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Stuart O'Brien

Typical online purchases involve seven steps taking three hours

Shoppers work through several stages before making a significant buy via the internet, which includes spending at least 35 minutes deciding whether a purchase is absolutely necessary.

Following that, an online search for a product or service, including on social media sites, will take place over the next 33 minutes.

And the survey of 2,000 adults found an average of 30 minutes is then spent reading online reviews and recommendations, with the average shopper avoiding a purchase if something has less than 3.4 stars out of five.

While one in 10 wouldn’t buy something with 99 five-star ratings if it has just a single one-star review.

Half an hour will also be spent narrowing down the choices between brands by comparing to other similar products for price and quality.

Other steps include sharing potential purchases with friends or family, putting something into a virtual basket – then the final hurdle of completing the transaction.

The research was commissioned by Vision Direct, whose CMO, Ashley Mealor, said: “As purchasers are spending so long scouring reviews, it is so important for businesses, especially those operating online, to be accurately and fairly represented.

“We recognise there are some brands which have reviews that cannot be trusted, as those writing them have been incentivised to do so.

“Implemented for the main purpose of generating favourable online appraisals, the concept of proposing incentives or hosting competitions can be misleading and skew authenticity.

“It’s encouraging to see platforms such as Trustpilot, starting to take great steps to ensure it is a level playing field for all by revising regulations and stopping all consumer incentives – to address a controversial grey area.

“With the prevalence of dishonest reviews online, the seven stages of shopping feels like a sensible way of ensuring a purchase – particularly one of value – is made well.

“You are then not just relying on reviews, but also word of mouth, social media, customer service and brand comparisons.”

The research also found 62 per cent of respondents think of themselves as ‘considered’ purchasers – who don’t buy without thoroughly researching the item first.

However, 14 per cent are happy to describe themselves as an ‘impulse’ buyer, who shops first then asks questions later.

But Brits would not consider something to be a ‘significant’ purchase if it fell below the £163 price point – and the last time they spent more than £100, they deliberated for eight days.

And 31 per cent are more likely to make a significant buy online, while 25 per cent would rather do it face-to-face – with the remainder not caring either way.

Although consumers are more likely to be suckered by an impulse purchase in a real-life store, than by something they see online (30 per cent vs 23 per cent.)

It also emerged that in order to ‘fully trust’ a brand, Brits want to receive their goods in perfect condition (45 per cent), experience super-quick delivery (26 per cent) and be on the receiving end of exceptional customer service (41 per cent).

But while 78 per cent of shoppers leave online reviews after using a company, just under half are more likely to do so if they are offered an incentive like money off their next order, or a chance to win a prize.

However, a huge 83 per cent of those polled via OnePoll believe unscrupulous sites or brands often put up fake positive reviews to try and trick people into buying their goods.

Ashley Mealor added: “Our study found online reviews to be hugely important to lots of people – half say they are important, especially when considering eyewear or eye medication.

“It can be hard sometimes to know whether an online review can be trusted, particularly where your health is concerned.

“This is where the fifth stage of shopping – getting real-world feedback from people you know in real life – can be hugely beneficial.

“If somebody you know and trust is willing to recommend something that word-of-mouth review is worth its weight in gold to any manufacturer.”

THE SEVEN STAGES OF SHOPPING
1. Deciding on a need for something – 35 minutes
2. An online search for the product you want including social media sites – 33 minutes
3. Reading online reviews and going through recommendations – 29 minutes
4. Narrowing down between brands by comparing to other similar products for price and quality – 31 minutes
5. Share links with friends and family – 14 minutes
6. Getting something into your online or real-life basket – 19 minutes
7. Actually making the purchase – 24 minutes
TOTAL – 185 minutes – 3 hours and 5 minutes

Ransomware

47% of employees in Marketing lacking cyber security skills

Cyber security remains one of the most challenging issues for business owners – large and small. And it seems data breaches cost UK enterprises an average of $3.88million per breach – according to IBM. 

And considering much of the global workforce is now remote, it has never been more important for employees to be cyber aware. 

Specops Software recently found that Clickjacking is the most common form of hacking in education at 66%. Whilst Phishing was extremely prevalent among other key industries at 71%.

This prompted the company to investigate the industries without sufficient cyber security training by surveying 1,342 businesses across 11 sectors across the UK. 

On average, just 41% of employees across all sectors surveyed have not been provided adequate cyber security training. 

It is perhaps unsurprising that those working in Travel and Hospitality have not been adequately trained against cyber threats (84%). It comes after EasyJet was recently targeted in a serious cyber-attack whereby email addresses and travel details for around 9 million customers was breached. 

In second place is Education and Training. 69% of respondents who work in this industry claim they have not been trained sufficiently against cyber threats – a worrying statistic as breaches compromise student and staff safety. In fact, cyber attacks have been increasing year-on-year as more instances are reported, with four key reasons attackers target educational institutions: DDoS attacks, Data theft, financial gain, and espionage. 

Other key industries that have not provided sufficient training include Marketing, Advertising and PR (47%), Medical and Health (42%) and Charity and Voluntary Work with 29%. 

Understandably, the sectors with far more stringent cyber security training processes include Legal Services (16%) and Recruitment and HR (19%). 

Specops also sought to find out if the level of cyber security training had changed since the beginning of COVID-19.

Out of the 1,342 respondents, the results revealed the following:  

  • I have been trained a lot more since COVID-19 – 21%
  • I have been trained a little more since COVID-19 – 37%
  • I have not been trained since COVID-19 – 42%
Business Sector% of businesses that have since implemented cyber security training sessions since COVID-19 
Education and Training76%
Medical and Health65%
Computer and IT39%
Travel and Hospitality37%
Customer Service23%
Creative Arts and Design22%
Charity and Voluntary Work15%
Marketing, Advertising and PR13%
Legal Services13%
Accountancy, Banking and Finance10%
Recruitment and HR8%

Specops Software found on average just 29% of business sectors have initiated additional cyber security training. 

94% of respondents claimed it was the responsibility of their company to keep them up to date with cyber security training, whilst 79% could not identify if they were hacked.

To further complement the survey, Specops Software’s Cyber Security Expert Darren James has provided some expertise:

  1. Why is it important for all employees to be trained?

The fact of the matter is that you can put as many security systems and procedures in place as you wish, but usually the weakest link is always the human being involved. Providing cyber security training is essential. Subjects such as password hygiene, email scam/phishing/malware awareness, social media usage etc. are important and the more attention we can bring to it via training at work, the less likely people in general will fall victim to these crimes.

2. Should companies integrate training on a regular basis and how often?

Generally, it’s a good idea to provide basic training to everyone, and to all new employees, so everyone is at least on the same page. Then, it is a good idea to promote awareness through the use of a good password policy, and maybe when IT experience interactions with users e.g. service desk/desktop support etc. provide further reminders where appropriate. Some “high risk” users such as IT admins, HR and finance teams should have regular awareness training.

3. What can companies do to ensure training is kept up to date, especially now everyone is working from home? 

Working from home represents another challenge when providing training. You can send emails out or put something on an extranet/intranet page, but let’s be honest not many people are going to willingly go and look. Try arranging a “working from home cyber security awareness” call if possible – whether it is per team, or with team managers who can then pass on key information. 

Please see the full research here: https://specopssoft.com/blog/uk-business-sectors-lacking-cyber-security-training/

Do specialise in Brochure Printing? We want to hear from you!

Each month on Digital Marketing Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on different parts of the print and marketing sectors – and in October we’ll be focussing on Brochure Printing.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help marketing industry professionals find the best products and services available today.

So, if you specialise in Brochure Printing solutions and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact James Howe on j.howe@forumevents.co.uk.

Here are the areas we’ll be covering, month by month:

Oct – Brochure Printing
Nov – Creative & Design
Dec – Online Strategy

Print & Digital Innovations Summit – Reserve your place for 2021!

Are you able to attend the Print & Digital Innovations Summit as a live or virtual attendee? 

This unique Summit is hybrid which allows you to attend either in-person at the live event or via our virtual platform – whichever suits you the best!

Your place is entirely complimentary and includes;

  • A personalised itinerary of relaxed 1-2-1 meetings with budget-saving suppliers who match your needs for upcoming projects
  • Access to a live insightful seminar session led by an industry thought leader
  • A wealth of pre-recorded webinars
  • Lunch and refreshments throughout*
  • Networking with fellow industry professionals*

It is completely flexible – you can attend for the whole duration of the event or for just half a day. 13th May 2021 – Hilton London Canary Wharf

Secure your virtual OR live event pass HERE.

Asset Bank integrates with Shutterstock

Brighton-based software company Bright has announced the integration of its Asset Bank Digital Asset Management (DAM) system with Shutterstock’s content platform.

Marketers and creatives use Asset Bank to manage digital assets, which can include anything from photographs and imagery to logos, music and video. They use Shutterstock to search, license and download digital media content from third parties. Prior to the integration, all content from Shutterstock had to be entered manually into Asset Bank and tagged individually.

Licensed Shutterstock content is now automatically synchronised within Asset Bank. This not only eliminates the need for images to be uploaded manually, but also tags the content with metadata including the asset description, keywords and categories, making it fully searchable within Asset Bank.

The partners say the integration will save creative teams a significant amount of time when transferring stock images and other content to their own systems. 

Paul Seymour, Head of Asset Bank, said: “We’re always looking for ways to make Asset Bank more useful and effortless for our customers. Integrating with the Shutterstock platform is a natural step along that journey as customers now have immediate access to their licensed content, placing it directly into the hands of the people who use it day to day.”

Plan your strategies at the Digital Marketing Solutions Summit

Register for your complimentary guest pass for the hybrid Digital Marketing Solutions Summit today – you can attend in person or virtually!

The Summit allows senior marketing professionals to share forward-thinking ideas, meet new partners and discover new ways to underpin their strategies.

Your free guest pass includes:

  • A bespoke itinerary of relaxed, 1-2-1 meetings with innovative and budget savings suppliers
  • Access to a series of seminar sessions led by industry thought-leaders
  • Lunch & refreshments throughout
  • Unparalleled networking with like-minded peers, who share your challenges

CONFIRM YOUR PLACE HERE

*Virtual attendance options are available*

There is no hard sell at the event but it is a great opportunity for you to gather business contacts for future use.

The Summit takes place on the 13th May 2021 at the Hilton London Canary Wharf. 

Brands ‘struggled to respond empathically’ to Covid-19 and Black Lives Matter

While most brands want to be more empathic to social change and global issues affecting customers, many have struggled to respond effectively to recent events such as Covid-19 and Black Lives Matter.

That’s according to new research, which says 81% of brand representatives surveyed in July said they adapted their marketing due to Covid-19, while 60% found it difficult to display appropriate empathy when doing so.

The research among 250 senior marketing decision makers in the UK was conducted by Sapio on behalf of marketing AI company datasine

Over 90% of marketers are trying to be more empathic in their marketing campaigns which shows a genuine understanding of the need to respond to issues and societal events impacting consumers and audiences. However, 75% said they were unable to respond quickly enough to rapidly developing situations such as Covid-19.

Empathy has increased in importance for brands and marketers during 2020. 84% of those surveyed said that the need to respond to events with empathy has increased over the past 6 months. The top three empathy focuses identified in the research for brands right now are:

  1. Covid-19
  2. Black Lives Matter
  3. Mental Health

The two most common barriers stopping brands from responding faster and more effectively to change are; the inability to measure and analyse sentiment; and a lack of knowledge around how to use data to predict the success of future campaigns, both at 38%. To help solve these issues and others, 97% of brands want to adopt technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, to help them use data more effectively for predictive analysis and automated decision making.

Emma Bonar, head of digital, Les Girls Les Boys, said: “Now more than ever it’s vital that we are able to demonstrate that we do empathise with our customers – after all these are issues that really do affect all of us. There’s a need to respond quickly and appropriately to changes in sentiment, which is where AI can help us use data to make the right decisions, and make them fast.”

Chris Loy, CTO, datasine, added: “A brand’s ability to respond rapidly and appropriately to external events affecting its audiences and customers has probably never been tested more than it has in the past six months. Truthfully, it’s becoming critical to their success. Digital marketing demands instantaneous response to the things that are happening in the world. That requires marketing professionals to be able to use data to adapt their creatives, message, visual and textual content on a continual basis in line with changing audience attitudes.

Image by Luisella Planeta Leoni from Pixabay 

Print & Digital Innovations Summit – Secure your place at November’s event

Have you confirmed your free guest pass to our hybrid Print & Digital Innovations Summit? It takes place on 12th November at the Hilton London Canary Wharf.

Benefits include;

  • Access to current industry seminar sessions
  • A bespoke itinerary of 1-2-1 meetings with innovative suppliers
  • Networking with peers who share your challenges
  • Lunch & refreshments throughout

Click here to confirm your free guest pass today – Live event and virtual attendance options are available.

Or if you have any questions then please do not hesitate to contact us. 

Do you specialise in Digital Signage? We want to hear from you!

Each month on Digital Marketing Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on different parts of the print and marketing sectors – and in September we’ll be focussing on Digital Signage.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help marketing industry professionals find the best products and services available today.

So, if you specialise in Digital Signage solutions and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact James Howe on j.howe@forumevents.co.uk.

Here are the areas we’ll be covering, month by month:

Sep – Digital Signage
Oct – Brochure Printing
Nov – Creative & Design
Dec – Online Strategy

Join us at the Print & Digital Innovations Summit – in person or virtually!

Did you know your complimentary guest pass allows you to attend the hybrid Print & Digital Innovations Summit either virtually or via our LIVE event?

Your place includes access to live seminar sessions and relaxed 1-2-1 meetings with innovative and budget-saving suppliers.

12th November – Hilton London Canary Wharf 

Plus, if you attend our live event, you can enjoy free lunch and refreshments throughout.

Don’t miss out on a great opportunity for you to gather business contacts for future use – Click here to secure your place

Or if you have any questions then please do not hesitate to contact us.