert in your niche that will lead people in to your page.

Photo by Tim Douglas on Pexels.com

3. Fast Replies Give Competitive Advantage

In relation to the previous point, by quickly responding to social media queries can keep customers from bouncing to competitors’ page.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

4. Social Media Comments Can Improve Products/Services

Listening to what your customers have to say via social media is essential. And sometimes the comments can help you identify gaps in your product and service, which you may have not otherwise noticed.

Did you know that the Netflix ‘n Chilled flavor of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream is a product of social media comments and mentions?

Ben and Jerry’s spends a huge chunk of its marketing budget on social media advertisements to promote their ice creams. Following common sense, they allocate more budget during the summer season when it’s sunny and hot. 

All had been running smoothly until a snowstorm hit New York City. They decreased the ad budget assuming the last thing people want during cold weather is a cold dessert.

Upon checking the ad’s performance in New York, click-through-rates jumped up and sales figures came through.

The company checked Twitter and Instagram and noticed there was an uptick during poor weather, particularly when it was rainy. It turned out that when rain forced people to stay in watching films, TV, or Netflix, they wanted ice cream to go with it. 

This opened up a whole new area for Ben and Jerry’s to target. Now, they would look for rain in the forecasts, as well as sun, and adjust their marketing plans accordingly.

They even went a step further and created a flavour just for this purpose: Netflix & Chill’d.

5. Consistent and Professional Responses Gets Positive Reactions

When responding to social media comments, maintain a professional approach, and retain a style of writing that is in line with your brand’s overall persona. The aim should be to sound personable and approachable while resolving issues or answering questions.

If you use humor, emojis and GIF’s in your social media responses, ensure that you are still addressing the concerns. If you don’t have a quick resolution or answer, acknowledge that you have noted the customer’s comment and you will get back to them within a specific timeframe. 

Photo by Andres Ayrton on Pexels.com

Now that you know why you need to reply as soon as possible to social media messages and comments, here are the ways how to speed up:

1. Use Automated Replies

When it comes to social questions and comments, chances are you have your “usual suspects.”

If you are an airline company, expect that you will receive a lot of questions about rebooking or cancellation.

Having automated and suggested replies are handy. It can help you take care of such questions without having to write them out manually. The idea is to respond as soon as possible with the correct information. 

Not only is it a massive time-saver, but also, maintain accuracy around key messages like brand voice, while freeing up more time and bandwidth for your social team to add the personal touch to consumer care.

Don’t forget to template your response well and make sure it still looks personalized.

Photo by Cristian Dina on Pexels.com

2. Strategize How To Answer Negative Comments

It may be your least thing to do but nonetheless, you have to answer them or else your customer will overpower you.

To respond to them effectively, work with your team to develop standard responses that are both helpful and neutral.

If a customer has a more complex issue that requires multiple back-and-forth messages or exchanging personal information, request to move the conversation to a DM. In this way, you can protect your company from the bad perception you current and future shoppers might have.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

3. Prioritize Based On Urgency

Pick your battles.

We all know that not all messages are sent to our page nor negative comments posted on your page. Some customers choose to post their sentiments on their own Facebook or Twitter pages. And this should be prioritized because this will impact your reputation on people who are friends or follow them.

Response time is critical when dealing with a potential social media crisis such as an outage or offensive post that’s gone viral.

Photo by Andres Ayrton on Pexels.com

Customer Expectations for Social Media Response Time

The faster you respond to your customers and followers, the better.

Social media platforms provide the power to connect with your customers in real time, and even though you can give excellent support through contact centers, emails, and chatbots, you still need to be responsive on social media, where most of your customers are.

  • 79% of customers expect a response within 24 hours
  • 63% of social media complaints are responded to within 24 hours
  • Only 32% are happy with the company’s response time

When you ignore the negative comments or complaints, you allow customer dominance. And so, by responding, you maintain the power over the situation and can ease the minds of other easily-influenced shoppers.

Just learn to find the balance between appropriate response and maximum response time.

Read below to better understand how costumers interact with brands on social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

1. Facebook

71% of social media complaints are delivered through Facebook

Companies’ average response time on Facebook is 1 hour 56 minutes. While most customers want a response within 30 minutes – Millennials in particular, only 50% of businesses are meeting this expectation.

Facebook’s page response rate, tells users how responsive a page is with messages. If the average response time is less than five minutes for the past seven days, Facebook will put a badge on the page that reads “Very responsive to messages.” This is a sign to assure customers that they can trust the brand to attend to their queries.

Gen X is the most likely to use Facebook to communicate with brands (63%). Followed by Millennials (60%), Baby Boomers (58%), and Gen Z (47%).

Photo by Yan Krukov on Pexels.com

2. Twitter

17% of social media complaints come from Twitter

Faster than Facebook, companies reply on Twitter an average time of 33 minutes and 44 seconds. But have not met the 30 minutes response time frame that customers expect.

Twitter is a very immediate platform. Since it is typically viewed as more informal than Facebook, users expect companies to check tweets and reply as soon as possible. 

According to Khoros’ study, men are more likely to communicate with brands on Twitter than women. 81% have done so, compared to 68% of women. Men also have higher expectations for response time. 27% of men said they expect a response within an hour, even when it’s not a complaint, versus 22% of women.

Photo by Keira Burton on Pexels.com

3. Instagram

While Instagram users are the least likely to communicate with brands (34%), they also tend to have the highest expectations, especially when a complaint is involved, and expects a response within an hour.

It’s worth noting that 42% of Gen Z shoppers use Instagram to communicate with brands, versus only 33% non-Gen Z consumers.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Why Does Social Media Response Time Matter?

The need to respond to social queries is a no-brainer. Nobody wants to purposely ignore customers.

There are bigger implications for increasing your average response time other than providing “good” customer service via social media.

Whether customers are becoming too self-entitled or simply lacks patience, one thing Is certain – when they ask questions, they want answers. Not tomorrow, but right now.

Google Algorithm 2021: Page Experience. Why Google Algorithm Changes? How To Keep Up?

Ever wonder why Google’s algorithm changes? It’s because our search behavior changes, and so, they need to keep up.

Google regularly tweaks how they treat rankings, links, and contents in line of the changes. But at the core of every Google algorithm change is a simple goal – to provide the best user experience possible. 

Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average, which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. 

What Is An ‘Algorithm’?

Algorithm refers to the logic-based, step-by-step procedure in solving a problem. 

Google’s problem to solve is “how to find the most relevant web pages related to the set of keywords (or search terms)”.

Google Algorithm 2021: Page Experience

Google announced last year that the new algorithm will include a factor called Page Experience –  how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page beyond its pure information value, that will roll out by June 2021. This will then play a huge part on search result rankings.

In relation to this, Google launched Web Core Vitals – a set of metrics related to speed, responsiveness and visual stability, to help site owners measure user experience on the web.

1. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), how quick the largest page element loads

2. First Input Delay (FID), the time between a user inputs and browser responds 

3. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), how much page elements unexpectedly shift around the page

Google's Page Experience update explained

Source: Chromium Blog

Why Pay Attention To The Algorithm Update? 

Google’s goal is to provide the best user experience, thus, if your website scores high in user experience, visual cues will guide consumers and browsers to your page over others.

Most probably that pages that won’t be able to keep up are going to be left behind in the ranking game and experience significant drop in traffic.

How To Keep Up With Google Algorithm Changes?

Due to regular changes in the algorithm, many sites get penalized with lower rankings while others surge in organic traffic and improve rankings.

Check and improve the following to enhance web page experience.

1. Optimize For Mobile Search

In Q1 2021, mobile devices generated 54.8% of global website traffic. 

Google reported that they will primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site. This serves as a good reminder that you should get your page mobile-ready – reduce code, leverage browser caching, and reduce redirects.

The webpage design should be simple and responsive so as to appear attractive on smaller screens. 

Don’t forget to optimize the site structure!

2. Improve Page Speed

Unbounce reported that nearly 70% of consumers admit that page speed impacts their willingness to buy from an online retailer.

To improve page speed, minimize HTTP requests and examine JavaScript response times. Also, check on compression, caching, and, importantly, image file sizes. 

3. Use Alt Text For Images

Alt Text is used in an HTML code to describe the appearance and function of an image on a page. These are displayed in case the image file won’t load. 

These descriptions are also used by search engine crawlers to index. So, it should be short, specific, and ideally with a keyword. This will go a long way to help your site’s organic search results.

4. Focus On The Content

This is straight forward, a good content will always play a critical role with page rankings. It should be simple, it should answer a problem, and it should be unique.

Optimize a good content based on Google’s algorithm updates, and surely, your website will zoom to the top.

4 Components of Persuasion Marketing

One of the most challenging parts of running a successful marketing campaign is to persuade customers – to visit the store, purchase, and repurchase. 

What is ‘Persuasion Marketing’?

Persuasion Marketing is developing marketing strategies using the knowledge of human psychology for marketing products and services.

For businesses, it generally refers to utilizing the marketing mix and building on the customer’s impulsive buying behavior leading to a successful purchase.

Persuasion Marketing has four main components:

1. Structured Communication

Just like the “planned conversation” of interpersonal sales, structured communication is all about manipulating and controlling the order of the content, or how information is displayed to the customer.

The end goal is to influence the customer along his purchase decision. This is done by initially triggering the impulsiveness and then influencing with a call to action when the impulse level has reached the highest point. 

While designing a website, the first page that is displayed to the customer should not immediately seek a sale, but present an initial message and encourage the customer to further explore the website. 

2. Storytelling

In marketing, Storytelling means using narrative to communicate a message. The goal is to be relatable to consumers – enough that it’ll inspire them to take action. Also, it helps customers understand why they should care about the brand.

It can be told in pictures, verbally or in written form. And they can be told across all channels – from social media to billboards. Stories can help marketers achieve cut-through in a marketplace.

3. Copywriting

Copywriting is one of the most critical components of any and all forms of marketing and advertising. It consists of the words, either written or spoken, that marketers use to to get people to take an action after reading or hearing them. 

Copywriting is like a call-to-action, but on a bigger scale – it should get people to feel, think, or respond — or, ideally, to Google the slogan or brand to learn more about the campaign. 

A persuasion marketer needs to test different copies to determine which content can produce the best customer emotion or provide a solution to queries. Make sure that the copy has a logical, conventional, and reasonable approach, with some exceptional and creative insight that influences people to think about the product or service.

4. Neuromarketing

As one of the major components of Persuasion Marketing, Neuromarketing uses neuroscience to unveil subconscious consumer decision-making processes. Researchers use the fMRI to measure changes in activity in parts of the brain and to learn why consumers make the decisions they do, and what part of the brain is telling them to do it.

Marketing Analysts use Neuromarketing to better measure a consumer’s preference, as the verbal response given to the question “Do you like this product?” may not always be the true answer. This knowledge will help marketers create products and services designed more effectively and marketing campaigns focused more on the brain’s response.

In addition, it tells the marketer what the consumer reacts to, whether it was the color of the packaging, the sound the box makes when shaken, or the idea that they will have something their co-consumers do not.

To end, the above mentioned are some of the Persuasion Marketing components that would serve you well in your marketing efforts. Make an effort to give something that your customers would appreciate and would make them want to reciprocate. 

You can’t expect to persuade millennials to work for you by advertising the job in daily newspapers. In the same manner, baby boomers don’t dance on TikTok.

Remember, marketing that accurately grasps how humans think is more likely to work. 

The Power Of Persuasion In Marketing

Persuasion is everywhere, from commercials trying to sell you a midnight meal to marketers encouraging you to try a product.

“Persuasion” is a term often used in marketing. It involves influencing customers’ purchasing behavior without making them feel like they are being sold to. This is what many businesses fail to realize, persuasion isn’t just about getting customers to buy their product, it’s also about making them feel like they made an excellent decision.

What is Persuasion Marketing?

Persuasion Marketing is developing marketing strategies using the knowledge of human psychology for marketing products and services.

For businesses, it generally refers to utilizing the marketing mix and building on the customer’s impulsive buying behavior leading to a successful purchase.

As an example, ecommerce persuasion marketing consists of web page design and navigation. These are typical example of decision-making influencers that is not consciously controlled. Applying human psychology to web design elements such as layout, typography, and copy along with the right promotional messages impacts the website visitors’ behaviors and encourages them to follow the pre-planned pathways on the site.

Persuasion marketing also ensures that the customers take the necessary and specific actions, rather than just randomly interacting with the website. 

Here is a list of concepts to effectively use persuasion in marketing:

1. Reciprocity

As humans, it is in our nature to pay back what we received from others. This is the power of reciprocity in action.

When you initiate an offer, people will feel the sense of indebtedness, which will make them more likely to comply with your follow-up requests.

In marketing, this is practiced mostly by special discount offers on first purchase, which in turn, may result in many first-time visitor purchases. Some businesses offer discounts to people who sign up that compels many shoppers to register on the website instead of guest checkouts.  

Nike and some software companies apply the concept of reciprocity by discounts and free trials and demos of their product. 

Photo by Dominika Roseclay on Pexels.com

No matter what the offer is, it should be valuable enough for the customer to reciprocate. 

2. Exclusivity and Scarcity

People assume that things that are difficult to obtain are usually better and ignore those that are easily available. In other words, exclusivity is what humans crave. In addition, while shoppers see an item is low in stock, they feel the urgency to take action and purchase right away. 

As a move, you can offer your customers something exclusive and limited that is unavailable in other brands. This strategy is mostly seen with Supreme. The brand is known for collaborations with different artists and only releases a few pieces that causes fans to panic and camp outside their stores before the release date.

Photo by Erik Mclean on Pexels.com

You can learn to trigger your customers’ sense of urgency with these methods:

  • Limited-number of released items
  • Limited-time offer
  • One-of-a-kind Specials (e.g. collaborations, anniversaries)

3. Authority

We follow experts. These authority figures have established their expertise, which acts as proof to us that their advice is reliable. Even influencer marketing is somehow based on the concept of authority. Influencers are people who have established their expertise in their niche.

If someone like Warren Buffet is to provide you with business advice, you would listen and follow that advice. We trust advice from people we see as authority figures in their line of expertise. This is because we believe the decision based on advice from an authority figure is less likely to go wrong.

Work with industry experts and influencers who can promote your products to win the trust of your target audience. You can see this in a lot of online marketing with headlines and blog posts that include phrases like “scientists say”, “experts say”, “research shows”, or “scientifically proven”. With this increased level of trust, you also have an increased likelihood to drive sales. 

These concepts are powerful because they bypass our rational minds, appealing to our subconscious instincts. 

However, do note that while these concepts can help bring more awareness for your brand, the biggest factor that ultimately drives customer satisfaction, loyalty and sales is a great product.

8 Elements To Improve Technical SEO

What is ‘Technical SEO’?

Technical SEO, as part of On-Page SEO strategy, focuses on optimizing elements on the website to increase its ranking on search engines such Google, Bing, etc. 

Why Optimize The Website? 

Google and other search engines aim to give their users the best possible result for every query. In order to do so, Google’s robots crawl and evaluate certain elements on the web pages. Some elements are based on the user experience such as site speed. 

By improving technical aspects, you help search engines crawl and understand your site easily. If done accurately, your page has a higher chance of appearing on the first page result. 

What Are The Factors That Make a Good Technical SEO?

1. Fast Site Speed

According to a study by Hobo, a 2-second delay in load time results in abandonment rates of up to 87%. Google knows slow web pages offer a less than optimal experience, as a result, it will not show the website on the first pages of the result and could miss out on all the potential customers and traffic.

Test your website speed here.

2. Crawlability

Google uses robots to crawl and understand websites and a great internal linking structure will serve as a guide for those to discover the important contents inside.

You can give robots directions on your site by using the robots.txt file – a powerful tool, which should be handled carefully. 

3. No Dead Links

What’s more annoying than a slow web page? A page that doesn’t exist, right? Search engines don’t like to find these error pages either. They tend to find even more dead links than visitors do encounter because they follow every link they bump into, even if it’s hidden.

To prevent unnecessary dead links, always redirect the URL of a page when you delete it or move it.

4. No Duplicate Content

Search engines will be confused if you have the same content on multiple pages. If these pages show the same content, which one should they rank highest? As a result, they might rank all pages with the same content lower.

5. Secured

There are many things you can do to make your (WordPress) website secure, and one of the most crucial things is implementing HTTPS.

To check if your website is HTTPS in most browsers, go to the left-hand side of the search bar of your browser, you’ll see a lock if it’s safe. If you see the words “not secure” you (or your developer) have some work to do!

Secure Sockets Layer – SSL – is a security technology which creates an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. You can spot a site using SSL fairly easily: the website URL starts with ‘https://’ rather than ‘http://.’

6. Implements Structured Data

Implementing structured data helps search engines understand your website, content or even your business better. It also makes your content eligible for ‘star ratings’ to make it look more eligible and visually appealing. This awarded feature can attract more click-through rate (CTR), and generate additional traffic to your site. 

7. Good XML Sitemap

An XML Sitemap is a file that helps search engines understand your website whilst crawling it – you can think of it as being like a ‘search roadmap’ of sorts, telling search engines exactly where each page is.

It also contains useful information about each page on your site, including:

  • when a page was last modified;
  • what priority it has on your site;
  • how frequently it is updated.

8. Hreflang

If your site targets more than one country where the same language is spoken, search engines need a little help to understand which countries or language you’re trying to reach. 

Hreflang Tags help you do just that. You can define for a page which country and language it is meant for. This also solves a possible duplicate content problem: even if your US and UK site show the same content, Google will know it’s written for a different region.

Social Listening: Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream

Listen before you speak.

Have you ever wondered what customers think of your brand? What issues do they care about?

Social Listening has risen to so much fame because of its integral part in helping brands uncover ways of improvement. Marketers have been using their social channels to survey audience since forever and Social Listening is taking this surveyship to the next level.

What is Social Listening?

Social Listening is analyzing the conversations and trends happening on social media about the brand and industry, and using those insights to make better marketing decisions. 

It includes reading comments and looking for online content to check on customer sentiments. Sometimes, these sentiments are negative, but don’t fret, these are great guide for improvements.

To mention a few benefits, Social Listening helps structure future campaigns, improve content strategy and messaging, outperform competition, construct an effective influencer program and even build more impactful brand partnerships. In addition, it is a good medium to find out what the customers talk about and figure out a how to build brand presence and put yourself into the conversation.

It’s not an entirely new approach, brands have been trying to gauge the opinions of the public and their customers through surveys. And now that people are conversing online, it’s up for brands to cope up.

Social Monitoring vs. Social Listening

Monitoring tells you what, listening tells you why.

Social Monitoring merely keeps track of social media mentions and conversations. However, without the analysis and actionable responses, brands cannot sufficiently meet the needs of its customers. On the other hand, Social Listening finds root causes behind social conversations and implements long-term strategy changes.

Ben and Jerry

Social Listening comes in all shapes and sizes.

Ben and Jerry’s spends a huge chunk of its marketing budget on social media advertisements to promote their ice creams. Following the common sense, they allocate more budget during the summer season when it’s sunny and hot. 

All have been running smoothly until a snowstorm hit New York City. They decreased the ad budget assuming the last thing people want during cold weather is a cold dessert.

Upon checking the ad’s performance in New York, click-through-rates jumped up and sales figures came through.

The company checked Twitter and Instagram and noticed there was an uptick during poor weather, particularly when it was rainy. It turned out that when rain forced people to stay in watching films, TV, or Netflix, they wanted ice cream to go with it. 

This opened up a whole new area for Ben and Jerry’s to target. Now, they would look for rain in the forecasts, as well as sun, and adjust their marketing plans accordingly.

They even went a step further and created a flavour just for this purpose: Netflix & Chill’d.

This was all achieved with a very simple social listening approach, and it worked wonders for Ben and Jerry’s. 

All too often, we’re guessing, not listening. We’re making tactical moves, not strategic ones.

By listening to your audience, you can see a window into their candid thoughts and feelings, and gain important insights into their purchase behaviour.

Website Trends: Luxury Brands

Luxury e-commerce accounts for 17% of all industry revenue and is expected to rise to US$58 Billion in 2022.

It is no doubt that luxury shopping starts online. Shoppers discover products via websites or mobile apps. Though experiential in-store shopping remains relevant for luxury brands, digital channels are seen to continue to thrive both as sources of inspiration and sales.

With the rapid pace in technology, luxury brand websites are among those that stay competitive and ahead of the game with the latest developments and trends – from innovative solutions for better user experience, to marketing techniques that boost sales conversions. 

Below are some of the key website trends of luxury brands:

1. Less Is More

The basic colors – white, black, and gold, are often used by luxury brands. The simple colour palette has always been the staple of luxury design and this is unlikely to change any time in the near future. 

Luxury brand websites such as Vera Wang, Apple, and Tod’s use a white – grayish background with no-to-minimal other elements to make customers concentrate on the product. Also, the clean, white space gives the notion that the website is easier to navigate and presents a better user experience. 

Historically, minimalist design was seen as boring. This is where high-quality photography and media come into play to ensure that the website delivers the key messages without overwhelming users.

2. High-Resolution Images

High-resolution photos are essential in luxury brand websites. In this way, customers can see every detail and give a feel to the items just like they are in the actual store.

Rolex is the perfect sample of a luxury brand that captures every detail.

The popularity of Instagram and other visual-dominant platforms made people appreciate the consistent scale, lighting, scenes and environments that happen in every photo. Now, more and more understands what a good quality photography and art direction looks like. So it comes as no surprise that high-quality photography is expected, not only with luxury brands, but with all that’s in e-commerce. 

3. Improved Brand Storytelling

Another massive luxury website trend is brand storytelling. As brands look to build trust with their website users, they utilise in-depth brand stories that provide a rich history of a brand. 

More luxury brands now dedicate special web pages to emphasize on the brand’s history and founders. To make it more engaging, brands often use good photography and media. The more relatable the story, the deeper connection they establish with the users. 

Storytelling has become an integral element of digital content marketing and luxury websites are to tap into this effectiveness.

Chanel and Kate Spade shares a great, relatable stories on their website that humanizes the brand.

4. Mobile-Friendliness

UBS Groups’ survey revealed that Chinese millennials are responsible for the purchase of 30 percent of the world’s luxury goods. American consumers of the same age account for 23 percent, and European millennials command 19 percent of the market, followed by Japanese consumers with 11 percent.

Millennials are the major consumers of luxury items. These new generations of young, affluent consumers continue to rewrite the rule book of the once bulletproof luxury industry; with new needs, new behaviours, and digital-infused lifestyles. They are known to be digital natives that continuously engage with online content and expect highly sophisticated digital experiences. 

With this change in the industry, it is a necessity for luxury brands to understand how to relate and win over younger consumers. Therefore, to remain in sync, it’s a must to adapt the language and digital behavior. 

Asian luxury consumers, Chinese in particular, are some of the most digitally active in the world, mostly on mobile. Connected Chinese affluent shoppers have been used to social selling for years via WeChat’s ecosystem that spans the entire consumer journey and integrates everything from a social media channel to a payments method.

The last few years have seen an increased emphasis on mobile first, as website designs have changed to cater for the increased volume of users visiting websites via their smartphone. With more powerful data to analyse website usage, website content and functionality will be all geared towards what the user wants to see, rather than what brands think their customers want to see.

Photo by Ron Lach on Pexels.com

5. Artificial Intelligence -Chatbots, etc.

Luxury brand websites are now into greater use of AI such as chatbots and machine learning for SEO improvements. It provides more data around consumer behaviour and is available to integrate into the chatbot interactions to give a better quality experience.

For example, Estée Lauder utilises a beauty chat on their website. Currently, not many luxury retailers have adopted this feature. Props to chatbots, customers discover products, receive personalized recommendations, and even place orders.

6. Video Content

The list of luxury website trends is not complete without video. Although having a video content is nothing new, it is seen that many luxury brands have just added this feature to capture attention.

Burberry

Aston Martin currently utilises a video on their home page. With dark, premium colours their videos often complement the luxury feel to the brand and provides a cinematic feel to the website.

To summarise, consumer expectations are getting higher than ever and if luxury brand websites won’t make the most of the advanced technology available,business leads and sales are sure to fall off.  From building deeper connections with storytelling to using the most effective colour schemes, getting these details right will bring success.

I Am Now GOOGLE CERTIFIED In Fundamental of Digital Marketing

What is Google Digital Garage?

It is a FREE tutorial conducted by Google on everything from website development, online marketing, etc. Learn different courses and complete the whole online course for a certification from Google and IAB Europe.

Google Digital Garage

The Digital Garage – Digital Marketing course is divided into 26 modules and delivers a full digital skills course categorized into: 

  • Search Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Search Engine Marketing (PPC)
  • Google Display Advertising
  • Content Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Google Analytics
  • Social Media Marketing

It is broken into 7 main sections:

  • Take a Business Online
  • Make It Easy for People to Find a Business on the Web
  • Reach More People Locally, on Social Media, or on Mobile
  • Reach More People With Advertising
  • Track and Measure Web Traffic
  • Sell Products of Services Online
  • Take a Business Global

At the end of each lesson, a quick quiz follows. 

Who Is It For?

The Digital Garage is for anyone – beginners and professionals who want to improve and refresh digital skills. 

Why Is It Relevant?

Google’s Digital Garage certification is an award-winning platform that improves the digital marketing skills of anyone with any level of experience.

Aside from that..

  1. It gives real, up-to-date tips and strategies to improve online presence.
  2. It allows users to learn at their own pace. 
  3. The certificate after can be an added boost to the resume. Once the users passes the exam, the certification is given that can be downloaded and shared in LinkedIn.

It can show the future employer that the users’ determination and dedication towards professional growth.

  1. It offers personalized courses. Upon sign in, the users can choose from a huge range of courses depending on the skill wanted to gain and interests.
  2. It is a good medium to learn how to market a new online business.
  3. It teaches how to build an online marketing strategy, improve website ranks, and the importance of  analytics tools to understand online performance.

START LEARNING HERE

Cereal Box Marketing: Are They Looking At You?

According to Insider, vision is the dominant sense when purchasing. Hence, brands and grocery stores actually use specific strategies to influence customers’ purchasing behaviors. 

Take a look at the cereal boxes below.

Are they looking at you?

No, they’re all looking down because their target market are those who can’t reach them – the children. They are strategically positioned to meet children’s eyes for eye contact.

Cornell University conducted a study where 65 cereal boxes have the character’s eyes looking downward and positioned at an angle for eye contact between the character and the kid. It proved that eye contact with the character influences the likelihood of them buying. In addition, the study found that making eye contact with the cereal box characters actually increased kids’ feelings of trust and connection with the brand. 

Martuscello confirmed this phenomenon, explaining that the sensation of having a character “look” at you has been shown to impact attention, feeling of connection and trust and ultimately being chosen.

“The more we perceive humanlike qualities in other things and feel a sense of connection with those qualities, the more we will pay attention, buy, and remember,” he said.

Staring is rude but for certain cereal manufacturers, it’s also lucrative.

Now we know why cereal box characters have huge eyes.

References:

https://www.insider.com/cereal-boxes-eye-level-kids-marketing-2019-1#:~:text=They%20found%20that%20cereal%20box,and%20connection%20with%20the%20brand.
https://news.cornell.edu/stories/2014/04/food-psychologists-eyeball-cereal-characters

WEBSITE VS SOCIAL MEDIA: Why Your Business Needs A Website

Have you ever asked, “Why do I need to spend on a website if I can just use social media to promote my business for FREE?”. Besides, more than half of the world’s population now uses social media.

Today, social media is the main platform for easy communication between brands and its audience, so, why are websites still relevant? 

1. Websites Build Trust And Credibility

Have you ever Googled a business and the only thing represents them is a Facebook page with 100 likes? What were your first thoughts? It’s skeptical, right?

A website adds credibility to a business as it shows seriousness of what they have to offer. In fact, customers today expect business owners to have an online presence. 

To add, a well designed, informative, and updated website gives a positive impression that the company is bigger and more successful, thus, it is more important for small businesses to have one.

2. Websites Own Its Audience Attention

On Instagram, you could have the best profile in the world but it’s rare that someone spends ten minutes on a single profile. Visitors might look at your first few photos, clicks ‘follow’, then interact when the algorithm places it in their feed. 

That’s not going to be a problem with a website.

If a good strategy is incorporated on the website, visitors will hang around for more than thirty seconds to half an hour. Long enough to read a few blog posts, and eventually, be convinced to sign up. 

Remember, no matter where visitors are on the site, they’re only consuming content related to the business.

3. Websites Are Better For SEO

Did you know that no matter how relevant your caption is on Instagram, it doesn’t show up in Google search results.

It’s non-existent in Google’s eyes. Which means businesses miss the opportunity to connect with potential customers who search for solutions through Google, where websites are recommended. 

Website contents such as blogs are the primary way to jot down relevant search terms for Google to crawl on. Therefore, social media can be a tool to point people to the full content on the website, but certainly, is not a place for long contents.

4. Website Data Are Trackable

Want to know how long did your visitors stay on the website? Pages they clicked? Keywords they used? All of these are visible with a website.

Website creators such as WordPress and Wix can track all activity that happens on the website.  It gives real-time insights which are perfect for in-depth analysis and reporting to improve website performance and marketing.

5. Websites Are Available 24/7

With social media, you have to be present for it to work – post consistently, share valuable contents for you to appear on your followers’ feed.

Websites are the opposite. It doesn’t need to be updated every other day (besides new blog posts) to be relevant. It is live all the time, anyone, anywhere in the world can access it. As a result, current and potential customers can visit the site to learn information about the business (new and upcoming products and services) whenever convenient to them.

Even with brick-and-mortar companies, customers still expect them to  have a website to check on to get more information. 

6. Websites Are Controlled

Do you remember when business pages on Facebook were affected when it decided to update its algorithm. Owners had nothing to do but to accept the new rules and  move on. The same thing could happen on other social platforms at any time. YouTube could charge you on every upload on their servers.

Businesses have NO control over social media platforms unlike a website.

Owning a website allows businesses to have full control over the brand. It guarantees security and certainty, as long as they pay for the domain, it will always be there. There are no terms and conditions that need to be complied on. 

Also, it allows businesses to create exclusive contents – blogs, to give the opportunity to rank in search engines with specific keywords that relate to your services or product. 

Lastly, there are much more options with the regards to the look, feel and features. Most domain extensions even come with various templates that are customizable.

Get the best of both worlds.

Why choose once if you can have both?

The website should be the heart of businesses’ online presence and social media should be the marketing tool of driving traffic back to the website. The two go hand in hand, and both are crucial to online success in the modern era.

References:

https://nic.icu/marketing/website-vs.-social-media-why-entrepreneurs-still-need-a-domain/
https://www.wellnesssiteshop.com/blog/need-website-instagram
https://kijo.co.uk/blog/why-have-a-website-and-not-just-rely-on-social-media/
https://conversionstrategies.com/website-vs-social-media-small-business/
https://socialmediaexplorer.com/content-sections/movers-and-makers/website-vs-social-media-whats-better-for-your-business/

Conversion Data Reporting: Facebook vs Google Analytics

Marketers have been struggling to match conversion data reports between Google Analytics and Facebook. This is because both have different attribution models and calculates marketing touchpoints in their own ways.  

Learn below how Google Analytics and Facebook measure different metrics and get a clearer picture of their impact on conversion .

Clicks and Impressions

Google uses the last click attribution model. In other words, it credits the last place a user clicked on before buying the product. 

For example:

Sydney was browsing for a new pair of reading glasses on his phone. He came across a reading glasses ad on Facebook but decided to go offline. Later that day, he searched directly on Google and clicked on one of the ads. It directed him to the website where he purchased. Google Analytics will attribute this conversion to the PPC ad.

On the other hand, Facebook tracks conversions via view-through and click-through tracking. The last click or view of an ad prior to a conversion, within the selected attribution window counts the conversion.

Facebook takes credit for a conversion even if a Facebook user only sees the Facebook ad without clicking it, then visits the website and makes a purchase. 

For example:

Madrid was browsing for a new pair of shoes on his phone. He came across a shoe ad on Facebook and clicked on it. After two weeks, he went to the website and decided to purchase. Facebook counts it as a conversion because he clicked on the ad and he purchased within the default 28-day or 24-hour attribution window.

Note: Analyze multi-channel funnel reports in Google Analytics to pinpoint how Facebook is guiding visitors to the purchase path conversion. Also, it is better to disable view-through attribution in Facebook. 

JavaScript Snippets

There is another major difference between Facebook and Google Analytics tracking. 

Google uses a JavaScript snippet called ‘Cookies’. However, if a user cleared or decided not to accept the Cookies, Google can’t accurately track the user’s conversion that happened on the website.

On the contrary, a user doesn’t need to accept anything with Facebook Pixel — a code embedded on the website for conversion tracking. So, if the pixel code didn’t load on the user’s browser, Facebook won’t record a conversion.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

Multi-Device Conversions

Google Analytics tracks conversion paths by assigning a unique client ID to each visitor. Hence, it can identify new vs. returning visitors. Google acknowledges a single device as a touch point for tracking. Suppose if a person used a tablet and later their smartphone to access the same site or landing page, then they’ll be given two unique IDs.

While Facebook can track multiple touch points and multiple devices because it monitors social media activity of each user who needs to be logged in to browse.

Facebook tracks cross-device conversions better than Google. This is because Google installs a single-location cookie to track a user’s activity on a single device, Facebook tracks activity using its Facebook profiles and Facebook Pixel.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Sessions vs Clicks

Clicks are not the same as sessions. 

When a user clicks on the Facebook post twice within a 30-minute window and comes to the website twice, Google counts it as one session, while Facebook counts it as two sessions.

Furthermore, a user may become inactive inside the website and re-engage after 30 minutes, Facebook will count one click and Google two.

Lastly, when a user accidentally clicks on a Facebook post and immediately clicks out of the still-loading landing page, Google Analytics may not have time to record a session.

Photo by Meruyert Gonullu on Pexels.com

Immediate Exit

Adding upon the earlier point, there are instances of users clicking the Facebook Ad and quickly leaving or moving to another site before Google triggers the JavaScript code. In such cases, Facebook counts this click as a conversion but Google can’t.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Google Analytics and Facebook conversions data will never match since they both serve distinct goals. Google Analytics helps optimise website traffic, and Facebook provides a robust platform for advertisement.

Did I explain it thoroughly? What do you think? Do you use any of these reports to analyze your traffic sources? 

References:

https://www.windsor.ai/match-facebook-conversions-to-google-analytics-data/

https://www.windsor.ai/facebook-vs-google-analytics-how-to-evaluate-facebooks-performance/

Why Is Blog Writing Still Relevant?

86% of content marketers use blog posts as part of marketing strategy. While 60% of users say that blog guides them in the buying process.

For a business to thrive in today’s online world, a strong online presence is a must. Paid advertising provides immediate conversions, however, to achieve long-term success, nothing beats content marketing – the website’s blog.

Content Marketing Institute Founder, Joe Pulizzi reveals in his book, “Epic Content Marketing,” a business must think of content marketing as an asset — not just another expense and blog is the asset’s foundation. 

Blog is a written informative content – often with goals to showcase products and services, tips, stories, reviews, insights, etc. This content gives people a reason to come and return to the business website, which then can increase sales conversion and loyalty. 

Blogs may be used in a variety of ways and here are five reasons why blog writing is still relevant.

1. Available 24/7

As a customer, who would want to wait until the next morning for all the questions you have with the product to be answered?

It is the business website’s responsibility to make all information accessible 24/7. Additionally, being consistent with new content inspires new readers, encourages repeat visitors, and increases the amount of time they spend on the website. Time spent on the site is an important metric for website relevance score.

2. Provides In-Depth Information

Social media is an easy way to deliver messages but blogs give more in-depth information that users need. While social media is a great avenue to express relevancy, nothing beats the long-form capabilities of a blog to help businesses thoroughly pin down an issue.

In today’s fast-paced world, being relevant and looking relevant lets customers know that you’re the better and smarter choice.

3. Improves Search Engine Ranking

Are blogs still a thing? For SEO, the answer is definitely yes. While there are a variety of ways to enhance SEO ranking, adding a company blog is one of the best ways to improve SEO score.

One of the most common ways blogs are able to do this is by ranking the website for certain keywords. Having multiple blog posts with different keywords allow businesses to optimize site ranking and attract different audiences. Importantly, blogs offer more content for bots to crawl on and more backlinks to post (an essential SEO strategy). Google, in particular, likes to find and rank new content. 

If you’re a gaming business, you may want to rank for keywords like “best video game of 2020” on one blog post and “best Skyrim cheats” on another. This assures that you’re really penetrating your target market.

4. Best For Soft Selling

Customers are also tired of conventional methods of commercials and advertising. For a company that is planning to sell, speak like a human – and blogs are great at humanizing a company.

Having a blog page gives you an avenue to creatively promote your products and services to the more modern business environment.

5. Improves Trust and Credibility

People like to know who they’re doing business with. With a blog, companies can prove expertise and provide helpful tips and other valuable information—all of which help consumers feel good about spending money on product or service.

References:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2019/03/01/starting-a-business-blog-is-a-must-for-success-eight-tips/?sh=ab5f5d9b24d0

https://www.themuse.com/advice/is-blogging-still-important

5 Affiliate Marketing Strategies That Drive Sales

Affiliate Marketing certainly has the potential to drive sales conversion. This performance-based type of marketing strategy rewards content creators with sales commission for each item sold coming from their website. The sales are tracked via affiliate links from one website to another. 

In fact, huge brands such as Nike and Adidas work with a lot of affiliates to increase product sales. All brands can take advantage of Affiliate Marketing, however, not all techniques are applicable to all.

There are several different Affiliate Marketing strategies that you, as a brand, can leverage and below are some examples:

1. Work With Right Affiliates

With Affiliate Marketing, brands can work with influential websites or bloggers based on the targeted niche. 

If you want to influence the buying decisions of your desired audience, it is best to work with the website or bloggers they visit and trust.

When choosing an affiliate consider checking the following: 

  • Engagement and relationship with their audience
  • Number of followers, site ranking, views, and authority

For a brand that sells athleisure clothes, it is rational to work with sports-related websites or sports bloggers such as Bleacher Report.

Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

2. Attract With Deals (Coupons and Discounts)

Who wouldn’t want a great deal?

Brands can regularly add coupons and discounts as a marketing strategy to boost sales and increase customer loyalty.

According to Bigcommerce, 90% of consumers use coupons and digital coupon redemptions is to surpass $90 billion by 2022. 

While discounts are attractive to shoppers, digital coupons can also be a successful means of growing the social media following and email marketing list or encouraging mobile website usage.

There are many coupon and deal websites – Amazon Coupon, Offers.com, etc., that allow you to post your offer to drive website traffic and increase conversions.

Coupons work best in markets that are highly competitive such as food, beauty, travel, or gadgets.

Photo by Max Fischer on Pexels.com

3. Improve Product and Checkout Page

Sure, Affiliate Marketing works but a brand can’t completely rely on the affiliates and sit back to watch sales come in. It’s the brand’s job to make sure that the landing page is easy to natigate. 

If you want to generate more sales, you should deliver a good customer experience, and for this, you need to optimize your product and checkout page and make sure that:

  • Webpages load fast
  • Product informations are sufficient
  • Photos are high quality
  • Product reviews are relevant
Photo by PhotoMIX Company on Pexels.com

4.  Collaborate With Product Review Websites and Blogs

Another strategy to increase sales conversions is to work with reliable product review websites and blogs.

Here is a checklist of what can be included on the content:

  • Affiliate link.
  • Pros and Cons of the product. Make sure to include the Cons to make it more authentic.
  • Product link (mention multiple times). 
  • Personal experiences and stories of using the product.
  • Relevant and popular keywords to ensure that the content shows up in relevant search engine results.
  • Images and videos to make it engaging.
Photo by Sora Shimazaki on Pexels.com

5. Utilize Email Marketing

Email Marketing is an effective way of maintaining direct communication with the target niche. Brands can create a series of newsletters educating about the features and benefits of the product and ask affiliates to send it to their subscribers. Make sure it isn’t overly promotional and affiliate links are mentioned multiple times. At the end of the series, make sure to mention sales pitch, offers, and deals. 

Have you ever used Affiliate Marketing before? Which of the abovementioned strategies do you find to be the most effective? 

References:

https://shanebarker.com/blog/affiliate-marketing-strategies/

4 Marketing Strategies That Brands Can Learn from The Kardashians

It is not a secret that the Kardashian Family are intrigue magnets but are experts in turning it as an advantage. As social media prowesses, they really know the in’s and out’s, thus, have maintained their leading spot as social media marketers.

The clans’ marketing strategies depict perfect examples for social etiquette and networking for any B2C brand looking to increase social media audience and presence. 

Here are 4 marketing strategies from The Kardashians that are useful to brands:

1. Be Relatable

Below is an example of Kim Kardashian advertising Skims Loungewear on her Instagram stories. She is filming herself while talking about the benefits of her products, just as how she would recommend it to a friend. But no doubt, this is just part of an ad campaign.

The IG story makes it more relatable as it looks raw and authentic, rather than a promotional post. 

Also, each of the members have different personalities, styles and interests that makes them appeal to all demographics. 

Due to the current worldwide lockdown, brands need a new video marketing strategy and according to Hubspot, the more simple and raw the video is, the more authentic the content appears.

2. Turn The Negatives Into Opportunities

There’s no such thing as bad publicity and the family has been a proof of this. Every controversy that the family faces, they turn it as a leverage and wouldn’t let it be the downfall of their brand. What is even more interesting is that they are fully aware of and profiting from that fact they attract those that do not even like their family. They are the best example that a brand doesn’t to be loved by many to get the necessary exposure. 

Regardless of what their critics say, the Kardashian family has managed to stay relevant and keep their brand highly profitable in a volatile industry. 

Another good example is Elon Musk. He’s been bashed as SpaceX Rocket has released roughly 440 tons of jet fuel, which has a high carbon content, meaning it releases a lot of carbon dioxide into the air when burned. 

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

However, the negative comments thrown at him and his project doesn’t seem to damage sales of his car business – Tesla. In fact, Tesla delivered 499,550 vehicles in 2020 and delivered nearly 185,000 vehicles just in Q1 of 2021.

3. Connect With Followers

Kylie Jenner, one of the sisters, has over 224 million followers on Instagram and utilizes it by regularly engaging with her followers. She once created a Q&A session on her Instagram to give a glimpse into her world.

Brands should utilize social media to connect and reach out with the audience. Also, this is a way to humanize the brand and provide a consistent stream of content that will strengthen the friend-like dialog with the audience. In return, it will increase trust and loyalty, which your customers will appreciate and reciprocate.

4. Know The Audience

The family deeply understands their audience and created a diverse of products that will surely be patriotized by each audience group.

Khloe Kardashian, the 3rd sister, has reached out to the health conscious individuals through her weight loss journey. After the successful tv show – Revenge Body, she created a denim jeans line for curvy women. 

Understanding the audience – their needs, lifestyle, and interests, is key to appeal to them.

Just like Starbucks, they know that not all their customers are coffee drinkers that’s why they launched Teavana to cater to tea drinkers as well.

Have this changed how you think of The Kardashian Family? Are their marketing strategies effective?

4 Benefits of Conversational Marketing

The online buying and selling environment is becoming more demanding. Customers now expect a much more personalized and tailored buying experience whenever they want. As a seller, it’s our obligation to give fast, seamless purchase experience. Who wouldn’t want to cut the chase and get straight to the checkout page, right?

Conversational Marketing is the new proactive strategy where real-time conversations happen between sellers and customers. Hence, it is now considered as one of the fastest ways to move customers along the sales funnel. 

The live conversations could be through a chatbot, but preferably, a human sales or customer service representative to build a good rapport and create authentic experience for customers.

4 Key Benefits of Conversational Marketing

1. Creates a Customer-Centric Approach

Live chat and systemized chatbots makes the customers’ experience effortless by providing immediate answers to queries with real-time interactions. By ensuring customers are able to engage with the business in a manner that is convenient, it naturally follows that their overall experience will be better, because, in some cases, it is not just the products that leave a lasting impression.

Photo by Liza Summer on Pexels.com

2. Learn More About The Customers

Conversations can easily tell why a buyer came to the website, what are their biggest pain points, and which product features are most important to them. These chats and conversations are gold mine of customer information, and can help the business understand the audience better and start using their language in the messages.

Photo by Liza Summer on Pexels.com

3. Shortens The Sales Cycle

It is no surprise that customers who can’t decide, don’t buy.

Conversational Marketing help consumers jump off that barrier by diving into a conversation. Chatbots do not ask buyers to wait for a callback, instead, it directly connects them with the sales team to provide best assistance and hopefully, secure a conversion.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

4. Opens Opportunity For Upselling and Cross Selling

Sellers can hit two birds with one stone with Conversational Marketing. Aside from knowing the root of the customers’ need, sellers can identify other opportunities, thus, can offer complementary and better solutions.

What do you think of Conversational Marketing? Do you agree that online customers are getting more and more impatient and requires immediate attention when buying?

Simplified Guide to Facebook Ads Funnel

No doubt that a Facebook ad is one of the greatest ways to deliver promotional messages to the intended audience. However, the chances of a stranger buying a product or service the first time he/she sees an ad of a brand is quite slim. 

To effectively convert a stranger into a customer, the brand needs to create multiple touchpoints – a funnel, to move the stranger from one point to the next. How? This is where Facebook Ads Funnel comes into the picture.

What is Facebook Ads Funnel?

Facebook Ads Funnel is a sequence of ad campaigns designed to take the stranger along the buyer’s journey. Technically speaking, this method consists of multiple campaigns with multiple ads that include different value propositions delivered to the right audience at the right moment.

The Facebook Ads Funnel consists of four main stages:

  • Awareness – Top of the Funnel (TOFU)
  • Consideration – Middle of the Funnel (MOFU)
  • Conversion/Decision – Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU)
  • Post-Purchase Stage (Convert existing buyers into loyal customers and even brand advocates)

Facebook Ads Funnel target users at every stage of the buyer’s journey:

  1. Strangers (cold audience) – people that are not aware of brand/products/service
  2. Prospects (warm audience) – people that are aware of the brand/products/service and have shown some interest
  3. Leads (hot audience) – people that are highly interested that shared their contact info and want to learn more of the brand/products/service
  4. Customers – people that converted – bought, registered, etc.
  5. Loyal Promoters – people that loved the brand/products/service that they buy regularly and promote for free. 

How to Create Facebook Ads Funnel?

The funnel building process includes choosing the right Facebook campaign objective, audience, ad format, call to action, and copy that is relevant every stage.

Stage 1: TOFU – Turn Strangers into Prospects

Top of the Funnel (TOFU) or the Awareness Stage’s goal is to attract new audiences – cold audiences. These people are unfamiliar with the brand/products/service and aren’t interested yet. 

Ads such as free trial, demo, quote or consultation offers are too early at this stage. Instead, highlight how it can solve all the problems. Warm up the cold audiences and turn them into prospects by introducing the benefits of the product.

Stage 2: MOFU – Turn Prospects into Leads

At the Middle of the Funnel (MOFU) or Consideration Stage, the goal is to turn prospects into leads by collecting contact information for further nurturing. 

At this step, it is ideal to have ads that direct prospects to the Facebook page or website. This will expose them to the product and convince them to leave their contact info. Ad offers such as downloadable pdf, special offer, free sample are good.

Prospects are still far away from the buying decision, so be careful of being too pushy.

Stage 3: BOFU – Turn Leads into Customers

At the Bottom of the Facebook Ads Funnel or Conversion Stage, the goal is to turn leads into paying customers. Finally, it’s time to start selling!

Communicate the product’s value proposition to make them buy or sign up. 

Stage 4: Post-purchase – Turn Customers into Loyal Customers and Brand Advocates

Existing customers are the most profitable since they’re easy to re-acquire. Nurture them with post-purchase Facebook ads and turn them into repeat purchasers and promoters. 

Remember, people on Facebook and Instagram aren’t actively looking for products to buy. Instead, they’re socializing with friends, reading the news or watching funny cat videos, and mostly, they see ads as an interruption.

As an advertiser, it’s a crucial job to introduce a brand/product/service without disrespecting social media experience.

Reference:

https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2019/02/21/facebook-funnel

Podcast Ads vs Video Ads. Learn Why Podcast Ads Performed Better

According to Edison Research, 51% of U.S. population ages over 12 years old have listened to a podcast and 22% have listened in the past week. Surprisingly, 78% of listeners mentioned that they don’t mind branded sponsorships. The 2018 Podcast Revenue Report by IAB and PwC stated that marketers spent $479 million on podcasts advertisements in the U.S. and projected that revenue will top $1 Billion in 2021. 

The above mentioned reports confirm a solid and increasing growth of podcast advertising and are now being looked into on how it will boost brand awareness. 

But how about Video Advertising? Are advertisers going to shift now? Which of the two is better – the good old Video Advertising or the up-and-coming Podcast Advertising?

Podcast Advertising

Podcast Advertising is a relatively new ad format where brands promote on a podcast (an audio show usually downloaded or streamed over the internet). In most cases, the podcast host reads the audio ad pre-roll or mid-roll during their show. 

The audio ad contains information about the product/service and relates personal experiences the host had with the product. Also, the host mentions where listeners can order, coupon codes, and more. 

Podcast Advertising is giving some of the highest ROI in the digital advertising industry and is growing quickly as listeners are highly-engaged and trust the host they listen to. 

Due to the nature of the podcast listening experience, the ads, which are designed to blend with the content seamlessly, are more welcome and effective. The Podcast Consumer report, 54 percent of podcast listeners consider purchasing the products or services they heard about on a podcast – the data shows just how effective it is.

Photo by Charlotte May on Pexels.com

Video Advertising

Video Advertising is a promotional content that plays before, during or after a video. Majority of video ads are bought, sold and displayed programmatically using various targeting methods and may also include interactive elements.

Video Advertising is one of the most popular ways to reach online audiences. Experts believe video advertising will dominate the next decade, which suggests that now is an ideal time for marketing professionals to learn more about it and investigate how it could improve the reach and overall effectiveness with campaigns.

According to Cisco, video marketing is expected to make up about 82 percent of all consumer internet traffic by 2022. About 78 percent of people watch videos every week, and 55 percent watch every single day. Social video is shared 1,200 percent more than text and images combined, and 64 percent of consumers report buying something after watching a branded video from a company.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Podcast Ads Are More Effective

Based on the 2017 Neilsen Digital Media Lab report, 26 out of 46 podcast ads outperformed video pre-roll ads in driving lift in purchase intent for the brands advertised. Among these 26 podcasts, 85% included sponsorships that the host read. Host read ads included in the study were significantly more likely to be described as authentic and believable and 2x less likely to be perceived as forced. 

Nearly 70% of respondents exposed to podcast advertising agreed the podcast ad they experienced increased their awareness of new products/services and 62% correctly recalled the brand advertised within the podcast clip and indicated the ad made them consider new products/services. 

The data comparison between the two advertising strategies are still few. There more aspects that should be looked into – length of ad, placement of the ad, etc. before it can fully be identified that podcast ads win.

What do you think of the two ad formats? 

Shop Directly On YouTube Videos Soon

A designated YouTube team is currently testing an easier way to buy items while watching a Youtube video. This may include clickable products on the video and a shopping bag icon in the bottom left of the screen.

The goal is to convert YouTube’s bounty of videos into a vast catalog of items that viewers can browse, click on and buy directly. For now, only few US users who access YouTube through Android, iOS and web will see the shopping bag icon.

With this move, a lot of creators will be inspired to make more unboxing and review videos. 

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

A number of report are roaming around for quite some time that YouTube has been exploring a feature along these lines. After all, platforms are incorporating more shopping features, including Instagram and WhatsApp, so it’s not too surprising that Google is doing the same on YouTube.

Did You Know That The Oscar Selfie Is Planned?

The viral Oscar Selfie posted by the host Ellen DeGeneres with A-listers – Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, etc. was actually part of Samsung’s $20 Million advertising campaign to promote the Galaxy Note 3, the phone that took the photo.

Samsung Electronics Co. is one of the major sponsors of the 2014 Oscars.  The company sponsored the Green Room at the Oscars and according to Architectural Digest, the company created a massive video wall composed of 86 televisions, smartphones, and tablets. Also, AdAge said that it bought five minutes of airtime. However, the brand’s biggest exposure was when Ellen DeGeneres initiated a selfie using it. 

The stunt may have looked spontaneous but it wasn’t entirely unplanned. Days before the show, Ellen DeGeneres decided she wanted to take “selfies” during the show and ABC suggested she use a Samsung since it was a sponsor.

How & Why Facebook Ad Follows You

Do you ever feel like being followed online? Does Facebook access your microphone and listen to the products you wish to browse or buy? No and no – Facebook targets the ads you see based on your online behavior.

Let’s take an example.

John, 25yrs. old, is living in London. He is currently browsing websites for a pair of white sneakers using his mobile phone. When he’s at work, he usually checks his Facebook during free time. One day, he noticed that the ads he’s been getting were the exact items he’s been browsing. He thinks this is just coincidence. Could be. But in an advertisers point-of-view this strategy is called Retargeting.

How does this work? Below are possible scenarios.

1. The shoe store targets its ad based on certain criteria. 

Businesses can show Facebook ads to people within a certain radius, gender, age, etc. These data were provided by users during Facebook sign-up.

In this case, the store probably advertises to a certain age group, gender or residents of London where John perfectly fits that’s why he received the ad.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Pexels.com

2. The shoe store targets its ad by interest-based on on and off Facebook activity. 

Facebook knows what customers’ interests are based on what they like and posts on the platform. From there, it determines what ads it’ll show to users.

Here’s the good part, Facebook can also figure out what other sites a user browses with the help of Facebook Pixel. These are tiny pixels the advertisers and businesses embed on their websites. As long as the website has Facebook Pixel installed, Facebook can analyze how each user behaves. 

Let’s go back to John, he received the white sneakers ad because the store targets people who browsed on their website. 

Photo by Liza Summer on Pexels.com

3. The shoe store targets by email list. 

Businesses are allowed to upload their collection of emails on Facebook whom they want to receive their ads. Usually, businesses do this to retarget customers who have purchased or have intention to purchase because the user entrusted his/her email to them. 

The store has uploaded their email list and targeted website members for their ads. In this example, John may have signed-up on the store’s website or have purchased on the store where he registered his email.

Photo by Ivan Samkov on Pexels.com

4. The shoe store works with a third-party data provider.

Advertisers sometimes work with third-party marketing services. These providers get data from sources such as credit card companies, etc. 

The shoe store might have worked with a third-party provider where they got John’s email account.

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DON’T FREAK OUT! You are exposed to hundreds of ads per day and don’t notice it. You can always check why you’ve received an ad by clicking on the 3 dots on the top right corner. It won’t give specific details but at least you’ll get an idea.

Why Do Online Customers Abandon Shopping Carts? Learn the Strategies to Improve Conversions

Shopping cart abandonment is a huge problem for eCommerce. The average eCommerce store loses over 75% of its sales to cart abandonment. Some industries experience average cart abandonment as high as 83.6%.

What is ‘Shopping Cart Abandonment’?

Shopping Cart Abandonment is when a user adds items to cart and then leaves without purchasing. This happens to all businesses no matter what service or items they are selling.

Learn why customers abandon shopping carts. 

Reasons for Shopping Cart Abandonment

1. Additional Costs (shipping fee, taxes, etc.)

To build good customer relationship, be transparent. Include on the product page the possible additional fees such as shipping fee, tax, service fee, etc. Some customers add items on cart just to check the final cost then rethinks and leave when they see the high price.

A good strategy is to have a shipping calculator on the product page so customers can input the zip code and get the estimated final cost.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

2. No ‘Guest Checkout’ 

Never force sign-ups or account creation. Every additional step towards purchase gives a reason for customers to turn away.

For businesses who want to get contact info (email address, phone number, etc.), try collecting these information after the purchase is complete. Entice customers with a reward, perhaps a coupon, on the next purchase in exchange of these.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

3. Long Checkout Process/Form

A long, complicated checkout process is one of the leading reasons why customers leave. 

Try limiting the checkout process in 1-2 web pages only. Show payment process alongside with the added item. Also, an auto-fill form is a good idea for when customers go back to the cart and decides to checkout.

Photo by Liza Summer on Pexels.com

4. Limited Shipping Option

Before and after paying, most customers check on the estimated delivery date. They want to receive it as soon as possible and seeing long delivery time discourages them. This is why big eCommerce sites such as Amazon have offered ‘One-day Delivery’.

Propose delivery options based on urgency, customers’ budget, and preferred courier. Another option is to have store pick-up.

Photo by Norma Mortenson on Pexels.com

5. Website Issues

Slow-loading web pages and errors make customers leave. Usually, this happen after filling-up a long form and then the website crashes or doesn’t accept certain cards. Minor performance problems are less likely to scare customers off, but will still impact their experience and should be prevented.

To resolve this, do a monthly health check-up of the website to identify errors, weak points, and improve the performance of shopping cart for customers.

Photo by Polina Zimmerman on Pexels.com

6. Unclear Returns Policy

Everyone have had a mistake when purchasing online especially with the sizes. An unclear return policy will cause customers to leave and seek a better place to buy the product.

Promote a good return policy, and a simple customer service system to help facilitate this. Briefly discuss the return policy on the product page and link it to the detailed page.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

7. Too Much Pop-Ups (Upselling and Cross Selling)

Yes, upselling and cross-selling increases sales. However, for the customers’ shopping experience, it can be overwhelming that can distracts them from the original purchase.

Businesses should be cautious with the pop-ups. Set upsell and cross-sell pop-ups depending on customers’ shopping behavior.

Photo by PhotoMIX Company on Pexels.com

8. Limited Information (product description, reviews)

Nowadays, customers base their buying decision on reviews and browse though on product description. In some cases where they don’t see any review, it gives them doubt on pushing through with the conversion.

Make sure to write enough product information and initiate reviews to build trust.

Photo by Anna Nekrashevich on Pexels.com

9. Waiting for Sale

Let’s be honest, most customers add to cart and wait for the items to be on sale before purchasing. With this, businesses can offer coupons, vouchers, promotions to entice customers.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

10. Not Mobile-Friendly

Mobile is the no. 1 device where people browse eCommerce sites and bad mobile design fails to satisfy customers.

Mobile first – create a responsive design that is compatible with both mobile and desktop. Standardize shopping cart and checkout design across device types so users have a familiar experience buying across devices.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

The abovementioned are some strategies to help businesses encourage purchase of the abandoned items. What do you think are the top 3 most effective?

5 Advantages of TikTok Marketing for Brands

Most people have heard about TikTok and might be using it regularly for fun, but how can TikTok help in marketing a brand?

According to HubSpot, the one-year-old platform is leaking into brand territory. TikTok is entering the scene with promising potential – an unsaturated platform, providing a good space, competitor-free.

5 Advantages of TikTok Marketing for Brands

1. Growing Audience

TikTok boasts over 800 million monthly active users – up 300 million from January 2019

The platform’s main demographic of users are teenagers and young adults; 32.5% of TikTok users in the US are aged between 10 and 19 years old, and 29.5% are between 20 to 29 years. Though there is no available data yet for Filipino users, one thing is sure, the local app users are vastly growing as TikTok app landed on top spot as 2020’s most downloaded application under entertainment category in the country.

Its huge community just shows how it is easier than other channels to create video content that goes viral.

Is it just a fad? 800 Million of its users don’t think so. Remember, Instagram started with teens and young adults, and now, millions of businesses are on it.

2. Users are Ready to Engage

TikTok users are ready to have fun. They are much willing to interact – do challenges or “duet” with brands who create engaging contents.

Since users spend 52 minutes on the app each day, this can be a good marketing strategy for brands to take advantage of.

Using hashtags is an excellent way for users to see how many have joined in the trend.

Chipotle was one of the first brands to take off on TikTok, so it makes sense they dove into branded hashtag challenges without any hesitation.

The brand created the #GuacDance challenge where they asked their followers to create a dance to get free Guacamole when they order online on July 31 – National Avocado Day.

3. Promotes Authenticity

Since filming a TikTok video doesn’t require high-quality, professionally filmed and edited videos, people see it as more authentic.

People don’t like advertisements and skips whenever. For brands, try doing raw, unpolished content that makes it more relatable between consumers and brand.

NFL is one of the brands that show authenticity on their page. Their content ranges from heartfelt player stories, to incredible plays, to fan/player engagement, to mic’ed up sideline commentary.

4. Access to Local Creators

TikTok has many micro influencers – 10,000 followers and up, that are usually popular within their own city. These influencers can play a huge part of a local marketing campaign.

It’s easier to collaborate this way and brands can be sure that they target the right people. Currently, TikTok influencers are charging considerably less for access to larger followings than influencers on other platforms like Instagram.

Taste of Home

Dunkin’ Donut U.S. tapped TikTok’s most followed creator, dancing sensation – Charli D’Amelio. The brand named a drink “The Charli” where the influencer takes a video of herself drinking it and uploads on her TikTok account.

5. Unsaturated Platform

Facebook, Instagram, YouTube are full of brands trying to connect with their customers, where do you think is still unsaturated? TikTok.

Small Business Trends

Last year, TikTok officially launched its new advertising platform, called TikTok For Business. A few brands are currently using it and you have less competition. You can get a higher user engagement this way. It’s easier to cement your place here before all the others realize its potential and come flocking. It gives you the opportunity to get more reach and engagement on your ads.

TikTok made possible for brands to gain and connect with followers in a fun and engaging way.

It still has a way to go before it becomes a key channel but it’s sure that it is worth considering for 2021 campaigns.

What Are The Top 7 Digital Marketing Trends of 2021?

2020 has been an awakening year for everyone. With the current COVID-19 pandemic and other social issues, indeed, businesses changed drastically how they run.

Below are the 7 Digital Marketing Trends to expect in 2021.

1. Inclusivity

As the world continues to be aware of social issues – race, sexuality, religion, etc., more and more consumers, especially younger audiences and marginalized groups, are now looking for brands that fit in their values. This includes the brand’s content – images, videos and even discussions on social media pages.

A study by Accenture revealed that 41% of shoppers shift away from brands which don’t reflect their views on identity and diversity while 29% are willing to switch brands completely if they don’t show enough support on social issues.

Brands that are seen to be impassive will likely see impacts in 2021. In contrast, those brands which openly support equality will most likely develop deeper connections with consumers.

2. Featured Snippets & Zero-Click Searches

Zero-click searches refer to search results that appear at the top of the first search engine results page (SERP). These answer questions that allow users to see relevant information without making any further clicks.

Google introduced this experiment in March 2020, with the aim to eliminate multiple results that searchers don’t really need and to satisfy the user intent.

According to SparkToro, 50.33% of all searches are zero-click searches. It means that now more than half of all Google’s searches result in no click.

Google decides which keywords and content to select to show on position zero.

For businesses that produce content and SEO, this can mean losing meaningful website traffic, leads and conversions since they reduce the number of clicks. This creates a new challenge for businesses to upgrade their content game for featured snippets.

3. Sustainability

From the 2018 report of Neilsen, 81% of consumers strongly feel that companies should help improve the environment.

Younger consumers are now leaning towards sustainable and eco-friendly brands. This goes well-beyond the market for green products – every brand can benefit by broadcasting their sustainable practices.

Levi’s launched their innovative Water<Less® collection where the goal is to reduce up to 96% of the water normally used in denim finishing, the final stage in making a pair of jeans.

Online platforms, especially in this time of pandemic, are the best way for brands to communicate their sustainability share.

4. Visual and Voice Search

Due to the evolving technology, more households are now using voice-activated tools such as Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri. These tools aren’t just for turning on and off the lights, but now act as assistants to do basic input of text search using voice.

On the other hand, Google Lens allows people to take a photo of the item they intend to buy and get search results that lead directly to product pages.

5. Interactive Content

The benefits of interactive content are quite clear – to encourage customers to engage and get valuable insights based on their preference. These collected data will guide the brand on its content marketing efforts and eventually win loyal brand advocates.

This effort of interactive content is part of the greater trend towards personalization. It will make consumers feel heard and creates a more personal connection to the brand. Don’t forget it can also be used to collect data on user preferences, such as for product or site improvements.

6. Customer Segmentation

Segmentation involves dividing the whole market into clearly identifiable groups that allows brands to learn more about their consumers. It is split based on meeting certain criteria or characteristics (shared common behaviors, interests, needs, wants and demands) that lead to having the same product needs.

As seen above, the two aviation ads identify its ads placement through segmentation. It placed its ticket sale ads on social media as more of its consumers use the platform. On the other hand, Business Class promotions are sent to its frequent flyers through email. This strategy works best for personalization and customer engagement, as your followers receive content hand-picked.

7. Local SEO

Brands should ensure that local listings are verified and up-to-date on various search platforms. In a way, local SEO is more powerful than broad SEO – people who search for a pet grooming shop within their geographic location have more intent to purchase that leads to easy conversion.

Register through Google My Business, incorporate local keywords prominently as SEO strategy. Obviously, prioritize the name city or town as a top keyword followed by related keywords. Tip: make sure to include famous landmarks for better results.

What’s Next?

Plan your 2021 Digital Marketing Strategy! While these digital marketing trends don’t represent a complete list, hopefully, this can serve as a guide to increase site traffic, generate more leads, and grow sales, all while retaining hard-earned customer-base.

Impulsive Buying Behavior of Millennials on Online Shopping

NBMC4th National Business and Management Conference
Ateneo de Davao University
July 22-23, 2016

IMPULSIVE BUYING BEHAVIOR OF MILLENNIALS ON ONLINE SHOPPING
Jose Luis Legaspi, Ireene Leoncio Oliver Galgana, Clare Hormachuelos
De La Salle University – Manila
Jose.Luis.Legaspi@dlsu.edu.ph, Ireene.Leoncio@dlsu.edu.ph

 

Abstract

This study presents findings on consumer behavior among millennials in the Philippines
regarding online impulse purchase behaviors. The rapid growth in information technology has evidently influenced the landscape of consumer behavior in the Philippines despite infrastructure constraints. Filipino consumers’ buying patterns had diversified through an increased accessibility to products and services with online options. The research presented Filipino Millennials as online impulse buyers in four scales: Consumer Impulsiveness Scale, Optimum Stimulation Level Scale, Self-monitoring Scale, and Level of Impulsiveness in Purchase Decision Scale in the local setting. Participants were millennials aged 19 to 35 years old; student, employed or unemployed; single or married. These Millennials are social media users (i.e Instagram, Facebook); they subscribe and receive promotional emails from different brands and individuals. They have tried buying online using credit card, debit card or cash-on-delivery basis.
The result showed that Filipino Millennials are not impulsive buyers when it comes to shopping online. There are key barriers identified to encourage more incidence of online impulse purchase such as perception on security vulnerabilities and the abundance of options through other traditional retail channels.

Key Words

Online shopping; Millennials; Online retailing

 

Introduction

The increasing amount of spending in today’s society has created a new lifestyle that has
been integrated and accepted among consumers. Owning items has become an expression of selfidentity for a lot of consumers which has helped to increase shopping as a lifestyle (Dittamar, Beattie &Friese, 1996). A change in society is also shown in the decreasing amount of free time outside of work. Consumers spend less time planning before shopping but with the attitude of a lifestyle shopper and an increased income by which consumers are encouraged to buy more, impulse buying increases (Williams et al, 1972).

According to Beatty & Ferrell (1998), impulse buying is defined as the sudden and
immediate purchase with no pre-shopping intentions either to buy the specific product category or to fulfill a specific buying task, and with little or no deliberation or consideration of available alternatives. Impulse buying has become a more regular occurrence in today’s society because of how shopping is more blended with regular life (Dittamar et al. 1996).

Over the years, Internet has become an integral part in the daily lives of people both in the workplace and at home. The rapid growth in information technology has evidently influenced the landscape of consumer behavior. The online retailing that is available 24/7 has brought about an increase in impulse buying. Impulse buying is now considered as s phenomenon.

With the Internet, consumers’ buying opportunities have expanded through an increased accessibility to products and services and the increased ease to make purchases. Moreover, this new mode of shopping promotes convenience than traditional in-store buying (Eroglu, Machleit, Davis, 2001). Its potential to compete with traditional retailing is hard to ignore.

With online retail sales steadily increasing, and projected to continue doing so, companies are trying to capitalize on the convenience of online shopping by incorporating strategies to encourage impulse purchases. With the continual evolution of technology and increased experience in online marketing, websites have become very innovative in encouraging impulse buying.

According to Crafts (2012), technology does not create impulse buyers; rather, it gives
impulsive consumers more resources to shop and the easier access to complete transactions in a short amount of time, making purchases truly a reaction to an impulse.

However, online impulse purchase behaviors have been seldom investigated here in the
Philippines. This topic has interested foreign researchers as well as retailers but only a few local studies have tapped on this. Therefore, this study will greatly enrich our knowledge of this essential element on consumer behavior among millennials.

Conceptual Framework

This research introduces a conceptual framework by researchers Sharma, Sivakumaran& Marshall in their first study about “Impulse buying and variety seeking: A trait-correlates perspective” last 2010 which was updated during their second study last 2014 “Exploring impulse buying in services: toward an integrative framework“. The framework consists of several individual and situational variables influencing impulse buying and variety seeking to have deeper understanding of these behaviors by the help of these three relevant consumer traits: Consumer Impulsiveness (CI), Self-monitoring (SM) and Optimum Stimulation Level (OSL).

Statement of the Problem

The research seeks to know and understand if Filipino Millennials are online impulse
buyers and if the four scales: Consumer Impulsiveness Scale (CIS), Optimum Stimulation Level Scale (OSLS), Self-monitoring Scale (SMS), and Level of Impulsiveness in Purchase Decision Scale (IBS) are reliable in the local setting.

Hypothesis

1. CI has a negative effect on the level of impulsiveness in purchase decision.
2. OSL has a negative effect on the level of impulsiveness in purchase decision.
3. SM has a positive effect on the level of impulsiveness in purchase decision.

Assumption of the Study

One of the largest generations in history is about to move into its prime spending years.
Millenials are poised to reshape the economy; their unique experiences will change the ways we buy and sell, forcing companies to examine how they do business for decades to come.

This study is conducted based on the following assumptions:

1) That the Filipino Millennials are online impulse buyers.
2) That the respondents can understand the questions.
3) That the scales are reliable in the local setting.

Scope and Limitation of the Study

Demographics:
Participants were millennials aged 19 to 35 years old; student, employed or unemployed;
single or married.

Psychographics:
These Millennials are social media users (i.e Instagram, Facebook). Subscribes and
receives promotional emails from different brands, and individuals who have tried buying online using credit card, debit card or cash-on-delivery basis.

Sample of Target Respondents:Scale
Definition of Terms

  • Consumer impulsiveness – a relatively stable consumer trait associated with impulsive behaviors such as impulse buying, smoking, overeating, drinking, and overspending (Sharma et al., 2011).
  • Impulse buying – spur of the moment, unplanned decision to buy, made just before a purchase.
  • Millennial – people who are born between 1981 to 1997.
  • Online shopping – the act of purchasing products or services over the Internet.
  • Optimum stimulation level – a property that characterizes individuals in terms of their general response to environmental stimuli (Raju, 1980).
  • Self-monitoring – the tendency to modify or adapt one’s behavior in response to others’ presence or behavior (Snyder, 1987).

    Review of Related Literature

Consumer Traits
Consumer Impulsiveness
Impulsivity is often defined as an irresistible urge that coincides with a lack of concern for objective reasoning (Bellman, 2012). It is a fundamental part of human nature.

According to Rook, Impulsive buying behavior, which means a consumer experiences a
sudden, often powerful, and persistent urge to buy something immediately, is the main focus of research on consumer behavior and marketing activities, In the succeeding paragraph Li and Jing (2014), have said that Scholars first paid attention to consumer impulse buying 60 years ago when they focused on the definition of impulsive buying behavior (Li, 2015).

According to Inman & Winer (1998), 59% of purchases are influenced by impulse buying.
This increasing unplanned chase sale is a significant topic to look into by marketing researchers and retailers. Additionally, extreme impulse buying, sometimes referred to as compulsive buying, can result in severe financial consequences for some individuals. However, extreme impulsive buying can cause extreme consequences that can be seen throughout the media.(Bellman, 2012).

Since the 1990s, researchers have begun to study the factors influencing consumer impulse buying and classified them into the following three categories: external environmental stimulation, personality traits, and situational factors (e.g., time pressure) (Dholakia, 2000).

In Lehtonen & Maenpaa 1997, shopping is a satisfying activity. It does not necessarily
purchasing at all but when consumers encounter something interesting they act impulsively. This contrasts from the usual view that shopping is an essential, a rational, task-oriented activity which is directed towards satisfying a functional need – making planned purchases. To date, shopping related activities are considered as leisure and purchasing which is not necessarily the main focus (e.g. Lehtonen&Mäenpää, 1997; Mäenpää, 2005, 209 231). As a result, the more time the consumers are exposed in shopping environments, the more likely they make more impulsive purchases (Mesiranta, 2009).

It has even been argued that discretionary unplanned buying, a form of impulsive buying behavior, has become part of the core meaning of consumer society today (Wood, 2005). If people goes to stores to get only what they need, there will a great deflation in the economy (Paco Underhill, 1999). Impulsive purchasing is, indeed, also an important source of revenue for retailing. As retailers in traditional brick-and-mortar stores have realized the importance of the phenomenon, they have developed strategies to encourage their customers to make more impulsive purchases, for example through in-store promotions, store packaging, and store layouts (Dholakia, 2000).

As mentioned in Kacen & Lee (2002), previous research conducted in the United States
and Great Britain (individualist cultures) has shown that many factors influence impulsive buying behavior: the consumer’s mood or emotional state (Donovan, Rossiter, Marcoolyn, & Nesdale, 1994; Rook, 1987; Rook & Gardner, 1993: Wein- berg &Gottwald, 1982), trait buying impulsiveness (Puri, 1996; Rook & Fisher, 1995; Weun, Jones, & Beatty, 1998), normative evaluation of the appropriateness of engaging in impulse buying (Rook & Fisher, 1995), selfidentity (Dittmar et al., 1995), and demographic factors, such as age (e.g., Bellenger, Robertson, & Hirschman, 1978; Wood, 1998).

Optimum Stimulation Level
According to researchers Hebb & Leuba in (1955), the concept of Optimum Stimulation
Level was introduced simultaneously in psychology literature. They argued in their studies that every organism whether animal or human being prefers certain stimulation which is known as its Optimum Stimulation level. While for McReynolds in 1971 individual behaviour is influenced by the intrinsically motivated desire to accomplish a specific level of stimulation, termed the ‘optimum stimulation level.’ OSL is a personality trait referring to the amount of stimulation individuals prefer in life (Sapra & Mor, 2012)

Optimum stimulation level is a property that characterizes individuals in terms of their
general response to environmental stimuli (Raju 1980). Specifically, all human beings prefer an optimum level of stimulation, so as to try to increase stimulation when the environmental stimulation is below the optimum level and reduce it when it is above the optimum level. Hence, compared to individuals with low OSL, those with higher OSL are chronically lower in their arousal level, and this makes them indulge in sensation-seeking activities to achieve their desired (optimum) stimulation level (Steenkamp and Baumgartner 1992). Prior research associates OSL with risk taking and exploratory behaviors (Baumgartner and Steenkamp 1996), brand switching (Van Trijp et al. 1996), new product adoption (Mittelstaedt et al. 1976), and even impulse buying behavior (Sharma et al. 2010b), which are all inherently risky behaviors because of the uncertainty surrounding a new product or brand or an unplanned purchase. However, consumers with high OSL levels do not mind taking this risk; rather, they feed on this risk and hence may be more likely to indulge in such behaviors.

Self-Monitoring
Self-monitoring can be defined as a fundamental behavioural self-control skill related to
monitoring positively valued behaviours that one is encouraged to increase, and negatively valued behaviours that one is encouraged to decrease (Piwek, Joinson, & Morvan, 2015).

Self-monitoring is defined as the tendency to modify or adapt one’s behavior in response
to others’ presence or behavior (Snyder 1987). High self-monitors are willing to adapt their behavior to enact clearly defined roles appropriate to different situations; low self-monitors are less willing to put on a show to please those around them, preferring instead to be true to their own attitudes and values across different situations (Snyder 1987). These different orientations lead low and high self-monitors to exhibit different behaviors. For example, high self-monitors seek more variety in public (vs. private), in order to depict themselves as interesting and creative people (Ratner & Kahn 2002). High self-monitors also have a greater desire to appear rational when they
feel that their decisions may come under scrutiny by others because they consider themselves as more accountable for their decisions under such circumstances (Lerner &Tetlock 1999). High selfmonitors may also exercise greater control on their impulsive urges and indulge in less impulse buying, compared to low self-monitors (Luo 2005; Sharma et al. 2010b).

Impulsive Behavior
According to Aruna&Santhi (2015) impulse buying is relatively extraordinary and
exciting, emotional rather than rational, and likes to be perceived as bad rather than good. It might also be assumed that no pre-purchase stages would be relevant with this (Bayley&Nancarrow, 1998) and impulse buying is an irrational process in which the urge to gratify an impulse triumphs over the rational parts of the mind (Rook, 1987).

Impulse purchase or an unplanned decision to buy a product or service made just before a purchase or on the spot purchase is triggered by stimulus. Marketers and retailers tend to exploit these impulses which are tied to the basic want for instant gratification (Aruna&Santhi, 2015).

Based on the research of Li (2015) Scholars first paid attention to consumer impulse buying 60 years ago when they focused on the definition of impulsive buying behavior (Li & Jing, 2014). Since the 1990s, researchers have begun to study the factors influencing consumer impulse buying and classified them into the following three categories: external environmental stimulation, personality traits, and situational factors (e.g., time pressure; Dholakia, 2000).

Online Shopping
Local
As reported by Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Pedroso (July 2015), MasterCard’s study found
that Filipinos turn to the Internet to purchase the following: Airline tickets (38.4 percent), home appliances and electronic products (35.1 percent), clothing and accessories (31 percent), hotels (29.9 percent) and computer software (29.4 percent).

Meanwhile, sites of apps stores (50.1 percent), music downloads (42.6 percent) and home
appliances/electronic products (38.2 percent) draw the most web traffic, the study also showed. Why do Filipinos go online to shop? Ease and convenience are the most cited reasons. “Most of the Filipino respondents are satisfied with online shopping, describing it as easy (73.3 percent), convenient (71.9 percent), or fun (64.4 percent), and expressing greater likelihood to purchase in the next six months (79.2 percent).

The study also found more Filipinos using their mobile phones to purchase items— from
21.4 percent in 2012 to 34 percent in 2014, with 94.2 percent of participants able to access the Internet via smart phones, MasterCard noted, adding that those who purchased via mobile phones did so because they were able to do it “on the go.”(Mastercard, 2014)

Also in accordance with the study of Euromonitor (2016) During 2015, m-commerce
gained a strong following because of the increasing usage and dependency of Filipinos on their smartphones. Popular online shopping conglomerates such as Zalora and Lazada launched their respective mobile applications earlier in the review period and are now being highly used by their customers when they browse their catalogues and purchase products. Aside from money transfer service payment options that internet retailers accept via Globe G-Cash and Smart Money, Smart e-Money Inc partnered with Citi Philippines and Visa to offer Charge2Phone. This service is said to be the first sticker-based contactless payment product in the country, which allows mobile
phones to be transformed into a credit card or wallet. This innovation is expected to further encourage cashless purchase via the internet.

Significant growth of internet retailing in the Philippines was credited to retailers’
continued efforts to develop their businesses by way of providing more product options to their customers, widening their reach to serve other areas apart from Metro Manila and carrying out recurrent promotions such as giving away discounts or markdowns.

Since Filipinos now live more hectic and fast-paced lifestyles, they look for ways to make
things easier and more convenient in order to save time and effort. As a result, some just do their shopping online instead of personally going to store-based outlets to avoid heavy traffic and overly populated shopping centers. Their exposure to various retail channels also made them smart buyers as it gave them the capacity to differentiate between channels and identify those that can give them the best deals, which internet retailers do.

Internet retailing will continue to experience strong growth over the forecast period as more Filipinos are expected to be drawn to the channel due to the convenience, wide selection of products and attractive promotions that retailers will continue to provide.Over the forecast period, internet retailers are also expected to further expand their reach and focus on catering to the needs of other key cities in the country outside of Metro Manila, as the potential seems promising due to the limited shopping centres and retail channels available in the provinces. (“Internet Retailing”, 2016)

Foreign
Customers’ increasing interest in Internet shopping has led companies to open web-based outlets. Customers can visit and purchase from a 188 International Journal of Electronic Commerce Studies web-based store at a time of their choosing. Customers find the ability to purchase products at any time and from any place particularly appealing aspects of web-based stores (Chen & Hung, 2015)

Shopping online is generally defined as the idea of buying and selling of products over the internet. The sellers’ viewpoint is to convince and catch the attention of the prospective consumers’ to purchase products, and make sure that he / she is satisfied. The buyers’ outlook towards online shopping is the extent to which he / she can access, browse, purchase, transact and repeat the same behaviour. In this digital age consumers are driven by the technology. They are searching for the product on the internet and eventually buying it (Raman, 2014).

Based on the study of Euromonitor, Internet retailing has become one of the most popular ways for consumers to shop in the US. Hence, in 2015, the channel recorded current value growth of 13%. Over the review period most store-based retailers had to add online platforms so as to be able to better compete. As a result, strong store-based players now also command important positions in this channel. Another factor which has favoured internet retailing is the influence of millennial consumers. These consumers are accustomed to using the internet and like shopping online. Moreover, internet retailers continue to drive sales by offering discounts which can only
be used with consumers’ mobile phone applications or via codes which can be used online. Therefore, continuous growth of this channel is a result of a very wide choice of products, an increasing consumer base and retailers’ own efforts. (“Internet Retailing”, 2016).

The Millennials
At 77 million, the millennial generation is one-and-one-half times as large as Generation
X and almost equal in size to the baby boomer generation. Hailed as digital natives, millennials are also described as creative, solution-focused, socially conscious, and team-oriented. (DeVaney, 2015).

From the study of our own DLSU Alumna Pineda &Swedish Researcher Bernhardsson,
The millennials are born after 1985, the millennials have great degree of exposure to media starting at age 0. Most of them grew up with exposure to different forms of traditional and technology enhanced media. At age 8, most of them would have possessed a mobile phone, a music player or tronic game pad. (Deterle, Dede and Schrier, 2008) Many of them grew up with constant access to computers and eventually the web, have constantly visited Wikipedia for their daily homeworks. Millennial learners possess a self-service learning skill, the habitual ability to get fast, relevant and immediate knowledge and information, views technology engagement as second nature together with learning (Pineda, 2009). Millennial learners and technology are coupled together (Pineda &Bernhardsson, 2011).

Correlation of Impulsive Behavioral Studies and Online Shopping
Local
The Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand 2013 Survey showed that only 17 percent of the 1,000
Filipino respondents have significantly changed their shopping habits despite the rising number of online stores in the last two years. “Filipinos might be among the most active netizens on social media, but when it comes to shopping it seems tradition remains a hard habit to break,” it said (Desiderio, 2013).

“The love for shopping is alive among Filipinos. They find joy in going up and down the
aisles to check out grocery items. Retailers can further intensify the in-store shopping experience by offering a pleasant store environment,” said Lou-Ann Navalta, Nielsen’s Shopper Insights leader in the Philippines. Despite the rise of online shopping, Filipinos still prefer making a purchase in a store and seeing, if not touching the goods for themselves.

According to Nielsen’s Shopper Trends Report, at least 9 out of 10 Filipinos enjoy doing
their grocery shopping in-store, with 8 out of 10 wanting to take their time and go through the aisles. (InterAksyon.com)

Foreign
As said by Raman (2014) online retail market in India has been emerging at an
extraordinary rate. With the growing internet diffusion and broadband availability, and increasing usage of Smart phones and tablets, Indian population have started buying products online. According to a report by Gartner more than 30% of the traffic on online shopping portals is coming from smart phones and tablets. E-commerce industry has picked up pace and has been striding leaps and bounds over the past few years. This scenario is estimated to carry on as the market is expected to reach $14.5 billion by 2018. Forrester Research projections for Asia-Pacific also portray the rapid growth of e-commerce market in India. The prediction depicts e-commerce’s growth in India, where sales are expected to grow by 57% yearly till 2016. It will reach $8.8 billion by 2016. This demand is backed by increase in consumers’ online buying behavior and growing penetration of technology.

According to Nguyen & Nham (2014), online customer loyalty has been the dominating
behavioral issue in researches of customer service. The reason is that customer loyalty nowadays is critical to many aspects of the society, including the e-commerce field. The central thrust of the marketing activities of a firm is often considered to be development, maintenance, or enhancement of customers’ loyalty towards its products/services.

Theories
Explanation
Traditional theories on consumer purchase decisions purport that consumers possess
sufficient information to select and implement the best option. However, such a concept is limited in consideration of actual conditions. Prior to 1982, the definitions of impulse buying focused on the product rather than the consumer as the motivator of impulse purchases (Chen &Zhang, 2015). In the succeeding paragraph Chen & Zhang said that a definite concept of impulse buying remains lacking because it involves complex mental processes and emotional states. However, relevant studies imply that impulse buying involves two principles. First, it lacks a clear, detailed purchase
target, so it is an unplanned action. Second, it is a complex emotional reaction to an external stimulus. Therefore, online impulse buying is defined as an action without consideration or purchase intention and is a result of a mental reaction to an external stimulus from the online environment.

Loopholes and Criticisms
The study made by Sharma, Sivakumaran& Marshall develops a conceptual framework
with several individual and situational variables but focuses on three relevant consumer traits for parsimony and greater control in the empirical study with the retail shoppers only. We tested it for Online Shopping and in the local scene to test its significance and if it will work here in the Philippines. Future research may include different variables that could contribute to the variation of results.

Based on the study made by Sharma, Sivakumaran& Marshall (2010), recent research
shows significant cross-cultural differences in consumer impatience (Chen Haipeng et al., 2005), assumptions about choice and uniqueness (Kim and Drolet, 2003), and level of impulsiveness (Kacen and Lee, 2002). Hence, future research on impulse buying and variety seeking behaviors may benefit by including cultural orientation as an important variable.

Methodology

This study tested the reliability and correlation of five scales which aims to determine
whether the variables consumer impulsiveness, self-monitoring, and optimum stimulation level predicts level of impulsiveness in purchase decision. Millennials were chosen to answer five scales: Consumer Impulsiveness Scale (CIS), Optimum Stimulation Level Scale (OSLS), Selfmonitoring Scale (SMS), and Level of Impulsiveness in Purchase Decision Scale (IBS).

Research Design
The study followed the quantitative research design of the existing study. This design is in numerical form so that statistical calculations can be made and conclusions can be drawn. In addition, this will allow the study answer the possible relationships between the variables being tested.

The participants were Millennials, aged 19 to 35 years old. A total of 200 participants
composed of 96 women and 104 men participated in the survey. They were mixed of De La Salle University and Miriam College students and members of the workforce.

They answered a structured questionnaire which consists of close-ended questions. Each
question is systematically constructed in the same words through all the respondents. The surveys are made in paper-and-pencil and online forms for convenience.

Pre-test
The pretest was necessary to find out if the scales were understandable. The participants
for the pre-test were qualified based the inclusion criteria of the study.

We conducted a pretest among 20 participants. Most questionnaires were distributed
among De La Salle University students and a few to working participants. They completed the Consumer Impulsiveness Scale (CIS), Optimum Stimulation Level
Scale (OSLS), Self-monitoring Scale (SMS), and Level of Impulsiveness in Purchase Decision Scale (IBS).

We asked the participants to feel free to approach the researchers for clarifications if they have difficulty understanding the questions. After answering, we asked them on what questions they think should be simplified. This is to help us revise the questionnaire for the actual test.

Actual Procedure
The researchers distributed paper-and-pencil forms in schools and offices. On the other
hand, we sent the link online to qualified respondents.

We ensured that the instructions were clear. The scales were revised for better
understanding and to guarantee that no questions will be left unfilled.

The participants completed the Consumer Impulsiveness Scale (CIS), Optimum
Stimulation Level Scale (OSLS), Self-monitoring Scale (SMS), and Level of Impulsiveness in Purchase Decision Scale (IBS).

The trait survey included a six-item reduced scale adapted from Sharma et al. (2011) for
CIS, a four-item reduced scale adapted from Steenkamp and Baumgartner (1995) for OSLS, and a five-item scale adapted from Lennox and Wolfe (1984) for SMS; all with seven-point Likert scales (1=strongly disagree and 7=strongly agree). IBS is with a five-item scale adapted from Rook and Fisher (1995) (as shown in Appendix B).

In addition, we asked for the top three situations when do they impulse buy the most and
top three motivator of their impulse buying. We also requested them to mention one online store they transacted with (as shown in Appendix B).

Finally, demographics (age, gender, education, occupation, monthly, and household
income) were recorded (see Appendix A).

Sampling Method
A non-probability sampling procedure, namely, convenience sampling method was used
for selecting the sample respondents comprised of the individuals aged between 19 years and 35 years.

Statistical Treatment of Data
The study’s respondents are the millennial people aged 19-35 years old, who are online
shoppers or have tried using the internet to shop. The respondents numbered to two hundred (200). The table below summarizes the gender of the respondents. The table shows that majority of the respondents are male.

Table 2Table 2 and 3 summarizes that most of the respondents (139) are employed while 69 out
of the 200 respondents are earning P20,000 – P30,000.

Results

The purpose of this study was to identify if Filipino Millennials are online impulse buyers, to know the reliability of the scales and to understand and analyze the impulse purchase behavior.

The study’s respondents are the millennial people aged 19-35 years old, who are online
shoppers or have tried using the internet to shop. The respondents numbered to two hundred (200). The table below summarizes the gender of the respondents. The table shows that majority of the respondents are male.

Table 4.Summary of Respondent’s preferred time in doing impulse purchase

Table 4The table presented the top threetimes by the Filipino Millennial when doing impulsive
purchase decision. 48% says that they do it when they are by themselves, while 45% when they are hungry and 41% when they have time to spare.
Table 5.Summary of what motivates the respondents in doing impulse purchase

Table 5The table presents the top three reason what motivates the Filipino Millennialsin doing
impulsive purchases decision. 38.5% said it is just their desire that motivates them in purchasing online, while 37% said when the items are in bargain mode and 35.5% because the goods are trendy.

Table 6. Top 3 Online Store by the Respondents

Table 6Table 6 shows the top three online store chosen by Filipino Millennials. 23% said Instagram (a social networking application, using pictures) while Lazada (online goods store) and Zalora(online clothes store) have 14%.

Table 7.Cross tabulation in thinking about choosing the online store

Table 7 Table 7 cross tabulation strongly shows that the respondents thought about where to online shop before making a purchase while others are neutral about thinking the online store they want.

Table 8.Summary of considering the consequences in choosing an online store

Table 8 Table 8 shows that most of the respondents thought about what could be the consequences in buying in an online store or thru the internet. Concludes that most of the millennial respondents are thinking and reviewing the online store before purchasing.

Table 9.Summary of how tempting it is to shop online

Table 9 Table 9 shows that Female respondents shows that 43 of them agreed it is tempting to shop online while there are 37 respondents for male agreed about temptation in shopping online.

Table 10.Summary of Likelihood to do Impulse Buying

Table 10 Table 10 summarizes that millennial respondents are neutral about doing an impulse purchase online. Question 10 with the average of 4.62% says they are neutral on feeling tempted about buying goods online.

Table 11.Summary of being an Impulsive Consumer

Table 11 Table 11 presents that the respondents are not impulsive consumers, getting a neutral average of 4.61% as total while Question #17 clearly states that they sometimes plan in advance before making a purchase.

Table 12.Summary of Respondent’s Optimum Stimulation Level.

Table 12.JPG Table 12 shows that millennial’s behavior are seeking new experience, likes to try different things and continually changing their common activities with an average of 5.035.

Table 13.Summary of Respondent’s Self-Monitoring.

Table 12 Table 13 shows that the respondents are consistent in a neutral manner towards changing their behavior if the situation calls in for a changing of behavior.

Table 14.Summary of Respondent’s Level of Impulse Buying

Table 14 Table 14 concludes that the respondents are not showing impulsive behavior towards buying goods online with an average of 3.501.

Table 15. Correlation of Consumer Impulsiveness to Level of Impulse Buying
Consumer Impulsiveness Ave. Level of Impulse Buying Ave.

Table 15 Table 15 shows the correlation between consumer impulsiveness and level of impulse
buying is weak with an average of 0.37.

Table 16. Correlation of Optimum Stimulation Level to Level of Impulse Buying Optimum Stimulation Level Ave. Level of Impulse Buying Ave.

Table 16 Table 16 shows that the optimum stimulation level of the respondents has a weak
correlation with the level of their impulse buying with an average of 0.33.

Table 17. Correlation of Self-Monitoring to Level of Impulse Buying

Table 17 Table 17 shows a weak correlation between the respondents self-monitoring behavior and their level of impulse buying.

Summary, Conclusions, and Recommendations

This study aims to find out the reliability of the existing scales and the correlation of the three variables – consumer impulsiveness, self-monitoring, and optimum stimulation level to level of impulse among Millennials. Convenient sampling was used to gather 200 participants, aged 19-35 years, from private offices and schools. The participants were asked to answer three standardized scales: Consumer Impulsiveness Scale, Self-Monitoring Scale, Optimum Stimulation Level Scale and Level of Impulse Buying Scale.

Correlation results revealed that the three variables – consumer impulsiveness, selfmonitoring, and optimum stimulation level to level of impulse has weak correlation to level of impulse buying.

Consumer impulsiveness is a weak predictor of level of impulse buying. Consumer
impulsive buying behavior is a relatively complex concept and other factors aside from mood, such as budget and price, should be considered (Kwak,Zinkhan, DeLorme, & Larsen, 2006). Therefore, future researchers could utilize field investigations combined with the real impulse buying decision-making process to obtain a more comprehensive research conclusion. (Li, 2015).

Self-monitoring is a weak predictor of level of impulse buying. According to Li (2015)
regardless of whether or not consumers’ impulsive buying behavior occurs, there will be a conflict between consumers’ personal desires to acquire products and their willpower to save money (MacInnis& Patrick, 2006; Mukhopadhyay&Johar, 2007). If willpower is weaker than the desire to buy, impulse buying will occur; otherwise, when willpower is strong, it will not occur.

Optimum stimulation level is a weak predictor of level of impulse buying. High OSL
consumers buy services more impulsively to satisfy their need for stimulation; hence services marketers may enhance the sensations associated with their services to trigger impulse buying for their services.For example, service providers such as fitness clubs and adventure sports companies could arrange free trials for their potential customers in order to attract those with high need for stimulation(Sharma, Sivakumaran, & Marshall, 2014). Results showed that the three variables are weak predictors of level of impulse buying.

Conclusion
The result shows that Filipino Millennials are not impulsive buyers when it comes to
shopping online. Millennials are highly likely to be very critical about the consequences that could happen when they buy online. There is low readiness for online shopping infrastructure as perceived by the respondents which served as barrier for adaptation. If online stores could strengthen the sense of security perception to its target online shoppers and solidify means for a differentiated, value-adding experience of online shopping there might be a change in behavior for the coming years. There are various reasons that could have affected their decisions however it was not tested during the survey. We could suggest that some reasons would be because millennials still prefer brick-and-mortar stores or online stores are not well marketed online.

Recommendations
We recommend that more research with consumers from different age groups to test the
generalizability of our results. Future research may also look beyond the three consumer traits used (i.e., CI, OSL, and SM) and examine the role of other individual and situational factors to develop a more comprehensive conceptual framework for impulse buying in both goods and services.

With this study, online sellers can have a guide how to engage the millennials more on
online shopping. As the study shown, Instagram is the most popular shop among Millennials. This can help Instagram sellers engage more the buyers by having different promotions.

On the other hand, brick-and-mortal stores can foresight on how to improve their strategy how to influence more their customers on buying impulsively buy making the store more unique and interesting. Also, they can add differentiated product offering, enticing price points and specific promotions and advertisements to drive shopper habit preferences in via channel.

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