Can Blockchain Change Online Advertisement?

Blockchain — If you’ve heard of it even remotely, the things that you would associate it with are cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin primarily), finance, and an end-to-end encrypted ledger. And it makes perfect sense, as Blockchain is the technology supporting the hottest cryptocurrency — Bitcoin. However, what no-one talks about is the potential of blockchain and its power to disrupt almost any sector it can be implemented in. One such sector we can think of is “online advertising.”

It might sound strange but there, in fact, is a huge scope of using blockchain in the world of online advertising and eventually disrupting the sphere as we know it.

This is slight hesitation is what makes us think “can blockchain actually change online advertisement?”

And that’s what we will be discussing today in detail.

Some areas where we think blockchain can have a huge impact include the way online ads are delivered, purchased, valued, and measured. It even can be incredibly helpful in tracking the returns on the advertisement by evaluating the data in a more precise way. And to help you better understand how blockchain can change the online advertising, we decided to dive a bit deep into the online advertisement world.

Making Ad Buying Reliable

The biggest obstacle in front of every online advertiser is to trust the stats. We see clicks, we see followers, we see likes, etc. but are those the actual number of customers (real people) or just bots cutting deep into your pockets? If you have even slightest of knowledge of the online advertisement world, you must be aware of the “bots” or the employed “clickers” who are employed to boost the ad stats so that the distributor can charge a bomb to the advertiser. If truth be told, as of now, it is really tough to differentiate between the two.

According to a recent study, bots and clickers alone cost advertisers almost $7 billion in ad damage. Now, by any scale that is a huge number and a worrying one too. And this is where blockchain comes into play. Because of its encrypted and transparent nature, it is tough for the distributors to hide their bots or clickers from the advertisers. This makes it easy for the advertiser to establish whether the audience they are serving their ad to is their targeted audience or not. As a result, they can save millions on their online advertising. This can be done using native tokens for establishing a reliable ad-space which will benefit the advertisers through auditing the campaign and by securing impression tracking cryptographically. So, with blockchain in place, advertisers can now avail the advertising they are paying for.

Serve Direct To Your Targeted Audience

In the traditional online advertising sphere, your ads are served to your audience via a middleman (ad buying agency), which yields a higher CPM as opposed to when you serve your ads straight to your targeted audience. And blockchain can make it happen for you through “micro-currencies.” These companies micro-currencies will get advertisers their audience’s’ attention and not just imprints, and they will be able to establish it before the currency is being exchanged. In this way, you will be serving your ads straight to the potential customers as opposed to the bots and clickers and will be paying for the actual mental effort spent by the customer.

Better Targeting

One of the biggest issue every only advertiser face is targeting. While we do have sources which provide us a significantly accurate targeted audience, the sources from which we get the information, in general, are rather disparate. Some might tell you the age and sex, while others will tell you the field in which your audience work or even the area they live in. None, however, give the real information shared by the customers themselves, as none of them have built a customer profile on their own.

But blockchain changes it all. With blockchain, advertisers can now create their own customer profile gathering all the information the customer is willing to share at one go. This gives you greater ability to serve to customers’ needs and gets you an even higher result of investment as you will now be serving only to the customers who are most interested in buying your product.

While these are just some areas where we think that blockchain can change the online advertisement significantly, these are not the only sectors where we will see blockchain bloom in coming times. The power of blockchain is yet to disrupt a lot of sectors as we know them, but the world of online advertising is one that we are most interested in. So, while you are mastering your Facebook ad scheduling, there is an even better and more exciting ad tech is waiting for you. And if you ever though blockchain is just a fad which will pass away, let us tell you — it is here to stay.

Be Omnipresent, Capture The Online-to-Offline Shopper

Be Omnipresent, Capture The Online-to-Offline Shopper | Taglr

Technology, for all the advantages it has offered, has also made it tough for us all to keep up with the constant changes in the technological sphere. It took some time for the retailers to adjust to the growing pace of online shopping and an increasing number of shoppers drifting away from the conventional in-store shopping. However, with the limited number of platforms to start with, retailers and shoppers alike found it easier to tie their loyalty to brands like Amazon, eBay etc for their online selling/shopping needs. But then, technology moved forward, bringing in a myriad of online shopping platforms, with every one of them offering something new, something attractive to the customers and retailers both and they both were again made to re-align their loyalties.

And just when we thought that the online shopping market has peaked, there comes the O2O (Online to Offline) concept with product discovery platforms like Taglr. And once again both, the shoppers and the retailers are in a bit of tussle regarding their loyalties.

In such times, the question that every retailer ask is, “What should be my approach to maximize my business gains?”

And the answer is rather simple, be Omnipresent.

But it’s easier said than done. Capturing the online-to-offline shoppers will need you to up your business game and here’s how you do it.

It’s no secret that the search for any product that a modern shopper needs begin online. The modern shoppers like to surf the interwebs extensively before putting their money down the table for any product they need. They like to read reviews, they like to check the specifications, and they even want to compare the product to a similar product from another manufacturer just to make sure that they are making the right decision.

This is why the retailers and the brands are actively seeking platforms to offer everything a modern shopper needs along with the seamless shopping experience from their offline store. And a platform like Taglr enables them to do exactly that. In the modern competitive shopping environment, it’s very important to grab the attention of the shopper online to drive them to your store offline. And the modern product discovery platforms does exactly that for the modern retailers and brands.

A product discovery platform advertises the product available on the shelf of a store nearby alongside the offerings made by big e-commerce platforms like Amazon etc, enabling the customer to make a better decision ahead of their purchase. While it broadens up the selection criterion for the shoppers, it also provides a level playing field to the smaller retailers to compete with big the big e-commerce giants. The decision to purchase in the end lies with the shopper only, however, the shoppers now have a gamut of options to choose from.

And this is what being “omnipresent” means. While you still have your physical presence in the market, with the help of product discovery platform and their online marketing channel, you now can tap the shoppers looking for your products online as well.

That being said, being omnipresent does come up with its own fair share of limitations as well, especially if you are an offline retailer as you will be competing with the online shopping giants like Amazon, who somehow has leapfrogged pretty much every online shopping platform. So, it’s very important that you stay with the shopper at every step of the shopping. And it’s not a rocket science to do so. The online product discovery platforms give you channels like chat, email, or a contact number to keep in touch with your customer. So that you are there to assist them if and when they need you. And you must use such channels to greater effect.

Finally, if you are looking to make your business omnipresent for your shoppers, we suggest you get yourself an advanced product discovery platform equipped with technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence, to make sure you are making smarter business decisions.

How offline retailers can compete with online e-commerce giants

What offline retailers can do to compete with e-commerce heavyweights
With e-commerce giants devouring a major portion of the retail pie, can offline retailers catch up? The answer is yes – And here’s how:

In the intensifying competition between brick-and-mortar retailers and e-commerce heavyweights, who will win? With e-commerce giants devouring a major portion of the retail pie, can offline retailers catch up? The answer is yes – And here’s how:

Strike while the iron is hot

It often happens that even while inside a store, shoppers turn to their cell phones to make a purchase decision. Offline retailers can convert this into a fitting opportunity to create fruitful in-store experiences by delivering relevant information to customers when the purchase intent is fresh. iBeacon technology is one such avenue through which offline retailers can furnish product information, videos, social reviews, etc. via mobile to help shoppers make informed, data-backed decisions while in the store.  

Take Best Buy’s showrooming approach ‘Your Ultimate Holiday Showroom’ – This innovative campaign put forth the brand’s ‘Low Price Guarantee’ promise through an entertaining YouTube video, using an online approach to invite customers into the offline store.

Be socially intelligent

In-depth analysis of online activity and social media reviews can help offline retailers gain insights into customer sentiments, then leverage this ‘social intelligence’ to optimize in-store customer experiences. Social media platforms also facilitate better retailer-customer interaction, quicker information and feedback exchange, improving brand perception and sometimes reversing negative impressions too.

British multinational fashion retailer TopShop gave customers freestyling and make-up sessions, then invited them to create a ‘Wish You Were at Topshop’ digital postcard using Instagram. After being captured via iPads, the images were set with an Instagram filter and shoppers were encouraged to share them on social media.

Redefine customer service

Trained, well-informed in-store personnel must also have access to social media activity, online reviews, searches, etc. to assist customers better. This enhances the shopping experience and brings a compelling personal touch that may not be achievable by online stores – For instance, remembering regulars and personalizing the approach according to each shopper.

Here too, beacons can help offline retailers design personalized, targeted offers by syncing shoppers’ wish lists and favourites with their mobile apps.

Waitrose, a UK grocery retailer, lets shoppers use their mobile phones as a ‘Quick Check’ handset to scan products for information, ratings, reviews and discounts/offers; to cherry-pick their own offers (For instance, myWaitrose loyalty cardholders can select 10 exclusive Waitrose products at a 20% discount); and even request in-store assistance which store staff get notified about on their iPads. With iBeacon technology, store staff receive customers’ locations as well.

Says Sara Weinreb, founder of apparel store IMBY, “When people frequent my store, I’m able to enable them to define their personal style, find products that match their budget and requirements, and give them things to look for. Options such as this just aren’t on Amazon, where it’s your work to examine a large number of relevant products for every search.”

Leverage exclusivity

Anything traceable to an SKU or ISBN number is mass produced, marketed, and discounted.

Offline retailers can create their own unique merchandise by stocking locally produced items, offering differentiated features that cannot be duplicated or found online, and offer all this at competitive prices.

Australian fashion boutique Covet’s owner herself designs her store jewellery, giving shoppers inimitable items that are hard to find elsewhere.

Ditch conventionality

Price matching, a common tactic used by brick-and-mortar stores to convert online shoppers, doesn’t always work, making it essential to be innovative while promoting and pricing products. One way is to ditch blanket discounts and instead segment buyers to tailor promotions based on individual shopping behaviour. Where possible, payment conveniences and flexibility (partial/split payments, layaways, etc.) can also help compete with e-commerce players.

Work on the balancing act

Inherent advantages of offline retail like click-and-collect, reserve-in-store, and in-store product stock availability indications can turn into unique advantages to draw more customers into physical stores.

Along with traditional marketing practices, offline retailers must build a powerful online presence too. In the booming online shopping world, not having a digital presence means missing out on a sea of potential customers. It is also essential to integrate brick-and-mortar locations with online stores by using solutions that sync inventory and data across multiple channels/locations to enable management of online and offline stores without duplications, redundancies and discrepancies. This balancing of offline and online presence makes the omni-channel retail experience a reality.

Digitize shopping experiences

Introducing new technology to physical stores can help offline retailers create digitized shopping experiences that online retailers may find hard to compete with.

Big Bazaar Gen Next stores in Noida and Mumbai are equipped with virtual mirrors, interactive digital screens, digital signages on retail shelves, paperless checkouts, and more.

The Van Heusen Style Studio in Bengaluru has an in-built recommendation software ‘style bar’, a Fit Suite to suggest individualized sizes/fits, and virtual trials, among other digital conveniences.

Raymond’s flagship store Ready to Wear in Bengaluru has iPads for invoicing and also to let customers experience virtual trials of chosen apparel in their specific sizes.

Summing up

Several new age retail stores are catching up with their online contemporaries by embracing advanced technology to design digitized and exciting in-store experiences. Assistive robots, online advertising platforms like Taglr, interactive mirrors, sensor-embedded shelves, real time inventory tracking, and more, these are just some of the real-world features that can lure online shoppers back into good old offline stores.

Three essentials of a successful returns policy for an e-commerce business

A clear, legal refund/return and cancellation policy on an e-commerce website give customers recourse that if they change their mind about a purchase, it can be sorted out. Handling product returns professionally via a well-defined returns policy, therefore, builds confidence in customers, ensures continued patronage, and is a proof of commitment to stellar customer service. Also, it often happens that products with a returns policy sell better than those without it.

From a legal perspective, a returns and cancellation policy defines the guidelines for cancellations and refunds on purchases and clarifies the course of action customers and companies can take. Without this, a customer’s right to redressal is infringed, hence every e-commerce business needs to have a clear, professional returns policy.  

A comprehensive e-commerce return policy reduces down the time, effort and money spent on sorting out returns and can even lower the occurrence of returns, in turn improving customer retention and satisfaction. Listed below are 3 essentials of a successful returns policy for any e-commerce business:

1) Start with the basics

Most successful e-commerce websites include the ‘All Sales are not final’ clause in their policy, which implies that customers are entitled to cancel, exchange or claim a refund on the purchase. Contrarily, the ‘All sales are final’ clause implies the opposite and is usually applied to discounted products or items on sale or having offers.

This is the most basic, yet most important aspect of a returns policy since it tells customers they are not obligated to accept a certain purchase, and if they don’t, you are willing to take it back or exchange it. Nevertheless, the product’s nature is a deciding factor if the refund will be full or partial, will the product be exchanged, etc.  

2) Leave no room for ambiguity

Refund costs could be borne by the company or customer. Whatever be the case, it should be explicitly stated in the returns policy displayed on your e-commerce site, along with detailed payment procedures. It is also essential to ensure there are no hidden cancellation/refund costs.

A returns policy should also specify the time frame allowed to customers to cancel/return an order as well as the period allotted for the refund – The latter defines the number of days it will take for customers to get their money back after opting for a return.

Most e-commerce companies let customers select the terms/form of a refund, return or exchange as per their convenience. The policy should mention if customers are entitled to a cash refund, product exchange, or credit; along with the associated time interval and validity of the refund/exchange/credit. The eligibility criteria for the refund is important too – For instance, return a product in its original condition, within a specific period, etc.

It is important to note that time frames for malfunctioning, defective or damaged products usually vary from normal exchanges/cancellations. In this case, it is best to replace the faulty item or give customers a full refund without asking for additional payments.

Refund/exchange/return terms for digital products vary from merchant to merchant and must be specified in the policy.

3) Keep it simple

It is important for the returns policy to be accessible to customers at a glance – It should be easy to locate on your website’s home/landing page, on every customer correspondence, on receipts and even in packages so that customers can review the policy whenever they want.

Additionally, the policy language should be jargon-free and easy to understand without scope for misinterpretation/ambiguity.

Though not mandatory, it is good to send a physical copy of the returns policy along with the invoice and warranty during product delivery.

Conclusion

Customers return products they are disappointed with. But with accurate, informative and detailed product descriptions, appropriate product photography and videos, disappointments can be minimized and even prevented altogether, in turn lowering the number of returns and building greater customer trust.

Trust is, therefore, an integral aspect of e-commerce, and a good returns policy is an inherent part of this essential trust that every online shopper seeks. An online advertising platform like Taglr is synonymous not just with trust, but convenience and affordability too – Thanks to its advanced and smart product search platform that offers relevant shopping solutions to price-sensitive online shoppers, letting them choose from a range of retailers, elevating visibility for the latter as well.

In a nutshell, creating an exhaustive returns policy and listing your products on Taglr is a sure-fire way to take your e-commerce venture to greater heights.