tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/delivery-fulfillment Latest Delivery & fulfillment content from Econsultancy 2017-05-09T11:00:00+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69071 2017-05-09T11:00:00+01:00 2017-05-09T11:00:00+01:00 M&S to trial grocery delivery service: Will it take off? Nikki Gilliland <h3>Growing UK delivery sector</h3> <p>According to <a href="https://igd.com/About-us/Media/IGD-news-and-press-releases/Online-grocery-delivers-huge-potential/" target="_blank">IGD</a>, Britain’s online food market is expected to nearly double to £17.2bn by 2020. It’s not just the big supermarkets that are involved, of course. The likes of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68508-the-four-goals-underpinning-deliveroo-s-growth-strategy/" target="_blank">Deliveroo</a> and HelloFresh – companies that offer takeaway options and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67861-four-reasons-recipe-box-brands-are-delivering-success/" target="_blank">at-home recipes kits</a> – are also taking a slice of the pie. </p> <p>Meanwhile, M&amp;S has been missing out. </p> <p>Despite the retailer’s previous insistence that its product-range and basket-size is too small to offer a legitimate and price-worthy service, the emergence and popularity of the delivery market is bound to have been a factor in its decision to get involved.</p> <p>The question is – how will M&amp;S convince customers that it’s worth paying for a proper delivery? </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5947/grocery_delivery.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="466"></p> <h3>Changing consumer perceptions</h3> <p>With its ‘dine in for 2’ range, M&amp;S Food is typically seen as a top-up shopping option or a special occasion store. That being said, it is a very profitable one, with M&amp;S’ clothing business dwindling in light of the success of its food arm.</p> <p>Last month, the retailer confirmed it was opening an additional 34 food shops following a review of its UK store portfolio. Meanwhile, it already operates an ecommerce service for its wines by the case, as well as party food, homeware, flowers and other non-food items.</p> <p>As well as a focus on physical stores, M&amp;S has also been concentrating on food in marketing terms. Interestingly, news about its delivery trial aligns with a new campaign that aims to get consumers to think of Marks and Spencer in a different light.</p> <p>The ‘Spend it Well’ campaign is more about promoting brand values than its product-range, telling consumers that life is too short not to spend time and money on the things that matter the most. </p> <p>This, alongside clear investment in physical food stores, is perhaps a sign that M&amp;S is serious about getting consumers to view it as more than just a place to pick up a sandwich.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/hYbh7PbYq5g?wmode=transparent" width="940" height="529"></iframe></p> <h3>Potential partnerships</h3> <p>So, back to the biggest obstacle of a viable business model.</p> <p>According to reports, M&amp;S is currently in talks with Ocado about a potential partnership to handle order fulfilment. The most likely scenario would also involve M&amp;S products being available on Ocado’s website, rather than a new standalone website being set up for M&amp;S. </p> <p>This would solve the problem of small-basket values, giving consumers the option to pick and choose from Marks and Spencer alongside other food brands. </p> <p>However, with Ocado currently having a deal in place with both Waitrose and Morrisons, it’s not yet clear whether it’s actually possible to bring M&amp;S into the mix. Ocado’s current contract with Waitrose specifies that 70% of all non-own brand products sold have to come from Waitrose. If M&amp;S is classed as a brand – the deal will be unable to go ahead.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5948/M_S.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="528"></p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>With a proper logistics model, success with online grocery delivery is not totally implausible for M&amp;S.</p> <p>Even if consumers do not buy into the idea of a weekly shop, perhaps the introduction of speciality delivery services could prove enticing. If the popularity of its seasonal food is anything to go by - with Christmas and Easter ranges typically seeing shoppers flock to buy a large amount of ingredients in one go – consumers are likely to lap up the added convenience if it is on offer.</p> <p><em><strong>Related articles:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67883-marks-spencer-what-does-putting-the-customer-at-the-heart-of-everything-mean/" target="_blank">Marks &amp; Spencer: what does 'putting the customer at the heart of everything' mean?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68355-how-online-grocery-retailers-are-capitalising-on-the-need-for-convenience/" target="_blank">How online grocery retailers are capitalising on the need for convenience</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69044 2017-04-28T10:00:00+01:00 2017-04-28T10:00:00+01:00 Five reasons behind Boohoo’s 97% increase in profits Nikki Gilliland <p>So, is Boohoo’s success merely a reflection of the dwindling fortunes of the British high street? Perhaps somewhat, but with other online retailers struggling to capture interest, there’s a reason why Boohoo is head and shoulders above the rest.</p> <p>Here’s what it’s been doing in order to drive online sales.</p> <h3>1. Influencer marketing</h3> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/" target="_blank">According to research</a>, budgets for influencer marketing were predicted to increase by a whopping 59% last year.</p> <p>Boohoo has evidently ramped up activity in this area, with influencer marketing now a huge part of its strategy to target its core demographic of girls aged 16-24. </p> <p>The retailer has partnered with multiple influencers and bloggers to promote Boohoo across popular platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. One particularly successful example has been its collaboration with model Jordyn Woods on a new range of plus-size clothing. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5790/Jordyn_Woods.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="490"></p> <p>The reason it worked so well was not only due to Woods’ personal social media following, but also her connection to other high-profile media influencers like Kylie Jenner and Justine Skye – names that Boohoo’s Generation Z-consumers are likely to be aware of.</p> <p>More recently, Boohoo has also generated buzz from <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69011-jumping-on-the-bandwagon-how-brands-capitalised-on-coachella/" target="_blank">influencers attending Coachella</a> – a festival that typically fills social media news feeds during April.</p> <p>For more on influencers, download these Econsultancy reports:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/">The Rise of Influencers</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-voice-of-the-influencer/">The Voice of the Influencer</a></li> </ul> <h3>2. Mobile mind-set</h3> <p>Google suggests that <a href="https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/interactive-report/gen-z-a-look-inside-its-mobile-first-mindset/" target="_blank">68% of teenagers now shop via their smartphone</a>, while 63% of millennials are said to shop on their mobiles every single day.</p> <p>Unsurprisingly, two-thirds of online visits to Boohoo come from mobile, with the retailer subsequently taking steps to ensure that the user experience is as slick and seamless as possible. </p> <p>Last year, it launched apps in international markets as well as a new and improved version for the UK.</p> <p>Personally, I’ve always been a big fan of Boohoo’s app. In fact it’s one of the only examples from a fashion retailer that I turn to over its mobile site. Features like the ‘wishlist’ – which allows you to save items to revisit later – are perfectly aligned with the mobile experience, meaning browsing on the app is even easier than online.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5791/bohoo.PNG" alt="" width="250"></p> <h3>3. International expansion</h3> <p>As well as strong UK growth, Boohoo has also seen a rise in profits in international markets, with revenue rising 140% in the US and 40% in the rest of the world.</p> <p>What’s more, the brand looks set to increase expansion plans even further, acquiring Nasty Gal in February – a retailer with a large and existing customer base in the US. Combined with the fact that Boohoo also took over smaller rival, PrettyLittleThing, earlier this year, it looks set to capitalise on these takeovers with further international growth.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Fries before guys. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NastyGalsDoItBetter?src=hash">#NastyGalsDoItBetter</a> <a href="https://t.co/wYGU0PmtrR">pic.twitter.com/wYGU0PmtrR</a></p> — NASTY GAL (@NastyGal) <a href="https://twitter.com/NastyGal/status/856032866492334080">April 23, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>4. Fast and affordable fashion</h3> <p>Another draw for online consumers is undoubtedly Boohoo’s dedication to fast fashion – meaning the prices are low and the turnover is high. </p> <p>Unlike <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67870-why-asos-is-still-leading-the-online-retailing-pack/" target="_blank">ASOS</a>, which is well-known for carrying a broad and expansive range of designers at a higher price point, Boohoo focuses on stocking key seasonal trends at low prices. While 11% of ASOS products are in the £5 to £9.99 category, this rises to 23% for Boohoo. </p> <p>With consumer expectations rising, and millennial shoppers developing an ‘I want it now’ mindset, Boohoo's business model enables it to deliver a rapid and continuous cycle of affordable fashion trends.</p> <p>Its ‘test and repeat’ strategy allows it to quickly find out what items are selling online before ordering and stocking more.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">This <a href="https://twitter.com/boohoo">@boohoo</a> dress FINALLY came back in stock long enough for me to grab one...Happy Friday!!<a href="https://t.co/xKexqUAbkQ">https://t.co/xKexqUAbkQ</a> <a href="https://t.co/UapfEFbDHr">pic.twitter.com/UapfEFbDHr</a></p> — Halinalinalina (@viechoufleur) <a href="https://twitter.com/viechoufleur/status/850231762961571840">April 7, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>5. Harnessing social media and commerce</h3> <p>Its product offering is not the only reason Boohoo has such a large online customer-base. Its dedication to delivering high quality service – both pre- and post-purchase – has helped it to retain strong levels of customer loyalty.</p> <p>One way it does this is through social media, using platforms like Twitter and Facebook to communicate and resolve customer service issues. </p> <p>Of course, it also uses social to drive engagement, continually asking for feedback and opinions, as well as offering incentives such as promotions and competitions. </p> <p>Meanwhile, its also appears to be veering into the world of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69041-social-commerce-why-basic-bots-and-buy-buttons-are-not-enough/">social commerce</a>, notably including new shoppable elements in a number of recent Facebook posts. While other examples of social commerce have failed to live up to expectations, Boohoo’s ability to resonate and relate to a young and fashion-hungry demographic could mean that its one of the first to truly take off.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5792/facebook_boohoo.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="392"></p> <p><em><strong>Related articles:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68659-three-reasons-behind-the-white-company-s-boost-in-profits/">Three reasons behind The White Company’s boost in profits</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68472-three-reasons-behind-whsmith-s-boost-in-profits/">Three reasons behind WHSmith’s boost in profits</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69000 2017-04-24T11:00:00+01:00 2017-04-24T11:00:00+01:00 What Farfetch's 'Store of the Future' tech says about the state of luxury retail Nikki Gilliland <p>This is just one example of Farfetch’s tech-driven approach, which it recently announced alongside a set of ‘Store of the Future’ technologies - designed to enhance the future retail experience for both brands and consumers. </p> <p>So, what exactly does this future look like? Here’s a run-down of Farfetch’s strategy and what it says about the wider luxury retail market as a whole. </p> <h4>Fusion of the online and offline experience</h4> <p>According to Bain &amp; Company, 70% of luxury purchases today are influenced by online interactions, with shoppers partaking in at least one digital interaction with a brand before buying. </p> <p>That being said, it also predicts that stores will play a critical role in the luxury retail market, with 75% of purchases still occurring in a physical location by 2025. </p> <p>So, which one will win out? </p> <p>According to Farfetch - neither. Instead, it predicts a future of ‘connected retail’ – a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68023-think-retail-how-brands-are-targeting-the-phygital-generation/" target="_blank">blend of the digital and physical</a> realms that will allow consumers to seamlessly shift between the two. </p> <p>The brand’s CEO, José Neves, recently suggested that this will include a combination of innovative tech in-store such as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68401-virtual-reality-content-marketing-s-next-big-trend/" target="_blank">virtual reality</a>, emotion-scanning software, and innovative payment options.</p> <p>As well as enhancing the physical shopping experience for consumers, this use of technology will also allow retailers to collect vital data about browsing behaviour in-store. In turn, this will inform online targeting, and so the cycle goes on.</p> <p>Browns, the New York-based store owned by Farfetch, will be the first to experiment with these ‘Store of the Future’ technologies. </p> <h4>Innovative online services</h4> <p>Meanwhile, Farfetch aims to enhance its ecommerce service with a selection of new digital services. </p> <p>With younger customers reportedly taking one-third less time than older customers to make decisions, 90-minute delivery specifically targets the ‘I want it now’ mind-set of millennials. A demographic that clearly wants their Gucci loafers delivered stat. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/3unBWk3yp5Y?wmode=transparent" width="640" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>Consumer expectations are also changing when it comes to personal aspects such as customisation and an alignment of personal beliefs and values. </p> <p>With this in mind, Farfetch has also launched a <a href="https://www.farfetch.com/uk/sets/women/customizable-NK-women.aspx">design-your-own tool</a> for shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood. Allowing online shoppers to customise its Beya Bespoke line, it’s another example of the retailer putting greater control into the hands of consumers.</p> <h4>Will others take note? </h4> <p>While the physical shopping experience is still in demand across all sectors, it appears to present a greater opportunity for luxury retailers. This is because consumers naturally expect to leave with an ‘experience’ to go along with the actual product they’re buying.</p> <p>By offering a much more intimate and immersive experience, it is a chance for brands and retailers to forge an emotional connection – far more so than online. </p> <p>Luxury retailers have clearly recognised this, with many introducing in-store technologies to dazzle shoppers. <a href="https://virtualrealityreporter.com/dior-eyes-virtual-reality-headst-vr-fashin/">Dior launched a virtual reality headset</a> to give shoppers a behind-the-scenes look of its runway show, for instance. And Harvey Nichols introduced <a href="http://www.harveynichols.com/project-109/">Project 109</a> – an in-store concept space that hosts immersive installations and pop-ups.</p> <p>With the announcement of Store of the Future, Farfetch might just have upped the ante. </p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68329-farfetch-s-cmo-why-we-re-more-than-just-a-shopping-platform/" target="_blank">Farfetch’s CMO: Why we’re more than just a shopping platform</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67705-what-s-now-next-for-digital-technology-in-retail-stores/" target="_blank">What's now &amp; next for digital technology in retail stores?</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68909 2017-03-17T13:00:16+00:00 2017-03-17T13:00:16+00:00 10 spellbinding digital marketing stats from this week Nikki Gilliland <h3>Advertisers predicted to be defrauded by $16.4bn in 2017</h3> <p>A new <a href="http://www.campaignbrief.com/2017/03/16/Ad%20Fraud_Report_The%26Partnership_mSIX_Adloox.pdf" target="_blank">report by The&amp;Partnership</a> suggests that the global cost of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68067-is-ad-fraud-the-21st-century-drug-trade/">advertising fraud</a> could have been significantly under-reported up until this point.</p> <p>While fraud is believed to cost advertisers $7.2bn globally each year, the real cost of ad fraud may have been as high as $12.48bn in 2016 (accounting for almost 20% of the $66bn spent on digital advertising).</p> <p>If advertising fraud continues to evolve at its current rate, this figure could potentially rise to $16.4bn in 2017.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4775/Ad_Fraud.jpeg" alt="" width="760" height="427"></p> <h3>A third of Brits would rather read a blog than a book</h3> <p style="font-weight: normal;">New research from Affilinet has found that one in three people in the UK say they read more online than they do in print.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">In a survey of over 2,600 Brits, 32% confessed tospending more time reading online, with cookery, diet and nutrition recipes being the most likely category to search for.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">When asked about the reasons why, 61% said they prefer blogs because they are ‘cheaper’ than buying books, 58% stated that they are ‘more convenient’ and 49% said they ‘prefer short-form content rather than full books’.</p> <h3>42% of marketers agree that email relevance is hit and miss</h3> <p>A <a href="https://dma.org.uk/infographic/customers-want-relevance-marketers-need-content" target="_blank">DMA infographic</a> has highlighted how marketers are failing to create relevant emails, with 42% saying ‘some’ are relevant to the recipient at best. This is despite the fact that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67734-three-key-charts-from-our-2016-email-marketing-census/">the medium remains an effective channel</a>, with email ROI increasing from £29.64 to £30.01 in the past year.</p> <p>DMA also suggests that one of the biggest stumbling blocks is a lack of content, with one in four marketers citing this as a major problem.</p> <p>As shown below, other issues preventing effective email is said to be a lack of strategy, a lack of data and data siloes.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4776/DMA_email.JPG" alt="" width="630" height="539"></p> <h3>Poor communication results in nearly a quarter of missed deliveries</h3> <p>Research from Engage Hub has revealed that a lack of communication from delivery companies is the main reason UK consumers miss scheduled deliveries, with 23% of consumers saying poor communication has caused them to miss a delivery in the past 12 months.</p> <p>Other reasons include a parcel not arriving at the specified time and having no ability to reschedule the delivery time.</p> <p>When asked about the most important elements of the delivery process, 49% of UK consumers cited clear confirmation regarding delivery time, while 30% said updates from the delivery company in the event of any changes.</p> <h3>Top three searched-for luxury brands see 63.5% of online visits</h3> <p>In terms of the online market share, Hitwise has revealed that Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren and Coach are the most searched-for luxury brands.</p> <p>In fact, these three brands take 63.5% of the share of online visits to the luxury apparel industry as a whole. </p> <p>Meanwhile, data shows that Versace, Tom Ford and Yves Saint Laurent are a hit with millennials, as a large portion of their traffic is currently driven by consumers aged 18 to 34.  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4777/Hitwise.jpg" alt="" width="703" height="390"></p> <h3>UK shoppers rate retail experiences as average</h3> <p>According to a <a href="http://www.zetaglobal-uk.com/linking-brand-digital-sophistication-with-customer-demands-whitepaper/?utm_source=media&amp;utm_campaign=cct_whitepaper_lpr&amp;utm_medium=pr" target="_blank">new report by Zeta Global</a>, only 40% of UK shoppers think their favourite retailers provide a good or great customer experience.</p> <p>This comes from a study of 3,000 UK adults, which also found that 48% of respondents considered their <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68839-the-10-principles-for-creating-amazing-online-retail-experiences/">retail experience</a> to be merely ‘average’. Meanwhile, a further 11% believe that their favourite shops provide poor service.</p> <p>From this, it is clear that personalisation presents a huge opportunity for retailers to capture consumer loyalty, with almost two-fifths of shoppers saying they would be inclined to shop around if they received a personalised service.</p> <h3>Emotional context could make digital ads 40% more effective</h3> <p><a href="https://yahoo.tumblr.com/post/158393152734/emotional-context-could-make-digital-ads-40-more" target="_blank">According to Yahoo</a>, the emotional state of consumers can dramatically impact how receptive they are to advertising.</p> <p>With US and UK consumers reportedly feeling ‘upbeat’ 46% of the time, this is a key window for advertisers, with people said to be 40% more receptive to digital ads when they are in this mood.</p> <p>The study also found that when consumers are upbeat, they are 30% more likely to engage with native video content than when they are in any other emotional state. </p> <p>Lastly, consumers are 28% more likely to engage with content marketing and 21% more likely to engage with direct marketing when feeling happy.</p> <h3>Majority of marketers haven’t got to grips with mobile</h3> <p><a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6yVMKaNCUz6Qm9xMWxIcGpsZW8/view" target="_blank">A new report</a> by Mobile Marketing Association and RadiumOne has revealed that the majority of marketers are failing to tap into the way consumers use their mobiles.</p> <p>From interviews with over 300 senior marketers, two-thirds admitted that they’re not confident they've identified the most critical signals in their customers’ journey.</p> <p>What’s more, 61% aren’t fully confident in their ability to find new profitable customers, and 58% are not fully confident in their re-engagement efforts to prevent customer churn. </p> <p>In terms of the most valuable data, 29% of marketers cite content sharing from apps, 28% cite mobile site visits and 27% cite app installs as the best signals for improving mobile branding. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4779/MMA_report.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="236"></p> <h3>25 to 34 year olds 65% more likely to search for bank accounts</h3> <p>New data from Hitwise has revealed that people aged between 25 to 32 are 65% more likely to search for a savings account than any other demographic. What’s more, men in this age group are 60% more likely to be saving compared to women.</p> <p>From an audience of 8.3m 25 to 34 years old consumers in the UK searching to switch banks, Hitwise suggests that the most popular banks to visit are Santander and Halifax, followed by Lloyds and Natwest.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4780/Hitwise_2.jpg" alt="" width="599" height="376"></p> <h3>BMW drivers are the biggest retail spenders of any car owner</h3> <p>A new <a href="http://www2.viantinc.com/anatomy-of-an-auto-shopper-uk" target="_blank">study by Viant</a> has delved into the purchase habits and behaviour of major car brand owners in the UK. </p> <p>The report states that Fiat is the most popular car brand for millennials, with this age group 18% more likely to drive hatchbacks than non-millennials. BMW drivers are said to be the biggest retail spenders, being 54% more likely to shop at John Lewis and 2.3 times more likely to shop in Selfridges than Ford drivers.</p> <p>Lastly, Ford drivers reportedly spent £2,157 on flights over a period of six months, with their preferred airline being Emirates.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68787 2017-02-13T10:06:07+00:00 2017-02-13T10:06:07+00:00 Why did Poundland’s ecommerce trial fail? Nikki Gilliland <p>So, why exactly did it fail? Here’s a bit of insight into the story.</p> <h3>Failure to convert existing shoppers</h3> <p>Having opened its first ever store over 25 years ago, Poundland is built on a tried and tested formula. The reason behind its success is that it knows exactly what its customers want and it unashamedly delivers it. </p> <p>Its stores – a mainstay on most UK high streets – boast bargain multipacks of everything from batteries to fizzy sweets. Though it famously uses tricks of the trade in order to keep its prices so low, such as ‘re-engineering’ products to shrink the size or quantity of items, faithful customers appear well aware of this fact, maintaining that it offers better value than other stores or budget supermarkets.</p> <p>With the arrival of its online shop, Poundland failed to recognise that most existing customers do not typically use it like a standard or large supermarket. </p> <p>The buying process seems much more fractured – people are likely to pop in simply to check out what bargains are in that week or to pick up a specific item. Meanwhile, Poundland's appeal also surely lies in the joy of coming across a surprise find.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Yes <a href="https://twitter.com/Poundland">@Poundland</a> mate, you've knocked it out of the park with this lifesaver. ONE ENGLISH POUND, GUYS. <a href="https://t.co/VNfdqkmHn8">pic.twitter.com/VNfdqkmHn8</a></p> — Ebony L Nash (@Ebzo) <a href="https://twitter.com/Ebzo/status/825332268893868032">January 28, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Further to this, new research from Shoppercentric has found an increase in the ‘little and often’ trend, with 16% of grocery shoppers rarely doing a main shop – a figure 6% higher than it was in 2016.</p> <p>All in all, it seems unlikely that consumers would be able to replicate this reliable experience online. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3738/Shoppercentric.JPG" alt="" width="240" height="532"></p> <h3>Delivery costs</h3> <p>As the likes of Sainsbury’s and Tesco launch new initiatives to offer one-hour delivery in London, shipping remains an important sales tactic for most of the big supermarkets.</p> <p>Most consumers are prepared to pay for this convenience, as prices typically fall in line with the supermarket’s wider positioning. In contrast, Poundland’s online delivery costs are somewhat at odds with its overall approach to value, coming in at £4 unless a customer spends over £50.</p> <p>With the average spend in Poundland said to be around £4.72, it seems unlikely that consumers would be willing to pay double for the privilege of getting their goods delivered. What's more, it seems even unlikelier that shoppers would ever be able to reach a £50 shop.</p> <p>Without enough of an incentive in this area, it's unsurprising that existing customers remain satisfied with shopping in-store.</p> <h3>Lack of focus</h3> <p>Lidl was named as the fastest-growing retailer in 2016, with Aldi and Lidl accounting for 10% of the total supermarket spend in the UK. Both have famously avoided venturing into the online sphere, instead choosing to focus on physical expansion with investment in stores and warehouses.</p> <p>It’s certainly been a successful strategy, with some suggesting Poundland could have similarly benefitted from this laser-focus on its physical presence instead of forcing a multi-channel approach.</p> <p>That being said, with the recent launch of <a href="http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/whats-on/shopping/poundland-now-opening-clothing-stores-12545933" target="_blank">dedicated clothing stores</a> for its Pep &amp; Co range, it does appear to be investing somewhat in this area. Again, perhaps herein lies the problem, resulting in a fractured or shallow focus across the board.</p> <h3>Mixed user experience</h3> <p>Finally, while the online user experience is somewhat irrelevant now - with a lack of interest in the overall concept overriding design – it is still interesting to note a few errors. </p> <p>On the positive side, the site appears to be very simple to use, with intuitive navigation and guest checkout facilitating an easy experience.</p> <p>Conversely, certain features like the ‘Shuffle’ tool are a bit baffling.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3737/Shuffle.JPG" alt="" width="690" height="465"></p> <p>Attempting to replicate the experience of finding surprise bargains in-store, this ‘new, fun way to shop’ on-site offers up a random selection of items.</p> <p>However, instead of providing users with a novel or entertaining experience, it negates the way people naturally want to shop online, making the whole process much more time-consuming and muddled than it should be.</p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>The aforementioned shuffle feature is perhaps a good reflection of why Poundland's ecommerce venture failed to work. Ultimately, it’s just a bit misjudged. </p> <p>Poundland’s expansion into ecommerce was done in spite of the needs of its core customer. And while a multichannel approach is undoubtedly the goal of many big retailers – it’s no use if the demand isn’t there in the first place.</p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66602-do-supermarkets-know-what-online-customers-want/" target="_blank">Do supermarkets know what online customers want?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64799-are-supermarkets-missing-seo-opportunities/" target="_blank">Are supermarkets missing SEO opportunities?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68355-how-online-grocery-retailers-are-capitalising-on-the-need-for-convenience/" target="_blank">How online grocery retailers are capitalising on the need for convenience</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68739 2017-01-26T11:05:13+00:00 2017-01-26T11:05:13+00:00 How has Click & Collect evolved, and is it still in high demand? Nikki Gilliland <p>Here’s a few facts and figures on the current state of click and collect, as well as a bit of insight into how the service might evolve in future.</p> <h3>Consumer demand for convenience</h3> <p>Before we get on to any changes in the click and collect model, it's worth noting that consumer expectations for a seamless and multichannel experience have heightened in the past few years. Consequently, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67534-from-checkout-to-conversion-how-to-prevent-basket-abandonment/" target="_blank">basket abandonment</a> remains a huge problem for online retailers.</p> <p>Of course - from complicated sign-in forms to an absence of guest checkout - there are many reasons why consumers fail to follow through on purchases.</p> <p>However, two of the biggest remain surprise delivery charges and a lack of convenient delivery options.</p> <p>A <a href="http://www.retailtimes.co.uk/retailers-cant-rely-brand-integrity-guarantee-seasonal-sales-says-shutl/" target="_blank">recent Shutl survey</a> of over 1,070 shoppers found that 95% of consumers would consider going to another retailer if their first choice didn’t offer a suitable delivery time.</p> <p>What’s more, it also concluded that 45% of consumers now have higher expectations of online delivery than in 2015.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3353/Shutl.JPG" alt="" width="480" height="501"></p> <h3>Increase in services</h3> <p>The question is - are online retailers meeting this demand?</p> <p>As of early 2016, it was reported that just over half of online retailers were offering a click and collect service, with <a href="http://edelivery.net/2016/03/72-of-uk-shoppers-now-using-click-and-collect-but-in-store-experience-lets-things-down/" target="_blank">72% of consumers</a> also making use of it. </p> <p>So, it appears we’re not far from reaching the 76% prediction, and this is likely due to many more retailers introducing click and collect since 2014, as well as an increase in the types of services offered.</p> <p>Instead of just multichannel retailers such as Next or John Lewis offering in-store pick up, both ecommerce brands and supermarkets are now partnering with third-party companies to offer greater convenience.</p> <p>Just one recent example is Missguided, which added a Collect Plus option last year to give loyal online shoppers the chance to pick up goods from local convenience stores and newsagents. It also partners with delivery startup Doddle.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Shoesday?src=hash">#Shoesday</a>! <a href="https://twitter.com/Missguided">@Missguided</a> have you covered with up to 75% off. Order pre-8pm for FREE delivery to Doddle. No brainer. <a href="https://t.co/9hojruFoBc">https://t.co/9hojruFoBc</a> <a href="https://t.co/2v4g52bAw4">pic.twitter.com/2v4g52bAw4</a></p> — Doddle (@Doddle) <a href="https://twitter.com/Doddle/status/823802521655316480">January 24, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Many retailers are also cottoning on to the fact that click and collect is not only a way of reducing online abandonment, but increasing footfall and in-store sales.</p> <p>Take Morrisons, for instance, which also partnered with Doddle to add click and collect concessions to its larger outlets. By introducing this feature, it has been able to give greater incentive for consumers to shop in its physical supermarkets, in turn capitalising on spontaneous in-store purchases. </p> <h3>Challenges and consumer dissatisfaction</h3> <p>Despite the increase in click and collect usage, shoppers have been left increasingly frustrated with the experience of late.</p> <p>According to JDA, <a href="http://www.retailtechnology.co.uk/news/5903/more-than-a-third-experience-christmas-click--collect-problems/">36% of shoppers encountered a problem</a> with collection last Christmas, with long waiting times and a lack of in-store employees being cited as the biggest areas of dissatisfaction. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3354/JDA.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="372"></p> <p>Implementing the service can be a risk for retailers.</p> <p>While the added convenience and increase in sales might prove irresistible, there is the danger that consumer perception will be damaged, and margins will become even tighter.</p> <p>With click and collect costing retailers four times more than in-store purchases, a lack of profit is indeed a significant problem.</p> <p>And as a result, even big retailers like John Lewis and Tesco have begun charging for click-and-collect orders under £30, potentially putting off consumers from using it in the process. Indeed, after angry responses from Tesco consumers, the supermarket subsequently dropped the charge.</p> <p>Other retailers have introduced measures to try and prevent this type of backlash. Sports Direct, for example, charges £4.99 for collection, but also offers a £5 voucher if consumers pick up from a store instead of a Collect Plus outlet.</p> <p>Of course, another factor that could impact click and collect usage is the option for same day delivery. </p> <p>72% of consumers <a href="http://edelivery.net/2016/09/retailers-missing-4-9bn-day-delivery-goldmine-says-stuart/" target="_blank">say that they would be willing to pay more</a> to ensure their items are delivered on the same day, which means that standard collection services could be sidelined if even more retailers introduce it. </p> <p>Whether or not this will happen in the near future is unclear, with reluctance from retailers again stemming from high cost and logistical complexities.</p> <h3>Rise of 'click and commute'</h3> <p>With the aforementioned challenges, it is clear that the click and collect model might not have the same attraction as it did three years ago.</p> <p>That being said, it’s still been suggested that click and collect usage will <a href="http://postandparcel.info/71804/news/uk-online-delivery-and-click-and-collect-to-double-by-2025-claims-new-report/" target="_blank">double by 2025</a>, with the expectation that it will generate 10% (or £23bn) of UK retail sales.</p> <p>So, where will this growth stem from?</p> <p>Many predict it will be from the so-called ‘click and commute’ model, which counts on retailers partnering with third-party companies to offer dedicated collection points in train stations.</p> <p>With Doddle reportedly opening a new location every two weeks in the UK, as well as expanding its service to the US market, we’ve already seen evidence of this. </p> <p>As consumer expectations continue to increase, we could see many more retailers opting for this cost-effective solution to the tricky 'last mile'.</p> <p><em>Click and collect this additional knowledge:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66389-what-does-the-ideal-click-and-collect-service-look-like/"><em>What does the ideal click and collect service look like?</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68043-will-click-collect-be-killed-off-by-same-day-delivery/"><em>Will click &amp; collect be killed off by same-day delivery?</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68701 2017-01-16T11:47:44+00:00 2017-01-16T11:47:44+00:00 The impact of the sharing economy on retail Nikki Gilliland <p>One industry that has yet to see much disruption from this area is retail. By 2025, however, it is predicted that the sharing economy will be worth a whopping $335bn.</p> <p>Will fashion and retail brands see a slice of the pie?</p> <p>Here’s a closer look at the opportunities (or dangers) the sharing economy presents and how it has already had an impact.</p> <h3>Why is the sharing economy such big business?</h3> <p>Now more than ever, there is a huge demand for services within the sharing economy, with benefits ranging from convenience to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68097-purchase-with-purpose-how-four-brands-use-social-good-to-drive-consumer-loyalty/" target="_blank">social good</a>.</p> <p>According to <a href="http://www.pwc.co.uk/issues/megatrends/collisions/sharingeconomy/the-sharing-economy-sizing-the-revenue-opportunity.html" target="_blank">PWC research</a>, 86% of US adults who are familiar with the sharing economy agree that it makes life affordable.</p> <p>Similarly, 76% agree that it’s better for the environment, and 63% say it’s more fun than engaging with traditional companies.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3017/PWC.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="340"></p> <p>Meanwhile, we’re forever being told that millennials in particular are keen to forgo possessions for a more pared-down lifestyle – with <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2016/05/05/millennials-are-prioritizing-experiences-over-stuff.html" target="_blank">73% preferring to spend money on experiences</a> rather than material goods.</p> <p>Altogether, does this mean young people are turning towards non-traditional retail?</p> <h3>A new kind of retail</h3> <p>With just 2% of Americans having engaged in a retail-based transaction in the sharing economy - a much lower percentage compared to entertainment or automotive sectors - it's not a trend that's taken off just yet. </p> <p>However, we have certainly seen some disruption from online marketplaces, with consumer willingness to buy and sell online fuelling the rise of sites like eBay and Etsy. </p> <p>When it comes to the more specific notion of <em>sharing</em> – i.e. borrowing or renting - we’ve also seen a number of companies find success.</p> <p>Sites like Rent the Runway and Beg, Borrow or Steal are built on the idea that consumers can’t afford to buy luxury goods or simply don’t want to spend over the odds, so they offer rental as a short-term alternative instead. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Looking better at brunch thanks to <a href="https://twitter.com/RenttheRunway">@renttherunway</a>. Obsessed with these <a href="https://twitter.com/Nike">@nike</a> pants <a href="https://t.co/FwYyUj9qKj">https://t.co/FwYyUj9qKj</a> <a href="https://t.co/YHCUD2RKCo">pic.twitter.com/YHCUD2RKCo</a></p> — Kayleigh Harrington (@Kayleigh_H) <a href="https://twitter.com/Kayleigh_H/status/782273719351832580">October 1, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>Interestingly, it’s not only luxury brands that are capitalising on peer-to-peer demand.</p> <p>More recently, we’ve seen an influx of new brands appear. The likes of Vigga, a subscription-based service for pre-worn baby clothes, and Poshmark, a way to buy and sell lower-price fashion, demonstrate that it’s not always about getting designer dresses on the cheap.</p> <p><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/154178062" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <p>Whether it’s giving into demand for disposable fashion or offering a way to dress sustainably – retailers are using the sharing economy to provide greater value for consumers.  </p> <h3>Opportunities and challenges</h3> <p>Of course, borrowing or recycling consumer goods is a little different than sharing accommodation or music. There is a behavioural mind-set that most people have when it comes to what they wear or items they use on a day to day basis, and it's very different compared to what they listen to or how they travel. </p> <p>Perhaps this reflects why just a small percentage of consumers are aware of or currently use sharing economies within retail.</p> <p>But is it due to less demand, or fewer opportunities for consumers? </p> <p>That’s not to say that existing brands aren’t beginning to recognise potential value, but many understand that there are far more stumbling blocks for retailers than utility-based companies.</p> <p>While an Uber, for example, is on-demand, guaranteeing that customer needs are met within the shortest possible time-frame - a product-based company has to deal with additional factors like inventory and delivery. </p> <p>One solution to this is sharing the supply chain, meaning that retailers will partner with existing companies to help facilitate services.</p> <p>We've already seen examples of this.</p> <p>Patagonia, the outdoor apparel retailer, has partnered with the freecycle startup Yerdle to encourage the recycling and reusing of its clothing. Similarly, Walgreens has also gone down the partnership route, teaming up with TaskRabbit to deliver its products to customer’s homes.</p> <p>There are many benefits to this tactic, a couple of which include:</p> <h4>Improved brand perception</h4> <p>By embracing the sharing economy, brands can bring awareness to the wider positive values they uphold. Sustainability, inclusivity, functionality – these are all benefits that this business model evokes, and that consumers increasingly care about.</p> <h4>Building community</h4> <p>In turn, the sharing economy helps build trust. By creating a more emotional connection, through both the aforementioned values and sense of community that ‘sharing’ evokes, consumers are more likely to return and remain loyal.</p> <h3>In conclusion…</h3> <p>The concept of the sharing economy is certainly not easy for retail brands to implement, with logistical factors and consumer preferences still being big barriers.</p> <p>However, with the aforementioned benefits, it is a tempting opportunity for existing companies to consider.</p> <p>With a growing number of startups fulfilling desires for greater connection with brands, sustainable values and a minimal lifestyle - there could be further disruption to come.</p> <p><em>For more on the sharing economy, read:</em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66351-how-will-crowdsourcing-and-the-sharing-economy-develop-in-the-next-five-years/">How will crowdsourcing and the sharing economy develop in the next five years?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68375-airbnb-how-its-customer-experience-is-revolutionising-the-travel-industry/">Airbnb: How its customer experience is revolutionising the travel industry</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68704 2017-01-13T13:27:41+00:00 2017-01-13T13:27:41+00:00 10 mind-boggling digital marketing stats from this week Nikki Gilliland <p>You’ll find news on content marketing formats, abandonment emails, customer retention and social media. Don’t forget to download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium/" target="_blank">Internet Statistics Compendium</a> for lots more.</p> <h3>72% of marketers value data analysis over social media skills</h3> <p>According to a new report by BlueVenn, 72% of marketers consider data analysis to be the most important skill to acquire in the next two years.</p> <p>From speaking to over 200 marketers in the US and UK, BlueVenn found that understanding customer data is considered far more vital than the likes of social media and web development, with just 65% and 31% of respondents citing these respectively.</p> <p>This appears to be an especially common view in larger businesses, where a lack of tools and access to technologies is the biggest barrier.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3043/BlueVenn.jpg" alt="" width="740" height="475"></p> <h3>Abandonment emails sent after one-hour boost conversion</h3> <p>New stats from SaleCycle show that the best time to reconnect with shoppers is one hour after they’ve abandoned their basket.</p> <p>From the conversion rates of 500 global brands, an average conversion of 6.33% was seen after one hour, compared with just 3.14% when sent before one hour and 3.41% one to two hours after.</p> <p>As well as timing, research also found that personalisation is a big factor in email success, with subject names that include the customer name seeing the highest open-rate.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3048/Email_time.JPG" alt="" width="314" height="522"></p> <h3>Two-thirds of UK consumers willing to use robots for banking</h3> <p>‘Robo-advisors’ is not a term we’ll be adopting any time soon, however, according to new research from Accenture more of us will be willing to accept the concept in future.</p> <p>Apparently, it refers to the robots used to offer financial or banking advice in place of real-life humans. And according to a survey of UK consumers, 68% are willing to use them.</p> <p>The reasons behind the demand for this type of technology is speed and convenience, with 40% citing this factor for using it. Lastly, 25% see the impartiality of robo-advice as a key attraction, with this figure rising to almost one third in those over 65.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3047/Robots.jpg" alt="" width="650" height="397"></p> <h3>Instagram Stories grows to 150m daily users</h3> <p>Despite initial reservations from users, Instagram Stories continues to grow, with the feature adding 50m more daily users since October.</p> <p>According to other recent stats, a third of the most-viewed stories come from businesses, and one in five stories on Instagram result in a direct message. </p> <p>Lastly, 70% of video views are reportedly played with the sound on (though this does not include Live Stories).</p> <h3>Original data is the best-performing type of content marketing</h3> <p>A survey by Clutch has uncovered the types of content that marketers believe leads to greater success.</p> <p>17% of respondents said that infographics perform the best, while 18% cited research or original data – both trumped other formats like blog posts and video.</p> <p>In terms of promotion, 85% of content marketers cited paid distribution, such as social media, PPC and native ads as the most effective tactic, over-and-above organic efforts. This reflects the strategies of most marketing agencies, with 71% using paid distribution tactics most frequently.</p> <h3>Nearly 20% of online retailers lost out to rivals over Christmas</h3> <p>According to the latest JDA/Centiro report, many retailers failed to meet the growing consumer demand for convenience during the 2016 Christmas period.</p> <p>19% of online Christmas customers shopped at alternative retailers due to stock unavailability and delivery time constraints.</p> <p>While use of click-and-collect services has somewhat plateaued, it is mostly seen as a way of avoiding delivery charges, with 53% of consumers recently using it for this reason.</p> <p>The report also found that many people suffered problems with click and collect last Christmas, with long waiting times due to a lack of staff having a negative impact on the experience.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3045/Click_and_Collect.jpg" alt="" width="350" height="571"></p> <h3>Valentine’s Day presents big opportunity for retailers</h3> <p>With Black Friday and Christmas out of the way, many retailers are turning their attention towards the next big holiday.</p> <p>According to stats from Bing, Valentine’s Day presents a huge opportunity, after an estimated $19.7bn was spent last year (and an average of $146 per person).</p> <p>However, it’s not just humans that can expect a gift or two. $681m was reportedly spent on pets for Valentine’s Day last year, giving pet retailers a good reason to get on board in 2017.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3046/Valentines_Day.jpg" alt="" width="483" height="229"></p> <h3>Instagram most important platform for marketers</h3> <p>In more Instagram-related stats, it’s been revealed as the platform marketers will invest the most in this year.</p> <p>Research from Greenlight shows that 70% will focus on Instagram, while 40% of marketers will invest in Twitter. </p> <p>Interestingly, older marketers are placing less importance on social platforms, with 50% of professionals who are over the age of 50 reporting no plans to invest in Instagram and 58% saying the same for Snapchat. </p> <h3>Generation Z bored by standard digital ads</h3> <p>According to a study by Kantar Millward Brown, generation Z (i.e. consumers aged between 16-19) have high expectations when it comes to digital advertising, preferring ads that allow them to interact or make a decision.</p> <p>When it comes to ads that prompt viewers to vote, generation Z reported a positivity score of 31%, compared to just 25% from generation Y. </p> <p>Generation Z were also found to actively dislike invasive ad formats like non-skippable pre-rolls. However, interruption appears to be a big bugbear for all age ranges, with the majority of people installing ad blockers due to this reason.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3044/AdReaction.jpg" alt="" width="740" height="399"></p> <h3>Customer retention is down 7% globally</h3> <p>From a global study of more than 24,000 consumers across nine industry sectors, Verint and IDC has found that customer retention dropped by 7% last year.</p> <p>Overall, this appears to be down to consumers who prefer using digital-based companies displaying less brand loyalty than those who engage with businesses on a human and one-to-one level.</p> <p>49% of digital customers have been with providers for more than three years compared with 57% who prefer to go in-store.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68677 2017-01-05T10:30:00+00:00 2017-01-05T10:30:00+00:00 How 10 ecommerce sites present returns policies Nikki Gilliland <p>According to <a href="https://www.pressroom.ups.com/mobile0c9a66/assets/pdf/pressroom/infographic/2016%20National%20Returns%20Day%20Infographic%20.pdf" target="_blank">research from UPS</a>, 66% of online shoppers want to be able to return items for free, 58% want a hassle-free return policy and 47% want an easy-to-print returns label.</p> <p>So how do brands measure up? Here’s a look at how 10 ecommerce sites present returns policies online.</p> <h3>ASOS</h3> <p>Users can access information about ASOS returns in two places.</p> <p>Either by clicking on the 'Help' tab at the top right of the homepage, or via the 'Free Delivery Worldwide' banner in the centre.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2769/ASOS_1.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="765"></p> <p>The latter page nicely lists the various options for returns, pointing customers to links for creating free labels.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2770/ASOS_2.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="792"></p> <p>Meanwhile, the Help section is set out more like an FAQ page, which is also useful for general enquiries and info on overseas returns.</p> <p>While there is a decent amount of information overall, it seems odd that the two sections are not combined or better linked.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2772/ASOS_4.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="569"></p> <h3>Amazon</h3> <p>Amazon's returns policy is easily located within the 'Help' section of its website, as well as in the bottom footer.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2791/Amazon_Help.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="653"></p> <p>There's lots of detail on Amazon's policy, with particularly helpful videos explaining how to send back unwanted items.</p> <p>The below 'Returns are Easy' section is also worth highlighting. By breaking down the process into four steps, with simple imagery to highlight each one, users are reassured that it will be hassle-free.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2764/Amazon_2.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="498"></p> <h3>Schuh</h3> <p>Schuh sets out its returns policy from the get-go, including it on product pages to inform customers before they've even bought anything.</p> <p>This is incredibly reassuring, and could even help to encourage spontaneous purchases thanks to the knowledge that sending it back won't be an issue. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2773/Shuh.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="591"></p> <p>This approach is continued throughout the site.</p> <p>The detailed returns policy highlights the inclusion of sale items, using copy that is geared around customer-satisfaction.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2774/Schuh_2.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="542"></p> <h3>Not On The High Street</h3> <p>Returns policies can be tricky for marketplaces, as it is usually up to individual sellers and buyers to negotiate the logistics.</p> <p>Despite its best efforts, Not On The High Street doesn't do much to clear up the confusion, explaining how to return items in a frustratingly convoluted way.</p> <p>It could definitely be made clearer - and the fact that customers are left to 'bear the direct cost of returning the product' is a bit of a sting in the tail too.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2775/NOTHS.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="730"></p> <h3>AO</h3> <p>AO.com is well-known for offering an <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66768-ao-com-the-best-ecommerce-experience-available-online/" target="_blank">excellent ecommerce experience</a>.</p> <p>Sadly, despite very clear and concise information about delivery, its stance on returns is less easy to locate.</p> <p>It's not impossible to find, however it does take two clicks (on the 'Help and Advice' tab on the homepage and then the 'Help with my Order' section) until any info about returns is displayed.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2796/AO.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="683"></p> <p>From there, users still need to click through to find the policy itself.</p> <p>Luckily, AO reminds us how good it is at customer service with its convenient and free collection service, including additional information about its call centres should you need any more help.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2797/AO_returns.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="676"></p> <h3>Firebox</h3> <p>Firebox takes a no-fuss approach to returns.</p> <p>While its inclusion in the homepage footer isn't as visible as it could be, the decision to plainly label it 'returns' rather than hide it behind a 'help' or 'further info' section is appreciated.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2779/Firebox_1.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="582"></p> <p>The returns policy is succinctly and plainly explained, too.</p> <p>I particularly like how Firebox's fun and friendly tone of voice is extended here, which makes the free and easy process sound all the sweeter.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2780/Firebox_2.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="602"></p> <h3>Zappos</h3> <p>Zappos is a US retailer that's known for its superb dedication to customer service.</p> <p>This is immediately apparent to consumers, with the brand even including its free returns policy in its H1 tag.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2781/Zappos.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="745"></p> <p>Onto the site itself, and although the returns page is slightly hidden in the bottom footer, the clear and concise explanation is one of the best I've seen.</p> <p>By breaking it down into a three-step process, it is super quick and easy for consumers to understand.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2782/Zappos_2.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="656"></p> <h3>John Lewis</h3> <p>Just one click on the 'Customer Services' tab is all it takes to find John Lewis's returns policy.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2783/John_Lewis.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="719"></p> <p>Clicking through from the comprehensive main menu, users are met with a thorough and easy-to-understand explanation.</p> <p>Happily, John Lewis lets customers return to various outlets including Royal Mail and Waitrose for free, highlighting various links and easy-to-print labels.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2799/John_Lewis_returns.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="768"></p> <h3>Nike</h3> <p>Nike is another brand that succinctly explains its policy, breaking everything down into easy-to-digest paragraphs.</p> <p>A surprising amount of retailers pack far too much copy into a single page, which can automatically put consumers off, but that's not the case here.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2785/Nike.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="549"></p> <p>Alongside links to further help on the right-hand side of the page, I also like how Nike includes information about returns it does <em>not</em> accept.</p> <p>Many brands are reluctant to talk about non-refundable items, however Nike's stance comes off as confident and honest.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2786/Nike_2.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="626"></p> <h3>Threadless</h3> <p>Lastly, an interesting approach from Threadless.</p> <p>Its help section is easy to find, coming in the form of a separate pop-out site dedicated to customer support.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2788/Threadless_2.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="821"></p> <p>Interestingly, Threadless does not offer returns on any of its products.</p> <p>However, it does offer a 'happiness guarantee' - which essentially means it'll replace any unwanted items with a new or different product.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2789/Threadless_3.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="426"></p> <p>This is certainly frustrating for consumers who want their money back, however, I think the slightly self-deprecating tone and quirky approach works.</p> <p>It also helps that the 'return policy' is included in each product page, giving consumers a heads-up about what to expect.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2790/Threadless_4.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="556"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68652 2016-12-22T09:50:00+00:00 2016-12-22T09:50:00+00:00 Ecommerce in 2017: What do the experts predict? Nikki Gilliland <p>If you’d like to learn more about ecommerce, book yourself into one of the following training courses from Econsultancy:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/fast-track-ecommerce-online-retailing/">Ecommerce and Online Retailing Training</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/conversion-optimisation/">Conversion Optimisation - How to Deliver Digital Growth Training</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/usability-and-persuasion-in-ecommerce/">Usability and Persuasion in E-commerce Training</a></li> </ul> <h3>Seamless customer experience</h3> <p><strong>Matt Curry, Head of Ecommerce at LoveHoney:</strong></p> <p>I think we'll be seeing a lot more zero-friction experiences. The recent announcement of Amazon Shop is a good example of this in the real world, but online we'll be doing everything we can to get out of the way of someone trying to order.</p> <p>Everything from seamless identification, automated intelligent orders, native payments in the browser and on IoT devices, to sites that customise their UI on the fly.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2533/Amazon_Go.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="456"></p> <h3>Data-driven marketing</h3> <p><strong>James Gurd, Owner of Digital Juggler:</strong></p> <p>I’m not going to get excited yet by IoT and VR – I know they’re already established in some markets, but I just can’t see mass adoption coming in the UK yet, and especially not in retail ecommerce. </p> <p>For me, marketing automation based on product lifecycles and user-level behaviour will become more and more apparent.</p> <p>We’ll see less bucket emails and more targeted communication, which has been happening over the past few years but at a slow rate.</p> <p>I think ecommerce specialists are growing in maturity and confidence, so data driven decision-making is becoming more of a norm, even though opinions and ‘it’s good practice’ do still influence many decisions.</p> <h3>Mobile rewards </h3> <p><strong>James Gurd:</strong></p> <p>Mobile payment still threatens to break free but it hinges on successfully integrating loyalty programs and rewards. </p> <p>So far brands like Starbucks have nailed it, and 2016 has seen some other high profile brands like Kohls push in this area. What’s lacking to make me confident 2017 is <em>the year,</em> is one of the big tech/payment companies resolving loyalty across a wide range of merchants.</p> <h3>Personalisation of shopper bots</h3> <p><strong>Depesh Mandalia, CMO of ToucanBox:</strong></p> <p>The emergence of bots and apps which provide a convenience shopping play will be a growing trend in 2017. Both Apple and Facebook are investing here with a view to enabling brands to deploy shopper bots that can create personalised recommendations.</p> <p>Personalisation has lacked an element of context in the past, but a bot could both dig deep into a customer's history and ask questions in real-time to better tailor products.</p> <p>While I can order items on my Amazon Echo, it doesn't yet have awareness of my history to better tailor my requests. Asking Echo "buy some vests for my son", it should ask contextual questions like 'how old?' or 'what size?', but should also check my browsing/purchase history to tailor those results.</p> <p>Having an in-home shopping assistant could be a huge advantage for retailers to connect in a more intimate manner with potential and new customers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2529/Amazon_Echo.JPG" alt="" width="590" height="336"></p> <h3>Uptake of A/B testing</h3> <p><strong>Paul Rouke, founder &amp; CEO, PRWD:</strong></p> <p>The free-to-use Google Optimize is going to bring a significant increase in both the awareness (and uptake) of A/B testing amongst retailers.</p> <p>With this, my word of warning for retailers would be - when a tool is free, there is less value placed on the importance of having the correctly skilled people available to get the most out of the tool. </p> <p>A/B testing carried out intelligently (and even strategically), requires a multidisciplinary team with hypotheses underpinned by user research, data analysis and heuristics. </p> <p>Ensure that your business doesn’t end up with “all the gear, but no idea” when it comes to A/B testing in 2017.</p> <h3>Wearables</h3> <p><strong>Matt Curry:</strong></p> <p>Now that Mobile is by far the largest driver of traffic and revenue, we have to presume the next device type will be wearables.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2528/wearables.jpg" alt="" width="650" height="433"></p> <h3>The re-invented HIPPO </h3> <p><strong>Paul Rouke:</strong></p> <p>An increasing amount of humility being exhibited by retailers, as they evolve to becoming customer-centric. </p> <p>The re-invented <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68080-it-s-time-to-reinvent-the-hippo" target="_blank">HIPPO </a>characteristics will continue to be harnessed by businesses and individuals as egotism, opinion and “what competitors are doing” are slowly removed from decision making around how we improve our user experience.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2530/HIPPO.JPG" alt="" width="544" height="303"></p>