Test YOUR Digital Marketing IQ

Each week, eMarketer runs a five-question quiz. The most recent quiz deals with how digital savvy you are. It involves 5 questions that enable you to test your digital marketing IQ.

The quiz takes less than five minutes to complete. So, what is your digital marketing IQ? Good luck. 🙂

Test YOUR Digital Marketing IQ

Click the image to take the quiz.

Test Your Digital Marketing IQ

Posted in Online Retailing, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Social Media and Retailing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Chatbots Perceived Effects on Customer Service

As we know, firms regularly look at new ways to enhance the customer experience. One tool growing steadily more popular is the chatbot. Yet, we must better understand chatbots perceived effects on customer service. In other words, how happy are shoppers with chatbots?

To learn more about chatbots, look at these posts:


Chatbots Perceived Effects on Customer Service

Recently Professors Nancy Viola Wünderlich and Stefanie Paluch published a paper on “User Perceptions of AI-Based Service Agents.”

In a recap of that paper by Future Customer, we learn the learn the following:

“In normal conversation, there helpful clues indicate how a statement should be interpreted. Facial expression, gestures, tone of voice, and volume help indicate whether “Isn’t that great” should be interpreted as praise or sarcasm. Today, a large part of communication takes place without seeing or even hearing one’s conversation partner. Meanwhile, chatbots are becoming increasingly capable. For example, they can recognize annoyance in a spoken or written statement. And then respond to it. But do they respond correctly?”

“The study by Wünderlich and Stefanie Paluch is one of the first studies to investigate the role of artificially intelligent customer advisers. Importantly, they hone in on three questions:

  • How do customers perceive customer service provided by artificial intelligence?
  • Is it important to them whether customer advisers are human or artificial?
  • How authentic do they consider the communication – and how does that influence their behavior?”

“In addition to conducting a large-scale quantitative survey of chatbot users, the authors also tested various forms of chatbots. These included avatars, via experimental studies to determine their effect on perceived authenticity.”


To review more of the just-cited summary by Future Customer, click the image.

Chatbots Perceived Effects on Customer Service

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MCM Podcast on Seasonal Hiring

Both store-based and online retailers recognize the importance of seasonal employees. Have too few and customers might not be properly serviced. Have too many and operating costs might be too high. Thus, what is the proper balance? Let’s turn to Vermont Teddy Bear for some insights.


An MCM Podcast on Seasonal Hiring at Vermont Teddy Bear

As Mike O’Brien reports for Multichannel Merchant (MCM):

“With unemployment low, keeping distribution centers and fulfillment centers staffed up is more of a challenge than ever. Thus, E-commerce companies are scrambling to fill positions. And the big gear-up for peak season hiring will be here before you know it. Aside from automation, what can you do to ensure a sufficient workforce in various demand scenarios as wage pressure increases?”

“In our latest MCM CommerceChat podcast, Katie Langrock, vice-president of operations for Vermont Teddy Bear, talks about her company’s approach to recruitment, hiring, and retention in a highly seasonal business that’s tucked away in northwest Vermont. Katie shares about the competitive pressures she faces in her labor market, about providing incentives and perks, balancing peak season and permanent staffing, creating a fun work environment, and a host of other issues affecting workforce and labor management for her company.”

Click the play button to listen to the podcast.



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Americans Want GDRP-Style Laws

On May 25, 2018, Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went effect. Thus, a good topic for discussion involves whether Americans want GDRP-style laws.

As Dyfed Loesche wrote for Statista:

“Anybody doing business in the digital realm should be able to tell you what GDPR is. And it constitutes a major EU data protection law update, effective on May 25, 2018. It seeks to ‘enhance the protection of personal data of EU citizens. In addition, it increases the obligations of firms that collect or process personal data.’ Thus, this rule does not just apply to firms based in the EU, but to all firms doing business with EU customers. Also, it applies to firms that don’t selling goods or services but monitor user behavior in the EU.”

Thus far, the United States’ privacy policies remain different the EU’s. In a June 2017 post, we noted the following. This is still the case:

“In the United States, consumer privacy rules are not as strong as they are in other areas of the world. Recently, the U.S. Congress voted to overturn a pending regulation that would require Internet service providers (ISPs) to obtain people’s permission before selling their data about them. President Trump then signed the rollback.”


Americans Want GDRP-Style Laws

What exactly do people want to see in U.S. privacy laws?

According to 2018 research cited by eMarketer:

“Most Americans would like to see GDPR-style laws enacted in the U.S., a new survey found. Identity management company Janrain polled U.S. Ïnternet users in April, putting this question to respondents: ‘The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will give European Union citizens greater control over how businesses can use their personal data. Would you like to see similar laws enacted in the U.S.?’ Fully 68% said yes, while 10% said no and the remainder were unsure.”

Click the image to read more, including how many Americans do not know what the GDPR laws are.


Posted in Global Retailing, Online Retailing, Privacy and Identity Theft Issues, Social Media and Retailing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Macy’s Social Media Superstars

Obviously, social media greatly affect retailers. And Macy’s social media superstars represent a key way to connect with customers.

These prior posts exemplify our coverage of social media:


Macy’s Social Media Superstars

According to Patty O’Dell for Chief Marketer:

“Turning employees into social media superstars is one of the hottest trends to build authenticity and trust with consumers, while having some fun at the same time.”

“Now, Macy’s is the latest brand to recruit its own store employees as influencers. Interested employees began applying earlier this month to be part of the Macy’s Style Crew program. The chosen ones use their own social networks to reach their fans with videos, produced by both Macy’s and video platform Tongal, all around Macy’s products and services.The videos are shared on the employees social channels and housed at the Macy’s Style Crew site. Visitors can view employees showing off a wide range of products from bathing suits, to linens, to private-label fashions.”

To promote its social media superstars, Macy’s runs a new site  called Macy’s Style Crew:

“The Macy’s Style Crew is a community of our very own colleagues who are passionate about sharing what they love most about fashion and style. Browse their content below or follow #macysstylecrew on social media to stay updated on the latest trends!”

Click the image to check it out.

Macy's Social Media Superstars

Posted in Career Useful Information, Online Retailing, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer, Social Media and Retailing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Fourth of July Fascinating Facts

As we posted last year, the Fourth of July holiday remains a big deal. Below are two infographics on Fourth of July fascinating facts.

What will YOU do this Year?

PLEASE BE SAFE. Drive carefully. Be careful with fireworks. And do not overeat.


Infographics with Fourth of July Fascinating Facts

From WalletHub:

“Fireworks and freedom: That’s what America does on the Fourth of July to celebrate the country’s birthday, established with 56 founding fathers’ pen strokes on the Declaration of Independence in 1776. We also eat a whole lot of hotdogs: 150 million in total. We make a toast or two to freedom and good old Uncle Sam, shelling out more than $1.5 billion on July Fourth beer and wine. And we travel, with a record 44 million of us planning to venture 50+ miles from home this year.

So even though July 4, 2018 marks America’s 243rd birthday, there’s still a lot to learn about this red, white, and blue anniversary.”

Fourth of July Fascinating Facts


From History.com

Fourth of July fascinating facts

Posted in Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business, Part 6: Merchandise Management and Pricing, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer, Social Media and Retailing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How Many Job Interviews Should Companies Conduct?

As we know, the job search tends to be stressful. And that especially applies to the interview stage of the process. In some cases, firms conduct numerous interviews with their best candidates. We realize that job candidates get frustrated by this. But are even firms well served by that approach? Today, we address this question. How many job interviews should companies conduct?

These posts highlight various aspects of interviewing:


Google Answers: How Many Job Interviews Should Companies Conduct?

For several years, Google researched how many interviews should companies conduct? And the findings contradict many firms’ practices.

As reported Michael Schneider for Inc.:

“Finding the right job candidate can be a challenge. Sometimes, it feels like looking for a needle in a haystack. When interviewing drags on, work goes incomplete. Other employees feel stressed and overextended. At the same time, hiring managers get impatient. And top talent begins flying off the shelf.”

“To avoid bad hires, Google used to subject candidates to a grueling 12-interview process. And this created many problems. Due to its status as a great employer, Google receives more than two million job applications each year. That makes landing a job at Google is 10 times harder than getting into Harvard.”

“To ensure the need for so many interviews, Google’s People Analytics Team examined five years of data and feedback. Specifically, they wanted to know how many interviews it took to predict whether or not a candidate would receive an offer. And Google found that after four interviews, the likelihood that another interview would improve a candidate’s chances of getting an offer dropped. For every extra interview, the law of diminishing returns set in.”

“This research, in addition to other experiments, led Google to follow the ‘Rule of Four.’ This change resulted in a two-week reduction in the average time-to-hire, saved Google employees thousands of hours in interviewing time, and helped reduce the already tedious process for candidates.”

To read more, click the image.

How Many Job Interviews Should Companies Conduct
And take a look at this video.

Posted in Career Video Clips, Retail Executive Interviews | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment