Weekly News Roundup

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Customer Strategy
Customer Experience
Here's a look at the technology announcements, research findings, and mergers and acquisitions that happened this week in the customer experience space.

Mergers & Acquisitions

North Plains Acquires VRYE for MRM

North Plains, which helps companies leverage visual media assets, has acquired VYRE, a U.K.-based provider of marketing resource management and brand asset management software. The acquisition is intended to help users engage with target audiences through visual media, whether managing images, videos, or graphics, across different media channels and cross creativity with the marketing process in one platform. VYRE's solutions include On Brand, a SaaS solution that provides management of brand guidelines, brand assets and creative workflows, and Unify, a web-based marketing application platform.

Socialtext Partners with Badgeville for Gamification Capabilities

Helping companies engage customers and follow consumer behavior, Socialtext, provider of enterprise social software, partnered with Badgeville, a gamification and behavior management platform. The partnership will embed gamification capabilities into an array of applications, widgets, and mobile, also allowing companies to asses where improvements are needed. Socialtext will utilize Badgeville Embed to enhance its user experience and enable companies to access data that will provide insight and reward employee and consumer behavior.

Research

Accenture Study Reveals Consumer Feedback on Auto Industry

Auto industry websites are failing to meet customer needs, according to new findings from Accenture, a global management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing company. Consumers are turning to other online and offline services for assistance with their purchase decisions. Consumers say the car-buying process would be simpler and quicker if the content on auto industry websites was set to be more relevant to their preferences, and created online innovations such as web chat or mobile-enabled websites.

Key findings include:

  • 78 percent will visit at least six websites before making a final purchase decision.
  • 15 percent say they need to browse more than 20 websites to get the information they seek.
  • 75 percent say they still turn to more traditional offline media for the information required to make car-buying decisions.
  • 80 percent of the respondents would like more intuitive, customized content made available to them.
  • 68 percent would welcome the ability to chat with a dealer online.
  • 94 percent of Americans rely on social media reviews to make their final decisions.

Accenture believes the findings show a failure to integrate digital marketing among manufacturer and dealer sites in the auto industry.

Cartera Reveals Data on E-Commerce

Cartera Commerce, provider of card-linked marketing solutions, has revealed information on consumer holiday shopping commitments. Data shows consumers who shopped card-linked offer sites from 15 top rewards programs spent 88 percent more between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday this year compared to last, which was four times the growth of overall e-commerce for the same period, according to a comScore report.

Highlights include:

  • The number of online transactions grew by 72 percent.
  • Offer "click to sale" conversion rates grew by almost 35 percent.
  • The average order value (AOV) of online sales linked to rewards offers was up 9 percent.
  • The top 10 percent of rewards collectors spent more than $1,000 online during the five-day period, which was up over 20 percent.

RevTrax Released Data on U.S. Digital Coupon Usage

RevTrax, an omnichannel promotions platform for connecting digital media with offline sales, released the results of a four-month digital coupon study showing the top cities, regions, and demographics for usage of digital coupons, focusing on those that are only valid for in-store redemption. The study found that the South is the best U.S. region for digital coupon activations, followed by the Northeast, the West, and the Midwest. Top cities are Charlotte, N.C; Rochester, N.Y.; Raleigh, N.C.; Virginia Beach, VA.; and Huntsville, AL. North Carolina is the primary U.S. state for digital coupon activations, followed by Virginia, Pennsylvania, Florida, and New York.

The study shows:

  • Female-dense areas are the most likely demographic to use digital coupons, showing a 4.7 percent increase in digital coupon activations.
  • Compact geographic areas are the second most likely demographic to use digital coupons, showing a 4.3 percent increase in digital coupon activations.
  • Densely populated areas are the third most likely demographic to use digital coupons, showing a 4.2 percent increase in digital coupon activations.
  • Family friendly areas showed a rise of 3.7 percent in digital coupon activations. Large families are the fourth most likely demographic to use digital coupons.
  • Seniors are the fifth most likely demographic to use digital coupons, showing a 2.4 percent increase in digital coupon activations.

The study also revealed that targeting two or more of these demographics can increase digital coupon activations by more than 20 percent. Areas with higher income levels use the most digital coupons, activating almost 100 percent more coupons than those near or at the median income level. Areas with lower median incomes use fewer digital coupons, activating approximately 40 percent fewer than those near or at the median income level.

Technologies

Moxie Creates Chat App to Help Companies Engage and Access Consumer Data

Moxie Software Inc., provider of customer-centric enterprise social software, released a social chat application that leverages Facebook's API to allow brands to engage with and create customized offers for consumers. Moxie Engage+, available with Chat Spaces, allows companies to access and analyze a consumer's Facebook profile and extend offers based on the consumer's name, gender, and calculated advocacy rank. When the consumer accepts an offer to chat with the brand, more information can be accessed about the consumer, such as age, likes, interests, and friend count. The app is available now.

Outsell Improves Live Chat Channel for Auto Dealers

Offering improvements to its Live Chat Channel, Outsell, a digital marketing SaaS company, connects auto dealers with consumers in real time. Dealers use the platform to engage with customers 24/7 and directly answer service and sales questions. The dealers are able to capture relevant information about the customer and receive leads and chat transcripts.

The improvements show:

  • A 24 percent efficiency gain in average time chat
  • A 13 percent increase in capture rate of agents gathering customer contact information
  • A 50 percent reduction in average speed of answer
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