sephora

What is micro-retailing and why is it a growing trend?

Some of the biggest retail brands in the world are downsizing. 

Ikea – known for its large and expansive physical stores – is the latest name to announce an investment in small outlets. It follows on from the likes of B&Q and Target, which have also experimented with small, super-targeted micro-stores.

12 terrific Tumblrs for brand inspiration

A few weeks ago, I said goodbye to my 34 year-old self with the last high-five I’ll ever be legally allowed to give, and begrudgingly shook the age of 35 by the hand with a firm and mature grip.

It was a defining moment that also saw me exit the average user age of some of my favourite social networks (although for Snapchat I was already 15 years too late).

Nine single-page ecommerce checkouts of varying quality

Ecommerce checkout design is something of an obsession for us here at Econsultancy because it’s an incredibly important part of the user journey.

A well-designed checkout allows shoppers to complete their purchase quickly and conveniently, while a poor user-experience can cause frustration and basket abandonment.

In general site owners should aim to make the process as simple as possible, stripping out any unnecessary text fields to reduce friction and delays.

Personally I’m a big fan of a one-page checkout as it takes a great deal of skill to strip the entire process down to the bare essentials.

It also requires a certain level of bravery to be willing to put so much emphasis on the user experience ahead of data capture.

20 retailers integrating Pinterest into their email marketing

It’s not just casual Pinterest users making their own boards and pinning images, brands are fast discovering that sharing and adding pins to their own products can be an effective way to drive users to their ecommerce sites.

As of September 2013, the three year-old social channel has over 70m users, and according to a recent study Pinterest is driving more traffic to publishers than Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit and Google+ combined.

Pinterest’s aesthetic style is also seeping into most corners of ecommerce. From eBay’s recent homepage overhaul, to Etsy’s vintage, bespoke world of homemade trinkets.

It’s this visual style that brands are realising is the key attraction for users on Pinterest. So how do brands let consumers know about their own presence on this burgeoning and increasingly integral channel?

Sony has recently began sending out dedicated emails highlighting Pinterest; integrating its own boards and pins into the email and driving traffic to its Pinterest page. Integrating Pinterest has led to a 70% higher average open rate for Sony, and an average 18% higher click-through rate. 

How are other brands integrating Pinterest with their emails? Here are 20 examples:

Olympics and Christmas emails hit our inboxes this July

Even though summer is here, the volume of promotional emails sent by retailers is at an all time high. According to marketing software company Responsys, retailers sent an average of 16 emails in July. This is an increase of more than 18% year-over-year.

But what is driving the type of content they are sending out? A strange mix of Olympics and Christmas appear to be the big hitters last month. 

Sephora says shopping via mobile grew 300% last year

Yesterday US retailer Sephora completed a ‘digital makeover’, which has over the past few months included the launch of a new website, mobile site, an iPhone app, plus the introduction of iPads (to look up products) and the iPod Touch (to help customers check out) to many of its stores.

So far, the iPhone app has been downloaded 2m times, and the retailer says that shopping from mobile devices grew by 300% last year.

The make-up and pharmaceutical company has also fully integrated with Pinterest, so that users can “pin” any of the 14,000 products on Sephora.com to their own boards.

Bazaarvoice brings reviews to mobile

Bazaarvoice, best known for its product review engine, also offers online retailers a suite of other social media marketing and analytics tool. It’s just added one more to its arsenal of offering: mobile reviews.

Dubbed MobileVoice , the product delivers mobile optimized reviews to shoppers in bricks and mortar stores as well as to those shopping major brands. Participating retailers get a dedicated URL, m.NameOfStore.com. Shoppers can browse product categories, search by keyword, or find reviews by SKU number. Product pages are displayed for every category, along with product and review pages.