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The calm after the storm

The calm after the storm
Monday January 13 2014

Carl Holmquist highlights how customer calls could offer local opportunities often overlooked by retailers, especially during such stormy weather and times

Christmas 2013 has come and gone, and in its wake the UK has been hit with storms from all angles – whether that’s family coming home for the festive period or the weather knocking on your front door. 

Carl Holmquist, founder and chief executive of advertising technology company Freespee, told RetailTechnology.co.uk readers: “As retailers, I'm sure you know it's important to make the most of even the most severe seasons, especially at the moment.”

Whether it is house cleaning, repairs, storm damage prevention, dog walking or just everyday household goods, the majority of consumers can now look for local service providers and retailers using online search. “Indeed, 80% of consumers choose to talk to the local service provider or retailer instead of using online booking services, contact forms or purchasing services online,” Holmquist said.

Lack of search result visibility

“What we know is that, while legacy tracking tools like Google Analytics are great at telling you where your traffic is coming from, they are unable to show you where it goes if it doesn’t immediately convert online. As it turns out, 80% of sales opportunities are not visible in your day-to-day reporting. This is because, instead of clicking to complete their order or booking, your customers chose to pick up the phone and speak to you directly instead, making online search for local service providers and retailers in most cases, five times more effective than any of your reporting shows.”

Holmquist continued: “No smart retailer wants to miss an opportunity to use cutting-edge technology in the sale process, however if a customer finds that once they have located a company that can fulfil their needs, they cannot get in touch by phone because their contact number is not visible on their Google ad or their website, the journey ends there and they will go elsewhere – especially at the moment when purchases are made based upon imminent seasonal emergencies and much needed repairs. Choosing to using the right technology to avoid making oversights like these can be a business critical decision.”

Maximising response levels

All retailers want to make the most of the December and January sales period, but Holmquist asserts that if advertising spend in its wake is ineffective, it is money wasted. “Consumers spend half as much time searching on their mobile device as they do on a desktop browser before they choose to contact a local service provider or retailer – plus mobile searchers are more likely to abandon the call if they're put on hold,” he added.

“During this period, consumers want to solve their problems first thing on Monday morning. Additionally on Thursday, when the weekend is nearing – there is another peak in search for local service providers and retailers.”

Tagged as: Christmas | local | weather | communications | search | advertising | analytics | Google | Freespee