UK consumers are far ahead of Europe in terms of using smartphones for online shopping.
Out of 18 European countries surveyed, the UK has the highest percentage of people who make a monthly purchase on their smartphones, with 32%. This is compared to just 8% in France, 15% in Germany and 19% in Sweden.
These findings come from the latest TNS research commissioned by Google, which explores the growing importance of online platforms in the consumer journey, from research to purchase.
The research also looks more broadly at internet usage across devices. Here is the online state of the UK in 2014, compared to last year:
Customer experience is all. This is the mantra being used for digital transformation roadmaps and the theme for this year’s digital marketing trends.
One brand that understands customer experience is Nespresso.
Here’s a rundown of exactly how the coffee-meets-tech brand provides great CX for its aspirational customers.
Kick back, allow me to bring you some creamy opinion in a glass cup.
The reality today is that we, as consumers, have more and more digital engagements requiring different security elements, hence simplicity is key.
Banking is one entity that we all see as fundamental and need access to.
Through this article, I will highlight what banks are doing to help customers to manage their finances safely, the direction that digital banking security will take in the future and how security fits into a wider context.
The continued growth of ecommerce is nothing new. But what is new and critical for businesses to understand is the role of the touch-integrated customer experience.
Today, the first device a child interacts with is a touch device, whether a smartphone, tablet, phablet or even wearable technology, and consumers of the future will expect the motion of touch integrated fully into every experience they have.
As a result, the next challenge for businesses will be completely integrating touch into the shopping experience.
As of July 2013, the Google Play store officially reached over 1m apps published and over 50bn downloads.
As of the same date, iTunes achieved 575m registered users and it’s adding 500,000 new accounts every day.
There is no denying the power and ubiquity of Apple’s digital music service, after all it has transformed the way that everyone on the planet consumes music.
iTunes is a deeply flawed experience though. It's impersonal and slow, with lack of support for different file formats, a stubbornly rigid price model and no browser access.
In an ongoing series I’ve been checking out the competition to see if I can find a digital music platform that can finally trump iTunes.
So far, 7digital and Amazon MP3 have both shown many surprising wins over the Goliath of iTunes. I saved Google Play till later as I expected this to be where the true battle lies.
I was wrong.
I’ve been keeping a close eye on innovation in the ecommerce sector for more than a decade now, and it seems to me that we're living in exciting times. We have hit some kind of purple patch.
Why is this? Well, ecommerce has massively matured. It's big business. Digital teams are smarter, and more agile. Sexy new tech such as HTML5, CSS3 and jQuery allow for sublime user experiences.
As such I wanted to raise a toast to innovation by highlighting a bunch of - hopefully inspiring - examples to you.
But first, a massive caveat: I would severely and mercilessly beat a few of these sites with a big best practice stick. There are product pages with missing information. There are search boxes with tiny fonts. There are usability issues galore.
Secondly, for ecommerce sites, it is all about the data. If you’re not constantly testing, measuring and refining, then you aren’t doing it right. What works for one brand might not work so well for another.
All of that aside, the ecommerce teams that take chances and push the boundaries of are to be applauded. Guidelines are precisely that: guidelines. Rules are there to be broken. And innovation is always to be encouraged, even when it doesn’t work out.
So let's take a look at some ecommerce websites (and one mobile app) that are trying new things, and that are noteworthy for their approach to the user experience. Click on the screenshots to check them out for yourself, and do let me know what you think.
NatWest, Bupa and Hiscox have been rated as offering the best mobile user-experience among the UK’s financial institutions.
The IAB study found that around a quarter of the top spending 50 UK finance brands still don’t have a mobile presence, so competition to find the best UX wasn’t all that tough.
However there were also some positives to take from the survey. I’m not a huge fan of using percentages when there are only 50 brands included, however the report shows that 22% of those surveyed had a responsive site compared to just 2% of retail and 4% of travel companies.
Furthermore, 70% of the banks that were analysed as part of the survey had a mobile app, with the most common functions being a cash point locator and a money transfer tool.
I’ve worked with many clients (and on my own sites) where avoidable structural/data problems add unnecessary complexity to website management.
I say avoidable because they’re usually a result of not asking the right questions upfront before the site is built. It’s a tough task to cover all bases for an ecommerce platform because there are so many factors in play that can affect elements like on-site UX, business reporting, data flows and SEO.
In my experience, it’s a continuous learning curve, picking up insight from specialists along the way to build a (hopefully) thorough knowledge base of what information you need to effectively build a website, what format the data needs to be in and what it needs to do e.g. data field X in the CMS drives site search results.
Creating a single view of customers across channels has long been the goal of the ambitious retail marketer.
By being able to track and analyse consumer interactions across in-store and online, a retailer can create a new level of insight into their customers and therefore market to them with an unprecedented level of accuracy and insight.
In addition, data has shown again and again that customers who interact with a brand on more than one channel are more valuable and loyal than their single channel counterparts.
However, a single view of customers isn’t as simple as just connecting online and offline databases of information. It requires significant investment in new hardware, software, staff capabilities and processes.
Before launching any project of this scale, retailers need to be aware of the possibilities and pitfalls.
Qualcomm has been busy diversifying beyond chips and they now have an impressive range of software and even a smart watch.
Its smart home demo was one of my Mobile World Congress highlights and shows how technology will make our lives even easier in the coming years.