tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/ecommerce Latest Ecommerce content from Econsultancy 2017-02-24T13:51:16+00:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68834 2017-02-24T13:51:16+00:00 2017-02-24T13:51:16+00:00 All the digital news stories you missed this week Nikki Gilliland <h3>Instagram lets you upload multiple photos and videos at once</h3> <p>Instagram has introduced a new carousel feature so that users can upload multiple photos and videos in a single post.</p> <p>It’s based on the notion that it’s difficult to choose just one photo from an experience, so now users can choose to include up to 10 photos or videos, which followers can swipe through to view.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Surprise! Now you can share up to 10 photos and videos in one Instagram post! <a href="https://t.co/OpBAUxcmJ4">https://t.co/OpBAUxcmJ4</a> <a href="https://t.co/U2u0OmBJln">pic.twitter.com/U2u0OmBJln</a></p> — Instagram (@instagram) <a href="https://twitter.com/instagram/status/834433357366833152">February 22, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Republicans release report detailing A/B testing for Trump campaign</h3> <p>Apparently, Donald Trump’s website generated more online revenue per visitor when it used pictures of Trump giving two thumbs up than any other photo.</p> <p>This is just one snippet of information from the RNC Testing Booklet – a report that details information about the A/B testing undertaken by the Republican’s digital team throughout Trump’s campaign. You can read the <a href="https://www.scribd.com/document/336800205/RNC-Testing-Booklet">full report here</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4135/Trump.JPG" alt="" width="400" height="648"></p> <h3>WhatsApp introduces ‘Status’ feature</h3> <p>WhatsApp has introduced ‘Status’ – a new feature that allows users to share disappearing photos and videos. It enables users to send contacts photos, GIFs or videos overlaid with drawings, emojis or captions, before the content will disappear after 24 hours.</p> <p>So, what will this mean for Snapchat? Read more about that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68830-will-snapchat-suffer-from-whatsapp-s-new-status-feature/" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <h3>Snap starts selling spectacles online</h3> <p>So far, Snap’s video-recording glasses have only been available from special vending machines in surprise locations and from an NYC pop-up. Now, the brand has begun selling them online to US consumers for the sum of $129.99.</p> <p>The move comes ahead of the brand’s March IPO, where the company is seeking a valuation of up to $22bn.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4134/Spectacles.JPG" alt="" width="680" height="412"></p> <h3>Apple buys iCloud.net domain</h3> <p>Apple has taken ownership of iCloud.net – a domain formerly associated with a small-scale Asian social network – in a bid to eliminate market confusion over its cloud software services. Apple has refused to comment on the deal, meaning the financial details (and what it plans to do with the domain) remain unknown.</p> <h3>Uber writes to users trying to delete their accounts  </h3> <p>Uber has come under fire once again, this time for allegations made by a former employee about sexual harassment and discrimination within the company. The news has come less than a month after the #DeleteUber campaign, following the firm’s airport price surging controversy.</p> <p>With users once again trying to delete their accounts, Uber has responded by sending out a formal letter in response, explaining its position on Susan Fowler’s allegations (see below).</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="und" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/Bro_Pair">@Bro_Pair</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/Uber">@Uber</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/deleteuber?src=hash">#deleteuber</a> <a href="https://t.co/QAWOX87Wtj">pic.twitter.com/QAWOX87Wtj</a></p> — Mr. To Damn Good (@FamousCeleb) <a href="https://twitter.com/FamousCeleb/status/834567373214539776">February 23, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Facebook Messenger users can now chat to Christian Grey </h3> <p>On the back of the release of the <em>Fifty Shades Darker</em> movie<em>,</em> PersonaBots.com has created a Christian Grey character for Facebook Messenger. Kudos to the person who raised <em>that</em> mid-meeting.</p> <p>Bringing fans’ fantasies to life (well, sort of) the bot’s raunchy chat culminates in talk of the famous Red Room. As you might expect, it’s decidedly NSFW, so the below screenshot is all you’re getting.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4133/Christian_Grey_chatbot_2.JPG" alt="" width="501" height="611"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68825 2017-02-22T01:00:00+00:00 2017-02-22T01:00:00+00:00 Digital in Asia Pacific: Four things you need to know Frederic Chanut <h3>1. APAC is not just China</h3> <p>The rise of digital in China is definitely one of the most exciting opportunities in the APAC region for marketers, with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67702-digital-in-china-10-things-you-might-not-know/" target="_blank">many unique quirks and nuances</a>. The behemoth nation also has incredible influence in the area, with many other APAC countries observing Chinese business customs.</p> <p>Digital marketers familiar with North America and Europe may feel they have a grasp on catering for multiple markets; however, APAC’s history and geography mean that there are far greater differences between countries in the region.</p> <p>Westerners should have few issues in Australia or New Zealand, but make sure you do your due diligence for any of the other countries. It is necessary to have “someone on the inside” in some countries in order to overcome cultural hurdles.</p> <h3>2. There's a huge variety in internet usage</h3> <p>Perhaps the most important difference between the APAC countries is the differing levels in internet penetration, i.e. the percentage of people online. There’s a huge variation, with Japan at the top of the list with 91.1% of the population online, compared to a tiny 1.2% in Timor-Leste.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4098/apac_internet_penetration.PNG" alt="" width="865" height="537"></p> <p>Markets where internet usage is already high will offer the easiest way into the region. However, markets where internet usage <em>growth</em> is the highest will offer the biggest opportunity for investment. To give you an idea of potential growth, although APAC internet users make up around 44% of users worldwide, less than half of the region is currently online.</p> <p>These stats collected by We Are Social show the APAC countries with the highest internet growth between March 2015 and September 2016.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4046/apac_user_growth.png" alt="APAC internet user growth" width="100%"></p> <h3>3. It’s all about mobile</h3> <p>With an average GDP per capita of around $11,000 ($3,000 below the world average) affordability is a huge factor for new internet users in APAC. That’s why most new users are accessing the internet through mobile devices — a much cheaper alternative to desktop. This is being facilitated by cheap phone and data bundles, which have been responsible for the huge growth in internet usage in Timor-Leste.</p> <p>To give you some idea of growth, <a href="http://www.gsma.com/mobileeconomy/asiapacific/" target="_blank">the GSMA estimates</a> that at the end of 2015, 62% of the population (2.5bn people) subscribed to mobile services. A further 600m subscribers are expected to be added by 2020, representing a 24% increase.</p> <p>Mobile users aren’t just going online, they’re actively engaging in m-commerce, and are twice as likely to do so than other regions <a href="https://www.globalwebindex.net/blog/3-reasons-mobile-will-drive-ecommerce-growth-in-apac" target="_blank">according to insight agency Global Web Index</a>. One reason for this is that most new mobile users in APAC are millennials, who are much more comfortable with buying on mobile.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4047/apac_mcommerce.png" alt="Mobile commercie in APAC" width="100%"></p> <p>We all know that mobile-first ecommerce strategies are becoming more important in the West, but if you’re seriously considering taking on the APAC region, any new product seems more likely to succeed if it incorporates m-commerce targeted at millennials.</p> <h3>4. It’s the epicentre of the emerging middle class</h3> <p>The amount of people with disposable income is set to explode in the APAC region over the next decade. <a href="http://www.ey.com/gl/en/issues/driving-growth/middle-class-growth-in-emerging-markets" target="_blank">A report from 2013 by EY Singapore</a> states that by 2030 two-thirds of the global middle class will reside in the APAC region, with the population in Europe dwindling to just 14%.</p> <p>The emerging middle class (EMC) is a group earning between $2 to $20 a day. This is important because it’s the point at which it’s considered people start to have disposable income.</p> <p>Unsurprisingly, a popular way to spend this income is to get online. In <a href="http://www.edenstrategyinstitute.com/a/media/Asia%20Emerging%20Middle%20Class%20Survey%20Report.pdf" target="_blank">a recent study of the emerging middle class in APAC</a> it was found that 42.2% of EMC consumers own a smartphone, computer or tablet. This shows that a great number of those coming online in the region belong to the EMC.</p> <p>Alexis Karklins Marchay, co-leader of EY’s emerging markets center, said:</p> <blockquote> <p>The emergence of a new middle class, with spending power to match developed nations, will offer tremendous opportunities to businesses.</p> <p>[These] opportunities will not be confined to consumer goods: the emergence of a wealthy middle class will also open up the markets for financial services or the health sector, for instance, in new territories.</p> </blockquote> <p>Up until now, however, many large Western companies have found it hard to break into the market. It’s thought this might be because there’s a mismatch in what we expect from the Western middle class, compared to the Eastern EMC.</p> <p><a href="http://www.edenstrategyinstitute.com/a/media/Asia%20Emerging%20Middle%20Class%20Survey%20Report.pdf" target="_blank">A study by the Eden Strategy Institute</a> into the EMC in Vietnam, Indonesia, India and the Philippines found that the greatest desires of these consumers are having a healthy life, and becoming closer to God — a far cry from the increasingly obese and atheist West.</p> <p>This is one reason why simply transplanting what works in the West to the East is not necessarily going to work: <a href="http://www.wired.co.uk/article/grab-taxi-company-asia" target="_blank">a problem Uber is currently facing</a>. Businesses that tap into the particular cultural needs of the region are most likely to succeed. This includes keeping an eye out for how things are changing.</p> <p>Although many countries still hold firm to their traditional values, Western culture continues to gain influence, especially in the younger generations. It's important to understand exactly how this paradigm shift is playing out in each country.</p> <h3>A final word</h3> <p>The main takeaway from this overview of APAC is that it's changing at lightning fast speed. There's a surprise around every corner, which makes it an extremely exciting area to work in. But this unpredictability also brings many challenges.</p> <p>One thing's for sure — if you want to work in APAC, you better have your fingers firmly on the pulse. The greatest prize will go to those that can spot the trends before they even happen.</p> <p><em>To learn more on this topic, check out these Econsultancy resources:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/understanding-the-customer-journey-in-apac/"><em>Understanding the Customer Journey in Asia Pacific</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-china-digital-report/"><em>The China Digital Report</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68824 2017-02-21T09:57:00+00:00 2017-02-21T09:57:00+00:00 10 examples of welcome emails of varying quality from online retailers Nikki Gilliland <p>Despite this, however, <a href="http://performancein.com/news/2017/01/27/why-email-still-king-and-how-be-better-it/" target="_blank">only 51% of the UK’s top ecommerce brands</a> are reportedly sending dedicated welcome emails. Similarly, just 26% use customer names in a first email, while 11% personalise their interactions further.</p> <p>With this in mind, I decided to take a look at how a few top retailers are faring on this front. While I wrote a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67872-email-newsletter-sign-ups-how-fashion-brands-welcome-new-subscribers/" target="_blank">similar article</a> last year, this time I will focus purely on the email content and incorporate non-fashion brands, too.</p> <p>Here are 10 examples, with insight on what they’re doing right (or wrong).</p> <h3>Topshop</h3> <p>First up, Topshop, which goes for an image-heavy hello.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4019/Topshop_1.JPG" alt="" width="470" height="839"></p> <p>While there doesn’t seem to be anything personal about the email at first, there is a prompt for customers to enter in their birthday.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4039/Topshop_2.JPG" alt="" width="470" height="226"></p> <p>Not only does this present an opportunity for Topshop to capture data, but it also gives an incentive for customers to click through to the site itself and (hopefully) have a bit of a browse.</p> <h3>Warehouse</h3> <p>Warehouse is another fashion retailer that opts for impactful imagery. However, it lets itself down a little by failing to offer any personal messaging or strong calls-to-action.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4021/Warehouse_1.JPG" alt="" width="485" height="621"></p> <p>That being said, it nicely highlights its USP – emphasising its delivery and return options and showcasing where customers can find the brand on social.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4045/Warehouse_2.JPG" alt="" width="485" height="572"></p> <h3>West Elm</h3> <p>The welcome email from furniture retailer, West Elm, is strong on many fronts.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4023/West_Elm_1.JPG" alt="" width="485" height="739"></p> <p>Not only does it showcase its various category ranges, but it also gives customers a special 10% discount just for signing up – a nice way to offer instant value and encourage a conversion.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4024/West_Elm_2.JPG" alt="" width="485" height="625"></p> <p>This, alongside a personal tone and promotion of its social media and London store, means it's covering multiple bases in a single email.</p> <p>It could be argued that West Elm tries to pack too much in, but welcome emails achieve high open rates so it's worth testing which elements people are most receptive to.</p> <h3>Farfetch</h3> <p>I had high hopes for Farfetch’s welcome email, however it’s pretty lacklustre in both design and content.</p> <p>Choosing a ‘thank you’ message over a ‘welcome’ could mean users are less likely to browse there and then. For example, the brand could have also said ‘check out our offers’ rather than ‘you’ll now receive offers’ - a subtle change in tone but one that could make a big difference.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4040/Farfetch__1_.JPG" alt="" width="550" height="472"></p> <p>Lastly, I feel like the email could have done with an image or some sort of editorial content at the very least. It's interesting to note the very different designs chosen by Farfetch and West Elm.</p> <h3>Oasis</h3> <p>Despite the Oasis website offering a whole host of enjoyable features, its welcome email doesn’t quite reflect this.</p> <p>It’s still good – there’s a free delivery code included and prominent call-to-action to start shopping – however it lacks any real personalisation.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4026/Oasis.JPG" alt="" width="485" height="783"></p> <p>Similarly, while the design is subtle, I can’t help thinking that it could do with a few eye-catching photos, though that might detract from the CTA.</p> <h3>Jo Malone</h3> <p>This welcome message is designed to make each consumer feel special, using the ‘world of Jo Malone’ premise to promote a sense of email exclusivity. </p> <p>With the prompt to ‘discover more’ as well as the promise of a welcome gift, it is sure to drive customers on-site. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4027/Jo_Malone.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="861"></p> <p>I also like the fact that it highlights online perks like samples and the Jo Malone signature box – these are small but lovely features that are ideal for highlighting in a welcome email.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4028/Jo_Malone_2.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="883"></p> <h3>Lakeland</h3> <p>Unlike many of the aforementioned brands, homeware retailer Lakeland goes all out with its welcome message. Unfortunately, it could be a case of clutter over substance.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4029/Lakeland_1.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="857"></p> <p>While a focus on trust and privacy might help to reassure customers, surely signing up to the newsletter means people are already happy to give away data? Likewise, addressing the customer by their surname comes off as too formal.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4030/Lakeland_2.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="849"></p> <p>The second half of the email is a bit more appealing, however, nicely pointing the user to editorial content, social, and customer service.</p> <h3>Net-a-Porter</h3> <p>This example from Net-a-Porter is one of the best on the list, mainly because of a strong focus on personalisation.</p> <p>By prompting users to choose their favourite designers and create their own wish-lists, there is an immediate indication that future emails will be personally tailored to taste.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4031/Net-A-Porter.JPG" alt="" width="530" height="876"></p> <p>Similarly, the editorial-style design is pleasing on the eye, prompting users to check out the content <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68219-four-things-brands-can-learn-about-content-marketing-from-net-a-porter/" target="_blank">found elsewhere on the site</a>.</p> <h3>Marks and Spencer</h3> <p>M&amp;S delivers a subtle but effective first impression to email customers.</p> <p>I particularly like how it promotes the breadth of its products – and the ‘offers’ tab highlighted in red is bound to drive purchases.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4032/M_S.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="802"></p> <p>Likewise, the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64943-12-excellent-ways-to-present-ecommerce-shipping-information/" target="_blank">delivery and returns information</a> helps to provide reassurance.</p> <h3>Whistles</h3> <p>Finally, we’re finishing off with Whistles and its highly impactful welcome.</p> <p>By labelling email customers as the Whistles ‘community’, there is an immediate sense of inclusivity, while the prompt to ‘shop new in’ highlights the fresh and regularly updated product pages.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4033/Whistles_1.JPG" alt="" width="520" height="776"></p> <p>The brand also incorporates social right from the get-go, encouraging consumers to check out its various channels.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4036/Whistles_2.JPG" alt="" width="520" height="785"></p> <p><strong><em>To learn more on this topic, check out Econsultancy’s range of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/email-ecrm/">email marketing training courses</a>.</em></strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68808 2017-02-16T10:00:00+00:00 2017-02-16T10:00:00+00:00 UK retailers still failing to meet web accessibility standards Chris Rourke <p>With so many barriers in store, shopping online from the comfort of your home is an attractive option. Furthermore, under the Equality Act 2010 all retailers must provide access to their goods online as well as in store. </p> <p>We decided to review the online accessibility of six well known UK retailers to identify the main barriers for online shoppers with disabilities.</p> <p>The chosen retailers were:</p> <ol> <li><a title="Accessibility Review of Online Retailers Part 1: Boots" href="http://uservision.co.uk/2017/01/accessibility-review-boots/" target="_blank">Boots</a></li> <li><a title="Accessibility Review of Online Retailers Part 2: Mothercare" href="http://uservision.co.uk/2017/01/accessibility-review-mothercare/" target="_blank">Mothercare</a></li> <li><a title="Accessibility Review of Online Retailers Part 3: House of Fraser" href="http://uservision.co.uk/2017/01/accessibility-review-house-off-fraser/" target="_blank">House of Fraser</a></li> <li><a title="Accessibility Review of Online Retailers Part 4: Joules" href="http://uservision.co.uk/2017/01/accessibility-review-joules/" target="_blank">Joules</a></li> <li><a title="Accessibility Review of Online Retailers Part 5: Tesco" href="http://uservision.co.uk/2017/01/accessibility-review-tesco/" target="_blank">Tesco</a></li> <li><a title="Accessibility Review of Online Retailers Part 6: Not on The High Street" href="http://uservision.co.uk/2017/01/accessibility-review-not-on-high-street/" target="_blank">Not on the High Street</a></li> </ol> <h3>How did we measure/review online accessibility?</h3> <p>To evaluate the accessibility of a site we audit them against the Web Consortium Accessibility Guidelines from the W3C. Also known as <a title="Web Consortium Accessibility Guidelines from the W3C" href="https://www.w3.org/WAI/intro/wcag.php" target="_blank">WCAG 2.0</a>, these guidelines help to improve web accessibility and are the best way to ensure the site serves the widest audience.</p> <p>We followed a typical shopping journey to assess how the retailers approached accessibility on their sites. This included:</p> <ul> <li>Homepage and search</li> <li>Browse (including any product category and product range pages)</li> <li>Selection (product page and basket)</li> <li>Payment (delivery and payment details)</li> </ul> <p>We focused on the major aspects of WCAG 2.0 Level AA, including important factors such as keyboard accessibility and screen reader compatibility. Items we looked out for included:</p> <ul> <li>Use of <strong>headings</strong> </li> <li>Alt text for <strong>images</strong> </li> <li>Availability of<strong> skip links</strong> </li> <li>Inclusion of a <strong>visible focus</strong> </li> <li>Access to <strong>forms</strong> </li> <li>Use of <strong>ARIA</strong> to provide greater context</li> <li>Access of <strong>pop ups / modal windows</strong> </li> <li><strong>Colour contrast</strong></li> <li>Navigating around is in a <strong>logical order</strong> </li> <li> <strong>Links</strong> are meaningful and describe their purpose</li> </ul> <h3>What were the common barriers?</h3> <p>We gained a good insight into the main barriers disabled users face when shopping online. There were several common themes and unfortunately all of the sites failed to meet the Level AA of the WCAG 2.0 guidelines.</p> <p>This means that disabled users would face difficulty in buying a product on each site, with half of the sites completely inhibiting users at certain points in their journey. The main accessibility problems are described below, with examples from across the sites.</p> <h3>Visible focus</h3> <p>This navigational technique highlights where the user is on the page visually. This is essential for sighted users who rely on visual cues to navigate with a keyboard.</p> <p>As positive examples, Tesco and House of Fraser provide clear and consistent visible focus so users can see their location as they move their focus through the site. Other retailers had a mix of custom, default or no focus at all so that they relied on the default browser focus which is not sufficient since it can be unclear and inconsistent between browsers.</p> <p>Below we can clearly see that the “Home Electrical” link has keyboard focus on the Tesco site as the text is underlined and is displayed in a blue colour which is distinguishable from the rest of the text on the page: </p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3895/VisibleFocusExample_Tesco.png" alt="Clear visible focus on the Tesco homepage enables users to see where they are on the page." width="967" height="282"></p> <h3>‘Skip to’ links</h3> <p>For non-sighted users, ‘skip to’ links provide an easy way to move through the navigation and into the main content of the page.</p> <p>Only half of the sites had implemented ‘skip to’ links meaning that keyboard users would repeatedly have to step through lengthy navigation menus, an even more tedious task for screen reader users listening to the links.</p> <p>House of Fraser was a great example of a site that had clear ‘skip to’ links:</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3896/SkipToLinks_HOF.png" alt="Good example of clear and visible ‘Skip to main content’ link on House of Fraser site." width="891" height="128"></p> <p>Joules had more than one ‘skip to’ link but they were designed to be hidden for sighted users. Consequently, sighted keyboard users were unable to take advantage of this functionality.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3897/SkiptolinksBadExample_Joules.png" alt="‘Skip to content’ link on Joules.com does not become visible" width="1010" height="655"></p> <h3>Alternative text for images</h3> <p>Alternative text is read by screen readers in place of images, allowing the content and function of the images to be available to those with visual or certain cognitive disabilities. All informative images on a page should have suitable alternative text, providing all users with the same access to content.  </p> <p>Across our retailers, use of alternative text was generally good with appropriate and descriptive alt tags on product images. However, we did notice issues on both Boots and Mothercare where image descriptions were read to the screen reader more than once.</p> <p>This was due to images having both an alt tag and identical title attribute. We recommend retailers remove titles with duplicate text to make sure the image descriptions are not repeated unnecessarily.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3898/AltTextforImages_Mothercare.png" alt="Product descriptions on Mothercare site are read to screen reader users more than once" width="853" height="593"></p> <h3>Providing context to screen reader users</h3> <p>This is fundamental for screen reader users who are not able to visually group information together or understand meaning through visible presentation. Information and relationships must be therefore associated programmatically.</p> <p>Examples of this from our retailers included:</p> <p><strong>Form fields</strong> need to have programmatically associated labels so that screen reader users know what information is required for the form input field. When a form field receives focus the label for the field (e.g. “first name”, “surname”, “email address”) should be called out by the screen reader.</p> <p>This was a persistent issue across all retailers. Some sites such as notonthehighstreet.com frustratingly had correctly implemented this in some areas and not others, meaning inconsistent access to information for their screen reader users.</p> <p>All retailers at one point or another had <strong>links that did not make sense out of context</strong>. Common examples found were ‘show more’ and ‘edit’. As we can see below, Mothercare.com used ambiguous links such as “edit” and “remove”.</p> <p>Without the visual cues, a screen reader user would struggle to know what they are editing or attempting to remove.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3899/AmbiguousLinks_Mcare.png" alt="Mothercare.com uses ambiguous links such as “edit” and “remove”. Screen reader users are not provided with any more context as to what will happen if they click these links" width="409" height="445"> </p> <p>In providing important tools to select product options such as size and colour, some retailers <strong>did not provide screen reader users with all the information they need to make the purchase</strong>.</p> <p>For retailers such as House of Fraser and Joules, there was no notification that a certain size was out of stock. Visually, sizes which aren’t available are scored out and in a lighter grey colour, but these sizes still get read out to the screen reader, indicating that they are available.</p> <p>This would prevent a screen reader user from choosing a product size, and they would need to either give up or ask for assistance.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3900/ProgrammaticallyAssociatedInfo_Joules.png" alt="The colour and size selection/availability on the Joules site are visually clear, but not conveyed programmatically for screen reader users" width="800" height="235"></p> <h3>What we learned:</h3> <p>With physical accessibility in store being such a challenge, online retail may seem the ideal solution. Unfortunately, retailers who fail to consider the issues and barriers mentioned above will not provide the answer for many disabled people.</p> <p>Most retailers had reassuring text on their sites describing their dedication to making their online offerings accessible. Most had also implemented some accessible features on their sites – for instance alternative text for images was widely implemented – yet shortcomings were readily found.</p> <p>Since these accessibility barriers were identified through a relatively short accessibility audit, retailers need to build on these great intentions and implement WCAG 2.0 to significantly improve accessibility across their sites.</p> <p>Retailers should consult with accessibility and UX experts to fully understand the needs of disabled customers and the technical solutions to provide accessibility.</p> <p>Once the identifiable accessibility barriers have been removed, the retailers should involve people with disabilities in usability testing to ensure that the site is usable for this audience as well as compliant to WCAG standards. </p><p><em>Many thanks to my colleagues Marie Moyles and Natalie Simpson for leading the accessibility analysis of the retailer websites.</em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68792 2017-02-15T14:52:09+00:00 2017-02-15T14:52:09+00:00 Amazon Payments usage grows: should you adopt it? Patricio Robles <p>All told, Amazon customers in more than 170 countries used Amazon Payments last year and Amazon says that more than 50% of them are Prime members. The average purchase for Pay with Amazon transactions was $80, and the largest purchase Amazon Payments handled was $40,000.</p> <p>While Amazon didn't reveal how many merchants are now offering Pay with Amazon, it says that active merchants grew by 120% last year.</p> <p>Amazon Payments launched in 2007 and operates as a subsidiary of Amazon. Its focus is Pay with Amazon, which as the name suggests, allows individuals to make purchases using their Amazon accounts. For merchants, Amazon's value proposition is simple: by allowing customers to pay using their Amazon accounts, which already have payment data stored, they can increase conversions, reduce cart abandonment and boost average order values.</p> <p>Pay with Amazon is integrated with Amazon's 1-Click Checkout feature, so merchants can take advantage of a streamlined payment process. Pay with Amazon can also be used to handle recurring payments.</p> <p>Merchants pay Amazon no monthly or set-up fees; like PayPal and other payment providers, they are charged authorization and processing fees for each transaction. </p> <p>Retailers like AllSaints, Lenovo and Build.com are among those offering Pay with Amazon. AllSaints says that it has increased conversions by more than a third and average order value by 15% since adopting Pay with Amazon. And when customers choose to pay using Amazon, checkout time is reduced by 70 seconds.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/EU810Cu9qoQ?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>According to Rich Ascott, AllSaints' global digital director, "...Pay with Amazon has tackled the fact that you don't have to remember your credit card details, which address to send to, or where your sister lives - it's all there in the address book.</p> <p>"The best bit of all is not having to re-enter your credit card details. Our customers can just click and checkout, and that is what is generating these exciting results." </p> <h3>A growing number of ways to reduce cart abandonment</h3> <p>While Pay with Amazon has a long, long way to go before it catches up to PayPal, its significant growth not only demonstrates Amazon's ever-growing influence but the increasing willingness of online merchants to turn to third-parties to help them reduce <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/11182-basket-abandonment-case-studies-and-tips-to-help-improve-your-conversion-rates/">cart abandonment</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3532/AO_2.JPG" alt="" width="294" height="520"></p> <p>In addition to services like Pay with Amazon, more and more retailers are embracing <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68761-does-buy-now-pay-later-reduce-mobile-basket-abandonment/">buy now, pay later solutions</a> like those offered by companies such as FuturePay, Klarn and Affirm. The latter was co-founded by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, and one of its target markets is millennials, <a href="http://www.nasdaq.com/article/millennials-are-applying-for-credit-cards-but-not-qualifying-for-them-cm742923">many of whom don't have access to credit cards</a>.</p> <p>Because Affirm uses alternative data sources beyond traditional credit scores when deciding when to extend credit to a consumer, it enables retailers to convert shoppers that might otherwise have been lost.</p> <p>According to Affirm, offering customers the ability to pay for purchases over time can increase conversions by up to 25% and average order values by upwards of 80%.</p> <p>Of course, retailers must be careful that they don't make their checkout processes more confusing by offering too many payment options, but with the expanding universe of payment providers, including those that allow customers to make purchases on credit, it's worthwhile for retailers to explore whether new payment options can benefit them.</p> <p>As a starting point, retailers should look at the types of products they sell and the demographics of their shoppers. For instance, if a retailer determines that many of its customers are also Amazon customers, Pay with Amazon could be a good fit.</p> <p>And retailers that offer big-ticket items that have high purchase consideration have good reason to explore buy now, pay later solutions.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68809 2017-02-15T11:44:00+00:00 2017-02-15T11:44:00+00:00 The Outnet is using satirical humour for ‘Pretty Influential’ Fashion Week series Nikki Gilliland <p>The online video series is a satirical look at the world of influencer marketing, depicting what life is like <em>without</em> an Instagram filter.</p> <p>Here is a bit more info on the series and a few reasons why I think it works.</p> <h3>The Foster sisters</h3> <p>Pretty Influential is essentially a mock documentary, portraying a pair of aspiring influencers as they attempt to sneak behind the scenes at fashion week.</p> <p>Before we go on, it’s important to point out that the Foster sisters are <em>not</em> social influencers in real life.</p> <p>Despite stemming from a Hollywood background (and looking rather model-esque), they are in fact comedy writers and actors, best known for the VH1 show, Barely Famous, which pokes fun at the world of reality television.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/D_Iod9kOg1o?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>A refreshing approach</h3> <p>So why has the Outnet – a fairly high-end ecommerce fashion site – chosen to satirise the world of influencer marketing instead of harnessing its power?</p> <p>Perhaps the decision stems from last year’s controversial Vogue article, which saw a number of editors harshly criticise bloggers for supposedly “preening for the cameras in borrowed clothes”. </p> <p>The feature was a scathing take-down of the influx of influencers within the fashion industry, but instead of being met with agreement, the criticism was labelled as petty and unnecessary by many other media companies as well as influencers themselves.</p> <p>Regardless of the Outnet’s opinion on the topic, Pretty Influential is a rather clever nod to the fact that – as a result of the controversy – influencer marketing is now ripe for parody. </p> <p>Taking the opportunity to do just that, the Outnet manages to come across as both refreshing and self-aware. Likewise, it also makes fun of both sides of the coin, laughing at influencer clichés as well as the highfalutin nature of fashion designers.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/99N-ZXXJ6qw?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Short-form content</h3> <p>As well as the humorous concept, Pretty Influential is also another example of a brand using short-form video content to engage consumers.</p> <p>Following a six-video series, with a new video being released every day, it aims to give the audience a reason to invest, and in turn, to continuously interact with the company.</p> <p>We’ve already seen brands using storytelling in this way, with one of the most high-profile being Nike’s YouTube series, Margo vs Lily. While the series itself was not particularly well-received, it still shows that video content is becoming the medium of choice for many big brands.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">2 sisters. 1 bet. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/nikewomen?src=hash">#nikewomen</a> presents Margot vs Lily, an original show series. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/betterforit?src=hash">#betterforit</a> <a href="https://t.co/Ev6gnP6NHf">https://t.co/Ev6gnP6NHf</a><a href="https://t.co/Qn1RU03Yw3">https://t.co/Qn1RU03Yw3</a></p> — NikeWomen (@nikewomen) <a href="https://twitter.com/nikewomen/status/691662259693563904">January 25, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Ecommerce tie-in</h3> <p>As well as entertaining its audience, Pretty Influential is also designed to point consumers in the direction of products on the Outnet website. </p> <p>Beside each video, there is the call-to-action of ‘Like what you see? Shop their look here’.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3903/Foster_Sisters.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="576"></p> <p>It’s a simple touch, but means that viewers might be inclined to check out the fashion after they watch the video, as well as offering extra value and the incentive to check back for another daily episode.</p> <p>It’s also good to remember that, although the site sells luxury clothes, it is fundamentally a discount designer e-tailer.</p> <p>Consequently, the series cleverly aligns with the desires of its demographic, with consumers likely to respond to the self-deprecating and humorous take on high fashion.</p> <h3>Could it alienate influencers?</h3> <p>Lastly, while Pretty Influential is likely to be met with appreciation from consumers, there is the question of whether influencers will feel the same way.</p> <p>For the Outnet, this might not be too much of an issue. The company has a reputation for capturing the attention of everyday consumers through fun and quirky content rather than the aspirational.  </p> <p>Its ‘Shoe Hunter’ campaign, which saw Sergio the dachshund provide a dog’s eye view of London Fashion Week, is a prime example.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Just a tiny bit in love with <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/sergioshoehunter?src=hash">#sergioshoehunter</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/THEOUTNET">@THEOUTNET</a> - off to buy cam for my dachshund <a href="http://t.co/JblyyQ69qQ">pic.twitter.com/JblyyQ69qQ</a></p> — Katie Iggulden Exon (@katievi) <a href="https://twitter.com/katievi/status/641251677379670016">September 8, 2015</a> </blockquote> <p>Also, with the series using gentle ribbing rather than scathing humour, here’s hoping most influencers have to ability to laugh at themselves.</p> <p><em><strong>Related articles:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68409-four-key-trends-within-the-world-of-influencer-marketing/" target="_blank">Four key trends within the world of influencer marketing</a></em></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67443-eight-influencer-marketing-stats-for-fashion-beauty-brands/"><em>Eight influencer marketing stats for fashion &amp; beauty brands</em></a></li> </ul> <p><em>For even more on this topic, you can also download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/" target="_blank">Rise of the Influencers</a> report.</em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68781 2017-02-08T10:55:00+00:00 2017-02-08T10:55:00+00:00 Five ways charities can encourage more online donations Matt Collins <p>So what’s the problem? Why are they lagging behind their corporate counterparts? </p> <p>One big reason is that when you complete your payment (donation) on a charity’s website, you get nothing physical in return. No pair of shoes, no concert tickets - just a thank you email for contributing to the cause. </p> <p>That’s a pretty tough product to shift.</p> <p>So, how do charities overcome this unique challenge of essentially asking for money for nothing? Here are five ways charities are tackling their unique ecommerce challenge.</p> <h3>1. Provide a ‘shopping list’</h3> <p>Most charities aren’t trying to compete with ecommerce platforms. They are totally open that the person making the contribution is mostly just getting satisfaction in return.</p> <p>Most provide a ‘shopping list’ of the sorts of things the user’s donation could pay for. The emotive imagery and copy helps an intangible contribution become more tangible, enabling the user to visualise the impact they are having, thereby increasing that satisfaction.</p> <p>For example, Shelter’s donation page updates the shopping list when the user moves the slider across different amounts:</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/3577/first_image-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="Shelter donation image" width="470" height="230"></p> <h3>2. Use transactional email to magnify the impact </h3> <p>While ecommerce platforms mostly use email to simply confirm the order details, charities can use it to personalise the impact of the donation through user and service-centred stories.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/3580/thank_you_letter_image-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="Letter example" width="470" height="246"></p> <p>The more organised digital teams will then put the donor into a more complex communications funnel that expands on the impact of their donation, cross sells to other ways to help or upsells to a regular donation. </p> <h3>3. Package the donation as a product</h3> <p>Instead of throwing your cash into the charity’s general pot, many charities (especially those working in international development) package it as a product.</p> <p>The most famous example of this is “Buy a goat” and “Buy a cow” made famous by Oxfam Unwrapped. Here, you make the donation on someone else’s behalf as a gift. The recipient then has the satisfaction of knowing they have paid for cow for a village in rural Africa.</p> <p>Their one-off gift has a long-term impact on the charity’s beneficiaries.</p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/3578/second_image-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="watch image" width="470" height="256"></p> <h3>4. Open an online shop</h3> <p>Many of the larger charities also sell physical products via an online store, making their offering a more traditional ecommerce one. Often the products are branded merchandise, including t-shirts, keyrings, and mugs.</p> <p>Some charities also sell service-related products that deliver their mission. For example, Parkinson’s UK sell watches for those with visual impairments or pet bowls you don’t have to bend down to pick up. </p> <p>Physical products like these are both a source of income and a way for the charity to deliver upon its mission.</p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/3579/third_image-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="watch image" width="470" height="319"></p> <h3>5. Focus on user experience</h3> <p>While many will look closely at the commission charged by different platforms for processing their donations, they are also looking at the user experience each provides.</p> <p>They know that a better UX is likely to mean more donations, and ultimately more money for their cause, with percentages becoming less important.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">This graphic in Daily Mail on how much more JustGiving takes from charity donations than other donor websites is disturbing <a href="https://t.co/yQbnZNw3au">pic.twitter.com/yQbnZNw3au</a></p> — Robert Peston (@Peston) <a href="https://twitter.com/Peston/status/828894199764414465">February 7, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Conclusion...</h3> <p>Charities are starting to take on the challenges posed by the ecommerce sector. The depth and complexity of their digital strategies is increasing day by day.</p> <p>As well as deploying the above tactics, the bigger charities are investing in finding out more about who actually donates or purchases those products. The highest converting traffic sources, ads and keywords are a rich source of information. </p> <p>The best charities draw on this information to deploy donation page testing programmes that can increase conversion rates long term.</p> <p>These investments will lead to a bigger piece of the ecommerce pie, and ultimately work that will have a much bigger impact in the world than buying that pair of shoes on Amazon.</p> <p><em>Further reading:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66508-are-charities-failing-on-online-donations/"><em>Are charities failing on online donations?</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67941-10-nudge-tastic-examples-of-persuasive-copywriting-from-charities/"><em>10 nudge-tastic examples of persuasive copywriting from charities</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67451-the-smartest-experiential-charity-marketing-campaign-you-ll-see-this-year/"><em>The smartest experiential &amp; charity marketing campaign you'll see this year</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68775 2017-02-07T14:47:00+00:00 2017-02-07T14:47:00+00:00 Retailers beware, Amazon could be about to shake up Google PLAs Patricio Robles <p>In the last two weeks of 2016, performance marketing agency Merkle <a href="https://www.merkleinc.com/blog/reversing-course-amazon-testing-google-product-listing-ads-may-be-ramping-efforts">noticed</a> that PLAs for Amazon began appearing and seemed to focus on the home goods category, where it ramped up quickly:</p> <blockquote> <p>Where Amazon does show, its impression share for PLAs generally started in the mid-teens and remained there through December 23rd. Amazon’s share then jumped over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (the most recent day that is populated in the Auction Insights report) and is now already high enough to make Amazon a top five competitor for some programs.</p> </blockquote> <p>While Amazon's intentions are not clear – it could simply be running a test – Amazon's use of PLAs seems to have grown in January. <a href="https://www.internetretailer.com/2017/01/24/big-quarter-googles-plas">According to</a> Internet Retailer, Merkle "found that Amazon only appeared in four of the reports in late December, but by mid-January, Amazon appeared in more than 20 reports," suggesting that if this is a test, Amazon is expanding it.</p> <h3>An increasingly important part of Google's business, and perhaps Amazon's too</h3> <p>Google PLAs were launched in 2012, but while Amazon has continued to buy AdWords ads, it has not been a buyer of PLAs.</p> <p>According to Merkle's senior director of research, Mark Ballard, "The conventional wisdom around why Amazon had refused to participate in Google Shopping has been that doing so would strengthen Google’s position in the battle to be consumers’ first destination for product searches by making Google’s results more complete.</p> <p>"That and Amazon would have to cut a (bigger) check to Google every month for traffic that Amazon may have eventually captured anyway."</p> <p>Amazon's refusal to buy PLAs hasn't hurt Google. PLA spending rose 30% in Q4 2016, and clicks grew by 43%. For retailers, PLA clicks now account for almost half of their total Google ad clicks.</p> <p>Interestingly, Amazon's absence from the market might have been a good thing for retailers. After all, PLAs give them the ability to target and sell directly to consumers and not having to compete with Amazon and its big dollars has probably made the market less costly than it would had Amazon been bidding up PLAs.</p> <p>But Ballard hypothesizes that Amazon no longer has the luxury of sitting on the sidelines...</p> <blockquote> <p>As more and more searches shift to mobile though, [Amazon's] stance may be less tenable and profitable for Amazon, as Google’s status as the default search provider on the two major mobile platforms has meant that Google’s already commanding lead in the search business has only grown in recent years. With less competing real estate on phone results, PLAs also generate a higher share of ad clicks on mobile than desktop.</p> </blockquote> <p>Supporting this hypothesis is the fact that Amazon appears to be more aggressively bidding for PLAs on mobile devices. As Internet Retailer notes, "its impression share of phone PLAs is about twice as high as it is for desktop PLAs."</p> <h3>Bad news for retailers?</h3> <p>If Amazon commits to buying PLAs and scales up its efforts significantly, it could be unwelcome news for retailers not named Amazon.</p> <p>A greater Amazon presence in the market would almost certainly make it more difficult for retailers to maintain their current share of impressions, and depending on how aggressive Amazon gets, it's possible that some retailers would have to spend more just to maintain their current level, or even a lower level, of impressions.</p> <p>Needless to say, retailers advertising through Google Shopping will want to closely watch Amazon's efforts.</p> <p><em>To learn more on this topic, check out these Econsultancy resources:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/search-marketing/"><em>Search marketing training courses</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/paid-search-marketing-ppc-best-practice-guide/"><em>Paid Search (PPC) Best Practice Guide</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4395 2017-02-06T10:00:00+00:00 2017-02-06T10:00:00+00:00 Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals Internet Statistics Compendium <p>Econsultancy's <strong>Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals Internet Statistics Compendium</strong> is a comprehensive collection of the most recent healthcare and pharma statistics and market data publicly available on online marketing, ecommerce, the internet and related digital media.</p> <p>The report will be <strong>updated twice a year</strong>.</p> <p>Like our main <a title="Internet Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium">Internet Statistics Compendium</a>, this report has been collated from information available to the public, which we have aggregated together in one place to help you quickly find the healthcare and pharma internet statistics you need.</p> <p>There are all sorts of internet statistics which you can slot into your next presentation, report or client pitch.</p> <p>Areas covered in this report include:</p> <ul> <li>Digital healthcare market trends</li> <li>Consumer internet and mobile usage</li> <li>Digital health investment / funding</li> <li>Digital strategy</li> <li>Internet of Things (IoT) and wearables</li> <li>Online pharmacies</li> </ul> <p><strong>A free sample document is available for download.</strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68768 2017-02-02T14:41:08+00:00 2017-02-02T14:41:08+00:00 What marketers need to know about Pinterest's new search ads Patricio Robles <p>Here's what marketers need to know about Pinterest's new ad offering, which had previously been tested by a number of major brands.</p> <h3>The ads are inserted as Pins into the search results page</h3> <p>On Pinterest, when a user enters a search query, Pinterest displays a search results page consisting of pins that match the query. On average, there are about 55 pins displayed per search results page.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/3619/pinterest-target-ad-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="313"></p> <p>Search ads are simple: they insert advertiser pins into the search results page and are marked as being promoted. Pinterest dynamically determines the number of ads that appear on a search results page.</p> <h3>Search ads are auction-based</h3> <p>Pinterest sells search ads the way Google sells its search ads: through an auction-based system in which advertisers specify how much they're willing to pay for each click on their ads.</p> <h3>There are two campaign types</h3> <p>Pinterest's search ads come in two campaign types: keyword campaigns and shopping campaigns.</p> <p><strong>Keyword campaigns</strong> allow advertisers to target their ads using keywords, which can optionally be grouped. Because the keywords that users search with on Pinterest might be different from other search engines given the visual nature of the service, Pinterest will suggest keywords that might be appropriate for a particular image.</p> <p><strong>Shopping campaigns</strong> give advertisers the ability to auto-generate ads from product feeds they supply to Pinterest via FTP. In the future, advertisers will also be able to use feeds through integrations with feed management providers. Shopping campaigns, because they are feed-based, give advertisers an easy way to quickly create campaigns at scale.</p> <p>To help advertisers manage shopping campaigns, Pinterest allows advertisers to dynamically update these campaigns as inventory changes.</p> <h3>The size of the opportunity could be large</h3> <p>Pinterest says that every month it handles around 2bn search queries. While that pales in comparison to Google, which handles over 3.5bn searches per day, it's still not an insignificant number.</p> <p>What's more, Pinterest isn't Google. It's a visual search tool, so the value of a search to brands, particularly those in industries like retail and fashion, differs from the value of a Google search.</p> <p>While it remains to be seen just how productive search ads will be for advertisers, a volume of searches in the billions should give advertisers more than enough to work with.</p> <h3>Most searches are unbranded</h3> <p>The news gets better for brands active on Pinterest: according to Pinterest, 97% of its searches don't include a brand name, giving advertisers the opportunity to reach consumers who might be interested in a particular type of product but who haven't already decided on a specific brand or product.</p> <p>Pinterest's global head of partnerships, Jon Kaplan, <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/pinterest-rolls-out-search-ads-1485950403">told</a> the Wall Street Journal that this has produced "new demand" for advertisers who participated in early testing of search ads.</p> <h3>Pinterest is targeting the upper funnel</h3> <p>Pinterest sees its search ads a powerful tool for marketers looking to reach consumers in the upper funnel. According to Kaplan...</p> <blockquote> <p>When people come to Pinterest, they’re starting earlier in their decision-making process. We saw this with the holidays — people were pinning holiday ideas as early as August. For brands, the implications to our business, that’s an amazing opportunity to reach someone at the earliest stages of decision-making.</p> </blockquote> <p>So while it's possible that clicks on Pinterest's search ads will convert quickly, Pinterest is positioning search ads as a driver of awareness, not conversions.</p> <h3>Search ads are now available to Kenshoo clients<br> </h3> <p>Initially, search ads are available to advertisers who are using the marketing software suite offered by Kenshoo, which is used by many search advertisers. Thanks to its integration with Kenshoo, Pinterest is now listed as an option alongside other search providers Kenshoo clients can run campaigns with, including, of course, Google.</p> <p>Pinterest will reportedly add partnerships with other companies that operate ad buying platforms in the near future.</p>