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Last week, Waitrose announced it would sell 30 products through the Royal Mail online shop on China's Tmall.
Such inauspicious beginnings in its 59th international market could, Waitrose said, turn into its biggest overseas market in three to five years.
But, so shortly after ASOS decided to mothball its Chinese website, why is Waitrose so confident?
The deadline for entering the Masters of Marketing awards is approaching fast (September 23) and therefore I thought I’d take a look at one of the most complex and somewhat overlooked categories: Performance Marketing.
As online grocery shopping becomes increasingly popular retailers need to find ways of generating traffic and attracting new customers.
Content marketing is one way of achieving this, though competition is fierce in the world of online food and recipe ideas.
When grocery retailers were publishing their sales figures one of the common trends was an increase in online revenues.
This was good news as sales in brick-and-mortar stores were generally down.
Picking which online supermarket you prefer to park your trolley in can be based on little more than which supermarket you regularly visit in the real world.
It’s the one you’re used to, the one you’ve got a loyalty card with, it’s also probably the one that’s closest to your home.
We sometimes forget that we needn’t be beholden to such boundaries when we’re shopping online for groceries. We have the whole of the nation’s biggest food retailers to choose from and each has their own particular conveniences.
You’re decision on which ecommerce store to shop with may purely come down to which offers the cheapest products, reasonable delivery charges and the availability of a convenient delivery window.
However if all these things are moot, it may also come down to which offers the best user experience.
This post is not meant to definitively suggest which supermarket out of Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose or Morrisons is the best, it’s just meant to highlight various UX features and tools that make for a great customer experience, features that other ecommerce site designers could learn from.
After the demise of HMV, many were quick to plan the future of retail.
Econsultancy got in on the act, too, suggesting ways in which the internet could save the high street.
The consensus seemed to be that experiences on the high street would be more important than mere commerce. Why go into a store if the journey of finding a product and taking it to the till to pay is as boring as it is online?
Over the past three years or so, I think we have seen the resurgence of the concept store. In fact, I think retail has woken up to the value of service, great product display, interactivity, digital technology and a great shopping experience.
Here, I've taken a look at some of the concept stores out there, and what they mean for customer experience.
You’ve probably heard about iBeacons. It's the cool new technology that Apple put in the latest iOS that’s going to kill NFC, QR codes and every other mobile marketing technology.
At least that’s what people generally perceive to be the case due to consumer indifference to the other technologies I mentioned, as well as the fact that history proves that the safe bet is generally with Apple.
Though it's worth noting that the technology is also available in the latest Android handsets.
At the time of writing iBeacons are still in the trial phase, but hopefully one of the global brands currently experimenting with them will prove that they can be used as a successful marketing or commerce tool.
To find out more about how the technology works, read my post investigating what iBeacons are and why marketers should care...
Sainsbury’s has unveiled a few tweaks to its ecommerce store as part of a site replatforming that is aimed at improving its multichannel shopping experience.
The new site has one or two new features, including improved navigation, favourites and more personalised offers.
However the addition that caught my eye is the new ability to add ingredients directly from the recipe pages.
I’m surprised that this functionality didn’t exist before as it seems like an obvious way of improving the user experience and grabbing some incremental sales.
The huge rush to content marketing also makes these recipe pages important for customer acquisition and engagement, so one would assume that they would have been prioritised before now.
Twitter is a great medium for creativity. Just ask our own social media manager Matt Owen.
One useful tactic is embedding an image, which allow brands to grab extra space in their followers’ feeds.
You won’t have failed to notice that Twitter automatically previews a small part of embedded images, but you may not have realised that some brands are much better at making the most of this opportunity than others.
I’ve previously blogged 10 brands hijacking Twitter feeds with creative preview images, and now I’m back with more useful examples.
Not all of them fit perfectly into the preview window, which is a neat way of essentially using an embedded image as a display ad, but they are all eye-catching and worthy of praise.
So, here they are then, 16 tweets that will hopefully inspire your own social efforts...
With the release of the 2014 Econsultancy Online Video Best Practice Guide, we thought some condensed tips from the report might prove to be useful to any of you that are interested in online video.
Each of these tips has been very carefully selected from both the report author and industry experts.
To begin as I very much like to start my blogs, I will give you some relevant statistics so that you will realise how prevalent online video is in today’s market.
Last month Twitter added an image preview feature that causes pictures and Vines to automatically appear in users' timelines.
Prior to the update users had to manually expand the media or click through to view the full tweet, but we're now shown a small preview window whether we like it or not..
As with all alterations to the Twitter interface, the update was met with outrage from users who always seem surprised when agile and innovative tech companies seek to evolve their product.
The new image previews can occasionally cause problems, like this morning when my colleague Ben Davis caught a glimpse of a very NSFW picture that someone I follow had tweeted, but in general I find they add some much needed variety to my Twitter timeline.
Ecommerce is still a relatively small part of the overall grocery industry, making up just 3.4% of sales.
However it’s growing rapidly, and in October it was estimated that Tesco received almost 10m visits to its site while Asda received around 5m.
With this in mind, QuBit has published a new usability benchmark that compares the onsite performance and user experience of the top five UK online supermarkets: Tesco, Asda, Ocado, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s.