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As a digital marketer, you have to stay on your toes. It sometimes feels like new market disruptions have become an annual rite of passage. What were once generational, seismic changes are now just the normal order of business.
The latest development in a long line of digital commerce revolutions is the emergence of on-demand delivery. Like any disruptive change, on-demand apps have created a lot of anxiety for brands and their local stores. Is this technology a threat to localized businesses, or an opportunity to improve brand engagement and drive customer loyalty?
Amazon leads another digital revolution
You have Amazon to thank for the current fervor whipping up around on-demand delivery. While Uber Eats, Instacart and Soothe, among others, laid the foundation for this change, Amazon will likely be the company to catapult on-demand local services into the wider consumer consciousness. The e-commerce giant’s recently announced plan to acquire supermarket chain Whole Foods signals a radical change in the way consumers buy and receive groceries.
Although grocery delivery services are nothing new, having one of the biggest and most innovative names in e-commerce throw their hat into the ring should put the industry on notice that some major developments are underway. After all, this is the same company that’s been experimenting with drone delivery for years.
If Amazon does indeed grab the torch from the Instacarts of the world, consumers are likely to follow right along. At that point, on-demand apps will cease being fringe consumer channels and become the new status quo.
Are on-demand apps a threat to localized businesses?
If this does come to pass, local businesses will be rightfully concerned about what that all means for them. The problem’s not restricted to supermarkets, either. On-demand services could dramatically change things for any brand that operates localized store fronts. They’ve already had to weather the rise of e-commerce, but if on-demand delivery becomes the new normal, they may see foot traffic dry up entirely — that’s the fear, anyway.
But before we all throw up our hands and claim the sky is falling, perhaps we should be viewing the situation in a different light. Local stores may be able to capitalize on the emergence of on-demand services and use them to drive customer engagement.
Drive brand engagement with on-demand services
Businesses need to stay agile to compete in the omni-channel marketplace. We’ve seen this with the rise of e-commerce: Brands that embraced digital channels and facilitated the customer journey through them not only survived but thrived in this new environment. That’s because they were able to provide customers more options to deliver products and services, allowing the consumer to dictate the terms of brand engagement. As we’ve seen through eMarketer’s research, customer priorities are shifting away from differentiators like low prices in favor of service quality.
The on-demand economy takes this sentiment a step further by allowing customers to receive products they purchase over a digital channel to arrive in their hands within mere minutes. Cutting a trip to a physical store out of the equation may make brands nervous, but for the customer, this is an incredible development. Businesses that take the lead and openly embrace on-demand delivery will associate themselves with convenience and speed — and that’s great for your brand. If you want loyal customers, show them you’re not afraid to meet them on their terms and provide them the level of service they demand.
On-demand delivery also removes many otherwise unavoidable obstacles to in-store sales. When it’s pouring rain and you have nothing to make for dinner, do you take a trip to the grocery store or pull into the McDonald’s drive-thru? No, you order a pizza and let someone else brave the elements. Inclement weather, traffic and family obligations frequently prevent customers from visiting stores. On-demand delivery allows stores and brands to net those otherwise lost sales by bringing products straight to the customer.
Extend your reach into new markets
Your local stores can only reach so many customers. People residing just outside their immediate vicinity may be unwilling to make a longer trip to those stores when there are similar alternatives nearby. On-demand delivery allows stores to broaden their footprint by providing services to consumers outside of their traditional territory. If your brand is offering on-demand services while competitors are still dragging their feet, who’s the consumer going to choose? Even if your brand’s store is farther away, customers are more likely to opt for fast, convenient delivery than to make a trip to a competitor’s brick-and-mortar shop.
With on-demand services, local stores can stretch their distribution capabilities to tap into surrounding markets, drastically expanding their potential customer base.
It’s still money in your pocket
Even with the benefits outlined above, there may be obstacles in sharing revenue between local stores and full-time delivery people or even independent contractors. Don’t think of it as cannibalizing your sales, though. On-demand delivery is an additive channel, supplementing traditional brick-and-mortar stores with another arm to provide products to consumers. Although brands may need to funnel some of those sales to a third-party delivery service, it’s still an added revenue stream that will prop up both local stores and the overall brand.
At the end of the day, if you stand on the sidelines and take a wait-and-see approach to on-demand services, you’re essentially leaving money on the table. Now that the big boys like Amazon have gotten involved, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes part of daily business operations.
I suggest getting ahead of this change, embracing it, and making it work for you. You can’t fight the future, and as we’ve seen, you either roll with the changes or you get left behind in the dust.
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Earlier this week the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) released its “e-business” report. The category includes search, social media and news and information sites. Social media held steady, while the search and online news sectors declined vs. last year.
In the aggregate “search engines” dropped in customer satisfaction by 1.3 points. Microsoft properties (MSN, Bing) suffered the largest declines vs. 2016 of 4 and 3 points respectively. Google was off two points compared to last year.
The best score Google has received, since measurement began in 2002, is 86 (out of 100). The first year ACSI measured Google satisfaction it received a score of 80.
Social media as a category was stable; however there was movement among the individual players. Surprisingly, Google+ captured the highest satisfaction level of the group, with 81 points. The report attributes this to its redesign and the addition of new features.
Pinterest gained two points to capture the second highest score (78). Twitter, however, was the biggest gainer and surpassed Facebook. Of the sites measured, LinkedIn had the lowest score of 65, though it didn’t lose ground vs. last year. Snapchat was not measured.
The report is based on consumer survey data (n=4,978) and other inputs. Lower satisfaction levels for mobile performance appear to be the source of some of the lower scores in the search category, although there’s no in-depth reporting on mobile vs. desktop satisfaction.
In response to the inevitable “why does it matter?” question, representatives of the ACSI have told me in the past that customer satisfaction scores are predictive of future performance and success.
While that may be true in the US economy overall, changes in ACSI e-business scores have historically not translated into near-term market share gains or losses.
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Today’s featured Google Doodle on the US home page honors the Silent Parade of 1917 on its 100th anniversary. The Silent Parade of 1917 included approximately 10,000 African Americans marching down Fifth Avenue in New York City in response to the East St. Louis Riots of 1917.
It was the first mass protest of lynching and anti-black violence in the United States and an important and significant step in US history.
Google links to http://ift.tt/2sX5z65 for more information.
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In this week’s Search In Pictures, here are the latest images culled from the web, showing what people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have and more.
Google Chicago has a subway car on their rooftop:
Google movie theatre signage:
Google wacky office room:
Google Dublin water front view:
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As a business owner, you have to figure out what cycle you’re in and think of ways you can still move your business ahead. Nicola Smith-Jackson shows us how to move your business forward during slow cycles. Also, how to truly own your life.
Here’s your chance to finally own my most treasured collection of network marketing training… Reports, Checklists, and Implementation guides. Literally everything I use to grow and operate my network marketing business.
Who is Nicola Smith-Jackson?
Nicola Smith-Jackson is a wife, mother of 4, former hair stylist and a real estate professional before she discovered network marketing.
She had faced numerous personal challenges after having to bury 3 children, not being able to pay the bills and wondering if there would ever be a better day. But it’s with these experiences that she developed a tremendous desire to succeed.
Today, she’s a top MLM leader who’s built a sales force of over 300,000 people in more than 30 countries.
Nicola’s passion is to teach others how to make winning a habit and is known for building big teams of motivated and committed entrepreneurs.
“You have to want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe”
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Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.
From Search Engine Land:
Recent Headlines From Marketing Land, Our Sister Site Dedicated To Internet Marketing:
Search News From Around The Web:
Local & Maps
SEM / Paid Search
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Over the past month or so, Google has been testing how sitelinks show up on brand queries on desktop search results.
The test is on enhanced sitelinks, which include a line of description copy with each link and appear only on brand queries on desktop. Typically, these appear in two columns below the ad as shown in this “Patagonia” example.
Google is now testing a list format for enhanced sitelinks. The link font is smaller, but taken together, the list of four enhanced sitelinks takes up more real estate than the column format.Erik Hamilton, search supervisor at Good Apple Digital spotted this example of the test on a search for “Home Depot” last month.
This week, Frederik Hyldig, head of PPC at s360, spotted the same treatment on a search for “Nike” in Denmark.
The list brings the desktop format more in line with mobile, where sitelinks on brand results typically show in a list, though without the enhanced description copy.
I find the list format easier to scan than the two columns. If other users respond the same way and click-through rates improve over the columns, we can expect to see this test roll out.
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For this report, ON24 looked at more than 16,000 webinars delivered by over 1,000 organizations from around the world to detail the entire lifecycle of a webinar, including webinar promotion and registration metrics, webinar interactivity metrics, audience viewing habits, and both live and on-demand attendance and conversion metrics.
Inside this report from ON24 you will discover:
Visit Digital Marketing Depot to download the “2017 Webinar Benchmarks Report.”
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As most SEOs are aware by now, there are three main techniques for serving mobile website content: responsive design, adaptive design (also called dynamic serving), and separate mobile URLs.
While it’s easy to identify separate mobile URLs just by looking at your browser’s address bar, telling responsive and adaptive sites apart can take a little more digging around.
In my mobile workshops with Shari Thurow at SMX West and SMX Advanced earlier this year, many of the participants were confused as to how to tell responsive and adaptive mobile configurations apart. So, I went through the exercise that I’m going to describe today. Hopefully, it will help some of you make the distinction.
If you’re not sure if the site you’re looking at is responsive or adaptive, ask yourself these questions:
Does it change shape when you resize your browser from a desktop computer?
Responsive sites are meant to change layout based on browser window size (regardless of device), while adaptive sites detect when you are on a mobile device and present different HTML accordingly. Thus, if you know that a site doesn’t use separate URLs for their mobile configuration, you can often tell responsive and adaptive apart by visiting the site on desktop and seeing what happens when you resize your browser window.
Want to test this out? Take the following steps:
Can you find the word “responsive” or “@media” in the home page source code?
Responsive sites have specific elements within their HTML source code that adaptive sites do not. To check for these elements, take the following steps:
Does the site display different content or a different layout on a mobile device (or when you use a mobile user-agent like Googlebot smartphone)?
Adaptive sites generate different HTML for a page based on the user’s device, regardless of screen size. That means that if you are looking at an adaptive site on a mobile device — even one with a large screen — you’ll still be served specific mobile content.
We can check for adaptive mobile pages via desktop browser. This is achieved by using a browser extension that allows you to view a site as though you are using a mobile device.
Here’s how to test an adaptive page with a user-agent switcher extension on Chrome:
Here are a few related questions I’ve gotten on the subject that may also be of interest:
Can you use Chrome Developer Tools to tell adaptive from responsive sites?
Yes, but be sure to clear your browsing history before toggling device type from Desktop to Mobile and vice-versa. Then, follow this procedure:
Can a site be adaptive and responsive at the same time?
Yes. Sometimes this is called RESS or REsponsive with Server Side Elements. In these cases, the layout is fluid, but server side elements may be used to serve smart banners for app downloads or change the text on the page.
Zillow.com is currently like this. If you use a desktop agent to access the site you can resize the browser and the site is responsive, just like merriam-webster.com. But if you access the site from a smartphone user agent detection is used to provide additional device-specific elements like smart banners to encourage app downloads.
Likewise, at Vivid Seats our desktop site doesn’t resize, but if you access the adaptive site from a mobile user agent it does. So, our adaptive site is also responsive.
You can also have adaptive and responsive pages on the same site. At Vivid Seats, we use responsive pages for event pages, as search behavior doesn’t vary much across devices, but adaptive for certain category pages where we noticed a difference in search behavior that we want to address on the page.
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