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The old adage "there's no such thing as bad publicity" might just be true in the age of social media.
Just ask Japanese clothing retailer Uniqlo, which found itself in the spotlight after a mobile phone video showing an amorous couple getting to know each other in a Beijing store's fitting room was distributed online.
Brands are increasingly on the look out for influencers and an entire market has been built around connecting brands with them to reach consumers.
But when it comes to wooing consumers, particularly young, digital natives, are brands focusing too much on influencers and not enough on influence?
Valentine’s Day is on Saturday but most retailers have been gearing up to it for several weeks.
I received my first Valentine’s promotional email on January 19, close to a month before the day itself.
December is upon us so now's the time to roundup the finest social campaigns we saw in the past 30 days or so.
As always this list is based purely on things that I thought were clever, inspirational or just plain noteworthy.
It’s November, which means it’s time for retailers to start ramping up their Christmas marketing efforts.
US brands still have Thanksgiving and the whole Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping bonanza to get out of the way first, but in the UK marketers have a clear two-month run up to Christmas Day.
The avalanche of seasonal joy kicked off in earnest last week with the unveiling of John Lewis’ penguin TV ad, followed by less-popular efforts from it rivals.
But alongside the big TV reveals, digital marketers have also begun dropping in mentions of Christmas.
I’ve started to receive emails promoting various offers and sales, though it hasn’t yet been the torrent of Christmas-related messages that I was expecting.
We've previously highlighted 11 great ecommerce checkouts, and now it's time to see which brands have managed to create top notch, user-friendly mobile checkouts.
Given the disparity between conversion rates on desktop compared to mobile, it's perhaps understandable that retailers might put more effort into optimising their desktop checkout.
However as mobile conversions are so hard to come by, you really need to make their purchase journey as comfortable as possible.
These are by no means the very finest mobile checkouts in the world, and I'd actually be interested to read your nominations should you wish to add them in the comments section.
But these retailers have proved to be better than most when it comes to mobile checkout design.
Firstly, here the criteria I look for...
Continuing my quest to investigate how various industries use email marketing, here’s a look at how some of our favourite fashion retailers use this most effective yet often neglected marketing channel.
Much like my round-up on the travel industry a couple of weeks ago, I’ll be looking at the frequency of emails, the use of subject lines, the email content itself, special offers, editorial voice, personalisation, relevance… All of the many tools that a company can utilise to coerce the recipient to open up an email or even engage with it.
As well as the above criteria, I also filled up a shopping basket and abandoned it without purchase to see if I would receive any reminder emails. I also entered my birthday as a date in between sign-up and writing this article to see if I was offered any discounts or at some birthday wishes. It’s not fraud, it’s science!
These are the 16 sites I chose to register my details with: Urban Outfitters, ASOS, Threadless, H&M, Topshop, Topman, American Apparel, UNIQLO, Gap, River Island, Next, Pull and Bear, Anthropologie, Forever 21, Miss Selfridge and The Kooples.
Now let’s take a look at the ravaged state of my inbox. Thank you Gmail promotions tab…
H&M is set to launch its entry into the nascent world of ‘television commerce’ during this Sunday’s Super Bowl.
The interactive, 30 second-long ad starring David Beckham will be screened during the second quarter of Super Bowl XLVIII and will allow viewers the chance to purchase the featured products via a Samsung Smart TV. It’s the first of its kind.
It’s an intriguing gambit and one that all marketers, advertisers and anyone with a keen interest in David Beckham running around in his underwear will be paying particular attention to.
If anything it’s certainly raising H&M’s profile ahead of the big game, where the biggest brands in the world fight for the attention of 108m viewers (2013 viewing figures) and can pay up to $4m for the privilege. In fact sneak previews of Super Bowl ads began to appear a couple weeks ago, such is the feverish building-up of anticipation.
H&M's experiment with t-commerce raises a few questions: Is H&M really the first to do this? What are the restrictions of t-commerce? Will t-commerce have a future?
Let's see if we can answer those questions here.
Topshop is the top UK retailer for tablet user experience, according to the latest research by QUISMA, in which 10 top UK retailers were compared in terms of their tablet sites.
Topshop, Adidas and Nike provide the easiest to use websites for tablet users, whereas Zara and H&M performed poorly when it came to helping consumers navigate their sites.
Shall we blindly take QUISMA's word for it? Nah. Where's the fun in that?
Let’s have a look at some of the individual sites ourselves to see if we agree...
Twitter Q&As are like London buses – you wait ages for one then 100 come along at once. At least I think that’s how it goes?
In recent months brand marketers must have been busy convincing prominent members of staff to make themselves available on social media, as it seems every day someone else is answering questions via a hashtag.
The main benefit of these Q&As is PR, as the likelihood is that a huge number of trolls will try to ruin the exchange and inadvertently get it trending.
It tends to be the preserve of pointless celebrities and footballers, however every now and then someone of genuine interest agrees to get involved.
This roundup includes seven Twitter Q&As that proved to be useful for one reason or another...
So here’s the bad news. It’s no longer enough for your site to be ‘usable’ and ‘intuitive’. Today’s best in breed online retailers mastered the usability thing a while back and have long moved on.
To survive in a competitive market your site must also draw customers in, provide ideas, inspiration and help all without being overly attentive and obtrusive.
Whether your site is selling high fashion or stationery, we can all learn something from the most successful online retailers. We used whatusersdo.com to find out what was working best on two big fashion retail sites: ASOS and H&M.
Here are the five key themes both have hit upon to help them to their success.
H&M first launched its mobile app way back in 2010, however up until January this year you couldn’t actually use it to make a purchase.
Most major retail apps are transactional these days so it’s surprising that H&M has taken this long to make the upgrade, particularly as research shows that a majority of consumers expect to be able to make purchases using retail apps.
Now it just so happens that I’m on the look out for new some jeans, so I thought it was the perfect chance to see how easy it is to buy something using H&M’s Android app...