Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 31

showing that people over 60 go deeper into a website and look at more pages. So you might argue that the over-60 person who goes online is a higherquality consumer who will spend more time on your website.” There are, indeed, technologically unhip old people to whom the internet is still a mystery. But most of them are now in their 80s and 90s, not in their 50s and 60s. As Abusaleh points out, “If you were in the workforce any time in the last 20 years, you probably know how to use a computer and the internet. … The online channel transcends age groups. We need to debunk the myth that ‘online’ means ‘for young people.’” Cooper says the notion that old people don’t buy on the web is “pure bull.” A few years ago she ran a short-form DRTV campaign for a video compilation of sketches by the late comedian Red Skelton, whose fan base averages well above age 60. Eighty percent of all sales came in via the web, not by phone. “I said, ‘Why are we even messing with a call center?’” Cooper recalls. When she tested the commercials with no call center involved, she says, cost-perorder dropped while volume remained the same. This isn’t to say that age is completely irrelevant in the online world. For instance, Abusaleh says that age plays a role in the way that people use and think about social media. From a marketer’s perspective, he notes, services like Facebook and Twitter are important because of the “buzz” they might generate about a product, for good or ill. Abusaleh observes that the majority of DR products target consumers older than 35. “When people over 35 go on Facebook, they use it to connect with friends and family,” he says. “It’s younger people who want to know what others on Twitter and Facebook are saying about a product before they buy.” Suppose, therefore, that you are wondering whether to hire a celebrity spokesperson for a DRTV campaign who also would talk about your product on Twitter. If your target customers are

over 40, should you pay extra for the Tweeting celeb? “I’d say no,” Abusaleh says. “But for buyers under 25, might a Twitter campaign using a celebrity make sense? I’d say yes.” For every rule of thumb, however, there are an awful lot of exceptions. Experts are unanimous in warning against easy assumptions about consumer behavior. Even Fraser, who argues

that the best way to understand your target customers is to ask them about themselves, cautions against reading too much into the answers you get. It’s great to know some characteristics of your likely buyers. But just as you can go wrong by assuming that older people don’t shop online, Fraser says, “you have to be careful about what you think is a predictive characteristic.”

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Electronic Retailer - March 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Electronic Retailer - March 2012

Chasing Shadows in Mobile Retail
Calendar of Events
Industry Reports
eMarketer Research
IMS Retail Rankings
Jordan Whitney’s Top Categories
Lockard & Wechsler’s Clearance & Price Index
Cover Story CarMD Makes a DR Diagnosis
Selling in a Fragmented World
Case Study DR Marketing North of the Border
Advertiser Index
Bulletin Board
Classifieds
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - Calendar of Events
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - cover2
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 3
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 4
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 5
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 6
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 7
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 8
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - Industry Reports
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 10
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 11
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 12
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 13
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - eMarketer Research
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 15
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - IMS Retail Rankings
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 17
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - Jordan Whitney’s Top Categories
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 19
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - Lockard & Wechsler’s Clearance & Price Index
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 21
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 22
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 23
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - Cover Story CarMD Makes a DR Diagnosis
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 25
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 26
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 27
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - Selling in a Fragmented World
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 29
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 30
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 31
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 32
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 33
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - Case Study DR Marketing North of the Border
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 35
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 36
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 37
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 38
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 39
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 40
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 41
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 42
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - Bulletin Board
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - Classifieds
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 45
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - 46
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - cover3
Electronic Retailer - March 2012 - cover4
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