Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > Collaboration

‘Tis the Season to be Shopping. Will Video be the Tipping Point in Your Purchasing Decision?

“’Tis the season” as they say.  Soon you will hear the count- down of how many shopping days left until Christmas.  Like it or not, the biggest retail shopping day of the year takes place the Friday after Thanksgiving.  But, what I really get excited about is Cyber Monday.  I don’t know about you, but I plan to do the majority of my shopping online.  I am not new to online shopping of course.  I have been using it out of necessity as a working mother without an abundance of extra time and will continue to use it for a variety of reasons including…

I don’t have to beat the crowds for those BIG sales, I can compare prices instantly on a single site, I usually can finagle free shipping by using coupon codes or just taking advantage of holiday incentives, and I can get my shopping done in a matter of minutes versus the hours I would have spent had I actually gone to the store.

I will say that the shopping experiences I have had to date have been pretty good.  But, they could still improve.  For example, there have been several occasions where I have had questions about an electronics product (like a computer) and wanted to ask someone who really understood the features of the product.  I wanted to have that real-time experience where I could have a back and forth conversation with a “human.”  I don’t want to just look at the picture of the computer and guess by the description whether or not it was the right purchase to make.  Another time I was ordering a chair for my home office online and wanted to make sure I had the right style and color to match my room.  So I called the support line and had to describe my room, desk dimensions, and wall color etc. In the end, Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Facebook and Cisco Connect Businesses and Consumers

Black Friday. Holiday Travel. Consumers have a more Enjoyable Experience and Businesses are Successful

Thanksgiving is around the corner and the holiday season will be upon us. What will Black Friday look like this year? I know that this is a time when things get more chaotic in my household. As my kids get excited for a break from school, and we all look forward to extended time with family and friends, we must first get through all the holiday preparations and planning. Am I better off ordering gifts for my wife and kids online versus going to the store? Do I want to deal with crowds and getting lost in a retail haze on Black Friday or Christmas Eve? And where will we spend our holiday vacation this year? Will we have access to Wi-Fi wherever we go should I need to check email, or so my kids can watch their favorite shows on Netflix?

This also got me thinking about the questions that keep businesses up at night during the holiday season. These include:

  • How can I have a one-to-one engagement with every customer or guest?
  • How can I get more customers into my venue?
  • How can I avoid showrooming?
  • How can I efficiently use my physical assets and human resources to ensure my venue is set up to maximize customer flow and staffing?
  • How can I stand out from the crowd and compete with rival brands?
  • And advertisements – how can I make them specific to the consumer in my venue rather than generic for many?

Taking these business concerns into account and listening to our customers have prompted Cisco’s Enterprise Networking Group to team up with Facebook to enable businesses to turn their challenges into opportunities. We’ve looked at how consumers can have a more connected experience while in business venues and at the same time how the business can improve the engagement with consumers while they are in the venue. We want to make this year’s holiday season more pleasant for everyone.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Riding the 3 Waves Through the Holidays

As many of you know, the term “Black Friday” is commonly used to describe the Friday immediately after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday--the busy shopping day when many retailers begin to turn a profit for the year. Black Friday signals the start of the holiday shopping season, with its accompanying surge in the need for customer support. We can all think of examples of the latter: the frantic web searches to get our childrens’ gifts working properly, the calls to return a sweater that was the wrong size--sound familiar?

The holiday season is the acid-test of customer care in many industries. Businesses that fail the test will lose customers--often in droves--while those who delight their customers can surge ahead of the competition.

So how can businesses succeed--and excel--in providing world-class customer service even during this most challenging of seasons? The answer lies in properly leveraging the 3 Waves of Customer Care:  Cost, Relationship, and Experience. You can read about the details in this Read More »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Black Friday and Cyber Monday – Early Results Show Promise but it is a Omnichannel Marathon

Thanksgiving holiday came and went with Black Friday breaking records from last year. 

The highlights of the numbers that have been quoted in the press today are:

  • Sales increased 6.6% over the same day last year, representing $11.4 billion in retail purchases and biggest amount ever spent during the day. 
  • Retail foot-traffic increased by 5.1% over 2010  Source:  Shoppertrak

Looking beyond the headline numbers, here are  some other interesting data points:

  • Black Friday has been stretched with pre-promotions and longer shopping hours.  Retail sales were up over 3.5% the week of November 12th and 18th
  • Data from ShopperTrak indicated that consumers are visiting fewer stores per trip (being more efficient due to time crunch) with average of 3.1 stores down from 3.19 last year.  Shoppers are also doing more research on purchases before the trip.

Another report from ComScore shows  that Black Friday extended online before  Cyber Monday.

bfads.net web page
Bfads.net, number one most visited web site on Black Friday promotions
Source: ComScore

  • $12.7 billion has been spent so far online to date this holiday season with $816 million in Online sales on Black Friday
  • Thanksgiving Day online sales increased 18% to $479 million (perhaps after dinner  shopping instead of watching Thanskgiving football?)
  • Top five online retail properties (excluding auction sites) are Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Target and Apple with Amazon having 50% more visitors than any other retailer

What does this mean for retailers?  Here are some thoughts:

Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,

Black Friday is Really My Cyber Monday When I Shop Online with WebEx

Oh my, I hate crowds.

My daughter is 12 and thinks Black Friday is actually a holiday that follows Thanksgiving. The media has effectively gotten into her brain and she doesn’t even know why she wants to go shopping, but she knows she must. I keep telling her she doesn’t need a $50 VCR but she just doesn’t get it. I suppose I will take her and a friend to the mall and leave them there. There’s no way I am entering the abyss.

Then I will go home and do some real shopping.

My sister-in-law and I team up every year to work out who’s getting what for whom to make sure we get things people will like and to eliminate redundancies. Since I happen to be a big WebEx champion, we do it online.

We shop together using WebEx.

I know that makes me sound a little geeky, and maybe I am, but it’s so fun to surf the internet together and look at the same things at the same time. She had ideas, I have ideas. Sometimes we are sharing and often we are both finding things and then passing the ball back and forth to see each other’s discoveries.

While we shop, she can stop and talk to her toddler, we can both grab snacks and, maybe most importantly, we aren’t losing our minds in the crush of the crowd. It works well for us and I can imagine Read More »

Tags: , , , , , ,