Category Archives: Trend

Group Buying Sites Presents More Bad than Good for Consumers especially Entrepreneurs

The very fundamental idea behind ChopChop is helping consumers to digitalise their loyalty cards onto their smartphones. No more missing cards, no more losing out on loyalty promotions. They are reminded of cards that are about to expire, or rewards that they are yet to claim. Our users love our product.

ChopChop wouldn’t have any users if there weren’t any merchants that are willing to adopt our product. When we started, it was quite a tough sell for us. Merchants did not see the value of customer loyalty in increasing sales. Merchants asked why weren’t we more like group-buying sites, why couldn’t we reach out to new customers which could boost their sales almost immediately. If you are a business owner, probably you should read this to understand why customer loyalty is so much more important than customer acquisition. Fast forward to today, ChopChop’s acceptance by businesses is growing. Businesses are beginning to feel the group buying fatigue and starting to realise the long-term, sustainable value of cultivating customer loyalty. Many of our partner merchants have offered group buying deals and most, if not all, of their experiences weren’t positive.

The logic behind using group-buying is that we discount our prices heavily to attract a mass of consumers to give our brand a try, hope that you will be able to up-sell and cross-sell to them when they visit your outlet to cover for the deeply discounted prices and revenue-sharing with group-buying companies and then also hope that some of the customers will be converted to regulars, bringing in more sales in the future. Unfortunately, a large part of this logic has proven to be untrue. It is easy to understand how attractive and tempting it is to do group buying deal for your business as it gives nearly an immediate boost to your sales and how it helps your brand to reach out to massive number of consumers.

The customers that are attracted to group buying deals are usually low value bargain hunters. They go where the best (cheapest) deals are. Value to them is perceived in price, not product. They only consume what the group buying deal has to offer. Many merchants told me that it is hard to cross-sell other products, and usually the only thing these customers bought were plain water! No more group buying by your brand, and you don’t see them anymore. Tough chance in converting them to regulars. Not saying you can’t, but probably the wrong customers to aim at and convert.

I am not writing off group-buying completely. As a one-off marketing tool, it could be an effective channel. If you are a new brand and have just started out your business, group-buying deals could give you greater brand exposure in the shortest period of time by reaching out to a large pool of consumers. Beyond that, by thinking that group-buying could enhance your brand and boost sales is detrimental to your business. Yes, group-buying does boost sales. It boosts poor quality sales, it brings in sales that aren’t profitable but also potentially creating losses which could have been avoided, it is sales that aren’t sustainable, attracting the wrong customers, and could potentially damage your brand as these bargain hunters could easily amplify their less than pleasant experience at your premise.

The writeup here by New York Times clearly captures the essence of what I described above. It isn’t just the merchants that are having a hard time when doing a group buying deal, but also customers themselves are undercut in terms of service and product quality. I have heard of similar experiences in Malaysia, but yet to see any merchants or consumers that are vocal enough about it to gain the attention of mainstream media.

By doing it too frequently, deep discounts will dilute and degrade your brand. Consumers perceive the value in your brand as a discounted brand. I have merchants that have done group buying too frequently that they had customers telling them that they will be back only during the next group buying deal. And by doing more group buying to ‘revive’ your brand is simply exacerbating the declining value of the brand.

How would your loyal customers feel when the customers (chances are they are new, bargain hunting customers and might not return) beside them are paying way less than what they are paying for, despite always being a regular? This will have some impact on your customer goodwill. Worse still, when a regular who is willing to pay RM 10 a product, now comes in with a group buying deal and paying you half the price for the similar product. You are cannibalizing your sales, losing out on quality sales that you could get without the group buying deal.

To think about it, for businesses, if they really need to offer deep discount, why not offer it directly to their regulars for their next visit use rather than going through a third party (ie. group buying sites)? You might not reach out to the number of consumers as these group buying sites can offer, but at least you are ensured of bringing in profitable sales, and making your regulars happy. Even better, you don’t have to share a cut of the sales with the group buying sites. In fact, loyal customers can be a great marketing agent for your brand. As we all know, word-of-mouth marketing is the best marketing channel. Make your customers happy, and they will be more than willing to spread the good word about your brand – for free, effectively.

via Group Buying Sites Presents More Bad than Good for Consumers especially Entrepreneurs – Entrepreneurs.my.

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Trends of Futuristic Consumers – The Tech-Equipped and Digitally Savvy will Rule the Marketspace

The tech-equipped digitally-savvy consumer of the future is the key to a smarter tomorrow

First day of Mobile Marketing Association Forum Singapore 2012 reflects new understanding of the importance of mobile, the central position of the consumer, and use of mobile for brand-building

Singapore, April 2012 – The tech-equipped digitally-savvy consumer and the future of mobile marketing against the changing digital media landscape were the central topics on the first day of the Mobile Marketing Association Forum Singapore 2012 (MMAF). Closely focused on evolving consumer behaviour in the current technological environment and how brands and marketers can engage, inform and influence them, the first day of MMAF offered industry the chance to identify market trends that will shape a smarter future.

Nearly three hundred delegates and speakers were present at the event held at the Grand Hyatt earlier today, featuring presentations from industry and media leaders such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, Google and Nokia. Themed ‘A Smarter Tomorrow’, the MMAF highlighted how the development of the mobile marketing and advertising industry is contingent on a deeper understanding of tech-equipped digitally-aware consumers, who have come to understand and shape the new emerging media.

Consumers will be less concerned about the distinctions between mobile and digital and Internet, but will simply operate within a converged space, Guest-of-Honour, Mr Michael Yap told the delegates at the Forum when he opened with his Keynote Address. Mr Michael Yap is Deputy CEO, Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA).

His talk set the stage for the day’s discussions as he explained Singapore’s world-leading efforts to encourage the development of the interactive digital media sector, including MDA’s international research network, collaboration with industry (including test-bedding programs with a mobile marketing focus) and other progressive programmes.

The nation’s focus on the tech-equipped digitally-savvy consumer mirrored exactly the next talk by Marcel Fenez, Global Leader Entertainment & Media, PricewaterhouseCoopers, who eschewed a discussion of technology in favour of talking about what consumers want in terms of content and how they behave. Against the backdrop of an informative video that included candid comments from consumers from all over the world, Fenez explained that consumers take technology as a given, and that they are more interested in content than in channels.

“The tech-equipped digitally-savvy consumer of the future is the clear focus, as they use their mobile devices in ways that brands and marketers could never imagine,” said Rohit Dadwal, Managing Director, APAC. “This year we’ve had more of everything – more brands, more delegates, more insights. This is a reflection of reality. Mobile is so much a part of everyday life that now it’s the consumers who are shaping the landscape of this new media.”

Consumers continued to dominate the conversation for the rest of the day. Srikanth Raju, Head, Ecosystem, APAC, Nokia explained at one point that there may be low-end devices, but there are no low-end consumers (meaning that consumers all want compelling experiences, regardless of the device). Even when the conference split into two tracks (one on mobile as The New Media and the other on Audience and Data), consumer behaviour was still the centre of attention, no matter the subject, from social TV to media consumption, from cross media communication to mobile commerce.

The discussion of digitally-aware consumer of today and the future of mobile marketing continues tomorrow, as the Mobile Marketing Association Forum Singapore 2012 enters its second day.

The Mobile Marketing Association Forum Singapore 2012 is proudly sponsored by Amobee, BuzzCity, The Coca-Cola Company, Gemalto, Google Inc., mediba Inc., Microsoft Advertising, Millennial Media, m-Stars, Nokia, Poynt Corp., and supported by Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) and Singapore infocomm Technology Federation (SiTF).

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About the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA)

The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) is the premier global non-profit trade association representing all players in the mobile marketing value chain. With more than 700 member companies, the MMA is an action-oriented organization with global focus, regional actions and local relevance. The MMA’s primary focus is to establish mobile as an indispensable part of the marketing mix. The MMA works to promote, educate, measure, guide and protect the mobile marketing industry worldwide. The MMA’s global headquarters are located in the United States and it has regional chapters including North America (NA), Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Latin America (LATAM) and Asia Pacific (APAC) branches. For more information, please visit http://www.mmaglobal.com.

via Trends of Futuristic Consumers – The Tech-Equipped and Digitally Savvy will Rule the Marketspace.