tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/android Latest Android content from Econsultancy 2017-01-27T14:56:00+00:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68751 2017-01-27T14:56:00+00:00 2017-01-27T14:56:00+00:00 10 superb digital marketing stats from this week Nikki Gilliland <p>This week we're covering news about cart abandonment, adspend, dodgy ads, and lots more. Don't forget to download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium/" target="_blank">Internet Statistics Compendium</a> for even further info.</p> <h3>76% of marketers see ad blocking as a positive</h3> <p>According to a survey by YouGov and the Chartered Institute of Marketing, the majority of marketers believe that ad blocking will be a positive for the industry, encouraging better practice and greater levels of creativity.</p> <p>On the other hand, 38% of respondents believe that it could lead to a decline in online marketing.</p> <p>Other key stats from the research include the key areas of focus for the year ahead, with 42% of marketers citing personalisation, 37% citing data-driven marketing and 31% saying influencer marketing.</p> <h3>Emojis generate 17% more interaction on Instagram</h3> <p>A new study by Quintly has revealed that emojis result in 17% higher interaction when used on Instagram.</p> <p>From analysis of 22,000 profiles and 6.2m posts, those which included emojis were found to have a 2.07 interaction rate compared to 1.77 for those without.</p> <p>Other findings include the most popular emojis of 2016, with the most-used being the camera emoji, followed by the ‘OK’ hand signal and the pink hearts. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3441/Quintly.JPG" alt="" width="680" height="369"></p> <h3>43% of marketers still experimenting with influencer marketing</h3> <p>According to Altimeter’s Traackr report, 71% of marketers rate influencer marketing as a strategic or highly strategic area of marketing.</p> <p>However, 43% of those that agree are still experimenting with the practice, and 28% are only involving influencers at campaign level.</p> <p>The report also found the influencer budgets are still small compared to other areas of focus, but a shift in prioritisation means that 55% of marketers plan to spend more on influencers in 2017.</p> <h3>Trump’s inauguration generates 15m social media engagements</h3> <p>4C has revealed how social media users reacted to Donald Trump’s inauguration.</p> <p>The day’s event saw over 15m engagements across Facebook and Twitter, with the new President generating over 5m of them.</p> <p>Engagement peaked for the inauguration when the Obamas met the Trumps at the White House – a moment that’s now famous for Michelle Obama’s awkward reaction towards <em>that</em> Tiffany box.</p> <p>While the #inauguration hashtag generated 2.6m engagements on the day itself, the #womensmarch hashtag drew 7.3m engagements the day after.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3443/Trump.PNG" alt="" width="653" height="439"></p> <h3>Google removes 80m misleading ads in 2016</h3> <p>Google’s Bad Ads report has revealed that 80m bad ads were removed in 2016 for deceiving, misleading or shocking users with false information or clickbait headlines.</p> <p>Similarly, Google also took down 7m bad ads for intentionally trying to scam consumers or deliberately trying to trick its detection systems.</p> <p>In 2016, 1.7bn ads were removed overall, which is double the amount of ads removed the year previous.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3444/Google_Ads.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="339"></p> <h3>82% of customers over 55 feel undervalued</h3> <p>A new study by ICLP has found that customers over the age of 55 often feel overlooked, with 82% saying that retailers do not understand their needs.</p> <p>Consequently, 95% of over 55s would consider abandoning their favourite retailers in favour of others.</p> <p>ICLP’s survey also discovered what would make this demographic more loyal. The results found stronger reward programmes, communication and reliability to be the top three factors.</p> <h3>Adding touch to mobile ads increases engagement</h3> <p>In a study of 1,137 Android users, IPG Media Lab discovered that capitalising on consumer’s sense of touch during mobile video ads can produce a 50% uplift in brand favourability.</p> <p>While a standard video ad achieved happiness and excitement levels of 37% and 30% in consumers, video ads with touch-enabled elements resulted in rates of 44% and 38% respectively.</p> <p>This also resulted in a halo effect, with a 6% increase in positive brand perception overall.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3447/Touch.JPG" alt="" width="513" height="303"></p> <h3>Global cart abandonment rates up 2.4%</h3> <p>SalesCycle’s <a href="https://blog.salecycle.com/post/remarketing-report-q4-2016/" target="_blank">Remarketing Report</a> details the latest global cart abandonment stats. It shows that global cart abandonment rates were 76.8% in Q4 2016, a figure up 2.4% on the previous quarter. </p> <p>In terms of industry, fashion cart abandonment remains the lowest at 67.4%. Meanwhile, utilities is the highest, with an abandonment rate of 84.4%.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3446/Abandonment_rates.JPG" alt="" width="710" height="502"></p> <h3>58% of B2B buyers distrust vendor claims</h3> <p><a href="https://vendors.trustradius.com/b2b-buying-disconnect/" target="_blank">Research from TrustRadius</a> has found that tech vendors are failing to keep up with expectations, as nearly 60% of B2B buyers cite vendor-provided materials as the least trustworthy source.</p> <p>Despite many feeling sceptical over claims, buyers still acknowledge that vendors play a significant role in the purchasing process, with 62% saying they help answer questions, facilitate basic demos, and provide technical support.</p> <p>Additionally, the report found product demos and free trials to be the best and most trustworthy resources for buyers.</p> <h3>UK adspend increases following Brexit</h3> <p>According to the latest figures from the Advertising Association, UK adspend increased 4.2% in the quarter following Brexit.</p> <p>This news comes on the back of a Deloitte survey which found that 22% of advertising businesses have lost contracts since last June, and 62% believe the decision has negatively affected their business.</p> <p>On the other hand, the survey also found that 23% see Brexit as an opportunity for growth, and as a result, 8% plan to increase investment in the UK. </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68463 2016-10-31T11:09:00+00:00 2016-10-31T11:09:00+00:00 Facebook: A handy roundup of its latest developments and commercial opportunities Nick Hammond <p>In the 2016 Interbrand ranking of world's most valuable brands, Facebook climbed eight places up the list to 15th, and is the fastest grower, with its brand value up almost half (48%) to $32.6bn. </p> <p>On a daily basis, developments at Facebook take up a large amount of digital news column inches; but what do all the recent changes mean for marketers?</p> <p>How can you best take advantage of the ever-changing opportunities on Facebook’s many channels?  </p> <p>Here then, are some highlights of the latest commercial opportunities with Facebook.</p> <h3><strong>Facebook Workplace</strong></h3> <p>Facebook’s first enterprise offering has hit the ground running, claiming 1,000 global organisations and 100,000 groups, many of which had been using the previous service, Facebook at Work. </p> <p>Here are some of the <strong>pros of the new service:</strong></p> <p><strong>1.</strong> It could be a platform to tap into a new generation of workers.</p> <p>Workplace gives millennials a platform they are already comfortable with, and one which could more easily create new relationships in the workplace.</p> <p><strong>2.</strong> Workplace offers ease of communication, connectivity between members and the potential to help individuals understand more about their work environment and network, by assessing large amounts of personal data.</p> <p>But here are <strong>some of the cons:</strong></p> <p><strong>1.</strong> Facebook is late on the scene, with services like Slack already well established.</p> <p><strong>2.</strong> Workplace is not connected to the systems people are already using.</p> <p>Employees, will still have to go to Salesforce, SAP or Oracle to view their records.</p> <p><strong>3.</strong> Workplace’s big claim is that it will eliminate email. This is a promise made before and always without success.</p> <p>Email is the place people spend their work time; it’s the place they go to receive and share information with colleagues and customers.</p> <p>It will be hard, even impossible, to wean them off it. </p> <p><strong>4.</strong> Finally, what will companies think about giving even more of their precious information to Facebook.</p> <h3><strong>Robot shopping</strong></h3> <p>Facebook is back again with its latest ecommerce iteration, following <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/oct/01/facebook-businesses-online-shopping-chatbots">a few failed attempts in this area.</a></p> <p>Facebook’s new ecommerce capability allows Messenger bots to accept payments without requiring users to leave the app.</p> <p>People with credit card information stored with Facebook or Messenger will be able to make instant purchases within the bots of their favorite stores and services.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0885/chatbots.jpg" alt="" width="780" height="519"></p> <p>Launch partners include Booker, BookingBug, Front Desk, HomeAdvisor, MyTime, Pingup, Schedulicity, Setster and Simplybook.me.</p> <p>Amongst other things users can now order food, request an appointment, get a quote and buy tickets. </p> <p>For more on this topic, read Econsultancy's post looking at <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68458-why-chatbots-are-an-important-opportunity-for-retailers/">why chatbots are an important opportunity for retailers</a>. </p> <h3><strong>Facebook Live</strong></h3> <p>Although launched back in April, Facebook Live has been in the news recently as a result of Donald Trump launching a nightly talk show on this channel, <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2016/10/24/13395436/donald-trump-campaign-facebook-live-nightly-news-show">seeking to avoid ‘biased’ liberal news media in the US.</a></p> <p>But what are the opportunities here for brands and businesses? </p> <p>Facebook Live offers the opportunity to add to your PR efforts, or even offer up next level support for clients.</p> <p>Some of the key areas to consider when <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67808-10-pioneering-examples-of-brands-using-facebook-live/">setting up and screening a Facebook Live event</a> are:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>The audience:</strong> Getting the time right; when will your audience be at its largest and most receptive?</li> <li> <strong>Production:</strong> Lighting (employ LED work lights) and sound (use the right microphones) are hugely important.</li> <li> <strong>Connectivity:</strong> Ensure a very strong WiFi connection.</li> <li> <strong>Promotion:</strong> Start a good time in advance and maintain updates with regular frequency leading up to the event. Ensure a clear and concise description of the event in all communications</li> <li> <strong>The Event:</strong> Provide good context to maximise relevance, generate high levels of interaction, and make the event ‘real' rather than ‘staged’.</li> </ul> <h3><strong>Word of Mouth</strong></h3> <p>This is a new feature that makes it easier for users to get and organize recommendations in one place and allows them to put out a call for recommendations from their connections.</p> <p>When they are writing a status update seeking advice, Facebook will detect the query via its machine learning systems and suggest that they turn on recommendations for the post. </p> <p>The focus here is on highlighting local businesses – one can switch on the feature for any post in which recommendations are being sought, but the map feature only provides assistance when a query relates to geographic proximity. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fjessethomas%2Fposts%2F10154016148123861&amp;width=500" width="500" height="546"></iframe></p> <p>The tool will provide additional discovery potential for local businesses, though the businesses themselves will have no control over how they’re recommended or highlighted.</p> <p>Of course, it could also lead to businesses working with well-connected local influencers to have them recommend their services in a related query, but given the tool is built to work within an established friend networks, it’ll likely be difficult to influence commercially.  </p> <p>Worth however, keeping an eye on this to see how it develops.  </p> <h3><strong>Going out</strong></h3> <p>Facebook’s been working to improve its events offering, launching a new, <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2016/10/7/13192918/facebook-events-app-ios-android">dedicated events app</a> recently, in order to capitalize on the millions of people who use Facebook Events every month.</p> <p>In addition to the new app, Facebook has also re-vamped the Events bookmark within Facebook itself.</p> <p>The update makes it easier to see what events are happening in your area, as well as those that your friends are either hosting or attending, and events that you’re likely to be interested in, based on past activity.</p> <p>A good opportunity here for businesses in the experiential and events space to promote their offering. </p> <h3><strong>Facebook Marketplace</strong></h3> <p>Launched a month ago, this venture hit the UK headlines for the wrong reasons, <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-37560910">as illegal and inappropriate items went on sale</a> at the outset.</p> <p>Ecommerce businesses will already see this channel as an important one that will compete with big players such as eBay.</p> <p>Interesting that Facebook’s share price dipped with its announcement, presumably an observation that this initiative represents getting into a very competitive market.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0303/notification.PNG" alt="" width="640" height="219"></p> <p>It is too early to know how quickly Facebook’s ecommerce platform will grow, but it is likely that social commerce will play a big ongoing role in consumer shopping, and that Facebook and Messenger (along with platforms such as Pinterest) are well positioned to compete given their scale and access to data.</p> <p>Also worth noting that increasing Facebook commerce is also a positive for service providers such as Shopify, Big Commerce, and ChannelAdvisor, who help to power merchant sales. </p> <p><em>(Read Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68415-the-low-down-on-facebook-marketplace-is-it-any-good/">review of Facebook Marketplace</a>.)</em></p> <h3><strong>Here come the commercials (again)</strong></h3> <p>Starting mid-October, Facebook announced several new advertising options for <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67544-facebook-to-open-up-instant-articles-what-publishers-need-to-know/">Instant Articles</a>: Support for new and custom ad sizes, as well as video and carousel ads.</p> <p>Publishers can use the Facebook Audience Network to monetise Instant Articles and can now incorporate video ads and carousel ads across iOS and Android with no additional implementation.</p> <p>Given the ever-increasing importance of mobile, both in terms of user numbers and performance, this is an important development. </p> <p>Perhaps it is no coincidence that this video ‘good news story’ comes hot on the heels of the less good ‘erroneous video metrics story’ <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/09/26/mark-ritson-facebooks-erroneous-video-metrics-show-no-one-has-a-clue-about-digital/">as reported recently in Marketing Week</a>.</p> <h3><strong>Help talking to our friends….</strong></h3> <p>Facebook has launched a ‘Conversation Topics’ feature in Messenger.</p> <p>The idea behind Conversation Topics is simple: If you’re looking for a way to break the ice with a new Facebook friend or catch up with an old one, these conversation prompts help you figure out what to talk about.</p> <p>Additionally, the feature would have the added benefit of being a more basic News Feed of sorts, as it lets you catch up on friends’ recent activity, without having to scroll through News Feed and its clutter of shared links, posts from Facebook Pages, ads, and other content. </p> <p>Most interestingly, this could be an attempt to build public chat rooms on Messenger’s platform around shared topics and interests.</p> <p>Commercial opportunities in this space are as yet unclear, but worth watching closely.  </p> <h3><strong>Virtual reality</strong></h3> <p>Mark Zuckerberg recently unveiled the concept of <a href="http://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/why-social-vr-game-changer-facebook/1411487?bulletin=campaign_brands_bulletin&amp;utm_medium=EMAIL&amp;utm_campaign=eNews%20Bulletin&amp;utm_source=20161015&amp;utm_content=">virtual reality social networking</a>.</p> <p>This is why this could be a game changer: </p> <ul> <li>VR is no longer a solitary experience.</li> <li>It can be about the ‘real’ and not just the ‘virtual’ world (Zuckerberg used his device to connect to his wife... and his dog).</li> <li>‘Touch’ handsets, to be released shortly, will allow us to touch things, and people, virtually. </li> <li>Brands will be able to create engaging and interactive communal experiences, which we can virtually attend with our friends.</li> </ul> <p>For more on this topic, download Econsultancy's report on the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/a-marketers-guide-to-virtual-reality/">Marketer’s Guide to Virtual Reality</a>.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68075 2016-07-14T15:17:07+01:00 2016-07-14T15:17:07+01:00 Who will win the live-streaming battle: Facebook Live or Periscope? Blake Cahill <p>With an injection of social along with the time-sensitive nature of breaking broadcast, live-streaming is simply an age-old device repurposed for the present times. </p> <h3><strong>What does it mean for all of us?</strong></h3> <p>As traditional social channels are coming close to saturation, tech companies need to build new channels to invigorate their consumers.</p> <p>For brand marketers, this offers a tremendous opportunity to access tech-native early-adopter millennials and post-millennials – the customers of today and tomorrow.</p> <p>Most of whom have foregone broadcast, print, and 1.0 social networks for next-gen platforms.</p> <p>When it comes to advertising value, according to <a href="http://totalaccess.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1014105&amp;dsNav=Ro:-1,N:789,Nr:NOT(Type%3aComparative+Estimate)">eMarketer</a>, digital video advertising spending grew 46% to $7.7bn in the US last year alone.</p> <p>Meaning marketers are increasingly betting on the success of these live platforms. </p> <h3><strong>#SendMeToSleep – the world’s most sleep-inducing social campaign</strong></h3> <p>A good example is the <a href="http://www.philips.co.uk/healthcare/resources/landing/world-sleep-day">#SendMeToSleep</a> social media campaign we rolled out in time for the World Sleep Day.</p> <p>As part of this campaign – during which we actively tried to create content so boring it was capable of sending our audiences straight to sleep – Philips broadcasted what Twitter tells us is the world’s longest Periscope stream.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZzOFWhtxEUw?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>For 41 hours straight, we showed splashes of paint being added to a canvas.</p> <p>And because the whole campaign was engaging and worked as a holistic experience, more than 6,000 people tuned in to watch paint dry.</p> <p>Besides being strangely soothing and entertaining, the campaign has achieved significant commercial success which should be the cornerstone of any good marketing strategy.</p> <h3><strong>Periscope &amp; Facebook Live: A modern day David &amp; Goliath?</strong></h3> <p>At first glance, it might look like Facebook is the obvious winner – it has the size, money, user base and brand trust as a popular advertising platform.</p> <p>Despite all this, however, I wouldn’t count out Twitter just yet.</p> <h4>Four reasons for choosing Facebook Live:</h4> <ol> <li> <strong>Audience:</strong> Facebook has a user base of 1.2bn people.</li> <li> <strong>Brand presence:</strong> Live broadcast can bring life back to Facebook brand pages that have been lagging behind Instagram and Twitter in terms of engagement.</li> <li> <strong>Spending power:</strong> Facebook has been on a spending spree signing over 140 contracts worth more than $50m with the likes of CNN, the New York Times and BuzzFeed.</li> <li> <strong>Pioneers:</strong> Airbnb and Disney teamed up for the Jungle Book premiere, Chevrolet used it to launch its new electric car, and Patron taught viewers how to master the perfect drink. </li> </ol> <h4>Four reasons for choosing Periscope:</h4> <ol> <li> <strong>The “cool” factor:</strong> Twitter’s <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/gadfly/articles/2016-02-12/social-studies-comparing-twitter-with-facebook-in-charts">user base</a> skew younger, more diverse, wealthier, more educated and more likely to live in urban areas. This will drive usage as the two platforms integrate.</li> <li> <strong>Additional features:</strong> The native app offers a dedicated space with broadcast tabs, account tracking and sketch &amp; reaction options that just make it a bit more fun and user-oriented.</li> <li> <strong>Content:</strong> Periscope recently secured partnerships with <a href="https://gopro.com/help/articles/Block/Periscope-Live-Streaming-with-your-GoPro">GoPro</a> and <a href="http://uk.businessinsider.com/twitter-to-stream-nfl-thursday-night-games-2016-4">Thursday Night Football</a> (NFL) to ensure a lineup of engaging content.</li> <li> <strong>Innovation:</strong> Periscope just recently announced a series of new functions such as drone feed integration, search functions, and auto-save through app and Twitter comments.</li> </ol> <h3><strong>What are the downsides? </strong></h3> <p>Live on camera, some products, and even some people, may not work well.</p> <p>It’s difficult to be smartly scripted while still coming across as authentic, and a constant stream of comments from viewers can be hard to manage and moderate.</p> <p>It’s also important that you own what you’re streaming. No brand wants to end up tied in legal battles because they streamed content where ownership and rights haven’t been made clear.</p> <p>As with all new tools, it’s not easy to measure a return on investment. How you measure success – do you look at viewer numbers or drop-offs, likes or the comments?</p> <p>Lastly, live-streaming without a clear strategy and a clear focus on quality and relevance will ultimately disappoint the audience.</p> <h3><strong>Who is the winner?  </strong></h3> <p>At this point, it’s still too early to call.</p> <p>However, the competition is heating up, with YouTube and Tumblr unveiling their competitive offering along with lesser known players such as Live.ly, Livestream, and Hang all releasing their own live broadcast services.   </p> <p>If you’ve already placed your bets then make sure your content fits with the medium and you’re totally clear on ownership, quality, and measurement.</p> <p>Everything after that is just a stream away. </p> <p><em>For more on this topic, read:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67603-what-marketers-need-to-know-about-facebook-s-livestreaming-push/"><em>What marketers need to know about Facebook's livestreaming push</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67712-seven-helpful-tips-for-livestreaming-success/"><em>Seven helpful tips for livestreaming success</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67967-six-things-we-learned-from-using-periscope-to-live-stream-from-fodm16/"><em>Six things we learned from using Periscope to live stream from #FODM16</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67929 2016-06-08T14:52:00+01:00 2016-06-08T14:52:00+01:00 Does app data suggest we are nearing peak social? Patricio Robles <p>The company <a href="https://www.similarweb.com/blog/social-media-usage">compared</a> Q1 usage for the Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter Android apps in 2015 and 2016 and found that time spent within all of them appears to have declined globally.</p> <p>In the United States, Android users spent 45.48 minutes per day in the Facebook app in Q1 2016, down from 48.75 minutes in Q1 2015.</p> <p>Instagram usage dropped even more substantially, with users spending just under 20 minutes in the Android app in the first quarter of the year compared to just under 30 minutes in the same quarter last year.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5794/similarweb1.png" alt="" width="366" height="417"></p> <p>SimilarWeb says even ascendant Snapchat saw its users spend considerably less time in the popular app, 18.72 minutes in Q1 2016 versus 23.17 minutes in Q1 2015.</p> <p>Declines were tracked in nine countries, including the UK, Germany, Australia, Spain and Brazil.</p> <p>There were a few exceptions. For instance, in Spain, time spent in the Facebook app increased slightly.</p> <p>But such modest increases paled in comparison to the declines, which included a massive 34% drop in the time spent by French users in the Twitter Android app.</p> <h3>What's happening?</h3> <p>Interestingly, the SimilarWeb data shows that in most countries, the percentage of Android users with the Facebook and Snapchat apps installed also dropped, while in the United States, Instagram and Twitter registered modest gains in their Android install base.</p> <p>While SimilarWeb's data only looks at Android usage, the broad stagnation and declines among four of the most popular social apps raises serious questions about the state of social.</p> <p>Is peak social here? Are users tiring of their favorite social apps? Or does something else explain what SimilarWeb is seeing?</p> <p>Obviously, tracking social usage is not a perfect science, so looking at multiple data sources is a must.</p> <p><a href="http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Time-Spent-with-Facebook-Still-Growing-Not-by-Much/1013903">According to</a> eMarketer, overall time spent on Facebook by American users is still growing, but much more slowly, and it expects that trend to continue.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5792/209336.gif" alt="" width="324" height="317"></p> <p>Twitter's own figures show that its overall user base has largely stagnated, and other sources, such as analytics firm 7Park, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jan/29/twitters-us-users-fall-by-third-two-years-report">suggest significant declines</a>. </p> <p>Facebook's slower growth and Twitter's woes are commonly attributed to hot upstarts like Snapchat, but while Snapchat might be growing more rapidly than its more entrenched competitors, some data raises questions about the nature of Snapchat's growth.</p> <p>For example, according to comScore, Snapchat penetration among users aged 25-34 and 35+ appears to have plateaued, and even among the 18-24 year-old demographic, growth has slowed compared to previous years.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5793/comscoresnapchat.jpg" alt="" width="573" height="330"></p> <h3>What does it really mean?</h3> <p>Even if social media is indeed peaking, the implications could be minimal for marketers, at least for the foreseeable future.</p> <p>The world's population is only so big, and there are only so many hours in a day.</p> <p>Over the past decade, the most popular social media destinations have captured such large audiences, and so much attention, that growth in users and engagement is bound to wane sooner than later. There's just no physical way around it.</p> <p>But that's not bad news for marketers, which now have numerous channels through which they can target and reach billions of consumers around the world.</p> <p>As long as those consumers don't abandon those channels in droves, marketers probably don't have much to worry about, or change.</p> <p>As Kieley Taylor, the head of GroupM's paid social practice, <a href="http://adage.com/article/digital/facebook-s-ios-bug-led-comscore-overestimate-time-spent/302522/">told AdAge</a> earlier this year:</p> <blockquote> <p>Our approach takes into account the cost effectiveness and how many people we can talk to across platforms as an apples-to-apples metric.</p> </blockquote> <p>By that measure, social will remain one of the most important digital channels for marketers for years to come, peak or no peak.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66837 2015-08-20T15:03:49+01:00 2015-08-20T15:03:49+01:00 Three points to consider when developing a mobile app strategy Carin Van Vuuren <p>Apps have quickly become a source of information, utility and point of contact between users and brands.</p> <p>In fact, according to Flurry, a staggering 86% of all time spent on mobile devices is now happening within apps, with users converting at a 21% higher rate than in-store.</p> <p>Brands that are not considering an app are avoiding an essential question that should be answered when planning a mobile strategy.</p> <p>Every brand’s mobile strategy must be designed to meet the unique needs and challenges of its business, brand identity and customer preferences.</p> <p>Determining whether your brand needs an app and uncovering its potential are vital steps in building out a winning mobile strategy. Here are some things to keep in mind...</p> <h3><strong>Mobile app vs. mobile web</strong></h3> <p>Before investing in an app, consider the benefits, possible disadvantages, required resources and associated costs.</p> <p>Unless you have a clear strategy, target audience and distinct use case in mind, pursuing a mobile app may not make sense.</p> <p>For instance, if you’re satisfied with the level of engagement on and repeat visits to your mobile site, or if you don’t have the budget to experiment with an app, you should focus on further optimizing the mobile web experience.</p> <p>Like apps, the mobile web has its advantages and is especially crucial for audiences just discovering your site. According to Usablenet's study, 67% of mobile users are more likely to make a purchase via website than app.</p> <p>Mobile apps, on the other hand, allow for <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66444-how-consumers-behave-on-ecommerce-apps">deeper interaction with consumers</a>. Personalized content in an app is powerful, whereas mobile web often seems less specific or aimed toward a larger audience.</p> <p>Before coming to a final decision, however, you should first evaluate the use case and value of native device functionality to determine which strategy is best aligned with both your business and users’ needs.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/3089/apps_iphone.jpg" alt=""></p> <h3><strong>Balancing efficiency with customer experience</strong></h3> <p>When deciding to build an app, pay close attention to the tasks customers perform at the highest frequency.</p> <p>Is there room to simplify these processes and streamline the brand experience? This evaluation will help determine where an app can add value to the customer journey and why they’ll be encouraged to download the app.</p> <p>That said, you must also pay special mind to the interplay between apps and web. The last thing that you want is for your mobile experiences to cannibalize each other.</p> <p>Next, consider which native capabilities best support use cases that can differentiate the experience. It is imperative to gauge the value of third party integrations and APIs that make apps more useful and transform the mobile experience.</p> <p>Repeat use is central to an app’s long-term success. Of users who make an in-app purchase, 44% do not do so until they have interacted with an app at least 10 times.</p> <p>Similarly, users who interact with an app multiple times before making a purchase also make 25% more in-app purchases during their consumer lifetime.</p> <p>For high-frequency engagement, apps must remain current and content must be refreshed, requiring a long-term commitment to innovation and marketing investment.</p> <p>Nothing in the mobile world exists in a vacuum, just as apps require regular updates, efforts to promote your app must continue on a sustained basis to bring the most value to both brand and consumer. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/8317/apps.png" alt=""></p> <h3><strong>Ensuring (sustained) quality execution</strong></h3> <p>Once a comprehensive strategy is in order, brands should ensure apps will be executed in an efficient manner.</p> <p>Examine the resources you’ll need when building an app and prioritize them internally.</p> <p>Primarily, it is important to ensure your development team has deep user experience capabilities, the ability to deliver high-performing apps within a specific timeframe and budget and technical skill to integrate the app with an existing platform, channel or API.</p> <p>The team should also have the flexibility to provide ongoing support after the app’s launch, including updates to and refreshes of the user experience. </p> <p>Once an app is complete, pay close attention to users’ reactions by evaluating ratings and downloads in the app store.</p> <p>Further engage in frequent UX audits to gauge which functionalities can be improved and which features or aspects of the experience best drive repeat visits.</p> <p>Ultimately, the measure of an app’s success comes from the combination of engagement and transactions. By keeping end goals in mind and conferring with user preference, you just may find your app at the top of the charts.</p> <p><em>For more data and insight download our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-the-quest-for-mobile-excellence">The Quest for Mobile Excellence</a> briefing, perfect for those wishing to benchmark their own activities around mobile, and to elevate the importance of related business initiatives within their organisations.</em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66474 2015-05-21T14:59:01+01:00 2015-05-21T14:59:01+01:00 Six ways mobile can ease traveler stress and increase bookings Carin Van Vuuren <p dir="ltr">In order to reduce travel stress and bolster brand loyalty, brands should:</p> <h3 dir="ltr"><strong>Optimize travel trust</strong></h3> <p dir="ltr">Mobile provides consumers access to the world right at their fingertips.</p> <p dir="ltr">In a few quick taps, globetrotters can scope out destinations and amenities halfway around the world -- yet according to <a href="http://pages.usablenet.com/WC2015-03TraveleBook_Registration.html?_ga=1.162818812.1968264689.1425913433">research we recently conducted</a>,<strong> 41% refrain from researching on mobile,</strong> a stark contrast from the whopping 87% that browse by tablet.</p> <p dir="ltr">Despite the swarms of mobile-centric travelers, many travel sites are not properly optimized for mobile. Photos and videos are difficult to view, navigation is flawed and filtering is insufficient.</p> <p dir="ltr">To optimize travel trust and ensure experiences are seamless and consistent on all channels, brands are advised to carry out an audit of their customer experience and see where consumer pain points lie.</p> <p dir="ltr">By ensuring content is consistent across all touchpoints, brands can minimize the risk of unnecessary misunderstanding and eliminate the frustration associated with planning a trip.</p> <h3 dir="ltr"><strong>Use visuals to drive excitement</strong></h3> <p dir="ltr">To make the mobile experience more conductive for researching trips, <strong>brands should pay special attention to high-quality visual content. </strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Images and videos are the selling point during the research and booking phases and often greatly impact travelers’ decisions. Yet, visuals are a key aspect travelers feel is missing from their mobile experience.</p> <p dir="ltr">To drive excitement, brands must provide a visual representation of the experience they will be receiving.</p> <p dir="ltr">Engage travelers with rich visual content throughout the experience, leveraging location-specific videos and user-generated reviews.</p> <p dir="ltr">By incorporating best UX practices, which also include eliminating “pinch and zoom” and pixelated  images,  users will feel more confident about making a booking decision on mobile.</p> <h3 dir="ltr"><strong>Soothe insecurities</strong></h3> <p dir="ltr">Research shows that insecurity is a prominent emotion during the booking stage of the consumer journey.</p> <p dir="ltr">During this phase, travelers worry whether sensitive information is safe over open and unsecured connections, a factor that can drastically affect one’s willingness to book and pay on mobile.</p> <p dir="ltr">In fact, <strong>51% of travelers are not likely to use mobile payment while 58% of travelers are apprehensive to book by mobile.</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">To ease such concerns, travel brands should incorporate feedback and security elements throughout the journey, such as progress bars and visual security cues, and embrace language ensuring users their personal information is safe.</p> <p dir="ltr">By adding UX elements that increase the users’ sense of reassurance, brands can reduce stress and increase traveler confidence.</p> <h3 dir="ltr"><strong>Fight frustration with feedback</strong></h3> <p dir="ltr">Nobody likes sparring with tech support. While researching and booking trips, travelers are frustrated by slow load times and fear losing connection in the midst of transactions, anxieties heightened by the crucial role these stages play.</p> <p dir="ltr">To soothe tension, <strong>brands must gauge if their sites are user friendly and aptly designed for performance. </strong></p> <p dir="ltr">In particular, users crave timely feedback on their actions; the use of a spinner indicates the system is working, addressing dreaded lag times.</p> <p dir="ltr">Including a numbered step indicator throughout the core booking stages also helps users maintain a sense of progress.</p> <p dir="ltr">By paying attention to technical issues that may arise on mobile, and updating the user during their experience, brands can eliminate frustration and decrease the number of drop offs on mobile.</p> <p dir="ltr">Brands should also streamline operations by reducing the number of lengthy pages and streamlining forms to include only those fields vital to checkout.</p> <p dir="ltr">Designing functionalities tied to user activity can diffuse frustration while increasing performance and decreasing the likelihood of technical issues.</p> <h3 dir="ltr"><strong>Build anticipation through apps</strong></h3> <p dir="ltr">Once travelers arrive at their destination, they yearn to explore their surroundings, not wait on a lengthy check-in line.</p> <p dir="ltr">More and more, hoteliers are embracing functionalities like mobile check-in and keyless entry, streamlining the admissions process.</p> <p dir="ltr">Mobile is truly a one-stop shop for travelers; devices could be used to order room service, request housekeeping and access other amenities.</p> <p dir="ltr">Opportunities exist to create apps that focus on specific use cases, such as Virtual Concierge, Food &amp; Beverage, Beauty Services, or Banqueting.</p> <p dir="ltr">Meanwhile, rather than carry guidebooks, <a href="http://pages.usablenet.com/WC2015-03TraveleBook_Registration.html?_ga=1.162818812.1968264689.1425913433">61% of travelers value local information</a> on a brand’s mobile site to help plan their stay.</p> <p dir="ltr">A well-trained staff could support and complement new technologies while user testing can find the right balance between human interaction and automation.</p> <p dir="ltr">By providing a personalized experience, users will be more eager to use mobile throughout the journey.</p> <h3 dir="ltr"><strong>Incentivize sharing, streamline redemption</strong></h3> <p dir="ltr">After getaways, travelers return home with stories to tell, yet smartphones seldom do the sharing. </p> <p dir="ltr">Fewer than four out of 10 travelers share mobile photos on a brand’s social media pages and nearly all said they would not be inclined to share their travel experience unless it was beneficial to them.</p> <p dir="ltr">There is a prime opportunity for brands to offer customers incentives to share and book directly through their site. Getting customers to interact directly through your site creates a sense of excitement in travelers and increases the likelihood they’ll return to your site in the future.</p> <p dir="ltr">Loyalty programs are also a massive missed opportunity. Though the majority of travelers collect loyalty points, programs as a whole are underleveraged; <a href="http://pages.usablenet.com/WC2015-03TraveleBook_Registration.html?_ga=1.162818812.1968264689.1425913433">less than a third redeem points on mobile</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">Brands must take measures to incorporate loyalty into mobile and market it as an extension of their brand. Design sites that allow travelers to seamlessly access their points and stress that interactions will be beneficial to them and their wallets.</p> <p dir="ltr">JetBlue, for example, allows loyalty members to pay for flights using acquired points. By clearly depicting this option, travelers see the value of such a program and can seamlessly claim their reward.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/3368/jetBlue_Loyalty__1_.PNG" alt="" width="600"></strong></p> <p dir="ltr">While brands are accustomed to understanding a traveler’s practical needs and personal preferences, it is also valuable to respond to the emotional states of their customers.</p> <p dir="ltr">From the earliest rounds of research to boarding the flight home, emotions play a key role in travelers’ mobile experience; how brands cater to these sentiments can make or break relationships.</p> <p dir="ltr">Travel brands should proactively conduct a UX audit to see how see how functionalities perform. To best engage audiences, invite users to browse and book with compelling visual navigation, advanced search options and rich visual content.</p> <p dir="ltr">By <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65347-10-essential-features-for-mobile-travel-sites">improving the user experience of mobile offerings</a>, brands heighten the overall travel experience for guests and inspire repeat business.</p> <p dir="ltr">Implementing simple fixes can help ensure a user’s next vacation won’t be their last vacation with you.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/3773 2015-04-29T11:30:00+01:00 2015-04-29T11:30:00+01:00 Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: The Quest for Mobile Excellence <p><strong>The Quest for Mobile Excellence </strong>briefing, produced by Econsultancy in partnership with <strong><a title="Adobe" href="http://www.adobe.com/solutions/digital-marketing.html">Adobe</a></strong>, provides data and insights for those wishing to benchmark their own activities around mobile, and to elevate the importance of related business initiatives within their organisations.</p> <p>This research comes 12 months after Econsultancy and Adobe published the <strong><a title="Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: Finding the Path to Mobile Maturity" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-finding-the-path-to-mobile-maturity/">Finding the Path to Mobile Maturity report</a></strong>, giving us a great opportunity to assess the progress that companies have made in the intervening period.</p> <p>This year’s research is based on a global survey of nearly 3,000 marketers and digital professionals, providing another robust data set with which to compare last year’s findings.</p> <p>The following sections are featured in the report:</p> <ul> <li>Companies rise to the mobile challenge</li> <li>The desktop bias</li> <li>Investment and experimentation</li> <li>The need for mobile measurement</li> <li>The rise and rise of mobile apps</li> <li>Measuring, testing and optimising apps</li> <li>Ownership of mobile in a multichannel world</li> </ul> <h3> <strong>Findings</strong> include:</h3> <ul> <li>Almost two-thirds of companies (62%) are planning to <strong>increase their mobile investments in 2015</strong> compared to only 3% who are decreasing budgets. </li> <li>Around a fifth (19%) of companies now <strong>regard themselves as ‘mobile-first’</strong> compared to 13% last year.</li> <li>A third of companies (34%) said they had <strong>‘a defined mobile strategy that goes out at least 12 months’</strong>, down from 36% who agreed with this statement last year.</li> <li>The vast majority of respondents (71%) say that <strong>the desktop website is their top priority</strong> when it comes to providing a consistent customer experience, ahead of mobile site (16%), smartphone applications (10%) and tablet apps (3%). </li> <li>Only 11% strongly agree that they understand <strong>how mobile fits into the customer journey</strong> across devices and channels.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Download a copy of the report to learn more.</strong></p> <p>A <strong>free sample</strong> is available for those who want more detail about what is in the report.</p> <h4> <strong>Econsultancy's Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefings, sponsored by <a title="Adobe" href="http://www.adobe.com/uk/marketing">Adobe</a>, look at some of the most important trends affecting the marketing landscape. </strong><strong>You can access the other reports in this series <a title="Econsultancy / Adobe Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefings" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefings">here</a>.</strong> </h4> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66061 2015-02-09T14:05:50+00:00 2015-02-09T14:05:50+00:00 Homebase’s new mobile commerce app reviewed David Moth <p>Available on iOS and Android, the app enables customers to browse the entire product range, make a purchase, or check stock at their local store.</p> <p>Homebase receives more than 50% of its traffic through mobile devices and the new app has already been downloaded more than 70,000 times.</p> <p>Here’s what I thought of it, and for more on this topic read our posts on mobile apps from <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62489-b-q-s-club-app-is-the-perfect-mobile-loyalty-scheme/">B&amp;Q</a> and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65663-house-of-fraser-unveils-new-android-app-with-real-time-stock-checker/">House of Fraser</a>...</p> <h3>Login and homepage</h3> <p>Upon opening the app for the first time, users are asked whether they want to login or register with Homebase.</p> <p>On the assumption that most people downloading the app will already be Homebase customers, I signed up to make sure I got the full in-app experience.</p> <p>The registration form was really simple. It just needed my name, email address and postcode.</p> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/wbNcAyN.png" alt="" width="200">   <img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/2nboIkZ.png" alt="" width="200"></p> <p>The homepage itself is a bit random. Underneath the big sales promotion there are two product categories that users can swipe to explore.</p> <p>They are labelled ‘popular products’ and ‘best sellers’, which surely mean the same thing? And they do indeed contain many similar products.</p> <p>Also, the items bear no relation to each other. For example, ‘popular products’ contains an outdoor storage unit, wall tiles, indoor dining furniture, a home alarm and laminate flooring.</p> <p>It might be more useful to have links to different product categories on the home screen.</p> <h3>Navigation</h3> <p>If you do want to navigate to product categories you have to choose the ‘browse’ option from the hamburger menu.</p> <p>This isn’t particularly clear in my opinion as ‘browse’ uses the same magnifying glass logo as the search tool.</p> <p>The category options and their sub-sections use big icons that include text and attractive imagery, so it’s very easy to navigate around the app.</p> <p>One criticism here would be that the app includes a category for ‘Christmas’, which isn’t very useful in February.</p> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/WvPmldJ.png" alt="" width="200">   <img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/y4iXUlQ.png" alt="" width="200"></p> <p>I’m currently thinking about doing some work to my garden so I’m in the market for some trellis.</p> <p>The app makes it very easy to browse the different options, with each item including a big image, cost, star rating (where available), and fulfilment options (in-store/home delivery).</p> <h3>Search tool</h3> <p>As with most apps, the search results were a mixed bag.</p> <p>Though I could find what I was looking for by doing a bit of scrolling, there were quite a few erroneous or irrelevant results.</p> <p>For example, the top results in my search for ‘trellis’ were a pair of children’s playhouses.</p> <p>Also, it doesn’t offer predictive search or alternative spelling suggestions, which are fairly common UX features.</p> <h3>Product pages</h3> <p>The product pages have a clear, uncluttered design so it’s easy to find all the relevant information.</p> <p>They provide big product images, customer reviews, a decent description, delivery options, and alternative product recommendations.</p> <p>There are a few inconsistencies though, which are presumably an inevitable consequence of stocking such a broad range of products.</p> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/K9ix5sD.png" alt="" width="200">   <img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/5XCwF3l.png" alt="" width="200"></p> <p>Some pages have several images while others only have one, and the stock checking function isn’t universally available.</p> <p>Another minor problem is that the red special offer promo isn’t showing properly, as you can see on the above screenshot.</p> <h3>Stock checker</h3> <p>Mobile apps have the potential to be an integral part of a retailer’s multichannel offering, but only if they offer the right functionality.</p> <p>Homebase’s app has a really useful stock checker tool that will likely help to drive footfall in-store.</p> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/IKoyLXx.png" alt="" width="200">   <img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/C5guYVL.png" alt="" width="200"></p> <p>It works extremely quickly, enabling customers to see where the product is available, the store’s location and its opening times.</p> <p>However you can’t actually reserve the product through the stock-checking tool, so you have to gamble that it won’t have sold out by the time you arrive.</p> <h3>The checkout</h3> <p>When you select an item using the excellent ‘add to basket’ CTA it’s not immediately obvious how to then get to the shopping basket.</p> <p>While most apps either take you there automatically or have a basket icon in the top right-hand corner, in Homebase’s app the basket is only available in the hamburger menu.</p> <p>This isn’t a major flaw, but it probably isn’t what most users would expect.</p> <p>Unfortunately the next stage of the process does suffer from a major flaw.</p> <p>Having selected in-store pickup I’m then routed to a desktop site to complete the order, which ironically includes a banner ad encouraging me to download the new app.</p> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/SRA0Ajm.png" alt="" width="200">   <img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/r4eMxHH.png" alt="" width="200"></p> <p>For some reason my login then wouldn’t work, and the guest checkout required a huge amount of form filling and pinching and zooming.</p> <p>This is a massive barrier to purchase and should really have been sorted out prior to launch.</p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>Homebase’s app has the potential to be really good, but it currently has way too many rough edges and UX flaws.</p> <p>These range from minor issues (e.g. ‘browse’ and ‘search’ icons are the same, shopping basket located in the hamburger menu) to big problems such as the lack of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65493-10-of-the-world-s-best-mobile-commerce-checkouts/">a mobile checkout</a>.</p> <p>I’m sure these problems will be fixed as Homebase upgrades and develops the app, in which case it could be a very important sales channel, particularly given the growing usage of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63815-15-stats-that-show-why-click-and-collect-is-so-important-for-retailers/">click-and-collect services</a>.</p> <p>But at the moment the app is really only useful for product research as there are too many barriers to purchase.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/65972 2015-01-16T10:58:54+00:00 2015-01-16T10:58:54+00:00 Start Me Up! A profile of social treating app Givvit David Moth <p>Launching a new app is no easy task, so we spoke to co-founder Alex Kennedy to find out more about <a href="http://www.givvit.com/">Givvit</a>...</p> <h3>In one sentence, what is your product/service?</h3> <p>Givvit is an app that lets you send little treats such as coffees, drinks and snacks to friends, family and colleagues for them to pick up at our range of high street retail partners.</p> <h3>What problem(s) does it solve?</h3> <p>There is no effective method to digitally treat a friend, colleague, customer or employee to an everyday, low cost treat such as a coffee, cake or a beer.</p> <p>Treating is a universal behaviour which can be effectively used to highlight and augment a particular thought or message to distinguish it from the crowd but there is currently no way to properly enable this.</p> <p><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/79595480?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0" width="615" height="346"></iframe></p> <p>Online communication has become increasingly impersonal, with email overload and over 5bn daily likes and 500m daily tweets; messages often get lost in the ’noise’.</p> <p>Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an easy, fun and good value method to reward customers, incentivise employees and help people show their loved ones they care?</p> <h3>What are your immediate goals?</h3> <p>To build an engaged user base, get more retail “treat” partners on board and generally spread the good word of Givvit! </p> <h3>What were the biggest challenges involved in building the tech or your team?</h3> <p>We have had a million challenges to get it from an idea to a live and functioning product. </p> <p>The biggest one has been the tech as neither I, nor my co-founder James can write a line of code. </p> <p>So our partnership with Shaping Cloud helped us surmount that challenge, it helped that I went to school with Carlos the founder. </p> <p>We have worked very hard to ensure that anyone we have taken on has been of the same ethos and beliefs as James and I, and probably by luck more than design the guys working on Givvit now are all amazing.</p> <h3>How will the company make money?</h3> <p>We will make a very small margin on each treat bought. So we’ll only make money if we have real scale… the battle is on.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/8214/Screen_Shot_2015-01-14_at_17.32.07.png" alt="" width="999" height="655"></p> <h3>Who is in your team?</h3> <p>My co-founder James Cullen and I started Givvit, and we were joined last summer by our operations manager Diane Fawkes and creative director Dan Corbett. </p> <p>Our tech partner Shaping Cloud has a team who make the whizzy tech magic happen; Carlos, James W, Anita, Cliff, Dave, John, Nick and Tom.</p> <h3>Where would you like to be in one, three and five years’ time?</h3> <p>One year: To be a fully established, recognised app in the UK market with a bigger range of retailers on and an active and engaged user base.</p> <p>Three years: To be booming in the UK and have launched in the US and Europe.</p> <p>Five years: To be in as many countries across the world as possible. Helping friends and family treat each other every day and enabling all manner of corporate and brand rewards and loyalty treating. </p> <h3>Other than your own, what are your favourite websites / apps / tools?</h3> <p>I am a music buff first and foremost and absolutely love Spotify and it basically soundtracks my life. </p> <p>App-wise it has to be Instagram (obvious choice I know) and YPlan, and the best tool we use is Dropbox as it makes working disparately very easy.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/65549 2014-10-07T11:01:00+01:00 2014-10-07T11:01:00+01:00 Mothercare's mobile strategy: apps, iBeacons & content, but no RWD David Moth <h2>Interaction over transaction</h2> <p>Like all retailers, Mothercare has to consider how it can compete with Amazon online.</p> <p>Trying to compete on price will result in a race to the bottom and will ultimately drive Mothercare out of business. </p> <p>Singh said that in the past the company has relied too heavily on its reputation as a specialist retailer, and is now implementing a new strategy where the customer is at the heart of all business decisions. </p> <blockquote> <p>Our customers don’t just want to buy things. They want advice and product information. We haven’t got that right before, but mobile has given us opportunity to address that.</p> </blockquote> <p>Mothercare uses its mobile apps to provide useful content that pregnant women and mothers will want to interact with on a daily basis, even if they don’t end up buying anything.</p> <p><em><strong>Mothercare's desktop site</strong></em></p> <p><a href="http://www.mothercare.com/"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/4672/screen_shot_2014-10-06_at_18.15.08-blog-full.png" alt="" width="615" height="314"></a></p> <p>Though mobile conversions remain low compared to desktop, judging the channel’s success purely on sales overlooks its potential for creating valuable interactions with potential customers.</p> <blockquote> <p>If we can create great user experiences on mobile, the transactions will take care of themselves.</p> </blockquote> <h2>Content</h2> <p>Creating these valuable interactions relies on having engaging, useful content.</p> <p>For Mothercare this includes a range of features within the app, such as advice videos, quirky baby tunes, classical music (some people believe this is useful for pregnant women), and the ability to take pictures of their kids within the app.</p> <h2>iBeacons</h2> <p>As mentioned, Mothercare plans to begin trialling <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63478-ibeacons-what-are-they-and-why-should-marketers-care">iBeacons</a> in 2015.</p> <p>It’s in a strong position as it already has a popular range of apps, plus hundreds of stores in which to test the technology.</p> <p>One criticism occasionally levelled at iBeacons is that they are only used for discounting and coupons, but Singh said Mothercare will more likely go down the customer service route.</p> <p>This is similar to the approach adopted by some airlines and retailers, including Tesco.</p> <p>The grocery giant began a trial earlier this year in its Chelmsford store and has said that the technology won’t be used to push out marketing messages.</p> <p>Instead the iBeacons notify shoppers that their pre-ordered goods are waiting for them.</p> <p>Ultimately iBeacons could be a central feature in Tesco’s new beta MyStore app, helping customers to find specific items in-store.</p> <p><em><strong>Mothercare's mobile site</strong></em></p> <p>             <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/4680/mobile_site_2-blog-third.png" alt="" width="200" height="356">   <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/4681/mobile_site-blog-third.png" alt="" width="200" height="356"></p> <p>At Mothercare Singh said that he also hopes to use iBeacons to improve the in-store experience.</p> <p>Therefore the trials are likely to include the use of rich content (i.e. video), detailed product information, and advice on how to navigate round the store.</p> <p>Mothercare does a lot of in-store events, which is another area where iBeacons could be used to enhance the customer experience.</p> <h2>Privacy</h2> <p>The use of mobile apps and iBeacons brings with it a greater focus on privacy. </p> <p>Mothercare’s customers are understandably sensitive to privacy issues, and the company already gets comments from people who can’t understand why the company's apps need access to their photos and contacts.</p> <p>The use of location data will only add to these problems, but Singh believes these concerns can be overcome with a combination of the right messaging, prompt responses to customer comments, and a sensitive approach that doesn’t overwhelm people with new technology.</p> <h2>Responsive design</h2> <p>Mothercare has opted for a separate mobile site rather than using <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64072-responsive-design-25-of-the-best-sites-from-2013">responsive design</a>.</p> <p>Singh explained that his team was cautious as it’s still a relatively new concept and it would be a huge job to retrofit the brand’s “super-complex sites.”</p> <p>Any decision on moving to responsive design would have to be taken in the context of improving the customer experience.</p> <blockquote> <p>We want a faster mobile site, richer photography, a better checkout, more video content. We’re trying to optimise our existing mobile site and improve the overall experience, rather than focusing on responsive design.</p> </blockquote> <p>That said, Mothercare did move its customer help site to responsive design, which Singh described as a “useful test.”</p>