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Stuart O'Brien

Find the solutions you need at the eTailing Summit

There’s a free guest pass waiting for you at the hybrid eTailing Summit. Can you join us?

7th July – Hilton London Canary Wharf (virtual attendance options are also available)

This unique event is entirely complimentary for you to attend – simply reserve your place here.

  • Receive a bespoke itinerary of 1-2-1 meetings with suppliers that meet your requirements
  • Attend inspirational seminar sessions from industry thought-leaders
  • Network with like-minded peers
  • Complimentary lunch and refreshments included 

If you have any questions, please get in touch!

Do you specialise in Brand Monitoring? 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 June we’ll be focussing on Brand Monitoring services.

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 Brand Monitoring 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 Clair Wyld on c.wyld@forumevents.co.uk.

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

Jun – Brand Monitoring
Jul -Web Analytics
Aug -Conversion Rate Optimisation
Sep -Digital Signage
Oct -Brochure Printing
Nov – Creative & Design
Dec – Online Strategy

Consumers in emerging markets more open to sharing data

Countries like China, Brazil and South Africa are much more open to sharing their personal data with companies than consumers in Western countries, like the UK, France and the US, according to new research from emlyon business school.

The findings come from a global study of over 22,000 online shoppers, which looked into their willingness to share their personal information, like identification and financial data, with companies when purchasing products.

The researchers; Monica Grosso, Associate Professor of Marketing at emlyon, alongside colleagues from Bocconi School of Management, KU Leuven, CEFAM International School of Business and Management and the Center for Service Intelligence, wanted to understand what factors had an impact on the willingness of consumers to share personal data with companies.

The factors they reviewed were: whether the type of product had an impact, whether the country consumers were from had an impact, and whether and how customers could be incentivised to provide further data even if they weren’t willing to in the first place.

Through the survey, the researchers gathered data on over 22,000 shoppers, who were buying products from seven different categories; identification, medical, financial, locational, demographic, lifestyle, and media usage data.

The research also focused on the privacy concerns and willingness of participants in fourteen different countries, ranging from highly individualistic, such as the UK, France, the United States, Canada and Australia, to collectivist nations, including China, Brazil and South Africa.

The researchers also reviewed whether customers were more likely to share their personal data and information if there was some form of compensation for doing so.

Professor Grosso said: “Given sharing personal data online is often on a voluntary basis, it is difficult for companies to persuade customer’s to do so. Not only this, but in the wake of high-profile privacy scandals, customers have become increasingly worried about how organizations store and exploit their personal data. Consumers have therefore become more cautious about sharing such data with retail companies. Therefore understanding the market, and having a full-proof strategy to maximise data sharing of customers is vital for marketing departments”.

The researchers also found that once offered compensation and incentives for sharing their personal data, consumers in all contexts were more likely to provide their data to companies. This compensation and incentives included a tangible benefit for the customers, such as discount coupons or small free gifts, showing that there are clear, effective methods for companies to use to garner more data from their consumers.

Grosso added: “Companies are always keen to secure as much data as they can from their customers in order to inform increase future sales tailor marketing efforts to their needs, and boost customer brand loyalty, but often customers are reluctant and unwilling to provide such data. These results show trust can differ across contexts, and customers can be further encouraged to provide personal data through a number of tailored methods.”

For companies, the research shows that the willingness of consumers to share varies greatly over different countries. Therefore, if companies are looking to collect vital data from their customers in different country contexts, they should adopt different privacy strategies based on the information type, country, and product category.

Status of luxury brands ‘being ruined’ by customisation

As the fashion industry continues to give customers a more active role in designing their own products, luxury brands must be careful not to take customization too far, according to new research from Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU Vienna).

Many brands make it possible for customers to make their own design choices when it comes to selecting colors, fabrics, and cuts. But does this approach also work for luxury brands? Headed by Martin Schreier and Silke Hieke, researchers from WU Vienna’s Institute for Marketing Management set out to answer to answer this question, finding that, for luxury brands, there is such a thing as too much choice.

With new manufacturing processes opening up greater possibilities when it comes to customization, consumers now place a greater value on customized than on standard products.

However, while existing marketing research has shown that consumers like customized products because these unique products communicate their identity more effectively. This is only true for mainstream brands.

The WU Vienna researchers carried out a series of studies, showing that while luxury brands can indeed benefit from customization, there is also the risk of going too far. Particularly fashion-conscious customers – the primary consumer base of luxury brands – place great importance on their appearance and are more sensitive to prestige. Its because of this that these customers are highly aware of the signal value associated with luxury brands.

Customers pay a premium for the designer’s expertise and the status luxury brands convey. This means that the brand must remain clearly recognizable. If customization is taken too far, the consumers’ desire for self-expression can potentially erode the product’s signaling value.

“It pieces” like the Hermès Birkin bag have a special value because they are exclusive and they convey a clear brand identity.

According to the researchers, luxury brands can protect their ability to convey status by making the brand more prominent through overt means, for example through the obvious display of brand logos.

By assuring luxury consumers that others can receive the status signal that they are sending, these brands are able to give their consumers greater freedom for customization decisions.  In general, however, luxury brands should leave only a few design decisions to their customers to protect the signal value created by the brands and their designers.

The study has been published in the Journal of Marketing Research.

Print & Digital Innovations Summit: Everything you need to know!

Your complimentary pass gives you free access to the hybrid Print & Digital Innovations Summit – Register today!

Date & Venue: 18th November – Hilton London Canary Wharf

Format: We will create a bespoke itinerary designed just for you. The itinerary will include relaxed, 1-2-1 meetings with suppliers, based on mutual agreement and matched requirements.

Key Benefits: You can build business connections with innovative suppliers, as well as gain insight into the future challenges within the industry. 
We will handle everything for you, saving you time and money by arranging all of your meetings – condensing months of work into one day.

Seminar Sessions: Throughout the event you can enjoy a range of insightful seminar sessions hosted by industry thought-leaders.

Your pass also includes complimentary lunch and refreshments throughout.

Register your place here via our short booking form (virtual attendance options are also available).

ICO issued fines of £42million last year

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has issued a number of final civil monetary penalties in 2020, totalling £42,416,000 – The reasons for the fines included breaches of Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) and the Data Protection Act (DPA). 

The data, contained in the ICO’s ‘work to recover fines’ report and analysed by the Parliament Street Think Tank, reveals a catalogue of fines issued across a variety of sectors.

The analysis shows the scale of the fines highlights the severity of the problem. A total of 17 penalties were issued last year according to official figures. The largest fine was given to British Airways in the transport and leisure sector on 16th October 2020 at a total of £20,000,000 for a breach of the Data Protection Act (DPA). This is followed by a fine of £18,400,000, issued to Marriott International Inc on 30th October 2020, also for a breach of the DPA. 

The next largest was to Ticketmaster LTD, with a fine totalling £1,250,000 for data breaches on 13th November 2020. Then, DSG Retail Ltd, CRDNN Limited and Cathay Pacific all received fines totalling £500,000. 

Additionally, CRDNN was with a £500,000 fine on 2nd March 2021 for breaches of Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR).

The industry hit with the biggest fines was marketing with nine fines in total issued, followed by three fines issued to firms in the transport and leisure sector.

Additionally, the ICO issued three court orders for winding-up upon petitions in 2020. Trusted Futures Ltd received a penalty amount of £70,000, Superior Style Home Improvements received a penalty fee of £150,000 and Alistar Green Legal Services Ltd received a penalty fee of £90,000. All three organisations were given court orders in 2020.

Additionally, there were eight directors disqualified following ICO enforcement action in 2020. These directors have been disqualified for a number of years for conduct while acting for various companies.

Charlie Smith, Consultant Solutions Engineer, Barracuda Networks, said: “In today’s digital working environment, data security, recovery and protection is of vital importance. Unfortunately, it has become apparent that many business owners, workers and consumers are not aware of the need for backup and recovery services for their email service providers. Our own research even revealed that 40% of Office 365 users believe that Microsoft provides everything they need to protect their data and software.

“Whilst Office 365 does offer some level of security, even Microsoft suggests using a third party backup to ensure that data is fully protected and retrievable. Without it, organisations can be left prone to accidental data loss and even ransomware attacks. 

“Thus moving forward, organisations should invest in a third-party data backup solution that runs in the cloud, to enable seamless, efficient and comprehensive backup of data on a granular level – allowing lost, stolen or misplaced data to be restored without delay.”

Ecommerce revenues remain buoyed as bricks-and-mortar reopens

As the UK High Street experienced a boost in the first week of non-essential retail re-opening, the digital High Street also remained buoyed, with revenues up +2.5% week-on-week.

That’s according to data from Wunderkind‘s Marketing Pulse report, which says as consumers hit the shops after months of closure, traffic on the High Street increased +178%, and an estimated £1.6billion was spent in-store on the first weekend of trading.

Web traffic also saw a rise, increasing by +2.4% over the same period (w/c 12.04 vs w/c 5.04) – which the behavioural marketing specialist says illustrates sustained digital demand.

This, Wunderkind suggests, is not only indicative of the seismic – and permanent – shift to digital, but of the importance in understanding and connecting more closely with shoppers to drive long-term brand advocacy and increased customer lifetime value. 

Wulfric Light-Wilkinson, GM EMEA at Wunderkind, said: “There’s been much debate as to whether the boom in online could successfully be sustained once retail reopened.  And, from what we’ve seen so far, even pent-up demand for real-life shopping experiences in the first week of opening hasn’t deterred consumers from the ease and convenience of shopping online, suggesting the shift to digital is here to stay.  But the real test now comes in how brands and retailers connect and engage with their customers moving forwards, to turn the new cohorts who have come online into repeat shoppers and those existing shoppers into long-term brand advocates.” 

While web revenues and traffic increased on the week before, email performance dipped slightly with revenue down a marginal -1.6% week-on-week. 

“This slight drop in UK email revenue retail could be down to a number of factors;” Light-Wilkinson suggested.  “Non-essential retail opened on the same day as outside hospitality, which also coincided with the last week of the Easter holidays – this may have prompted many to step away from their desks and take time off to enjoy new freedoms, perhaps explaining the slight dip in email performance during the week.”

Social mentions for the words ‘hairdresser’, ‘shops’ and ‘pub’ all saw significant spikes on the first day of restrictions easing, according to social agency, the tree, up 277%, 276% and 272% respectively on the day prior.

Do you specialise in Social Media marketing? 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 May we’ll be focussing on Social Media services.

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 Social Media 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 Clair Wyld on c.wyld@forumevents.co.uk.

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

May – Social Media
Jun – Brand Monitoring
Jul -Web Analytics
Aug -Conversion Rate Optimisation
Sep -Digital Signage
Oct -Brochure Printing
Nov – Creative & Design
Dec – Online Strategy

We’re looking for expert speakers for the Digital Marketing Solutions Summit

We’re looking for marketing industry thought-leaders to share their knowledge at the upcoming Digital Marketing Solutions Summit, which is taking place virtually on May 12th & 13th.

If you’re available on those dates, have an internet connection and would like to take part in this unmissable industry event, simply contact Clare Wyld on 01992 666 724 / c.wyld@forumevents.co.uk.

Alternatively, if you’re a marketing professional, the Digital Marketing Solutions Summit takes place virtually this May – will you be joining us?

The Summit allows you to connect with innovative and budget-saving suppliers, as well as learn about the latest insights within the eCommerce industry.

Confirm your place here via our online booking form – attendance options are flexible.

Additional $900 Billion Spent Online at Retailers Globally in 2020

As Covid-19 kept consumers around the world at home, nearly everything from groceries to gardening supplies was purchased online.

According to Mastercard’s latest Recovery Insights report, this amounted to an additional $900 billion being spent in retail online around the world in 2020.

Put another way: in 2020, e-commerce made up roughly £1.50 out of every £5 spent on retail, up from about £1 out of every £5 spent in 2019.

For retailers, restaurants and other businesses large and small, being able to sell online provided a much-needed lifeline as in-person consumer spending was disrupted.

Roughly 20-30% of the Covid-related shift to digital globally is expected to be permanent, according to Mastercard’s Recovery Insights: Commerce E-volution. The report draws on anonymized and aggregated sales activity in the Mastercard network and proprietary analysis by the Mastercard Economics Institute. The analysis dives into what this means by country and by sector, for goods and services, and within countries and across borders. 

“While consumers were stuck at home, their dollars travelled far and wide thanks to e-commerce,” says Bricklin Dwyer, Mastercard chief economist and head of the Mastercard Economics Institute. “This has significant implications, with the countries and companies that have prioritized digital continuing to reap the benefits. Our analysis shows that even the smallest businesses see gains when they shift to digital.”

While the digital transformation has been neither universal nor consistent – due to geographical, economic, and household differences – the report uncovers several key overarching trends: 

  • Early digital adopters go into overdrive: Economies that were more digital before the crisis—such as the UK and US —saw larger gains in the domestic shift to digital that look more permanent than the countries that had a smaller share of e-commerce before the crisis. In the UK, the e-commerce share of retail sales pre-crisis was 22%, rising to 31% at the peak of the crisis. The current level stands at 24% and we expect this shift of 2 percentage points to be permanent. 
  • Grocery and discount store digital gains look sticky: Essential retail sectors, which had the smallest digital share before the crisis, saw some of the biggest gains as consumers adapted. With new consumer habits forming and given the low pre-Covid user base, we anticipate 70-80% of the grocery e-commerce surge to stick around for good. As an example, as a result of the lockdowns in the UK, roughly one-fifth of all grocery shopping is now done online.
  • Consumers increase their e-commerce footprints, buying from up to 30% more online retailers:Reflecting expanded consumer choice, our analysis shows that consumers worldwide are making purchases at a greater number of websites and online marketplaces than before. In the UK, people are buying from 22% more online stores, on average. 
  • International e-commerce rose 25-30% during the pandemic: International e-commerce got a boost both in sales volume and the number of different countries where shoppers placed orders. With infinitely more choices at their fingertips, consumer spending on international e-commerce grew around 25-30% year over year from March 2020 through February 2021.