tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/commerce Latest Commerce content from Econsultancy 2018-02-09T12:45:00+00:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69790 2018-02-09T12:45:00+00:00 2018-02-09T12:45:00+00:00 The best digital marketing stats we've seen this week Nikki Gilliland <h3>Consumers open to automatic buying via digital assistants</h3> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Econsultancy’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-next-revolution-of-search/" target="_blank">Next Revolution of Search</a> report has revealed that consumers are more open and willing to experiment with intelligent digital assistants, making this the next logical extension of search. </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">80% of survey respondents said that it would be “incredibly useful” if a personal digital assistant could help find the options right for them. Meanwhile, the report highlights the potential benefits of automatic buying using digital assistants, meaning purchases or transactions that have little or no input from consumers. </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">75% said that this kind of service would be useful to them, and 67% said they would be likely to have products delivered automatically if there was no unexpected change or variation in price. Even among those who are sceptical of such a service, 90% admit that it would make their lives better to have products they use regularly delivered automatically.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2178/Stats.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="510"></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"><em><strong>Subscribers can download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-next-revolution-of-search/" target="_blank">report in full here</a>. </strong></em></p> <h3>Tide sees the most Super Bowl conversation</h3> <p style="font-weight: 400;">According to Talkwalker, there were 5.3 million mentions of the Super Bowl across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram last Sunday. Online conversation peaked at the halftime show, with one million mentions of Justin Timberlake, and 117,200 mentions of his tribute to Minneapolis hero, Prince. Despite not making a surprise appearance, there were still 43,800 mentions of his previous halftime show co-performer, Janet Jackson.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">When it comes to brand ads, Tide generated the most conversation with its ad featuring David Harbour from Stranger Things. There were 163,800 mentions of Tide during the event. </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Another advertising highlight was the Mountain Dew and Doritos joint ad featuring a rap battle between Morgan Freeman, Peter Dinklage, and Missy Elliot. The ad was mentioned 115,100 times overall.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/doP7xKdGOKs?wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <h3>Customers fed up within five minutes</h3> <p style="font-weight: 400;">It only takes five minutes for US consumers to feel fed up with a customer service experience – that’s according to a new report by Point Source (based on a survey of 1,008 US consumers). It found that 34% of customers on hold with a retail customer service agent want to switch to a chatbot after five minutes. However, 59% of consumers will also grow frustrated if a chatbot doesn’t provide them a resolution within the save time frame.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Data privacy is still pressing issue for people too, with 41% citing this as a cause for concern when using a chatbot. 44% say accuracy of information provided, while frustrations over chatbots not understanding intent or language remains the biggest – 51% cite this concern.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">When asked about why customers might want a chatbot’s help, the majority of respondents said they are open to interactions throughout the majority of the customer journey, such as when researching online and tracking and order. However, there still appears to be resistance post-purchase, with 80% of retail customers not being comfortable with chatbot assistance when resolving problems with an order, and 71% saying the same for the in-store experience.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2177/PointSource.JPG" alt="" width="395" height="618"></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>More on chatbots:</strong></p> <ul style="font-weight: 400;"> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69716-why-fashion-and-beauty-brands-are-still-betting-on-chatbots" target="_blank">Why fashion and beauty brands are still betting on chatbots</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68732-what-makes-a-good-chatbot-ux/" target="_blank">What makes a good chatbot UX?</a></li> </ul> <h3>Mobile commerce on the rise in Asia</h3> <p style="font-weight: 400;">According to a <a href="https://www.warc.com/content/article/event-reports/five_asian_retail_trends_for_2018/120035" target="_blank">report by Warc</a>, the popularity of shopping on smartphones is also on the rise in Asia. 71% of Asian consumers are said to use their smartphones to help them shop, compared to 59% of all global shoppers.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">There are also two markets in particular where smartphone usage is booming. 76% of shoppers in Indonesia are using their smartphones, and 90% of shoppers in China are doing the same. </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">While the in-store experience is also a big focus in these markets, mobile commerce is also becoming an increasingly natural and instinctual experience, as shoppers forgo desktop entirely and go straight to smartphones.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2176/smartphone_shop.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="466"></p> <h3>Ad engagement 29% higher on premium sites than social</h3> <p>Social media is typically associated with high levels of attention, however, when it comes to ads, studies suggest that it could be failing to properly engage users. This is the basis of <a href="http://www.newsworks.org.uk/%2FMedia-Centre/engagement-is-29-higher-on-premium-sites-than-on-social-media" target="_blank">recent research </a> by Newsworks and the Association for Online Publishing (AOP), which aimed to find out why the context of quality editorial generates greater engagement than social. </p> <p>The research measured participants’ brain responses to identical ads in different contexts, analysing a number of areas of the brain in order to identify key research metrics. </p> <p>It found that ads seen on a premium publisher site are viewed for 17% longer, create 29% higher engagement (due to personal relevance) and generate greater levels of left brain and right brain memory encoding than ads on Facebook and YouTube. Memory encoding is key because it correlates with decision-making and purchase intent. </p> <p>Lastly, ads seen within a premium context also provoke stronger, more positive emotional responses.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2174/Newsworks_and_AOP_press_release_spider_graph.jpg" alt="" width="780" height="438"></p> <p><strong>More on ads:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69708-five-trends-for-online-advertising-strategy-in-2018" target="_blank">Five trends for online advertising strategy in 2018</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67704-four-useful-tips-for-making-online-ads-relevant-personal/" target="_blank">Four useful tips for making online ads relevant &amp; personal</a></li> </ul> <h3>Generation Z consume 10 hours of digital content a day</h3> <p>Adobe has revealed that Britain is a nation addicted to digital content, as millennials spend 8.5 hours a day consuming digital content, while Generation Z spend a staggering 10.6 hours a day doing the same.</p> <p>This news comes from a survey of over 1,000 UK consumers on their daily digital habits. The results also show that, despite increased consumption, users are also becoming increasingly sceptical about fake news content. </p> <p>77% of those surveyed said that they are more careful about the content they engage with than they were five years ago. As a result, consumers respond strongly to branded content if it provides an authentic, well designed, and relevant experiences. 46% of consumers say that this would inspire them to make a purchase.</p> <h3>UK shoppers turn to smartphones for groceries</h3> <p>Shoppercentric’s <a href="http://shoppercentric.co.uk/news/" target="_blank">Stock Take Index</a>, which comes from a survey of over 1,000 Brits, has found a substantial increase in smartphone usage for grocery shopping. </p> <p>While computers and laptops are the most used touchpoint – up 6% on 2017 to 63% of shoppers - smartphones saw a bigger increase of 18% to reach 45%. Tablets secured the third place spot with 29% of shoppers using the device.</p> <p>Elsewhere, the report also highlights an increased use of discount stores – up 13% on 2017 to 57% of UK shoppers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2175/shoppercentric.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="423"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69676 2017-12-18T13:00:00+00:00 2017-12-18T13:00:00+00:00 Ecommerce trends in 2018: What do the experts predict? Nikki Gilliland <p>Don’t forget to check out these additional resources to learn more:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/ecommerce-best-practice-guide/" target="_blank">Ecommerce Best Practice Guide</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/ecommerce/" target="_blank">Ecommerce Training</a></li> </ul> <h3>Better delivery &amp; distribution</h3> <p style="font-weight: 400;"><strong><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/katiesmithfashion/" target="_blank">Katie Smith</a>, retail analysis &amp; insights director, Edited:</strong></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">As demand dwindles for in-store retail staff, the demand is shifting from the shop floor to delivery. Consumers will expect quicker (even same day) delivery, the convenience of scheduling a time, and easy return policies, which retailers will need to support without sacrificing margins.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"><strong><a href="https://twitter.com/gcharlton" target="_blank">Graham Charlton</a>, editor in chief, SaleCycle:</strong></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">I think consumer’s expectations around service will continue to grow. They want fast and convenient delivery options and service, and they want it free, or at least very cheap. The challenge for retailers is to meet these expectations without harming their margins.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1184/delivery.jpg" alt="" width="600" height="400"></p> <h3>Reliance on smart tech</h3> <p><strong><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamesgurd/" target="_blank">James Gurd</a>, owner, Digital Juggler:</strong></p> <p>I don’t think ecommerce customer experience will change necessarily, but I do think it will continue to evolve with more people adopting emerging tech like voice search, chatbots for customer service and personal assistants.</p> <p>There is clearly a move towards doing less ourselves and relying on machines more, for example using smart tech like Hive to control home heating, lighting etc. As devices become more connected through IoT, marketers will need to stay on top of how customers find information and products, because the skills required to capture their interest need to evolve.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1186/chatbots.JPG" alt="" width="362" height="386"></p> <p><strong>Graham Charlton:</strong></p> <p>If I was doing some future-gazing, I’d say something like voice purchases, given the spread of devices like the Echo and mobile voice assistants.</p> <p>I do think this personalisation in its various forms will be a major focus for forward-thinking retailers. With a wealth of data on customer behaviour, producing more relevant and targeted marketing emails and online ‘experiences’ is the way to differentiate in a competitive market.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1185/echo.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="337"></p> <h3>Investment in smarter exit intent</h3> <p><strong>James Gurd:</strong></p> <p>I’m pretty sure we’ll see more investment in smart exit intent. By this I mean an evolution away from poorly executed campaigns that don’t align with user journeys or customer mental models, to targeting based on user needs and buying cycles.</p> <p>A good example of the current bad implementation is a generic exit intent pop-up that displays if criteria X is met, regardless of the user. For example, one retailer showed me a newsletter sign-up pop-up when I tried to exit the site, straight after I’d unsubscribed from their newsletter! </p> <p>Smart exit intent aligns with customer lifecycles and product buying cycles. For example, if you know that product X typically gets 3-4 visits before being added to basket, then don’t show a pop-up with an offer on the first visit. Learn when a customer is most likely to abandon you during the buying cycle for another website, and build a messaging strategy around that journey.</p> <h3>Bigger mobile spend</h3> <p><strong><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/paulrouke/" target="_blank">Paul Rouke</a>, founder &amp; CEO, PRWD:</strong></p> <p>Consumers will continue expecting better and more intuitive experiences when shopping online - yet poor usability, which quite frankly still exists amongst many of the leading retailers in my experience, will continue frustrating consumers, particularly within the checkout.</p> <p>With a continued increase in mobile browsing and shopping, consumers will be increasingly more comfortable making larger value purchases on their mobile devices.</p> <h3>Luxury retail will continue to gain ground</h3> <p><strong>Katie Smith:</strong></p> <p>From the growing middle class in China to Millennials spending their disposable income on experiences, the average cost of luxury items is up 15.4% compared to three years ago and this growth rate will continue in 2018. And with Gen Z having a broader number of diverse backgrounds and preferences than any other generation, the luxury retail market continues to grow more than any other category.</p> <h3>All-round user experience</h3> <p><strong>Paul Rouke:</strong></p> <p>In my opinion, the ecommerce industry doesn't need any new trends - if I had one wish for 2018, it will be for retailers to focus on getting the basics of delivering a fantastic user experience right - through listening to customers, being experimental, and planning for long-term sustainable success. In summary, retailers should strive to think like Amazon.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69653 2017-12-11T09:30:00+00:00 2017-12-11T09:30:00+00:00 What were the biggest ecommerce trends in 2017? Nikki Gilliland <p>For more on this topic, you can also check out these Econsultancy resources:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/ecommerce-best-practice-guide/" target="_blank">Ecommerce Best Practice Guide</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/ecommerce/" target="_blank">Ecommerce Training</a></li> </ul> <h3>AI and machine learning</h3> <p><strong><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamesgurd/">James Gurd</a>, owner, Digital Juggler:</strong></p> <p>From an ecommerce point of view, the increased use of AI and machine learning to automate marketing and <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68921-an-introduction-to-ai-powered-ecommerce-merchandising">merchandising</a> has been a key trend.</p> <p>There has been greater investment in the technology, so we’ve got a maturing product set for ecommerce teams to take advantage of. For example, search and merch tools that provide predictive learning for product search and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69292-this-online-retailer-uses-ai-for-product-categorisation-here-s-how">sort</a> with smart personalisation.</p> <p>At the same time, some of the platform vendors have improved the native capability for AI, for example Salesforce’s Einstein which gives merchandising teams an impressive suite of tools to improve trading results.</p> <p><strong><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/katiesmithfashion/">Katie Smith</a>, retail analysis &amp; insights director, Edited:</strong></p> <p>The continued expansion of Amazon into groceries, apparel and other consumer goods mean AI will be essential for retailers’ survival. In 2018, new AI applications - including more chatbots, voice activated devices, real-time analytics and systems to detect payment fraud will flood the industry.</p> <p>Savvy retailers will recognize which apps to use for greater personalization, customer service and inventory management.</p> <h3>The rise of mobile commerce</h3> <p><strong><a href="https://twitter.com/gcharlton">Graham Charlton</a>, editor in chief, SaleCycle:</strong></p> <p>The continued growth of mobile commerce has been significant - we’re now seeing the majority of visits to retailers coming through mobile. In some sectors, such as fashion, the split is 65/35 in favour of mobile. However, desktop still outperforms for conversions and sales. Overall, retail traffic is around 60% mobile, but sales around 50%.</p> <p>Some retailers, especially in the fashion sector, are great on mobile but there’s still plenty of room for improvement.</p> <p>I think Monsoon does a great job on this channel. It’s nothing out of the ordinary, but it’s a very well-designed checkout in a sector where mobile is now all-important. Little touches like defaulting to the right mobile keyboard, shortcuts like credit scans and PayPal options all make it easier to buy on mobile.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0987/Monsoon.JPG" alt="" width="370" height="658"></p> <h3>Amazon as friend and foe</h3> <p><strong>James Gurd:</strong></p> <p>From a marketing perspective, the recognition from a lot of ecommerce teams that Amazon is fast becoming the number one product search engine, ahead of Google, is changing how people view Amazon in the marketing mix.</p> <p>I’ve noticed more marketers looking at Amazon marketplace as a key sales channel, putting more resource into figuring out how to take advantage of it <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69636-is-the-calvin-klein-amazon-deal-a-step-change-for-multichannel-fashion-retail/">as a platform</a>, and looking at the merchandising techniques to make selling profitable.</p> <p>In 2017 I had more enquiries regarding marketplace selling than I’ve ever had since launching my consulting business in 2008, from both B2C and B2B brands.</p> <p><strong><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/paulrouke/">Paul Rouke</a>, founder &amp; CEO, PRWD:</strong></p> <p>Amazon’s end-to-end customer experience, speed from ordering to delivery, and cross-device flexibility continues to make them the most desirable retailer online. </p> <p>They have set the bar incredibly high and many retailers are struggling to meet anywhere near their levels of customer experience that is now shaping consumer expectations and behaviour.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1008/Amazon_mobile.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="361"></p> <h3>Voice search and personal assistants</h3> <p><strong>James Gurd:</strong></p> <p>The rise of voice search and personal assistants is changing how people find information, and from a marketing POV, it is having a significant impact on search patterns and the way in which search marketers need to stay relevant to align with natural language searches. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Echo Plus: everything you love about Echo, now with a built in smart home hub. <a href="https://t.co/6NYaFagIpH">pic.twitter.com/6NYaFagIpH</a></p> — Amazon Echo (@amazonecho) <a href="https://twitter.com/amazonecho/status/913483017254977536?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 28, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Customer-centric strategies</h3> <p><strong>Paul Rouke:</strong></p> <p>More retailers are starting to recognise that the once tactical ‘conversion optimisation’ can actually <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69495-why-the-butterfly-effect-is-killing-the-conversion-optimisation-industry/">be the driving force</a> behind their business developing an experimentation mind-set. This leads to retailers recognising the importance of their audience helping to evolve and adapt their products and customer experience.</p> <p>There have been an increasing number of headlines about major retailers placing customer experience at board level - something they haven't done before. More retailers are striving to walk the walk about actually become customer-centric brands.</p> <p>A small percentage of retailers, including multi-channel Schuh, choose not to settle for the assumption that ‘mobile conversion rates will always be lower than desktop’. Brands like this are actively focusing on dragging up mobile conversion rates close to desktop levels.</p> <h3>Experience-driven retail will prevail</h3> <p><strong>Katie Smith:</strong></p> <p>In a year punctuated by record-breaking number of bankruptcies and store closures, selling products is no longer “good enough.” In 2018, the onus on retailers to educate shoppers on the value they deliver beyond their wares, helping to build an emotional connection and sense of community.</p> <p>From Story’s thematic retail concept store to Snowe’s magazine, by understanding the brand’s backstory, there’s a greater opportunity to spark conversations, and affiliate shoppers to the retailer.</p> <p><em><strong>What are your highlights from ecommerce in 2017? Let us know in the comments.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69629 2017-12-01T14:00:00+00:00 2017-12-01T14:00:00+00:00 The best digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week Nikki Gilliland <p>Before we crack on, there’s just time to remind you to download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium" target="_blank">Internet Statistics Compendium</a>. It’s got enough stats in it to last you till the new year. </p> <h3>Cyber Monday 2017 was the largest online sales day in US history</h3> <p>Adobe Insights has <a href="http://news.adobe.com/press-release/experience-cloud/adobe-data-shows-cyber-monday-largest-online-sales-day-history-659" target="_blank">revealed</a> the final sales tally for Cyber Monday came to a whopping $6.59bn, making it the largest online sales day in history in the US.</p> <p>Cyber Monday sales mark a 16.8% increase on last year, with overall web traffic to retail sites increasing by 11.9%. Black Friday also saw a rise in year-on-year sales, generating $5.03bn compared to $4.3bn in 2016.</p> <p>According to Hitwise, Amazon dominated the entire event, with data suggesting that out of the top 50 retailers in the US, it captured 54.9% of transactions (or 7.1m) on Black Friday alone.</p> <p>So what contributed to Amazon’s success? You can read <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69614-amazon-won-thanksgiving-and-black-friday-as-retail-strategy-varied" target="_blank">more analysis on that here</a>.</p> <h3>Retailers miss out on mobile opportunity this Black Friday</h3> <p>Despite big numbers overall, <a href="http://blog.qubit.com/black-friday-trading-recap-beyond-mobile-inflection-point" target="_blank">Qubit has suggested</a> that mobile was a major factor in low revenue-per-visitor numbers in the UK this year. </p> <p>On the Friday itself, 36.5% of all revenue was from mobile - down 1.7% on last year. The average order value also fell 16.39% to £102, with online UK shoppers spending an average of £20.12 less than they did in 2016.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0849/Qubit.JPG" alt="" width="660" height="205"></p> <p>So, while most shoppers typically used mobile to browse, the channel only accounted for a third of retailer revenue. This perhaps suggests that retailers are depending too much on desktop conversion and failing to do enough to convert customers on mobile. </p> <p>Meanwhile, with mobile-friendly experiences provided by social media channels like Instagram and Pinterest, only retailers who put customers first will be able to compete.</p> <p><strong>More on Black Friday 2017:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69606-seven-email-strategies-used-by-10-retailers-on-black-friday" target="_blank">Seven email strategies used by 10 retailers on Black Friday</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69603-game-shows-risks-of-black-friday-downtime-despite-impressive-strategy" target="_blank">GAME shows risks of Black Friday downtime despite impressive strategy</a></li> </ul> <h3>UK lags behind US brands for customer experience</h3> <p>According to a new survey by KPMG Nunwood, the <a href="http://www.nunwood.com/excellence-centre/publications/uk-cee-analysis/2017-uk-cee-analysis/" target="_blank">UK is lagging behind</a> the US when it comes to delivering world-class customer experience. </p> <p>Ranking brands according to six metrics - personalisation, time and effort, resolution, integrity, expectations and empathy – the UK score fell from 7.33 to 7.08 this year. In contrast, the score for US brands rose from 7.42 to 7.75.</p> <p>The UK brand currently leading the way in customer experience is QVC, which scored 9% higher than the industry average for personalisation. It was also praised for its quick response on social media, and high level of customer empathy.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0852/KPG.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="299"></p> <p><strong>More on customer experience:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69576-river-island-s-head-of-customer-experience-on-the-brand-s-cx-strategy" target="_blank">River Island's head of customer experience on the brand's CX strategy</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69496-four-examples-of-automotive-brands-that-are-innovating-the-customer-experience" target="_blank">Four examples of automotive brands that are innovating the customer experience</a></li> </ul> <h3>63% of internet users stream music online</h3> <p>From a study of over 70,000 people in 40 countries, GlobalWebIndex has <a href="https://blog.globalwebindex.net/chart-of-the-day/1-in-4-spotify-users-pay-for-the-service/" target="_blank">found that 63%</a> of internet users now stream music online, with mobile being the most-preferred device for doing so. </p> <p>Perhaps unsurprisingly, it also revealed that Spotify is the most popular music streaming service (outside of China), with one in five internet users (or 22%) using it each month. </p> <p>Spotify’s global footprint is evident in its latest marketing campaign, where it makes use of rich user data to highlight perspectives on both music and cultural events. </p> <p>Drawing on streaming behaviour from its 60m paying subscribers – a milestone it reached in March of this year - it will run billboard ads in 18 markets featuring over 70 musical artists. Each one will depict ‘2018 goals’, such as ‘take a page from the 3,445 people who streamed ‘Boozy Brunch’ on a Wednesday.’</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0850/Spotify_campaign.JPG" alt="" width="570" height="376"></p> <h3>B2B marketers look to the IoT and AI to revolutionise the customer experience</h3> <p>For B2B marketers looking ahead, Econsultancy’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-digital-transformation/">B2B Digital Transformation report</a> has revealed that the Internet of Things and AI are thought to be the most exciting prospects for 2020.</p> <p>The findings back up other research that suggests <a href="https://www.demandbase.com/press-release/marketing-executives-predict-artificial-intelligence-will-revolutionize-marketing-2020/" target="_blank">80%</a> of marketers predict artificial intelligence will revolutionise marketing in the next few years. Over a quarter of respondents cited connected devices and AI (i.e. chatbots) as the most exciting opportunities to come.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0851/B2B_trends.JPG" alt="" width="550" height="441"></p> <p><strong>More on B2B marketing:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69611-10-must-have-b2b-marketing-tools" target="_blank">10 must-have B2B marketing tools</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69512-b2b-digital-transformation-key-trends-recommendations" target="_blank">B2B digital transformation: Key trends &amp; recommendations</a></li> </ul> <h3>Marketers plan to increase video marketing in 2018 despite ongoing challenges</h3> <p>In a survey of 140 marketers from top US brands, Innovid <a href="http://www.innovid.com/press-releases/2017/11/27/innovid-releases-insights-from-survey-of-brand-marketers-on-video-marketing-strategies-and-expectations-for-2018" target="_blank">has found</a> that 79% plan to increase focus and overall spend on video marketing in 2018.</p> <p>Despite recognition that video is one of the most impactful and effective mediums, it appears many marketers are still facing several roadblocks to success. Innovid also found that just 6% would describe their organisations as innovative in video, with 45% of respondents saying they are uninformed about the costs associated with video ads. Meanwhile, 35% say they lack in-house video expertise, largely relying on agencies to create video assets instead.</p> <p>Interestingly, animation appears to be a rising trend in video marketing, as a number of brands look to the medium to create unique and emotive ads. Taco Bell is just one recent example, with its one minute and 40 second video so far generating over 1.1m YouTube views.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/VhwqKUfRSio?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p><strong>To learn more about this topic, check out Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/video-marketing-strategies" target="_blank">video marketing training</a>.</strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69604 2017-11-24T14:24:00+00:00 2017-11-24T14:24:00+00:00 The best digital marketing stats we've seen this week Nikki Gilliland <p>The <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium" target="_blank">Internet Statistics Compendium</a> is still ready and waiting to download as always.</p> <p>So, on we go.</p> <h3>Cart abandonment rates increase to 78.4% for Q3</h3> <p>SaleCycle’s <a href="https://blog.salecycle.com/featured/infographic-remarketing-report-q3-2017/" target="_blank">remarketing report</a> has revealed that the global cart abandonment rate for Q3 2017 is 78.4%, which is a 1.5% increase on the previous quarter.</p> <p>Fashion sites are doing the best job at converting visitors, with the lowest abandonment rate at 68.1%. In contrast, finance and travel brands generate the highest, with travel consumers typically abandoning bookings to continue their research and compare prices.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0656/SaleCycle.JPG" alt="" width="779" height="452"></p> <p>I recently wrote about <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69561-why-online-shoppers-abandon-their-baskets-and-how-to-stop-them" target="_blank">why online shoppers abandon their baskets</a>, which also highlights how consumers across all sectors are increasingly using sites for researching purposes. While it might be impossible to prevent this behaviour, perhaps well-timed communication or relevant retargeting can be effective for luring consumers back at a later date.</p> <p><em><strong>More on cart abandonment:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69318-how-do-we-find-a-solution-to-the-great-shopping-cart-abandonment-problem" target="_blank">How do we find a solution to the great shopping-cart abandonment problem?</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64680-six-tactics-for-reducing-cart-abandonment-rates" target="_blank">Six tactics for reducing cart abandonment rates</a></li> </ul> <h3>Reader relationship with publisher impacts ad effectiveness</h3> <p>According to Inskin Media, the effectiveness of online ads has more to do with the relationship the reader has with a publisher than the surrounding editorial content.</p> <p>This comes from a study of the conscious and subconscious reactions of 4,370 people who were served ads on branded publisher websites and elsewhere. </p> <p>It found that ads on the branded publisher sites increased awareness by 60% compared to the ads on other sites. Meanwhile, among readers with a close relationship to the publisher, awareness of ads was 152% higher than among those who saw the ads elsewhere.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0655/Publisher_relationship_ad_effectiveness_chart.PNG" alt="" width="760" height="413"></p> <p>The implication is that as good as audience targeting can be, the context for advertising will always be one of the most powerful factors in generating awareness.</p> <p><em><strong>More on online ads:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69485-the-single-best-way-to-improve-your-online-advertising" target="_blank">The single best way to improve your online advertising</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69558-ask-the-experts-what-s-the-best-way-to-target-programmatic-ads">Ask the experts: What's the best way to target programmatic ads?</a></li> </ul> <h3>Four in five consumers have seen a fake review this year</h3> <p>BrightLocal has revealed that consumers now trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family, but that many are still failing to spot fake reviews.</p> <p>From a <a href="https://www.brightlocal.com/learn/local-consumer-review-survey/" target="_blank">survey of 1,031</a> US-based consumers, it was revealed that 79% of consumers have seen a fake review in the last year, but 84% admit that they can’t always spot them.</p> <p>Interestingly, more consumers now look for businesses responding to reviews, with 30% seeing this as a key sign of trust compared to just 20% last year.</p> <p>It’s not just an issue for local retailers either. Interestingly, even the biggest retail giants have a fake review problem. <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/emmawoollacott/2017/09/09/exclusive-amazons-fake-review-problem-is-now-worse-than-ever/" target="_blank">Forbes recently reported</a> that there has been a marked increase in fake reviews on Amazon lately, with data suggesting that the average review weight for Amazon (which is the measure of how trustworthy reviews are) has almost halved since Amazon <a href="https://www.amazon.com/p/feature/abpto3jt7fhb5oc" target="_blank">banned its incentivised scheme.</a> </p> <p><strong><em>More on online reviews:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69227-how-to-attract-lots-of-quality-online-reviews-to-your-ecommerce-store" target="_blank">How to attract lots of quality online reviews to your ecommerce store</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65779-how-to-deal-with-fake-online-reviews-2/" target="_blank">How to deal with fake online reviews</a></li> </ul> <h3>UK SMEs have spent 600 hours preparing for GDPR in the past year</h3> <p>A new survey by Data Compliance Doctors has revealed how small businesses in the UK have been preparing for the impending GDPR deadline.</p> <p>Speaking with over 500 SME owners, it found that the average UK SME has spent over 80 days (or 600 hours) preparing for the legislation over the past year, and 44% have reorganised operational responsibilities as part of the process.</p> <p>It also found that over a quarter have hired new staff to help prepare for GDPR, with an average of £13,300 being spent on new salaries so far. Meanwhile, half have also invested in expert guidance, costing SME’s an average of £8,000 on fees.</p> <p>Despite this spend, a worrying 73% do not have detailed documentation to evidence their GDPR compliance and 64% of business have no plan in place for customer data breaches.</p> <p>Naturally, GDPR has been a hot topic for Econsultancy of late. Head on over to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/hello/gdpr-for-marketers/" target="_blank">our GDPR hub</a> for a shed-load more blog posts on the topic and information on our training course.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0657/GDPR.JPG" alt="" width="404" height="318"></p> <h3>User numbers increase while time spent online decreases</h3> <p>A new report by Verto Analytics has uncovered an interesting shift in online consumer engagement. Over the course of a year, it found that the total US user numbers for social media, communications, and mobile gaming apps had increased, while the average time spent with this content had decreased.</p> <p>It appears that consumers are shifting their attention away from news content to other categories such as lifestyle and ecommerce apps. This declining trust in digital news media is also apparent elsewhere, with <a href="http://mediashift.org/2017/11/trust-news-survey-reveals-risks-publishers/" target="_blank">a recent Kantar study</a> finding that printed newspapers, radio, and rolling broadcasts are much more trusted than news websites or apps.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0658/kantar.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="478"></p> <p>One UK publisher than has placed an increased focus on gaining consumer trust is the Guardian, striving to balance consumer privacy with a data-driven approach.  If you’re interested in finding out more, check out our sister brand <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/06/15/why-transparency-in-data-is-key-to-building-trust/" target="_blank">Marketing Week’s coverage</a> on the topic.</p> <h3>8% surge in mobile visits as early Black Friday shoppers buy on the go</h3> <p>Black Friday is currently in full swing, but here’s an early indication of UK purchasing behaviour from Salmon.</p> <p>Fresh data suggests that 26% of all visits between midnight and 6am took place in the first hour, before traffic once again peaked at 6am. Early morning has been the busiest period so far, with 81% of visits coming from mobile devices – an 8% increase from 2016. With 74% of transactions also coming from mobile devices, this suggests many shoppers were tempted while on their commute to work.</p> <p>Finally, Salmon is predicting that the day will contribute £20bn in online spend in November, with more than 50% of transactions expected to take place on mobile.</p> <p>You’ll have to check back next week for a full run-down of Black Friday stats, but in the meantime, here’s more analysis to wet your whistle.</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69534-ask-the-experts-black-friday-ecommerce-strategy" target="_blank">Ask the experts: Black Friday ecommerce strategy</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69603-game-shows-risks-of-black-friday-downtime-despite-impressive-strategy/" target="_blank">GAME shows risks of Black Friday downtime despite impressive strategy</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69528-uk-black-friday-landing-pages-the-good-the-bad-the-ugly" target="_blank">UK Black Friday landing pages: The good, the bad &amp; the ugly</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69405 2017-09-13T10:47:25+01:00 2017-09-13T10:47:25+01:00 Three ways the iPhone X will change CX in travel & tourism Tom Dibble <p>As has been the pattern in the past, the ripple effect from Apple advancements reach just about every industry, including travel and hospitality.</p> <p>Here are three ways the iPhone X will change travel forever.</p> <h3>Augmented reality (AR) will become mainstream</h3> <p>Augmented reality – the ability to view and interact with virtual items overlaid in the real world on screen – is about to go mainstream.</p> <p>The iPhone X, along with the forthcoming <a href="https://www.apple.com/iphone-8/" target="_blank">iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus</a>, are the first iPhone devices specifically designed for AR. Earlier this year, <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69388-ar-is-on-the-brink-of-a-breakout-thanks-to-new-platforms-from-google-apple">Apple unveiled ARKit</a>, a new framework that allows developers to design AR apps for iOS 11, the operating system update available on September 19.</p> <p>As a result, iOS will be the largest AR-capable platform in the world.</p> <p>With AR capabilities soon in the hands of hundreds of millions of travelers, hospitality innovators will introduce new ways to offer guests property information, assistance and location-specific content on demand.</p> <p>From the way hotel <a href="https://youtu.be/JgOGADMJWIg" target="_blank">restaurants display their menu</a>, to real-time language translation of signage, to wayfinding, to AR-guided tours of property gardens and grounds, the potential for enhancing the guest experience is virtually limitless.</p> <h3>Facial recognition will hit hotels </h3> <p>The iPhone X offers Face ID, facial recognition technology made possible because of its TrueDepth camera system. </p> <p>In the way Touch ID evolved how iPhone users interact with their device in a secure manner, Face ID takes authentication to the next level. While the advancements will simplify and expedite how we take selfies and unlock our device, they’ll also update how hoteliers interact with guests.</p> <p>Face ID works not only with Apple Pay, but with third-party apps, which will enable new user experiences between travelers and tech-forward hospitality brands. Hotels will integrate facial recognition into their own proprietary apps, changing the way guests make reservations, access their room, authenticate payments at outlets, even check in and check out.</p> <h3>Mobile engagement will surge</h3> <p>Travelers are already using their mobile devices to research, book, document and rate their hotel experience en masse. The iPhone is already <a href="https://www.macrumors.com/2017/04/20/iphone-ownership-all-time-high-us/" target="_blank">the most popular smartphone in the world</a>.</p> <p>With the release of the new iPhone models, analysts are expecting record-shattering sales, with some suggesting that Apple may see as many as 241.5 million iPhone shipments in the 12 months following the iPhone 8 launch.</p> <p>The new devices boast a higher water resistance rating than predecessors (perfect for poolside, waterslides and beach outings), an improved camera (more, better selfies and social sharing), wireless charging capabilities and a longer battery life for the all-day/all-night adventurer.</p> <p>With new phones come new apps that take advantage of advancements in technology. The forthcoming swell of innovative applications, and subsequent mobile engagement, will offer fresh ways for brands to interact with travelers on a level unlike we’ve ever seen.</p> <p><em>For more on this topic, see:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/travel-digital-trends-and-developments/"><em>Travel - Digital Trends and Developments Report</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69414-four-big-digital-trends-impacting-travel-tourism-marketing"><em>Four big digital trends impacting travel &amp; tourism marketing</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69207-how-six-travel-hospitality-brands-use-personalisation-to-enhance-the-customer-experience"><em>How six travel &amp; hospitality brands use personalisation to enhance the customer experience</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68678-the-impact-of-artificial-intelligence-on-the-travel-industry/"><em>The impact of artificial intelligence on the travel industry</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69131 2017-06-15T11:43:00+01:00 2017-06-15T11:43:00+01:00 How shopping malls are enticing consumers offline Nikki Gilliland <p>More specifically, how retailers are struggling to strike the right balance between online and offline channels.</p> <p>One member prompted the question: Are high street loyalty programs pointless compared to offerings like Amazon Prime – whereby unlimited free content keeps consumers hooked? How can high street or bricks-and-mortar stores possibly compete?</p> <p>On the flip side, when we’re constantly being told that consumers want experiential shopping experiences in physical environments, are we focusing too much online? It amounts to a lot of confusion, especially for multi-channel retailers. </p> <p>So what about targeting consumers in shopping malls? After all, these environments act as a sort of middle-man, with the potential to help bridge the gap between brands and consumers, as well as the online and offline worlds. With this in mind, here’s a bit more on how they're targeting today’s (increasingly digitally-focused) consumers.</p> <h3>Creating destination shopping</h3> <p>From children’s soft play areas to pop-up catwalks – shopping malls have always included more than just the retail stores themselves. </p> <p>However, these services (not including mid-tier entertainment such as cinemas and bowling alleys) are generally geared around basic convenience or blatant PR as opposed to anything truly customer-centric. This appears to be changing, with shopping centres now focusing on how they can use the spaces between shops to create a truly immersive experience for customers, from beginning to end. </p> <p>One way the likes of Westfield and Bluewater are achieving this is by strategically placing champagne bars in the middle of malls.</p> <p>It’s not rocket science of course – giving people a reason to linger (and make them more relaxed) is bound to drive extra footfall to stores. But it’s not just a case of any old alcohol either. Interestingly, locations such as the Intu Victoria Centre in Nottingham UK have deliberately chosen prosecco bars instead of champagne, with the former drawing in a wider demographic and better aligning with high street retail brands. In contrast, you’ll find Searcy’s champagne in Westfield London, located opposite high-end brands like Jimmy Choo and Versace.</p> <p>This shows that it’s not as simple as creating an immersive experience for the masses, but one that aligns with the specific commercial environment and target customer.</p> <p>Meanwhile, shopping malls are striving to make leisure and entertainment the primary reason for people to visit - not just an added bonus. This is particularly the case in the US, where shopping malls are massively suffering due to the rise in the ecommerce market, with one in three <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2016/05/12/1-in-3-american-malls-are-doomed-retail-consultant-jan-kniffen.html" target="_blank">reportedly set to close</a> within the next decade.</p> <p>With the aim of reclaiming the shopping mall as the heart of the community, many are combining fine dining, brand pop-ups, showrooms and even sporting activities to entice consumers. The Mall of America in Minnesota is a rather extreme example, but its aquarium and dinosaur walk museum demonstrates the true potential of destination shopping.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6446/mall_of_america.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="499"></p> <h3>Utilising space and design</h3> <p>While there is a huge danger of over-generalising when it comes to gender, there’s no denying that men and women typically shop in different ways – meaning that they also want different things from physical retail environments.</p> <p>According to BI Intelligence, 40% of men aged 18 to 34 would ‘ideally buy everything online’, while just 33% of women feel the same. </p> <p>So, what actually drives men into malls?</p> <p>Research suggests that most males are likely to use physical stores to seek out unique products that they can’t find online or, in the case of those at our Digital Advisory Board meeting, if they are accompanying friends or family members. Interestingly, one person cited the difference between a shopping mall that includes relaxation areas (including comfy sofas and water stations) in multiple areas - and one that didn’t. Naturally, they said, you’ll find a greater percentage of males using these areas, often waiting for others while they shop.</p> <p>This is not a revelation, however it does demonstrate how shopping malls can effectively utilise space and design – even if it just means a comfier seat - to enhance the customer experience and increase the chances of return. </p> <p>Many new malls are also being designed with the wider environment in mind, regardless of how urban it might be. Take Cabot Circus in Bristol UK, for instance, which was built with a huge shell-shaped glass roof to create the illusion of being in the open-air. Similarly, the Fornebu S mall in Oslo was voted the most sustainable shopping mall in the world for its green roof and bicycle park, which encourages consumers to cycle to and from.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6447/cabot_circus.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="474"></p> <h3>Using technology to merge online and offline</h3> <p>Finally, it would be foolish to ignore the growing popularity of online shopping, specifically how consumers are using a combination of the two channels. Whether it’s showrooming (which means visiting stores to buy online later) or webrooming (the other way around) – retailers need to find a way to facilitate and enhance both experiences, instead of convincing customers that one is surperior.</p> <p>One way is to increase the amount of technology in-stores, for example using a tablet to quickly search if a product is in stock. Or even just a slick buy-and-collect service to give consumers greater flexibility and freedom.</p> <p>A few years ago, Kate Spade launched one of the first examples of integrated technology, installing touchscreen storefronts that allowed customers to purchase items based on real-life ‘window shopping’. Now with the introduction of VR and AR, high-tech stores and pop-ups like this are becoming even more innovative, meaning that customers are turning to physical retail for the sole purpose of discovering what brands are doing with it.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6448/Kate_Spade.JPG" alt="" width="614" height="464"></p> <p>Essentially, whether it is a touchscreen or a prosecco bar, it’s all about giving consumers a greater value proposition. Not just in comparison to ecommerce - but to the standard shopping malls of the past.</p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69098-could-ai-revolutionize-high-street-retail-as-well-as-ecommerce/" target="_blank">Could AI revolutionize high street retail as well as ecommerce?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68023-think-retail-how-brands-are-targeting-the-phygital-generation/" target="_blank">Think retail: How brands are targeting the ‘phygital’ generation</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68893-four-digital-priorities-for-retailers-in-2017/" target="_blank">Four digital priorities for retailers in 2017</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69058 2017-05-08T11:15:00+01:00 2017-05-08T11:15:00+01:00 How millennial entrepreneurs are disrupting retail and ecommerce Nikki Gilliland <p>Surprisingly, one time the term wasn’t bandied about was during a talk solely featuring this all-important demographic.</p> <p>With insight from three entrepreneurs in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, the discussion focused on how young people are effectively driving change in retail and ecommerce – as both consumers <em>and</em> entrepreneurs.</p> <p>So, how exactly are they changing the game? The panel included Tommy Williams, co-founder and CEO of All Shades Covered, Vivien Laszloffy, CEO of Áeron, and Freddy Macnamara, CEO of Cuvva. Here are a few key takeaways from the talk.</p> <h3>Innovation borne out of necessity</h3> <p>The panel began on the subject of motivation. When asked about the drive behind starting a new business, each speaker highlighted some form of frustration rather than any influence or inspiration from the existing market. And while the three companies are vastly different, this appeared to be a common theme.</p> <p>Cuvva is a pay-as-you-go insurance app aimed at infrequent drivers. Freddy, its CEO, explained how the company stemmed from the desire to drive his friend’s car – and the sheer annoyance at the lack of options out there for quick and easy cover.</p> <p>Similarly, All Shades Covered – co-founded by Tommy Williams – was borne out of the recognition that women of colour are incredibly underserved when it comes to hair and beauty products on the high street. Consequently, Tommy saw an opportunity to fill this gap, using ecommerce to fulfil the needs of consumers quickly and efficiently. </p> <p>As well as choosing to improve or bridge a gap on behalf of consumers, this drive perhaps also demonstrates their growing expectations, with a younger demographic demanding a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67322-not-offering-same-day-delivery-you-could-be-losing-customers/" target="_blank">superior customer experience</a> across the board.</p> <h3>It’s about more than influence</h3> <p>Alongside an avoidance of the term millennial, one thing that really stood out from the talk was a distinct lack of interest <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/measuring-roi-on-influencer-marketing/">in influencer marketing</a>. While it's not a strategy that's been sidelined completely, it appears to be less of a priority for the young entrepeneurs. Interestingly, during the session before, I’d heard Boohoo’s Chairman mention how it has been an integral part of the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69044-five-reasons-behind-boohoo-s-97-increase-in-profits/" target="_blank">brand’s recent success</a>.</p> <p>So, why are millennials choosing another route?</p> <p>Perhaps it's a case of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68716-four-common-mistakes-brands-make-with-influencer-marketing" target="_blank">influencer overload</a>, but from an entrepreneurial perspective, it appears to be a simple case of other strategies generating better results.</p> <p>Vivien, the CEO of Budapest-based fashion retailer Áeron, spoke about the importance of working with women within the creative industry – but not just the standard blogger or model. Instead, people who fundamentally understand and appreciate the heritage of the brand are far more desirable, outweighing an influencer who might have a massive audience or even a reputation in the fashion industry. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5883/aeron.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="528"></p> <p>Meanwhile, Tommy says that his brand has seen far more success with offline and community-based marketing. He explained how tools like online video do not typically resonate with his core consumer in the same way as speaking and communicating directly, in the places where they live and work. While this strategy might be costly and much more time-consuming, it has resulted in much higher conversion rates for the company.</p> <p>This demonstrates the importance of understanding how both the brand and consumer can align to build a longer-term relationship, rather than jumping on digital trends merely to attract the masses.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5884/Hair.JPG" alt="" width="621" height="714"></p> <h3>A point of difference</h3> <p>The final topic revolved around how new companies are able to compete with giants in the industry. Instead of striving to match them, however, the general consensus was that viewing big brands as competition can largely be a fruitless exercise.</p> <p>Instead, it was suggested that brands in their infancy should remember the importance of establishing a unique and valuable point of difference when it comes to the product itself. Freddy highlighted Cuvva’s recognition of the supply chain, i.e. the underwriters who offer the insurance cover to drivers. In contrast to larger comparison sites that tend to focus solely on raising awareness to general consumers - Cuvva is able to offer greater value all-round.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Big updates to <a href="https://twitter.com/cuvva">@cuvva</a> for sharing today:<br>✅ min age now 19 (17 for learners)<br>✅ business use included<br>✅ lower pricing<br>✅ insurance groups 1-50</p> — James Billingham (@billinghamj) <a href="https://twitter.com/billinghamj/status/825157088343121922">January 28, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>The biggest takeaway from listening to millennials talk? If you've got enough common sense, age doesn't come into it.</p> <p><em><strong>Related articles: </strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67822-four-great-examples-of-marketing-to-millennials" target="_blank">Four great examples of marketing to millennials</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66805-millennials-and-mobile-what-marketers-need-to-know" target="_blank">Millennials and mobile: what marketers need to know</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68203-six-millennial-ux-lessons-from-insurance-brand-back-me-up" target="_blank">Six 'millennial UX' lessons from insurance brand Back Me Up</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69026 2017-05-03T10:00:38+01:00 2017-05-03T10:00:38+01:00 Why online publishers are launching wedding verticals Nikki Gilliland <p>Now it appears publishers want a slice of the cake too. Many more are launching wedding-related content to engage users, with some even expanding into the world of commerce to increase revenue. </p> <p>Here’s just a few examples, as well the reasons why it’s proving to be a profitable move.</p> <h3>Cosmopolitan</h3> <p>According to data, 10% of all engaged Americans have visited Cosmo.com. Up until recently, Cosmo has consistently written about the topic, choosing to ramp up activity ahead of and during the summer months when readers are most likely to attend events.</p> <p>After seeing an increase in traffic to this bridal content, the publisher decided to launch it as an official vertical all year round, giving ‘Weddings’ a dedicated category on the main site alongside ‘Style’, ‘Beauty’, ‘Love’ and ‘Video’.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5616/Cosmo_weddings.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="330"></p> <p>For Cosmo, the aim is to meet the obvious demand for wedding content, as well as draw in readers who would otherwise turn to standalone wedding publications like Brides. </p> <p>To ensure it doesn't alienate anyone who <em>isn't </em>getting married, the new vertical will offer a range of wedding-related content, including articles about bachelorette parties, as part of a wider <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68384-how-cosmopolitan-reinvented-itself-became-the-number-one-women-s-magazine-in-the-uk/" target="_blank">strategy to reach a millennial audience</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5615/Cosmo_insta.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="483"></p> <h3>InStyle</h3> <p>Last year, InStyle expanded its online presence from just fashion to include the verticals of home, entertaining and, you guessed it – weddings. It was partly done to help engage a wider demographic (which is naturally interested in a more varied subject matter), but also to increase the potential for advertising revenue.</p> <p>InStyle readers reportedly purchase an average of seven items based solely on ads. That’s more than any other competitor, even the likes of Vogue which famously includes a hefty amount of advertising. Adding weddings into the mix is only likely to increase this spend, especially when you consider the fact that InStyle has the highest number of readers with an annual household income of more than $100,000.</p> <p>With the average American wedding <a href="http://fortune.com/2017/02/03/wedding-cost-spending-usa-average/" target="_blank">said to cost $35,329</a>, this type of content is bound to appeal to InStyle’s more affluent demographic. What’s more, it aligns with the publication’s decision to become more of a luxury lifestyle title rather than a straightforward fashion mag.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5617/InStyle_weddings.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="707"></p> <h3>The Knot</h3> <p>While the aforementioned publishers use wedding content to increase readership and ad revenue, rival bridal site The Knot has ventured deeper into the world of commerce.</p> <p>In 2015, it acquired event marketplace Gigmasters in order to allow users to search and book venues, photographers, planners, hairdressers and more. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5618/The_Knot.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="519"></p> <p>By fusing content with commerce in this way, its aim is to reach users at every stage of the wedding process. From providing initial inspiration to help with finding a photographer and inviting guests – even a honeymoon when the wedding is over – the idea is that there’s no need for users to seek help or advice anywhere else.</p> <p>With its own retail component, The Knot also allows users to directly shop the items featured in its print and online magazine.  </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">You'll love these little white dresses from <a href="https://twitter.com/Macys">@Macys</a>! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ad?src=hash">#ad</a> <a href="https://t.co/7iVweMaZdD">https://t.co/7iVweMaZdD</a> <a href="https://t.co/Bcy2LB4Q6b">pic.twitter.com/Bcy2LB4Q6b</a></p> — The Knot (@theknot) <a href="https://twitter.com/theknot/status/855053727257985024">April 20, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Brides</h3> <p>Another publisher that has dipped its toes (or should that be fingers) into commerce is Brides – Conde Nast’s popular wedding title. Instead of an online marketplace on its own site however, it has partnered with a number of other retailers to launch products that have the Brides brand stamp of approval. </p> <p>These include a line of engagement rings called ‘In Love by Brides’ sold at Walmart, ‘Modern Bride Jewelry’ for JCPenney, plus a custom stationery line called ‘Brides Fine Wedding Papers’ sold in a number of US stores.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5619/In_Love_By_Brides.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="505"></p> <p>Using data to delve into the interests of readers, Brides discovered that a large proportion were interested in more affordable or budget-friendly weddings.</p> <p>By partnering with retailers like Walmart it has been able to deliver this, offering readers the chance to invest in more than just content.</p> <p><strong><em>Related articles:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68121-why-i-love-the-pool-and-its-refreshing-approach-to-publishing/" target="_blank">Why I love The Pool and its refreshing approach to publishing</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67494-five-ways-the-new-york-times-is-innovating-its-publishing-model/" target="_blank">Five ways The New York Times is innovating its publishing model</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67312-are-publishers-in-a-losing-battle-with-content-distribution-platforms/" target="_blank">Are publishers in a losing battle with content distribution platforms?</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69029 2017-04-27T10:54:14+01:00 2017-04-27T10:54:14+01:00 MealPal review: Are Londoners hungry for a lunch subscription service? Nikki Gilliland <p>I was lucky enough to bag a free trial recently, so what’s a girl to do other than write a review about it? Here’s what I thought of the whole process.  </p> <h4>What does MealPlan offer?</h4> <p>Originally launching in New York City, MealPlan is a lunch subscription service that lets you reserve food at a number of participating restaurants. It offers two plans – both of which last for 30 days – £4.79 per meal for 12 or £4.39 per meal for 20.</p> <p>Either way, it guarantees you will pay less than a fiver each time, along with the promise of your lunch being ready and waiting so you don’t have to queue.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5644/Flexible_plans.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="396"></p> <h4>Planning ahead</h4> <p>You can use the service through a dedicated app or via the main website.</p> <p>Once you’ve signed up, you will be instructed to reserve your meal between 5pm and 9:30am for the next day. If you miss this time slot, you’ll have to wait until the ‘kitchen’ is open again the following evening. This could prove mildly annoying for some, but I found it quite enjoyable to plan ahead.</p> <p>It’s also handy if you're someone who finds yourself stuck in a food rut. The participating restaurants are listed in a visually-pleasing map format, which you can then filter by specific location or type of food. This means you might come across places you've never tried before - plus it's actually quite fun to browse and see what everyone's dish of the day will be.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5658/IMG_4974.PNG" alt="" width="250"></p> <p>It's important to stress that <strong>there is only one choice of meal from each restaurant</strong>. However, this meal changes on a daily basis, meaning that you still get a decent amount of variety over the course of a week. It also helps facilitate the service in the first place, as it means restaurants can produce a higher volume of meals in a shorter time frame when there is no customisation involved.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5659/IMG_4975.PNG" alt="" width="250"></p> <h4>Skipping the queue (and deliberation)</h4> <p>Instead of paying more for delivery, MealPal is hoping that consumers will be drawn in by the prospect of paying less to pick up in person – getting one over on the likes of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68206-ubereats-vs-deliveroo-a-comparison-of-the-app-user-experience/" target="_blank">Deliveroo and UberEats</a>. Unsurprisingly, it heavily leans on the fact that consumers can skip the queue when they arrive.</p> <p>This is one area I was a little dubious about. It’s London after all – surely those already queuing will be less than pleased about people jumping ahead?</p> <p>Having said that, my experiences have so far been pretty seamless. More often than not, I have spotted other MealPal members politely enquiring at the side of counters and merely followed suit. If the company grows in popularity, however, one problem could be restaurants keeping on top of this demand at the same time as satisfying regular customers. </p> <p>Alongside the no-queue element, if you’re an indecisive sort, you might also enjoy the fact that you don’t have to make a decision on the spot. What's more, it means that you can actually spend more of your lunch break enjoying it rather than waiting around.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5660/IMG_4976.PNG" alt="" width="250"></p> <h4>Is it worth it?</h4> <p>I generally found there was no skimping on portion-size with MealPal, meaning you'd definitely be paying more if you ordered as a regular customer. You can also leave feedback on factors such as size and speed after each meal, and the app will learn your preferences over time in order to offer suggestions you might like.</p> <p>Overall, there’s no denying that it’s a viable way to save money for those who buy their lunch every day. Of course, success also depends on whether or not you’re guaranteed to use up all your meals within the time frame.</p> <p>This might put off customers from keeping subscriptions for the long-term, with a lack of freedom and repetitive menus being potential bugbears. Also keep in mind that, although most participating restaurants are littered in the City, Soho and Canary Wharf, there are more in some areas than others.</p> <p>Will I be signing up? I could be persuaded to give it a proper go in future, if cancelling membership is hassle-free. It beats going to Pret seven days a week anyway. </p> <p><strong><em>Related reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68197-which-restaurants-deliver-the-best-mobile-web-ux/" target="_blank">Which restaurants deliver the best mobile web UX?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64445-why-aren-t-restaurants-taking-advantage-of-mobile-search/" target="_blank">Why aren't restaurants taking advantage of mobile search?</a></em></li> </ul>