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3 Ways Data Analysis Can Refine the Customer Experience

data analysis

3 Ways Data Analysis Can Refine the Customer Experience

Nowadays, you have to understand what the customers need if you want your business to succeed and grow. If you don’t put some effort into doing that, you might miss out on crucial details about what customers are looking for in businesses. It will force them to look for other alternatives. In this article, we’ll discuss three ways to use data analysis to help your business boost customer loyalty, among other things.

Customer Experience and Why It’s Vital in Business

Customer experience is the customer’s interaction with your business at different touchpoints. It refers to how customers will engage with your online ads, websites, mail, social media, commercials, visiting your store, phone calls, buying and using your products and services, etc.

So, customers always think about the kind of experience a company offers before checking on the quality of goods. It means that if your business offers great products but sucks at offering excellent customer experience, then people will start buying from your competitors. Therefore, you must always do some data analysis to ensure your business delivers exactly what the customers want.

Your customers will always observe a brand’s performance and compare it to their expectations. So, every interaction a customer has with your business and its products leaves a long-lasting impression, which then creates a certain opinion about your company. It explains why it is vital to keep a customer’s needs first to help get better results at the end of the day.

Many companies now agree that using data analysis helps boost customer experience hence more sales. However, measuring customer experience and applying it to your business to get results are two different things, and most businesses struggle with the former.

So, how do you measure customer experience effectively?

There is no one perfect way to measure the customer experience. However, here are the three most effective ones you can trust:

1. Customer satisfaction (CSAT) – It method involves reaching out to your customers after a certain sale, asking them to rate the service. You will get results ranging from not satisfied to very satisfied.

2. Net promoter score (NPS) – In this one, you ask a customer to rate your business on a numerical scale. Here is the most common one you might have come across, “How likely are you to recommend us?”

3. Customer effort score (CES) – It one helps to find out how much effort a customer needs to fulfill a certain task on, let’s say your website. Most businesses use a defined scale to do this, which also acts as a small survey. It contains options such as I agree, and I strongly disagree.

Redefining Customer Experience Through Data Analysis

Once you have mastered how to capture customer data and measure their experience, you can improve your services and delivery. These are some of the ways how data analysis refines customer experience.

1. It Helps You Understand How to Respond to Your Customer’s Needs Intelligently

Quality data is the biggest foundation of developing a great consumer experience. Customers and prospects usually generate a lot of data by engaging in different online activities, especially when engaging with your business.

Most leading businesses today tap their prospect or customer data from the activities generated through indirect or reseller channels.  You can gain some insight by combining the views of your data sources with detailed demographic information.

The first step you must take is developing a good strategy to help you access and integrate customer data. Choosing to focus on one touchpoint to get data can be a good idea, but it’s always best to try and use several sources. The main goal is to understand one common view that all customers have. It will give you a good view of your customers’ experiences and interactions across different channels. That way, you can easily respond intelligently to what your customers need.

With this information, you can easily determine the relevant goods and services your customers need from your business. A link building agency can also help to bring more targeted potential customers to your website, who you can then study to see what you can do to win their loyalty.

You can also work with your IT experts to help turn the customer data into an EDW (Enterprise Data Warehouse) that will serve different functions or servers. However, most businesses find this quite challenging, not just technically but also financially.  Luckily, there are pre-configured platforms you can use today to help make the data consolidation easier.

Therefore, you should evaluate some relevant approaches to determine which one is more relevant. Also, check for one that can provide the best data to better fulfill the customers’ needs.

2. It Helps You Determine Customer Behavior

Predictive analysis can allow you to anticipate your market and customer behavior and respond accordingly. Its analysis involves data mining or statistical tools and methods that help to develop predictive models. OLAP and BI are some of the most effective systems you can use as they enable you to assess past and current events.

So, doing data analysis can help you employ excellent tools and methods to explore patterns and trends in data to determine things that can happen if certain factors change. With that information, you can easily tell what most customers have in common, making it easier to fulfill their needs.

Some predictive analytics solutions can also use software computing power and automation to help you get insights faster. Using powerful algorithms can help mine plenty of data and rapidly analyze patterns, correlations, and affinities. Additionally, combining software automation with great data access can help your company evaluate performance more effectively.

You can see much success by implementing some predictive data analysis using data sources such as transactions or any other application data. Doing this can help your personnel in stores, contact centers, or those managing e-commerce sites to easily adjust marketing offers accordingly.

3. Helps Build Better Customer Relationships

A good company-clients relationship is a vital factor you must always consider if you want your business to thrive. Data analysis provides you with different ways to build a great one. If you want to be the go-to business for people looking for the services you offer, you must be a good listener. What does that mean?

You can use social media to help conduct some sentiment analysis, which can show you how customers regard your services. You can also check your help-tickets to see what your customers complain the most about. This information can show you where to improve hence allowing you to provide exactly what people need and better customer experience.

Some customers might also indicate in the help ticket the kind of services they expected to find from your company but didn’t. You can use this data to ensure your company has everything customers in your niche are looking for.

A good example is how a shoe store can observe the size of shoes that get more purchases or those that get many returns. That way, they can easily ensure the highly demanded product is always available hence boosting the customer experience because they never miss what they planned to purchase.

Summing it Up

We are living in a world where everything is analyzed. Your customers look at how you treat your clients and the quality of the goods you sell. You must always make data analysis a huge part of your business because it allows you to study crucial trends in the market and your customer’s behavior. Doing this helps to understand everything you need to do to ensure you meet people’s demands.

When customers visit your business to purchase a good or service and get what they need, you automatically become their favorite place because you have proven to be reliable. However, if potential clients come to you and don’t get something they wanted or your employees don’t act professionally, then you can easily lose them. Since you cannot provide customers with the great customer experience they expected, your competition will take over.

consumers

Will Consumers be in a Better Place by the End of 2020?

The pandemic unleashed a staggering one-two punch on the economy – double-digit unemployment and drastically reduced revenues for many businesses. As states reopen with varying restrictions, what the future holds in the next six to 12 months is anybody’s guess.

But while the economic downturn will continue to impact consumers and businesses indefinitely, it could have been even worse, says Ron Oertell, Chief Financial Officer at LendingUSA, LLC.

“Given the high unemployment rate, there was a very strong concern out there as to what short-term effect the pandemic would have on the consumer,” Oertell says. “The surprise has been that consumers have been relatively stable in paying their bills. That has been driven in part by public policy decisions such as the stimulus payment plans and the government stepping up in a strong way.

“In past crises, the government has walked solutions into the crisis. This time they have run to fix the problem from many different aspects. From a consumer finance side, deferments and defaults are lower than some of the initial estimates. However, there is a strong concern that we’re not out of the woods yet. We still have a very high unemployment rate. And nobody knows how long it’s going to take for the true economy to recover and for the marketplace to drive strong consumer performance.”

Oertell gives his outlook on key issues facing consumers as the nation tries to get back to work during the pandemic:

Tightening lending. With unemployment remaining high, many people seeking loans or credit may find both harder to secure. “I do believe it will be a challenge for many people to obtain credit,” Oertell says. “There will be an undersupply of credit and bank-backed funding for individuals who are unemployed. When the economy was strong, credit was relatively easy to obtain, but now lenders are cutting credit limits on some current customers and making new credit more difficult to get. The country went from its lowest unemployment rate in many decades to its highest in 90 years, and banks are showing they are nervous.”

Government support. If more consumers are denied credit or loans, where will they turn? “Much will depend on the actions of federal and state governments,” Oertell says. “If governments and lenders continue to provide unprecedented support to individuals through payments and/or expense relief measures, such as mortgage payment moratoriums or the halting of eviction proceedings, then I do not see personal bankruptcies rising significantly. The speed of the recovery will be critical in determining the effect of the high unemployment rate on the number of bankruptcies. “A theme many have recently expressed is the confidence in the government to continue forms of consumer support through the election period. However, such governmental actions cannot continue indefinitely. When consumers are denied traditional lower-cost credit, many will turn to higher APR lenders or non-traditional forms such as title loans to cover unexpected or emergency life events.”

Consumer debt. Recent reports have indicated consumer debt is down as a result of the pandemic and people drastically reducing their shopping. What impact could that have on people getting credit? “A reduction in shopping could reduce an individual’s request for credit as well as reduce outstanding balances on credit cards,” Oertell says. “Traditionally, both factors would increase availability based upon standard underwriting metrics. However, many lenders have placed hard cut-off rules based on employment status and other factors, which would more than offset any benefit from the reduction in shopping. Over the next few months, lenders will continue to deal with the uncertainty of future credit-worthiness when traditional indicators of payment behavior are distorted and capacity to pay in is highly uncertain.”

“Consumers are facing very challenging economic times, but the long-term impact of the pandemic on the credit markets isn’t close to clear,” Oertell says. “How many businesses are fully functioning, and whether the unemployment rate is substantially lowered, will be the key things to watch in the next few months.”

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Ron Oertell is Chief Financial Officer at LendingUSA, LLC, a consumer lending company focused on physical point-of-sale locations. He has more than 25 years of experience as an attorney, investment banker, investment fund manager and CFO, and has completed over $9 billion in capital transactions.

shopping

Impulsive Shopping and Post-Pandemic Consumer Behavior

Picture this. You are in the supermarket in your neighborhood queuing to pay and see some delicious and totally irresistible chocolates that you did not even think about buying but that now are something that has become essential. That is what in marketing is called “impulsive buying” and, for example in the case of supermarkets, it is their main source of benefits.

Let’s take it up a notch. Have you thought about how you can translate an Instagram or Facebook like into a sale? That’s called Influencer Marketing, and I’ll show you how to unleash this online technique by starting a conversation and ultimately driving sales and establishing impulsive shopping, whether this was your initial objective or not. Remember, one like, share or comment, might equal one sale.

The Internet and mobile devices, as instant tools, favor impulsive purchases. Different promotions present on your website can trigger unplanned purchases by Internet users. Imagine being able to have those displays that are in the boxes of the supermarkets integrated into the design and shopping experience of your online store… How much extra income could they bring you? The experience may surprise you.

Flash sales (Time-limited): Flash sales are time-limited sales that are very often used in e-commerce to encourage impulsive buying. Generated by an attractive offer but limited in time, the user has to make a quick decision if he does not want to miss this opportunity. It works very well, especially in specific seasons where people are willing to spend more money (Christmas, back to school, Halloween).

Free shipping: The hook is to set a minimum purchase price so that the shipping costs are free and, if the customer does not yet have that amount, offer low-cost products in the checkout process that achieve the minimum required quantity. If we use products that far exceed the minimum amount, it will not work, but if they are inexpensive and related to the purchase that has been made, success is practically guaranteed.

Stock level: Showing available stocks can, to some extent, favor impulsive buying. If the number of products in stock is low, the interested visitor will tend to buy their product for fear of not finding it again at the price proposed in your online store.

Give away discount coupons or free products (gift): On condition of making a purchase, of course. This type of tactic has been shown to also boost sales since the customer must buy in order to receive their gift.

Expiration date:  Discounts on these types of items range between 20 percent and 50 percent of their initial price. For example, if they are products that expire the next day, the price is usually cut in half, but if we talk about products that have weeks to expire, the discount stays between 20 percent and 30 percent. Stores free themselves of products that would end up in the garbage and without any benefit if not bought, while customers get a good deal for a product that they would either buy or just purchase to take advantage of that specific occasion.

After the pandemic

From toilet paper in the early pandemic to bleach and flour, during this crisis consumers have modified its consumption and its way of making the purchase. But what will the consumer be like after pandemic? It is evident that many consumers have had to test the online channel as a result of this crisis, and they have realized how comfortable and safe it is for them.

The confinement has made the segment of the population that least bought online, those over 55-60 years old, now the group that needs it the most, especially those over 70, who are the most vulnerable to the disease and those who, therefore, should be more confined and without the help of their families. Although the consumer preferred to buy some specific products in person; if consumers verify that the product they receive at home meets their expectations, it is very likely that after the crisis it will continue to do so.

On the same line of shifting consumer behavior, for instance, some of the most popular products today are related to protecting employees and separating consumers with employees, like speak-thru devices, trays and shelves, and sliding service windows.

Where do impulsive purchases predominate: in physical stores or on the internet?

Physical stores are the main claim to get a customer to buy without having thought about it before. This fact is partly logical because most impulsive products are food, clothing, drinks, and personal care products. If discounts and promotions are added to that, the mix is ​​perfect. Supermarkets, shopping malls, and convenience stores are the central places for this type of sales.

Furthermore, some stores go the extra mile by using techniques that play with your senses, by releasing exquisite coffee and fresh cookie smell to get you in, even if they’re not in the food business.

Online advertising is the least appreciated to generate buying impulses, but that does not mean that their tactics are useless: Brands that use digital platforms as the first approach and establish the first connection have the potential to reap the benefits when the time comes to make the final purchase in the store, according to a study by Geoblink. 69 percent of those surveyed stated having bought between one and five products spontaneously in the last week, while 26 percent admitted having made between six and ten purchases of this type.

The millennial generation is the one that buys the most on impulse: a small group of 7 percent have bought up to 11 items without foresight in the last week. The previous facts serve as a great opening remark of the aforementioned Influencer Marketing technique. If you got until this part of the story, it means that there’s impulsive buyer material within you.

Influencer Marketing is nothing more than getting the right people to talk about you, firstly triggering your target audience to talk about you, secondly prompting that audience talking to each other about you, and finally you and the audience listening to each other. When this two-way conversation is in place, it is very probable that some of your social media likes, whether on Instagram or Facebook, are in fact translating into sales in your physical or online store.

There are a couple of exceptions to this rule on digital impulsive buying: the first, that those who already have a subscription to a platform like Amazon, which avoids having to go through several stages before buying, are better able to combat the impulsive factor. The second: when the object to buy is an electronic item. 55 percent of the participants chose the Internet as the preferred medium for the impulsive purchase of these items.

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Featured in the Best Online Shops 2020 – Newsweek, DK Hardware is one of the largest online home improvement retailers for a variety of hardware manufacturers all over the United States and Canada.

supply chain

In the New Normal Supply Chain, Firms Must Pivot Quickly

What will our supply chains look like after the impact of the pandemic has turned from an all-hands-on-deck crisis to some sort of new normal? Will either demand or supply patterns return to pre-COVID-19 levels? And should that happen, will it be in carefully managed phases, or more rapidly?

Many consumer-market experts speculate that we may find some of the changes in consumer buying—such as increased adoption of food home delivery or stocking cupboards with monthly visits to large-format stores—habit-forming, even after restaurants, hotels and fast-food outlets are once again operating at max capacity.

To imagine the future, we can look at what’s happening in the present crisis—astonishing, even heroic acts of supply chain flexibility.

-An industrial gases company pivoted so it was able to deliver a month’s worth of desperately needed medical oxygen in three days.

-A chain of currently shuttered department stores has loaned its distribution facilities and assets to a supermarket chain under pressure to keep food shelves full, as far more of us than usual eat three meals a day at home.

-A plastics molding company designed, developed and distributed a foldable, portable intubation shield within weeks.

These businesses have something in common—they have been able to use data and industry-specific software solutions to quickly adapt to shifting fulfilment and delivery operations, often over and over.

The need for flexibility in making and distributing goods is and will be, most obviously on show at the delivery end, where goods and services reach the point of purchase or consumption. Today’s newly responsive, efficient supply chain needs to stretch all the way to the supermarket shelf or patient’s bedside.

That won’t be possible without the ability to access and analyze extraordinarily detailed data about delivery operations. For distribution companies, this will be the key to competing and winning in a post-COVID-19 business landscape, where the ability to pivot quickly will be most prized.

What’s absolutely crucial is that companies can quickly model multiple potential new distribution strategies before they make actual changes. When granular-level information about what was delivered where and when yesterday is fed into delivery-planning software, it can help supply chain executives run myriad what-if scenarios to determine what resources to deploy tomorrow. What inventory, trucks and drivers would be required if sales volume dropped 50 percent, or doubled? What if orders are fulfilled out of a different distribution center?

Purpose-built route planning software like Aptean’s answers these and other questions in a matter of minutes—a superpower we are all going to need in the future. For example, it means a retailer can pivot quickly and easily, back and forth between replenishing outlets and delivering to homes, or rapidly increase service to demand hotspots. Regarding the “new normal” in delivery operations, the only certainty will be uncertainty. The ability to deftly manage this unpredictability will be a huge competitive advantage.

And yet, for a large number of businesses, delivery operations remain hampered by a lack of visibility or fine-tuned control. Too many rely on rudimentary distribution planning tools, or even paper-based systems to plan and assess their delivery operations. This means they are caught flat-footed when circumstances demand rapid change. Worse, the critical information about particular customer needs and demands too often resides in the head or heads of delivery planning staff, and becomes unavailable when those workers go sick or leave.

We need to pay heed to the lessons we’re learning during this challenge. The supply chain, like the virus, is global, but its effects are ultimately felt in individual businesses and homes. For companies reliant on delivery operations, if management of the final mile wasn’t a strategic imperative before COVID-19, it is now. It’s time to wake up to that reality and build delivery capabilities that are more flexible, more collaborative and, above all, data-smart.

To learn more about how to automate your route planning, contact info@aptean.com.

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Nicole O’Rourke has 25 years of success in building strategic marketing organizations and is responsible for leading Aptean’s global marketing and communications efforts as Chief Marketing Officer. She previously held the position of Senior Vice President and CMO for Manhattan Associates. Before that, she served as CMO at Covance Inc., and in senior strategic marketing roles at Aetna and Johnson & Johnson. O’Rourke holds a Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University’s J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Cornell University. She resides in Atlanta, Georgia, near Aptean’s global headquarters. Nicole can be contacted directly on LinkedIn or via info@aptean.com.

pineapple juice

The EU Pineapple Juice Market Lacks to Gain Momentum

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘EU – Pineapple Juice – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

The EU pineapple juice market (which refers to the single strength juice of both direct extraction and reconstituted from the concentrate) was estimated at $368M in 2019, approximately equating the previous year. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price. Over the period under review, consumption recorded a mild decline. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2009 when the market value increased by 30% against the previous year. As a result, consumption attained the peak level of $624M. From 2010 to 2019, the growth of the market failed to regain the momentum.

COVID-19: Challenges and Opportunities

The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a noticeable transformation of the markets throughout the world, in particular, with regard to the pineapple juice market. So far, the uncertainty regarding the depth of both the global and the national economic decline is too great to make reliable forecasts. However, changes are currently taking place in key market fundamentals: macroeconomic background, sales channels, supply chains, consumer behavior, and prices.

According to the IMF, even several months lived outbreak would lead to at least a 3% contraction of the global GDP in 2020. Previously, during the 2008-2010 crisis, pineapple juice production in the world declined in 2010, and afterward, it rebounded over the next two years. Since pineapple juice is a less popular product than more common types of juice, it is more at risk from the COVID-19 epidemic than staple food products. In the context of falling incomes, consumers primarily tend to exclude non-staple goods from purchases, which in the EU countries is relevant for pineapple juice. Given those assumptions, the contraction of the market in the short term of 2020 might be perceptible. In the medium term, the market growth should start to rebound gradually along with rising incomes and the wane of the pandemic.

Major supply chain risk comes from the fact that the pineapple industry in large producing countries (Costa Rica, the Philippines, Thailand) is largely export-oriented, therefore, a decrease in demand in Western countries can hurt local producers. Future pineapple cultivation may be hampered by the possible lack of investment in 2020 due to the economic uncertainty and tight financial conditions for both farmers and investors. Consequently, it could undermine supply chains because local producers will switch to other crops if pineapple cultivation becomes unprofitable.

Another risk may appear due to the disruption of established international supply chains including food handling and packaging intermediaries, as well as in the processing sector. Supply chains may be undermined by asynchronous quarantine measures taken in the involved countries as well as the restraints in deliveries. However, this is now mitigated by the gradual re-opening of the economies in the are key importing markets  – the U.S. and Europe, which should support the market demand.

Given the limitations of the HoReCa sector and the reduced number of visits to traditional malls and shops, online retail is becoming a key channel for the sale of food products, including pineapple juice. Moreover, contactless delivery becomes a ‘must-have’ option for retail services. As online retail becomes the key sales channel, advertising budgets are to shift increasingly from point-of-sale advertising towards Internet messengers and social networks.

On the other hand, retail packaging adapted to different consumption situations becomes more popular: family packages, single person packages of various shapes and dimensions, snack packages, etc. Furthermore, increased consumer attention to health stimulates changes in branding and promotion towards focusing on the health benefits of pineapple juice, which may support the rise of ‘non-from-concentrate’ brands.

Consumption by Country

The countries with the highest volumes of pineapple juice consumption in 2019 were Spain (117K tonnes), France (82K tonnes) and Germany (47K tonnes), together comprising 52% of total consumption. These countries were followed by Italy, the Netherlands, the UK and Belgium, which together accounted for a further 33%.

From 2007 to 2019, the biggest increases were in Belgium, while pineapple juice (single strength) consumption for the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, Spain ($115M) led the market, alone. The second position in the ranking was occupied by France ($52M). It was followed by Italy.

The countries with the highest levels of pineapple juice per capita consumption in 2019 were the Netherlands (2.54 kg per person), Spain (2.49 kg per person) and Belgium (2 kg per person).

Production in the EU

In 2019, pineapple juice production in the European Union declined modestly to 334K tonnes, which is down by -3.6% on 2018. In general, production continues to indicate a noticeable downturn. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2018 with an increase of 33% y-o-y. Over the period under review, production reached the peak volume at 669K tonnes in 2009; however, from 2010 to 2019, production failed to regain the momentum.

Production By Country

Spain (100K tonnes) remains the largest pineapple juice producing country in the European Union, accounting for 30% of total volume. Moreover, pineapple juice (single strength) production in Spain exceeded the figures recorded by the second-largest producer, France (47K tonnes), twofold. Italy (44K tonnes) ranked third in terms of total production with a 13% share.

From 2007 to 2019, the average annual rate of growth in terms of volume in Spain amounted to -2.4%. In the other countries, the average annual rates were as follows: France (-0.7% per year) and Italy (-6.4% per year).

Exports in the EU

In 2019, exports of pineapple juice in the European Union shrank notably to 112K tonnes, which is down by -29.9% compared with the previous year. Total exports indicated tangible growth from 2007 to 2019: its volume increased at an average annual rate of +3.4% over the last twelve-year period. The trend pattern, however, indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. The volume of export peaked at 160K tonnes in 2018, and then reduced notably in the following year.

In value terms, pineapple juice (single strength) exports contracted to $82M (IndexBox estimates) in 2019. The total export value increased at an average annual rate of +2.5% over the period from 2007 to 2019; however, the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded in certain years.

Exports by Country

The Netherlands was the largest exporter of pineapple juice in the European Union, with the volume of exports recording 59K tonnes, which was near 52% of total exports in 2019. It was distantly followed by Germany (13K tonnes), Belgium (11K tonnes), Spain (6.9K tonnes) and Cyprus (5.5K tonnes), together achieving a 32% share of total exports. Austria (4.1K tonnes) and France (3.6K tonnes) followed a long way behind the leaders.

The Netherlands was also the fastest-growing in terms of the pineapple juice (single strength) exports, with a CAGR of +16.1% from 2007 to 2019. At the same time, France (+11.0%), Cyprus (+9.1%), Belgium (+9.0%) and Spain (+8.0%) displayed positive paces of growth. Germany experienced a relatively flat trend pattern. By contrast, Austria (-9.7%) illustrated a downward trend over the same period. From 2007 to 2019, the share of the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Cyprus and France increased by +44%, +6.1%, +3.7%, +3.2% and +2.3% percentage points, while Austria (-8.7 p.p.) saw their share reduced. The shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the analyzed period.

In value terms, the Netherlands ($38M) remains the largest pineapple juice supplier in the European Union, comprising 46% of total exports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Germany ($12M), with a 14% share of total exports. It was followed by Belgium, with a 8.4% share.

In the Netherlands, pineapple juice exports increased at an average annual rate of +14.4% over the period from 2007-2019. The remaining exporting countries recorded the following average annual rates of exports growth: Germany (+0.8% per year) and Belgium (+7.0% per year).

Export Prices by Country

The average pineapple juice  export price in the European Union stood at $733 per tonne in 2019. Over the period under review, the export price, however, saw a relatively flat trend pattern. Over the period under review, export prices attained the maximum at $873 per tonne in 2011; however, from 2012 to 2019, export prices remained at a lower figure.

Prices varied noticeably by the country of origin; the country with the highest price was France ($1,212 per tonne), while Cyprus ($543 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2007 to 2019, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by France, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Imports in the EU

In 2019, overseas purchases of pineapple juice decreased by -5.1% to 249K tonnes, falling for the third year in a row after two years of growth. Against its outset level of 2007, imports, however, enjoyed a prominent increase. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2016 when imports increased by 36% against the previous year. As a result, imports attained the peak of 318K tonnes. From 2017 to 2019, the growth imports remained at a somewhat lower figure.

In value terms, pineapple juice imports reduced to $131M (IndexBox estimates) in 2019. Total imports indicated a pronounced increase from 2007 to 2019: its value increased at an average annual rate of +6.3% over the last twelve-year period. The trend pattern, however, indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period.

Imports by Country

In 2019, the Netherlands (87K tonnes) was the main importer of pineapple juice, generating 35% of total imports. France (39K tonnes) ranks second in terms of the total imports with a 16% share, followed by Germany (15%), Belgium (12%), Spain (9.5%) and the UK (6.4%).

Imports into the Netherlands increased at an average annual rate of +6.5% from 2007 to 2019. At the same time, Belgium (+19.7%), Spain (+17.8%), Germany (+11.6%) and France (+9.8%) displayed positive paces of growth. Moreover, Belgium emerged as the fastest-growing importer imported in the European Union, with a CAGR of +19.7% from 2007-2019. The UK experienced a relatively flat trend pattern. While the share of the Netherlands (+18 p.p.), Germany (+11 p.p.), France (+10 p.p.), Belgium (+10 p.p.) and Spain (+8.1 p.p.) increased significantly, the shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the analyzed period.

In value terms, the Netherlands ($35M), France ($24M) and Germany ($20M) were the countries with the highest levels of imports in 2019, with a combined 60% share of total imports. Belgium, the UK and Spain lagged somewhat behind, together comprising a further 27%.

Import Prices by Country

In 2019, the pineapple juice import price in the European Union amounted to $528 per tonne, waning by -9.9% against the previous year. Overall, the import price showed a perceptible reduction. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2009 when the import price increased by 8.4% year-to-year. As a result, import price attained the peak level of $850 per tonne. From 2010 to 2019, the growth in terms of the import prices remained at a lower figure.

Prices varied noticeably by the country of destination; the country with the highest price was the UK ($649 per tonne), while the Netherlands ($404 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2007 to 2019, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by France, while the other leaders experienced a decline in the import price figures.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform

ecommerce

What are Common Mistakes Ecommerce Newbies Make?

Ecommerce businesses have recently seen a growth in their sales, and many business people have decided to start their own ecommerce business to capitalize on how well ecommerce has performed during COVID. However, newbies tend to make common mistakes that could easily be avoided if they caught them on time. These mistakes do not happen due to a lack of interest or knowledge, but probably due to the speed in which people are trying to jump into business. Once you realize the errors, you can easily correct them with a little more research.

The most common mistake newbies make is starting out with a new product. They try to create their own new product, instead of offering a product that is already trending. It would be better to start by following a trend to get people interested in the brand. This way, your business will attract more customers who want to purchase a product they have already seen others use and know it works, or it will fulfill their needs. By starting out with a new product, something people do not know nor trust, can set you back and lead to failure.

Some also choose to sell a high-ticket product. This means it will be a much higher cost per purchase, and you will need to have a set budget separated for advertising costs. Starting with high-cost products can be too big of a step to launch your business. You should focus on starting with a product within your budget to guarantee that you will not be losing money and your revenue will meet your goals.

Another common mistake is people not understanding their metrics correctly. There are several metrics to keep in mind.  Some of the most important ones are:

-Email click-through-rate.

-Cost per acquisition.

-Organic acquisition traffic.

-Social media engagement.

-Micro to Macro Conversion Rates.

-Average order value.

-Sales Conversion Rates.

-Customer retention rate.

-Customer lifetime value.

-Repeat customer rate.

-Refund and return rate.

-Ecommerce churn rate.

-Net promote score.

-Subscription rate.

The key metrics–the ones you really need to know and understand–to start your ecommerce are advertising cost, cost of goods, and revenue. It is particularly important to understand them before you go into business because the lack of knowledge can easily mean loss of money when you start advertising. Make sure you understand the cost per purchase and know how to make it work according to your budget.

One common mistake newbies tend to make is not setting up the right payment processors to accept the purchases. An example of that could be PayPal putting your money on hold for the next 30 to 60 days. To avoid situations like this, you need to find processors that were specifically created for ecommerce businesses and can make this transaction easier for you and for your customers.

Luckily, these mistakes are avoidable. The most important step is to do thorough research and understand your return on ads spent. You need to have an advertisement budget set aside; to spend and to have in case you lose money. Create a spreadsheet with your cost of goods and your revenue. Find merchant processors that are experts on ecommerce and suppliers who can provide the best prices to lower your cost of goods.

Starting an ecommerce business is like starting any other business. You need to be prepared to do it, understand what it takes to start a business and have the knowledge of what steps you need to be taking. If you do your research and know your key elements, you will be able to avoid all the common mistakes newbies make.

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Steven Ridzyowski has been a leader in the eCommerce/digital media buying space for over ten years. Ridzyowski takes pride in being self-taught in all aspects of his career. It’s probably why he is such a driven entrepreneur today! He started out of high school, deciding to never go to college and learning advertising blogs with Google AdSense and taking on what would soon become his career and passion.

After a couple of years doing that, Ridzyowski was introduced to affiliate marketing. During that time (2008-2010), cellphones and ringtones were becoming popular, and Ridzyowski became an affiliate in the ringtone niche for a few years. Little did he know, he was paying “influencers” on YouTube to have links for ringtone offers in the music video description, before “influencers” became the sensation they are now.

As he grew and became a successful affiliate marketer, he worked alongside many advertisers and colleagues. Ridzyowski then went on to create his own white label skincare brand, which became one of his pivotal successes.

Between the moment of changing from affiliate marketing to owning and running digital media buying for his own skincare brand, he started to follow trends, learning the ins and outs of digital marketing, spending over $30m in paid digital ads across the entirety of his career. Ridzyowski mastered different advertising platforms, generating income across many businesses in various niches and verticals.

Today, Steven Ridzyowski is focused heavily on e-commerce and marketing, especially with his new agency, which offers a turnkey solution for e-Commerce.  Ridzyowski has mastered everything from product research, to product trends, to marketing in all kinds of niches. In the past three years, he has created converting funnels to growing multiple 6 to 7-figure stores with his agency. He has helped hundreds of companies, both large and small, reach their full potential and created an online presence for them. Ridzyowski is also a member of the Forbes Business Council and the Young Entrepreneur Council.

Connect with Steve Ridzyowski on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevenridzyowski/

Follow Steve Ridzyowski on Instagram @ StevenRidzyowski

“Like” Steve Ridzyowski on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/StevenRidzyowskiOfficial/

Follow Steve Ridzyowski on Twitter @ SteveRidzyowski

Watch Steve Ridzyowski on YouTube at

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf-IaxhjT9vKP_P-bkmam8Q

brands

Research Shows These 5 COVID-19 Changes Really Can Help Brands Grow Market Share

“We’re all in this together.”  “We’ll get through this and emerge stronger.”

By now, the entire nation is familiar with these COVID-19 era mantras that brands are repeating on the airwaves, social media and in stores. But have consumers had enough of COVID-19 communications? And are these messages really helping brands — not just in the moment, but also with the future in mind?

Because emotions drive consumer behavior, we need to look at how consumers are reacting emotionally to each message to answer these questions. From several major studies with thousands of consumers my firm has conducted, we’ve seen that the brands that connect with consumers emotionally and in particular have a positive impact on how a person feels about themself, are the ones that are most likely to be purchased in general. We’ve also seen that during this period when people’s work and personal lives have been upended and worry, stress, frustration and anxiety are running high, companies that make consumers feel better are the ones that will gain market share and be recommended during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Product offerings are one way to make people feel better. Brands are certainly stepping up to the plate by providing products and services that help people feel better by fulfilling a need for indulgence, self-care and control.

Just as importantly, though, is what brands are saying and doing.  Messages of togetherness and reassurance—such as in State Farm’s Ad announcing, “For now, we’re all living a new normal…we’re here to make this new normal feel just a little more normal,”—are indeed helping. So are the actions that back these messages up, such as offering 0% financing, delivery and generous return policies.

Some actions and messages are more effective at making people feel good than others. They’re the ones that will help move the needle as far as retaining and growing market share. In a study of 1,000 consumers, my team and I uncovered the following 5 things brands are saying and doing that increase the chances of purchases and customer loyalty now and in the future by making people feel good:

Saying we will get through this and emerge stronger

A full 70% of those we polled said that since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, they have developed a more positive opinion of brands that remind them “we will get through this and emerge stronger.” Two-thirds (66%) say they will definitely purchase the product when this crisis is over, and 45% say that hearing this makes them feel very good about themselves. Of course, there are different ways to convey this message. Guinness ads acknowledged that St. Patrick’s Day was going to feel a bit different this year, adding, “we’ve learned that over the years, we’re pretty tough when we stick together” and “we’ll march again.” This Coca-Cola ad reminds us that for every loss, there is a gain, that for all the scaremongering there is also care mongering, and for every virus, there is a vaccine–implying humans are ultimately positive and resourceful.

Offering exclusive hours for at-risk groups

It makes good, practical sense that numerous retailers such as Whole Foods, Target, Walmart, Publix and Stop & Shop are offering special hours to those who are most at-risk of contracting the virus such as the elderly because these groups are less likely to leave their homes to make purchases.  But these actions and the messaging behind them are also helping from a short- and long-term marketing perspective.  Four-fifths (80%) of the people we polled said they have developed a more positive opinion of brands that offer exclusive hours for at-risk groups since the COVID-19 crisis began.  Almost three-quarters (73%) say they will definitely purchase from these providers when this crisis is over.

Reminding consumers that we’re all in this together

This is another phrase we are hearing from brands over and over again. In just one example, Hershey’s recent ad Heartwarming at Home begins by saying that we’re in this together and that these experiences give people a chance to come together in meaningful ways. It ends with pictures of people connecting through windows, several feet away, and with family members at home, sending a clear message: you’re not alone.  And it’s working.  Of the people we surveyed, 73% said that since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, they have developed a more positive opinion of brands that remind them “we are all in this together, while 67% say they will definitely purchase the product when this crisis is over. Hearing this makes 42% feel very good about themselves.

Sharing reliable updates about the COVID-19 situation

Apple has released a new screening tool that allows people to determine if they potentially have the virus and if they should seek medical care. They created a new COVID-19 website and app with the CDC to help them understand how to manage the virus, and a Contact Tracing App with Google to help curb the virus’ spread. Quest Diagnostics’s website provides information about COVID-19, and consumers can sign up for email alerts for news and testing information. Although it’s helpful in the moment, being a resource for consumers is also likely to pay off over time: 81% of the respondents said they’ve developed a more positive opinion of brands that share reliable updates about the COVID-19 situation, 49% say that purchasing from such brands makes them feel very good about themselves, and 60% say they will definitely purchase from these brands when this crisis is over.

Reminding consumers to take care of themselves

Surprisingly simple messages such as Uber thanking people for staying home and not using their service, and Sesame Street explaining that “taking care of yourself is also taking care of others” during a campaign that features Elmo and three friends washing their hands to upbeat music are proving extremely effective for brands. A full 77% of those polled said they’ve developed a more positive opinion of brands that remind consumers to take care of themselves, and 57% say they will definitely purchase from these brands when this crisis is over.

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Anne E. Beall, PhD is the CEO and Founder of Beall Research, Inc, a marketing-research consulting firm that uses research to create solutions for Fortune 500 companies. Author of Strategic Market Research: A Guide to Conducting Research that Drives Businesses (3rd Edition) and 7 other books on reading body language, gender dynamics, human-animal relations, and fairy tales, Anne previously worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). She received her MS, MPhil, and PhD from Yale University. A lover storytelling and walking, Anne lives in Chicago.

consumer

As Consumer Habits Change, How Can Businesses Keep Up?

American consumers don’t act and buy the way they did just a few short months ago – at least most of them don’t.

The pandemic and the need for social distancing led to an upsurge in online buying. Takeout and delivery replaced, at least temporarily, dining out. Many consumers, worried about the health risks of spending time in grocery stores, turned to services that would do their shopping for them.

Now, as the country tries to reopen and seek the next normal, businesses across the nation must figure out which of those consumer behaviors will become permanent, which were temporary, and whether any new ones yet unthought of might emerge.

“We live in a time when information can become outdated pretty quickly, and that’s become even more true because of COVID-19,” says Janét Aizenstros (www.janetaizenstros.com), a serial entrepreneur and the chairwoman and CEO of Ahava Digital, a company that ethically sources data on American consumers.

“The businesses that are going to succeed moving forward are those that grasp what consumers want and understand their changing habits.”

In contrast, those businesses that fail to understand what the latest consumer data is telling them, and are slow to adapt to the changes in consumer behavior, are going to be at risk, Aizenstros says.

She says going forward, businesses need to:

-Be prepared to pivot. Business leaders must be flexible. Many restaurants figured that out when the pandemic began, Aizenstros points out. Patrons could no longer dine-in, so the restaurants put an emphasis on takeout and delivery services. In the same way, each business will need to figure out how it can adapt and adjust its services or products to meet what customers want and need, she says.

-Gather reliable consumer data. With the internet, social media and numerous other sources, there is plenty of information available today about consumers, but not all of it is reliable. Make sure data comes from a quality source and that it reflects as much as possible the current thinking and behavior among consumers, Aizenstros says. “Businesses that fail to use reliable data and stay on top of the consumer trends,” she says, “will have a difficult time thriving as we go forward.”

-Take steps to make consumers feel comfortable. Even as people venture out more to dine in restaurants or shop in person, a Gallup survey shows they still plan to exercise caution. Businesses can help themselves by letting consumers know what steps they are taking to keep their stores, restaurants, and offices as safe as possible. “This is just another example of understanding and keeping up with what consumers want,” Aizenstros says.

Businesses have always had their plans and operations disrupted by both technological advancements and changing consumer habits. But rarely does consumer behavior evolve as quickly as it did in the early months of 2020 – and the changes didn’t always happen in easily predictable ways.

“Some areas such as home decor and fashion have done well recently,” Aizenstros says. “At the same time, we are seeing trends with businesses like J.C. Penney, Hertz and others struggling and filing for bankruptcy. It’s hard to keep up with consumer thinking unless your data is consistent, relevant and accurate. But if you understand what your customers want and work to give it to them, your business will have the opportunity to prosper.”

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Janét Aizenstros (www.janetaizenstros.com) is a serial entrepreneur and the chairwoman and CEO of Ahava Digital, which provides businesses and investors with ethically-sourced verified data about American consumers. Her background includes roles in finance at TD Canada Trust, Canon, and Brookfield LePage Johnson Controls, along with management consulting in a broad range of functions, such as supply chain operations, data analysis, and strategic thinking. She has a doctorate in metaphysical sciences with a specialization in conscious business ethics.

How Businesses can Adapt and Prosper in a Post-Pandemic Economy

As the economy restarts after the forced shutdown caused by COVID-19, businesses face a litany of unknowns. How quickly will shoppers return to their buying routines? Will temporary measures – working remotely, eating at home more, using delivery services – become permanent for large numbers of Americans?

“Many businesses won’t be able to return to their old way of doing things, but in some cases that might be just as well,” says Bill Higgs, an authority on corporate culture and the ForbesBooks author of the Culture Code Champions: 7 Steps to Scale & Succeed in Your Business (www.culturecodechampions.com).

Often, those old ways probably weren’t working, says Higgs, a founder and former CEO of Mustang Engineering who recently launched the Culture Code Champions podcast.

“Many companies have problems within their corporate culture that keep them from prospering the way they should,” he says. “They hire whoever is available instead of seeking out the best talent. They communicate poorly. They have silos within the company that create a lot of rework and foster competition instead of cooperation.”

Now is a chance to do better, Higgs says, and he recommends a few thing business leaders should do as they work to bring their companies out of the economic downturn:

Be a visible presence. Higgs says he has known instances where, during a downturn, leadership goes into hiding. “They would just disappear,” he says. “They didn’t want to face the music with their people. But as businesses struggle to recover from our current crisis, owners and CEOs need to get out and talk to their people. I call it ‘management by wandering around.’ They need to engage their team and discuss how everyone can pull together to get through this.”

Understand this could be an opportune time to hire. The unemployment rate spiked upward as the economy went into freefall, but that means there’s an opportunity for businesses that want to build a strong team, Higgs says. “During just about any downturn, the people who lose their jobs include top-notch performers,” he says. “Be on the lookout for that talent. Snap them up if you can. But even if you can’t hire right away, it’s important to be aware that those top performers are out there so  you can go after them when the time is right.”

Don’t get comfortable. One problem businesses encounter when good times return is that they revert to bad habits, Higgs says. They aren’t as diligent about eliminating waste. They keep poor-performing employees long past the point where they should have parted ways. “Companies by necessity run lean in the lean times,” he says. “But they also need to run lean in the good times, so they will be in better shape the next time the economy goes bust. Staying lean in the good times is a game changer.”

“One more mistake businesses make in good times is that when they get really busy, they stop selling, or at least aren’t as motivated to sell,” Higgs says. “I always say you should sell while the shop is full. That way when your salespeople are in a client’s office, they don’t come off as desperately begging for work. Instead, they are talking about all the fun stuff and good stuff you’re doing at your company. That makes a big difference in how you are perceived.”

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Bill Higgs (www.culturecodechampions.com), an authority on corporate culture, is the ForbesBooks author of Culture Code Champions: 7 Steps to Scale & Succeed in Your Business. The website and book provide methods to self-implement a culture that will improve a company’s bottom line. Higgs recently launched the Culture Code Champions podcast, where he has interviewed such notable subjects as former CIA director David Petraeus and NASA’s woman pioneer Sandra Coleman. Culture Code Champions is listed as a New & Noteworthy podcast on iTunes.

Higgs is also the co-founder and former CEO of Mustang Engineering Inc. In 20 years, they grew the company from their initial $15,000 investment and three people to a billion-dollar company with 6,500 people worldwide. Second, third and fourth-generation leaders took the company to $2 billion in 2014. Higgs is a distinguished 1974 graduate (top 5 percent academically) of the United States Military Academy at West Point and runner up for a Rhodes scholarship. He is an Airborne Ranger and former commander of a combat engineer company.

parcel

The State of “Fast and Free” Delivery: What Retailers and Parcel Carriers Should Know

Thanks primarily to Amazon (and the explosive growth of Amazon Prime), consumers in 2020 are conditioned to expect that virtually anything bought online can be shipped for free. That’s true for small orders like prescriptions and batteries, and for huge items like appliances and tires. If it means a shopper has to buy an annual subscription, or spend a little more to meet a free-shipping minimum, most people would consider that a low bar to meet.

But as every retailer and ecommerce seller knows, shipping is never free. Today’s multi-billion-dollar parcel carriers are getting paid. They moved nearly a billion parcels this past peak season. That shipping cost is being ultimately absorbed by sellers and is reflected in the price buyers are paying for products.

And parcel volume growth isn’t slowing down – it’s accelerating. According to the Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index, global parcel shipping volume grew 70% from 2014 to 2017, to 74.4 billion parcels. The index projects global parcel volume to rise at a rate of 17% to 28% from 2018 to 2020, surpassing 100 billion parcels this year.

Handling increasing parcel volume isn’t just about figuring out how to do more of the same. The process of getting things where they need to go is under a transformation. In a recent report, Gartner found that transportation is the largest portion of delivery costs, due to a shift from carriers handling bulk freight to small parcels.

[Parcel and last-mile delivery will] continue to be the fastest-growing shipment segments due to increases in multichannel retail, eCommerce in B2B and same-day delivery offerings.

Gartner also observed what many companies are feeling. As volume continues to grow, companies only have time to react instead of plan. That means many are missing opportunities to revolutionize parcel logistics with innovation and alternative delivery models.

How fast does “fast” need to be?

According to research from Freightwaves, consumers unsurprisingly still have an appetite for fast delivery, with 60% of shoppers saying they’ve abandoned an online purchase because of slow delivery times. With record volumes to handle – and so much at stake with consumer expectations – efficiency, on-time consistency, and flexibility are key for parcel delivery services, whether it’s same-day, next-day or deferred.

This year’s U.S. peak shipping season saw about a billion package deliveries (up 4.5% from 2018). Retailers are offering more same-day options, which increases demand and the need for trucks, local delivery vehicles, drivers, warehouses and warehouse workers.

This year, the challenge was also complicated by a shorter selling season (the holiday season was six days shorter in 2019 than is typical), new restrictions on driver hours of service, and the December 16 implementation of new rules for Electronic Logging Devices in commercial trucks. All of these factors impact capacity and the ability of networks to deliver fast and on time.

Emerging shift in consumer behaviors

On the flip side of the “freer and faster” coin is Gartner research analyst Tom Enright. He’s counseled retailers on their supply chain and fulfillment strategies for more than a decade.

In a groundbreaking report published in November 2019, he detected an emerging shift in consumer behavior: “Consumers are starting to express increased concern about the environmental impact of retailer’s shipping practices, and are seeking slower, more sustainable options.”

Consumers are now defining convenience as order fulfillment on their terms, and they’re expressing more and more concerns about the environmental impact of fast, one-off deliveries.

It’s a conflict between three consumer choices:

-The desire for instant gratification

-The price reduction they can get for waiting longer for a delivery

-The impact fulfillment speed has on transportation, packaging and other environmental issues.

According to Enright, for retailers, these shifting demands are driving the emergence of two new requirements that are somewhat at odds with current models:

-Retailers must be more environmentally sustainable in order fulfillment operations.

-Retailers must offer a wide range of shipping speeds and prices, especially if incentives or other benefits are included in the offering.

Considerations for retailers and parcel carriers

That means retailers – and their parcel delivery partners – need to consider more flexible fulfillment options. These will need to be able to satisfy a consumer who wants a totally different delivery than currently exists. Companies will need to consolidate multiple online purchases from different retailers, have them combined using less packaging and have it delivered as one shipment a week from Tuesday. That’s instead of three separate shipments expedited for delivery tomorrow – or even same-day.

Major retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Target, and The Home Depot are doubling down on offering same-day delivery options. And for parcel delivery providers, it remains a highly fluid and exciting market. New network models are not only welcome, but will be required to meet the ever-evolving demands of shippers.

The explosive growth of package volumes, and consumers’ desire for next-day and, increasingly, same-day delivery, aren’t likely to wane anytime soon. And retailers and parcel carriers will need to pursue creative, innovative ways to keep up with those expectations and meet that demand.

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Valerie Metzker is the Head of Business Development at Roadie, a crowdsourced delivery service that works with consumers, small businesses and national companies across virtually every industry to provide a faster, cheaper, more scalable solution for scheduled, same-day and urgent delivery. With over 150,000 verified drivers, Roadie covers 89% of U.S. households — the largest local same-day delivery footprint in the nation.