In a series of articles we look at major tech cities across the UK and find out how digital their retailers are. In cities full of talented digital people we expected to see a large proportion of their retailers trading online. This report looks at how digital Edinburgh is.
Being the capital of Scotland it is not surprising that Edinburgh has a thriving digital sector. With almost half of Scotland’s creative industries employees working in the city it is fair to say that Edinburgh is also the digital capital of the country. Edinburgh is home to games giant Rockstar North as well as housing Amazon’s software development centres. Microsoft also has offices in the city, one of only five of their UK locations.
Data from Market Location retail businesses in and around Edinburgh was analysed to find out how well they are engaging with digital. The analysis looked at whether their website offered e-commerce functionality, whether the website was designed to be viewed on mobile devices and how often the website has been shared on social media.
Fewer than 20% of the sites that were analysed had e-commeerce functionality. While e-commeerce may not be an option for some retailers there is still a big opportunity for 80% of the businesses to start selling online as British shoppers currently making 13.5% of their purchases online and the digital economy forecast to rise to £225bn by 2016.
Velo Ecosse are able to offer a wide range of cycling related products through their website as well as at their shop in central Edinburgh. The large amount of products are split into detailed categories to ensure that visitors to the website can quickly find the cycling accessories that they are looking for. Customers also have the ability to search for their favourite to help find the right product for them.
Next the working websites were analysed to see if they were designed for mobile devices. This test looked at whether the website was responsive and also whether there was a dedicated mobile website.
Around 25% of the Edinburgh retailers in our study have responsive websites that work on mobile phones and other devices. Mobile and tablet usage is rising quickly in the UK and is expected that UK retail mcommerce sales will increase its percentage of overall retail e-commeerce sales from 15% this year to 26.5% in 2017.
One retailer you might not expect to offer an e-commeerce option is Hann’s Aquatica and reptile world. Not only can you purchase live fish through their website but you can also do so efficiently on your mobile phone as the site is responsive. When the screen size reduces the menu changes to make it easier for those using small screen devices to browse the various fish and fish related products.
Finally, the websites were analysed to see how often they had been shared across social media. Sites were grouped by the number of Facebook Likes and Tweets on Twitter that they received.
Most of the Edinburgh shops have websites with some engagement from social media but there are still quite a lot that have no Facebook Likes or Tweets. Businesses who engage with their customers through social media can see an increase in both new and returning customers as well as increased customer loyalty.
Combing the mobile and social data for these sites shows that website owners who have sites that work on mobile devices and offer e-commeerce functionality tend to have more social shares. Around 7% of the sites in the sample had websites with both mobile and e-commeerce capabilities with these sites getting a much higher than average number of social shares.
The Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa
is perfectly placed for tourists looking to explore Edinburgh. It is also very popular on social media with over 3,000 Likes on Facebook. As well as using Facebook and Twitter the hotel has a well-used review functionality with over 250 detailed reviews giving a good idea of how previous guests have enjoyed their stay.
Edinburgh retailers have a good proportion of websites that enable their customers to make purchases online. Doing this hugely increases their potential customer base and also gives regular customers an alternative to visiting their shops. As with the other cities in the study though it is expected the number of retailers offering e-commerce will increase as more businesses see the advantages of selling online.
Though they are two terms which are often confused and invariably interchanged, there is a stark difference between the notions of telesales and telemarketing. And if you want to embark on a relevant and successful telephone based campaign for your business, understanding the distinction between them is important.
Telesales have been around for decades, used as a prime selling tool, contacting a customer directly and attempting to offer your services or products. Telemarketing is a more overarching term used the describe the process of using direct communication to engage with your customer base, learn more about them and in turn allow them to learn more about you. It involves research, feedback and the garnering of information to improve your customer knowledge and generate sales.
Telemarketing is a whole campaign, spreading the vision of your business and ensuring its attributes are made aware to potential or existing clients. Telesales is purely the function of approaching customers directly, possibly by using the information gleaned from your Telemarketing approach. Both have outgoing cold calling in common, but Telemarketing has a raft of approaches to increase brand awareness, while Telesales has one simple function: closing a deal. Both are different, and they each have their individual advantages, as we will learn.
Telemarketing can be seen as a number of different phone based activities used to seek out new customers while at the same time spreading the message of your brand. Your clients are approached directly as you try to ascertain what they need and how you can support that need. Buying trends and deficiencies in your offering can be identified by speaking to existing customers, while new markets can be unearthed and indentified, allowing for a more focused approach to sales and reducing the need for your Telesales team to engage in extensive, and often fruitless, cold calling.
Telemarketing teaches you about your customer base and consequently your business. Polling and market research conducted directly with the public can provide invaluable data concerning the best way to strengthen your concern. It can develop a rapport with those you are trying to target and promote your attributes.
The focus with Telesales is much more apparent. The bottom line is following leads and making sales. A strong Telemarketing campaign can provide a wealth of new marketing channels and potential customer bases, but effective, professional Telesales operatives are still required to close those sales and generate business.
The in-house generated data provided by your Telemarketing scheme can provide a more focused and defined information source for your sales team to employ, but sensitive, persuasive Telesales staff are vital to reduce customer annoyance and bolster conversion rates.
Which is Better?
It is not a question of choosing one approach over the other. The most effective (if potentially costly) method is an integrated campaign of Telemarketing (plus a variety of other traditional marketing research initiatives) to identify lead generation followed by an outbound Telesales campaign. By just cold calling without effective research, you can expect a poor conversion rate and an inadequate return on your investment. While conducting marketing research without fully briefing your Telesales team may also yield poor sales. But by understanding the inherent differences between these two disciplines and exploiting their positive elements, Telesales and Telemarketing can effectively help your business prosper.
County Business Sales (Essex) Ltd
Brentwood Essex CM144LQ
I would like to thank you for a very successful email campaign we recently commissioned through you. Your friendly and professional approach to managing our campaign made it a pleasure to deal with you.
As Business Transfer Agents we look for owners interested in selling their business. With you and your design team’s help an email creative was designed targeting business owners in the Hair and Beauty sectors.
Our campaign was sent three times to our target market, and each time we received incoming enquiries from potential vendors. The tracking data that was supplied after each campaign showed us which business owners had clicked through to our website, and this was very useful for follow up.
As a result of this campaign we made a healthy return on our investment of £500 and we are happy to continue to commit to further campaigns with you in 2014.
Darren Cooper (Director)
If you are considering buying business data or B2B data for direct marketing, telemarketing or email marketing, here are some top tips to consider to make sure you get the best quality data possible:
Who do you want to talk to?
With the range of data that is now available, it is essential that you identify your target audience. A message delivered to a prospect or customer who has no interest in the content is a waste of time and provides no return on investment.
How clean is the data?
The last thing you want is to buy a B2B data list that contains incorrect or out of date business details. At Market Location, we pride ourselves on the quality of our data. Our business contacts have all been verified by our UK call centre to ensure the details we hold are up to date and accurate.
Know your customer
How will your customer best engage with your message? Would an email campaign provide the best response, or would they react better to a direct mail approach?
Target the right person
When you carry out a direct marketing campaign, it’s vital that you aren’t wasting time and money speaking to individuals that have either left the company, changed role or don’t have the authority to make a purchase. Our business data lists are not only up to date, they also contain the contact details of a senior decision maker within the company.
To turn a cold call in to a warm call, integrate online and offline data
An email marketing campaign followed up with a telemarketing campaign usually provides a much better prospect than a straight cold call. Because of the measurability of email, it is possible to see who opened your email and when they opened it, allowing a call to be timed whilst the communication is still fresh in the recipient’s mind.
Try before you buy
Don’t buy into a data list without knowing what you’re getting. Ask for a data sample so you can check the quality and accuracy.
Whatever method of direct marketing you use, you must bear in mind that the success of your campaign depends on good planning, targeting and accurate, up-to-date data lists. Because of the large amount of direct marketing prospects receive, you have to work hard to make sure your investment doesn’t end up in the bin.