tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/commerce-2 Latest Commerce content from Econsultancy 2016-11-29T11:42:12+00:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68568 2016-11-29T11:42:12+00:00 2016-11-29T11:42:12+00:00 Three reasons behind Dominos’ digital sales boost Nikki Gilliland <p>So, what’s behind the boost?</p> <p>Here’s a few reasons why Domino's is still taking a fairly hefty slice of the takeaway market, even in the face of competition with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68206-ubereats-vs-deliveroo-a-comparison-of-the-app-user-experience/" target="_blank">Deliveroo and UberEats</a>.</p> <h3>Embracing innovation</h3> <p>You might have seen Domino’s partaking in a number of unusual stunts this year. </p> <p>Despite occurring in other countries, many have resulted in UK media coverage due to their innovative and experimental use of new technology.</p> <p>The latest stunt involved a New Zealand couple getting their Domino’s pizza specially delivered by a drone - a result of the brand’s partnership with drone company, Flirtey.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1812/Domino_s_Drone.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="471"></p> <p>Described by Domino's Group CEO and Managing Director, Don Meij, as a way to "avoid traffic congestion and safely reduce delivery time and distance" – it offered an exciting glimpse into the possibilities this type of tech could present in future. </p> <p>In a similar event in Australia, Domino’s trialled an autonomous robot designed to deliver pizzas at street-level without the need for human navigation. </p> <p>While it seemed even more gimmicky than the aforementioned drone example, it still demonstrated Domino’s intent to push the boundaries of fast-food delivery.</p> <h3>Utilising social</h3> <p>As well as large-scale technology, Domino’s has been ramping up efforts to make ordering as easy as possible through everyday social platforms.</p> <p>It created its very own <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68184-domino-s-introduces-dom-the-pizza-bot-for-facebook-messenger/">social media chatbot, Dom the pizza bot</a>, allowing users to order via Facebook Messenger with a single word or emoji.</p> <p>This is not the only example of Domino’s capitalising on its large social following. </p> <p>It’s also been making use of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67808-10-pioneering-examples-of-brands-using-facebook-live/" target="_blank">Facebook Live</a>, recently offering users the chance to win a year’s supply of pizza in a special art-themed online auction.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FDominosPizza%2Fposts%2F10157732659530453%3A0&amp;width=500" width="500" height="646"></iframe></p> <p>Part of its campaign for the new Italiano range, it also allowed the brand to align online and offline marketing by transforming its stores into 'Pizz-Art Galleries'. </p> <p>Both of these examples show how Domino’s is keen to capture interest and excitement in the online spaces that its audience use the most.</p> <p>While it might not have generated many actual sales through Dom, the awareness it (or should I say he?) created was certainly valuable.</p> <h3>Improving mobile </h3> <p>Mobile is big business for the takeaway food market. <a href="https://www.comscore.com/Insights/Data-Mine/How-Food-Delivery-Services-Have-Kept-Customers-Reaching-For-The-Phone" target="_blank">Comscore reported</a> that 11m Brits visited one of the top three food delivery sites via a mobile device or PC during March of this year. </p> <p>What’s more, out of Domino’s 3m monthly users, around 70% are said to be mobile-only.</p> <p>Luckily for these customers, the brand made its website fully responsive in 2015 – a move that helped to <a href="http://internetretailing.net/2016/07/amazon-dash-dominos-pizza-online-changing-takeaway-food-delivery/" target="_blank">increase mobile conversions by an impressive 62%</a>. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1813/Dominos_mobile.JPG" alt="" width="200"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1814/Dominos_mobile_2.JPG" alt="" width="200"></p> <p>As well as this, it has introduced even more features to its popular mobile app, such as a one-touch ordering button for extra ease.</p> <p>Domino's also allows users to order via their Apple Watch or Amazon Echo device, taking an overarching ‘convenience-first’ approach rather than just a mobile one.</p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>Despite the popularity of Deliveroo and Just Eat, Domino’s Pizza has retained its appeal to fast-food lovers.</p> <p>Combining an increasingly innovative approach to delivery with a confident social media strategy it remains in a strong position, with the online sales to prove it.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68563 2016-11-25T14:29:12+00:00 2016-11-25T14:29:12+00:00 10 exciting digital marketing stats from this week Nikki Gilliland <p>Don’t forget to download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium" target="_blank">Internet Statistics Compendium</a> for further insight. </p> <h3>82% of young people unable to distinguish between news and native ads</h3> <p>Stanford University has found that young people show a surprising inability to decipher the type of information they find online.</p> <p>In a study on the behaviour of ‘digital natives’, it discovered that most were able to identify banner ads, however, 82% were unable to see the difference between a news article and native advertising.</p> <p>In fact, a number had no idea what ‘sponsored content’ even meant, leading to the suggestion that media literacy should be taken more seriously in schools.  </p> <h3>Black Friday spend predicted to surpass £1.1bn</h3> <p>Analysis from Captify suggests that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68557-how-uk-retailers-are-promoting-black-friday-online/" target="_blank">Black Friday 2016</a> will surpass last year's record spend of £1.1bn.</p> <p>Based on the analysis of 15bn online searches, it found an 11% jump in people searching Black Friday during the month of October compared to the same time last year.</p> <p>Two key trends have also emerged. </p> <p>The first is retailers offering huge discounts across a greater number of days, and the second is consumers researching as early as August to ensure they get the best deal.</p> <p>Taking both into consideration, it has been predicted that this year’s spend will blow last year’s record out the water. Be sure to come back next week to find out...</p> <h3>15% of consumers paying over the odds due to direct debit</h3> <p>New research from Echo Managed Services has found that direct debit payments are leading to a loss of consumer trust, with many paying out more than necessary.</p> <p>In a survey of 1,000 UK consumers, 15% were found to be spending more than they should.</p> <p>So why is this occurring?</p> <p>Poor customer engagement looks to be a big issue, with one in five receiving a higher than expected bill without any warning.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1768/Direct_Debit.JPG" alt="" width="656" height="421"></p> <h3>Online Christmas shopping sales already up from 2015 </h3> <p>Hooklogic has revealed the first round of ecommerce data from the 2016 Christmas shopping season.</p> <p>The results show significant growth from last year, with the amount of shoppers growing 13.8% YoY and conversion volume rising 1.8%.</p> <p>While the US election delayed proceedings for a while, the rebound was rapid, with a growth of 36.5% in ecommerce shopping on the Friday after results day.</p> <p>Hooklogic also found that mobile is becoming the device of choice for consumers, with a slight decline in desktop conversions overall.</p> <h3>People who share content are nine times more likely to buy</h3> <p>A new report by RadiumOne has found that consumers who click and share content online are nine times more likely than non-sharers to go on to buy.</p> <p>According the research, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67529-the-rise-of-dark-social-everything-you-need-to-know/" target="_blank">dark social</a> is a huge purchase driver, with 77% of converted shares originating from dark social channels compared to just 12% from Facebook.</p> <p>This suggests that brands should pay more attention to analytics that track non-public sharing, as well as offer incentives to the most active sharers.</p> <h3>43% of Christmas shoppers turn to Amazon</h3> <p>New statistics from Astound Commerce show that 43% of shoppers will buy their gifts on Amazon this year, demonstrating the retailer’s long-standing popularity.</p> <p>Despite this, a survey found that shoppers could be tempted elsewhere, but only if retailers rise to the occasion on a number of factors.</p> <p>65% of respondents said that better prices would sway them away from Amazon, while 46% cited special offers and promotions.</p> <p>Interestingly, only 29% say that on par or faster delivery times would prompt a purchase elsewhere.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1771/Amazon.jpg" alt="" width="750" height="499"></p> <h3>Shoppers aware of 9.3 brands at the beginning of path to purchase</h3> <p>When it comes to the path to purchase, consumers enter the journey with a very limited shortlist of brands - this is according to new insight from Quantcast.</p> <p>Research has revealed that shoppers tend to be aware of nine to 10 brands during the initial stages, before narrowing it down to consider just two or three.</p> <p>Finally, they will seriously consider one or two before making the final decision.</p> <p>However, only four out of 10 consumers are said to go on to buy from one of their shortlisted brands, with price, value and promotions being the strongest influences in changing their minds.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1766/Shortlist.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="247"></p> <h3>Marketers choose to represent diversity over brand messages</h3> <p>In a survey of 500 marketers in the UK, Shutterstock has discovered that many prefer to choose images that represent diversity in Britain today - rather than those that align with the brand message alone. </p> <p>Representing ethnic minorities and diverse communities is becoming an important priority for marketers, with 49% having used images relating to this in the past 12 months.</p> <p>Likewise, non-traditional family images are also becoming more popular, with 66% choosing these types of images over traditional ones.</p> <h3>Online search reflects growing demand for Hatchimals </h3> <p>New data from Hitwise has revealed the products that UK consumers have been searching for in the run up to Black Friday.</p> <p>As we reported a couple of weeks ago, Hatchimals retains the title of the most-searched for item, followed by the ever-popular Fitbit.</p> <p>There has also been a spike in searches for the term ‘Hatchimal in stock’, demonstrating the high demand for the toy.</p> <p>With Argos and Tesco recently announcing the appearance of more stock in stores, Hitwise recommends consumers move fast if they want to get their hands on it.</p> <p>Lastly, it is interesting to note that the PS4 Pro is making waves, now up three places to become the fourth most-searched for product.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1767/Hitwise.jpg" alt="" width="780" height="476"></p> <h3>Generation Z shops in-store an average of seven times a month</h3> <p>A new report by Shoppercentric suggests that Generation Z, or consumers aged between 15 to 24, are becoming a bigger priority for retailers. </p> <p>Interesting stats from the report include:</p> <ul> <li>Generation Z shop in-store around seven or eight times a month.</li> <li>62% of Gen Z agree that online shopping is a great way to prevent boredom.</li> <li>70% say that they often browse online with no intention of buying.</li> </ul> <p>For more analysis on this, read our article on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68554-how-retailers-are-targeting-generation-z/" target="_blank">how retailers are targeting Generation Z</a>.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68542 2016-11-18T14:41:49+00:00 2016-11-18T14:41:49+00:00 10 of the best digital marketing stats we've seen this week Nikki Gilliland <p>Now, let's get on with the show.</p> <h3>Consumers prefer offline channels for communicating with banks</h3> <p>While an omni-channel presence is becoming increasingly expected, a new study by Invoca has found that consumers much prefer offline channels when it comes to dealing with banks.</p> <p>In a survey of more than 1,200 people, 75% said it’s important or extremely important to be able to switch between channels when interacting with their bank.</p> <p>Likewise, 75% of respondents also said in-person or phone interactions were the most effective ways to build a relationship, with just 22% choosing an online channel like email or social.</p> <p>With 80% saying that knowledge of an account history had a positive influence on their decision, the importance of good customer service is evident.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1616/Banking_offline.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="559"></p> <h3>October online sales grow at the highest rate since Black Friday 2014</h3> <p>The latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini eRetail Sales Index has revealed that online sales grew +18.9% YoY this October – the highest rate since November 2014.</p> <p>However, the Index also reported its lowest conversion rate since February 2013, with just 4.1% of website visits resulting in sales. This could reflect the growing trend for browsing, with many consumers shopping around to determine the best deal or discover product reviews.</p> <p>In terms of the sectors that performed particularly well, home goods and accessories came out on top - up +23.9% and +37.7% YoY.</p> <h3>British consumers spend £21.7bn on impulse purchases per year</h3> <p>In a Display Mode survey of 2,512 UK-based consumers, over half confessed to making an impulse purchase each time they go shopping.</p> <p>In total, this amounts to an estimated £21.7bn being spent on impulse purchases every year.</p> <p>When asked if the impulse purchases were necessary, 62% said they were ‘wanted not needed’, 21% stated they thought ‘they might come in handy’ and 16% said they were always needed.</p> <p>The most persuasive factor for encouraging impulse purchases appears to be monetary offers, with 92% citing this reason.</p> <h3>52% of marketers see email personalisation as a top priority</h3> <p>Return Path has released a new report highlighting what makes a successful email marketing program.</p> <p>In a survey of industry professionals, more than half ranked personalisation as their top priority for improving success. </p> <p>Similarly, improving customer retention and increasing customer engagement were also ranked highly, being cited by 47% and 44% of respondents respectively.</p> <p>In terms of barriers to success, 46% said collecting quality customer data was the biggest, followed by 44% who said increasing customer engagement.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1621/email.jpg" alt="" width="650" height="433"></p> <h3>Predicted growth for digital agencies in the UK reaches an all-time low</h3> <p>The latest research from Econsultancy has found that predicted year-on-year growth for digital agencies has hit the skids.</p> <p>On average, the proportion of agencies predicting their business will grow in 2017 has halved in two years, going from 25% in 2014 to just 11%.</p> <p>For lots more on this, you can download the <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/reports/digital-agency-rate-card-survey-2016/" target="_blank">Digital Agency Rate Card Survey</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1614/Econ_research.JPG" alt="" width="618" height="608"></p> <h3>27% of UK consumers plan to buy online this Black Friday</h3> <p>It’s typically an American event, but this year’s Black Friday is set to become truly global, as UK consumers embrace the opportunity to bag a bargain online.</p> <p>A survey from One Hour Translation has found that 27% of UK consumers plan to make a purchase on Black Friday, compared to 10% who plan to buy on Cyber Monday. </p> <p>While we’re keen in the UK, other countries are less so, with France coming out as the least interested. </p> <p>The survey showed keen interest from 18% of French respondents between the ages of 25 and 44, however there was no interest whatsoever among those aged 45 and over.</p> <h3>Time spent in video and media apps grows by over 210% in two years</h3> <p>Research just released by App Annie shows that app-based video content on smartphones is on the rise.</p> <p>In fact, the global time spent in the Media &amp; Video category has grown by over 210% in the past two years, surpassing the speed at which apps in general are growing.</p> <p>In the UK, mobile data usage for streaming increased by 80% between 2014 and 2015.</p> <p>Likewise, both France and Germany saw a significant increase in mobile data usage for streaming over the past year.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1615/Video_streaming.JPG" alt="" width="720" height="558"></p> <h3>Singles Day results in 44,500 purchases per minute </h3> <p>Figures from Worldpay show it was a record-breaking year for China Singles Day, with Chinese consumers spending more than ever before.</p> <p>The day, which originally began as an ‘anti-Valentine's day’ celebration for single people, saw frenzied shopping activity - peaking at 44,505 payments per minute.</p> <p>The figures also reflect an increase in awareness of the day worldwide, with 38.9% more online transactions being processed globally compared to last year.</p> <p>More specifically, there was an 18.5% uplift in the volume of transactions in the UK.</p> <h3>74% of consumers say social video influences purchasing decisions</h3> <p>A new study by Brightcove has identified the effect social media video content has on consumer engagement and behaviour.</p> <p>The results show a distinctly positive correlation, with 74% of consumers saying there is a connection between watching a video on social media and their buying decisions.</p> <p>46% of consumers said they have actually made a purchase after watching a branded video on social media, and a further 32% have considered doing so.</p> <p>Videos also appear to be effective for increasing positive sentiment - 79% agreed that it is the easiest way to get to know a brand online.</p> <h3>50% of retailers could fail to notice out-of-stock items this Christmas</h3> <p>According to research from Tyco Retail Solutions, half of retailers do not have a single view of their stock levels, meaning that many are in danger of losing valuable holiday sales. </p> <p>It has been predicted that sales could fall by over 8% this year due to dwindling stock.</p> <p>In order to satisfy customer demand, seven out of 10 retailers are actively looking to improve their same or next-day fulfilment capabilities, despite the fact that only 40% appear to be investing in inventory management technology.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4273 2016-10-17T03:00:00+01:00 2016-10-17T03:00:00+01:00 Social Media Strategy Asia Pacific Best Practice Guide <p>One of the most popular areas of digital is social media. The vast majority of internet users have at least one social media account and the main social platforms boast hundreds of millions of daily users.</p> <p>Over the last few years, though, social media has also started to have a strong influence on organisations. Social media has changed how people work, how they communicate and the relationship that they have with their customers.</p> <p>Adding to this, social media is evolving at a blistering pace. New considerations for social media strategists include: paid ad formats, new visual and video formats, buy buttons, private messaging, social servicing, the quantified self and the Internet of Things.</p> <p>Because social media touches so many areas of an organisation, however, getting it 'right' in spite of all these changes has never been more important.</p> <p>This report follows on from Econsultancy's <strong>Social Media Strategy Best Practice Guide</strong>, published in June 2016, and has been updated with information for marketers who are either based in Asia Pacific (APAC) or responsible for marketing in the region. </p> <p>APAC consists of a wide variety of countries, including such diverse markets as Japan, China, India, Australia and other Southeast Asian countries. The reason for a special report on the region is that, taken as a whole, APAC accounts for more than half of all social media users worldwide and has many of the world's fastest growing economies. Its size and potential for growth has made APAC a very attractive target for brands over the past decade.</p> <h2>This report will enable you to:</h2> <ul> <li>Establish a framework for social media strategy</li> <li>Rethink how brands are managed</li> <li>Review company structure</li> <li>Carefully plan social media strategy</li> <li>Execute within regional constraints</li> <li>Provide measurement</li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67339 2016-01-22T15:18:09+00:00 2016-01-22T15:18:09+00:00 Three marketing trends to watch in 2016 Georges Berzgal <p>All three have come a long way since they first emerged. <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/10301-to-use-or-not-to-use-personalisation-in-email-marketing">When personalisation was in its infancy</a>, it stretched only as far as automating the use of the recipient’s name in a marketing email.</p> <p>In a similar vein, the shift <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/6415-smartphone-users-are-more-active-shoppers-survey">from marketing mechanics for ‘basic’ mobile phones to those for smartphones</a> offered new opportunities.</p> <p>Lastly, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/2715-will-facebook-s-engagement-advertisements-engage">the arrival of Facebook advertising</a> brought an innovative way to reach consumers. Each of these areas will continue to present new and interesting opportunities in 2016.</p> <h3>Personalisation</h3> <p>Batch and blast is finally falling by the wayside. It’s time to employ real personalisation and the automation that goes along with it to ultimately optimise customer interactions. </p> <p>Is your email welcome series a unique journey for each customer? With messages tailored to the actions the recipient has taken previously?</p> <p>Do you send a message to customers who have just bought to encourage them to review the product? Match their purchase with complementary items and send a 'thank you' and a suggestion? Or ask about their experience?</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/0750/Screen_Shot_2016-01-15_at_10.50.49.png" alt="" width="462" height="376"></p> <p>Shoppers tell you online what they are interested in, both explicitly in email preference information they’ve provided but also directly through their behaviour including purchase history and visited product pages.</p> <p>Be sure to use that information when communicating with them, be it about product ranges, price levels, or offers, in a relevant and engaging way.</p> <p>By continually testing the key aspects of your communication strategy – tone and content, level of communication, frequency – you’ll find the sweet spot for boosting your revenues while adding value to your customers.</p> <h3>Mobile</h3> <p>2016 is the year for getting mobile right, and it is no longer a matter of choice – your customers are there already.</p> <p>Recently, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66141-six-thoughts-on-google-s-mobile-friendly-search-announcement">Google announced</a> its decision to give a boost to mobile-friendly sites.</p> <p>And we all know that customers are increasingly using their phones to window shop, check prices from a store, or park items in a shopping basket for later.</p> <p>Mobile shopping experiences must be inviting, engaging and easy to transact through.</p> <p>Perhaps the biggest lesson for the new year: if you don’t sell a product people order daily or weekly (think pizza, coffee or groceries), don’t waste money developing an app.</p> <p>Your budget would be better spent optimising your website for mobile and mastering the latest in responsive design best practice to improve your customers’ overall user experience.</p> <h3>Social</h3> <p>Every year, we hear something new about social. So what will it be this year?</p> <p>With Facebook selling fewer ads at higher prices, a big advertising spend with the social network <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66346-is-there-a-facebook-ad-bubble">buys only a fraction of what it did a year ago</a>.</p> <p>That’s not to say social shouldn’t be part of your marketing strategy; just be sure it adds value. Your social media investment should build interest in your brand, attract shoppers to your site, and most importantly, retain them as customers. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/0751/Screen_Shot_2016-01-15_at_11.01.39.png" alt="" width="363" height="357"></p> <p>Use your email subscription lists to better understand where and how to advertise on social media.</p> <p>Many social networks offer very powerful segmentation. If you see that a particular demographic is responding to a particular offer, target your social spend on that group of consumers.</p> <p>Then use that information to help refine your ecommerce messaging and segmentation. This will help you stretch your social media advertising budget much further.</p> <p>In 2016, we will see how well <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66989-twitter-s-buy-now-button-will-it-work/">social media buy buttons</a> on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram perform.</p> <p>Recent research indicates that <a href="http://digitalmarketingmagazine.co.uk/social-media-marketing/is-the-social-buy-button-poised-to-take-off/2766">one-third of UK shoppers (32%) are ready to make a purchase via social media</a>, so retailers should start to think about if and how to use it as part of a broader commerce strategy.</p> <p><em>There are many reasons to be excited and many strategies to consider for 2016, but the common thread should be consistency. </em></p> <p><em>Above all, deliver a great, consistent marketing experience that shows you really know your customers and what they want.</em> </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67225 2015-11-23T10:45:29+00:00 2015-11-23T10:45:29+00:00 International ecommerce: Four things to consider when venturing into foreign markets Ian Harris <p>One of the recession’s ‘silver linings’ was that it changed the ‘tunnel vision’ attitude many businesses can develop. </p> <p>The difficulties that arose as a result of this economic stagnation forced business to explore other opportunities – namely those abroad.</p> <p><img src="https://www.searchlaboratory.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web_1-2.jpg" alt="International e-commerce" width="324" height="279"></p> <p>Now that the economic situation looks a bit brighter at home, we wanted to revisit the research. We surveyed 500 senior decision-makers within large organisations to understand how they now prioritise their expansion budgets, and what they consider to be the main barriers for successful market entry. </p> <p>The overriding theme of the results was a sense of missed opportunity. The survey revealed that 62% of respondents believe they are currently missing out on key global ecommerce opportunities.</p> <p>This statistic alone highlights that many UK businesses are still yet to fully explore the global opportunities an online presence can provide.</p> <p>It also highlights a potential dearth of information about how and why a business should engage in such markets. </p> <p>With the country looking forward to developing better, more profitable business offerings, a lack of information in such a key area may highlight the need for a more protracted, government-led emphasis on globalising UK ecommerce.</p> <p>The problem may, however, not be as dire as the figures suggest. 83% of respondents considered overseas expansion to be a new revenue stream. </p> <p>This means that although they might currently be engaged in ecommerce in overseas markets, they simply aren't getting the most out of their endeavours.</p> <p>So, how can businesses that have identified the potential in these markets then go on to take the next steps and ensure they're not missing out?</p> <p><em>Read on to find out, or for more on this topic read:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65718-international-seo-a-beginner-s-skills-guide/"><em>International SEO: A beginner's skills guide</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66817-five-international-social-media-myths-debunked/"><em>Five international social media myths debunked</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66575-five-golden-rules-when-localising-for-international-ecommerce/"><em>Five golden rules when localising for international ecommerce</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66929-how-to-overcome-the-difficulties-of-copywriting-for-the-chinese-market/"><em>How to overcome the difficulties of copywriting for the Chinese market</em></a></li> </ul> <h3>Speak the same language as your customers</h3> <p>The study revealed that a large majority of UK businesses felt that they were failing to properly embrace digital business opportunities.</p> <p>While many businesses have certainly woken up to the digital opportunities available to them, many are still not adapting their marketing strategies country to country. </p> <p>Worryingly, 40% of the businesses we surveyed don’t think that communicating with customers in their native languages is important.</p> <p>This is despite the fact that three out of five of these businesses rely on up to 50% of their revenue from global markets. </p> <p>Studies have shown that failing to communicate in native languages can have a serious effect upon the trust consumers place with brands.</p> <p>However, translation doesn't just pertain to the direct translation of written content on your site. The content on your site should always be implemented with technical SEO best practice in mind.</p> <p>This could range from meta-tags and titles to more advanced technical recommendations. This should help you to develop fully optimised content on local domains, which will help increase rankings on your targeted keywords, but also give a better user experience.</p> <p>A native speaker’s cultural insight is also invaluable when moving into a new market. The nuances of a language and culture may not be immediately available to a second language translator but it is these small insights that will keep you ahead of the competition.</p> <p>For example, a native speaking French content consultant could reject content with sub-titles such as “Did You Know…?” for the French market.</p> <p>While acceptable in the UK, this could be perceived as condescending to French audiences, who would prefer something neutral such as “Additional Information” as a title.</p> <p><img src="https://www.searchlaboratory.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web_4.jpg" alt="International e-commerce" width="345" height="297"></p> <h3>Localise your site</h3> <p>It’s not just issues around translating content that can influence customer sentiment either, there are many other big factors to consider too, including your domain structure.</p> <p>87% of businesses stressed the importance of using a local website domain. </p> <p>Yet, many are still not implementing vital changes like this. In a country where 20% of the ecommerce market is through exports, with the majority in Europe, the need for specialised and tailored ecommerce presences in these markets is vital.</p> <p><img src="https://www.searchlaboratory.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web_5.jpg" alt="International e-commerce" width="291" height="251"></p> <p>You should also spend some time on specialising <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/seo-backlink-masterclass">your backlink profile</a> for each country, as this can have a big effect on the trust signals that Google places on your localised site.</p> <p>Your online marketing plan should include local PR, such as PR campaigns and events that will help build natural links to your site.</p> <p>Businesses should also implement a proactive quality link building campaign (brand mentions can be an effective tactic if your brand is already well known in the region) to get links from local sites.</p> <p>This two-pronged strategy should help indicate to both Google, and your customers, that you’re a trusted brand in the market.</p> <h3>Get your brand noticed</h3> <p>The usability and relevance of your website are vital to ensuring your audience's journey ends in a conversion – but you need to get them there first.</p> <p>In markets where you’re a new brand, you're competing with established businesses who know the market inside out. Often you may have to build yourself up from the bottom.</p> <p>To get noticed you have to get your name out there, which involves lots of relationship building with industry influencers.</p> <p>Communicating with these influencers (often journalists and bloggers) is easier if you use native speaking employees. Native speakers understand the market and can save you valuable time lost in research. </p> <p>Content promotion methods differ from country to country too.</p> <p>For example, while forums are generally considered bad practice in the UK, in China they are still hugely influential.</p> <p>Social media is becoming ever more important to brand recognition. In Europe and America, Facebook still dominates the social landscape.</p> <p>When looking at other large markets though, don’t be mistaken for thinking that it’s the be all and end all.</p> <p>In China, the platform's website is blocked, so usage is very low. <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64625-weibos-wechat-renren-how-to-approach-social-marketing-in-china/">QZone and Weibo are the market leaders</a>, with the former boasting a profile for 99% of Chinese internet users. (For more on this topic, download Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/state-of-ecommerce-in-china/">State of Ecommerce in China Report</a>).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/3607/starbucks_screenshot-blog-full.jpg" alt="" width="615" height="457"></p> <p>In Russia, VK (Vkontakte) has over five times as many daily users as Facebook. </p> <p>These platforms work in different ways, with users interacting differently on each site. You should research the habits and trends on these different platforms before <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66774-social-media-marketing-in-china-which-platforms-should-you-invest-in/">forming a social media strategy</a>.</p> <h3>Use paid platforms effectively</h3> <p>You may also choose to run paid campaigns along with your organic ones. As with organic channels, you will need to translate each campaign for each market.</p> <p>One of the mistakes that marketers often make is rolling out a successful campaign from one market across many others. </p> <p>Just because <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/ppc-training/">a PPC campaign</a> was successful in one country doesn't mean it will be in another.</p> <p>The structure and content of your ads in different markets should be based upon comprehensive research and testing in each market. Successful campaigns will have relevant messages and a tone that is in keeping with your market. </p> <p>Programmatic has also become much more important to many digital marketing strategies. 90% of stakeholders in Europe have said they plan to increase their visibility on the platform over the next 12 months.</p> <p>Effective use of programmatic is heavily reliant on the ability to analyse audience habits. It’s important, therefore, that you have good insight into the markets you’re entering.</p> <p>This insight covers a wide range of ideas, such as how your brand is perceived in a particular country and how programmatic campaigns in your industry have worked in the past. </p> <p>Looking at this, as well as the cultural attitudes and habits of your audience, should help you localise each campaign. </p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>The UK has the third biggest ecommerce market in the world. Considering the size of country and population, that’s quite an achievement.</p> <p>This indicates a market and consumers who are progressive, and global, in their thinking.</p> <p>Today, there are countless opportunities for businesses to expand overseas. UK business leaders should focus their efforts on tailoring their strategies to each market.</p> <p>If they present an accessible and relevant online presence to users, brands can reap all the rewards that globalisation offers.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67098 2015-10-30T13:58:39+00:00 2015-10-30T13:58:39+00:00 Boosting online revenue during Black Friday & Cyber Monday Georges Berzgal <p>For commerce marketers, the four-day sales weekend is a critical one to capitalise on.</p> <p>So to help you design a smart and efficient communication strategy for some of the busiest shopping days of the year, here are key tips to drive customer engagement and boost sales:</p> <h3>Create convenience </h3> <p>Consumers crave convenience. Remind them of any services you are offering during the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66890-how-to-make-black-friday-stand-out-in-the-longer-holiday-season">Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales period</a> that will ease the stresses and strains of shopping.</p> <p>Anything from free gift-wrapping to delayed shipping options can be an additional reason to buy from you.</p> <p>Don’t forget to highlight basic information, such as return and exchange information and any in-store pickup or drop-off, to make the shopping experience as transparent as possible.</p> <h3>Implement an abandoned shopping basket strategy</h3> <p>If you don’t have an <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63466-nine-case-studies-and-infographics-on-cart-abandonment-and-email-retargeting/">abandoned shopping cart email strategy</a> in place already, now is the time to implement a campaign to rescue revenue when shoppers stray.</p> <p>Basket abandonment rates are on the rise, so it is critical to successfully re-engage customers who have abandoned the order process.</p> <h3>Stand out with animation</h3> <p>If you want to stand out in a busy customer’s inbox, consider using <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66303-where-to-find-and-create-your-own-brilliant-gifs/">animated GIFs</a>.</p> <p>Used effectively, they can make a shopper stop in their tracks and check out your email, and are a great substitute for videos that can bring a brand to life.</p> <h3>Offer customer-friendly promo codes </h3> <p>If your promo codes are within an image, your customers will either have to commit it to memory, or write it down to enter later on.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/8447/best_practice3.png" alt="" width="337" height="204"></p> <p>That’s forcing the customer to do more work, unnecessarily. Make promo codes plain text – allowing for copying and pasting – and simple, so they’re easily remembered and easily shared.</p> <p><em>For more on this topic read: <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66984-how-to-get-the-most-out-of-your-online-coupon-campaigns/">How to get the most out of your online coupon campaigns</a>.</em></p> <h3>Remail throughout the day, but change it up</h3> <p>Remailing to non-openeres can be an excellent way to drive sales and keep you front-of-mind for shoppers on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but don’t send the same content or use identical subject lines, as this will only frustrate consumers.</p> <p>If you don’t have the resources to modify the email design, limit the repetition by changing the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63206-six-case-studies-and-an-infographic-on-how-to-write-effective-email-subject-lines/">subject line</a> and altering the pre-header copy. </p> <h3>Target first-time buyers</h3> <p>By effectively segmenting your audience according to previous shopping habits, you can tailor email content for each segment, maximising the likelihood of engagement from recipients.</p> <p>Build a segment of subscribers who have not purchased from you yet, and send them communication that is personalised and speaks to their needs.</p> <p>Consider offering first-time-buyer discounts as offers could be the push needed to get potential buyers to stop procrastinating and convert. </p> <p>Consumers will be receiving dozens of promotional emails about Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, but only a few will cut through the noise: Those that are not sent with the ‘spray and pray’ method but are part of a shrewd and data-driven email marketing campaign.</p> <p>Commerce marketers must apply a more personal approach to email marketing, particularly during the frenzied shopping period when consumers are bombarded with promotional content.</p> <p>Emails that understand the shopper’s needs and are relevant and engaging will be the key to success. </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67014 2015-10-16T11:02:45+01:00 2015-10-16T11:02:45+01:00 Fast fashion: how to keep up with the new ecommerce trend Georges Berzgal <p>They bring new and trending styles to the market faster and cheaper, whether the inspiration comes from the catwalks of fashion weeks or celebrity magazines.</p> <p>The creation, marketing and selling of these garments has become big business for high-street retailers and is putting established fashion brands under a lot of pressure as they struggle to keep pace with the quickly changing demand.</p> <p>So how are businesses able to take advantage of this trend? Read on to find out, and for more on this topic check out Econsultancy's report on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/fashion-ecommerce-and-content-marketing/">Fashion Ecommerce and Content Marketing</a>.</p> <h3> <strong>Create fast</strong> </h3> <p>While traditional brands follow the annual seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter and require up to nine months from the design stage to the sales floor, fast fashion brands have compressed these cycles into a couple of weeks.</p> <p>‘Rapid fashion’ companies like Boohoo.com claim to be even faster, stating that they design, manufacture and start selling a celebrity-inspired outfit in just a few days.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/8067/Screen_Shot_2015-10-16_at_10.51.01.png" alt="" width="1187" height="812"></p> <p>While traditional retailers have looked to Asia for cost-effective product creation, many of the fast fashion brands are increasingly manufacturing within close proximity to their headquarters.</p> <p>For example, the Guardian reports that over half of <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2015/apr/07/fast-fashion-online-labels-boohoo-missguided">Boohoo.com and Missguided’s stock is being produced in the UK</a>, and Zara has retained a substantial part of its production in its native Spain.</p> <p>This makes it easy to get new items made and in the hands of consumers as quickly as possible.</p> <h3><strong>Market fast</strong></h3> <p>Marketing is far and away the key driver for fast fashion - and again speed is key.</p> <p>Marketers must create the desire for these new designs close to the time of creation in order to bring it to market as quickly as possible.</p> <p>Many fast fashion brands are seeing the best returns on image-based social platforms, such as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65826-what-is-asos-doing-so-right-on-pinterest/">Pinterest</a>, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67020-why-instagram-should-be-the-channel-of-choice-for-marketers/">Instagram</a> and Facebook, where celebrities as well as millenials post pictures of their latest purchases. </p> <p>By continuously and quickly releasing new products, these brands are also able to drive consistent traffic and engagement with their website throughout the year as customers visit the site more regularly to make sure they don’t miss out on the latest styles.</p> <p>Missguided’s founder and CEO Nitin Passi plans to capitalise on the fast in fast fashion by <a href="http://www.refinery29.com/2015/04/85199/future-of-fast-fashion-boohoo-missguided">updating its website every hour with new items instead of only once per day.</a></p> <h3>Sell fast</h3> <p>Last, but by no means least, is the ability of fast fashion retailers to test small batches of fashion items in their stores and online and then quickly produce more if the goods are selling well.</p> <p>Thanks to their highly responsive supply chain, these brands are able to deliver new fashions as soon as a trend emerges while established brands will be unable to respond quickly to a sudden rise in popularity of a certain colour or shape.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/8068/Screen_Shot_2015-10-16_at_10.50.49.png" alt="" width="1402" height="997"></p> <p>Because fast fashion retailers don’t order in the same volumes as many traditional businesses, opting instead to increase batches on products that sell well, they don’t have piles of unsold clothes to get rid of.</p> <p>This means less need to discount. It also increases the urgency for the customer to visit frequently to get their hands on the latest fashionable items.</p> <p>Studies found that <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/operations/2012/06/zara_s_fast_fashion_how_the_company_gets_new_styles_to_stores_so_quickly_.html">customers are visiting Zara stores an average of 17 times per year, compared to only four to five at the Gap</a> – we can only imagine what the difference online could be!</p> <p>A number of traditional high-street brands are beginning to baulk at this speedier trend for disposable fashions, opting instead to market their products as ‘long-lasting’ and staples of any wardrobe.</p> <p>But with the Gap, possibly one of the most established fashion retailers on the high street, <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/gap-backs-earnings-guidance-1440100878">recently announcing its own trial of fast fashion</a>, it looks like the ability to create new designs and bring them to market quickly is a trend that is going to stay.</p> <p>By speeding up the process of creating, marketing and selling garments, retailers will do more than just become faster, they will also help their bottom line by streamlining each of the three key areas of their business. </p> <p><em>For more on this topic, read:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63977-how-fashion-site-missguided-made-the-switch-to-responsive-email/"><em>How fashion site Missguided made the switch to responsive email</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/9908-q-a-boohoo-s-chris-bale-on-digital-marketing-for-fashion-retail/"><em>Q&amp;A: Boohoo's Chris Bale on digital marketing for fashion retail</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66768 2015-08-31T10:04:00+01:00 2015-08-31T10:04:00+01:00 AO.com: The best ecommerce experience available online? Paul Rouke <h3>Background</h3> <p>I first became aware of AO.com back in 2008, when Matthew Lawson contacted PRWD concerning the process behind becoming a customer-centric business.</p> <p>Without going in to all the details, the most influential and transformational activity we undertook was a mass (over 150 sessions) remote user research project, where every key stakeholder and decision maker throughout the business was tasked with watching a collection of videos and “identifying where we can make our ecommerce experience better for our customers”.</p> <p>Matthew Lawson has since gone on to describe this unique approach as using “shock tactics” to get the decision makers to realise how <em>crucial</em> understanding the user experience was to their business.</p> <p>Nicole Prior, who had recently joined Appliances Online and project managed this (more on Nicole later), has since gone on to say, “I’m glad I wasn’t the one who had to watch all 150 videos!”</p> <p>The rest, as the saying goes, is history.</p> <p>Since this transformational activity, I have truly admired the way AO.com has embraced the concept of a customer-centric business<em>.</em></p> <p>In this article, I'll highlight four of the strongest, most unique areas of AO.com's ecommerce experience and business strategy, along with tips for you to consider testing within your ecommerce or lead generation online experience.</p> <h2>1. Knowing and communicating their unique value proposition</h2> <p>Unlike many businesses out in the world today, AO.com knows the crucial importance of not just having a unique value proposition but of the necessity to communicate it effectively throughout the entire user experience. </p> <p>Here are just some of the ways the business delivers so well in this area:</p> <h3>Universal header, directly after the logo</h3> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/5679/usp_bar.PNG" alt="" width="595" height="97"></p> <p>AO.com is as good an example as there is in ecommerce when it comes to delivering unique value and service proposition messages site-wide. This is because they:</p> <ul> <li>Are located directly next to the large brand logo</li> <li>Use icons to provide recognisable, simple and bold differentiation between the messages</li> <li>Speak directly to the visitor ('We’ll recycle your old', 'We’ll connect your new')</li> <li>Tackle the most important decision making areas (price, delivery, payment, returns)</li> <li>Provide transparency of when customer service is open (simple to do, so often missed by retailers)</li> <li>Pack six messages into quite a confined space, when most retailers struggle to fit in and effectively communicate three messages across the full width of their website </li> </ul> <h3>On all primary landing and decision making pages, under primary navigation</h3> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/5678/usp_bar_vs_john_lewis_and_apple.PNG" alt="" width="596" height="133"></p> <p>We all know about the fact that people need to see things a number of times before it typically “sinks in”. Never has this been more important for retailers than with your unique value and service proposition messages.</p> <p>Not content with having site-wide value proposition messages, AO.com also uses a more commonly applied approach of having a “USP bar” under the primary navigation menu.</p> <p><a>Again, here is why this is so effective:</a></p> <ul> <li>There is effective white space above and below the messages to ensure they don’t get missed by visitors</li> <li>They use iconography to provide recognisable and distinctiveness differentiation between the three key messages</li> <li>They repeat (but most interestingly reword) key messages featured in the site-wide header – ‘Price match promise’ becomes ‘Everyday low prices – we beat or match all other retailers’. ‘Free delivery’ becomes ‘Free delivery – 7 days a week, even on Sundays!’</li> <li>Not for this to get overlooked, did I mention delivery on Sunday?! An exceptional customer service proposition</li> <li>They promote the company's award for best retailer 2015, including reference to two huge, influential retail brands in Apple and John Lewis</li> <li>The icons use two different colours to provide even greater differentiation and visibility of the messages </li> </ul> <h3>On all product pages, below the primary call-to-action area</h3> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/5680/usp_under_primary_cta.PNG" alt="" width="592" height="347"></p> <p>Not only is AO.com providing excellent transparency of its delivery options on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63161-31-things-i-need-to-see-on-your-ecommerce-product-page/">product pages</a>, but in the same area it is also repeating and re-enforcing core elements of the unique service proposition communicated in the areas detailed above. This includes:</p> <ul> <li>Consistency of icons for familiarity</li> <li>Specific examples of how they are beating competitor pricing</li> <li>Clarity of what payments visitors can expect if they take out finance</li> <li>Payment clarity includes a link to AO.com's simple payment calculator – leaving visitors guessing is simply not in the vocabulary of the company's user experience</li> <li>Cost of disposal is made clear – again simple but crucial transparency, particularly when it comes to additional costs visitors could choose to incur</li> <li>Crucially, when more information is necessary or available (like for AO aftercare) this content opens in a light box to keep visitors focused on the product page they are currently viewing </li> </ul> <h2>2) Being truly, passionately customer centric</h2> <p>Being customer centric isn’t anything new. In fact, most businesses would probably say something along the lines of they are customer centric/customer driven/the customer is king/customer experience is central to their strategy.</p> <p><strong>Unfortunately, saying you are customer centric and actually being customer centric are two very different things.</strong></p> <p>Ever since the “shock tactics” of watching people use (or try and use) their ecommerce website, AO.com has truly embraced a customer centric ethos. Here are just some of the many ways the business is being truly customer centric:</p> <h3>Providing customer journeys that match different types of buyer behaviour</h3> <p>To summarise, different visitors have different preferences for browsing and making purchase decisions at different stages of the desire, awareness, consideration and decision making process.</p> <p>AO.com delivers a variety of pathways to cater for these variances and below are just some examples of this: </p> <ul> <li>Big, prominent, simple, intelligent suggestive search (including photos and promotion badges on the product suggestions)</li> <li>Simple, focused primary navigation providing visitors with immediate routes in to the most popular and in-demand product areas</li> <li>Within the navigation fly-out menu, AO.com uses product images to provide immediate visual recognition of the different product areas</li> <li>Also within the navigation fly-out menu, the site provides sub-category links along with access to “Best Buys” and “Premium Best Buys” – once again two slightly different types of visitor that might have different budgets</li> </ul> <h3>Replicating the offline shopping experience</h3> <p>This is a huge one that very few retailers really understand, appreciate and subsequently act on. Being a pure online retailer, AO.com is competing with the biggest multichannel retailers in the UK/world, including John Lewis and Apple.</p> <p>Here are just some of the many ways the company get visitors as close to the experience of being in a store environment:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/5676/part_3.PNG" alt="" width="567" height="368"></p> <ul> <li>‘Help me choose’ – this is the equivalent of going in-store and speaking to a shopping assistant. Go to washing machines and you can choose options for the drum capacity (including additional content on the suitability, i.e. 8kg+ for families of four or more), quick-wash option, price bracket (including another mention of their price match promise) and colour</li> <li>‘We recommend and most popular’ – as you start to browse what are typically huge ranges of the same product type, AO.com provides prominent product promotions for both its recommendations and which products are most popular</li> <li>On product listing pages visitors are able to pretty much make a purchase decision based on the quality and relevancy of the information shown. The “Search faster” filter title is also a neat touch – simply rewording what would typically say “Filter products” to “Search faster” implies that the search function is simple and easy to use, not overly complicated</li> </ul> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/5677/search_faster.PNG" alt="" width="215" height="507"></p> <ul> <li>The <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62864-nine-tips-to-help-improve-your-product-filtering-options/">filtering system</a> is one area that excels above and beyond any offline shopping experience. The sheer amount of filter options is exceptional, while key best practice techniques include:</li> <ul> <li>Leading with the most valuable and relevant filters</li> <li>Using white space to avoid overwhelming visitors</li> <li>Not showing all the attributes straight away. For example, showing brands first but allowing visitors to view more if they wish</li> <li>Showing the number of products available per attribute</li> <li>Providing a text description of each colour</li> <li>Providing filters for both product attributes (energy rating, spin speed, etc), social proof (customer ratings), service proposition (promotions, warranty, delivery options) and decision making content (has a video review)</li> </ul> <li>Beautiful and engaging images and videos – images and thumbnails are big, bold, inviting (just look at those big left and right arrows) and videos are exceptionally customer centric – it’s like you are in the store with the lady (or man for some products)</li> <li>Q&amp;As on product pages – they do exactly what they are there to do</li> <li>Detailed specifications – not just comprehensive range of specifications, but a useful explanation of various specs which you may not understand or appreciate</li> </ul> <h3>Exceptional, context driven multi-device experience</h3> <p>Cross-device user experience research and consideration has clearly been one of the big areas of focus for AO.com. It is one of the few retailers I have known over the last five years that has created teams of specialists within the business that are tasked with improving device-specific expectations, behaviour, context and overall user experience.</p> <p>This topic requires its own article, so for now I will leave you to explore the multi-device experience for yourself.</p> <h3>Customer service proposition is second to none</h3> <p>Not content with providing an exceptional browsing and shopping experience, what underpins the AO.com value proposition is the relentless focus on its service proposition.</p> <p>I remember thinking how ambitious and courageous the company was years ago when it actually purchased a logistics company. In no way did it want the final stage of the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics/">customer experience</a> to be let down by a third-party courier company.</p> <p>Here are some of the key highlights of the service proposition which are fantastically customer centric:</p> <ul> <li>Delivery seven days a week</li> <li>Same day delivery</li> <li>Economy delivery</li> <li>Delivery up until 10pm</li> <li>Delivery timeslots – morning, afternoon, evening</li> <li>Detailed order tracking</li> <li>Disconnection and recycling of your old product</li> <li>Hassle free expert connection and installation</li> <li>AO aftercare</li> <li>Flexible finance options</li> </ul> <h2>3. Harnessing social proof to make this central to the purchase decision</h2> <p>It goes without saying that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65722-18-highly-effective-examples-of-social-proof-in-ecommerce/">social proof</a> is vital to the success of any online business. In this part I will highlight some of the most important and integral ways in which AO.com harnesses the psychological influence of customer ratings, review and stories to a level I have hardly ever seen.</p> <h3>Customer satisfaction is the first thing new visitors are presented with</h3> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/5676/part_3.PNG" alt="" width="591" height="384"></p> <p>Visit AO.com as a new customer (remove your cookies if you’ve been before) and you are presented with a bold, simplified homepage thatfocuses on social proof. Highlights include: </p> <ul> <li>The primary headline is “We have millions of happy customers” – these six words communicate the sheer volume of the brand's satisfied customer base</li> <li>“Search 1000’s of products, instantly!” – in five more words, you get a sense of the scale of the company's product set</li> <li>Genuine, happy customers – this provides a unique, visually engaging background to these powerful messages and a clear primary call to action</li> <li>“Find your perfect product” – as used throughout the AO.com experience, speaking directly to the visitor. Simple but important</li> <li>One action and one action only – start browsing for suitable products. This design is a true representation on designing for the desired visitor (and business) action</li> </ul> <h3>Phenomenal social proof through social networks – well Facebook specifically</h3> <p>Go back to the homepage following the first unique experience and one of the key promotion blocks delivered under <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/61995-carousels-on-ecommerce-sites-are-they-worth-bothering-with/">the primary carousel</a> (quick tip, if you are going to stick with your carousel, please make it clear that visitor can control this through big and simple left and right arrows) is that you can join over 1.7m other people who recommend AO.com on Facebook.</p> <h3>Customer star ratings jump off product page</h3> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/5675/safe_order.PNG" alt="" width="595" height="207"></p> <p>Not content with having THE largest “Place Order Securely” button or largest padlock icon on the planet, AO.com isn't shy about bumping up the size of the star ratings on product pages.</p> <p>You simply can’t help but notice these when you land on a product page.</p> <h3>Visually strong display of the summary of customer satisfaction</h3> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/5673/customer_review.PNG" alt="" width="449" height="517"></p> <p>Focusing on the product page, as you start to scan over the content (which can typically be quite boring information: number of reviews, percentage of people who would recommend this) you are given simple but clever graphical treatment to ensure that along with the star ratings, the customer satisfaction summary section also stands out among the rest of the content.</p> <h3>Detailed, intelligent, informative, relevant customer reviews</h3> <p>As you move down to the reviews (courtesy of either scrolling or clicking one of the intelligently positioned links to “Read reviews”) you are then presented with excellently detailed information, using a range of data points to create more relevancy and association for visitors.</p> <p>There are even icons to represent the different family size of the person reviewing.</p> <h2>4. Embracing the full spectrum of testing &amp; optimisation</h2> <p>Very few businesses embrace the full spectrum of opportunities on offer from <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66243-five-ways-user-insight-improves-a-b-testing/">A/B</a>, multivariate and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65930-38-of-marketers-do-not-use-personalisation-report/">personalisation testing</a>. Typically testing is quick and simple and focused on the low hanging fruit.</p> <p>The biggest business growth opportunity many businesses are missing out on is the impact and growth that truly innovative and radical testing can deliver for their business.</p> <p>In the introduction, I mentioned Nicole Prior. Nicole worked alongside Matthew Lawson to develop the true test and learn culture that runs through AO.com today.</p> <p>Thankfully for me and the rest of our team, Nicole chose to approach us in 2014 to continue her career. What she has brought to our business are the learnings and insights of what it means to be a huge business that 100% embraces the full spectrum of testing and optimisation. Radical, innovative testing has become second nature to AO.com and their continually evolving online experience is testament to this.</p> <p>I encourage everyone reading this to explore much more about how you can <a title="Full Spectrum Testing" href="http://www.slideshare.net/PRWD/iterative-versus-innovative-testing-exploiting-the-full-spectrum-of-testing-opportunities-paul-rouke-elite-camp-2015-final?ref=http://www.slideshare.net/PRWD/slideshelf" target="_blank">explore the full spectrum of testing</a> on this presentation that I delivered at Elite Camp in June 2015.</p> <h2>Conclusion</h2> <p>For all the reasons listed (and many more), I put AO.com in the elite class of businesses who are delivering an exceptional, persuasive, emotive, customer driven ecommerce experience.</p> <p>I’d love you to share in the comments below what you feel are other exceptional ecommerce experiences.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66847 2015-08-24T09:25:00+01:00 2015-08-24T09:25:00+01:00 10 steps to email success at Christmas: part one Georges Berzgal <p>One of the most effective marketing tactics to turn Christmas shoppers into buyers is email because it enables brands to send a very focused, personalised message.</p> <p>Below are the key steps that commerce marketing teams should take with their email strategy to get organised for the most wonderful (and profitable) time of the year. </p> <h3><strong>Step 1: Looking back helps us look forward</strong></h3> <p>A great starting point is to review your performance and sales trends from last year.</p> <p>Keeping in mind that the Christmas season starts long before Christmas Day, a recommended starting point would be to look at activities between Black Friday and New Year’s (from 1 November to 4 January).</p> <p>Map out the messages that didn’t connect with customers and think about what could be changed to rectify that. The analysis should then be used to establish open, click and conversion benchmarks for this year’s campaigns. </p> <h3><strong>Step 2: Make a top line impression</strong></h3> <p>Having looked back at successful messages from last year, review the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66328-211-awesome-phrases-for-email-subject-lines-that-sell">email subject headers</a> that were used. What was their length? What was the type of tone; playful, promotional, elusive or a mix of these? Did the use of a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66043-email-subject-lines-the-best-words-emojis-to-boost-open-rates">special character</a> (from a snow flake to a heart) help performance?</p> <p>On the back of this, get together a small team to come up with at least five subject headers for each mailing planned for Christmas. All options can then be tested on a small scale to assess which one has the most potential.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9002/Screen_Shot_2015-02-03_at_10.31.45.png" alt="" width="731" height="197"></p> <h3><strong>Step 3: Meet with partners in good time</strong></h3> <p>Meet with tech partners such as your Email Service Provider (ESP) in the summer/early autumn to discuss development schedules for the Christmas season. This will make sure that any new integrations, modifications to existing data transfers and other backend processes are resourced and sorted out in good time. </p> <p>Your ESP will be able to help streamline email production, deployment and data exchanges within the platform to ensure that you can get the best from your email programme.</p> <p>If you don’t have an <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64167-basket-abandonment-emails-why-you-should-be-sending-them">abandoned shopping cart email</a> strategy in place already, now is the time to implement a campaign to rescue revenue when Christmas shoppers stray. </p> <h3><strong>Step 4: Audit forms to boost list growth</strong></h3> <p>The Christmas season will increase your in-store traffic, so making sure to encourage email sign-ups is vital.</p> <p>Create a centralised list of every form that collects email subscriptions to speed up potential troubleshooting during the most important time of the year. All these forms should be audited.</p> <p>In addition to checking the preference centre, opt-in form and unsubscribe form functionality, try to objectively consider whether the forms encourage customers to sign up. For example, if there are forms for mobile devices, do they render properly on screens and are they optimised so that data entry is straightforward for the consumer?</p> <p>It is worth featuring a pop-up email sign-up form on the website and using Facebook and Twitter to call out exclusive email offers that might tempt new subscribers. </p> <h3><strong>Step 5: Build the 2015 Christmas communication plan</strong></h3> <p>With these steps completed and lessons learnt from last year, a roadmap for holiday success can now be created.</p> <p>An example of a 2015 Holiday Communication Plan can be found in this <a href="http://mkto.bronto.com/rs/797-YXJ-932/images/2015-Holiday-Communication-Plan-Template_jd.xlsx">downloadable spreadsheet</a> and should include the following information: </p> <ul> <li>Send date</li> <li>Mailing name</li> <li>Day of week</li> <li>Subject line options</li> <li>Promotion information</li> <li>Segment to be mailed</li> <li>Goal, actual and difference for open, click and conversion rate</li> <li>Goal, actual and difference for revenue </li> </ul> <p>As part of the planning process, it is also worthwhile to prepare contingency approaches in case the Christmas campaign doesn’t yield expected results. This might include small alternatives like changing promotions from percentage off to pound discounts, or bigger alternatives such as different email creative. </p> <p>Want to discover steps six to 10 for Christmas email merriment? These will follow shortly, so watch this space...</p>