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In the same way that exclusive offers and flash sales cause shoppers to throw rational thought out of the window, dwindling stock levels create a fear of loss and a sense of urgency that nudges consumers ever closer to making a purchase.
Ecommerce retailers are obviously wise to this as a sales tactic and it's common to see stock information displayed prominently on product pages.
With this in mind I’ve been scouring apparel ecommerce sites to see how different retailers present stock levels as part of their product page design.
Here’s a selection of what I found...
Agile email creative is the formatting of images not before send, or at send (with automated or dynamic content) but at the moment the customer opens or re-opens an email.
This allows one to change pictures in an email depending on a host of variables, on their own or combined, in a rules-based system.
A lot of what this agile creative can achieve boils down to improving the user journey when they open an email. So, for example, an image can present latest availability of a product, so that when the customer clicks through from a product image, she isn’t surprised by lack of stock and doesn’t subsequently distrust brand comms.
I’ve previously talked to Movable Ink, a specialist in simplified email build and agile email creative (see this post for an overview and some great comments). Recently I also spoke to Matt Hayes of Kickdynamic, another agile email specialist.
We discussed the possibilities of the technology and how, although not a complex premise, agile email is enlivening the channel whilst increasing conversion rates from email marketing.
In this post I thought I’d detail some more examples of agile email creative and discuss what benefits they hold.
Net-A-Porter unveiled a new print magazine last week which it hoped would disrupt the old model of print publishing through new innovations such as shoppable pages.
The bi-monthly magazine, named Porter, is due to be published six times a year with 400,000 copies of each edition made available across 60 countries.
It enables Net-A-Porter to connect magazine readers to its ecommerce store, as all of the pages can be scanned using the retailer’s mobile app.
This then gives users several options, including finding an item on the ecommerce store, visiting a third-party website, or watching a video.
As with all fashion magazines, Porter’s pages are liberally filled with adverts. These are also scannable, but only link to the brand’s website.
Net-A-Porter has unveiled a new print magazine named Porter as it seeks to build on its reputation as a destination for fashion news and advice, rather than a straightforward ecommerce site.
The idea of brands being publishers is nothing new in the age of content marketing, but it is still uncommon for a pureplay online retailer to launch a global magazine.
However company founder Natalie Massenet said at the magazine’s launch this morning that “Net-A-Porter is a media group, and we love print.”
Porter is due to be published six times a year with 400,000 copies of each edition made available across 60 countries, so it’s clearly a huge investment for the business.
The magazine will be shoppable through the Net-A-Porter app, but as it doesn't hit shops until tomorrow the app isn’t yet functional. I’ll do a full user test in the near future though.
2013 was another fascinating year in mobile as many brands finally reached the point where smartphones and tablets now account for a majority of their site traffic.
This meant that businesses could no longer ignore the need to cater for mobile users, leading to a noticeable trend towards using responsive design as well as the launch of a number of excellent commerce apps.
The use of mobile technology in-store also became more prominent alongside a stronger focus on mobile search, location-based marketing and other related services such as click-and-collect.
So to round up some of the biggest developments in mobile from 2013 and look forward to what we can expect to see in the next 12 months, I spoke to mobile experts from eBay, Net-A-Porter, Schuh and Somo...
Net-A-Porter has launched a new mobile app, called The Netbook, that steps up the retailer's move into social commerce.
The iOS app is based on the ‘Live’ feature that sits on the site's homepage and acts like a carousel ticking through the latest products that customers have purchased.
Until now the product feed was anonymous, so the new app is an attempt to give customers an online identity on Net-A-Porter which then creates an additional social layer to the site and makes the recommendations more powerful.
Once they’ve created a profile users can create a wish list within the app by ‘loving’ different products and also follow other users by ‘admiring’ them.
The Netbook is currently invite-only and the launch was timed to coincide with London Fashion Week so that Net-A-Porter can sign up bloggers, stylists, designers and other members of the fashion glitterati. Everyone else will have to join a waiting list.
All ecommerce sites could benefit from having product recommendations, with research showing that they can potentially increase revenue by up to 300%, improve conversions by 150% and help boost the average order value by 50%.
However, the precise format varies from site to site and should be tested to make sure it’s converting the maximum number of customers.
The copywriting needs to fit with the brand identity and it’s also important to strike an emotive chord and pique the customer’s interest.
This isn’t an easy task considering the fact that you generally only have room for about three or four words, but there is still a great deal you can do with the limited space.
Despite the massive shift towards mobile commerce in recent years, surprisingly few retailers have managed to create successful, user-friendly iPad apps.
So it’s all the more impressive that Net-A-Porter has produced several high quality apps that cater perfectly for the iPad’s ‘lean back’ browsing experience.
This time last year it was reported that 15% of Net-A-Porter’s traffic came from mobile devices, a figure that had increased from 10% in just six months, which explains why the brand places such great emphasis on its mobile strategy.
The luxury retailer successfully blurs the lines between being a publisher and an ecommerce store, so its iPad apps include a huge amount of editorial and video content in order to entertain and inform customers while also edging them towards the checkout.
When Vine appeared in the App Store last month opinion was somewhat divided – some thought it was a great new tool for communicating with consumers, while some thought Twitter had just reinvented the Gif.
Even so, it was no surprise that brands were quick to start experimenting with the new app to see how consumers would react.
We’ve already looked at seven Premier League clubs that are using Vine to gives fans a look behind the scenes, and here are six retailers that have jumped onboard with Twitter’s new platform.
The images below are Gifs so may take a second to load, but you can click on them to link to the original Vine...
Twitter is a fantastic way for brands to communicate with their customers, though all too often they overlook the social element of social media.
We’ve all seen companies that just use Twitter and Facebook to churn out marketing messages, but generally they are short lived experiments that fail to deliver any real value to the business.
But rather than dwell on the failures, I thought it would be interesting to investigate the social strategies of some of the most successful retailers on Twitter.
According to eDigitalResearch, Topshop, ASOS, Net-A-Porter, Harrods and Selfridges have the highest number of followers among UK retailers, so here’s a look at what makes them so damn popular.
Tesco’s magazine has overtaken The Sun as the most read print title in the UK, proving that retail brands can become publishers in their own right.
The bi-monthly publication has grown its readership to 7.2m, according to the NRS. By contrast The Sun has a readership of 7.1m.
The retailer’s investment in content is a smart move, and it isn’t alone. Asda’s magazine has 6m readers. The M&S magazine has 3.7m readers. Sainsbury’s has 3.4m readers.
By contrast, the biggest newsstand print magazine is What’s On TV, with 2.2m readers.
This tells us what we already know: original, quality content is king. I’m sure you’ve heard that a million times, but try to avoid growing tired of it.
Net-A-Porter has celebrated the launch of its latest collection with Karl Lagerfeld by creating five augmented-reality enhanced events around the world.
The luxury online retailer took Lagerfeld on stage at Le Web last year to announce the partnership, and has now made the range available to buy alongside a range of interactive features on its site.